Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It hardly seems mentioned today that the idea of "privitizing" social security was originally proposed by Bill Clinton back when the stock market bubble was still expanding.

Paul Cwik warns of the pitfalls of this false privitization in a May 1999 article titled Socialist Stock Market.

Murray Rothbard once asked Ludwig von Mises at what point on the spectrum of statism can a country be designated as "socialist." To his surprise, Mises said that there was, indeed, a clear-cut delineation: the stock market.

Mises said, "A stock market is crucial to the existence of capitalism and private property. For it means that there is a functioning market in the exchange of private titles to the means of production. There can be no genuine private ownership of capital without a stock market: there can be no true socialism if such a market is allowed to exist."

A corollary to this idea is that if the government is allowed to "invest" in the stock market, then the economy can no longer be called market-based. President Clinton has proposed a plan to use up to one-fourth of new Social Security funds to buy shares in our stock markets. The danger of this plan may not be as obvious as his previous health-care plan, but they are just as serious...

The fundamental problem that the Clinton administration ignores is that the Social Security program is based on what is called a Ponzi Game or a pyramid scheme. You have probably seen this if you've ever received a chain letter that states, "Send money to the first five people on the list, remove the first person's name, and place yours at the bottom." In other words, the first people in the program (those at the top of the pyramid) are currently getting money from the new people enrolling (those who are at the lower stages of the pyramid).

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