SENATOR OBAMA: THERE IS A WAY FOR AMERICANS TO SUPPLEMENT THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY OR OTHER RETIREMENT INCOME THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
You want change, Senator Obama? Here’s an idea that might take you back to the very roots of the Democratic party of yesteryear when it still believed in individual rights.
Social Security income—or any retirement plan for that matter—could be supplemented using junk mail. This approach would solve the problem of those who hate junk mail, turning some of them into believers, and it could be a boon to the industry. And, those loyalists who choose to sit at home and shop will finally be rewarded for something that already comes natural for them. It would also appease the movement to stop unwanted junk mail. See earlier post. First, let me cover some of your positions on Social Security and retirement.
As our next President, you would want to protect Social Security, and one of the ways you would do this is through using the payroll tax system by increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security. You are “forcefully” against the privatization of SS, but want to help Americans save more in some form of automatic savings plan. The latter could be accomplished by re-directing half of the income realized annually by junk mailers ($4 billion) in the sale of consumers’ names and personal data. And, why not?
Without this name-holder and their sensitive data, there is nothing for the list industry to sell, so it is only right that these individuals should be compensated for the sale of their names and private information. At the same time, they take control over their sensitive data, and determine just who may have access. I am not suggesting that they take ownership, just control. I call it the Name & Personal Data Annuity (NPDA), and it works this way.
Junk mailers gross $4 billion annually from selling names and personal data, and this continues to grow each year. It is actually a by-product of the sale of their merchandise or services, and consumers have been kept in the dark for years over the manipulation and sale of this private information. NPDA would not only provide rightful compensation to the name-holder, it would also give them the power to determine just who can use their personal data.
A consortium would be formed with both private (privacy advocates/business) and government oversight. Junk mailers would forward half the income from monthly list sales ($2 billion per year) that would be invested in a national account similar to Social Security at a simple interest rate. As an example, the lucky participant who starts this method of shopping at age 18 (and a great majority do) could supplement their retirement income in an average amount of $607 monthly. The more you shop, the more your name is sold, and the higher that $607 goes.
Even the 78 million baby boomers you have quoted that will be retiring in the next ten to twenty years have a shot at realizing benefits from NPDA. There is another advantage. Through the accounting methods that the consortium would use to screen junk mailers who sell their mailing lists, organizations like the FBI and FTC will have better insight into their activities, and will be able to weed out more of the crooks.
Senator Obama, I sincerely hope that you will take a look at my NPDA concept, and consider its incorporation into the party platform for the November 2008 election.
See additional posts on supplementing Social Security with junk mail here, here and here.