> People who have worked their whole lives
> and used to look forward to the government 'taking care of them' are
> now watching mutual fund quotes to see how well they are taking care
> of themselves.
I mean to say that this is a resetting of expectations; there are these forms you can fill out to see what your Social Security payments will look like, but it's unlikley that this gives any kind indication of rate of return, etc. But the monthly Fidelity statement spells it all out. There's no anger later when the dollar amount rolls out of the bottom of the statement. People have no idea how much they "should" be getting from a government program like Social Security.
Someone off-list suggested that my statement above looked like boosterism; it is no such thing. I just think that this shift in expectation ownership was specifically engineered to diffuse a possible backlash against how retirement benefits are being handled. A similar attempt was made in the public housing sector a while back, with disasterous results; owning your public housing was a joke from the start. The shell game of owning your retirement responsibility seems to be "working" so far ...