Social Security and Its Discontents: Perspectives on Choice

By Michael D. Tanner | Go to book overview

6.
The Moral Case for a Market-Based
Retirement System
Daniel Shapiro

The economic effects of changing Social Security to a marketbased system are the subject of intense debate among public policy analysts. Will private investment boost national savings? Will it increase the rate of economic growth? What are the transition costs? These are all important questions. However, the primary concerns about changing Social Security to a system based on choice are moral, not economic. Social Security was accepted by most Americans on moral grounds. Ultimately, individual accounts will not be politically viable unless they are defensible on moral grounds. The morality of individual accounts is not, however, simply a strategic matter. Reform would not be justifiable if it were economically beneficial but morally suspect.

One might expect that a moral argument for a market-based retirement system choice would be framed in terms of classical liberal values, such as respect for individual rights and the liberty to manage one's own affairs. Indeed, such values are an important reason to give individuals the freedom to choose how to invest their pension contributions—but they are not the only reasons or the only values that direct us to a new retirement system based on individually owned, privately invested retirement accounts.

We live in a society that celebrates moral pluralism, where different values compete for the most politically significant award. While most Americans believe that individual rights and liberty are important, values such as fairness, community, and security are also considered important. When those values appear to be at odds, some people think liberty must be traded off for the other values. Thus, they do not consider arguments framed solely in terms of individual

Originally published as Cato Institute Social Security Paper no. 14, October 29, 1998, and updated to reflect current information.

-89-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Security and Its Discontents: Perspectives on Choice
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 388

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.