December 01, 2006

OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, REVISITED and one final mention of metaphors


Caption: Ferdinand the peacock knows all about asset building.

It hasn't been that long ago that President Bush talked a lot about his idea of "the ownership society," which consisted of privatizing public goods like Social Security, shifting tax burdens from wealth to wages, and transferring wealth upward.

"Owner class" society might have been a more accurate term.

But the basic idea of promoting wide ownership of assets--such as homes and savings--is a good one as long as it doesn't come at the expense of the common good.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund has an interesting idea to do just this:

Congress should protect Social Security's guaranteed benefit and promote ownership with a new Universal 401(k) that offers all Americans a private retirement account on top of Social Security. The Universal 401(k) would include generous $2 to $1 government matching contributions for initial savings of low income families, and $1 to $1 matches for middle income families...Finally a Universal 401(k) system would include a single, portable account that benefits families by continuing to provide savings incentives for those between jobs or for parents who take time off to raise children.


This could help millions of families save and build assets and promote economic growth without threatening the safety net provided by Social Security.

That one might be a keeper.

FINAL WORD FOR NOW ON METAPHORS, MIXED OR OTHERWISE

El Cabrero is starting to think that thinking too much about metaphors can be a losing proposition, like robbing Peter to spite your face or going around with an albatross on your sleeve.

GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ANALOGOUS TO A HIGH FLYING CONDOR

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