That is a good thing, huh?
Via Attaturk, just imagine the world of crap we'd be facing now as an economy if we'd "fixed" Social Security and turned over those trillions of dollars to Citibank, Merrill Lynch and the rest. Amy and I took a small hit in our retirement accounts last quarter, and will probably take a bigger one this quarter--not a huge deal since we can't really touch the money now and because we just started to invest. If we were looking to retire in the next couple of years, we'd be shitting bricks right now, but at the moment, it's not really an issue for us.
Part of the reason it's not an issue is because our retirement savings are supposed to supplement Social Security. We can take some risks with our 403(b) accounts because we have the backup that's supposed to be safe, the stuff that can't be taken away. The privatizers wanted to put all that money in the markets, because they said it would grow faster--the fact that they would earn gobs of money in fees never occurred to them, because they're just doing it for the greater benefit, right? Fortunately, the Democrats said no, and enough Republicans joined them that it became King George the Lesser's first major defeat, and with the markets spasming all over the world the last couple of days, it's a good thing they held together on it.