Social Security and Its Discontents: Perspectives on Choice

By Michael D. Tanner | Go to book overview

10.
No Second Best: The Unappetizing
Alternatives to Individual Accounts
Michael Tanner

While proposals for Social Security choice have been much debated, there has been far less discussion of the alternatives. Indeed, opponents of individual accounts often critique these proposals as if those reforms existed in a vacuum. They compare individual account proposals with “current law” and suggest that those proposals will provide lower benefits, or at least lower government-provided benefits. Or they suggest that the costs of transition to a private investment-based system will require tax increases.

But as Charles Blahous, executive director of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, has pointed out, “The essential problem with comparing reform plans with ‘current law’ is that ‘current law’ allows the system to go bankrupt.” 1

Impending bankruptcy is not the only problem facing Social Security. Payroll taxes are already so high that younger workers will receive an extraordinarily poor rate of return. In addition, Social Security contains a host of inequities that penalize working women, minorities, and low-income workers.

Most critics of Social Security choice focus only on insolvency. They implicitly assume that the structure of the current program is fine and changes are needed only in the program's financing. Therefore, the solutions they offer generally do not deal with establishing property rights, making benefits fairer to women or minorities, allowing low-wage workers to accumulate wealth, or even increasing rates of return.

Yet, even judging by their own limited standards, opponents of Social Security choice offer few concrete proposals.

Originally published as Cato Institute Social Security Paper no. 24, January 29, 2002, and updated to reflect current information.

-165-

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
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 388

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.