Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Social Insecurity - Philly Burbs

At this point most of us are aware that Democrats are corrupt and incompetent and that Republicans are weak and lack courage. It should be clear by now that politics is simply a game where most of us lose. Maybe we were once a Representative Republic, but those days are gone. Restoring who we are will happen when slightly more than half of our elected officials take their Oath of Office with deadly seriousness. Maybe it’ll happen one day, but we’re pretty far off.
In the mean time it can’t hurt to start thinking about required reforms. I’ll discuss Social Security since it’s the biggie and the underlying theme of it’s repair would be consistent among fixes in other arenas.
Many of us believe that each of us has our own Social Security account for which we have rights to. Social Security was activated on November 24, 1936 as a guaranteed retirement entitlement. However, in 1937 the court ruled in the Helvering vs. Davis case that Social Security was not an insurance program, saying that the Social Security taxes collected are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes and are not earmarked in any specific way.
In 1960 the court ruled in the Flemming vs. Nestor case that Congress may, due to ever changing conditions, cut benefits, raise the retirement age, raise the tax, eliminate payments altogether or whatever else they wish to do.
So why, in a free society, am I required by law to set aside a portion of my earnings for presumed retirement payments? It can be argued that this creates a disincentive to assume the personal responsibility to prepare and the evidence to this is that so few diligently put a small amount away each month (or at all).
I personally think it’s much better to empower people now than to wait for Social Security to go broke. Then what? Why would anyone prefer to rely on government when most of us could do much better on our own?
The only answer that comes to mind is for us all to contribute a small amount to Social Security where the only recipients will be those who really need the help. Social Security as a sweeping entitlement simply isn’t viable and is rapidly headed for disaster.
With this simple shift away from the entitlement mentality will be a corresponding shift towards accountability and self-reliance. The options are endless, but I’m a firm believer in The Market. The stock market is often associated with risk, but dollar-cost-averaging over time and diversification generally reduces and/or eliminates risk.
There’s other investment programs, too, that lack risk from the start all of which are still better on every level than any government program.
The only real risk, then, would be if The Market gets wiped out and then money won’t matter anyway. History shows only upward trends with no indications of disaster and the true financial minds of our day will (and are right now as I write this) explain how the greatest threats to markets are the poor policies coming from our elected officials.
Social Security was doomed from the start as it morphed into the backdrop of political gamesmanship of epic proportions. The greatest security will surely come from “taking the risk” to reform and I’m hopeful that we can one day say “GAME OVER!” as we get back to the business of running a great nation.


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