This is just sure to be one big nightmare over the next few years. Count on it. If any “reform” does come out of it, you can be sure that it will be so convoluted and full of qualifications, exceptions, safe havens, minimum return guarantees, and compromises that it will be no real “improvement” over what’s currently in place. So, stand by. The democratic political process is about the worst vehicle imaginable for producing a result consonant with reality. It never has. It never will.
I can just hear the talking heads with all their “facts” and “figures” now, on both sides, and the plain truth of the matter is that not a goddamned one of them has the slightest clue about what he or she is talking about. They’ll all talk as though they know and understand what future results a particular course of action will produce, but they’re all full of shit—down to the last man.
And the hidden, never-acknowledged premise at the bottom of the whole putrid mess is that those now on “social security” are forcibly extracting a livelihood, to the tune of 15% off the top, from everyone else who works and is trying to make their way in life, support a family, and get ahead a little. It’s an inescapable fact, made “tidy” only by the irrelevant “point” that the agent of this grand theft is the “government.”
This undercuts the whole affair, from the first breath to the last nail—which is why you’ll never hear it uttered by anyone recognized as an “authority” in the matter. And why should they? The “reformists” have just as much of a stake in perpetuating this fraud (with a few “tweaks,” mind you) as do the commies who bow at the altar of the God of “Social Security.”
But don’t get me wrong. I haven’t a care in the world if millions of people want to line up and sign up for a Ponzi Scheme. Have at it. Enjoy yourselves. Ponzi Schemes exist in the private world, too, and there are always plenty of people who believe such frauds will produce better results than careful, patient investment over the long term. Forget the facts, because facts aren’t what’s important to people like this. What allures them is the same thing that allures “beneficiaries” to Social Security: the effortlessness of it. Something for nothing. It’s the age old Holy Grail.
The fact is that sound investment, of the sort that everyone is capable beats “Social Security” hands down, in every way, and it’s not even close. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong. But worse, you’re stupid. You just are, and you might was well face it. Not only that, but investments are assets, whereas, “social security” is an “entitlement.” You don’t own “social security” benefits, so you can’t sell them, rent them out, loan them out, endow a cause you believe in, or pass them on to heirs.
What this all means is the same thing it meant when you stopped to ponder all the arguments for communism back in the day when they were all the rage amongst the “elite,” the oh-so-smart academics, and Hollywood. It was a simple question: “if communism is so great, why can’t anyone leave?” The obvious answer then and still is that allowing people to flee would have rendered an economic collapse overnight. The very same thing can be said of “social security.” If it’s so great, even better than carefully managed private investments, then why compel everyone to participate? Wouldn’t most naturally participate on their own? The answer to that question will forever be skipped over, because there is no honest answer that establishes “social security” as anything but a coercive scheme for people of a certain age to stop producing and live off everyone else.
If people could opt out, they would do so in droves and the whole miserable abomination to mutual well-being, good-will to fellow man, pride, respect and productiveness would collapse. And, naturally, we clearly understand why. It would be those willing to live by their own means, taking their chances, and refusing to make other men their slaves who would leave, leaving only “consumers,” with nary a producer among them.
Billy Beck has his take on the mess, too.
Update: And don’t believe for one instant the false concern for those, under a voluntary social security system, who would not invest wisely, or at all. Let’s just cut the crap and say it. It’s about keeping everyone possible enslaved to this wretched mess of a "retirement plan," and the worse this "system" gets, the harder and faster will all the "beneficiaries" cling to their slaves.