March 2009 Archives

On Social Security

| | Comments (2)

As is usual for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th months of the year, this blog has been neglected. So just to have something new on top of the page, here's a comment I just left on a thread elsewhere.

Some things missing from this conversation:

1) Had the Bush plan for partially privatizing SS security gone through, 63 year-olds would have no problems because the plan was for those under 50.

2) "The market" is not equal to "the stock market." As other have stated, stocks are the way to go for younger folks, and as you get older, you gradually shift your funds to investments with guaranteed returns -- annuities, insurance products, etc.

3) That said, it's simply true that most people lack the financial literacy to manage their own retirement accounts. A civilized society ought to have some minimal safety net. Full privatization of social security is a fantasy, and if it weren't a fantasy, it'd be a disaster.

4) THAT said, Social security is not the minimal safety net we need -- it is a ridiculous ponzi scheme in which the people who need it most end up collecting the least. Young black men can start collecting SS at 65, but guess what? they're probably going to be dead before they're 70. Meantime, white millionaires get a $2000 check from the US government every month.

We need to lift the retirement age to 75, index benefit increases less generously and create a progressive scale whereby those who don't need it don't draw it. This is called welfare, and it should be as minimal as possible. Good luck making it happen!

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