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Just returned from my weekly stop at Wal-Mart and I got to thinking about this financial crisis. This week I've seen posts on several discussion boards asking whether money market mutual funds were safe. Now these people aren't talking about the high yield short term bond funds used by institutions and wealthy investors that are sometimes called money market funds. Those funds definitely take risks and more than one has gone under. But these posts were asking about retail money market funds like Fidelity Cash Reserves and Vanguard Prime Money Market. Funds that are sponsored by huge mutual fund families that will never, ever, let them break the buck. But I mention these posts because I think they show the lack of financial understanding even among posters to Motley Fool and Morningstar discussion boards.

So then I began to wonder what might have happened if George Bush and the extreme elements in the Republican party had gotten their way on replacing Social Security with private accounts. [I think private accounts would be great as a supplement to SS.] I'm talking about the element of the Republican party that wants to dismantle SS. Not even sure Bush is a part of that but that's where a lot of his support came from.

I can just imagine the panic among the financially uneducated, which includes a few management types I know along with a lot of low level hourly employees. Seeing the financial market meltdown and knowing your retirement money was going with it. There would be blood in the streets. Just one more reason I think we need to fix, not dismantle, SS, and soon. Bush wasted 8 years because he drew a line in the sand. Whoever the next President is, he needs to open a meaningful discussion and get something done. SS had problems when Bush took office but they could have been fixed with minor adjustments. The longer we wait the more drastic the fix will have to be.
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