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December 19, 2002

Save Social Security- Integrate w/ Mexico

The rightwingers at FreeRepublic.com are having a shit fit over this story of talks to extend Social Security to Mexicans who previously worked in the United States.

But if anyone is really worried about the long-term survival of social security, a long-term plan to integrate our system with Mexico is actually one clear way to do it, since adding so many younger workers paying in will guarantee easy survival of the system.

This is just a variation on my own long-time theme of encouraging more immigration to save social security.

Posted by Nathan at December 19, 2002 09:52 AM

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Do these folk realize as as our own population ages, supporting the elderly will fall on the shoulders of fewer and fewer of us?
Never mind. I forgot who I was talking about.

Posted by: Emma at December 19, 2002 02:51 PM

Gee, where was the "shit fit" when twenty other countries signed similar agreements with the United States? I guess the Trent Lott Republicans are also still the Pete Wilson Republicans.

Posted by: Luis at December 19, 2002 06:07 PM

I thought the dirty little secret of social security was that it didn't need saving, as long
as the Bush administration di not dip in its funds?

Posted by: Martin Wisse at December 20, 2002 03:10 AM

I thought the dirty little secret was that it deliberately screws African Americans - that it is, in fact, a cleverly concealed mechanism for redistributing wealth from young African Americans to elderly white women.

I don't understand why there isn't more outrage over this...

Posted by: jb at December 20, 2002 02:27 PM

Why isn't there outrage on social security screwing black people? Because it's not true. Yes, because african americans have lower lifespans, they don't always collect as many benefits as similarly-situated whites, but they also benefit tremendously from survivor benefits, disability benefits (SSI), and from the fact that it guarantees a pension at all-- of key importance since blacks are far less likely to have retirement income than whites.

See here for more. A sample:

Black children were nearly a quarter of the Social Security survivor beneficiaries paid because a parent was dead. One in five widows or widowers who received benefits while caring for a child was African American. Among disabled beneficiaries, nearly 20% were black.

Further, most retired African Americans collect for many years. In 1992, black women who lived to normal retirement age, now 65, could expect to live an average of 17.4 years more compared to 19.3 years for white women. Similarly, black men who reached normal retirement age could expect to live on average 13.5 years more compared to 15.5 years for white men. (The discrepancy in life expectancy by race has been dropping over time and in all likelihood will continue to do so.)

Social Security's progressive formula, which pays relatively more to those with low incomes than to those with high incomes, is another big plus for blacks, who on average have lower incomes than whites. Privatization of Social Security would change that to their disadvantage.

I recently wrote a column on the general lies of social security privation here.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at December 20, 2002 02:58 PM

I think he meant here.

Posted by: hamletta at December 21, 2002 04:10 PM

I have an idea about how privatization of Social Security might work:

A worker could have an account ("ISSA") like an IRA-- choose his own brokerage (or other financial institution(s)) at which to hold it, choose whichever investment vehicle(s) (except certain high-risk ones) he wanted, and pay the brokerage fees for making the investment transactions in the account. However, the brokerage would merely be holding the funds for the Social Security Administration of the government. The worker would retire and start collecting Social Security, and take distributions, just like from his IRA. The government would still continue to calculate the amount to which the worker would be entitled every month, and the SSA (through the brokerage) would pay it out. There could be special rules for a worker who bankrupted his ISSA, like by buying all stocks that went bankrupt-- there would be some formula whereby his Social Security check would be reduced proportional to his losses.

Posted by: S Friedman at January 7, 2005 09:01 PM

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