: : Tell me what is compassionate about disregarding a method of creating financial independance through prudent investments that is time tested and has, bar none, the greatest track record in history of doing so.
: Because YOU have been privileged to earn enough to invest in America's bubble economy, you presume that anyone can.
: Fact: '71% of households own no shares at all or hold less than $2,000 worth in any form, including mutual funds, 401(k)s, and traditional pensions.' (Business Week, 1 Setember 1997, p. 67.)
Fact: 'Today, 76 million Americans, members of 43 percent households, own stock or stock mutual funds. This Represents a 126% increase in shareholding over 15 years.' (The Rise of Worker Capitalism Cato Policy analysis, p. 1, Executive summary.)
Fact: 'From 1989 to 1995, the Survey of Consumer Finances reported an increase in median stock holdings from $10,400 to 14,500.' (Ibid. p. 4)
Fact: 'From 1995 to 1997, the number of individual accounts in equity mutual funds rose from 70.7 million to 103.6 million--a 32.9 million increase.' (Ibid. P. 4)
Fact: 'During the 1990s, most of the growth of stock ownership occured withing defined contribution plans. In 1996, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) developed a databand of 2.5 million participants in some 23,000 401(k) plans. Workers in their twenties had account balances averaging $6,000; those in their sixties had on average accumulated $67,000. Among workers with 20 to 30 years tenure, accounts averaged over $100,000. Plan participants with over 30 years of tenure averaged over $150,000.' (Ibid. p. 5)
Fact: 'The 1996 Retirement Confidence Survey, conducted by EBRI, Mathew Greenwald and Associates, and the Council of American Savings Education Council, found that "61 percent of workers reported their employer offered a retirement saving plan. . . that allows pretax worker contributions to the worker's own account. Three-quarters (74 percent) of workers who were offered a plan reported making contributions to it."' (Ibid. p. 6)
Fact: 'In 1996, 6 million nonmanagement employees had grantprice stock options.' (Ibid. p. 9)
Fact: 'Assests invested by individuals in tax-deffered IRAs grew from $200 billion in 1985 to $455 billion in 1989, $746 billion in 1992, and $1.347 trillion in 1998. In 1997, 58% of all investors held stocks in IRA accounts.' (Ibid. p. 9)
Fact: 'From 1989 to 1995, stock ownership increased dramatically in every age group, income bracket, racial cohort, and occupational category for whom statistics are available. The rate of increase was particularly steep among laborers and farmers (107 percent), householders younger than 35 (65 percent), and families with incomes under $25,000 (80 percent).' (Ibid. p. 10)
Fact: '50 percent of stockholders had incomes of $50,000 or less.' (Ibid. p. 10)
Fact: 'The NYSE estimates that 10 million stockholding families have incomes of $25,000 or less.' (Ibid. p. 10)
These are just some particular gems I found in the policy analysis. I left out most of the commentary and stuck to the hard facts. I suggest, however, that you check out the actual report, it is at www.Cato.org (Sorry, I can never get those hyperlink things to work...probably a correlation between my inability to use computers effectively and use Windows hehehe).
McSpotlight: David, I don't mean to sound rude, but quoting the Cato Institute as your sole source isn't really going to persuade many of the opposition here; the Cato Institute has something of a reputation...