Thursday, January 20, 2005

Does Bush's Social Security Plan amount to public governance of the top 100 publicly held companies?

This article got me thinking about a possible unintended consequence of Social Security privitization. The article explains the meddling of state pension funds in corporate governance.

Let's imagine for a second that Bush pushes through his Social Security refrom and that trillions of dollars over time get poured into the stock market. The speculation is you'll have a scant few options to choose from. More than likely, these options are going to be blended bond (as in Fannie Mae type bonds I'd think) and stock index funds. It also seems that the Social Security Fund managers will have just as much power as these state pension funds. This would in fact create a system where the largest corporations are state controlled. This may create a atmosphere of refreshing accountability, but let's be realistic. Corporations will bribe lawmakers to run rivals into the ground. There will be threats that if "so-and-so" legislation is not passed/tanked then profits will suffer. Large corporations will have an even larger seat at the table, blending the "third-rail" of politics with the corporate lobbyist. If Johny congressman doesn't tow the line, Aunt Ethel is going to vote him out of office when her private account doesn't perform up to par...this is a bad idea.

You a round about way Bush is adopting a key plank in Ralph Nader's platform. At one point Nader was calling for the top 100 publically traded companies to have it's officers elected by the public. Who knew Bush was so progressive...


Blogger The Angry Engineer said...

Hmm, excellent observation - I hadn't really thought of SS reform in this way. I already feel that corporations are de facto fascist communist (or more accurately, Stalinist) institutions, but this makes the relationship between the corporate world and the government even tighter. When the state becomes an instrument of those who control the means of production, is it still capitalism? I would argue not.

It seems to me that John Maynard Keynes deserves a posthumous bitchslap for what his theories did to our economy, but I'm not sure I have sufficient understanding of the topic matter to make that conclusion.

6:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home