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04:04 PM on 08/16/2010
I think the problem here is the fantasy that a shrinking working age population can continue supporting a growing retirement age population going forward like the system has in the past. In 1940 there were 42 workers for every retiree, today it's 3-4 (link below).

Someone below called SS a ponzi scheme and it's hard for me to define it any other way. I mean, older investors are paid off by new investors putting in money. There is no correlation between benefits and investment returns, it's simply a fantasy return (ie promised benefits) funded by a legally mandated contribution from every worker. I love the concept of social security, which is why I think privatizing a portion makes sense workers under 40 or so. Older Americans, in or close to, retirement should see no changes, but younger workers should face the changes now. I like the private account side because I know a portion of what I pay into the system is in my name and will be accessible by me in the future. Under the current system, as a mid 30s individual, I'm assuming I'll pay in for years and receive essentially nothing from the system.

http://www3.prudential.com/signature/Social-Security.html
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03:06 PM on 08/16/2010
"Rather than dismantle it, we should work to strengthen the program for the next 75 years."

So that means what, mandatory numbers of children to have and mandatory number of jobs? Everyone must have five kids and six jobs? Then the next generation can have 10 kids and 12 jobs, working 300 hours a week to support this "essential" "social safety net" program? Then their kids can have 100 kids and 2000 jobs working 10000 hours per week?

Of course this can work - just like Madoffs little game won't ever come to an end.
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markas214
02:59 PM on 08/16/2010
I don't understand the urgency we seem to be hearing. The system is financed through 2037. The government borrowed and now must start repaying. Could the urgency be that they are trying to find a way to avoid repaying the trust fund? With wars to finance and low taxes to maintain for the wealthy it seems plausable.
02:38 PM on 08/16/2010
People investing with Madoff made GREAT profits for over 10 years. Only when the Government got involved and started legal actions did the money and profits (it seemed) disapear. If the article above has any relevance (and of course it does not) then the many people who profited from Madoff were only harmed when the Government changed its approach.
I'm sure they would agree that you shouldn't mess with something that is working. The problem is that the SS system does NOT work. It is a Ponzi scheme, albeit one that has Government approval.
The article, like the SS system, is misleading to the point of fraud.
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DevonTexas
Eternal Optimism
02:37 PM on 08/16/2010
Back in the 1920-30's most people saved in the banks for their retirement. The banks went bust and they had nothing. Because of the requirements of unions, some big corporations were forced to have pensions. That lasted a couple generations but now only the state and federal governments offer these for retirement. Most corporations now offer 401K's for retirement but these are heavily vested in the volitile stock market which proved disasterous to those who lost 80 percent of their value in the last few years. SS is a way to assure that after the banks fair and the stock market tanks, we have something of value to fall back on. Don't mess with SS. It's all we have left..
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03:04 PM on 08/16/2010
"Back in the 1920-30's most people saved in the banks for their retirement. The banks went bust and they had nothing. "

That isn't true - most people didn't lose everything because some of the banks went bust. Many lost some and a few lost all.

"SS is a way to assure that after the banks fair and the stock market tanks, we have something of value to fall back on."

Alas, SS has nothing of value, unless you value hot air, lies, and empty promises.

"Don't mess with SS. It's all we have left.. "

If the only thing left is to rob the poor in order to give to the rich - we are screwed!!! That's what you want - to take by threat of force from the young and poor in order to give to the old and much wealthier. At least all pyramid schemes must end!
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Rocks911
Beware banks, they are more powerful than armies
04:36 PM on 08/16/2010
As for your moniker; Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
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DevonTexas
Eternal Optimism
11:08 AM on 08/18/2010
For a "ponzi scheme" it's lasted for 75 years and is solvent if it's not messed with. What's you suggestion for replacing it? Privatization? Now THERE's a ponzi scheme! And who's forcing you to apply and accept SSI? You don't have to apply for it or accept it. No one is forcing you. And if you're so rich, you aren't missing your little contribution.
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jsgaetano
"Conservative" is not a political party, genius.
02:33 PM on 08/16/2010
We need to make sure all those Teabaggers do their part, and stay off the Big Gubment teet.

Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, Goopers! Like Reagan said, Big Gubment is the cause of all your problems. Don't take ANY money from Big Gubment!
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03:07 PM on 08/16/2010
"Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, Goopers! Like Reagan said, Big Gubment is the cause of all your problems. Don't take ANY money from Big Gubment!"

I voided my stimulus check. Can you say the same about my paycheck? Oh no you seem to have no problem eating up my food budget - thanks now I won't ever be obese!
bcunnin679
Political Correctness, the enemy of free speech
06:35 PM on 08/16/2010
The Teabaggers I know are part of the 51% that pay taxes. Sounds like you are a 49%er
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jsgaetano
"Conservative" is not a political party, genius.
08:07 PM on 08/16/2010
More than 51% of Americans pay taxes, Gooper.

Also, last time I checked, it was impossible to buy anything except a newspaper without paying taxes on it.

But keep believing what you believe, Entitlement Man.