Thursday, April 7, 2005

Privatizing social security

GW Bush is proposing the privatization of the social security system. That is, he's daring to touch the third rail of american politics. But this was highly telegraphed, as he's been talking about it for years such as during the 2000 election cycle.

He's proposing this as a way to save social security, as if social security needs it. Thing is, the system needs no savings as it is. A couple small tweaks to the existing system would be enough to keep the existing system solvent, so therefore no need to radically change it.

Of course we can expect nothing less than lies from this President, so we shouldn't be surprised he's lying about the purpose for privatizing social security.

For example, if the privatized social security had lots of participants, it would increase the amount of stock trading. Hence, it would lead to lots of fees heading to Wall Street. And remember that GW Bush's great-grandfather was a Wall Street Mogul. Who was he? Why, Herbert Walker. That name ought to be familiar, as GW's fathers name is George Herbert Walker Bush, and his name is George Walker Bush. Not only was his ancestor a Wall Street Mogul, his grandfather, Prescott Bush, worked for a Wall Street Mogul, and both he and his father were repeatedly bailed out of business failures by Wall Street Moguls.

As Michael Moore asked in his film, "Who's your daddy?"
Fahrenheit 9/11
(and, in this case, the answer is a bit literal)

But, I started this wanting to talk about an article I just read.

There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos : A Work of Political SubversionThe Reality of Social Security Privatization (By Jim Hightower, AlterNet. Posted April 6, 2005)

What he's done is analyze what's happened in places where private retirement accounts were established. Several U.S. states have done this, as has Chile.

In every case he claims two things. First that the programs turned out to be highly unpopular, once the people saw the actual benefits. Second, that the governments in question had to pour in megabucks to prop up the systems.

I'm sure the Conservatives, if they were being honest, wouldn't want to be pouring in megabucks to prop up any system.


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