Crispus

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Social Security to Ownership Security

Jack Kemp recently wrote a column arguing that Social Security privatization will fix America's retirement system, and democratize capitalism. Unlike Social Security, people could control their own future.

He wants to move from the Great Society of entitlements to an Ownership Society, an investor nation where every worker is an owner. About 50% of Americans are already in the investor class, and I support efforts to get the other 50% on board. However, why is Kemp only going for 50% privatization? Social Security should be completely privatized.

Liberals argue against Social Security privatization because "people won't know how to invest." Typical "the masses are asses" ideology. Why not teach people how to invest? If it can be done in Chile, where such accounts are popular, it can be done in USA. Even idiots can plug their money in a bond account and outperform Social Security's stingy return.

In addition, why should Person A be penalized for making good choices because Person B doesn't make them? Relatively low retirement investment in America occurs because of few ramifications to not saving up for one's future, due to Social Security. Remove nannyism, and incentives for people to plan long-term shoot up. Or perhaps liberals oppose it because private investment accountholders tend to be more conservative voters (e.g., 21% of blacks with such accounts vote Republican, versus 9% of blacks in general)?

Kemp gets cool points for noting that Social Security's return on investment "can't deliver-averaging less than 1 ½ percent and [is] actually negative for many African-American males whose life expectancy is 8 ½ years less than white males." It also undercuts efforts to increase black wealth, where the deceased can transfer savings to their heirs to buy a home, attend college, or start a business. Luckily for us, even people like BET founder Bob Johnson and Rep. Harold Ford are pushing for privatization in black communities.

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