terça-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2005

Reformar a Segurança Social...

...é acabar com a transferência de rendimento dos trabalhadores activos para os reformados e acabar com a noção de poupança compulsória (coerciva).

Um solução de compromisso seria fixar o subsídio de desemprego e a pensão de reforma num valor equivalente ao salário mínimo (que por acaso devia ser abolido, mas isso é outra conversa) permitindo adoptar um tecto de constribuição máxima, ou seja, uma subida dramática do rendimento disponível (e livre) das famílias.

Sendo o imposto da Segurança Social de cerca de 33% do rendimento, o que significa que a sua abolição aumentaria de imediato em 50% os salários brutos, querem então perguntar quem abdica voluntáriamente do serviço compulsório de seguro de rendimento e poupança de longo prazo? Tanta conversa sobre liberdade, liberdade, e os sociais democratas de esquerda e direita não percebem o quanto se assemelham a qualquer ditadorzinho?

George Reisman: "(...)Here is an alternative, pro-free-market reform of Social Security that I suggest. It is one that many readers will find extremely radical and perhaps frightening as well. I put it forward in the hope that it will serve as a starting point for further discussion leading to the achievement of the ultimate goal of economic freedom.

First, following a period of two to three years to allow time for necessary adjustments to be made, immediately raise the Social Security retirement age from 66 (which it is scheduled to be as of 2009) to 70.

This, of course, would be a major disappointment to everyone who had counted on starting to receive a Social Security pension sooner. Fortunately, there is a way to give these people a substantial form of relief, which would go a long way toward alleviating their hardship. That is, at the same time that sixty-six year olds are denied entry into the Social Security system, enact for their benefit a “senior citizens' employment-income tax exemption” in the amount of, say, $90,000 per year, which is equal to the current maximum income subject to the Social Security tax. The far greater part of the taxes thereby waived for these seniors on their income derived from employment would be taxes the government would never have collected in the first place, since most of the seniors would not have been working otherwise. The elimination of the government's payment of pensions to this group would far outweigh any loss of revenue from those sixty-six year olds who would have worked and paid taxes on their incomes even in the absence of the rise in the Social Security retirement age.

This income-tax exemption should be extended and enlarged year by year until it embraces everyone in the 66 to 69 year-old age group. And, of course, it should be progressively increased from year to year to keep pace with rising prices and rising wage rates. Indeed, it should eventually be extended to apply to everyone 66 years old or older. States with income taxes of their own should be required to adopt the same tax exemption. In this way, the years remaining in life past today's customary retirement age might become truly “golden years” for millions of people, who at last would be freed of the burden of income taxes on their earnings derived from employment.

The retirement age of 70 should be retained perhaps for as long as fifteen years, to make it possible for all workers aged 55 and over at the time of its enactment to take advantage of it. Thereafter, however, the Social Security retirement age should be gradually increased further, to 75, over, say, a twenty-year period, rising at the rate of one calendar quarter for each passing year. Thus, workers aged 54 at the time of the reform's enactment would be eligible for social security at the age of 70 ¼, while those aged 35 at the time of its enactment would not be eligible until the age of 75.

The Social Security system should accept no new pension recipients after the end of this twenty year period. In other words, it would be closed to workers 34 years of age and younger at the time of the reform's enactment. These workers, who would be ineligible for Social Security, would all have ample time to make their own provision for the future. The Social Security system itself would progressively decline and ultimately disappear as its pensioners passed away.

The government's very considerable savings from reduced pension obligations over an initial phase-out period totaling almost forty years from start to finish, should be earmarked for reductions in the Social Security taxes of the workers who will never be able to enter the system, i.e., in the above scenario, workers aged 34 and less at the time of the reform's enactment. As these workers advance in age, new workers will be entering the labor market. There will thus be an increasing number of workers to bear the burden of the Social Security system's final phase. This will permit Social Security tax rates to be steadily reduced on this group, until they disappear altogether.(...)

The end of Social Security and its diversion of funds into government consumption—the return to private, individual saving and provision for the future—will mean a great increase in saving and the accumulation of capital, because the savings of individuals will be invested, not squandered. This, in turn, will mean a more prosperous and more rapidly progressing economic system, in which the standard of living of everyone, young and old will greatly improve.

The only really proper reform of Social Security is the gradual abolition of the whole system."

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