fingfool,So many of the respondents on this issue are intelligent, educated and capable of handling their own retirement programs. We could leave them alone and they would be fine.Trouble is, they are one general group of the populace -- where is the response from the people who don't even have a computer let alone an understanding of the financial implications or a desire to know??In many respects this has become a "me" society. I saw a response that asked why "the responsible young have to now care for the irresponsible elderly."Conversations like that do not deserve a reply. Society has a responsibility to provide support for, lacking better words, the less fortunate.You wrote:I hope you are not suggesting that since we can force people to save with SS, we could force them not to abuse their credit cards by controlling the process from Washington.Why are you expanding on my remarks? This is a silly supposition.I do believe forced savings is one of the best ways to help resolve the problem. Expanded 401K programs and those programs instituted by some unions allow for participation in the market and the programs have a conservative bent. There is little gov't involvement as far as I know.On the other hand, do these people to which you refer understand the Social Security system sufficiently well to make intelligent voting decisions about it? It's all about informing and educating people.No, I do not believe they understand the SS system. Nor do they understand the market. I agree education is critical, starting in the schools.In my former life, I talked to the guy on the line every day, as I did the guys in the laboratory and in the corner offices and never noticed this edge of which you speak. I am more familiar with the have/have not terminology coming from our Washington politicians when they need to invoke some emotional appeal to class distinction in order to pass legislation.And how did the conversation go? Did they discuss the market and SS as we have on this board? Did they participate in a 401K? Did they debate the merits of the S&P 500 Index vs the NASDQ 100?I actually meant "line" to be a more general term not as in "assembly line". Some of those people do very well especially in unionized shops or in high dollar product manufacturing.If you have not seen the edge you are walking past it or you don't get out enough.I think the reduction of the middle class is well documented.H.