Our American society values hard work and assumes lower and middle class workers can retire with confidence. Our Western culture respects the maturity of elders and wishes to provide for them. Our capitalistic economic principles strive to maximize competition and efficiency. Our democratic political system guides politicians to please constituents while making the best policy decisions for the entire country. A true American crisis is one that plunges these ideals into conflict. Because this issue threatens economic standards, societal mores, and political objectives, I feel that Social Security reform is the most important domestic issue facing my generation.
Economically, Social Security is a flawed concept. Nearly all of my peers assume that Social Security is like a savings account, money they give now is set aside for them when they retire. Unfortunately, the truth is that taxes from today’s young workers cover benefits for today s retirees. The money for the federal Social Security system goes out as quickly as it comes in. This won’t work forever. Life expectancy is increasing, while birth rates are declining.
In recent years, personal fiscal responsibility has become increasingly popular. I had never been interested in the economic realm before, but this exposure heightened my interest. I recognized that I needed to start planning for my future and have concern for those who have not planned for their own futures. The notion of Social Security reform was introduced and I began to read extensively about the topic. I realized that many individuals in our society don t understand the purpose of the stock market or the workings of our economy, but simply assume comfortable retirement is a fact of life. Social values conflict with a lack of economic knowledge. Living in a country still heavily influenced by the New Deal programs, many Americans also assume government should play a role in providing for that stable future. This is not a certainty though, simply a modern paradigm.