Free Markets, Free People

Nanny State savings


ne of the most insidious things about the development and expansion of the Nanny State is the programs that pave the way usually sound like a "good thing".

For instance, who wouldn’t think that saving for your future isn’t a good thing? Anyone? However, doing so if you so choose is the way a free people would approach that subject. Which is why, even though it may sound good to some, I would adamantly oppose any government savings program imposed on us:

The White House and congressional Democrats, with the backing of the AARP, will soon put forth a plan to automatically enroll new private-sector employees in investment retirement accounts (IRAs).

The measure will apply to new workers at firms that don’t currently offer 401(k) retirement plans, according to AARP, the lobby group for seniors. Workers would have the choice of opting out of the accounts.

Now most of you will spot the fact that the worker at a firm that doesn’t offer a 401(k) now is already able to open an IRA should they so choose. What the government and it’s crony – the AARP – are planning to do is change the choice. Now you will have an IRA unless you opt out.

Can anyone tell me where the burden will fall to ensure compliance? I mean what’s the natural collection point for this sort of paperwork? What entity will have to provide the initial paperwork as a matter of routine when the new employee is hired, ensure the option is presented and, if the employee chooses to open an IRA, provide assistance in doing so as well as provide the automatic payment allotment to the IRA?

And, last but not least, there will be a need for a new government bureaucracy to monitor and ensure compliance. In fact, this is just another in a long line of intrusions that most freedom loving people would say is none of the government’s business.

Defenders of a program like this would claim there’s nothing wrong with it, savings is good, and besides, new employees have an opportunity to opt out.

Well, right now, they have an opportunity to opt in. And that’s the point. Those who want to can choose to do so now without any government involvement or business compliance involved at all.

This boils down to another burden and cost imposed on business and yet another intrusion by government under the auspices of "you are unable to make smart choices for yourself, so we’ll do it for you".

Is anyone yet growing tired of that?



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14 Responses to Nanny State savings

  • The really slick part will be who selects the actual IRA.  If someone is enrolled in an IRA, there has to be some place, or fund, into which the money is to be placed.   Anybody want to bet some AARP sponsored fund will not be among the choices?    Maybe, even the default.
    The next step will be to decry to low level of participation in funding the IRA.  So, the logical next step will be to “automatically” deduct to the IRA.

  • Dunno that these are even connectible dots, but there is a VAST pool of money in retirement accounts that the BIG GOVERNMENT types have lusted after for decades.  This could provide the first step in a mechanism to capture that resource.

    • BINGO!!!!!!!  Exactly where I went with it.  Don’t want the proles spending it on things that we can’t lay our hands on and convert to ready income.

  • A retirement fund provided by the government and managed by the government?  Sounds good!  Maybe we could give it a catchy name, like “Social Security.”

  • Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds more like another move in the Machiavellian chess game to keep the Ponzi going in the US. Once they convince you to ‘save for your own retirement’ (hey, what a concept!), then the choices are made clear: if you want to participate you MUST invest XX% in UST’s. In other words, a stealth confiscation of your hard earned money which the worthless pols will debase for all it’s worth.

    • Oh, NO, Tail…  Why, they would put it in a sacred trust…with a lock-box and erery thang.  What must it be like to be sooooo cynical…????

  • But increased savings will lower consumption, and we need consumption to stimulate the economy! Unless those IRAs are invested in US Savings Bonds, so that the government will use the money for consumption to stimulate the economy while individuals are saving.
    The perfect system!

    • Yep. These ideas, if they are to be implemented, should be done during better times, not now.
      I am on the fence about this sort of nanny state policy…one the one hand its forcing people to do things, but on the other hand, by making people responsible for saving for their retirement, it might take some of the burden off the state later on to take care of people who didn’t save a red cent. Since that’s paid for by taxpayers, too, it seems unfair either way.

      • But they’re already responsible for their own retirement – always have been. It is the state which has intruded and is now interested in intruding even further.

        • This kind of points to one of the great lies from Social-istic Insecurity…
          Many working people think that their employer is paying for half their retirement.  That is simply untrue.  The worker pays every penny; it is all the cost to the employer for hiring that worker.  If not for the tax, all would go to the worker directly.

  • Rags,
    Twin sons of different mothers!