Social Security, School Vouchers, And Class Warfare
Social Security, what is the concept?
Social Security (United States) Wikipedia ..... In the calendar year 2004, it paid out almost $500 billion in benefits. .....
School vouchers Wikipedia .....
On Social Security the W crowd suggests private accounts. On public education they propose test scores and school vouchers. Both are lousy policy but smart politics. Politically they are trying to drive a wedge.
When you introduce private accounts, you are saying some of the money that otherwise would go into Social Security will no longer do so. So you weaken the Social Security pot. And those who do depend on their Social Security checks, as opposed to those for whom it is beer money, will get hurt.
I am not against private accounts. The Wall Street has a limitless appetite for money: that is how stock prices go up. But do that without messing up Social Security. So if people pay $10 of their $100 income to Social Security, they should continue to do so. But then they should turn around and save $5, and that money should go into private accounts. If you have such faith in Wall Street to take care of your retirement, I am sure you will scrimp and save the additional five dollars.
As for the politics part, there has to be a counter move. Maybe we should pass an amendment to Social Security such that everybody still chips in, but payments are stopped to those for whom it is beer money. That way you solve the insolvency problem.
On school vouchers, I am all for competition. And I do realize there are some smart students stuck in public schools that are sub par. But then those schools are sub par because they don't have enough money. So if you take away their money, they are going to end up even less good. So draining money from those schools is a very bad idea.
Instead there should be federally funded scholarships for those students. If you are in a public school, and you do well, you earn scholarships to attend private schools.
And we should at the same time increase funding for the sub par schools. You do that by making them less dependent on property taxes.
And I am all for test scores. But if you do not invest in increasing the quality of the education, and only invest in testing, what are you doing? Testing is the icing on the top. But W talks like it is the cake.
Stop the class warfare. Think in terms of the public good.
W is waging a classic class war. With school vouchers you try to pit a few less well off families against many less well off families. Normally they would stay united and Democratic. With private accounts, you pit the beer money people against those who really need it.
Like Britain, India and Pakistan. Britain said, you want independence? You can have it, but we are going to prove to you you will kill each other on your own. And so they organized a messy partition. The wounds have still not healed.
The powerless often are at the very brink of infighting. But it is not good policy to push them off the slope.