Tuesday, February 08, 2005

the "justice" of social security

i'm basically a liberal conservative. what this means is that my default pattern of thinking has be conservative from my childhood but it has been progressively becoming more liberal as i grow older (the exact opposite pattern of typical american political thought - more liberal at an early age becoming more conservative as a person grows older). the main part of the growth of the more liberal thought within my life has been centered on social justice issues. my desire for the poor to be taken care of is beginning to be the determining factor within my political thought. it is with that in mind that i want to talk for a second about the privatization of social security.

the typical conservative stance on this issue is to support privatizing social security as a means of getting the government out of another area of life. the standard liberal stance is to demand that social security stay non-privatized. personally, i want to see social security privatized but it has nothing to do with conservative thought. nope it has everything to do with social justice. right now minorities (especially african-americans) have a lower life expectancy. the average white male has a life expectancy of 74.8 years. the average black male has a life expectancy of 68.2 years. this means generally that african-americans who pay into social security get much less back from it than do anglos because they will must likely live 6 years less. african-americans are paying into a system that they will receive very little from. when they die none of the money that they paid into the system will go to their survivors, unless those survivors are below the age of 18.

privatizing social security will begin to provide an inheritance because a large portion of the money you pay into the system will be in your own private account. when you die that money can go to your survivors as an inheritance. think of the difference that could make. thing of the impact that it would have on a family to receive $50 to $60,000 at the death of their 55 year old dad. that money could buy a house and move a family into a better area of town and schools. this could change an entire family's life. i see this as a religious issue because i believe we should look out for the interests of the weak. right now the weak whose life expectancy is less are paying for the majority to be able to receive social security.


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