Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Waiting for the Overman to fix Social Security

Democratic blogger Matthew Yglesias, who blogs at the American Prospect site, muses on a post from Brad Delong about Social Security reform. Apparently privatizers are using models which assume a slower rate of economic growth in the next 75 years than in the last 75 years, an assumption most transhumanists would find preposterous. Yet they are arguing for putting eggs in the stock market basket based on the assumption that the stock market will grow at the same rate as the last 75 years. Then Yglesias point out the obvious absurdity of policy projections 75 years in the future.
75-year forecasting is a bit silly. I told a colleague this morning that by the time we retire, the first batch of super-productive genetically engineered ubermenschen should be coming on the market and will solve all our problems. He replied that the ubermenschen might turn on their creators and oppress us. (There's no universal social insurance in Gattaca.) The point is that if economic growth is as bad as the trustees think it will be, this will generate all kinds of problems for everyone and everything, problems that will extend to the stock market and hypothetical private accounts (to say nothing of the federal General Fund). Conversely, if the economy grows fast enough to keep the stock market generally healthy, there is no Social Security problem.
Yo Matt. Wanna blog here also?