Thursday, February 03, 2005

Social Security "privatization"?

I have not seen many comments on the proposal for social security privatization. I think it is best to get in front of this issue now before the momentum carries us in an irreversible direction.

The best solution would be for the government to admit that this whole Ponzi scheme was a bad idea in the first place and put an end to the whole mess. We all know that won't happen. The government will go on with its illegal pyramid scheme, committing the kind of fraud that would land you or I in jail if we tried it ourselves. [If the social security system had been created today, it would have to be introduced to the American people via a mass e-mail from a Nigerian refugee.]

Given that the government will not abolish one of the biggest domestic mistakes of the 20th century, will halfway reform meaures do any good? Are those measures needed to prevent the situation from getting worse?

It is obvious that the Social Security system is bankrupt. Now. Not someday in the future. We don't have to wait until 2018, 2042 or any other year to find that out.

There is no social security "fund" - as I am sure you already know if you are not at the mercy of the MSM/DNC for your information. The government does not keep your payments for you until you retire. They take your money and give it away immediately. If you are a student, calmly try to explain to your professors or teachers that the FICA money that the government has taken out of their paychecks for many years has already been spent. "Social Security" money will be available for them only if we stop aborting babies and allow them to grow up to be victims of this pyramid scheme. If you don't have a teacher or professor, write a letter explaining all of this, in simple two syllable words, to your newspaper or congressman.

Now to answer the question. President Bush' version of privatization may make things worse. True privatization would be an improvement only if we could invest the money where and how we choose - and had to live with the consequences. The minute the government starts telling us where to invest the money, the system will be out of control. President Bush offered to place limitations on the investments so that such investments would be safe and conservative. Such limitations might be minor and unobtrusive at first, but the limitations - and the government's investment role - would eventually grow through the years. The limitations upon where the money could be invested would eventually be intertwined with politics.

Imagine these issues arising after the inception of the "privatization" program:

- "We can't allow workers to invest their Social Security money in that mutual fund. That fund contains tobacco company stocks. The government should not be funding the tobacco industry."

- "We can't allow workers to invest their SS money in that mutual fund. That fund contains stocks of foreign companies that compete with American manufacturers. The AFL-CIO would never forgive us."

- "We can't allow workers to invest their SS money in that mutual fund. That fund contains stocks of companies that do not have sufficiently enviromentally friendly policies."

- "We can't allow workers to invest their SS money in any mutual fund that holds stocks of companies that have not paid sufficient payoffs to Jesse Jackson as a result of some trumped up protest."

- "That company used to be run by the Vice-President. The mutual fund must sell it off or we will force the SS administration to divest all holdings of that fund. It is a conflict of interest."

- "Divest Now!"

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, the entire SS fund would be invested in Tyson Foods and the MSM/DNC would utter no protest. During Republican administrations, MSM/DNC would comb the earth in search of mythical conflicts of interest. Every court nominee will be delayed pending accusations of conflicts between the candidate's private investments and those that the SS administration allows.

What is worse than the endless political squabbles will be the government's newfound ability to control the economy. I know it already exercises tremendous control, but the ability to control billions of dollars in investment will make the current controls seem minor. The government will have the ability to make certain companies' stock price soar while others tumble. Whether companies fail or succeed will have nothing to do with quality and everything to do with political pressure and influence. What is left of American manufacturing will leave our shores. There is no surer way to socialism.

This scenario can be avoided only if the workers are free to invest their portion of the FICA "contribution" as they see fit. They can be free to be as risky as they please. They can invest in companies that pollute, use slave labor in Latin America, outsource, celebrate Christmas or any of the other MSM/DNC taboos. Anything less is not true privatization. Any restrictions will lead to further restrictions and the nightmare scenario will be upon us.

My prediction is that this country will not display the political will to maintain the "privatization" part of the whole reform. We will knuckle under to a few controls for the sake of political expediency. All of this was inevitable in 1935. President Bush was wrong about one thing last night. Some disaster was forseeable when SS was enacted. FDR may not have known when the clock would strike midnight or what form the disaster would take, but it did not take a genius to know the inevitable consequences of Ponzi schemes. FDR simply did not care.

As long as the government administers some massive program costing trillions of dollars and on which millions grow to depend, there is no way to manage the program forever without some financial catastrophe. The best use of our time in this debate would be to advocate ways in which the program can be phased out with the least amount of pain.

We may not be successful in that endeavor, but we will cause some people to think. We can open a few eyes. The new media has enough clout to shift the focus of the debate to a certain degree.

Let us borrow a concept from W's state of the union address. The fall of the Berlin Wall seemed like nothing more than a dream in 1979. No one dared to dream of free elections in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to September 11, 2001. A Republican controlled House, Senate and White House (at the same time) had not even reached the status of being a "dream" in 1993. The idea that average citizens could bring down a biased news network using nothing more than their PC's would never have seemed possible prior to 2004.

Yet all of these things came to pass. We may yet see the day when America is free of the Social Security doomsday scenarios that have lurked in the shadows and dampened our future aspirations for more than a generation.

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