You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Reply #16: Fear of 'pension fund socialism' drives the 'Social Security reform' [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-23-05 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
16. Fear of 'pension fund socialism' drives the 'Social Security reform'
effort too, but the White House and Rethuglican Congress have been much less candid about this than Ahnold's allies. Most people still don't realize just how radical Dubya's second-term agenda has become.

For Rethuglican ideologues, much more is at stake in Social Security "reform" than a huge payoff to greedy Wall Street supporters (20 percent of FICA as "management fees" for privatized Social Security).

For ultraright economic thinkers, including especially Alan Greenspan, designer of the currently up-for-grabs 'Social Security Trust Fund', nothing is more frightening than the prospect of workers' collective ownership of voting rights affecting the governance of large US corporations. As Social Security moves toward negative cash flow in ten or fifteen years, the right fears pressure from baby boomers will become overwhelming to "pre-fund" their retirement benefits with centrally-managed investments in stocks as well as T-bonds. When Greenspan was in charge of Reagan's Social Security Commission 24 years ago, he was very careful not to create any structure that would assure his 25 percent FICA tax increase would actually be invested to pay Baby Boomers; Social Security benefits.

The ultraright is incredibly afraid of repetition of successful progressive efforts, like South Africa Disinvestment, to use ordinary Americans' economic power against continued control by wealthy stockholders over the world's pursestrings. This is an aspect of the Social Security "reform" debate that has gotten very little attention so far. For this reason, I found this passage from the NY Times article especially informative:

"Some opponents of privatization also detect a subtler agenda among those pushing private accounts - to silence the voice of workers and their pension fund managers, who oversee some of the largest institutional investment accounts in the nation.

Calpers has been a leader in an effort to bring greater accountability to corporate boardrooms. It pulled its money out of tobacco companies in the 1990's, voted its shares against Michael Eisner, chairman of The Walt Disney Company and leaned on the Philippines to do more to protect worker health and safety.

Critics say the role of pension funds is to safeguard their members' money, not make social policy. "There is an overriding issue of what happens when you have these superlarge retirement systems straying from bottom line of the benefit of members and straying into corporate governance, even social engineering," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. "A motivation for us, as you move to a system of individual accounts, is that over time you will depoliticize the retirement system in the state of California."

(From http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/23/national/23calif.html... )
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC