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Social Security: Benefits Outweigh Its Problems

August 1, 1995



Social Security: Benefits Outweigh Its Problems

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None of the points raised in the opinion-page article ''Privatize Social Security,'' July 13, mentions unmitigated benefits to workers who switch to proposed personal investment plans.

First, since consumption by retirees comes from the production of contemporary workers rather than from the production of the retirees during their working years, savings by workers will not necessarily ensure an adequate income when they retire. Second, if billions of dollars are redirected away from the federal government into private hands, the federal government will simply borrow those billions elsewhere, resulting in no decrease in interest rates or increase in economic growth. Third, under a privatized system retirement accumulations would be reduced by premiums for death and disability insurance provided automatically under Social Security.

Although improvement is certainly possible, on balance the Social Security system is an efficient mechanism for transferring income from the working population to those deemed unable to support themselves adequately because of age, disability, or the death of a spouse or parent.

Eric J. Klieber Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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