Social Security:to privatize accounts or not?

Responding to Kerry Lynch's June 20 article "Social Security reform: A way to manipulate the market": This is one of the few articles I have seen which provides the opposing argument and actually gives good reasons why private investment of Social Security funds could be a bad thing.

Personally, I would like to invest my Social Security funds.

I am a little confused on a point that many Democrats are trying to make. I am not sure how privatization is moving away from the goal quoted in the article to "give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against ... poverty-ridden old age."

I fail to see how private accounts are going to hurt people. Their money will be there whether it comes from a government check or from investments.

Also, isn't it supposed to be optional to invest? People who are afraid of investing would still get benefits similar to the current program, so I don't see what there is to complain about.
David Chesney

High property tax: Where to draw the line?

Regarding the June 7 article "States try to ease property-tax rise": Having lived in New Hampshire for the past nine years, I can easily commiserate with people in other states who pay these outrageous confiscatory taxes, since New Hampshire is a leader in overburdening its residents with out-of- control property taxes. Sadly, the property tax is the tax on which New Hampshire bases most of its spending.

All the time that I've lived in this state, there has been a never-ending battle over how to raise enough money to pay for public schools, with no resolution. The majority of state legislators persist in ignoring the problems, and continues to nickel and dime the residents to death.

The main reason that residents continue to bear the brunt of these taxes is Washington's abandonment of the states to fund such idiocy as the war in Iraq and other neoconservative dreams.

Sadly, the only option that most people have left is to sell their homes and move, which for some means leaving the only home they have ever had.
Bill Sartori
Concord, N.H.

Improve impact of nonprofits

Your June 20 article "Too Many Ways to Divide Donations?" overlooked two critical facts about the nonprofit landscape. Most of the 1.5 million nonprofit organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service are either defunct or have no revenue, so the number of active nonprofits is much smaller.

More important, there already is an incredible concentration of resources within the nonprofit sector.

Discouraging new organizations and encouraging dissolution of under performing ones are very worthy goals, but we should not expect that them to make a significant economic impact. This is not to undervalue the work of smaller organizations, either: Many very small and community-based organizations perform vital roles in their communities.

On the other hand, no doubt many large nonprofits are much less effective than they should be.

Since it is impossible to predict where revolutionary innovations will come from, it may be reckless to try to control the number of charities Americans create.

The lesson is that putting energy into helping organizations improve their impact is more important than trying to reduce the number of organizations.
Peter Manzo
Los Angeles
Executive Director, Center for Nonprofit Management

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