Nathan Smith is a professor of economics and finance at Fresno Pacific University, and the author of Principles of a Free Society and Complexity, Competition, and Growth. He blogs at Open Borders: The Case (openborders.info).
Privatizing Social Security is a good idea long term. But even in the short term, it could get the United States out of the liquidity trap while giving each and every American an ownership stake in the means of production.
In the Gilded Age, socialism, communism, progressivism, fascism, the welfare state, migration control, and other bad ideas were still young and relatively weak. The result was a mighty wave of betterment of the human condition whose momentum carried it well into the twentieth century.
Milton Friedman believed State-run schools strangled the productivity improvements to be had from competition; John Stuart Mill believed they strangled independence of thought. Both views have plenty of empirical support, says Nathan Smith.