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Saturday, May 21, 2005
Rational thought is not dead in America. In spite of what you have been told. Here is a young friend's take on the Social Security issue. Its worth reading. Thus Saith the Fly
posted by Jack Mercer @ 5/21/2005 10:38:00 PM  
  • At 5/22/2005 10:42:00 AM, Blogger chickenhawk said…

    Jack, I had to post a review of Star Wars under your "Star Wars is better" posting. Hope you enjoy it, and I hope you get my little joke in my last sentence! I am sure you will.

  • At 5/22/2005 11:57:00 AM, Blogger chickenhawk said…

    I have had my thoughts on social security bottled up for a while now and I am ready to explode. Think of me a shaken can of soda; what happens when you open it?..
    As far as privatizing social security, now is not the time. While politicians seem to pride themselves on how much of a hypocrite they can be, we had surpluses during Clinton, although he had no trouble taking from social security to balance the budget. A problem is when none of our elected officials have any concept of fiscal responsibility or the market itself. These people talk about fixing SS and never have they mentioned a simple solution, like reallocating the current investments in balanced mutual funds (just one example), with a combination of conservative bonds and equities; while acting as a solid holding ground, this measure could average annual returns of 7-10%, and in good economies, even higher! Over the long term, which is exactly what this is about, diversification never fails.
    The govt never says that SS is not the only means of retirement income, and FDR clearly stated it was not meant to be. It is unfortunate that most people are not educated on the matter and do not recognize the redundancy of privatizing SS; there are company 401k's and pension plans; there are 403b's, Keogh plans, traditional, Roth, Simple, SEP IRAs; Coverdell IRA's to set aside for education. The first step for our government is to emphasize how to prepare for retirement, instead of red alert scare tactics. Apparently and unfortunately, educating themselves needs to be their first priority. Privatizing social security will not alleviate anything, it will only drive up the deficit. I like that Bush raises the issue, but we have deficits beyond the realm of imagination: the cost of doing this would be enormous and we cannot afford to do it right now. And as we have seen with a mounting deficit, interest rates rise, and that can strongly undermine fixed-income security (or bonds) performance. Further, I work in the mutual fund industry and I speak with, on daily average, 60 people on their accounts/investments, and I can tell you, of these 60 people I speak with daily, I would say 15(if that)know what the hell they are doing. At my young age I spend most of the day having to educate people 30 years my senior- Im not being arrogant here and anyone I work with does the same. People in this field who are supposed to help, invesment advisors, are predominantly nothing but self-serving crooks(there is the catch I guess- now I am stuck; I have no faith in govt to help people and I have no faith in people to help themselves) If the government should do anything, it is change the current allocations to get better long-term growth, and to encourage people what they can do to sidestep social security; there are numerous effective steps to take, as opposed to overhauling such a program in a time of mounting deficits- it will only undermine what they are supposedly trying to accomplish. Educate the people, that is how you will help them. Scare tactics do not work, especially when the root of this "problem" lies within government itself. This is but a proposal; I, as always, seek compromise and discourse.

  • At 5/22/2005 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    CH, would that most politicians were as you. The only time they want compromise is when it benefits themselves, and the only time they want discourse is when they are in trouble. Sadly, I think that nothing will ever be done, and many people will hurt.

    Good insight--good post!


  • At 5/22/2005 07:03:00 PM, Blogger chickenhawk said…

    Jack, I could not be more accurately stated.

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