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March 16, 2005


I'm really puzzled by this description of the poll to which you link, which has strong support for doing something (72 percent say the program is heading towards crisis, or in one: Q4) and fairly strong support for partial privatization (56 percent support optional stock market carve-out: Q9g). When you use this as support for saying "the reality is that private accounts are dead," I must admit that I'm puzzled. "private accounts are dead" is not the conclusion I would draw from this.

If my own bias matters, I tend to think that partial privatization might be a good thing, but is not important compared with the two future-technology issues: (a) dramatically improved productivity, which would make the problem go away, vs. (b) dramatically increased lifespan, which may make the problem tremendously worse. (I expect both, but not on any predictable schedule.) I don't believe this bias has anything to do with my puzzlement at your "private accounts are dead" conclusion.

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