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Social Security, Republicans & Economic Growth

Posted by Rick · February 8th, 2005 · No Comments

I already know that I’m not going to have time to do any significant blogging today.

In lieu of that I suggest perusing older articles of mine you may not yet have read, or you can check out Fact-esque, which has a couple of good articles on Social Security.

In particular, you might want to read Everything You Wanted to Know About Social Security But Couldn’t Find in Your Local Paper and learn a thing or two about how Social Security works and why the only danger to Social Security comes from Republican efforts to turn over management of it to private companies, who can than make tremendous profits off the service charges.

On that note, who can blame Republicans? If you could make millions of dollars every year using other people’s money, wouldn’t you try?

Fact is, privatizing Social Security, or “personal accounts” — to use the term the Administration favors now that it realizes “privatization” (rightly) scares the bejeezus out of people — will create the very conditions that caused us to create Social Security in the first place: loads of poor old people!

And the system works. For Republicans, that’s the crisis! Poor, old, desperate people and the loving families who will struggle and work three jobs to keep them alive are more easily exploitable.

In 1978, Bush unsuccessfully argued that Social Security was in crisis and would be bankrupt by 1988. But in 1978, Bush didn’t have Karl Rove. Now that Bush and Rove are wired together, it seems like a good time for another run at it.

On the other hand, perhaps Bush’s comments should be taken as showing he knows something about how well the American economy will fare under Republican rule that he’s not telling the rest of us. After all, the idea of Social Security going bankrupt depends on the economy growing at only 1.5 percent per year, after inflation, for the next 75 years. Historically, however, America’s growth rate has cycled between a high of 6 percent and a low of 2 percent. The average GNP — Gross National Product is the commonly-used measurement for growth — for the period between 1840 and 1960 has been 3.6 percent.

Bush knows, however, that Karl Rove — the man some people believe is possibly less powerful than the President and Vice-President of the United States — “has a grand design to create a Republican majority that would last for at least one generation.”

Categories: Social Issues


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