Friday, March 20, 2009

Email to Andrew Sullivan

Just sent the following to Andrew Sullivan (I suggest you read this first in order to better make sense of what I wrote):

A couple of points regarding the 57 year old that wrote to you in defense of the social security system:
  • If he experienced drastic reductions in earnings over the course of the "past couple of years" then why has he been forced to rely on savings for daily living for a total of the "last 6 years"?
  • Furthermore, if he truly had "a fairly reasonable nest egg some years back" then why was he able to deplete it so quickly? How is it that a fund that was supposed to last him literally the rest of his life has run dry in the matter of a few years even while he claims to be working 6 days a week?
This doesn't add up at all. Either he has some terrible spending habits or his nest egg was thoroughly inadequate. I suspect it is some combination thereof. I am tempted to further point out that if he hadn't had social security deducted all of these years that he would have a much better financial cushion at this point, but based on his letter he probably would have blown through that too.

Lastly, how does this amount to an argument against opting out of social security? Why should his incompetence mean that the rest of us shouldn't be given this option? The best I can figure it, it's only an argument against such an option in that if those of us who actually know how to handle our money left the system then those who would rather outsource their financial management to the government would be left truly high and dry.

But then again, maybe it isn't my job to make up for their incompetence or lack of discipline.



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