Social Security account

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gambheyhey

Senior Member
Chinese
Allowing young people to own their Social Security accounts, the assets of which would be invested productively instead of wasted by Washington politicians, would also enormously aid our economic future.

Doesn't young people in US have their own SS account? I thought every US citizen or green card holder has one. This sentence seems to suggest there's an age limit for getting an SS account. Or, maybe the word "own" suggests the SS accounts of young people are owned by the government? I don't get it.

Can anyone clarify this issue? Thanks.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    1. Doesn't young people in US have their own SS account?

    2. I thought every US citizen or green card holder has one.

    3. This sentence seems to suggest there's an age limit for getting an SS account.

    4. Or, maybe the word "own" suggests the SS accounts of young people are owned by the government?

    I don't get it.



    1. Some do, some do not. You need to clarify what you mean by "young people".

    2. False. Not every U.S. citizen has a social security account. Many "Green Card" holders do not. A so-called green card is no longer green. It is an identification card for those with conditional or unconditional permanent resident status.

    3. I see no such suggestion. Where do you find it?


    4. Everyone with a social security account begins to accumulate vested rights to a future
    payment stream. This is not, strictly speaking, ownership. It is a functional equivalent to
    ownership of vested rights in a pension plan. What the original sentence is suggesting is
    really not about ownership alone, but a combination of ownership and control of investment decisions. It is a call for those assets attributable to a young person with a social security account to be invested, rather than in the general coffers of the federal government.


     

    BellaDancer

    Senior Member
    Now, every child born in the US is required to have a Social Security number.

    I agree that this is a political statement. There was a proposal from members of the Republican party during the presidency of George W. Bush to allow people to invest their government benefit Social Security in the stock market. This was known as the "privatization of Social Security." If they had succeeded in implementing this drastic change, it is likely that people would have lost a lot of their investment a year ago when the present economic crisis became catastrophic.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    While I agree with the (very short-term) analysis offered by BD, it is not entirely accurate. The proposal was that a small portion—10 % I believe—of the present value of an account be directed towards private sector investment. There would have been, in some cases, a substantial loss, in the range of 25% to 40%, for that portion during the period from the market peak to its lowest level. The other sides (there are many) of the dispute is that those investing at the trough would have already enjoyed substantial gains, and that market returns for much longer periods, which are the appropriate, real-world measures for a retirement account, have been much better in the private sector than the inflation-adjusted gains provided by the Social Security Administration.

    The one underlying fact on which there is no dispute is that money paid into Social Security today is not invested at all. It is used by the federal government for purposes that have nothing to do with Social Security, in addition to being used to pay benefits. This is akin to other accounting shenanigans performed by most governments.

    Most citizens have little or no understanding of the way the system really operates, and are either swayed by promises of higher payouts (the Bush position) or terrified by equally unsubstantiated cries of fear and doom (the populist rejoinder).

    Lies, damned lies, and political statements! Both sides are guilty.
     

    BellaDancer

    Senior Member
    Allowing young people to own their Social Security accounts, the assets of which would be invested productively instead of wasted by Washington politicians, would also enormously aid our economic future.
    It seems that our views of the politics differ, but to help our friend gambheyhey, we agree that this is a reference to a political proposal about managing money in a government entitlement program.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Yes, we differ in that I question whether "invested productively" is a verifiable fact, a likelihood, or a bogus claim, while you seem to reject it as a possibility. The author of the quoted statement presents it as if it were factual. It is not. It is a supposition that may come true, or may turn out to be utter nonsense. In fact, depending on the time horizon chosen for analysis, it may be both.
     
    Last edited:

    gambheyhey

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks for clarification. I was puzzled because I confused the word "own" with "have". Those young people, they HAVE SS accounts, but they don't necessarily OWN them, which means they are not allow to control the asset of their accounts and invest them, or do whatever they want with them. Am I right?

    Please don't be mad at me. I am really dumb about stuff like this.
     

    BellaDancer

    Senior Member
    Thanks for clarification. I was puzzled because I confused the word "own" with "have". Those young people, they HAVE SS accounts, but they don't necessarily OWN them, which means they are not allow to control the asset of their accounts and invest them, or do whatever they want with them. Am I right?

    Please don't be mad at me. I am really dumb about stuff like this.
    You are doing very well! It is a difficult question even for native speakers.

    "Own" is not used technically or precisely in the sentence you have quoted. You have the sense of it exactly right. It is not a question of "ownership" as a legal term.
     
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