James Russell, sociology professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, and author of the book Social Insecurity: 401 (k)s and the Retirement Crisis proposed three solutions this week to the looming Social Security crisis. Speaking to a group of one hundred at Case Western University on Monday, Russell argued for the expansion of Social Security, and proposed the following:
1) Workers should push for pensions.
2) Employers could put more money into Social Security
3) We could create public non-profit annuities
These three “solutions” are nothing more than pipe dreams and fantasies. First of all, any chance that workers have of pushing for pensions has been lost decades ago. 401 (k)s were widely accepted as substitutions for defined benefits (pension) contribution plans by the late 1980’s. Workers can ‘demand’ anything they want, but in our current economic state, they lack any real leverage to force action. The current “economic recovery” has been anemic at best, and workers in a lackluster job market are in no position to demand employers change course on their retirement plans. The idea that employers would put more money into Social Security is an absolute joke. Corporations have zero motivation and too much political clout to follow along with that idea. Finally, Russell floated the idea of “public non-profit” annuities. with little detail into how that could actually happen.
My take on this? All three are pipe dreams of someone who sits behind his desk in the land of academia. Expanding Social Security will further destroy the wealth of our younger generations. I have a better idea… Give us all the chance to opt-out of the Social Security disaster, and let us do what we choose with our money.