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Sober Security: Personal Retirement Accounts are Pro-Black, Too

by DeRoy Murdock

How raw a deal is Social Security for black Americans? Citing research by Harvard professor and former Clinton Administration official Jeffrey Liebman, President Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security concluded last August that blacks "receive nearly $21,000 less on a lifetime basis from Social Security's retirement program than whites with similar income and marital status."

Largely due to differences in life expectancy, Social Security essentially pumps money from the pockets of blacks into those of whites. Having survived childhood diseases and youth violence, 25-year- old black men starting work in 1999 could expect to live to 70.2 years versus 75.9 for white males, the National Center for Health Statistics reports. Black women could expect to reach 76.4 years compared to 80.8 for white females.

These were among the sobering facts discussed at a recent conference on black Americans and Social Security at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington. Key socio-economic distinctions between average black and white Americans explain why Congress urgently should adopt President Bush's plan for personal retirement accounts. Such a reform would promote the general welfare and dramatically advance the financial prospects for black Americans in particular.

Despite the civil rights establishment's fealty to Social Security, rank-and-file blacks support privatization. A February 2001 Zogby survey for Cato revealed that 53.5% of blacks favor personal accounts. President Bush should rally black Americans as his secret weapon once this battle is joined.

He also would be wise to stump with Herman Cain. The chairman of Godfather's Pizza is a prominent black business executive and one of Social Security modernization's most persuasive and entertaining advocates. Cain says that at age 56, he already has paid $161,000 into Social Security. In the next 10 years, he expects to add another $74,000 to the system. "If that's going to be a transfer from me to white people," Herman Cain wonders, "can't I at least give it to white people I like?"
"Most economic fallacies derive ... from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another" - Milton Friedman "The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit." –- Samuel Gompers Ron Paul for President
Original Post
I didn't know the chairman of Godfather's Pizza was a brother, maybe I should call their corporate headquarters and complain about the closing of the Godfathers Pizza down the street from my house. Wink

As far as this topic, I think Black men and women should be able to opt out of the Social Security program, in a strange twist of things, Black men and women earn less than white men and women at the same time we do not get our return from contributing to Social Security at the rate white folks do. Man we getting screwed in life and in death. Mad
Privatization is neither Pro or Anti Black; it's a race neutral polcy.

A couple of [unformed] thoughts on the issue ...
1. The article states that the Civil rights establishment is against privatization. I don't know this to be true. I haven't heard of any coming out for or against the plan per se. I have heard them attack the administration and support the dems that attack the plan.

2. Privatization would benefit upper-income, but not necessarily lower income Blacks. It would give control over the accounts to individuals, rich and poor, and would be transferable at death. But because lower income earners rely on SS for a larger portion of their retirement income, they would be severely hurt by the drain when privatization goes into effect. What's going to replace the contributions that are diverted into private accounts?

3. If it goes into effect, it could certainly be a boon for Black financial planners. But then again maybe not ... We tend to shop White because "everyone knows da white man's ice is colder."
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
Privatization is neither Pro or Anti Black; it's a race neutral polcy.


It's actually pro-everyone, unless you're a government bureaucrat or the AARP.

quote:
A couple of [unformed] thoughts on the issue ...
1. The article states that the Civil rights establishment is against privatization. I don't know this to be true. I haven't heard of any coming out for or against the plan per se. I have heard them attack the administration and support the dems that attack the plan.


They attack the plan and have offered absolutely no solutions. Virtually every expert on the issue- including the Social Security Administration, realizes that something must be done to reform the program. Raising taxes and cutting benefits- the only ways to somewhat buttress the program as is- will only push the problems off for future generations.

quote:
2. Privatization would benefit upper-income, but not necessarily lower income Blacks.


It would actually help anyone who earns a paycheck that would normally have Soc. Security deducted from it. They would become an investor- a status that which is tough to reach for someone earning a low income and having Social Security payroll taxes deducted.

quote:
It would give control over the accounts to individuals, rich and poor, and would be transferable at death. But because lower income earners rely on SS for a larger portion of their retirement income, they would be severely hurt by the drain when privatization goes into effect. What's going to replace the contributions that are diverted into private accounts?


You must not have seen any of the plans that are being proposed. All address this issue which is reffered to as "Transition Costs" or Transition Financing. Some plans take action such as cutting corporate welfare, and all plans require some short term borrowing to cover the costs of current and near-retirees.

Keep in mind that the borrowing that will be done for reform is not new debt- it is only an acknowledgement of the a liability the government already has in the benefits of current and near-retirees.

Check out the plans that are being offered. The Cato Institute has recently come out with a plan, and last year, Peter Ferrara of the Institute for Policy Innovation also came out with a plan.

Also, consider the other options- raising taxes and cutting benefits. What effects will these actions have on those who depend on Social Security for most of their income? That we have no legal right to Social Security benefits has been known for over 30 years now I believe.

These people's income's will be totally suseptible to political expediency. Personal retirement accounts will allow them to own their own retirement- a concept that should not seem so revolutionary.
I agree with most of what you have written. However, rather than borrowing to meet the transitational cost, I'd rather see the program pared back to it's original intent (I believe); to serve as a supplement to retirement income for those that need and/or require it.

I'd rather see a system that sets upward limits on receiving payments. For example, those earning/receiving "X" in income would receive full payments, those above "Y" receive a reduced share, and those receiving over "Z" receive nothing. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett do not need their payments to survive.
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
I agree with most of what you have written. However, rather than borrowing to meet the transitational cost, I'd rather see the program pared back to it's original intent (I believe); to serve as a supplement to retirement income _for those that need and/or require it._


I definitely see what you're saying. The problem is that the program as of now is basically a supplement. Anyone who lives exclusively on Social Security benefits is living in poverty.

This means that after all that these people have put into the system, all they will receive is a supplement. Decreasing the the benefits further would make putting money into the program an even worse deal than it already is.

quote:
I'd rather see a system that sets upward limits on receiving payments. For example, those earning/receiving "X" in income would receive full payments, those above "Y" receive a reduced share, and those receiving over "Z" receive nothing. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett do not need their payments to survive.


This definitely makes sense, and it's actually how some of the reform plans work to a degree. Once a worker accumulates a certain amount in his/her personal account (an amount well above poverty), they will no longer be eligible for Social Security benefits- they wouldn't need them.

As for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, it looks like we'll be paying for their prescription drugs too if nothing else, thanks to the Feds. Unbelievable.
They aren't recovered, thats the price of investing sometimes you make money, sometimes you lose money, it depends on how well you invest.

If there is any benefit is that you can write your losses off on your taxes and I would propose increasing the cap on the amount allowed to write off if the money lost was money that normally would have been invested in the social security plan.

Still the bottom line is to invest wisely and research before investing especially if its your retirement nest egg.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
So what happens when you place some of Social Security into the stock market as Dubya's cronies suggested so they could make money off of it and it fails? How will the funds then be recovered?


Most of the reform plans have a mechanism that will take care of such instances and provide a minimum benefit.

However, contrary to what many people believe, long term investments in stocks and bonds are relatively safe, even in comparison to Social Security. This relative safety is in addition to the much better rate of return on private investment.

There is no 40 year period where the stock market has been at a net loss- not even in periods including the crash of 1929. This combined with the fact that not all of the investments will be in stock (probably 40% bond), one can expect much more from private investment than the current Social Security, which may be cut at any time by politicians.

When politicians rail against reform saying that people's "guaranteed" benefits will be cut, they make the erroneous assumption that Social Security benefits are guaranteed in the first place. They are not guaranteed at all, as benefits have been cut and taxes raised numerous times.

It's high time this Ponzi-scheme was ended. Social Security is a bad deal and it's getting worse.
I hear ya Jazzdogg....does one really want to take the risk of alienating all of the seniors in this country? I hope not

As so far as a minimum benefit...I wonder if it will have seniors settling for less? And if politicians cut Social Security and leave millions of elderly people poorer than what they are already....there should be straight anarchy in this place......the majority of the elderly are poor already.....so those who vote that kind of cruel punitive shit into existence should lose their heads...literally......people have paid so many dues to this country and deserve better....I remember in grad school when this lady from canada really talked bad about america because of how it treats the elderly....she was right...it is a sign of a country's character............
I didn't know the chairman of Godfather's Pizza was a brother

Yes INDEED, that is quite telling. All these so-called 'black advocates' round here, yet we do not know of some of the more successful, important, and shining examples coming out of our own community. I find this type of ignorance FREQUENTLY, I've even read right here on africanamer.org about some of the biographies and articles concerning other prominent black people who few here even seem to have heard about or know anything about. Thats 'ignorance' in all its glory.

The current mindset of 'black advocacy' holds that unless one is downtrodden, uneducated, and consistently looking towards racism to define the problems in the community, one cannot be truly black. But as I've always postulated, those who think that way, these true 'blacks', will be left behind and forgotten as more and more black movers and shakers fulfill their potentials and live the lives they deserve to live, as important cogs of the wheel, not 'under' the wheels, like those 'pro-black advocates seems to demand.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
I hear ya Jazzdogg....does one really want to take the risk of alienating all of the seniors in this country? I hope not


Under the current Social Security system, seniors in the future will be alienated regardless. Keeping the current system in place is what will guarantee this alienation. I know this is not what you want.

quote:
As so far as a minimum benefit...I wonder if it will have seniors settling for less?


The minimum benefit in the current reform proposals are all above poverty - current minimum benefits from Social Security are well below poverty. This due in part to the fact that the system is unfunded and promises more than it can pay. So, when the money's not there, folks get their benefits cut.

quote:
And if politicians cut Social Security and leave millions of elderly people poorer than what they are already....there should be straight anarchy in this place......the majority of the elderly are poor already


You're assuming that someone's Social Security will be "cut off." Where is the basis for this assumption?

Meanwhile, that people have been in the Social Security program instead of financing their own retirement has alot to do with older folks being poor in the first place. The benefits are so paltry in comparison to what they put in over time that it ends up being a raw deal as is.

quote:
I remember in grad school when this lady from canada really talked bad about america because of how it treats the elderly....she was right...it is a sign of a country's character............


Yeah, the Canadian government generously spend other peoples money to "take care" of the elderly - that's some virtue there Roll Eyes

Character is when people decide to donate their own time and money to such causes- not when they choose to vote in a government that will coerce everyone into doing so. Virtue is voluntary.

Also, do you think it shows character to effectively vote away incomes of those not yet born and force them into a Ponzi scheme that will ultimately collapse on top of them?

Everyone talks about taking care of the elderly with government programs, and no one gives any mention of those who are going to have to pay for it.
Amen to that. This cycle of government 'dependence' needs be dealt with. People deserve more than these mandates and limitations posed by government over control of people's lives.

It is so pitiful that we are FORCED to have confiscated HUGE amounts of our money to pay some pittence amount to others, and can be sure that we who are paying ALL THIS now are likely to get either, even a smaller pittence, or nothing at all when SS collapses under its own pyramid weight.

They are TELLING US its going BROKE, yet here some sit defending this fateful program?

We could ALL use that same money in FAR better ways than it is being used now.

Don't forget its 14% of your income, thats a HUGE cut for the government who is doing nothing today to ensure we even see a return on any of that, and are in fact telling us right out its going bankrupt soon, and that this cannot be avoided under the current restraints.

FREEDOM FROM GOVERNMENT CONFISCATION OF OUR MUCH NEEDED INCOME NOW!
toussaint posted,

Yeah, the Canadian government generously spend other peoples money to "take care" of the elderly - that's some virtue there

** You f-king right it is.......only those heartless greedy sonofabitches on the right think it is okay for the elderly to starve and have less medical benefits....hopefully they'll all rot in hell one day.......
toussaint posted,

Also, do you think it shows character to effectively vote away incomes of those not yet born and force them into a Ponzi scheme that will ultimately collapse on top of them?

* Dubya has done that with the deficit...feeding his rich azz cronies through tax cuts and war profiteering....some have already said that taxes will have to be doubled or gov't spending cut in half due to the gotdamn lackwit in washington...........
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
toussaint posted,

Also, do you think it shows character to effectively vote away incomes of those not yet born and force them into a Ponzi scheme that will ultimately collapse on top of them?

* Dubya has done that with the deficit...feeding his rich azz cronies through tax cuts and war profiteering....some have already said that taxes will have to be doubled or gov't spending cut in half due to the gotdamn lackwit in washington...........


You're proving my point. Thank you. None of my comments were a defense of Bush. So, I have no idea why you replied to my post with attacks on "dubya." At this point, he seems to be about as statist as the Democrats and is part of the problem. He's doing the same thing that the Dems are doing/would do, making promises with other peoples money- mostly young people's money or that of those whom have not yet been born.

You may think this is fine and dandy as long as the politicians say it will "fight poverty" etc., but I disagree. If I came and took your money and other property by force, "fighting" poverty as a justification probably wouldn't cut it. Just because a majority of people choose some person to committ the act doesn't make it any more just.

You still didn't answer my question about the Ponzi scheme, by the way. It was bound to fall on someone's head, and the one's who started it knew they would not be that someone. Do you think that this is just and shows "character"?

I mean, shoot, I can have alot of "character" with other people's money. What kind of virtue is that?
toussaint posted,

You're proving my point. Thank you. None of my comments were a defense of Bush. So, I have no idea why you replied to my post with attacks on "dubya."

** Nobody cares if you were defending bush...he is the example of setting the deficit up where future generations will have to pay....period.

you posted.....
You may think this is fine and dandy as long as the politicians say it will "fight poverty" etc., but I disagree. If I came and took your money and other property by force, "fighting" poverty as a justification probably wouldn't cut it. Just because a majority of people choose some person to committ the act doesn't make it any more just.


** Well toussaint take federal spending on education and social programs for the poor versus tax cuts for the rich. YOU tell ME which one you logically think would come close to fighting poverty?
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Nobody cares if you were defending bush...he is the example of setting the deficit up where future generations will have to pay....period.


Great. I am well aware of this. But this surely doesn't separate him from the Democrats. They do the exact same thing, only the Dems will take people's money now and in the future.

quote:
Well toussaint take federal spending on education and social programs for the poor versus tax cuts for the rich. YOU tell ME which one you logically think would come close to fighting poverty?


Poverty is fought through economic growth, not Social Progams. It is economic growth that makes our "poverty" level so much more higher than other countries'. Economic growth does not come by taking the rich as far as the evidence I have seen.

Meanwhile, what has the onslaught of social programs since the 1960s done to fight poverty? Poverty stopped its decline when these programs started, and has only declined since then in periods of sustained economic growth. Some of these programs, despite their intentions, foster poverty instead of preventing it by creating bad incentives for poor people.

Further, federal involvement in education might have an even worse record in achieving its goal. What improvments have been made in education since the federal government became involved? I'll be waiting for an answer to this one.

quote:
What in the hell is a Ponzi Scheme?


It is a "investment" scheme that pays out ridiculous rates of return to early investors out of the capital contributed by later investors. It order to sustain itself, it needs to be supported by an increasing amount of gullible "investors" as time goes on.

Our Ponzi scheme (Social Security) is due to collapse, partly because it is a Ponzi scheme, and partly because of demographics. They're running out of gullible young people to sustain the program that has been forced on them. Do you still believe that this shows "character"?


EDIT: Why is Social Security often called a Ponzi scheme?

EDIT: And another explanation: Some say Social Security is like a government-sponsored Ponzi scheme. If there had been criminal intent in designing the nation's retirement program, it might well be deemed a scam...

This program is almost as indefensible as they get, and it is further proof of the validity of the quote in my signature.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
toussaint posted,

Great. I am well aware of this. But this surely doesn't separate him from the Democrats. They do the exact same thing, only the Dems will take people's money now and in the future.


**Can we say budget surplus? Can we say deficit even with reduced to no spending on social programs?.....


What is your point? Are you arguing that Democrats don't spend people's money "liberally"- both present and future? Look at all of Clinton's initiatives that were blocked, including Hillary-Care (thank God) and then look at Kerry's proposals now. Spend spend spend spend...

Plus, this is getting away from the topic. Do you still support the government-imposed Ponzi Scheme that would be considered as fraud if conducted by any other entity?

Do you believe it's ok that this mess collapses on top of younger generations? Is it all good, as long as the politicians say it "helps the needy"?
I am through explaining to you.......take the words that are coming out of my mouth....join them one by one and see what I mean toussaint......I think Social Security should be a guaranteed fund.....and do not tell me about spending until you Dems give tax cuts to the rich and run up deficits after Republicans create budget surpluses.......have you seen that happen in your life....nope....have you seen the opposite....yes.....now that was not a difficult concept to convey to you so I am sure it is not hard for you to comprehend....not a smart "feller" like yourself......
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
I am through explaining to you.......take the words that are coming out of my mouth....join them one by one and see what I mean toussaint......I think Social Security should be a guaranteed fund


Well, it isn't a guaranteed fund now, and it won't be in the future. The money will not be there.

You can't just wish money into existence, Kevin, no matter what the politicians tell you.

Whether you "think" social security should be a guaranteed fund is inconsequential as far as what is feasible and what is not.

quote:
.....and do not tell me about spending until you Dems give tax cuts to the rich and run up deficits after Republicans create budget surpluses.......have you seen that happen in your life....nope....have you seen the opposite....yes.....now that was not a difficult concept to convey to you so I am sure it is not hard for you to comprehend....not a smart "feller" like yourself......


Political parties don't create surpluses, the people do. Political parties only create deficits with their out-of-control spending. If you can't see that both parties contribute to this mess, you are blind.

In the end, it's good to see that you finally committ your support for a failing Ponzi scheme under the misnomer of "social security." It's clear that you stand on the side of fantasy and neglect of the program's problems. "Oh, it's going to collapse on the heads of future generations? Ah, there won't be any problems... not because the program can actually be paid for, but because I think social security should be a guaranteed benefit"

The system already sucks, is getting worse and is destined to collapse. And you defend it to the last, just like the Democrat party line. Why am I not surprised?
Toussaint tells me I cannot wish up money....when the budget surplus was f-ked off on tax cuts for the rich and this drummed-up azz war. Between those two and funding for our lame azz lilly space program.....I doubt if it would be hard to argue that money for seniors is not a bigger priority. If not, then this country is more f-ked up than I thought it was....and I doubt if that is possible.
You have now displayed your complete lack of argument against personal retirement accounts. Yet, you still oppose them on no factual basis.

FYI, the system (read: Ponzi scheme) faced its doom in the same fashion before the tax cuts and with the surplus. It also faced its day of reckoning before the war. But do you offer solutions? Of course not!

All you write is Democrat talking points mixed in with a few cuss words.

Keep on toeing the line. You're doing a good job.
Toussaint,


Talk about toeing the line......at least I do not have others in here wondering if I am a white right-winger.......now that is not only TOEING the line.....its also doing the old soft-shoe when black issues are discussed. IF an account wants to be maintained...it can.....you and no one else can tell me what America cannot do the way it f-ks off money on other things......period.....I know Social Security was in trouble.....but I do not see how blowing the surplus and giving tax cuts help either........so you tell me minimum benefits will be given that are above the poverty line if the fund goes under with privatization......well hell, if that can be done, why not just promise the minimum now? You are basing things on hope that the investments do well.....another 9-11 will bring this place along with the stock market to a screeching halt.....then what? You know....never mind answering the question.....i'll just watch O'Reilly instead......
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Talk about toeing the line......at least I do not have others in here wondering if I am a white right-winger


And I am towing whose line? Bush's? Republicans? "Right Wingers" Whose line am I towing Kevin?

quote:
so you tell me minimum benefits will be given that are above the poverty line if the fund goes under with privatization......well hell, if that can be done, why not just promise the minimum now?


They can promise anything they want, but that doesn't mean the money will be there. Why?Because one option, private accounts, is made up of real assets owned by the individual and the other is completely dependent on other people's incomes. There will not be enough people to support the current system. That you even ask that question shows that you know very little about this issue to begin with. And it also shows that you still believe that this entity known as the government can simply waive its magic wand and the funds will be there. Step out of the fantasy world the politicians have created for you, and you might actually see their lies and false promises.

quote:
You are basing things on hope that the investments do well.....another 9-11 will bring this place along with the stock market to a screeching halt.....then what?


I actually addressed this issue a while ago. Long term investments would require a fall in the stock market worse than any on record in order for the returns to be as low as they are in the current Social Security program. For some of the baby boomers, the stock market would have had to fall over 100% (impossible) in order for their return on a 60% stock-40% bond portfolio to end up with the same paltry returns as Social Security.

For people who had been investing for for their work careers and were scheduled to retire immediately after the stock market fell after 9-11, their returns would have been much greater than Social Security. It's still not even close.

But, I know that not even these facts will convince you. Social Security is a bad deal and gets worse and you still offer the same non-solutions. The program is going broke regardless of tax cuts, and therefore needs reform regardless of tax cuts, wars, etc.

But your solution is "if an account wants to be maintained...it can." What kind of logic is this? That's like saying I can maintain an account if I make $200 amonth and promise different people a total of $800 a month. If you believe this, I feel sorry for you.

But, this is expected, because you are beholden to big government - I understand.
Well toussaint....since you say the trillion dollar deficit we are about to have would not be enough to maintain a permanent social security fund.....I beg to differ.......the US can do whatever it likes....but it is obvious that this country does not give a f-k about older people......hasn't the Medicare bill even raised eyebrows in terms of placing more of burden on patients and making the medical providers more money? Hey, that is the American way....screw the poor and elderly and the blacks....and as long as you can geta few black parrots to squawk on behalf of the right.....it cannot be called racism......you know, the old, "some of my best friends are black".....so there is no sense in discussing anything with black CONS........because all you people do is become a mouthpiece of the white.....er right.....you tell me I believe in magic....no just believe that money that was going to be used for PERMANENT tax cuts and other right-wing crony-feeding schemes can be diverted elsewhere.....you know...like the war profiteering money haliburton and others will make for the unecessary war.....I can only imagine of Clinton woulf have f-ked off the surplus like W....you'd all be pizzing on yourselves.....so there is no need to talk further...i understand you blacks (or fake whites) who take the counter position to black majority thought on every issue...from reparations to AA to increased civil rights protections against DWB, redlining and other racist financial practices.....you all try to make it seem like you have a stance on a particular issue....but you are all black folks enemies.....across the board......in a blanket fashion.......so count me out....on that scheme for W to let his cronies milk that system also......I can only imagine how they could steer stocks to make them rise and fall......and then do their insider thing to have the social security fund as another money resevoir to steal from.....you know.....Enron all over again.......
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Well toussaint....since you say the trillion dollar deficit we are about to have would not be enough to maintain a permanent social security fund.....


Well, if your ready to eliminate cut all other federal programs including medicare indefinitely this might work Kevin. You're on to something here. Incase you haven't realized, resources are limited, even for the U.S.

quote:
I beg to differ.......the US can do whatever it likes


Yeah, the government can just manufacture wealth "when it likes." Do you have evidence to support this? Needless to say, I don't expect an answer.

[/quote]....but it is obvious that this country does not give a f-k about older people......hasn't the Medicare bill even raised eyebrows in terms of placing more of burden on patients and making the medical providers more money?[/quote]

Like a true servant of the left, you equate someone's compassion to government programs. Shoot, who wouldn't be "compassionate" with other people's money?

quote:
Hey, that is the American way....screw the poor and elderly and the blacks


The current program is screwing blacks as well as other future retirees. But, like I said, you are beholden to big government. You continue to support big government programs without logic or evidence.

quote:
no just believe that money that was going to be used for PERMANENT tax cuts and other right-wing crony-feeding schemes can be diverted elsewhere


Tax cuts allow people to keep more of their own money. This is good. The only problem is that Bush continues to spend like there are unlimited financial resources out there. In essence, he believes the same thing you believe.

quote:
I can only imagine of Clinton woulf have f-ked off the surplus like W....you'd all be pizzing on yourselves.....so there is no need to talk further...


Are you insinuating that I haven't been critical of Bush? Roll Eyes

quote:
i understand you blacks (or fake whites) who take the counter position to black majority thought on every issue...from reparations to AA to increased civil rights protections against DWB, redlining and other racist financial practices.....


Most of this is unsubstantiated. Besides, what the majority believes is "right" doesn't make whatever it is right. This is a logical trainwreck.

The rest of you post was just more ridiculous ranting, as usual. You're supporting a system that screws blacks of all ages, younger generations, and poor folks. You had no facts to bring to the table that countered any of those that I have given in earlier posts.

I'll count you in with the "put my head in the sand" crowd, or the "politicians are magicians" crowd. Neither of these positions face the reality and neither offer a solution.

"Dubya did it" is not a solution to the problem that has been waiting to reveal itself since the program started almost 70 years ago.
toussaint posted,

Most of this is unsubstantiated. Besides, what the majority believes is "right" doesn't make whatever it is right. This is a logical trainwreck.


**So you are telling me like a fool black conservative that the majority of blacks do not know how to think in their best self-interest? That is what cracks me up about black conservatives....they take the pro-white stance on every issue, think THEY are the vanguard thinkers of the race....and are not even the most accomplished or well-read individuals in the black race. What in the hell make you think CONS can think of anything except how to live in deference to others? I mean think about it......they rail on and on about hopw f-ked up black people are and offer no alternatives, no solutions, have no national agenda.....and have quietly remained in the background while blacks fare like shit under this administration......all they are good for is repeating O'Reilly-type rhetoric. Hell, you all have these conservatives in charge of things now.....where is your black participation with them? why are blacks never represented as conservatives on domestic issues that affect blacks? The answer is easy....they'll sell their mamas up the river for a good job.......and feel good about themselves for doing so.....a sad sad lot of individuals......
During the election 2000-notice what Gore said about the budget surplus..which W has long f-ked off with tax cuts......funny how before ever reading this I figured that the surplus should be used to fund Soc Security......I guess teaching graduate public policy analysis in the past has its benefits....understanding the funding process.......even though I am not a budgetary type per se.......

George W. Bush
http://www.georgewbush.com/

Stance on Social Security reform featuring private accounts: favors.

"Social Security has been called the third rail of American politics, the one you're not supposed to touch because it might shock you. But if you don't touch it, you cannot fix it. And I intend to fix it. To seniors in this country: You earned your benefits, you made your plans, and President George W. Bush will keep the promise of Social Security. No changes, no reductions, no way... Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to end the politics of fear and save Social Security, together. For younger workers, we will give you the option -- your choice -- to put a part of your payroll taxes into sound, responsible investments. This will mean a higher return on your money, and, over 30 or 40 years, a nest egg to help your retirement, or pass along to your children. When this money is in your name, in your account, it's not just a program, it's your property. Now is the time to give American workers security and independence that no politician can ever take away."

[Source: speech accepting Republican presidential nomination, August 3, 2000]

"People ought to be allowed to invest part of their monies in personal savings accounts in order to make sure that there are benefits available in the long run.... The key tough decision is how much money you're going to allow to go into personal savings accounts, and how much will be available for a basic plan, as an insurance policy for the long term.... It's an issue where a president is going to have to say, I'm going to spend capital, political capital gained in the course of a campaign ... to bring both Democrats and Republicans together to solve this problem." [Source: Meet the Press, November 21, 1999]

"At a time for leadership – for long-term thinking – my opponent proposes a band-aid approach. He says: ˜If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' But in the lifetime of some people in this room, it will be broke, and we must fix it. With every day of delay this becomes more difficult. For eight years, the Clinton/Gore administration has failed to act. And now Al Gore wants to pass the burden on to future generations. The Gore plan will eventually require either a 25 percent increase in income taxes – the largest in our history – or a substantial reduction in benefits.

"...reform should include personal retirement accounts for young people – an element of all the major

bipartisan plans. The idea works very simply. A young worker can take some portion of his or her payroll tax and put it in a fund that invests in stocks and bonds. We will establish basic standards of safety and soundness, so that investments are only in steady, reliable funds. There will be no fly-by-night speculators or day trading. And money in this account could only be used for retirement, or passed along as an inheritance.

[Source: speech at the Rancho Cucamonga Senior Center on Monday, May 15, 2000]

Complete Bush Social Security Package Documents are available at www.georgewbush.com

Richard Cheney (Candidate for Vice President)

Stance on Social Security reform featuring private accounts: favors.

"For eight years, Clinton and Gore have talked about Social Security reform, never acting, never once offering a serious plan to save the system. In the time left to them, I have every confidence they'll go right on talking about it. Those days are passing, too. There will be no more spreading of fear and panic, no more dividing of generations against one another, no more delaying and excuse-making and shirking of our duties to the elderly. George W. Bush and I, with a united Congress, will save Social Security."

[Source: speech accepting the Republican vice presidential nomination, August 2, 2000]

Democrats


Al Gore
http://www.AlGore2000.com/issues/index.html

Stance on Social Security reform featuring private accounts: opposes.

"We have the chance to reform Social Security the right way, in a way that preserves its basic guarantees, pays down our debt, keeps our economy strong, and enables us to meet our other great challenges." Gore has detailed a plan to keep Social Security solvent through at least 2050. As President, Gore would use today's budget surpluses to pay down the national debt and use the interest saved from debt reduction to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund. Gore would also raise benefits for widows and eliminate the motherhood penalty that reduces benefits for women who take time off from work to raise their children. Gore supports a guaranteed benefit for Social Security and opposes raising the retirement age. "Social Security isn't supposed to be a system of winners and losers. It's supposed to be a bedrock guarantee of a minimum decent retirement,"

[Source: press release for speech delivered at Fordham University, NY May 16, 2000]

"Social Security is a solemn compact. Its basic guarantee of retirement security is based on its guaranteed minimum benefit," Gore said. "To turn Social Security into a system of winners and losers would jeopardize Social for all Americans," he said. "Gov. Bush's plan takes the ˜security' of Social Security." CNN.com reporting from Pennsylvania May 15, 2000

Empowerment means people have the choice to save and invest for their own retirements -- on top of the unshakeable foundation of Social Security. I've proposed a new retirement savings plan that matches families' contributions, the way large employers do in their pension programs. It lets even struggling families build bigger nest eggs for the future. My plan is Social Security plus, not Social Security minus. It's the best of both worlds, not the worst of both: you get all the advantages of private investment, but no matter how the market performs, your Social Security will always be there for you. We need to save and strengthen Social Security, and I'm committed to doing so. But I don't believe we should privatize Social Security. That would take the "trust" right out of the trust fund, draining away a trillion dollars that is needed to pay Social Security for today's retirees. There needs to be a Social Security and Medicare lock-box, with a sign on it that says: "hands-off, politicians." That ought to be the law -- because otherwise, they'll always be tempted to use those programs as a piggy bank. As President, I will veto the use of any money from Social Security and Medicare for anything other than Social Security and Medicare. "

[Source: remarks delivered to Democratic Leadership Council national conversation in Baltimore, Maryland, July 15, 2000]

Joseph Lieberman (Candidate for Vice President)

Stance on Social Security reform featuring private accounts: opposes

"Lieberman currently opposes personal retirement accounts, outlining his views in a recent unpublished op-ed. Following is a 1998 interview in which Lieberman expresses support for personal retirement accounts. In addition, Lieberman also favors keeping open the possibility of increasing the retirement age, which Vice President Gore opposes."

Reform


Patrick Buchanan
www.gopatgo2000.com

Stance on Social Security reform featuring private accounts: leaning in favor.

"I trust the people. You know, we gave ˜em IRA accounts. Folks didn't go out and blow that on anything. A lot of ˜em are sitting there in their nest eggs and they're growing. We ought to do it again. In Chile, they take the whole Social Security fund, put it, invest it in the country. You know ... it's not 1938. The times have changed and you can change, too. Crossfire, April 7, 1998

Q: How would you save Social Security? A: Before you add anything to it, we ought to make it solvent. That means way out, 50 years into the future, and there's got to be some bullets that have to be bitten there. And before you add drugs or prescription drugs, we've got to make sure that [Medicare] is solvent way out into the future, like Social Security. Than you and I can argue about whether we should add something new, or not add something new.

[There should be] an option to privatize part of Social Security, as long as the individual is willing to take the risk, especially for younger people. You [need to have] some kind of fall back, because quite frankly, [for the situation where] some guy goes out and says, look, I blew it all. You know what the government's going to do. Well, we'll take care of you. Some provision in there you ought to be taking a look.

Q: Would you raise the retirement age?

A: I'm open to [the idea of raising it]. But the idea that people are told when you're 65, the only way you get Social Security when you've invested for 45 years, is if you quit work-that's outrageous! If a fellow wants to keep working all his life, he should get his Social Security; if he retired he should get his Social Security. Why do we punish folks who, at 65 and 66, in their prime, and they want to keep working?

[MSNBC's "Equal Time" November 2, 1999]


Libertarian


Harry Browne
www.harrybrown2000.org

Stance on Social Security reform featuring private accounts: favors.

"Social Security is inherently unsound for the simple reason that it's a political program run by politicians for political purposes. It will never work and it will never be truly solvent. The only answer is to take it completely out of the hands of the politicians."

"Social Security brings a new dimension to the field of annuities, insurance, and retirement. There are no long, complicated contracts. No actuarial tables to pore over. Instead, Social Security operates on a very simple principle: the politicians take your money from you and squander it."

Phasing out Social Security over many years won't work. The first time the stock market dives, the Democrats and the Republicans will use that as an excuse to take over your retirement once again. You're told the government has to run your retirement for you because some people are too irresponsible to do so for themselves. But it's wrong to take responsibility for your retirement away from you simply because some other people are irresponsible."

[Source: campaign web site]

Green Party


Ralph Nader
http://www.votenader.com

Stance on personal accounts: opposes.

"Every discussion of Social Security should begin by recognizing that Social Security is a system of social insurance. It places government in one of its noblest roles: Provision of a bedrock guarantee to all members of society that you do not need to fear the financial consequences of growing old or disabled. It is government as it should work -- a coming together of society to ensure that we, as a community, take care of each other as we age or suffer from disabilities."

"From the consumer or citizen perspective, one of the great benefits of Social Security is its very certainty. As one of its great assets, it offers systemic tranquility -- no matter what, people know that in old age or disability, they can count on the social security guarantee. As soon as the system is privatized in individual accounts, in whole or significant measure, the commonwealth would be perverted into a subsidy bonanza for brokers, who would take their 2-to-5% cut. Systemic tranquility would be replaced by an enforced anxiety.

"By their very nature, market investments introduce risk into the equation. There is nothing inherently wrong with risk, of course. Risk and the returns on risky investments are an important motor in our economy. If people believe there is an upside to risk and are eager to invest in the stock market, in bonds, in hedge funds or otherwise, they are free to do so, directly or through IRAs, 401Ks and other tax-subsidized private retirement devices.

"Social Security privatization replaces certainty with risk. In a privatized Social Security system, these fears would be well founded:

What would happen if the market crashed, and people suddenly saw the source of 30 percent of their retirement income stream wiped away?


What should the government do if some significant portion of the populace loses its entire retirement investment account due to unlucky or misguided investments?


What happens to the old person who is ripped off through investment fraud?"
[Source: speech at "Saving Social Security" Conference Jan. 21, 1999]
and quit giving me that big government bullshit......that is right-wing sound bites....it is obvious that the right speaks against expanding government when it aids the poor and people of color......when it comes time to implement "yankee imperialism" to start wars, steal oil or subsidize the businesses of the already wealthy then big gov't works just fine.......look how the gov't has been expanded and the budget surplus f-ked off......but look how jobs have left....even within the federal gov't....and reallocated to those who are capitalizing off of 9-11....and being privatized out without competition to keep the good-ole boys networks alive.......how can people not see this?
Whoever supports the idea has no bearing on whether or not it is valid. This is not an argument against personal accounts. Your post, for the most part, is an argument against individuals.

I've already answered the questions regarding market failure. I guess you decided to ignore that because you had no response?

The current Social Security system is more risky in that it is a guaranteed poor investment, while long term investments in stocks and bonds are much safer. You had no response to this either, by the way.

And, once again, the surplus would not solve the inherent unfunded nature of the current Social Security system even if it were put into the system. Again, no response, only rehashing of arguments that I've already addressed.

There is no "guarantee" of Social Security- you can die before the retirement age, which happens to about 1 in 3 black men. In this situation your benefits may be simply places back into the general pool (more often than not to white folks) instead of to say, your own offspring over 18 years of age; one could also have their taxes raised or their benefits cut, which has happened over 20-25 times since the program's beginning.

There is also more than one Court case that explicitly states that no one has a "right" to Social Security benefits. But, the politicians tell you it's "guaranteed" and you still believe them.

You say I am "anti-black" but it seems like it doesn't bother you that in between $2k and $21k per person is transfered from blacks to whites under this involuntary "pension" program.

Unbelievable.
oh yeah.....RAND....a conservative think-tank...here we go again......did you notice how Faheem or Noah mentioned how black think tanks can resolve our issues without that political slant and leaning....so let me ask you.....what about a very poor black who does not get to contribute much throughout his career and still lives a long time? This country can gurantee whatever it likes....the current administration will not do so unless big business can get their hands on it and profit....but i guess you know more about it than me or Al Gore......all the years we studied public administration and public policy was a waste of time....my bad....didn't know I was so fuucking dumb........and if you really want to talk about anti-black....go and check where social security was really derived for disenfrnachised whites after the depression......


________________________________________________
From the Chair: Debunking a Phony "Crisis"
By Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg

With the election of the pro-privatization Bush administration, the National Jobs for All Coalition has stepped up its efforts to debunk the phony Social Security "crisis."


The phony crisis is the alleged Social Security shortfall, trumped up by anti-government forces and pro-privatizers. The real Social Security crisis is the campaign to invest part of the trust funds in the stock market. That campaign is undermining confidence in the nation's most successful social program. If it prevails, Social Security will indeed be in financial trouble--and so will the millions of people whose benefits would be cut.


Rising Retirement Insecurity, By Gregory N. Heires

As the Bush administration and its allies in Congress and right-wing think tanks persist in their campaign to privatize Social Security, reality is biting back.

The Enron scandal and the stock market decline have focused attention on the risk of relying on individual savings accounts like 401(k) plans.
For privatization advocates, the Enron demise amounts to a political landmine because thousands of Enron employees who had dedicated most of their 401(k) savings to the company's stock lost much of their retirement funds.
"Corporations have saved billions of dollars as they have stopped offering their workers a traditional pension with a guaranteed income," said Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition. "And just as corporations are destroying the traditional pension, privatization supporters will ruin the Social Security system if they succeed in their goal of establishing individual savings accounts, which means government will no longer guarantee a minimum retirement income for recipients."

Meanwhile, the Social Security trustees continue to push back the year in which the trust funds will be empty. The most recent projections indicate that the trust funds will dry up in 2041, which is twelve years later than predicted in 1997.

But despite good news for Social Security and bad news for private schemes, ideological-driven organizations like the Cato Institute continue to press for privatization.

What crisis?
"We have always disputed that Social Security faces a crisis, and the government's figures are showing that the doomsayers' warnings are overblown," said economist Helen Ginsburg, a Coalition executive board member and author of the Coalition's "Social Security and Minorities" ("Uncommon Sense 25"). Many analysts say the projected shortfall could be largely addressed by raising the cap on the regressive payroll tax.

As the drop in the Stock Market and the Enron debacle point to the problem with introducing individual investment accounts in the Social Security, it is increasingly clear that many of the privatization advocates are driven by ideology rather than sound public policy.


Normally, blue-ribbon presidential commissions allow, in theory, for differing positions. But the Bush Social Security panel was entirely stacked with people who favor privatization. Five of the 16 members have ties with the rabidly free-market, anti-government Cato Institute, which has been part of a global effort to privatize social security systems for a generation.


Unable to agree upon a single plan, the Bush commission late last year recommended three privatization options. All would reduce retirees' living standards because the amounts in individual accounts would not offset benefit cuts. All would require a massive infusion of tax dollars to cover transition costs, undercutting the privatizers' assertion that individual savings accounts would address the Social Security's alleged funding crisis. One proposal would raise the retirement age for workers. And the diversion of funds to private accounts would lead to a reduction in benefits for workers with disabilities and survivors of deceased workers.

401(k) plans fall short

While the Stock Market boom of the go-go '90s created widespread enthusiasm for 401(k) accounts and a misguided popular faith in private investment, recent studies are showing that the retirement security of baby-boomers and the middle class is precarious.


Retirement wealth for the middle class actually fallen in recent years, according to a recent study by New York University economist Edward N. Wolff for the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.


The study projects that 40 percent of households headed by persons between the ages of 47 and 64 will not be able to replace even half of their pre-retirement income when they stop working. Nearly 20 percent of the workers in that age group will have retirement incomes below the poverty line, according to the study.


A disturbing new book, The Great 401(k) Hoax by William Wolman and Anne Colamosca, shows that 50 percent of Americans have less than $14,000 in their 401(k) accounts-clearly much too little to retire on.


This situation will only get worse if the financial managers of Wall Street get their hands on the Social Security system.


"The threat of privatization is still out there," Ms. Ginsburg said. "We have to continue to dispel the myth that Social Security faces a crisis. And we have to make it clear to the public that privatization means loss of benefits and tell politicians that they will be held accountable if they vote to set up individual savings accounts."
Gregory Heires is senior associate editor of NYC-based Public Employee Press, the official publication of DC 37, AFSCME.

FOCUS ON SOCIAL SECURITY: A Crucial Benefit for Minorities
By Helen Lachs Ginsburg and Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg

Before Social Security was enacted in 1935, organized business and Republicans bitterly opposed it. But due to fear of reprisals at the polls, most Republicans opposition collapsed. Since then, conservatives have continued to criticize Social Security. One criticism of Social Security is that it is unfair to African-Americans and other minorities, which implies that it is not an important program for them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Greater Reliance on Social Security

Proportionately fewer elderly minorities than whites receive any pension income. Minorities, with average earnings considerably less than those of whites, are also less likely to have income from assets such as savings, stocks, and bonds. Thus, Social Security is a much more important source of their retirement income. In 1996, almost half of minorities collecting Social Security relied on it for more than half of their income, compared to one in three whites. And one in three African-American and Hispanic beneficiaries but only one in six whites relied on Social Security for all of their income.

Minority Poverty

Blacks typically earn less and are more likely to be unemployed than whites. This reduces their Social Security benefits, which are related to earnings and years of employment. Since they also have less income from pensions and assets, poverty is more widespread among black than white elderly persons. In the late 1990s, nearly one in four African-Americans 65 and older was poor (using the official poverty standard) compared to less than one in ten whites. Without Social Security, around 60 percent of elderly African-Americans and Latinos would have been poor, compared to slightly less than half of whites.

Social Security pays low-wage workers a higher proportion of their past earnings than average or high-wage workers. Thus minorities, with lower average earnings, benefit from this progressive benefit formula even as they end up with smaller average monthly payments than whites. The discrepancy is due to inequality in the labor market, which Social Security only partially offsets. While minorities benefit from the progressive benefit formula, the Social Security payroll tax is regressive because it is currently capped at $84,900. The result is that minorities are more likely to pay the Social Security tax on all of their earnings. However, the tax could be made more progressive by eliminating the income cap or in several other ways.

Important Surviror, Disability Benefits

Those who claim that Social Security does not benefit African-Americans often point to their lower life expectancy than other demographic groups. A smaller proportion reaches retirement age, and
those who do, on average, do not collect benefits as long as whites. But poorer health during working years and more premature deaths mean that disability and survivors' benefits are more important to African Americans. And progressive benefits more than offset the difference in longevity, so that the claim of some conservatives that minority men get a negative return on their Social Security taxes is wrong (The Actuary, Sept. 1998).

Disadvantaged minority groups depend more on disability benefits than do whites because low- income workers have much higher rates of disability. While about half of African-American and other minority beneficiaries receive retirement benefits, compared to nearly three out of four white beneficiaries, minority beneficiaries are much more likely to get disability and survivors' benefits. One out of four African-Americans but only one out of eight white Social Security beneficiaries collects disability or survivors' benefits. One out of four benefits awarded to surviving children goes to African- Americans even though they are only 15 percent of children under 18 years old.

Toward the Future

Privatizing and weakening Social Security's basic protection in other ways will jeopardize the income that is so necessary for minorities. As the Urban League's Maya Rockeymoor put it, "...funding private retirement accounts by diverting money away from the current system would increase retirement insecurity and undermine the viability of the survivor and disability components of the Social Security system-the very programs upon which African-Americans and their children heavily rely." Full employment at decent wages would improve Social Security benefits. It would raise the earnings of low-wage workers and increase their future Social Security benefits at the same time that it would add more money to the Social Security Trust Funds. Other government policies-for example, universal health care-can also reduce and then eliminate racial gaps in life expectancy, disability, wages and unemployment.

In the meantime, it is important to raise the special minimum benefits paid to lifetime, low-wage workers and to strengthen Social Security in other ways that are especially important to minority workers and their families. One important way is to roll back the Social Security retirement age, which is gradually rising to 67 by 2022.

Excerpted and adapted from Uncommon Sense 25, part of the National Jobs for All Coalition (NJFAC) Social Security Packet. Helen Lachs Ginsburg, Professor Emerita of economics at Brooklyn College, is on the NJFAC executive committee. Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, director of the doctoral program at the Adelphi University School of Social Work, is NJFAC chair.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
oh yeah.....RAND....a conservative think-tank...here we go again......


RAND is "conservative" based on what? It disagrees with you? Meanwhile, life expectancy is an indicator of how much you'll receive in Social Security benefits. This is a simple fact.

quote:
what about a very poor black who does not get to contribute much throughout his career and still lives a long time?


Even low income workers would have a better return on their investments than they would in the current program. Besides, the current reform proposals will be able to fund a guaranteed benefit above what is currently offered because the government would no longer owe benefits to everyone else- they'd all have their own accounts.

This country can gurantee whatever it likes No more so than you can guarantee whatever you want. Did I mention that funds are limited?

quote:
With the election of the pro-privatization Bush administration, the National Jobs for All Coalition has stepped up its efforts to debunk the phony Social Security "crisis."


The National Jobs for All Coalition? Yeah, they are more unbiased than RAND rotflmao


quote:
The phony crisis is the alleged Social Security shortfall, trumped up by anti-government forces and pro-privatizers.


And the non-partisan Social Security Administration Roll Eyes

quote:
The real Social Security crisis is the campaign to invest part of the trust funds in the stock market.


No one's investing the "trust fund" anywhere. the trust fund is non-existent as a real asset. The government has been spending the "trust fund" ever since the program started.

quote:
That campaign is undermining confidence in the nation's most successful social program. If it prevails, Social Security will indeed be in financial trouble--and so will the millions of people whose benefits would be cut.


Are they including the people who were forced to pay into the system their whole life only to get a paltry return and a below poverty income?


quote:
The Enron scandal and the stock market decline have focused attention on the risk of relying on individual savings accounts like 401(k) plans.


See: Long term investment. And people's entire retirement account wouldn't be invested in one enterprise - it's called diversification. Current proposals offer a 60% stock 40% bond ratio; again, this is in no way comparable to "Enron"

quote:
For privatization advocates, the Enron demise amounts to a political landmine because thousands of Enron employees who had dedicated most of their 401(k) savings to the company's stock lost much of their retirement funds.


Again, refer to what I've written above. Also, public opinion polling (Zogby) shows that support for personal retirement accounts went up after the Enron scandal and the stock market decline. Why? Because people want complete control over their own reitrement, which is what wasn't the case in Enron or in Social Security.

quote:
Meanwhile, the Social Security trustees continue to push back the year in which the trust funds will be empty. The most recent projections indicate that the trust funds will dry up in 2041, which is twelve years later than predicted in 1997.


Great. It's right before my retirement that it will be cut. Thanks guys Roll Eyes

quote:
Many analysts say the projected shortfall could be largely addressed by raising the cap on the regressive payroll tax.


Oh, and this will make up for the $10-11 trillion unfunded liablity? And who are these "analysts"? Shady.

quote:
As the drop in the Stock Market and the Enron debacle point to the problem with introducing individual investment accounts in the Social Security, it is increasingly clear that many of the privatization advocates are driven by ideology rather than sound public policy.


This events would have still left long-term investors well off overall and in comparison to Social Security.


quote:
the Bush Social Security panel was entirely stacked with people who favor privatization. Five of the 16 members have ties with the rabidly free-market, anti-government Cato Institute, which has been part of a global effort to privatize social security systems for a generation.


The worlwide programs to privatize have been successful. Look at Chile for instance, among others. Personal retirement accounts work. At the same time, the programs have turned millions of working class people into investors instead of holding them hostage as wards of the state.


quote:
All [privatization proposals] would reduce retirees' living standards because the amounts in individual accounts would not offset benefit cuts.


Source?

quote:
All would require a massive infusion of tax dollars to cover transition costs, undercutting the privatizers' assertion that individual savings accounts would address the Social Security's alleged funding crisis.


This "massive" infusion of tax dollars is the same amount that we're going to have to pay regardless of reform. The proposals only make that unfunded liability explicit.

quote:
One proposal would raise the retirement age for workers. And the diversion of funds to private accounts would lead to a reduction in benefits for workers with disabilities and survivors of deceased workers.


This is contradictory with the earlier portion of the article. The "massive transition costs" are specifically for current retirees, people with disabilities, and survivors.

401(k) plans fall short

...

quote:
A disturbing new book, The Great 401(k) Hoax by William Wolman and Anne Colamosca, shows that 50 percent of Americans have less than $14,000 in their 401(k) accounts-clearly much too little to retire on.


And how many of these people have accrued assets over a full working career? Probably none, which makes this tidbit irrelevant regarding the value of personal retirement accounts.

quote:
This situation will only get worse if the financial managers of Wall Street get their hands on the Social Security system.


As opposed to the "financial managers" in Congress? rotflmao

quote:
"The threat of privatization is still out there," Ms. Ginsburg said. "We have to continue to dispel the myth that Social Security faces a crisis. And we have to make it clear to the public that privatization means loss of benefits and tell politicians that they will be held accountable if they vote to set up individual savings accounts."


God forbid we let the people control their own money! And the might have a tough time convincing people that their is not crisis. People in my age bracket are more likely to believe in UFOs than believe that we'll see Social Securit benefits. Also, the Social Security Administration might disagree with the "no crisis" crowd.

I gotta run. But I'll get to the rest of your articles from "unbiased" think tanks later. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Proportionately fewer elderly minorities than whites receive any pension income. Minorities, with average earnings considerably less than those of whites, are also less likely to have income from assets such as savings, stocks, and bonds.


Oh, what they could have done had 1/8 of their lifetime earnings been forced into a pyramid scheme *sigh*.

quote:
Thus, Social Security is a much more important source of their retirement income. In 1996, almost half of minorities collecting Social Security relied on it for more than half of their income, compared to one in three whites.


They did not have the extra resources to invest, much thanks to the Social Security payroll tax.

quote:
Blacks typically earn less and are more likely to be unemployed than whites. This reduces their Social Security benefits, which are related to earnings and years of employment.


With personal accounts, however, their accruals would continue regardless of whether they were employed or not. Thus, this is strengthens the argument for personal accounts.

quote:
Without Social Security, around 60 percent of elderly African-Americans and Latinos would have been poor, compared to slightly less than half of whites.


This is a B.S. statistic which assumes that the money contributed to Social Security would have just disappeared if the program had not been there. If they had PRAs the people would have been much better off than they are with Social Security which "supports" many with benefits well below poverty.

quote:
Social Security pays low-wage workers a higher proportion of their past earnings than average or high-wage workers. Thus minorities, with lower average earnings, benefit from this progressive benefit formula even as they end up with smaller average monthly payments than whites.


However, there is still a net transfer from blacks to whites because whites have longer life expectancies than blacks in all income categories. They end up with more benefits regardless. This is only part of the crime in this one-size-fits-all program.

quote:
However, the tax could be made more progressive by eliminating the income cap or in several other ways.


Or by allowing poorer workers to invest a greater proportion of payroll tax into real investments.

quote:
Those who claim that Social Security does not benefit African-Americans often point to their lower life expectancy than other demographic groups. A smaller proportion reaches retirement age, and
those who do, on average, do not collect benefits as long as whites. But poorer health during working years and more premature deaths mean that disability and survivors' benefits are more important to African Americans.
So is inheritable wealth, which is denied them by Social Security.

quote:
And progressive benefits more than offset the difference in longevity, so that the claim of some conservatives that minority men get a negative return on their Social Security taxes is wrong (The Actuary, Sept. 1998).


There is still a net transfer from blacks to whites under the current system fo the reason stated above.

And a negative rate of return (although painfully true for many who die early and have no spouse or kids under 18) should not be what we need to see in order ot reform the current system. It is inherently unfair and involuntary to begin with, which is enough to scrap the program IMO.

The rest of the article is the same rehashed arguments who believe that the program's problems can just be taxed away.

This program needs to go. Give people their doggone money back for goodness sake.
the article was written by:

Excerpted and adapted from Uncommon Sense 25, part of the National Jobs for All Coalition (NJFAC) Social Security Packet. Helen Lachs Ginsburg, Professor Emerita of economics at Brooklyn College, is on the NJFAC executive committee. Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, director of the doctoral program at the Adelphi University School of Social Work, is NJFAC chair.


** Go and tell them why they do not know....hell my field is not economics at all..although I do understand the basic micro and macro principles.....my field(s) are engr,technology management and public policy/admin....and people TRY to tell me all the time I don't know jack shit...despite 20+ years in higher ed....It must be what Tony Brown said one time about black people who always fail to see credibility in other blacks.....I guess it is another way that the self-hatred bred into us manifests itself.....ahh..the black man's burden.....you people who spend 1/100th of the time these people have researching, publishing and teaching on a topic have really big egos when you refute their work with your opinions only.....and like you said about W...he knows that the resources are endless...the US can just print money they do not have.......kinda nice to be able to do so huh?
There hasn't been a 'social security fund' in 3 decades now. Why is it that these kids here, I presume in school, aren't learning anything about the nation they live in? They subsist on rumor and 'street tales' to form their world views. Despite even liberals and dems TELLING right out the money is gone in 20 years, they still think social security needs protection or is a credible political issue to scare the old folks into voting a particular way.

Got to get used it, social security is NOT a civil right. It will crumble as quickly as it came in. Those who rely solely on it now, and are scraping by, should have planned better. Those who think its something they have earned or are guaranteed in the future will be eating pet food if they don't muster the energy and brains to take care of themselves before its too late to. Incredible.

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