|There is great outcry in the media over Enron's and Worldcom's shady
accounting practices that led to a mismanagement of funds, over the
stock options which allowed them to bail out profitably before the
prices fell. Questions abound about insidious plots to boost
stock option values at the expense of the future health of the company.
For those of us who see through the sham that is Social Security, the
surprise is ironic and totally unexpected. How could the same
who accept Social Security -- with all of its shady accounting practices,
with all the politicians that reinforce this Ponzi scheme in exchange
short-term gains in votes -- be appalled when executives display the
tendencies as private citizens have for years?
Well, I maintain that a CEO who exercises a contractual right to sell
is not as sinful as a person who sells his vote to some politician
in order to
coerce the politician into transfering someone else's dollars into
Many people are upset, especially those with the most investments: The
older people in this country. They are upset because stock prices
fallen, the moral fiber of the country is eroding, regulations aren't
enough, and so on. What's a retiree to do?
Well, anyone with a lick of sense can review economic data from around
the world that plainly indicates more freedom in the markets produces
per capita income, not less. And more market controls increase
of money and individual rights between the powerful and the weak; there's
strong evidence of that as well. That is to say, the freest markets
world have the largest middle classes, so this is clearly a
Why are we so quick to request more regulations?
Making some tighter accounting rules might be prudent, but making
additional regulations on corporate compensation plans will hinder
companies and executives who handled their similar CEO compensation
plans just fine, so these regulations should be reviewed with great
and wariness about over-regulating and encumbering a fragile free market
that functions best when finagled the least.
But let me get on to my central challenge. I propose a test: If
security supporters and politicians are so fed up and want more regulation
of private industry, let's apply the standards they're crying for to
largest retirement fund in the U.S. right now: The Social Security
That's right: Let's take all the current and new regulations to be
and apply them to the Social Security fund for a few years just like
has to do. After all, it is a security fund, right?
Surely seniors will rally around this cause, as it only makes sense
rules for private and government organizations live up to good
practices. Hire an independent, private organization to review the
Stop co-mingling funds with the general budget, and put the SS budget
back as a line-item budget. Show what debts we're leaving for
Show us what we are paying for today, and what debts we're leaving
Let the ants see the grasshoppers as they eat the winter stores.
Or, as my relative said, maybe we should just stop asking questions.
Our kids will have to figure out how to clean up the huge debt, so
worry about it?
Hogwash. Let's stop fooling ourselves. America is all about special
for special people these days. Every block of voters wants a
tax break or a
handout so congress gladly obliges when each lobby approaches them
the votes-for-handouts scheme called the federal government.
tax code is proof enough of that: there's a break for everyone.
there's the 60% (and rising for the last 40 years) of the budget devoted
handouts. Is there any doubt?
We were all supposed to be equal, weren't we? What happened to
notion? Why aren't citizens screaming about these unequal
government, where the workers and savers are punished and spenders
rewarded to the tune of 60% of the budget, way up from the 5% we handed
out in the 50's?
Let the senior citizens, America's greatest generation, who won WWII
with their valor and heroism, start the charge to becoming a wholesome
nation again: Call for Social Security to be scrutinized using corporate
accounting practices. Document the huge debts we're leaving our
Publish the books of this "enormous unfunded liability" we're leaving
for our kids in the greatest rip-off in American history.
 Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, after the Enron announcement,
stating how the SS fund was in the same boat as Enron.