I agree about bread lines, and I was not at all suggesting privatizing was a good idea: it's mad. I was only noting that if you can do the math, you see why it's mad. Nancy >>> [log in to unmask] 02/23/05 9:59 PM >>> In a message dated 2/23/2005 6:31:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes: No one doubts this in other fields. Patients may have views of any one doctor, but it really takes a specialist in brain surgery to know if another one is qualified. "Anyone" may have views on the privatization of social security, but unless they know what economists can document on the data and financial impact, they cannot really "assess" its long-term impact. We all drive cars, but whether they are really safe in their design takes engineering knowledge. This dismissal of knowledge is simply anti-intellectual and silly. I'm not an economist, but I can tell you with certainty that if they privatize social security AND allow elderly people to take it out as they please, then we will have a society of old people on the streets in bread lines. Privatizing part of it and giving people the option of "safe" investments may be okay, as long as they cannot withdraw more than a certain amount per month when they reach retirement. Otherwise, there will be many elderly people who be victimized by their desperate children and friends and scam artists and they will end up with no income at all. As for brain surgery, I'd stick with the experts.