Common Sense: Saving Social Security

As some of you might have surmised, I'm a black-and-white kind of guy.

I see things starkly simply — some might argue too simply. But it helps when it comes to complicated issues because I don't see them as complicated.

Take Social Security. It is broken. You might not see that now. But you will see it soon. 


Because fewer people are paying into it, as more people are getting benefits from it. It used to be 30 workers were forking over dough for every one retiree. Now it's more like three workers. And pretty soon, two workers. You can't keep doing that.

So what to do?

Well, you could raise social security taxes. You could raise the retirement age. Or you could scale back benefits. Or maybe do a combination of all of the above. I don't know.

This much I do know. Unless we wake up to what's wrong, we'll never make it right. Not so much for the older retirees who have the right to expect, and I'm sure, get the benefits they deserve. But for younger folks who are very cynical, very worried and very justified in thinking what's there for mom and dad won't be there for them.

They're right. It won't. Unless we empower them. And tell them what they already know. There are no free handouts. Or easy rides. You want money for the golden years, start planning for it in your working years. And please, stop this nonsense, that people aren't up to it. As if Uncle Sam is!

I'd sooner trust average people with their money, than at best, an average government with its money. I trust their resourcefulness, patience and common sense. I trust them to know markets go up and down. But I have enough faith in American capitalism that over time it will return a lot more than American government.

Back to my simple point. Give the people a chance now, or no chance later. Put their assets to work now, or kiss their assets goodbye, tomorrow.

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