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Have Faith in Social Security? Then Have I Got a Deal for You!
Human Events Online ^ | March 28, 2005 | Mac Johnson

Posted on 03/28/2005 7:45:10 AM PST by bigsky

Bass boat or Baby? Feminism or family? Another mouth to feed or leather seats in your luxury SUV? For over thirty-five years most Americans have decided that children are a blessing --the kind to be enjoyed in a very small number that does not interfere with the better marketed blessings of ambition, "me time", and competitive consumerism. The "population pyramid" we all learned about in Social Studies class is thus as dead as a restrained Judiciary (or the Dodo, for that matter), replaced by a weakening "population column," as people have fewer and fewer children. This will mean two things.

One is the collapse of Western Civilization. But more importantly for the "Me" generation, the other is that the pyramid scheme of Social Security --which depends upon the taxation of the broad young base of the population pyramid to support its small aging peak-- is now demographically unsustainable. The extra children we were not willing to share our pie with yesterday will not be there to share their pie with us tomorrow. The Social Security system will thus have to be adjusted by either significantly decreasing benefits or else drastically increasing taxes. Period.

Or we could, as President Bush has proposed, augment the questionable pyramid scheme with private investment accounts through which individuals could save for their own retirement using compound interest. Surprisingly though, the idea of owning one's own retirement funds is viewed as a risky scheme by the public; while depending instead upon an un-guaranteed and legally unenforceable government IOU for an amount to be determined later and paid for by future workers that will not be born is somehow viewed as a sure thing. President Bush assured us, however, when the initial shaky poll numbers for the private accounts idea came out, that as people learned more "the numbers will move." They have moved straight down from there, so score one more for W.

Never being one to attempt to improve a situation I can instead exploit for personal gain, I am proud to now share with all of America an exciting new investment opportunity. Today I announce to you, the supporters of Social Security, my personal investment and guaranteed wealth-building retirement system, Socialist Sincerity. This fabulous investment of a lifetime is the only decision you'll ever have to make regarding your financial golden years. It's the private-sector retirement program you've been waiting for -- one that preserves all the salient features of the Social Security system you love, but has no limits on the amount of money you can send into it! You've already decided that Social Security is a better deal than any risky scheme like investing in the future growth of the American Economy through so-called "stocks" and "bonds," so wouldn't you be stupid not to put every penny you have into this wealth-spurting super investment? Now you can! Simply sign up for my Socialist Sincerityprogram and let the wealth come to you! I will now take a few spontaneous questions regarding the "rock-solid" and nearly fully guaranteed Socialist Sincerityprogram.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: genx; payroll; reform; security; social; socialsecurity; tax; taxes; taxreform

1 posted on 03/28/2005 7:45:11 AM PST by bigsky
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To: ancient_geezer
Tax reform and Social Security ping!

This guy has the right approach to convincing folks that private accounts are superior to Social Security -- given all of the facts and an unfetered option on which way to go, who would ever choose the latter?

2 posted on 03/28/2005 7:56:27 AM PST by kevkrom (If people are free to do as they wish, they are almost certain not to do as Utopian planners wish)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effect Gen-Reagan/Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

3 posted on 03/28/2005 8:02:37 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effect Gen-Reagan/Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

4 posted on 03/28/2005 8:02:46 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1

Sorry for the double Ping


5 posted on 03/28/2005 8:04:00 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: bigsky

priceless


6 posted on 03/28/2005 8:07:48 AM PST by expat_panama
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To: bigsky
While investment accounts will be a big improvement over SS as it exists now, there will be plenty of trouble down the road regardless. Whether the money comes out of the economy in the form of payroll taxes or by selling off stocks or pocketing dividends, the fact remains that 50 years from now there will be more old folks who aren't producing wealth and less young folks who are.

No matter how you allocate the wealth it boils down to a less productive economy and that spells trouble. The simple fact is that we need more kids. We're making up the deficit right now by bringing in immigrants, but who's to say that those immigrants will feel obligated to support a bunch of elderly Americans without kids of their own when it comes time for us to retire?

7 posted on 03/28/2005 8:09:11 AM PST by elmer fudd
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To: elmer fudd
Whether the money comes out of the economy in the form of payroll taxes or by selling off stocks or pocketing dividends, the fact remains that 50 years from now there will be more old folks who aren't producing wealth and less young folks who are. No matter how you allocate the wealth it boils down to a less productive economy and that spells trouble.

I don't follow your reasoning. The big problem with the current system isn't that older folks aren't producing wealth, it's that younger people are being hindered from accumulating wealth because they're taxed to transfer money to older folks.

Also, money in private investment accounts is productive -- it is used to fund economic growth via infrastructure, and when cashed in and spent, also encourages growth, via sales.

8 posted on 03/28/2005 8:13:03 AM PST by kevkrom (If people are free to do as they wish, they are almost certain not to do as Utopian planners wish)
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To: bigsky

Absolutely hilarious article. And so true...


9 posted on 03/28/2005 8:14:58 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: elmer fudd
The simple fact is that we need more kids.

And people like me aren't having any, because we can't afford 'em, because we're taxed all to hell.
10 posted on 03/28/2005 8:31:07 AM PST by Xenalyte (I dare you to make less sense.)
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To: kevkrom
I'm just pointing out that the elderly will need to be supported regardless of where the money comes from and that the more elderly and less young people you have the less productive your economy will be. Social security is a terrible retirement system, but the main problem that faces it would still be a problem for us even if SS were entirely replaced by private accounts. When you've got one worker out of every three working to support an older person that's an immense drain on the economy.

Restructuring social security is like refinancing your debt. It can really help, but the underlying problem is the debt itself. In the case of SS the underlying problem is that we're living longer, using much more healthcare and we're not having enough kids to support us.

11 posted on 03/28/2005 9:20:11 AM PST by elmer fudd
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To: elmer fudd
I'm still not seeing how you reach those conclusions. The point of private accounts is that younger workers won't be supporting retirees -- retirees will be supporting themselves with their own savings and investment.

Now, there'll be about a full generation's worth of transition, which may be what you're referring to, but once that is complete, the long-term effects are to free younger workers from the burden of having to support the aging class.

12 posted on 03/28/2005 9:23:07 AM PST by kevkrom (If people are free to do as they wish, they are almost certain not to do as Utopian planners wish)
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To: Xenalyte

Isn't that the bloody truth! The only folks who can afford loads of kids are the folks who our tax dollars subsidise. Sure, wealthy folks can have scores of kids, but few wealthy folks have loads of kids.


13 posted on 03/28/2005 9:28:46 AM PST by Army Air Corps (I am sick of brownshirts in black robes)
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To: kevkrom; Taxman; Principled; EternalVigilance; rwrcpa1; phil_will1; n-tres-ted; Zon; Bigun; ...
A Taxreform bump for you all.

If you would like to be added to this ping list let me know.

John Linder in the House(HR25) & Saxby Chambliss Senate(S25), offer a comprehensive bill to kill all income and SS/Medicare payroll taxes outright, and provide a IRS free replacement in the form of a retail sales tax:

H.R.25,S.25
A bill to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national retail sales tax to be administered primarily by the States.

Refer for additional information:


14 posted on 03/28/2005 9:55:22 AM PST by ancient_geezer (Don't reform it, Replace it!!)
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To: Army Air Corps

Isn't that the bloody truth! The only folks who can afford loads of kids are the folks who our tax dollars subsidise. Sure, wealthy folks can have scores of kids, but few wealthy folks have loads of kids.

You don't know what you're talking about. I have 9 children and make less than $30,000/year. No, I don't take food stamps, welfare or even sponge off my neighbors to educate my kids. Sure it means no TV time as living cheap takes time and effort, but it's not impossible. Besides, rich people are too busy playing with their toys to raise large families. We're raising the next generation of leaders.


15 posted on 03/28/2005 10:12:58 AM PST by freedomfiter2
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To: kevkrom
Look at it this way. Whether the money comes out of a mutual fund or the general fund, we'll still have to pay one worker in three to take care of a senior citizen. That guy who's working in the nursing home or the therapist or the meals on wheels guy are going to represent over 33% of our economy. That means that there is less labor to go around for the rest of the workforce.

To a large extent a countries wealth is dependent on it's ability to either grow, mine, manufacture or trade goods and intellectual property. These are the things that bring new wealth into a country. Taking care of retirees does not. It has to be done of course, but the more retirees and the fewer workers we have the more negative impact it will have on our economy and our standing in the world.

16 posted on 03/28/2005 10:49:37 AM PST by elmer fudd
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To: elmer fudd
In the case of SS the underlying problem is that we're living longer, using much more healthcare and we're not having enough kids to support us.

I well understand your point but that is simply the thing the pols want you to believe. The underlying problem is that the pols have spent all the money that had been "surplus" through all these years. The more we adjust the system to maintain the surplus, you know "To fix SS unitl 20??.", by raising taxes, lowering benefits, or increasing the retirement age, simply exacerbates the problem by giving the pols more "surplus" money to spend. It will never end because the money will never be there.

17 posted on 03/28/2005 11:11:47 AM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: freedomfiter2

Wow! Nine children on less then $30,000 per annum! Just HOW do do you do that? You do know, that you are the exception to the general rule, don't you?


18 posted on 03/28/2005 11:25:45 AM PST by Army Air Corps (I am sick of brownshirts in black robes)
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To: Army Air Corps

Yes it's not average but most of our friends have 6 or more children(including 4 families within 3 miles that have 8 or 9). It's worth doing if only to drive libs crazy cause they can't recruit fast enough to keep up. Also, I'm not saying that it's easy.


19 posted on 03/28/2005 12:00:23 PM PST by freedomfiter2
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To: freedomfiter2

Obviously, it is not easy. I am the product of a large family. My grandmother was one of nearly a dozen children. They made it because her parents had a good-sized home and many of their kids stayed at home and contributed to the household until they married and left home.


20 posted on 03/28/2005 2:06:01 PM PST by Army Air Corps (I am sick of brownshirts in black robes)
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To: elmer fudd

Even with new immigration, because you fund your account, the other beneficiaries can not get into trouble. You are incentivized to work more and therefore have a better retirement nest egg.


21 posted on 03/28/2005 3:02:45 PM PST by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for in a Nation worth dying for...)
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