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The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Inventing a Crisis:
"But since the politics of privatization depend on convincing the public that there is a Social Security crisis, the privatizers have done their best to invent one.
Human interactions are all governed by a set of laws. Whether its politics or personal relationships, you can see recurring patterns of human behavior. Let's look at a scenario from a different sphere to better understand the SS mess.
Let's assume that your girlfriend wants to break up with you. She wants to end it because she has met someone new and wants to be with them instead. The most straightforward approach would be to just tell you "Hey, you've really turned into a creep and I met someone I like better", but instead, as is often the case people will hatch schemes to try to make things easier for ourselves.
So instead of just coming out and telling you that you no longer tickle her fancy, she might:
1) Invent a crisis, pick a fight and use the ensuing argument as a justification for the breakup. How many people have found their long term relationships torn apart by a simple argument over the toilet seat or how you never can decide where to go out to eat?
2) Start suggesting that you would be better off without her, by suggesting that "You deserve somebody better" or by issuing certain ultimatums about the future. I've heard at least one story of a girl saying that she "just doesn't want to get married right now" only to break it off with one guy and jump into a marriage with some other chap. That's right bud, she didn't want to marry you. Sorry.
For the record, my last breakup when along the lines of number 2, only she didn't run off and get married, but she did have someone else already lined up. I started to get little hints that I might be better off with some girl that would want to get married and have kids. This despite my assurance that my immediate plans didn't include either marriage or kids.
She never quite understood my fatalism...
So I knew what was coming, it was just a matter of "when". Months after the breakup she announced that she would be moving out of state. I knew why she was moving but she seemed hesitant to admit it. And when she finally did confess that she was moving to be with someone else I already knew who and where. I can only assume that she thought she had been clever about hiding her true motivations, but it was painfully obvious what had happened.
I tell you this little story to illustrate a point.
The real motivations for the push to Privatize Social Security are easy to decipher. It would mean an end to a successful government program that proved that government programs CAN be effective at solving social problems; it would be an incredible boon to Wall Street as an influx of money and a bonanza in various fees and it would tip the labor market even further to the advantage of employers as some potential retirees would be forced to work longer into their golden years.
So why don't they just come out and say it? "We want to pad the pockets of our Wall Street buddies, tighten the screws on the working class and prove once and for all that the government exists for the sole benefit of the wealthy and powerful."
My guess is that its so we don't have an ugly scene where we throw these yahoos out into the streets and piss on their briefcases. Instead we seem to accept the inevitability of Social Security's demise even though the cost to (really) fix it would actually be less than the current privatization scheme. We'll think that its our own bright idea to throw our money into the toilet behind a promise that we'll strike it rich like Warren Buffet and spend our twilight years relaxing on a yacht despite the fact that we worked for peanuts most of our lives.
But then again some people are genuinely surprised when their ex shows up with a new guy on her arm, a huge rock on her finger and little ones on the way when she had just explained to you earlier that week that she just "needed a little space to think things over".
Hope, and thus gullibility springs eternal.
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