Social Security Could Be the Greatest Social Program Ever Concieved

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Apr 23, 2012.

?

The Concept of Social Security:

Poll closed Oct 20, 2012.
  1. I am for a Social Security program period.

    35 vote(s)
    58.3%
  2. I am for a SS program if it is economically viable.

    13 vote(s)
    21.7%
  3. I am against a SS program becuase Government is not competant to run it.

    7 vote(s)
    11.7%
  4. I'm against SS because I don't want Government in my life.

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  5. I'm against SS because individuals should be responsible for themselves.

    9 vote(s)
    15.0%
  6. Other

    2 vote(s)
    3.3%
  7. Undecided

    1 vote(s)
    1.7%
  1. Huntn, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    Multiple Choice Poll​


    I figure the title will gain some attention, but I'm serious and would like to focus on a philosophical standard. When I talk to different people on the lower half of the economic scale, it is reaffirmed that the purpose of SS was and is outstanding, to force people to save for their retirement, kicking and screaming even if they don't wanna.

    Is this something the government should be pushing or should it steer clear of individuals lives? There is an argument that the government should act as our big brother. Should it?

    After many years of consideration, I realize that the only way the human race can move forward is by putting more emphasis on the group over the individual. For this you need government, along with the integrity to really look out for the needs of society as a whole. As long was we spend our time consumed with enriching ourselves at the expense of our neighbors we are still cave men. :)

    The SS program was created in the 1930's by President Roosevelt. The largest single problem with this program that from the moment it was conceived and carried forward through one of the richest economic periods of the U.S., while it was subverted/continuously robbed by politicians of both parties. If it was not, I'm convinced there would be enough funds to carry it through the baby boomer retirements.

    IMO, the idea is sound. It's the execution that needs to be fixed. If you are dead set against the current plan, how about a government sponsored 401K, where contributions are required, that can't be tapped until retirement? In this way the government does not assume the obligation and the individual still maintains responsibility?

    I'd like to know how many people at MacRumors support the concept of SS as a security net for retirees if it was constructed in such a manner to be a viable long term program?
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #2
    I am wholeheartedly for it.

    I do believe though that Congress should only have limited control of it. It does what it was meant to do and it does it cheaply. With only minor tweaks, SS can remain viable forever. Congressional muddling only makes it worse.

    Medicare is a whole 'nother ball of wax...
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #3
    Wholeheartedly.

    The people should take care of each other.

    Modern society is capable of it.

    Let's see if the people are up to the task.
     
  4. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #4
    I chose the "economically viable" choice because ultimately if it is not viable, it's no good.
     
  5. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #5
    It could easily be economically viable if the people committed to it.
     
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #6
    But viability also includes how a program is managed. :)
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #7
    I think the government should treat each person's account as an investment account which cannot be touched until retirement. When you retire you will have a set amount of money to spend and once you get under a certain threshold there would be government supplements to your saved income to make sure you don't end up in the street.

    I do not think there should be an entitlement attitude that I currently see, "I paid into the system my whole life and deserve whatever I get". When in reality the life contributions were probably wiped out after a few visits to the hospital for costly operations to keep you artificially alive for a few more years.

    Let people see and spend what they accumulated in life and then let them know that they are riding it out on the taxpayers dime to humble them a bit.

    As for government diving into SS funds to fund other stuff. NO!
     
  8. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #8
    Social security is a great idea. The problem is that

    1: Funds an individual pays in do not accrue interest because it is used to pay out to current social security recipients. This practice has eliminated the self sustaining nature of social security because there is no value added to the system and makes it prone to population flux (i.e. more people collecting than paying in).

    2: Funds an individual pays in are not always used for the purpose for which the program was intended. For example individuals who are declared "disabled" collect disability payments from the social security pool. This has many of the same effects as in (1) in that the individual collecting disability may not have paid in over a lifetime of work and those funds have not earned interest; contributing to a disparity of those paying vs those receiving.

    Please don't take my criticism as suggestion that disabled individuals shouldn't receive help. I think there should be a separate program for disability.

    Like it or not, Al Gore was right, we should have a "lockbox" that individually holds social security funds that accrue interest until it is unlocked at retirement.
     
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #9
    Let's also keep in mind that the problem with Social Security today isn't its viability. The increase in taxes and adjustments to benefits made almost 30 years ago created a very sound system.

    What wasn't sound was that over the same 30 years Congress decided to cut taxes to historic lows while spending at historic highs. The result is that SSA is sitting on trillions in US Treasuries which the current generation of workers has to pay off, because the Baby Boomers ran the country on borrowed time when they were in charge.
     
  10. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    Illinois
    #10
    Fixed:

    The result is that SSA is sitting on trillions in US Treasuries which the current generation of workers has to pay off, because the Baby Boomers Republicans ran the country on borrowed time money when they were in charge.
     
  11. Huntn, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    It's obvious to anyone with half a brain or who *cares* about having a viable program. What does that say about our politician Dems and GOPers?

    And the GOP wants it to fail big time. They helped hugely and then look at the tax payer and lie their asses off, telling you it won't work... :mad: But Dems are not off the hook for this either. They should have been more aggressive and beating the drum for the last 30 years, making it an issue!
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #12
    Please point out the year that the Republicans had 60 votes in the senate to pass something all by themselves?

    Democrats have had a major majority 7-8 times since 1945, the Republicans haven't had a major majority once since then, so anything that was done had the democrats signature on it also.
     
  13. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #13
    I think the "super majority" is a new requirement enacted by the Republicans. Previously only simple majority was needed to pass most bills.
     
  14. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #14
    When Democrats don't have a backbone this sounds like a good fallback plan. "They made us do it".
     
  15. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #15
    Huh?
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    Look, if you require a supermajority for everything the country stops functioning.
     
  17. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #17
    Who said anything about requiring a super majority for everything? You can't state that Republicans are responsible for "evil" bills that wrecked the country when they didn't even have enough members to push the bills through by themselves. Democrats just like to play victims after the fact. Kind of like the patriot act. :cool: Another Republican bill that was so repugnant to Democrats that they extended it.
     
  18. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    UK
    #18
    If they voted for the given bill sure, you can blame them.

    Constant filibustering is destroying the US, blaming people for not doing that is ridiculous.
     
  19. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #19
    My point is that some democrats had to have been on board or these evil bills wouldn't have passed, its just not mathematically possible. Also I think its a good idea that we make a distinction between filibustering (or delay tactics) and voting "NO" when legislation is a complete pile of **** or has **** attached to it.
     
  20. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #20
    I largely agree with you. To be clear, I loathe filibustering. But with that said, a distinction must be drawn between a party actually putting something up for a vote and loses to a filibuster as opposed to a party that prefers cowering in the corner, instead of putting something up for a vote, when someone whispers, "We'll filibuster it."
     
  21. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    Among the starlings
    #21
    Social Security is a bit of a catch-22.

    You see, when the program was first instituted, something like less than 10% of the population lived past 55, so the program was literally supporting people who were too old and feeble to work and would otherwise be starving on the streets. And most people received benefits for only a few years. So people contributed for dozens of times as long as they collected.

    Nowadays, living to 80 or 90 is pretty normal (and for the boomer generation that's starting to retire, that age might creep even higher), so we have people collecting benefits for 25-40 years. Now they're contributing only for about the same amount of time as they collect... or less.

    So the obvious answer is to raise the retirement age -- have people contribute for 60 years of their working life instead of 35, and collect for 10 years instead of 40.

    BUT....

    If people work another 20-30 years, that means a MUCH larger workforce, but there aren't currently enough jobs available in the economy to accommodate that larger workforce. If older people don't retire, there won't be room for younger people to join the workforce and even get started on a career.

    And I think that an argument could be made that with technology fueling increases in productivity and outsourcing decreasing demand for domestic labor, we already have a problem of surplus in the workforce.

    So clearly the solution is to prevent anyone living past 55. :p

    I kid, I kid.

    But seriously, while I 100% support not letting people starve just because they're disabled or too old and frail to work, Social Security in its current form is not viable, and we have some hard decisions to make as a society about how to either make it viable or find another way to support those who are unable to support themselves, and in a more abstract sense about how we distribute labor and opportunity.
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #22
    Agreed.
     
  23. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #23
    I didn't not vote, as it is not my place to do so, but as a Canadian, I agree it's good. Unfortunately from my experience up here in The Great White North, politicians are wont to move the goal-posts somewhere down the road. :(

    Now if you can get Social Security into a Constitutional Amendment, well then guys you have something to hang your future on. :)
     
  24. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #24
    Great idea with one major issue. It is part of a three-legged model in which the other two legs are gone. So as of now, it does not provide enough money for someone to live well on. However, SS currently does not have enough of an income to increase the standard paid.

    SS was made with the assumptions that:
    1) you will actively be paid a pension from the company you worked your life for, and
    2) you have actively saved your whole life for retirement

    It was also based upon the assumption of gradual increases in the standard of living, which has not been the case.

    The idea is that the above two sources of income PLUS SS payments allow retirement. Now, our country is ran by plastic cards, savings is a thing you read about in history books, and very few people spend their entire life with a single company...and even if they have, look how many once 'powerful' companies have gone under.

    The traditional Social Security that many people think of was not designed to help your 'neighbor' out as much as yourself. It was made so that when you retire that you have money. And so part of Social Security is formatted in that those who pay in eventually get paid. In that function, it is a holding program. Now, revisions to the program, additions, mergers, and more have added different entitlements and they serve different functions (for example, OASDI), including partial 'redistribution of wealth'.

    How important is Social Security? Go talk to an older person. My degrees are in the field of aging studies and their thoughts on it will tell the entire story of how much good it does our society. Conservatively speaking, if SSA did not exist, about 40% of people over the age of 65 would be in poverty.
     
  25. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #25
    I am in favor of a forced retirement savings

    However, I am not a fan of SS. It is a government supported Ponzi scheme
     

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