About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

WSJ Publishes My Solution To The Social Security Solvency Problem

America was founded on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise so it was an indication of how far we have moved away from these principles in learning that young adults & women think the American dream is out of reach in a recent WSJ/NORC survey: 46% of men & only 28% of women said the ideal for advancement for hard work still holds true.  Only 28% of Americans under 50 have a positive outlook on getting ahead.  People say they need a 50% pay raise to be happy.

Brought on by their incomes losing ground to inflation & the rapidity of an 18% increase in the general price level since Biden took office, Americans are feeling the effects of the mixed economy that is really more than 50% socialist. The federal government's limitless deficit spending is really not fulfilling but just lets people muddle through life on government dependence never knowing the "triumph of high achievement" in the words of TR's Man In The Arena.

Complicating the socialist economic problem for these young people is that many of the former grade A companies they work for have stymied their upward mobility by adopting Woke cultures centered around antibusiness non-financial aspects of the ESG movement, equality of outcome policies of DEI, a super alertness to perceived racial prejudice & discrimination - even when none exists - to the point of absurdity following the hateful teachings of Critical Race Theory, & a broader awareness of social inequalities such as racial justice, sexism, & homosexual, bisexual, & transgender rights.  It would be hard for a new Ivy League MBA with $100,000 of student loan debt to want to work for an employer adopting these types of policies - these MBAs are looking for meritocracy & advancement.

But what they are finding is trouble "in terms of their perceived ability to marry, raise children, own a home, & plot an autonomous course to have control of their own financial destinies - the fundamentals of traditional middle class citizenship." - The Dying Citizen, page 40, Victor Davis Hanson.

A case in point - The Walt Disney Company recently filed an SEC statement admitting  "We face risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment, travel, and consumer products, which impact demand for our entertainment offerings and products and the profitability of any of our businesses."  Specifically, Disney has infamously dabbled in politics by attempting to place homosexual & queer content in children's school programs - fighting the state of Florida & the preferences of parents who are their paying customers.  See Parental Rights In Education law.

Since much of this wokeness has spread to Police Departments & the U.S. military is there any wonder that 2,500 NYC policemen have quit in 2023 & the military faces recruitment shortfalls?

To address the significant portion of the country that is not concerned about meritocracy & advancement of career but rather prefers time to contemplate the correct work-life balance - especially while their parents are helping out - the country obviously needs a change of mindset from a "you deserve, you're entitled to" mindset to one of even limited personal responsibility for a start.  Just listen to TV & radio commercials to see how much stuff advertisers tell people they deserve for free, & of course this mindset delivers anything but freedom.

The federal government runs 126 separate & often overlapping anti-poverty welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute, like the 33 housing programs run by four cabinet departments or the 21 different programs providing food or food-purchasing assistance.  But make no mistake, federal government spending is powered by Social Security & Medicare & unless the new president is willing to tackle these gargantuan entitlements our financial miseries as indicated above will only get worse due to increased longevity of older American beneficiaries & the smaller payroll contributions of people unconcerned about working.  And both Biden & Trump offer no help saying they have no intention to address Social Security & Medicare entitlement funding @ all.

Now I have offered four solutions for America's financial problems: 1) replace the Medicare plan with one of premium support to buy private insurance using a nominal dollar demogrant, unadjusted for inflation, for people younger than 55, 2) change the basis for the initial Social Security benefit to the CPI instead of the national average wage index to ensure that benefits do not grow faster than the cost of living, 3) cut, cap & balance federal spending @ 18% of GDP, & 4) replace the federal income tax & IRS with the FairTax Plan.  Go to the search bar on the upper left side of RTE to find any of the numerous posts I have written explaining in detail all of these solutions - all of which get some play in the financial media from time to time.

So with the above as background, I was delighted when the WSJ published my letter below on November 16 regarding the Social Security solution.

Dear Editor,

John F. Cogan and Daniel L Heil's excellent op-ed (Older Americans Are Better Off Than Ever - November 10) points out that "the typical senior household today enjoys Social Security benefits that have twice the purchasing power of benefits received by the average household in 1982."

A beneficiary's initial benefit is based on the national average wage index, not the inflation rate.  Because real wage growth has been greater than inflation, purchasing power has doubled since 1982.  Indexing the initial Social Security benefit formula to inflation instead of this wage index would solve the Social Security solvency problem.  By using the index, the government is guaranteeing a real positive return for the average person, a guarantee no other investor has.


  1. Wow, really enjoyed your latest article.

  2. Enjoyed reading your post but did your letter to the editor get cut off/shorten? I share your concerns. I cannot understand why large corporations like Disney would adopt Woke ideas at the cost of decreasing their profits for their shareholders….. I don’t understand why the silent majority remains so silent….. does the silent majority still exist?

    1. The editor treats every square inch of his paper as if it is gold so you learn to be succinct if you are to have any chance @ all of being published. The only point they omitted from my letter was my acknowledgement of the originator of the SS solvency solution - "This solution was first presented on these pages by Susan Lee in November, 2004 & confirmed by Amity Shlaes in November, 2007." Make sure you understand my letter because that is "All You Need To Know About Social Security'' - the title of Susan Lee's column in 2004. It really is that simple. Please let me know if you need further explanation of any points - or of the other three policies I presented.

      In the case of Disney they have Woke employees who were very vocal & wanted their employer to fight Florida's laws protecting children. Companies cannot get the help they need so they more often than not acquiesce to their employees' demands. They are afraid of being labeled racist or anti-homosexual which they think will hurt their businesses more than the ESG, DEI, & Marxist positions they take. This feeds on itself like the abortion issue as the society continues its secular decadent slide.

      This is part of why the silent majority no longer exists. They have been intimidated just like the corporations. This all starts with undermining the education system of the country so that people are ignorant of what is happening to them. That is why we need a Return To Excellence & comments like you wrote that add to the discussion.