A typical work day in the life of an eighty-two year old in search of the American dream, in the year of our Lord, 2009 (e.g. singing, grumbling, perplexed and disoriented, slow, awed, panicky, relieved, hopeful, fearful and finally aware). Oh dear, that’s funny, I forgot to add “memory moment” to the list above. Senility Base is somewhere on the back-side of the moon, way back there, where nobody ever travels, except the extremely elderly. They go from a state of tiredness and sleep deprivation to awareness, to exhaustion, day in and day out, always plugging a portion of their earnings into a totally mismanaged system that will return very little for their investment, if they ever make it alive to the day that payback begins.
I believe it was William Shakespeare that said “Things done well and with a care exempt themselves from fear”. So, how well has the Social Security been planned, tracked and managed, and how much care and attention to detail has it received?” It was the responsibility of every official that took office in Washington D.C., for the last 100 years. You can throw money at a problem, but that doesn’t cure the underlying disease. It merely postpones the patient’s demise.
I’ve worked it out on paper. If they had taken my installments over the years, earning the typical 10% per year for the major stock indices, then it would have accumulated a handsome lifetime sum and a respectable retirement check, by the ripe old age of 55 or 62, definitely not so ripe as age 70, or beyond (as in beyond the grave). They blew it, and they will continue to. Governments do not perform to the standards of free enterprise. It is a mistake to continue to try to heal a bad system. If a dam breaks, you don’t patch it. You rebuild. When a bridge can no longer provide passage for the vehicle volume, you build a bigger and better bridge, and you let a better firm construct it. Of course, it might be wiser to build more bridges, smaller and in various locations, to allow the flow not to bottleneck.
Does all this ranting by me mean that I’m in favor of curtailing Social Security? Absolutely not! Wisdom teaches that you take care of the old and we can build a new system, with many small administrators, and a properly timed migration of new employees and old retirees to the new system over time. We certainly don’t want a big unmanageable system, too big to fail, like the banks, now do we? In the end, the old system will be retired itself. The new system could be managed by capitalistic enterprising funds, not the government. The government will always have people that will work against the system for their own political purposes, causing a schism within the Social Security system. But, a well managed and regulated system in the hands of venture capitalists, will allow it to grow, to produce, to reward its administrators with healthy bonuses, and it will be in their interests for it to succeed. The internal government conflict will be removed, the status quo eliminated, and the conflict of interests put to rest.
Social Security's financial problems have loomed for decades as the nation's 78 million baby boomers approached retirement age. The oldest are already there and as that huge group of people begin collecting benefits, they will also stop paying payroll taxes, leaving Social Security's funds shrinking. They are predicted to run out of money by 2037, according to the latest projection from the trustees who