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Who's Pushing for Privatization and Who Wants to Strengthen the Current System?

According to an article in The Washington Post, one privatization proposal would pump $4 trillion a year into the stock market and investment brokers would stand to make over $240 billion in fees during the first 12 years.

The obvious answer to who’s pushing for privatization is Wall Street. According to an article in The Washington Post, one privatization proposal would pump $4 trillion a year into the stock market and investment brokers would stand to make over $240 billion in fees during the first 12 years. That’s why investment houses such as Fidelity, J.P. Morgan & Co., and State Street Boston Corp. have sponsored forums to spread the word that Social Security privatization will make everybody rich.

A variety of pro-privatization groups have sprung up — funded by Wall Street brokerage firms and other money interests: Economic Security 2000 raised huge sums from DuPont, Morgan Stanley and other big companies to develop grassroots support for privatization; Citizens for a Sound Economy, financed by businesses and wealthy conservatives, put millions into media ads and other public relations activities; the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has received millions from companies like American Express and State Street Boston Corp. to fund privatization research projects, conferences and seminars for members of Congress.

Those who oppose privatization in favor of strengthening the current system aren’t concerned about making money from either option. They just want future generations to have the same degree of income protection as those who came before them. In addition to labor unions, progressive think tanks such as the Economic Policy Institute, Campaign for America’s Future, and the Twentieth Century Fund have pointed out flaws in privatization arguments.

Also, nearly every senior citizen group — including the American Association of Retired Persons, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare — opposes privatization. Groups like the Center for Policy and Budget Priorities and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research have pointed out how privatization will disproportionately disadvantage low- and moderate-income workers, especially women. And the youth organization known as the 2030 Center has shown how privatization is a bad deal for Generation X. 

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