ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIESS PROVIDED THROUGH RE-ENGINEERING AND / OR ABANDONMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM AND THE SOCIAL CONSEQUESCES
I. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
The idea of a fixed retirement age is concept of recent historical origin. The idea was first introduced during the early 19th century in Europe.
Before implementation of the pension concept, aging persons declining productivity became an economic drain on business and most often denied jobs to
younger, more productive workers. Also, unable to compete with younger workers force those still able to work into lower paying but usually more
physically demanding jobs. The consequent slide into poverty of the aged also forced an inordinate burden on their families and society .The absence
of pension arrangements often robbed our aged parents of their dignity, psychologically destroyed their self worth and left these formerly vital
workers in fear of having to work until death or rely and/or begging for the support of family or friends.
In recognizing the consequences of aging - its negative effect, draining families? resources, increasing their emotional burden and the consequent
challenge to the economy - led governments to the development and implementation of what we know as the Social Security System.
II. SOCIAL SECURITY IN THE UNITED STATES
Nowadays the developed nations of the world have systems to provide pensions and other retirement benefits to its aged citizens. In the United States
this system of retirement entitlements is called the Social Security System and is funded by ?contributions? (a euphemism, to make the tax sound more
saleable and palatable) by employers/employees with management services and the additional financial support it requires by the federal government.
The Social Security Program was created in 1935 (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) to provide old age, survivors, and disability insurance benefits to workers
and their families. Unlike welfare, social security benefits are paid to an individual or his or her family at least in part on the basis of that
person's employment record and prior contributions to the system. The program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and since
1965 it has included health insurance benefits under the Medicare program. While the original act used Social Security in a broad sense and included
federally funded welfare programs and unemployment compensation within its scope, current usage associates the phrase with old age, survivors, and
In fact it should be noted that the USA was the last developed country in the world to enact an old age/pension system. . In many poorer countries,
support for the old is still mainly provided through the family.
Once conceived as a ?voluntary system?, it became evident workers? non-participation threatened the intended goals of the program ? a system designed
to economically benefit society and reduce the burden on family units. Without full participation many families then would be facing a compromised
standard of living (The emotional drain also threatened to compromise the family and cause more undue suffering.) and the additional jobs openings now
available to younger more productive workers to strengthen the economy. Congress therefore eliminated the voluntary participation aspect making the
law compulsory with few exceptions.
III. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM TODAY ? THE IMPLECATIONS OF REFORM
In another section of this BBS - Politics & Scandals - a Poster argues against the changes to Social Security under the subject entitled - Social
He implies and argues that changes in the law were not in response to a change in society and its? social needs required to address those changes. But
are in fact violations of the laws original intent. Further more, he asserts than the expansion of benefits are actually furtively concealed
violations of the laws intent ? forcing an increased burden on taxpayers. Further he asserts these changes were exclusively the work of the Democratic
Party; and that today?s Democrats ? I assume to cover their complicity ? now accuse Republicans of ?want(ing) to take (your) Social Security away?.
The implications of his argument suggests things be made ?right? and ?reform? and ?modernization? of the federal entitlement program be returned to
its original ?contract with America?.
VI. SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
Repeal of Social Security has been the stated goal of the Republican Party since the program was first created in 1935. This goal has been extremely
unpopular with voters and has cost Republicans dearly at the polls. In efforts to improve the Party?s image, without abandoning its position to gut
Social Security, Republicans have adopted the strategy of ?reforms? and ?privatization? of the entitlement program, designed to improve their image
and prospect at election time. Their suggested reforms and improvements, if implemented will - over time - slowly limit the scope of the law?s
benefits; effectively gut the system; and bankrupting the social program positive effects and condemn it to the trash bin of history.
To believe that Republicans wish to do otherwise, in spite of their rhetoric, is to hide ones head in the sand. To entertain Republican sophistry to
the contrary is a waste of time. To deny the economic forces and accept the false monetary benefits proffered by its proponents is delusional.
V. THE APPROACHING DEMISE OF SOCIAL SECURITY
If George Bush is re-elected and Republicans maintain control in Congress we are assured the ?reforms? and ?improvements? to Social Security will be
enacted. These changes to the law will have a profound effect on American society both socially and economically. The inevitable result will be the
demise of the Social Security System as we know it.
Rather then whining at the Systems loss and focusing on the societal impact these changes will create and bemoaning the negative economic impact for
our older citizens ? who, frankly, have outlived their usefulness and become a drain on society?s resources - let?s be pragmatic. Accept the reality
that Social Security is dead and buried and move on.
A more realistic approach is to examine and plan for the investment opportunities this change offers the wise, forward thinking investor. Do not allow
an emotional reaction change or distract you from the profits which you might realize. Profit is not a dirty word. Remember it?s the cornerstone of
our capitalistic system; it make the wheels of progress turn.
Don?t allow yourself be distracted; don?t feel guilty. It is a noble endeavor. You have to feed your family too. Why you might say, ?It?s the American
way. It?s almost like being patriotic. Lets stop the moralizing. There?s no moral or ethical reason why you shouldn?t make a buck of the misery of
VI. INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES - FORWARD
Society changes and we must look to see what changes may occur, as what the impact of the demise of social security system and the investment
opportunities it will provide the savvy investor.
Position yourself to make heavy investments in the home building/renovation industries.
As life expectancy has increase over 20+ years since 1930 and continues to improve. Aging parents become infirm and can?t care for their needs. The
solution to seek placements in Geriatric Care facilities will be beyond the means of most. As S.S. benefits end (it currently underwrites much of the
costs of a placements) many families will not be able to afford the costs of placement for their parents.
Even at today?s rates, a placement is pricey. A decent extended care facility in, say Florida, cost almost $3000 per month.
Families will have to take Mom and Dad in and care for them. This means bigger homes to accommodate their parents. The need to build additions on
existing homes will shy rocket. Therefore, the home renovation business is a fantastic investment.
Other societal dislocation where a buck can be made
The short term loan, the Pay-Check loan business will be hot. Money will be tight and the ?tide yourself over loan will be the stop gap. Look to
private schools teaching basic nursing care to be a growth industry. Let?s face it. Basic nursing care is required to know how to clean bed pans or
roll a parent to make the bed. Another area of promise (as unfortunate as it might be. Remember, don?t go soft on me now) will be in legal services
business. The strain on family life will be making divorce law; children?s court services promising. Bankruptcy courts also will be an often
overlooked prospect along with their ancillary business service providers i.e. process servers, auctioneers, and inventory and recovery businesses.
The funeral industry will remain flat. No more folks can die the one?s that will no matter the dislocation. But the part-time placement agency may
show promise. Someone will have to give up the full-time job to care for Mom causing an economic strain. The search for part time jobs will have big
demand. Don?t look for opportunity in Geriatric care unless you are planning to sell short. And surprisingly the drug industry will be slow to no
growth ? the demand will be there but unless government subsidizes the industry ? no one will be able to afford to buy product.
On the International scene
With the decline in family income sure to occur, and the concomitant reduction in discretionary spending, will mean the flow of consumer products from
China and the Far East will decline improving our balance of payments. Don?t be in dollars. Invest in yen and Euros. The foreign car market will be
sluggish. But their will be a silver lining hidden in that cloud. With fewer care on the road; demand for oil will decline freeing us from the
clutches of the Middle East and at the same time improve the environment with cleaner air to breathe. If you look hard you can find the good. It?s a
crime the media just covers the bad news and give society such a distorted view of the situation. Really, it?s not that you feel bad; you just don?t
know who good you feel. See the difference?
One final and hot prediction
Because of the additional stress on society I predict a new and budding euthanasia industry where opportunities will abound will spring up. Be on your
toes for this one. It?s a real sleeper.
In closing I want to remind all my readers: There?s away a buck to be made by the savvy and aware investor. Good times or bad. Long or short. Look for
the misery and you?ll fine hidden opportunities galore.
[Edited on 31-5-2004 by Kano]