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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2994447 - 08/12/04 04:26 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

One more time...where is the misstep in their findings?

If you really wanted to find out, you'd already have found out. There's plenty of alternative viewpoints available. The CATO institute is not the infallible word of truth.

Uh, the point of the article was to dismiss your uninformed view about your own country's Pension system

No, it was a deeply biased article from one viewpoint. That's not what I call the truth.

Britain's system was unstable and would have gone right off the cliff

Sorry but I live in Britain. The last few years is the first time I've ever seen pensioners so angry. They are living in poverty thanks to the conservative "ideas" you place so much faith in.

That article just outlines the reforms that were set in motion to save the system

No, it outlines the reforms put in place to help dismantle social welfare and hand more money to the rich.

Disregard the theme of the article and focus on the historical facts therein

That's the problem. There are no facts. Just heavily biased right-wing opinions.

The issue of the social security insolvency being discussed is related to the changing age demographics of a country, not the economic status of that country at a period in time.

No, it's central to the myth of "We cannot afford it". I'm positive if Bush had said 4 years ago "We are going to sink 200 billion into social welfare in the next 2 years" the CATO institute would have produced a raft of articles explaining how it would be "impossible to afford". So how could we afford to piss away 200 billion on Iraq?

So you agree then that the system is unstable as is and that more and more funds will be needed to keep it stable as the years go on?

More and more funds are generally needed in all aspects of life. The average wage of 100 years ago wouldn't be enough to sustain most people today. What is your point?

I'd be more than willing to provide you with quite a few articles that state just that.

Great - give me an article from the CATO institute saying we couldn't afford to invade Iraq.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 11 years, 7 months
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Xlea321]
    #2994917 - 08/12/04 11:01 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

If you really wanted to find out, you'd already have found out. There's plenty of alternative viewpoints available. The CATO institute is not the infallible word of truth.




Alex, clearly I lack the critical thinking skills neccesary to identify the errors inherent in the CATO viewpoint. I am pleading with you to enlighten me...social security functions by having the working members of society pay for the pensions of the retired members...if the amount of retired members continues to increase disproportionately to the amount of working people, how is there not a problem?

Quote:

Uh, the point of the article was to dismiss your uninformed view about your own country's Pension system

No, it was a deeply biased article from one viewpoint. That's not what I call the truth.

Britain's system was unstable and would have gone right off the cliff

Sorry but I live in Britain. The last few years is the first time I've ever seen pensioners so angry. They are living in poverty thanks to the conservative "ideas" you place so much faith in.

That article just outlines the reforms that were set in motion to save the system

No, it outlines the reforms put in place to help dismantle social welfare and hand more money to the rich.

Disregard the theme of the article and focus on the historical facts therein

That's the problem. There are no facts. Just heavily biased right-wing opinions.




Forget the article...you completely missed the reason for me providing it and we're now diverting the intention of this thread.

Quote:

No, it's central to the myth of "We cannot afford it".



Right, we will not be able to afford it without dramatically raising taxes, dramatically cutting benefits, both, or initiating reform.

Quote:

I'm positive if Bush had said 4 years ago "We are going to sink 200 billion into social welfare in the next 2 years" the CATO institute would have produced a raft of articles explaining how it would be "impossible to afford".



And what do you base that half-retarded assumption on? I guarantee they would have produced a raft of articles explaining how the $200 billion towards social welfare was incredibly wasteful and unneccesary. Go back and read the first post of this thread. You've had trouble with economics and history so far Alex, let's try basic mathematics. TWENTY-SIX TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities is what has been found to be the cost of the Social Security system in the future Alex. TWENTY-SIX TRILLION. That's 26,000,000,000,000...quite a few digits. That's close to three times the GDP of the wealthiest country on this planet. Do you believe the difference between 200,000,000,000 and 26,000,000,000,000 is negligible?

Quote:


More and more funds are generally needed in all aspects of life. The average wage of 100 years ago wouldn't be enough to sustain most people today. What is your point?




So you see no problems with more and more money being taken out of the paychecks of working Americans to pay for this? We're at 12.4% visibly being taken out of our paychecks now...you'd have no problem with that jumping to 20%? How about 30%? This is not adjustment for inflation or 'wages raising with the times', this is the result of a fundamental flaw in the way the system was set up.

Quote:


Great - give me an article from the CATO institute saying we couldn't afford to invade Iraq.



I see you left yourself one 'out' with which you can play the semantics game, mince words, and generally waste time. Obviously CATO did not produce any articles saying we COULDN'T AFFORD to invade Iraq since that would be untrue. I'm sure you do know, however, that CATO was one of the more vocal advocates for NOT invading Iraq and is currently one of the more vocal advocates for withdrawing from Iraq as soon and as safe as possible.

Exit: Iraq - That's the main site for CATO's plethora of articles and studies on the fallacies of invading Iraq from economic, military, and political standpoints.

The Wages of War
The Economics of War

There are two of the many articles that touch upon the economic idiocy of going to war with Iraq.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflinePhred
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2995149 - 08/12/04 12:37 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

You might as well stop now, Ancalagon. While I admire your persistence, the sad fact is that you cannot reason someone out of a position they never reasoned into.

The radical far left fringe are completely impervious to facts, logic, reason, mathematics and historical evidence. If Bush favors fixing Social Security, to the LLL this is proof positive that Social Security is just fine. They need not read any of the dozens (hell, hundreds) of analyses published over the last two decades or so nor need they do a few simple arithmetical calculations on their own (such as comparing 200 billion to 26 trillion) -- all that is necessary to them is to know that Bush (or anyone else they classify as a Capitalist or a Conservative or a Neo-con) has finally acknowledged the existence of a long standing problem. Game over, case closed.

Time to move on to greener pastures.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2995156 - 08/12/04 12:41 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Ancalagon writes:

I'm sure you do know, however, that CATO was one of the more vocal advocates for NOT invading Iraq and is currently one of the more vocal advocates for withdrawing from Iraq as soon and as safe as possible.

By LLL "logic", that means of course that since CATO is a neo-con puppet, it was therefore correct to invade Iraq. Similarly, since CATO has published dozens of articles condemning drug prohibition and the American WoD, drugs must therefore remain illegal.

Here's just one example -- a recent article found on National Review Online (yet another "neo-con" site) by Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute. Carpenter is the author or editor of 15 books on international affairs, including "Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America."

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/carpenter200408120826.asp

But of course, nothing the man says is correct. It's all bullshit because

a) he posted on NRO
b) he works at the CATO institute

So, dear LLL members, despite what his article claims, the reverse MUST be true: the US is actually winning the War on Drugs.

pinky


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Edited by pinksharkmark (08/12/04 10:59 PM)


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3000056 - 08/13/04 12:17 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Alex, clearly I lack the critical thinking skills neccesary to identify the errors inherent in the CATO viewpoint

No, you just have your own viewpoint and find articles that support it. Surely you don't have blind faith in what CATO tells you?

Right, we will not be able to afford it without dramatically raising taxes, dramatically cutting benefits, both, or initiating reform.

OK, here's a counter argument. There are plenty more.

So insidious is the argument that we're running out of money that people can fall for the argument that the only way to retain a properly funded health service is through increasing general taxation. This is what the opinion polls show and what the Liberals exploit in their demand for an extra tax which will be earmarked (hypothecated in the jargon) for particular services. Yet the argument rests on spurious facts. It is simply not true that we are running out of money. The resources that exist at present in our society could be marshalled to fund the welfare system--we do not even have to wait for the development of a future socialist society. But to reallocate these resources would be to challenge the priorities of the present system.

The first point is that the scale of the supposed crisis is vastly exaggerated. As John Hills, an expert on welfare spending and a critic of the government, in a recent Joseph Rowntree foundation report, the Future of Welfare, demonstrates, total welfare spending since the mid-1970s has averaged just below the 25 percent mark as a proportion of national income. This doesn't represent spending out of control but rather the maturing of the welfare state. The proportion has gone up and down depending on the economic cycle. Its current growth to 26.4 percent is no more than a sign of the depth and duration of the recent recession. At the height of the Lawson boom in the late 1980s it was only a little higher than 20 percent.

What has changed is that over the last few years a greater proportion of welfare spending has gone on social security and health (as opposed to education and housing). This should not surprise us. Unemployment has remained high even during economic recovery, and joblessness, together with increasing, chronic poverty, has put pressure on this area of welfare spending. It's not true, either, that Britain's welfare spending is out of kilter compared with other advanced nations. Spending per head of population in this country is way down the European league--17th amongst the leading industrialised countries of the world.

At the heart of the Tories' insistence on means testing, efficiency and the like is their aim of shifting the burden of taxation more and more on to the shoulders of the poor. It is their priorities, not the real facts about funding, which determine what is spent on welfare.

That is proved simply by looking at what would have happened if the tax regime that was in place in 1978-79, before the Tories returned to power, was still in operation today. In 1978 the top rate of tax stood at 83 percent. It now stands at 40 percent--less than half. Over the past 16 years ?14.8 billion has filled top taxpayers' pockets. And ?9 billion of that went to just 190,000 people. The Child Poverty Action Group concluded that the state would have an extra ?31.4 billion at its disposal had taxation remained at previous levels.

The Tories say that reducing the top rate of tax reduced tax evasion. But the figures tell a different story. More tax than ever remains uncollected: it rose from ?847 million to ?4.3 billion between 1979 and 1990. And between 1990 and 1992 a further ?3.1 billion was written off as 'uncollectable'--at a time when the Tories decided that public finances were short of ?3.2 billion that could only be raised through imposing VAT on fuel.

Tax changes have also led to the poor paying more. Means testing social security benefits leads to a greater overall tax burden on the low paid. In 1993 more than half a million workers found that part of their income got taxed at 50 percent or over.

The real scandal, though, is the way in which company profits have been allowed to escape contributing to welfare spending. Cuts in corporation tax have allowed company owners and shareholders a bonanza. Dividends have soared. Between 1980 and 1992 the payout was a shade under ?150 billion. And the payout continues. The Labour Research Department reported that in the first half of 1995 the dividends dished out by industrial and commercial companies to their shareholders were ?13.5 billion--25 percent higher than the first half of 1994.

The conclusion is obvious. There is only a crisis in the welfare state because the money needed for it is either spent on the wrong kind of things (?3 billion on Trident, ?14 billion on the European Fighter Aircraft and ?2.5 billion on new helicopters for the army) or is held in the wrong hands.

Punitive rates of tax for the wealthy, a crackdown on tax avoidance, high rates of tax on inheritance, on companies and above all on dividends would more than ease the strain on welfare spending and even improve the services on offer. Then there would be no need to put up tax for ordinary people by a penny or distress the old with threats of lower standards of living.

http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/sr191/jenkins.htm


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Phred]
    #3000065 - 08/13/04 12:20 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

While I admire your persistence, the sad fact is that you cannot reason someone out of a position they never reasoned into.

I guess this is why there's no talking some people out of their blind, unreasoning faith that Iraq has WMD.

The radical far left fringe are completely impervious to facts, logic, reason, mathematics and historical evidence

Before you get too carried away with yourself, remember this is ONLY YOUR OPINION. Nothing more than that. Lets face it, if people thought your political opinions were worth a damn or "true" you wouldn't be a bartender posting on a shroom board. You would be writing books and earning millions.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflinePhred
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Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Xlea321]
    #3004282 - 08/14/04 02:26 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Alex123 writes:

Before you get too carried away with yourself, remember this is ONLY YOUR OPINION. Nothing more than that.

Sorry, Alex -- the fact is that Social Security is busted. That's no one's (not even mine) opinion, that's a fact.

I am aware that just as there are many illiterate people in the world, so there are also many people in the world who lack basic mathematical skills. I do understand that these people are at a disadvantage in life, and I sympathize with their plight. Neither their ignorance nor my sympathies do anything to change the laws of mathematics, however. The formulae required to analyze the Social Security mess are simple ones. Anyone who has passed the compulsory base courses in math required in North American government schools can follow them easily.

Despite your fervent wish that it isn't, the Cato article is correct. US Social Security will be bankrupt in around fifteen years unless either the payouts are reduced or the income is increased. That's not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact.

If it makes you feel better to pretend it isn't so, that is of course your right. You're not eligible for Social Security in any case, so your misunderstanding of the situation won't harm you financially.

pinky


--------------------


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Ancalagon]
    #3004387 - 08/14/04 03:12 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

?Reforming Social Security: Lessons from Great Britain?

Let me start with three facts.

First, although the ratio of pensioners to the population of working age in the United Kingdom is forecast to rise from 30% in 1995 to 38% in 2030, the ratio of public expenditure on pensions to GDP is expected to fall over the same period from 4.2 % to 3.3%.

Second, UK private sector pension funds have ?700 billion worth of investments, more than the rest of the European Union put together.

Third, over the past decade pensioner incomes have risen by 50%, there have been increases at all points in the pensioner income distribution and pensioners are no longer concentrated right at the bottom of the population income distribution.

How has this been achieved? What more needs to be done? And what lessons can be learnt by countries with different systems?

The answers to these questions can be found in an examination of the history of the British pension system since the war.

Throughout that history there is a single recurring theme?the quest of politicians to ensure that pensioners are not left too far behind as earnings grow and the constant problems this has caused for public finances.

Since the National Insurance Act passed by the 1945 Labour Government, Britain has had a non means tested basic state pension. Those who have paid national insurance contributions as part of their tax bill during their working life are eligible for this benefit. It has always been paid for by Government out of current revenues, rather than out of investment funds. In other words, each generation pays for the pensions of its elders. When the system was originally proposed by the social reformer William Beveridge during the war, he intended that the pensions should be phased in over 20 years. Labour decided to pay in full from the outset. The judgement of Britain?s foremost welfare state historian Nicholas Timmins is that ?although it was a mighty expensive decision, almost certainly nothing else would have been politically tenable?.

Beveridge?s scheme involved a flat rate pension paid for by flat rate contributions from employees and employers. By the late 1950s the view began to grow, starting on the left and spreading to the right, that for too many workers, the flat rate pension was too low as a proportion of earnings. Various solutions were advanced with one common feature. In place of a flat rate contribution, better off earners should be asked to pay higher contributions, as should their employers. In return, at least a proportion of their state pension should be earnings related.

The Conservative Government of the time accepted this argument. One aspect of it, however, concerned them. The establishment of occupational pension schemes was growing rapidly by the 1950s, with employers providing retired staff with an income in old age based on the salary they earned during their working life. The Government feared that higher employer contributions for the state scheme would slow or even reverse the growth of these highly desirable schemes.

When the graduated pension was introduced in 1961, therefore, an important provision was made. National insurance contributions from better off employees and their employers would indeed be raised. Yet occupational schemes and their beneficiaries would be allowed to opt out both of the higher contributions and of the extra graduated portion of the pension. A vital principle had been established.

By the middle 1970s the state pension was once again under review.

The incoming 1974 Labour Government argued that, despite the 1961 reform, pensioner incomes were still not keeping pace with other earnings and that something had to be done. They made two changes. The first was to make a formal link between the basic state pension and earnings by instituting an automatic annual uprating. The formula used was to increase pensions by a percentage equal to the growth of prices or earnings, whichever was the higher.

The second change was to go much further than the old graduated pension by introducing a full scale second tier to the UK state pension system?the State Earnings Related Pension, commonly known as SERPs.

SERPs provided a pension based on 25% of the average of the best 20 years of earnings. The crucial second reading in Parliament of the Bill to introduce SERPs was unopposed. According to Lord Lawson, later as Chancellor an important player in the design of the reform programme, the Conservatives were ?clearly wrong to do this ? but believed ?that pensions ought not to be a political football?.

Vitally, however, the Conservative opting out proposals of the 1960s survived. Occupational schemes were allowed to opt out of SERPs.

Yet despite allowing the continuation of opting out, the attempt to boost pensioner incomes through increased state spending was doomed to failure.

When the Conservatives came to power under Margaret Thatcher in 1979, they inherited an ailing economy, a fast rising social security budget and commitments far in excess of our ability to pay for them. In 1950 social security spending represented 5.1% of national income, by 1980 it represented 8.4 %. By far the largest group of beneficiaries were elderly people and by 1965 the cost of pensions was twice that which Beveridge had predicted. The prices and earnings link boosted the state pension in periods of depression and expansion and began to seem unaffordable. In addition, as Lord Lawson puts it, ?it was clear to anyone who took the trouble to analyse SERPs that it was a doomsday machine?. Clearly, reform was necessary.

Margaret Thatcher?s Government therefore did three things.

First, it removed the formal link between pensions and earnings and linked the basic state pension simply to prices instead. The decision was controversial, but was accepted because of the obvious crisis in the UK economy in 1980 and because there were no losers in real terms.

Second, in 1985 the Government turned its attention to the long term problem of SERPs. The Government didn?t just want to abolish SERPs since the arguments for its creation remained good ones. Instead it decided to offer taxpayers two alternatives. One option was to remain in a somewhat less generous SERPs. The percentage of your income that you would be paid, for instance, would be reduced from 25% to 20%.

The other alternative involved a massive expansion of contracting out. Until this point only employer run schemes had been allowed to opt out of SERPs. From now on individuals would enjoy the same right.

A new pension vehicle, the personal pension, was created. Individuals could save into this out of their pre tax income. In addition they could opt out of SERPs and have the state pay a part of their National Insurance contributions into a private fund. Indeed for a limited period those who decided to contract out would receive an extra 2% rebate above that which the state charged for SERPs.

Take up of this second alternative greatly exceeded expectations. The Department of Social Security?s working assumption was that about 500,000 would take out personal pensions and the number might ultimately reach 1.75 million. In the event, take up reached 4 million by the end of April 1990 and by 1993-4 it had risen to 5.7 million.

The results of this series of changes, from the 60s to the present day, have been dramatic. Three quarters of workers are contracted out of SERPs either through occupational or personal pensions. Only 17% remain in SERPs. For the last decade pensioner incomes have been growing faster than earnings. And, according to the OECD, public debt in the UK will be low by 2030, performing far better than almost any other OECD country. Concern that the UK should not be forced to accept joint responsibility for the pension liabilities of other European countries has become one of the most frequently cited arguments against joining the Euro.

This success did not, of course ended the debate.

Some wanted a much larger compulsory private pension. Margaret Thatcher was one such. She told her Chancellor that they had such a pension in Switzerland. ?Yes Prime Minister,? he replied ?but in Switzerland everything that is not forbidden is compulsory?.

Others were concerned about the security of private pensions. After the newspaper owner Robert Maxwell was found to have stolen from the Mirror Newspaper pension fund the Government introduced safeguards to prevent swindles and incompetence depriving pensioners of their income.

Still others believed SERPs remains too expensive and press for its abolition. Once again this option has been rejected, partly because some pensioner?s contributions to SERPs were too small to pay the administrative costs in the private sector. Instead the Government once again reduced long term SERPs entitlements but compensated with reforms to make it more worthwhile for older people to opt out.

Yet the most important debate of all concerned the basic state pension. It remained a large item of Government expenditure, yet current and future recipients believed it was inadequate. So the third stage of reform began. Over the summer of 1996 the then Secretary of State for Social Security, Peter Lilley began to work on new proposals to deal with the problem. His Basic Pension Plus plans were published in the New Year. Under these proposals, the basic state pension and SERPs would be replaced with a state guarantee. New entrants to the workforce would be given a rebate from their taxes paid into their choice of private plans. If, when they reached retirement age, market movements meant that their private plan was not large enough to replace the basic state pension, the state guaranteed to make up the difference. In reality, this wouldn?t happen very often, if at all, and the advantages of a funded scheme would yield the average pensioner a much more generous pension than they would otherwise get.

Of course, the scheme would cost money during the long transitional period. Because young people would be funding their own pension they wouldn?t be paying for the pensions of their elders. However, by the time this cost peaked it would be offset by savings from an earlier reform to raise the retirement age for women to the same as that for men. Another change was to switch tax relief from the time of saving to the time of receiving the benefit. This halved the transition cost.

Lilley?s proposals received a warm welcome in the press and across the political spectrum. The left wing Guardian newspaper, for instance, said that ?like the concept of a share holding democracy, it could also be empowering a new generation, which will have much more control over its retirement arrangements?.

The General Election did, however, reveal one weakness. The scheme was open to attack as ?abolishing the state pension?, even though there would be a guarantee in place and no current pensioners would be affected.

Now the Party is revisiting the scheme with one major change?new entrants to the workforce won?t be forced to join it. They will have an option to do so.

What lessons can be learned from the British experience. I have some lessons for those who oppose such reforms and some for those who support them.

For those who oppose reform.

First, reforming the state pension by allowing opting out into private funds is not as you often suggest, risky and extreme. It has been part of British pension policy for 40 years and in the last decade, in particular, it has become its most recognisable feature. It is almost universally accepted by politicians across the political spectrum and there is no prospect whatever of it being reversed.

The results have been increased pensioner incomes and improved public finances. The only debate in Britain is over how we should go further in increasing the number and amount of funded pensions.

Second, not only are you wrong to describe a move to a funded scheme as risky, it is in fact the only sustainable solution to a recurring problem. In Britain there have been repeated attempts, some of which actually became law, to boost state pensions through long term increases in tax funding. The reason for these attempts is that the state pension keeps falling behind earnings. Yet again and again these attempts have failed. With demographic and political changes the proposals were simply too expensive for future taxpayers to bear. One after the other, either before or after they became law, they were abandoned.

The only proposals that have stuck have been those that have increased private funding and contracting out. They have kept pensioner incomes growing in line with earnings and, primarily because they hand money over to separate non government funds, have not been reversed

This leads to a third point. The truly risky and extreme policy is to ask today?s workers to depend for their pension on the promises of politicians and the goodwill of future taxpayers. In the United Kingdom, someone who stayed entirely in the state system has seen their SERPs entitlement cut and the earnings link on the basic state pension broken. And, although, the latter was accompanied by all sorts of assurances, all to often uprating has not involved any earnings element at all.

What about the lessons for those who would like to see British style reforms introduced in their country?

First, make sure you focus your debate on the long term, the security of young people and the country?s finances. Short term budgetary problems were often the ally of welfare reformers in the United Kingdom, but they were not adequate as the main reason for pension reform. Indeed, almost all the reform involved spending money in the short term and a recognition that without this, long term change was impossible.

Second, victory in any debate about long term reform is useless if pensioners fear their income is under threat.

At every stage in the UK it was necessary to ensure that there were no losers among current recipients and that, as far as possible, future recipients felt they were making a one way bet. The sacrifices this involved were that there could be no short term saving and that the reforms would have to be phased in over very long periods.

Basic Pension Plus would have yielded only costs until nearly half way through the next century. Where savings had to be made to offset these costs, they too were phased in over a long period and did not leave any current recipients worse off. To ensure that fears were not allowed to take hold, the Government was always very clear about the costs of its schemes and the nature of the guarantees it was giving.

Third, you do not need to introduce all the reforms at once. Indeed, in the UK voters were more inclined to support the next stage of reform, because they could see that the previous changes had not left them worse off. It was also less easy to attack the proposals as unworkable or to defeat the entire package by concentrating on its weakest point. The temptation to demonstrate how radical the Government was and its farsightedness, by announcing the entire programme in advance was also eschewed. Each part of the programme was advanced on its merits and given time to work before further innovations were considered.

Finally, the provision of choice is vital. The reforms of the mid 1980s were not imposed on future pensioners, they were given a choice and a financial incentive to choose the private option. Much of the popularity of the scheme depended on the feeling that the Government was providing the opportunity to get a better deal. If voters thought, instead, that they were being forced into a scheme to save money, they would have been much more resistant. The biggest political mistake made with Basic Pension Plus was to make it compulsory.

Your natural political instincts will, I am sure, make you suspicious of the idea that in the UK we have found the perfect formula for painless reform. You instincts would be right. Pensions remain a controversial topic and throughout the 18 years we spent in Government Conservatives had to face criticism of the system we were developing. Yet there is now a remarkable consensus that the decisions were the right ones, that in general they have helped rather than hindered the Party at the polls and that the new Government is far more likely to extend the programme than to reverse it.
----------------------------------------------------
Hopefully you read that and are now aware that Britain faced the same problem we face in America. An ageing population relative to the current workforce demanded that reform would have to be made unless taxes should rise dramatically, benefits be cut dramatically, or both. Like Chile, Australia, and others, Britain realized the insolvency of it's Social Security system and set into motion the series of reforms that would save it...near all of them revolving around letting people take OWNERSHIP of their retirement accounts and investing parts of them.

Alex, you have to open your eyes, just this once. No matter how much it may disgust you, the logical facts are there. The Social Security system of America, cannot endure as it is. The nature of civilized countries today is that people continue to live longer and longer and thus the ratio of workers/pensioners makes it impossible for the status quo to be maintained. I really would like to know where the fallacies are in all of this.




You really do provide some great articles Ancalagon. What a great example of theory in practice.

"Second, UK private sector pension funds have ?700 billion worth of investments, more than the rest of the European Union put together.

All that money in the hands of private citizens is going to give them more power, a greater return on investment, a higher standard of living, more stability, and ultimately more freedom. What an empowering thing it has to be for them to control their own wealth. And captial markets have to love that $700 billion in investment. I would expect the benefits for the UK will only be growing at the same time that the costs of their European compatriots are expanding and balooning.

That is a beautiful thing. Thanks for the link.


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Tastes just like chicken


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Phred]
    #3007622 - 08/16/04 02:09 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Sorry, Alex -- the fact is that Social Security is busted. That's no one's (not even mine) opinion, that's a fact.

No it isn't. It's just your opinion. Nothing more. Just like it is your opinion Iraq has WMD.

Despite your fervent wish that it isn't, the Cato article is correct.

In your opinion.

US Social Security will be bankrupt in around fifteen years

In your opinion. What you think might happen in "about 15 years" has nothing to do with reality.

If it makes you feel better to pretend it isn't so, that is of course your right.

Why not apply this idea to yourself? Your opinion is not the truth. If it were you would have books published all around the world explaining the "truth" to everyone. You havn't. You are a guy posting your opinions a shroom board. Nothing more.


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Xlea321]
    #3008302 - 08/16/04 09:23 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Care to demonstrate with actual facts and figures how social security has all future liabilities fully funded or will you continue to display evasion and extraordinarily childish tactics picked from a list of widely known logical fallacies?


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Invisibleafoaf
CEO DBK?
 User Gallery

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 32,665
Loc: Ripple's Heart
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: Xlea321]
    #3010799 - 08/16/04 10:48 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

can you provide links to anybody that claims that social security is actually
well and good?


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 11 years, 7 months
Re: How Would You Fix Social Security, Senator Kerry? [Re: afoaf]
    #3010822 - 08/16/04 10:55 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

afoaf said:
can you provide links to anybody that claims that social security is actually
well and good?



Note: *Social Security*, not whatever Britain currently has.


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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