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Free Money Finance

Why Does the Government Have to Get Involved in Retirement?

Posted: 29 Dec 2016 02:05 AM PST

Ugh. For some people, "get the government involved" seems to be the answer to everything.

In particular, here's a piece from the NY Times saying that the government can be the solution to our country's retirement "problem"

A summary of their thoughts:

A requirement that employers siphon money out of every employee's paycheck and put it into a retirement plan (unless the worker opts out) would both promote self-reliance and create a foundation for a safety net.

First of all, is there really a retirement problem? I've posted before on how little people have saved for retirement and readers have asked if there really is a problem. Maybe there isn't. Are we trying to solve an issue that doesn't exist?

Second, isn't Social Security a safety net? If not, what is it? If so, why would we need another one?

Third, getting the government involved in just about anything decreases efficiency by about 50%. Or at least that's the number I just made up. But really, it almost never helps.

Finally, what about personal responsibility? What about people saving for themselves, you know, like reasonable people should? Are we so stupid that we don't understand the basics of saving for retirement? Are we so dense that we need the government, who obviously knows better than we do, to step in?

Ok, I'll admit that people are not great savers. In fact, they are not great at a lot of things financially (that's why many commit some of the ten worst money moves anyone could make). But is having the government involved, even at a simple level, the solution?

Maybe it is. What are your thoughts?


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