Nudging us into giving up on our Social Security
Well, well, well. I was looking over my money situation and realized I hadn't seen my annual estimate of Social Security benefits that's been coming every July for years. Hmm, I wondered, did I throw it in the wrong pile? Or did the feds cunningly decide to terminate this service as one more step in the path leading the American people to believe that Social Security will not be there for us and there's nothing we can do about it?
You guessed it!
Googling for "social security annual statement" got me to this helpful page, where the gummint explains that
In light of the current budget situation, we have suspended issuing Social Security Statements.
You may be able to estimate your retirement benefit using our online Retirement Estimator.
I'd really like to know how much money it saved them to do this. As much as they would save by suspending drone attacks in Pakistan for a year? You can bet not.
Yes, I got the same information they would have mailed me, by fishing out my most recent tax return and entering the right information. But how many other people have the time, energy, and attention to think of doing this.
Listening to my colleagues, especially the younger ones, over the years, I've been hideously impressed with the effectiveness of the quiet campaign to induce disbelief in our entitlement to our pensions. Correction: it's not so much disbelief as an absence of belief, and even more effectively, an absence of attention.
Yeah, "Nudge", baby!