Social Security Is Still DOOMED a Samuelson Unit from Now

Well, the Social Security Trustees Report is out, and, as has been reported every year since 1993, Social Security is still destined to collapse over three decades from the date of the release of the report–a unit of time I like to refer to as the Samuelson Unit after columnist and fucking moron Robert Samuelson. I point this out because, if the 1993 predictions had been accurate, we should have only seventeen years (give or take) until the Trust Fund is dry.

Yep, the pessimistic estimates keep on keepin’ on. Unfortunately, our idiot press corps is unable to discern the basic facts of Social Security, such as the Board of Trustees is mandated by law to use incredibly low rates of economic growth when making its predictions. So, like it or not, we’ll be subjected to another annual go-around of Club for Growth fuckers explaining how important it is that we cut aid to widows and orphans, even though there’s no need to do so (face it, guys, FDR won in 1932–get over it).
I noticed that the component that supports disabled workers and their families really jumped this year. There’s a simple reason for this: workers who lost their jobs and can’t find work are filling disability claims (do manual labor for thirty years, and your body will be pretty beaten up). It doesn’t help either, that the Bush administration has fought any extension of unemployment benefits; this is a great way to encourage people to file disability claims.
Update: Also see Brad Delong and Paul Krugman.

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7 Responses to Social Security Is Still DOOMED a Samuelson Unit from Now

  1. Mark P says:

    It all works together to screw the average laborer, who is considered and treated as a replaceable unit in the manufacturing process. Let a poorly-paid laborer without adequate, or any, insurance coverage, suffer a significant injury and he is likely to end up unable to continue in his job. He is then discarded as broken equipment.

  2. MRW says:

    Ummm… not really.
    With this report, the predicted date has remained between 2040 and 2042 for the past 7 reports.
    Are the reports good predictors? Probably not, but the predictions have been +/- 1 year for the past 7 years, which means that your Samelson unit analysis is nonsense.
    (Note: on the larger point, I more or less agree: the prediction is designed to be pessimistic, which means that the problem is not as large as some make it out to be and may even be solved indirectly by improved economic conditions)

  3. Chris says:

    I can’t help thinking there’s another big source of disabled people right now: war. How much do disabled veterans contribute to the disability numbers?
    Or is the war really not as big as it looks compared to the almost inconceivably huge economy?

  4. Mark P –
    People applauded the change in corporate terminology from the humanizing “Personnel” to the dehumanizing “Human Resources.” Supposed to be some advance in company-labor relations. I think it was more revealing as to how organizations really view their people. Your comment illustrates clearly why.
    Man, whenever I hear Stephen Moore of Club For Growth talking about privatizing Social Security and I just have to wonder how anybody could buy into it, considering the wonders that privatizing has done for Sallie Mae and Fannie Mae. Corrupt Financial Aid officers, mortgage lenders, auction bond lending to municipalities….
    Yeah, sure, give me the chance and I’ll turn my retirement over to the same guys who had such great success at Bear-Stearns.

  5. Kevin says:

    WHat? no no we’re not FIRING anyone…. we’re RIGHTSIZING!
    as in you don’t fit here anymore so take your crap and leave.

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