Nov 30, 2010

Random riff: Social Security

Out of context, from a recent IM chat:

Well, once again we have a convenient Red Meat headline (Democratic group suggests eliminating Social Security for wealthy) that does little to help us all understand a much more complicated issue that we are lead to believe by the (as usual) lazy & incompetent mass media. Further, and as always, such a Red Meat headline generates Red Meat replies; ie., "the party of FDR..", etc.

In fact, said party will no doubt be the one that fights hardest against any proposal such as this, if it ever even sees the light of day from this particular 'centrist' think tank (which I seriously doubt). And that, my friends, is too bad--and is a major indictment against those blue types.

If one were to seriously re-visit both the earliest and the consequent debates on Soc Security, he/she will find hat there has long been a discussion on whether it is/should be considered a retirement 'entitlement' or an 'insurance' policy. The prior poster is at least correct in that the Dem party has both owned and won that talk, pushing it into the former camp. But the latter argument is worthy of new consideration; something which this group is accomplishing, albeit unwittingly.

Such a discussion invited another one on the basic concept or "retirement" itself. Are you automatically retired at age 62/65/etc, no matter what your income stream maybe be? Is a 65yo walking away from his janitor's job w/$2K in the bank a different "retirement" scenario than a 65yo that keeps working at his hedge fund or a 65yo that continues to work part time but also has $250K/yr in continuing income from investments and rental properties?

Yes, IF one is looking at if from that 'safety net' (insurance) POV. Keep in mind, such a net has both individual (micro) as well as societal (macro) benefits. After all, it doesn't do any of us a lot of good to watch some old person starving in the streets, when we could at least guarantee some level of subsistence being provided -- and on that person's dime yet!

Again--it's a convo worth having. But I myself conclude that the modern dynamic is such that its incapable of happening.

Agree? Disagree? What's the frequency, Kenneth?

1 comment:

Oingo Boingo said...

Man, you're WAY over our heads with this shit.

Now get back to pictures of Michael Jackson getting freaky with midgets. I mean little people.