Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Social Security and the Markets

     One of the central tenets, if not the central axiom, of the "Markets do it better" philosophers is based on the idea that markets set correct prices.  One of the central premises of the Bu$hCo Fraud[1] known as "reform" of Social Security is that individuals will invest their own retirement portfolios.  Accurate pricing assumes that the buyer can choose between the available options.  There are, however, thousands of stocks available on the New York Stock Exchange and the American Exchange, and many thousands more on NASDAQ and regional exchanges.  The "new" entrant into the market will more likely than not put their money in a firm whose name they already know, namely, the Blue Chip and Fortune 50 firms.

     Markets, because no buyer knows the full range of options, are inefficient pricers.  I am not, in this post, even going into the central promises and government theory bases of a national pension program.  What does government theory say about encouraging citizens to adopt corporate risk?  Stocks represent an adoption of risk, for a probability of a reward.  Adopting risk is, in effect, the opposite purpose of a government pension program.  There are flaws in the Social Security program, and there are issues to be addressed.  The privatization plans do not address the flaws, and the current debate is not addressing the issues.

     As computer people say, "Garbage In, Garbage Out."

     [1] Like the war in Iraq, the Bush administration has already decided that Social Security will be partially privatized.  Nothing anyone can say or do will change their goals.  This is like the Iraq War, most notably, but also like most every other serious program pushed by the Bush administration.&nsbp; There is no god, Mr. Bush.

No comments: