Friday, February 04, 2005

Social Security Speculation

I think I've finally found the phrase I want to counter the neutral-positive "reform" being offered by the Administration and its allied think tanks. Avedon Carol links to Paul Krugman, who refers to it as the "borrow, speculate, hope" method. It's that middle word, "Speculate" which is the key to this reform. Private accounts is a BET that the (invested in portion of the) economy will grow faster than the (payroll) tax base. It's speculative. It's risky.

It's also, as my spouse pointed out this morning, intended to bind people to the financial markets in such a way that resisting deregulation or pro-corporate reform becomes psychologically difficult. It's not that we're going to get rich by being in these government managed mutual funds, but that (and this is being semi-openly talked about by political operatives) they will be our only hope, and that losses will be felt so keenly that market growth (not necessarily economic growth, mind you) will be the first priority of all governments to come.

So henceforth I declare that private accounts, personal accounts and all other market-based approaches to social security are to be termed "social security speculation."

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