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.