Monday, March 1, 2010

When in Greece....

Sometimes I wish we could just get rid of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid right now and just get it over with. Greece is currently in the process of getting rid of their entitlements. Greece is now bankrupt. Their socialist society has imploded on itself. There is no more money left to pay their bills. They have a high tax and high entitlement society, and there is not enough money to go around anymore. The government had no choice but to start cutting entitlements. They even started with small entitlement cuts. But the Greeks are not having it. There is mass rioting in the streets. 80% of the government work force is on strike. Government offices, schools and universities, and their airport are all closed. Even train, bus, and ferry services closed. They are short on gasoline, and Carter era 1970's style line-ups are taking place at the gasoline stations that still have gas. This is what happens at the point where the unsustainable socialist economy can no longer run. Is this the "socialist utopia" you are looking for Obama? This is the direction America is headed, and we will get there even faster if Obama can ram through his health care plan.

I believe the first time I really understood how Social Security works was when I entered my finance program in college. Now believe me, I know that a college degree in any field does not necessarily an expert make, but even the most preliminary investigation into Social Security reveals the frightening reality that it is a house of cards. It is a ponzi scheme as I discussed in an earlier post. They do not and never did even invest the money we put into Social Security. It is immediately spent. I knew at 20 years old that I would never be able to retire and live on Social Security and Medicare. I don't believe it will be around at all by the time I get to the age of retirement. And if it is still kicking around in its death throes, the benefits will be scaled back so much that I won't be able to do much with it.

These programs have turned our country into a socialist scheme wherein the government takes money to hand over to the elderly. But the money comes from their children and generations to come. I have had money taken out of my paycheck to pay for Social Security/Medicare since I was 16 years old. I was earning $4.25 an hour. How dare the elderly take that money from me! I was a child! And I will never see any of it back. They are taking it from me today. I have children to raise! I would rather have that money for myself right now to invest and use to raise my family, especially since I do not believe I will ever receive Social Security myself. It will be bankrupt. The projections change all the time for the insolvency of the programs. One current projection is this year (2010). But now that the baby boomers will start retiring this year, the only way to stave off the end of it all is to raise taxes and lower benefits ad nauseum until the house of cards comes crashing down notwithstanding all of these efforts. And then myself and my children will be left with nothing. But they all feel so entitled to it, even though studies show that the average elderly person uses three times more in Medicare money than they ever paid into the system.

So my question is this: Do we begin the end of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and other entitlement programs now peacefully? Or do we wait until we have no choice? And if we reach the point of no choice that Greece is at now, do we transform back to a capitalist society? And do we work together, or do we riot in the streets and shut down life as we know it?

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