I've long been cranky about the politics of Social Security—Generation X folks like me look like we're gonna get screwed. But part of the politics is people sowing confusion about economics. One can de-confuse one's self by reading Mike Brennan's long post at his blog Does It Hurt to Think? about Trusting The Fund: A Citizen's Guide To Social Security's Trust Fund.
I assure you that most young people know nothing factual about Social Security's finances, or its future prospects. They're not alone. The public at large is more or less clueless—even persons whom you might suppose to be quite intelligent and well informed. Why is that? How is it we've failed to understand this most important of government programs? The question is especially crucial in the present political climate, with all the furor over whether or not we're in the midst of a fiscal crisis, and what should or shouldn't be done about it. Social Security has always had its critics, but now they've been empowered in a particularly significant way. A lot depends on the citizenry understanding who is telling the truth. It wouldn't hurt if the man on the street understood a bit about how the system works.