Friday, February 18, 2005


Social Security Hysteria

Jonathan Alter, in his "Between The Lines" column laments that President Bush's desire to "fix" Social Security is really a ruse to repeal the ideas behind the New Deal.

And all I have to say to him is "so what?"

Why should the whole concept of a welfare state (which is how I see this whole "New Deal") be sacrosanct? Because FDR said so? For people who are so petrified about the partial privatization of Social Security, who on earth is *forcing* you to put your money in the stock market? This is all voluntary! If you're so content with the measly rate of return that our current system provides, then you're free to leave things as they are. But don't deny others the opportunity to let their money grow on account of your pusillanimity.

Another thing that gets me about this commentary is Alter denying that our current Social Security system is a ponzi scheme. Yet I'm sure that if he, or any other private citizen were to engage in such a transaction, they would be in big trouble with the law, precisely because such ponzi schemes are illegal.

Finally, I will say once more that I seriously doubt that Alter and other Social Security cheerleaders are just relying on our current system to fund *their* retirements. I think it would be safe to say that these folks have their money in 401k's and IRA's consisting of mutual funds made up of, gasp, STOCKS AND BONDS!

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