The conservatives (so-called) have been hammering for years to privatize Social Security. Just think if they had gotten their way where the common people would be right now with the bottom falling out of the equity markets. As it is, "private retirement savings accounts - like 401(k)'s - have lost some 20 percent overall since mid-2007." (Source: examiner.com. Oct 7, 2008 11:41 AM.).
When the time comes to bailout the Wall Streeters, we're all in it together. When the time comes to guarantee retirement for seniors and others, they're on their own is the idea behind privatizing Social Security.
Listen, private retirement is where we were before anyone saw the need for and established Social Security. Why go backwards? We went backwards with all of the privatizing that started with Ronald Reagan's disastrous presidency and that was helped along in a major way by Bill Clinton's centrism (hardly the center — much more to the "right" than most are willing to admit).
The only thing wrong with Social Security is that it's a coercive law, but privatization is a coercive measure as well. The privatizers want privatization only up to the point that they aren't hurt by it, such as when they want a bailout. Why isn't privatization good right now that they would fall without being on the public dole?
They laughed at the people collecting welfare, but now they're on a sort of welfare. It's a farce kind of welfare, since they don't have any means-testing associated with whether or not they qualify. You know in order to get food stamps, the recipient isn't allowed to earn above a certain amount or own anything worth above a certain amount. A new car where the owner has sizable equity will preclude that owner from getting food assistance. He or she can just sell the car is the idea. Well, are the rich Wall Streeters being asked to just sell their cars or yachts or penthouses or second or third vacation homes, etc? No they are not.
Oh, it's an emergency and the whole economy would collapse if the rich and greedy were not bailed out by the lowly tax payers. Hogwash. It's all hogwash.
If the same money were poured into the real needs (not just wants) of the poor and lower class, there would be a much better kick for the economy. The difference though would be that the rich would have gambled and lost. Then they could go on the real dole and get assistance just the way the poor do.
Actually, in a good world, they wouldn't have to fall that far at all, because the bottom would have risen a great deal. Let's lift the poor so there aren't any. Why are we always focused on the rich? They don't need it.