2006/02/09

The Ownership Society or How I'll Waste My Remaining Years

Buried in the Bu$hCo budget proposal was the one thing he didn't talk about in his SotU address: Social Security privitization. Now any of you who've read Blognonymous for long, know that this is a hot button issue for Kvatch. I basically want out. I want to pay my debt to my parents and then be done with it, but not just because I think that Bush's proposal is a huge wealth transfer mechanism--it is--but because worrying about one more type of retirement account is an enormous waste of my time and energy.

And therein is the problem. All of the Ownership Society bullshit seems to be about just two things: Transferring wealth from ordinary citizens to corporations and in doing so bolstering a flagging economy by creating huge amounts of corporate "busy-work".

Consider... it's been a generation since most people had true defined-benefit retirement plan. We've all got 401Ks and IRAs, and what does this mean for us? We're in control. All of the decisions, good or bad (OK, mostly bad), are ours to make. We've become our own financial advisors, and boy does it waste a lot of our time. Of course, you can pay somebody to watch over things for you--a money-minder who'll take a cut of your retirement wealth. Either way, financial services companies enrich themselves at your expense, and the Social Security, Fund for the Friends of Bu$hCo Account is just more of the same.

Health Savings Accounts? Bush's answer to our health care woes--same kind of thing, only worse. Now not only will I waste time becoming my own health-care advisor; Not only will my company medical plan disappear in favor of a tax-exempt medical account (I pay more, my employer pays less); But the bad decisions that I might make will have a measurable, possibly devastating impact, on my health. Employers are enriched. Health-care providers are enriched. Advertisers are way enriched as providers compete for our attention. The only entity that comes out demonstrably poorer, is me!

Yes indeed, the Ownership Society is certainly about something. It's about how I'm going waste my remaining years.

Thanks to Kathy at Stone Soup Musings for inspiring me to get this one in the bag.

9 Comments:

and as we waste away we can have the joy of seeing our possessions repossessed.
Well said, Kvatch.

The 'Ownership Society' nonsense is a good example of something I have a hard time convincing people of — that folks on the right (the sincere ones, anyway) are the starry-eyed dreamers and idealists, and the lefties are the hard-nosed realists. In a perfect world, everyone would be blessed with the innate ability to invest their money wisely. But this is hardly a perfect world. The 'experts' with years of training often make bad investments. What chance do the rest of us have?

Privatized social security? Health savings accounts? They're right-wing fantasies. In the real world, most people lack the expertise to be competent at these things, and they're too busy earning a living to also earn degrees in all the disciplines necessary to be successful.

Unfortunately, the cynics on the right, like Bush & Co, know how to take advantage of the idealists on the right.
But were it not for the ability of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and crew to connect with BP to buy London's oil market, we might not have had our Blair bitch to help us topple Saddam over the petrodollar.... If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the minnow would be lost...

Check out Eli Blake at Deep Thought today on the budget.
Yes indeed, the Ownership Society is certainly about something.

Yep, it's about enriching the financial services companies and bankrupting even more seniors (which the government has made more difficult for them to do).

Social security is the one government program that has worked efficiently and done what it was created to do for 70 odd years. Analysts, economists and other experts have all said it can be strengthened and secured in order to remain solvent. Privatization is not necessary, it's just a ploy designed by corporate America to get their hands on more of our money.

Kvatch, I'm just about ready to join you in saying count me out. However, I also want out of ALL taxes. I no longer want the government to spend my money on illegal wars. I don't want the government to spend my money giving contracts with no oversight to companies like Halliburton, KBR, etc. I don't want my money being used to subsidize the salaries of our corrupt politicians. They don't speak for me, so what am I paying them for?

I could go on and on - seriously. I'll pay taxes to my state and also locally for fire and police protection, and I'll buy a gun to protect myself when a terrorist shows up at my door, but please don't ask me to support the federal government if they gut the social security program and continue to gut the social safety nets that protect our vulnerable citizens. Those are programs I'm willing to fund with my taxes - not illegal wars and corrupt corporate welfare.

It's time for proportional, shared sacrificing in this country. Those with the most should be sacrificing the most and those at the bottom should be sacrificing the least - if anything at all. We've become a mean-spirted country and those at the top are to blame.

Sorry, but I just had to vent. I feel better now. :-)
But were it not for the ability of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and crew to connect with BP to buy London's oil market, we might not have had our Blair bitch to help us topple Saddam over the petrodollar...

Well Lily, we here at Blognonymous invest all of our retirement dollars in Halliburton and hussies. "Petro and porn," is our motto.

I'm just about ready to join you in saying count me out. However, I also want out of ALL taxes.

Hmmm...don't think I'm with you on this one Kathy...you wild-eyed libertarian you. :-) I actually don't mind my taxes when I know the money's being well spent. Not so now, obviously, and there's no way I want a privatized SS system that does nothing, in fact harms, the original system's solvency.
Hmmm.. I work for JP Morgan. Should I feel guilty? =/
Nah, it was all in the works before you were probably born, back in the thirties this whole mess was predictable.
All hail the professional money manager. If there was an occupation to get into these days, that would be it. Bound to grow by leaps and bounds. The best thing about being a professional money manager? Even if your clients win or lose cash, you still collect your fees. Sounds like a win-win-win all around for those in that profession. Just don't ask them about their ten to 30 year return rate for their portfolios. You don't want to see the real results otherwise you would put your money in a matrress.
I actually don't mind my taxes when I know the money's being well spent. Not so now, obviously, and there's no way I want a privatized SS system that does nothing, in fact harms, the original system's solvency.

You're right of course, but that clown in charge of our country gets me steamed and I go nuts sometimes! Maybe that's the plan - drive us all crazy so they can get away with more bad ideas.

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