Challenging the third rail: Iconography and social security reform [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 29 (1-2):95 - 103 (2001)
Abstract
The Social Security system is expected to go bankrupt in approximately 2032. The debate on how to reform the system currently revolves around the issue of privatization. Advocates of privatization claim that allowing individuals to invest some of their SSI contributions would provide greater returns and protect the system from insolvency. Opponents of privatization argue that such a move would expose individuals to excessive risk.The debate should be resolved through a rational examination of alternative proposals. Unfortunately, defenders of the status quo are again resorting to the type of iconography seen in other recent public policy debates. They are equating defense of the current government-financed system with protecting the elderly from evil predators who wish to "starve the old folks" for their own gain. The purpose of this paper is to show how iconography could harm future retirees by stifling debate on an important public policy issue.
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