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March 24, 2005

Why All the Talk About Social Security?

In case anyone is wondering why Social Security reform is the hot issue of the season instead of what might be a looming Medicare budget crisis, so are we. I’m going to start asking around to in order to put an article together. Look for something on that in the coming week.

Comments...

mb: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

In an article in the April 2005 issue of Harper's Magazine titled "The $4.7 Trillion Pyramid," Michael Hudson contends that the true purpose of the Bush administration's concentration on Social Security is to tap a huge source of funds that will refloat the stock market, recreating a stock bubble. Any comments?

Benjamin Melançon: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

And there's Thom Hartmann's article on Common Dreams, which argues that presenting the issue is the selfish old versus the young (without bringing up the fact that switching from a pay-as-you-go to an investment system requires still more money right now... or cutting off your parents' current benefits) is the Republican's strategy to win long-term support from the under-thirty crowd. Actually changing Social Security, Hartmann claims, is irrelevent to this political strategy.

I'd guess that the pumping up the stock market is the bigger deal. Given the extreme corruption of this regime, is it possible to check into Bush family and friend's stock holdings for any particular financial services companies alongside all the military contractors? Is the Calysle Group's investments public?

VivekApte: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

I don't see any need to think of this as a conspiracy when everything is right out there in the open. To begin with, under Bush's plan the financial services companies get billions of dollars just in fees, in addition to more billions - other people's - with which to speculate on stocks, including stocks that they can actually control the price of through enormous holdings of it. This huge infusion of money will have not just a bubble impact but an overall long-term impact in the way the market operates that is hard to predict, except that we can be fairly sure the benefits, right from the get-go, will be concentrated at the top. When financial services is such a huge part of the U.S. economy, where's the need for speculation about specific connections? Bush himself does not have to profit directly to benefit enormously from throwing such a fat wad of money at what he calls "my base." One way the impact of it will be felt for generations is through an even tighter nexus between financial services companies and politics; as their interests become more firmly aligned, support for "social security reform" becomes a "bipartisan" issue, and the people get screwed. Simple, no conspiracy, it will all be televised.

liberal elite: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

VivekApte has a good point. The corporations are already controlling the Republican (and Democratic) party, so why wouldn't the Republican president throw the financial services industry a lot of money?

Furthermore, it fits in perfectly with their long range plan to "get government off the backs of the [top 1% income bracket of the] people."

Once Social Security is privatized, people will have no stake in government, other than to prostrate themselves in a Kafka-esque attempt to act out some surreal concept of actual justice, which won't ever really exist.

All power to will be consolidated in the hands of the corporations. It will have been delivered to them by the people, through the good offices of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, the U.S. Congress and the military.

The People of America watch a lot of tv, aren't that well educated, and feel entitled to be rich, above all else. So the TALK ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY is the song of the siren (see: http://liberaleliteflotron.blogspot.com/2005/02/siren-of-social-security.html#comments), the enchantment that will draw them along the course of those in power: the CEOs, Cheney's cabal, the WTO and World Bank, and the energy lobby.

bikelady: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

The "privitazation" of Social Security would probably impact those under 55 who are old enough to NOT have the "working years" available to make up any losses through the changeover.

I would be one of these workers (at age 48)--basically the mid-to-late "baby boomer" cohort seems to be the target here.

How many of us "in-the-middle" of this boondoggle will NOT suffer because of this?? Are we being "punished" just because our parents didn't know when to "stop" making babies..(.To be fair, however, our parents saw, in the expanding economy they had...note, "had"...no reason to! ) Or, do the "businesspeople" {read: greedy b@$tards!! >:( ) who are pushing for this really just want a steady influx of bankrupt retirees to run the cash registers--and be greeters at--Wal-Mart??

I admit we should, as a whole, have saved more--a LOT more! But, is it "fair" to make a particular cohort of citizens take the brunt of any "reform" to come?

Is there any way of "reforming" Social Security without putting the "hurt" on anyone?? I doubt it!

But...if "reform" is truly needed...and it may just be needed, like it or not (sorry!)...shouldn't EVERY CITIZEN, great or small, feel some pain?

bikelady: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

The "privitazation" of Social Security would probably impact those under 55 who are old enough to NOT have the "working years" available to make up any losses through the changeover.

I would be one of these workers (at age 48)--basically the mid-to-late "baby boomer" cohort seems to be the target here.

How many of us "in-the-middle" of this boondoggle will NOT suffer because of this?? Are we being "punished" just because our parents didn't know when to "stop" making babies..(.To be fair, however, our parents saw, in the expanding economy they had...note, "had"...no reason to! ) Or, do the "businesspeople" {read: greedy b@$tards!! :) ) who are pushing for this really just want a steady influx of bankrupt retirees to run the cash registers--and be greeters at--Wal-Mart??

I admit we should, as a whole, have saved more--a LOT more! But, is it "fair" to make a particular cohort of citizens take the brunt of any "reform" to come?

Is there any way of "reforming" Social Security without putting the "hurt" on anyone?? I doubt it!

But...if "reform" is truly needed...and it may just be needed, like it or not (sorry!)...shouldn't EVERY CITIZEN, great or small, feel some pain?

bikelady: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

Sorry about the double post!

I'm new to this software!

pezcellent: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

The real reason Social Security is the main topic instead of Medicare, is for the simple reason Americans are too stupid, short-minded, and selfish to understand the difference between the two. I seriously doubt if even our President could tell you a coherent definition of the two.

anthonyM: Why All the Talk About Social Security?

Yes, why all the talk about SS . . . or Medicare? Neither will be the first crisis to hit. The US is blind to the massive depression that is going to hit in just a few years as the 45-54 year old Baby Boomers (the biggest spending demographic BY FAR according to government statistics) goes off a cliff and drives the economy into the ground. The US economy has faithfully followed the ups and downs of this demographic for almost a century. This greatest depression in US history will pre-empt the SS and MC crises. It's already too late for most to prepare for it. Go read Arnold's The Great Bust Ahead, or better still, bone up first on the book's website at www.the greatbustahead.com


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