Liberty: -- Policy Analysis -- "Saving" Social Security Is Not Enough
- "Saving" Social Security Is Not Enough
It seems that no politician discusses Social Security these days
without a call to "save" the program. Certainly, it is possible to see
why the program needs saving. It is facing financial insolvency: it is
more than $20 trillion in debt and will be running a deficit in just
But to focus on "saving" Social Security is to miss the larger point.
Merely finding sufficient funding to preserve Social Security fails to
address the serious shortcomings of the current system. The question
should be, not whether we can save Social Security, but whether we can
provide the best possible retirement system for American workers.
Social Security fails both as an anti-poverty program and as a
retirement program. It contains numerous inequities and leaves future
retirement benefits to the whims of politicians. Why should the goal
of public policy be to save such a program?
Instead of saving Social Security, we should begin the transition to a
new and better retirement system based on individually owned,
privately invested accounts. The new system would allow workers to
accumulate real wealth that would prevent their retiring to poverty.
Because a privatized system would provide a far higher rate of return,
it would yield much higher retirement benefits. Because workers would
own their accounts, money in them could be passed on to future
generations as an inheritance. That would particularly benefit the
poor and minorities. Finally, workers would no longer be dependent on
politicians for their retirement incomes.
Full text at:
- A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but
only a fool trusts either of them. --P. J. ORourke, Parliament of
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