I came across a column this weekend that approached the social security debate from a perspective I had never heard before: the Social Security system, as administered, discriminates against blacks (especially black men).
Summing up the points:
- Because of a lower life expectancy, about half of all black men will never collect a SS check. On average, a black man will collect $13,400 less in benefits than paid into the plan.
By comparison, the same amount invested in low-rate T-bills would gain nearly $100,000.
- Because money put into the plan is appropriated into a general fund (instead of a private investment a person can call his own, and will to family members), basically the system is a conduit from the pockets of working class blacks to older white women (who tend to have the longest life expectancy).
According to the Rand Corporation (whoever they are), the income transfer from blacks to whites can be as high as $10,000 per person.
- The inception of the SS system was based in part on racist, paternalistic attitudes. The author contends that the 1937-38 Social Security Advisory Council engaged in stereotypical and elitist discussions as to why blacks, women, and farmers should not be entrusted with the responsibility of making their own retirement investments.
I found these points to be very thought-provoking. Is this justified, or is the columnist all wet?