Tuesday, February 08, 2005

'Ello, kids! How's it going?

Not too much to report on today. Mandy "The Pea" Wilson has been feeling under the weather, so let's all wish her well. Jennifer Kraber and Kim Bloom have been absent from work, and I suppose that they may actually be sick as well, so let's go ahead and wish them a speedy recovery as well, just as a precautionary measure.

Does anyone besides me wonder what George W. Bush is up to on these attempts to reform social security? He must be getting kickbacks from some kind of Wall Street investment groups or something. Maybe he thinks that dumping all of that investment money into the markets is going to invigorate the U.S. economy (which it probably would, in the short run). Even if social security is broken (and I'm not at all sure it is- or at least I'm not sure it's as bad as he's making it seem), since when did George W. give a shit about the little guy or about fiscal responsibility? He sure hasn't shown it through health care reform or through any attempt to stop the budget hemorrhaging which has led to his record deficits.
Anyway, I actually do understand the impulse to privatize social security. I understand people's desire to control their own money. The problem with Bush's new plan (at least as it's presented) is that it doesn't seem to provide much actual security. Realistically, what are we going to do with those aging retirees who have invested poorly and have no money left to provide for their income in their old age? Are we going to throw these people to the wolves and let them starve to death if they make some poor investment decisions? Maybe we can set up free range ranches for old people where they live off the land after a lifetime of poor investing.
Anyway, unless there's some kind of safety net, I don't understand how this system is going to work, and if we do provide a safety net, aren't the tax payers just being asked to fund someone's gambling (ok, investing) habit? I just don't get it. Oh crap. Client needs to see me.

7 comments:

The League said...

one of oddest things about the privatization, to me, is this:

Social Security is NOT a bank account. The money you are giving to Uncle Sam today is paying the way for the current crop of geriatrics and folks with medicare, medicaid, etc...

So, if you take away, say, $2 for every $10 so people can invest it, you're reducing the amount of money in the current bag of cash.

People are currently free to invest their money NOW and frequently do not choose to do so. Anyone planning on retiring on just their social security who is under the age of 50 is completely insane.

Social Security is there to help with medical expenses and in case your pension from your company dries up. It's to lend a helping hand, not to give you a cushy retirement.

Moreover, the very definition is "security", not "Wall Street Lottery". Whether the amounts are feeble by the time I retire(in 2045 or so... God, that is so depressing) I hope I will have socked away a little more than just my TIAA-CREF account and whatever little is spent on keeping folks in hospitals and able to take pills.

If he really believes in the stock market, perhaps Bush should be spending his efforts on telling the current working slobs that in order to keep taxes down in the future, they should be investing today.

In the meantime, the plan looks like it was cooked up by someone who has never had to manage his own money at any point in his life.

Anonymous said...

It's all just a ploy to increase the worth of shareholders'
portfolios. Lots of new money means increased demand, resulting
in higher share prices. Don't be suprised if you're investment
choices include the 'Haliburton' plan. The rich get richer
faster. Then, when we've all got our money tied up in private
investments, the CEOs/CFOs of the companies we've invested in
will be arrested for cooking the books, we'll loose everything
we own, and we'll all be trying to cross the border to Mexico to
try and land jobs as migrant workers. -frank

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone's comments above. I just wanted to add this: let's say Social Security is privitized. What happens when the market crashes (we all know it will happen again some year in the future). Wasn't Social Security put in place so that a stock market crash wouldn't bankrupt people's retirements? That's what I don't understand. You want to know how to fix Social Security? Have the government put back all the money that they ever took out of the Social Security fund, pay back the interest, and pass legislation which would not allow the government to take funds out of the fund except in the event of a national crisis or some other national emergency.

Bush is in favor of this plan because it doesn't affect him, his family, and his cronies. All of them are already loaded so they don't need Social Security (or Medicaid for that matter). This is just to pay back the big Wall Street Investment firms that backed Bush for president. He's got to pay more favors off. Plus, getting re-elected after such a terrible first term has given Bush and his administration confidence, and a no fear attitude to do whatever they please. This scares me the most about his second term.

Bottom line translation: if you have a lot of money, you won't have to pay taxes for social security anymore, and you will continue to invest in your portfolio as normal. if you have little money or a small portfolio then you will put in the same or more into a private account (oh wait, Bush says they aren't "private accounts", they're "personal accounts") for less retirement security. The government can make backroom deals to the investment companies that are lining their pocketbooks and campaign chests.

Just think about what would have happened to retirees with the "Enron investment plan" had social security been privatized during Bush Sr.'s first term. Whoops. Looks like your retirement just went up in smoke (and that happened to people anyway *with* Social Security in place).

I guess I'm just a stupid, immoral, unethical, not seeing the big picture, values challenged, freedom hating, blue state guy. I can't wait to see the fake newscasts that the republican party will put out to fool the ignorant masses on this. It worked for the billion dollar handout they gave HMOs and Pharmecutical companies.

The AFL-CIO has been going nuts about this (obviously):

http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/a1zUffK1rcvP/

Reed

CrackBass said...
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CrackBass said...

damn.
i wrote a comment, but then my neighboring atty eddie kaye came over to inspect the apple, and i guess it did not get posted. so, here goes again...

I think Steanso's last client must have really sucked yesterday, as he was quite PMS-y last night. Quite. however, i think i have something that just may cheer him up. maybe.

anyway, Steanso has no less than 3 vacation offers on his plate. Maybe you guys can help him out with a decision. they are:
1. Mexico and beach with Mono Ensemble (one of his bands) and FOB (friends of band)
2. San Diego with brother (and blogger) and sister-in-law and sister-in-law's brother
3. New Orleans and Jazzfest with me and The Pea and with others TBA.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steanso said...

Jason isn't sure he has enough money to go anywhere at all.