Public Support For Privatizing Social Security

I rarely agree with Paul Craig Roberts' views, but I do agree with his suggestion in "A Social Security system that's putting America's to shame" (Economic Viewpoint, Mar. 27) that Social Security be privatized. I am 31, and I seriously question the viability of the system by the time I plan on retiring. My wife and I both contribute to our 401(k) programs at work, and we also make nondeductible IRA contributions to the best of our financial capability. A quick calculation shows that if we could contribute 15.3% of earnings (Social Security plus Medicare contributions from employer and employee) until I reach the age of 65, we could earn more than $500,000 for every $10,000 in earned income if we put the money into an index fund and realized that investment's historical returns of 11.8%.

This would certainly take care of our retirement needs--and increase our take-home pay as well as the capital needed for private investment. The system must change eventually; why not a change that benefits everybody?

Michael G. Shuman

Brighton, Mass.

Paul Craig Roberts' case for privatizing is a convincing solution to the Social Security debacle.

When the world financial markets see some serious political support in Washington for privatization of Social Security, confidence in our country's resolve to put our financial house in order will be restored. That would be a major boost to the ailing dollar. Privatization would also lower the cost of capital by adding billions to the capital markets. The resulting increase in investment and economic activity would create jobs, expand the tax base, and help reduce the budget deficit. The political leader--and I stress, leader--who can sell this to the public should have a bright future indeed.

J. Laurence Jones III

Charlotte, N.C.

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