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Media Advisory

Office of News and Information
212 Whitehead Hall / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

December 5, 1996
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Christine A. Rowett

Media Advisory
Source on Social Security Privatization

A presidential advisory commission is due to make recommendations about restructuring Social Security to save it from collapse when members of the Baby Boom begin to retire. One area of debate is the extent to which the federally run retirement system should be privatized. Should the government be allowed to invest in the private market or get out of the retirement plan business and permit individuals to make their own retirement investment decisions?

Johns Hopkins University economist Steven H. Hanke has served as an advisor to the governments of Argentina, Lithuania and Chile, among others, on currency reform, privatization and capital market development. In the 1980s, Hanke was a senior economist on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers. Hanke is a longtime advocate of privatizing the Social Security system in order to save it from bankruptcy. He contributed to the development of the first private social security system put into place in Chile in 1981, and helped to set up a similar structure in Argentina. Earlier this year, the government of Bolivia adopted an approach to privatization following a Hanke-designed proposal. "The United States Social Security system is a giant Ponzi scheme that is fatally flawed and will eventually go into bankruptcy," Hanke has said. "The only sensible solution is to put our retirement on sound financial footing. That can be done with a private social security system."

For more information and further discussion, Dr. Hanke may be reached at (410) 516-7183. If you have trouble reaching him, please give me a call and I will attempt to track him down. I may be reached at (410) 516-7160.

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