Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dump Social Security

I am on-my-knees-thankful that GW won the last election. Unfortunately, he and his advisors really missed the boat with Social Security reform (privatization). Let’s face it, SS (whether you can make some small choices or not) is nothing more than a scheme of forced savings and socialized investment. The current system of debt finance is different from the original "pay as you go" system, and this may seem like a good thing, but for the individual citizen, it doesn’t make any difference. Under the privatization scheme we were to pay two times. Once for the public system and once for the new and improved private system, with no way to opt out. We were told that if we could just hold out for the thirty years it would take for the conversion that the system would be saved.

Saved? Why in the world would we want to save it in any form?

The whole argument of the left is that social security is needed because people are not intelligent enough to save money or make decisions about their financial future. If this is true, it is because it is another example of how our education system has failed us. People don’t understand how to save and/or invest because of our schools. Not surprisingly, it isn’t taught because our teachers don’t know anything about it either. Know any public school teachers? Do you know that each state has its own pension plan for teachers? No need to invest… the state has your back! (This is why I am so into helping to show Joe what I know!)

Anyway, I digress. I like what Professor George Reisman of Pepperdine University says about this subject:
The government's very considerable savings from reduced pension obligations over an initial phase-out period totaling almost forty years from start to finish, should be earmarked for reductions in the Social Security taxes of the workers who will never be able to enter the system, i.e., in the above scenario, workers aged 34 and less at the time of the reform's enactment. As these workers advance in age, new workers will be entering the labor market. There will thus be an increasing number of workers to bear the burden of the Social Security system's final phase. This will permit Social Security tax rates to be steadily reduced on this group, until they disappear altogether.

The end of Social Security would be the end of something that should never have been started in the first place. The root of the system is the philosophy of collectivism, in that it forces everyone into a giant stewpot as it were, in which individuals are compelled to support the parents and grandparents of total strangers, whether they want to or not, in exchange for themselves later on being compulsorily supported by the children and grandchildren of total strangers.

And, of course, standing between the generations has been a mass of politicians and government officials who have used whatever excess has existed of these forced exactions over current pension payments, to fund ordinary, current government spending.

So dump it! The fundamental question remains: is it efficient and/or moral for the federal government to be managing your savings habits? If the answer is no, what do we do? I’m not smart enough to figure it all out, so I just say DUMP IT! Anyone who believes that this will mean widespread poverty of elders in the U.S. need to visit a third-world country and get an idea of what poverty really means (and it isn’t a car and television). Just dump it.