Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Social Insecurity


I was listening to NPR the other morning, trying to wake up enough to get out of bed, when a phrase caught my attention: "privatize social security." Good idea, I thought sleepily. I heard the reporter ask: "What do people think about being able to control some of their own money?" She went on: "Let's interview this nice lady -- early forties, married, kids, good job, etc..."

"Oh, heavens, no, I wouldn't want to try to do my own investing! It is so complicated, and I just don't know enough, and the stock market is so risky." I snapped awake. The next person said basically the same thing. And the next!

By this time I was wide awake, screaming at the radio. "Give these people the Motley Fool Investment Guide! Wait! What was her name? Say her name again, and her city! I will mail her my copy!"

The reporter went on blandly quoting some statistics -- something about 54% of men and 66% of women are against being given even partial control of their retirement income. I don't remember the numbers exactly; it was so horrifying, I just sat there in shock.

The thing that really scared me was, just a couple of months ago, I thought exactly the same way.

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