August 13, 2005

Karl, it should be about liberty and opportunity...

Edward H. Cranem, President of the Cato Institute, has a great piece, Memo to Karl Rove...

...If you're wondering why there's so little grass-roots support to date for the president's plan, it's because the focus has been on green-eyeshade issues such as solvency, transition costs, unfunded liabilities and rates of return. Actuaries to the barricades!

Seriously, this should be an emotional issue about liberty and opportunity, not solvency dates. The concept of an Ownership Society is brilliant. Unlike the New Deal, the New Frontier or the Great Society, Ownership Society actually means something integral to the essence of America. That essence is a respect for the dignity of the individual, which is axiomatically enhanced when one has more control over one's life. That is what personal accounts provide....

...I recently undertook the masochistic task of reading the last 10 apoplectic op-eds Paul Krugman has written on Social Security for the New York Times. Not once in his rants does he address the issues of ownership and inheritability. Indeed, opponents of personal accounts shy away from those issues like a vampire from the cross...

...Finally, with regard to the "risky scheme" arguments, I think it's ironic that the people who appear so concerned over the growing wealth gap in America are the one's who refuse to allow low- and moderate-income Americans to accumulate wealth. The investment-risk argument was used in 1983 when the Greenspan Commission refused to even consider personal accounts. Yet the DJIA is now 10 times higher than it was at the peak in '83. How much longer will we deny lower-income Americans an opportunity to participate in the wealth-creation engine known as the U.S. economy?...(Thanks to Pejman).

I couldn't agree more with this. Especially that last. The utter perversity of Democrats who whinge about how "the poor are getting poorer" (not true) yet fight against anything that will allow the poor to accumulate wealth is stupefying. And most people are so clueless about economics that they can't see what's being done to them. I think of our young friend and fellow-blogger Andrew, a student, without much income (though I'm sure he'll do fine once he graduates). He's exactly the sort of person Bush is trying to help climb onto the wealth-train. But he's stuffed with obsolete notions, and actually seems to believe that the Democrats still want to help ordinary people.

And the idea that investing in the stock market is risky is simply a lie. It's risky in the short-term. But for long term investments like your retirement nest-egg, a diversified portfolio with a lot of stocks is the safest option.

Posted by John Weidner at August 13, 2005 7:46 PM
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