Skip to comments.DOW at 17,000 -- But You're Not Invited
Posted on 07/10/2014 9:29:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
The stock market reached a record high last week, closing over 17,000 for the first time. Good news, of course. As President John F. Kennedy famously said, "A rising tide lifts all boats." But it sure helps if you own a boat.
In this case, the "boat" would be the dynamic American stock market.
But investors in the stock market disproportionately come from the top 1 percent, and they hold about 35 percent of all stocks and mutual funds. The next-richest 9 percent control about 45 percent. The remaining 90 percent have less than 20 percent. While nearly half of Americans have either direct or indirect investments in the stock market, half of Americans do not. And even for those who do, their home equity is still, by far, their largest investment.
President Obama wants to focus his remaining years in office on fighting "income inequality." To do so, he has proposed things like "promise zones" where federal grants and tax incentives is supposed to spark development. He has promoted silly income-transferring schemes like "cash for clunkers" and "cash for caulkers," and HAMP to help homeowners fight off foreclosure.
But there is something we could do immediately to help to increase the net worth of the bottom 99 percent -- allow private accounts for Social Security.
Chile recently celebrated its 33rd year of private retirement accounts. Its then-secretary of labor and Chilean pension system, Jose Pinera, went on television day after day to explain to cabdrivers, housewives and construction workers the benefits of allowing private savings accounts.
Pinera successfully persuaded 93 percent of Chilean workers to invest their "social security" contributions in one of several types of managed portfolios. Those who feared the "risk" of the stock market could continue as they did before. While U.S. workers pay 12.4 percent of their wages into Social Security, Chileans put 10 percent (or up to 20 percent) of their earnings into a private fund, earning compound interest. On retirement, workers can choose a life annuity or make programmed withdrawals. Heirs inherit what's left.
The result? Chilean workers averaged a near double-digit annual return on their money -- 9.23 percent above inflation -- over the first 30 years. In the U.S., Social Security nets a theoretical 1 to 2 percent return -- less for newer workers. Not only do they allow private accounts for "social security" in Chile, but also in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Columnist John Tierney, writing in The New York Times in 2005, calculated what his retirement benefits would be if he'd paid into the Chilean system instead of Social Security. He found he'd have three options: "(1) Retire in 10 years, at age 62, with an annual pension of $55,000. That would be more than triple the $18,000 I can expect from Social Security at that age. (2) Retire at age 65 with an annual pension of $70,000. That would be almost triple the $25,000 pension promised by Social Security starting a year later, at age 66. (3) Retire at age 65 with an annual pension of $53,000 and a one-time cash payment of $223,000."
Social Security is an especially bad deal for blacks.
CATO Institute's Michael Tanner writes: "The longer you live, the more money you get from Social Security. But African Americans have shorter life spans than whites. As a result, a black man or woman earning exactly the same lifetime wages, and paying exactly the same lifetime Social Security taxes as his or her white counterpart, will likely receive a far lower rate of return. A study by the nonpartisan RAND Corporation found that the rate of return for African-Americans was approximately one percent lower than that for whites. The result was a net lifetime transfer of wealth from blacks to whites averaging nearly $10,000 per person."
Worse, the Supreme Court ruled long ago that one does not have a proprietary interest in his Social Security contributions. In other words, when the recipient dies, the "contribution" goes "poof." With private accounts, the money can be bequeathed to a family member or to a charity.
So why not private Social Security accounts?
The late vice presidential candidate, Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, D-N.Y., opposed private accounts for Social Security. She said if one lacked the "knowledge and the wherewithal to manage your own private funds ... you're gonna be out of luck." Out of luck?
Legendary investor Warren Buffett quotes his mentor, Benjamin Graham, who said: "In the short run the stock market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine." For the long term, prices reflect actual value, and investors who prudently and patiently "invest" in the stock market will have a much greater net worth and therefore realize the resources to enhance their comfort in their retirement years.
Democrats think Americans too stupid, too irresponsible and too impatient to manage their own Social Security contributions. Chileans can. Australians do. Many European and Latin American citizens do. But Americans, at least the bottom 99 percent, well, they're just too stupid to join the party.
Tell that to those Americans who KNOW how to handle their finances.
The “Lie Bubble”....
The Last Bubble to Burst....
I’m not in the “top 1%” and certainly far from it 40 plus years go when I started investing. It helped enable me to retire at age 54.
Wall Street is rigged. I trust those folks as much as I trust our government.
Of course, right now there’s no true market in the U.S. Thanks to Fed Reserve QE to infinity, we’ve got worthless fiat currency heavily manipulating the stock market. This includes propping up insolvent banks and tech companies that have lost money since day one with no viable business plan to ever earn a profit.
America is becoming a country of fools, serfs and Alinsky bred puppet masters.
Social Security is on its death bed.
But what scares me most is a plan to seize private retirement accounts. The Dow is at 17,000? Why that can only mean the fat cat Wall Street Bankers are stealing from the poor again. And they must be punished. And how do we prop up the Social Security mess also?
By taking State control of individual retirement accounts and 401(k)’s.
The Fed announced yesterday that QE would end in October. Look out below!
Wall street thrives but Main street is dying under Obama.
Almost all pension plans are invested in stocks, be they individually directed plans like 401Ks or institutional plans.
So almost everybody who works and has a pension plan is invested in the stock market whether they know it or not.
It went below the magic figure of 17,000 that had a lot of idiots excited.
17,001 is barely different from 16,999.
It goes up, and it goes down.
BTW, it is never adjusted for inflation, so the numbers are useless.
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
17,000 isn’t a tide. It’s a lock in a canal that is going to burst due to inequality of pressure.
Remember not too long ago how the Dems were screaming about privatizing social security by sending it to that "casino" on Wall St?
Now at Dow 17000 they say "look at Wall St" to point to their economic successes.
Wah wah wah boo hoo. No one is excluded from participating in the stock market. If you choose to invest in beer cigarettes and scratch off lotto tickets instead of stocks that's your problem. My sympathy for those who didn't buy stocks and are now envious because stocks have appreciated approaches negative infinity.
Firesign Theatre, circa 1972.
It should also be adjusted for dividends. The choice of whether to pay dividends or do things like stock buybacks to drive up the price are often based on the current tax rates. If capital gains are taxed less than dividends the companies will use profits to try to drive up share prices rather than send the profits to the owners. A true index will not be tricked by price run-ups during those times.
Yes it's all a big conspiracy to get money from poor people because EVERYONE knows that poor people are where the money is.
Per what person? Are they saying the average black collects $10,000 less?
Are they saying every white person collects $10,000 more?
Or are they trying somehow to say that a black person pays so much in that white people will be collecting $10,000 more on account of that?
Keeping in mind that there are at least six times as many whites as blacks, that would either be a pretty watered down $1667 dollars per white person--because I don't see how the black person could be paying in $60,000 more than the white people making the same amount did, over the same time period.
If some people collect more than others because they live longer, they didn't collect any more per month than someone collecting equal benefits who dies, up to the end of the latter person's life. If they are dead, they don't need the check, right?
When it was really low the MSM said “Well it’s only a number” now it’s really something????