Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2001


The argument for Social Security privatization is, at bottom, simple: we need more, and better, advance funding of the public retirement system. In particular, we need to commit a portion of FICA tax to privately managed investment accounts, which will purchase investment instruments that promise higher rates of return than the government debt instruments in which the Social Security surplus is currently invested. The privatization debate has centered on the extent to which Social Security faces an impending demographic crisis during the coming decades, whether privatization is fundamentally inconsistent with the idea of social insurance, whether privatization financial projections are accurate, and whether privatization is a more rational means of securing and improving the financial status of retirees than the current Social Security system.