Social Security bedtime stories...

For those that don't see a difference between Social Security Insurance and the stock market (or any market for that matter), the following headlines may prove eye-opening. They certainly don't make good bedtime stories to read to the elderly, the disabled, or anyone else who may depend on an SSI check for their very existence.

The headlines were obtained from an Alta Vista search using the keywords "wall street". They are a representative sampling of the headlines over a 6 day period. Some of the headlines, particularly those that contradict one another, came from the same day.

Headlines:

Fresh retreat on Wall Street; gains hold for week

Roller-coaster week leaves Wall Street higher, but uneasy

Stocks fall as worries mount on Wall Street

Wall Street takes a breather

Wall Street reverses slump

Stocks fall as worries mount on Wall Street

When Wall Street Frets, It's a Good Time to Buy

Wall Street choppy amid strong earnings, fresh inflation jitters

Wall Street ends volatile week with a sell-off

US open: Earnings brighten mood on Wall Street

Market Overview: Plunge on Wall Street worries

Up and down with the Dow

Hardball on Wall Street

Wall St. up sharply on earnings news

Europe down on Wall Street lows

US close: Brighter earnings and data cheer Wall Street

New worries Grip Wall Street

Markets slide on Wall Street Decline

Stocks fall as worries mount on Wall Street

Stocks seek calm after rocky week

Wall Street struggles to mixed finish

Wall Street Slide Expected to Continue

Wall Street roars back, in best rally since 2003

NEW YORK: US stocks soared in the best single-day rally in nearly two years, as stronger-than-expected regional manufacturing and strong corporate earnings eased fears of an exonomic slowdown

Dollar fades as Data-Inspired Rally Fades: The dollar gave up some of the previous day's gains against the euro and slipped to a one month low against the yen on Friday as enthusiasm sparked by strong U.S. data and a Wall Street rally began to fade

Oil surge sends Wall Street down

Mixed day on Wall Street

It's not exactly a prescription for peace of mind. But the headlines and their accompanying roller-coaster ride into well... something or the other, may have an upside. Investing Social Security funds into something so volatile could actually free the government of obligations for not just Social Security but other programs like Medi-Care, Veteran's benefits, etc. That's because anybody with a heart problem, high blood pressure, or severe anxiety problems would probably drop dead from worrying about their retirement.

It may be a "whole new post 9-11 world", and maybe "the terrorists will have won" if we don't make Social Security subject to the whims of what's proven to be both a tumultuous and, often corrupt market but perhaps, as a society, we can suck it up, tweak the system a ltlle bit, and allow the least among us just enough to buy some food or medicine. That's really not asking much.

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