President Clinton has called for a "national conversation" on reforming the ailing Social Security system, which is projected to become insolvent in fifteen years when large numbers of baby boomers begin to retire.

Systemic changes to Social Security are needed now to protect the retirement security of millions of Americans. Privatization—allowing workers to invest their own retirement savings in the stock market—is one solution.

How risky is investing a nest egg in stocks? A stock market analysis 1802 to 1992 shows that stocks have never produced a loss over a twenty-year period.

The best return for any twenty-year period was over twelve percent, while the worst was one percent—still better than the prospect young workers face of getting nothing from Social Security!

Because retirement savings are invested over a long time, sometimes as much as 40 years or more, the risk of stocks is low and the gains are many times higher than Social Security.

Michigan can take part in the president’s conversation by asking that states be given the option of implementing their own privatized retirement systems. American workers deserve to make their own decisions about their golden years.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.