Excellent Letter to the AJC Editor

This guy did some fascinating research. The results are, well, what we all expected.
Private accounts not a pretty picture

Since Jim Wooten (conservative AJC columnist and Bush apologist) convinced me that private accounts will save Western civilization, I went looking for more facts and figures with which to amaze and convert doubting friends ("President's savings plan easy to grasp," issue, March 29).

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard and Poor's, said account holders may encounter "more risk than reward." How did that commie get a job at S&P? Bloomberg financial news surveyed 58 economists asking if the stock market would have returns of 6.5 percent, as used by the Bush administration in their private account calculations, if the economy grew at only 2 percent, as projected by the Social Security trustees. Thirty-nine said, "No." Well, who would trust unreliable economists who work for private businesses anyway?

Not doing so well, I turned to an evaluation of historical returns. Yale economics professor Robert Shiller ran 91 simulations with private accounts over working lives from 1871 to 2004. Private accounts would pay less than Social Security 31 percent of the time. Using projections by economists as reported in the Wall Street Journal, private accounts do worse 71 percent of the time.

Shiller must be one of those elitist professors who hate America. But Wooten says private accounts are great, so where do I sign up?

TED DARCH, Atlanta

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