January 15, 2005
Hacking the NYT
If anyone has an immediate urge to read this week’s NYT magazine cover article on Social Security (it’ll appear on-site tomorrow), knock yourself out. I was eager to read this one, so I went hunting for this one, and managed to dig it up, oh, two hours early or so.
The best arguments I’ve heard say leave Social Security alone for the moment until we’ve a) got money, and b) can figure out exactly how best to improve it. Kevin Drum says, simply, don’t worry your pretty little head about it. But even the Weekly Standard is urging against any rush to action.
But the tremendous momentum President Bush has given to privatizing Social Security means that, like it or not, something’s probably going to happen to the program very soon. The NYT article is a good run-through of what has happened to it since its inception, of the players involved in the debate now and how they came by their positions, and looks at some of the possible treatments.
The author ends, though, with a philosophical question that frames the issue in a way I like: To whom do we owe a greater debt — generations of the distant future, or of today and tomorrow?