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Ownership society not progress

Guest perspective: What is the real Bush agenda?

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The contours of President Bush's "ownership society" are beginning to come into focus as we approach his second inauguration on Jan. 20. Seeking to imprint his era with as memorable a label as the New Deal or the Great Society, President Bush uses ownership as the framework for understanding his beliefs about and intentions for transforming American social policy. In earlier, pre-election references to the ownership society by the White House, the primary image conjured up was of home ownership, to be increased by a list of government programs (home-ownership tax credit, down-payment assistance, home-ownership Section 8 vouchers). Today, ownership is largely discussed as the means to solving the "crisis" in Social Security, by allowing younger workers to divert portions of their contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund into private accounts invested at the direction of the individual. Despite HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson's New Year's Resolution urging everyone to become a...