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Starting the conversation

Don Rogers

Allowing under 55-year-old Americans to invest a whopping 4 percent of their wages subject to Social Security tax into the stock market – woo, woo! – may or may not be the great savior for the people and the system. Think, well, more NOT than otherwise. But credit the president for the courage to take on the issue.Social Security outflow will exceed income by 2018, a wink in time away now, according to the nonpartisan projections, which seem harder and harder these days to find. Sometime by mid-century, we’ll have a “crisis,” or if that’s too inflamatory for you, then merely a “really big problem” with paying the pensions for the herd of retirees at that time. “Bankrupt” is a term some worry-wort experts have used for years now when referring to Social Security’s future.Of course, that was before President Satan, er, Bush, decided to push for a solution to this … whatever it is.Suddenly partisans on that shrunken side of the aisle are bellowing, “What problem?!” As if pretending this clock ain’t running will make everything all right. Why, sure.But the Democrats have a point wondering aloud if the risks of this stock ownership – remember that you own the losses as well as any great gains – can well make things worse for the everyone instead of better. This “ownership” thing, a rank euphemism at best, hasn’t worked particularly well when tried in Britain, Singapore or Argentina. Chile, however, has been deemed a success. Apparently a military dictatorship helps for enforcing the necessary economic conditions.The most valuable part of the discussion is finally beginning a real discussion. Vail, Colorado


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