February 02, 2005

Social Security

The Social Security crisis in America is simply a symptom of a larger problem that our government and leaders are failing to communicate to the people. Bush and conservatives are selling people on the idea of privatization based upon the assumption that past performance in the stock and bond markets should be extrapolated to predict future performance. This is how they are boosting support for privatization, but more importantly, support for reneging on an unstated promise to look out for citizens in their old age.

The real crisis in America, and indeed of most “First World” nations, is a crisis in female fertility. The decline in births among American women is what caused the demarcation of the “Baby Boom” generation. As the baby boom generation matriculates through the workforce and into retirement, the fall off in fertility makes the system of social security unsustainable. The government does not link it to fertility crisis, but rather, a flaw in the systems long term planning by its creators. It then goes on to promote the idea that privatization will actually give Americans more money than the current system. Don’t you believe it.

In truth, the same core fertility crisis that will cause a crisis in social security, theoretically, will or should theoretically cause a similar crisis in the economy. Think about it. If there is a shortage of workers to pay into the system, then there will also be a shortage of workers to replace those retiring or dying prematurely. The workers are the life blood of an economy and the fertility crisis means that America cannot grow its economy unless by increasing productivity per worker. However, most of capitalism’s growth is from the addition of new workers and new consumers and population growth gives an economy just that. This is another reason why capitalism is always seeking new markets, because its continued growth and viability is dependant upon it.

In about 20 years companies are going to have a serious problem trying to find enough people to produce the continued growth of GDP at historical levels. This is or should be good news for the American worker, as there should be plenty of opportunities in the future due to the fertility crisis. However, that is only true in theory. The trend in the off shoring of jobs to cheaper labor nations could siphon off many potential jobs to China, India and other developing economies. If American companies cannot meet their labor needs then that will only increase the push factor to off shore jobs.

The crisis in fertility is most profound among white Americans, which is the primary source that America uses to fuel its managerial, technical and professional component of the job market. America’s failure in will to solve the socioeconomic inequalities of blacks and other minorities will prevent these groups from being able to fill the void in the stagnation and future decline of the white population base. America failed to seriously fix the problem of black poverty and educating. Thus, higher rates of black fertility in America cannot offset the lower rates of white fertility.

The only way out of this for America is through opening the doors to immigration, if not a campaign to promote higher fertility rates. This is the way that our nation has chose promote the nations continued population growth. This is why there is no real effort to curtail illegal immigration and to eventually naturalize those who come here illegally. The problem with this is that the people coming to America are people of color who will eventually morph the culture of America and makes whites the minority over time. When whites become the minority they will lose their political and racial control over the direction of the nation and its institutions. More than a few white folks will not accept such a proposition and hence one can predict an increase in proactive white supremacy.

The problem with our system is that its success is its nemesis. The success of our system to increase opportunities and thus change the role of women has resulted in decreased rates of fertility. Women are now in the competition for opportunity, income and wealth with men. In order to compete with men and reach the heights of men, they have to play the traditional behavior and role of men. Men have never been burdened by bearing children and child rearing. Men simply provided the sperm, hunted and protected. Men could then go out and compete with other men, while the women cared for children. Now that the women is competing with man, child rearing bearing and rearing is a competitive disadvantage that many women are forgoing until much later in life, after they have established themselves with careers and income.

The influx of women into the labor force as workers helped to increase our nations output and GDP growth. We traded profit and economic growth in exchange for fertility and the traditional family. We sold out or biological primal directive to be fruitful and multiply. We figured that we could create more fruit for ourselves, the less we multiplied. This worked well in the short run, but the long run consequence of zero and negative population growth, via births outnumbering deaths, can be catastrophic for our growth dependant capitalist system.

No one can argue against providing opportunity for women as being a good thing. However, every action has reactions. Providing opportunity for women should be an imperative. The greater imperative of life and existence, though, is continuing the bloodline through propagating the species. In other words, the purpose and goal of women in nature is to replenish the earth with humanity. When the quest for opportunity and the ability to be equal with men threatens this prime directive, there will be a negative reaction upon humanity and life. Too often in our greed driven, individualist culture and system, children become a constraint on our ability to manifest our greed and individualist selfishness. We can have more material things, the fewer children we have to siphon off our money and time. In Americas quest to maximize capitalism via maximizing greed and consumption is coming back to haunt us.


At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The attempt to privatize Social Security by Bush is just another scam to get more money into the pockets of wall street elitists and to squarely put the blame for failure on the shoulders of the individual if his portfolio fails. The same planning that can be done by an individual through privatization can be done by the government through the social security program. Bush and his clan have no real concern for the individual other than to make it the responsibility of each to make it in this system on his own. And if you don't make it, it is your own fault because you were able to do you own planning through privatization.

The ups and downs of the stock market are not something that every individual would be able to study and understand. Additionally, it is well known that when initial offerings are opened on new companies, the ones who get the opportunities to get in on the ground floor are not the average citizen. They are the corporate elite and the insiders.

And the Social Security Program is not in the crisis that Bush would have you believe. Most of us have learned that the favorite tactic of Bush is to scream crisis and then take some drastic action. Crying "Weapons of Mass Destruction" should be a warning reminder. He fooled allot of Americans with it and even suckered Colin Powell.


At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said a lot of things here, but what is your overall point? Can you sum it up in a few sentences?

-Jean Michel

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

My overall point is that the social security problem is only a symptom of structural problems endemic to our social and economic construct. Future performance of the stock and bond markets will not repeat past performance. The reason being is that the loss of workers from low fertility will hurt companies and the economy, as well as social security, in the long run. Immigration is seen as the answer to the fertility crisis, but such will cause resentment and increased racial and ethnic problems going forward.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

I often wonder what the world will look like when the Boomers retire because I want to develop businesses that trend towards an older market. I surmise that the country will be noticeably older in another decade or so.

Most middle class people, particularly whites, are eschewing children, at least in part, but sometimes all together. I work with tons of white people, and most of them don't have kids, and don't want them. Many white women say that they don't want to "destroy their bodies by having kids," a reasoning I find amazingly selfish. Still, others simply prefer working to the humiliation of being solely a "mommy." Still others are mixing with other races and producing non-white children.

Regarding Social Security, I am open-minded on the issue of privitization. To say that the masses will not be able to understand how to invest their money is inaccurate. I believe 65% of Americans own stock of some kind. The stock market is not an esoteric entity anymore, but I understand that there are millions of non-investors. Moreover, the plan, as explained by Bush (assuming it's not a lie), would be voluntary. I, for one, would prefer to invest my money in the market than in a non-interest-bearing Social Security Trust Fund. For those of you with a 401(k), tell me that's not a better investment than Social Security! Watching my 401(k) grow has made me realize, now more than ever, how much it "takes money to make money."

Blog roll me please: www.thestateof.com

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

It was quite interesting listening to Bush trying to sell his Social Security reform last night. He referred to his plan as the government setting up personal accounts, but of course these personal accounts are going to be managed by someone else and the person whom name is on the account simply can not just take money out of the account, that sound kind of impersonal to me. The Democrats jeered when he said the SSI program will be bankrupt, but the most interesting things about the Social Security Crisis is not so much that it is running out of money or that fewer people will be paying into in the future than in the past. What I find most interesting is Social Security is in a crisis because of government borrowing and siphoning money from it for use in other place. This was done by both Democrats and Republicans and now they want to use this crisis for political gain.

Bombsoverbaghdad, one would think if you are asking us to be Blog roll you here you would have already linked us over on your Blog.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

I shall blog roll you shortly. My oversight. My bad. Thanks!

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