Why I’m opposed to privatizing Social Security

Dave brushes by SS privatization while discussing the Dow’s slippage since last spring. I understand the rhymes, reasons, and rationales for privatizing Social Security. I understand the political/social theory behind giving people control of some or all of their SS retirement funds. I get all that. And I don’t oppose privatization on the basis of the need to fund current obligations from current contributions – although having a variable fund balance could create problems during down times. The reason I oppose privatization is that I don’t think the United States government – President, Senate, House of Representatives – or the American people generally have the political will to stand by while people who, come retirement time, have little or no retirement funds because of poor planning and allocations. Save me the “it’s their fault, they’ll just have to suffer” arguments. You know and I know that, when it happens, when aged parents hit the end and have nothing on which to retire, the line of people screaming for the government to do something will contain Democrats and Republicans in equal numbers. And the government will respond, because the images of grandmothers starving in the cold won’t be tolerated by the public. You can argue that their kids should foot the bill, you can argue that they should just have to keep working, but the reality is that the government will fund Social Security. It’s just that, under privatization, it will be an emotional response to a crisis situation, involving billions of tax dollars instead of worker contributions.

October 19, 2004 В· Harry В· One Comment
Posted in: Politics

One Response

  1. Loren - October 19, 2004


    I’ve told many an individual this already.

    When I worked as a caseworker many a year ago, my caseold was strictly old age assistance. It consisted of low-income people who got caught up by high inflation rates and few years in SS. These people retired thinking they had “plenty” of money only to discover ten years later that they didn’t have enough to eat or pay heating bills, much less pay for medicine they might need.