Thursday, April 21, 2005

Zogby bias on Social Security?

Oh really?

In a paper Cato published two years ago, the pollster John Zogby said that there was "no correlation between support for individual accounts and stock market performance" and that the appeal of the accounts was primarily based on Americans' desire to control their retirement finances.

The story didn't reveal what Zogby thinks Americans want to do about Social Security, but I have to ask, was pollster Zogby masking his own opinion about private investment accounts by presuming to know the will of the American people?

Okay, the story didn't mention a specific poll Zogby conducted, but those details are important if a story is supposed to appear objective. Hanging a statement like that out there without proper citation is just bad journalism. Sure, I think that given a salary that allows people to meet their basic needs and save, most people would like individual retirement accounts and the security of Social Security--that's why it's called Social Security.

Although Zogby was generally considered a fair pollster during the 2004 presidential election, I'll have to pay more attention in the future.

By the way, for more on polls and polling methodology, a good authority is Paul over at Public Brewery.

As for the CATO Institute, it can quote anyone it wants to, but it has a clear agenda - some might say a radical agenda - to limit the role of government in every sphere of life.

In an April 18th memo to Karl Rove, Ed Crane (President of CATO) said:
...with regard to the "risky scheme" arguments, I think it's ironic that the people who appear so concerned over the growing wealth gap in America are the one's [sic] who refuse to allow low- and moderate-income Americans to accumulate wealth. The investment-risk argument was used in 1983 when the Greenspan Commission refused to even consider personal accounts. Yet the DJIA is now 10 times higher than it was at the peak in '83. How much longer will we deny lower-income Americans an opportunity to participate in the wealth-creation engine known as the U.S. economy?

To which I would reply, how ironic it is that the same people who appear so concerned over allowing personal accounts are the ones responsible for the growing wealth gap in America, refusing to allow low- and moderate-income Americans to accumulate wealth by making them low- and moderate-income Americans.

How can people save if their incomes have been stagnant or falling over the last thirty years when adjusted for inflation? How can people accumulate wealth when rent, food, utilities, kids and all the rest come first? How is it that the DJIA is 10 times higher than it was in 1983, but the incomes for average Americans are stagnant? How is it that Bush and the Congress can cut taxes year after year for milionaires and billionaires while ignoring their obligation to help raise the living standards and quality of life for all Americans?

Indeed Mr. Crane, how much longer will we deny lower-income Americans an opportunity to participate in the wealth-creation engine known as the U.S. economy?

Of course, why bother to give people an opportunity to accumulate wealth if, by your actions, you intend to take it away later by forcing them to pay back a national debt that is skyrocketing to the moon and beyond. Maybe that's what Bush was talking about when he suggested the United States should be working on a mission to Mars.

1 Comments:

At 4/21/2005 06:20:00 PM, Blogger PRB said...

Thanks for the cite. My own impression of Zogby is that he's something of a quack. Nor am I alone:
http://publicbrewery.blogspot.com/2005/03/west-wing-polling.html

 

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