Thursday, February 03, 2005


Social Security maybe not so secure!?

I certainly don't know much about the issue. I do know that even though we're supposed to call them "personal accounts" instead of "private accounts" (a term Bush used during the freaking presidential debates, by the way), that basically we already HAVE "personal accounts" because it says so in my quarterly Social Security statements. I also know that Social Security is popular in part because it's a compromise between socialist "give everyone the same benefits when they reach 65" and capitalist "don't give anyone anything."

To me it comes down to this:

1) I'm suspicious of just about anything GWB proposes.

2) I'm particularly suspicious when he starts doing his little "town hall"-slash-"take the show on the road" photo ops.

3) Don't fuck with anyone's guaranteed benefits. Look, if people (like lots & lots of us workers) want to invest in a 401(k) on our own, let us do it. But as we all know, no private investment is failsafe. I also don't think that the federal government should really be in the business of investing. Too many conflict of interest/corruption possibilities. Way too many.

4) I don't trust the dude, that's all there is to it.

Am I wrong? Help me out here, you economists in the crowd!

Edited to add: 5) While I believe a huge influx of capital into the stock market would seem to have good short-term benefits for business & the economy (giving businesses more money with which to expand capacity, put into research & development, etc.) isn't there a huge risk of OVERSPECULATION? I mean, people aren't supposed to buy stocks just because they have money to do so, they are supposed to buy stocks (in theory) because they think a company is going to grow, right? But if demand isn't able to keep up with the increased supply, couldn't that serve to create massive overcapacity? Should we start thinking about this in terms of a possible built-in bubble? Obviously I'm missing something, and again, economics is my weakest suit, so please, splain. Thanks!

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