Is the stock market a rigged game?

Mike Cannatelli

60 Minutes on CBS did a piece about how the computerization of stock trades have given many large stock traders an advantage over the rest of us. It is an interesting story, worth the 14 minutes to view.

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged

It doesn’t surprise me at all that the Stock Market is in someway a rigged game as stock investing is a form of legalized gambling. Compare going to the race track and playing the stock market. I went to the track one time and thankfully only bet a few dollars that I lost on one race. At the track between races it is very quiet, library quiet as folks are studying the racing form telling them about each horse, much like a stock portfolio prospectus tells an investor about that company and the stock‘s performance. The gambler / investor study the racing form / stock prospectus and make their best guess. Unfortunately most of us are neither experts at picking horses or stocks. Then you go up to the betting window / your stock broker and place your bet / make your investment. Then watch the race / stock market and see if you picked a winner or a loser.

Sure sounds like the same thing to me. Whether its rigged against you, for those who truly spend years studying either the horses or the stock market, probably do quite well, but sadly most of us don’t have the time nor the interest so we’re walking through a mine field each time we play the ponies or pick a stock.

This lack of ability to pick good stocks has been the problem for folks with their 401K’s as they have to pick stocks and mutual funds, etc, to invest their money, for their retirement. This is why Social Security is such a valuable asset for every American. Only the wealthiest 2% won’t need their Social Security check, so they’re all in favor of doing away with it, but the other 98% most likely will be very glad to get that check in the mail once they stop working. This is why I’ve fought the attitude against Social Security and wanting to get rid of it. Here is my solution for fixing both Social Security and insuring that there will be something there for the younger generations.

[1] To simply raise the ceiling on the Social Security tax from the current 110K/per year income to 220K. From what I’ve read, that would make Social Security solvent into the 22nd century. This will insure that Social Security will be able to meet its obligations for all who are aged 55 + and the younger generations. It’s too late for the 55+ folks to start over. They’ve paid faithfully into the Social Security insurance plan, most for 45+ years, and shouldn’t get ripped off, because the government hasn’t been good stewards of their money.

[2] Then allow those folks 54 and under three choice options: [A] full Social Security, or [B] the 401K bank investment plan, or [C] a reduced Social Security [maybe 1/2] and they get to invest the rest via the 401K bank plan. Some will pick the 401K bank plan, others full Social Security, and still others would pick the reduced Social Security / 401K bank plan. In any event that would be a real win/win for everyone. This way the citizen, John and Jane Doe, get to choose, not the wealthy folks in Congress or Lobbyists. This is a “market driven solution” that is tailor made for the GOP/TEA party. This I believe would be a winning solution to this problem for both Baby Boomers and the Younger Generations. Conservatives believe that the young, given the choice, would pick the 401K over Social Security. This plan will give the younger folks that choice. Then let the market decide.

Mike Cannatelli lives in suburban Wilmington with his wife. He repairs electronic instrumentation the food industry uses to detect bacteria in food. He plays supper club music on the piano and is a voracious reader who is a registered Independent voter.