Who Wants to Privatize Social Security? Understanding Why the Poor Are Wary of Private Accounts



The poor are less likely than others to support the privatization of Social Security. What accounts for this income-based difference in public opinion? This article uses a new survey to explore attitudes toward privatization. The poor tend to believe the government will manage Social Security responsibly, expect that they will rely on Social Security as a primary source of income, and prefer to keep their money in the current system rather than save or invest it. Together, these expectations and beliefs explain much of the income gap in support of privatization.