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Late Night: Pouting Baby Asks “Aren’t You Glad Your Social Security Isn’t in a Private Account?”

Pouting Baby is back and talking to us again. — JW

Today was an ugly day. Lots of people lost a lot of money in what they call stocks. Remember when Little Georgie B wanted to get rid of Social Security and replace it with private stock investments? That would have been a really bad idea today.

Here is how Reuters described the stock market today:

Investors fled Wall Street in the worst stock-market selloff since the middle of the financial crisis in early 2009 in what has turned into a full-fledged correction.

The Dow and the S&P tumbled more than 4 percent on Thursday and the Nasdaq lost 5 percent on fear the United States is staring at another recession and that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is swallowing two of its largest economies.

But it looks like the crash isn’t over:

Analysts predicted further losses even though stocks have fallen on nine of the last 10 days.

Now just imagine if your Social Security funds were invested in that same stock market that is crashing for the second time in less than three years.

Here’s what Little Georgie B said when he tried to tell us private Social Security accounts would be a good thing, way back in 2001:

. . . Social Security reform must offer personal savings accounts to younger workers who want them. Today, young workers who pay into Social Security might as well be saving their money in their mattresses. That’s how low the return is on their contributions. And the return will only decline further — maybe even below zero — if we do not proceed with reform.

Personal savings accounts will transform Social Security from a government IOU into personal property and real assets; property that workers will own in their own names and that they can pass along to their children. Ownership, independence, access to wealth should not be the privilege of a few. They’re the hope of every American, and we must make them the foundation of Social Security.

I wonder what Little Georgie B has in his mattress today. Because I think even someone as dumb as Little Georgie B knows that the stock market isn’t the place to put somebody’s Social Security money. But I don’t use a mattress for things I want to keep safe. I give them to my Mommy. Too bad lots of older mommies lost money today, too. Even if their Social Security wasn’t in stocks, some of them had other retirement money in stocks that lost a lot of money today.

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Jim White

Jim White

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