Let’s put on our thinking caps. If privatized Social Security does not benefit the poor, and if middle-income people will have to pay for the destitute elderly, so it doesn’t benefit them either, then why does anyone want it? And why do they want it so badly? Like, enough to dedicate half the State of the Union address to it, together with a two-day tour through the boring square states in the middle of the country? Who does benefit? Rich people. That’s right. After all, does anyone, anywhere, for any reason whatsoever believe for one instant that George Bush is worried about the old-age incomes of future generations of middle-class Americans? Has he ever worried about anything like that before? Come on. This is the tax-cuts-for-therich, no-bid war president. Bush’s constituency has noticed that the stock market went into free fall after 2000, a full year before Osama struck, and its recovery stalled a year ago. With the huge budget deficits brought on by tax cuts and the war against ments from other sources. They themselves will have wisely hedged their bets by diversifying their portfolios and investing in France, where economic conditions appear to be more stable. It is interesting to note that the experts who wrote the paper on the mixed results of pension privatization in Latin America were not sociologists, actuaries, or economists. They were finance experts. Here is what they had to say about the rationale for privatization: “One of the additional benefits expected from the reform of pension systems in growth in capital markets.” Essentially, the experts are telling us that because the more savvy and mobile investors invest abroad, privatizing pension funds can, essentially, create an enormous new pool of suckers dumb enough to bet their savings on their own national economies. However, the experts report that privatizing pensions did not even spur growth in the capital markets of Latin America because the what was it? Iraq? Iran? Osama? Obama? I forget. Anyway, the dollar is at a record low against the euro. Soon now, investors who hold our free homeland’s debt will begin to withdraw their funds because of the dollar’s continuing decline. To keep their dividends up, rich people are going to need billions of bucks pouring into private invest You can make a difference in the world Be Part SolutiOn of the L Domini Social Equity Fund offers growth opportunities through a portfolio of stocks selected for their social and environmental performance. Domini Social Bond Fund provides diversification while supporting homeowners and small business owners in struggling communities. Domini Money Market Account offers safety and liquidity through FDICinsured deposits that help promote community development. You should consider the Domini Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Please obtain a copy of the Funds’ current prospectus for more complete information on these and other topics by calling 1-800-530-5321 or online at wwwdomini.com . Please read it carefully before investing or sending money. Visit www.domini.corn or Call us at 1-800-530-5321 The Way You Invest Matter? The Domini Social Equity Fund and the Domini Social Bond Fund are subject to market risks and are not insured. You may lose money. The Domini Social Bond Fund’s community development investments may be unrated and carry greater risks than the Fund’s other investments. The ….] Domini Social Bond Fund currently holds a large percentage of its portfolio in mortgage-backed securities. During periods of falling interest rates these securities may prepay the principal due, which may lower the Fund’s return by causing it to reinvest at lower interest rates. DSIL Domini -ag SOCIAL INVESTMENTS the economy and the labor force should be taken into account. Let’s take these points one-by-one, shall we? First: The poor did not benefit because they could not save. As a matter of fact, poor people are notorious for having empty bank accounts and limited stock portfolios. This is why we call them “poor.” Number two: The commission costs were high. Also understandable. Private companies charge more than the government for their services because they depend on profits. For them, breaking even isn’t good enough. Breaking even does not pay for private jets, lavish birthday parties on wholly owned Greek islands, thoroughbred race horses, and stuff like that. Administrative costs are therefore going to be higher. Number three: Higher-income people should help pay for the poor. Whoops. What happened to the “ownership society”? Who wants to own an old person with no savings? Raise hands? Number four: Adequate and realistic data are necessary. Excellent advice. In the United States, we understand that our system is entirely solvent until 2042, at which point benefits will have to be cut about 30 percent if current economic and demographic trends continue. Psssstby then, the earth will be 10 degrees hotter overall, half the population of Africa under 40 will be dead of AIDS, most Americans will be dead of toxic fallout from the Clear Skies Initiative, and the few gringos still alive will be on their way to Mars \(also a bankto address the problems of 2042, why not start with something more crucial, like planetary viability? Number five: Effective monitoring is necessary. Hey! You guys in Texas! Remember Enron? This could happen to you. Again. And finally, Ms. Crabbe tells us, the characteristics of the economy and the labor force should be considered in a conversion to private pensions. Here, our expert is not really talking about the economy, as in employment and retirement. She is talking about what Mr. Bush is also talking about without mentioning itcapital markets. FEBRUARY 18, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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