Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Social Security

Recently my feelings on social security have taken a bitter turn.

I was thinking about the structure of social security. The ones working pay for the ones who are in the system. This structure really is a beautiful one (although unfair) if the working population does not drop or the wages of that population does not drop. According to the left the last one has happened and according to everyone else the first one has happened. I was trying to figure out the ideal situation to fix social security. To me the ideal time would have been when you had a maximum amount working and a minimum amount of people getting benefits (on a percentage basis). The cost would have been less, you would have had a large working population to spread the cost over, and you would prevent a large mass of people from getting their retirement tied up in a system.

Under my former views, the government had made a contract with the people of America under the social security program and it must honor that contract. While the government could wean the American workers off of the system, it still had to fulfill the "contract" with the American workers. The only way I saw to do reasonably was to cut cost of the program (i.e. means test), and raise taxes on the present workers.

I was prepared to accept that tax responsibility for the contact made so long ago, just like I am willing to accept American's responsibility to spread freedom throughout the world. Grudgingly, but not seeing anyone else who can do it. My attitude, as of a few days ago, ran along the lines of, "Dang, it is going to have to be up to my generation to fix it." I harbored anger at the government that is taking my money to pay for others health care and at politician who ignored the problem. I did not harbor any resentment for the Americans caught in the evil system that.

NO more my friends. I have nothing but disdain for the previous generations, in regards to this problem. If I can do anything about social security, they will reap the rewards of their indifference. The boomers had the ideal situation and refused to address the problem. I know hindsight is 20/20, but it has been a well known fact that the birth rate after the baby boom generation has been much lower than it was during the boomer years. I am accusing the baby boomer generation of willfully ignoring the problems of social security. Just like all problems that are not dealt with, this one has just gotten bigger. Take a look at this graph. The baby boomer generation is between 1946 and 1964. When would have been a good time to start moving people away from social security? I do not know the answer to that. There are a lot of numbers that I do not know and do not have access to that I would need to answer that question, but I feel confident saying that it occurred sometime between 1966 and 1986. The twenty year gap in which baby boomers started working. During that 20 year period the baby boomers also started voting.

I am not mad at the people who choose to pass the act. I am mad at the people who decided to extend it life past it's intentions (look on page three to find the reason for social security).

The choice of old age and unemployment as the risks to be covered by social insurance
was a natural development,since the Depression had wiped out much of the lifetime savings of the aged and reduced opportunities for gainful employment.

I am mad at the boomers for not using their voting power after 1986 to fix the problem. Now I am mad at the current set up politicians for not solving the problem. As it happens they happen to be mostly boomers.

My views have sifted from a contract the government must fulfill to a contract that the American people failed to break.


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