May 6, 2005


Cinco de Mayo and Social Security (Raul A. Reyes, 5/05/05, USA Today)

You're not alone if you don't know what Cinco de Mayo represents. Many people — Latinos included — have only a vague idea. For the record, it commemorates Mexico's 1862 defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla. Although Mexico lost the war, May 5 marked an inspiring moment of Mexican unity and patriotism. Even without all the details, though, we're willing to hoist a margarita and enjoy the fiesta.

Many Hispanics apparently are taking a similar leap of faith — few details, but let's do it — when it comes to reforming Social Security. According to a study by the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center, 49% of Hispanics approve of President Bush's plan for individual investment accounts, compared with 35% of all Americans. Other Pew findings:

• Because Hispanics are younger, on average, than the rest of the population, a greater percentage would be affected by Bush's reforms. The president would leave the current system intact for those 55 and older, shielding 10% of Hispanics but 26% of whites.

• Latinos earn less, are less likely to receive an employer-based pension and have less experience with stocks and investment assets than other Americans. So any transition to a private-account retirement system carries more risks for us.

Demographically and economically, we are uniquely vulnerable, yet we're still embracing change, if tepidly.

Anti-French and pro-ownership--let them all come.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2005 12:20 PM

People of Hispanic culture have far more in common with the Founders than the American left. Plus, among many other attractions, they know how to have fun.

Posted by: Luciferous at May 6, 2005 12:34 PM

My main worry is that they will do to us what Califonians have done to NV, WA and OR. Groups like Mecha don't care about this country or morality, and are as power hungry as the NAACP. They would be happy to do with Mexicans what the NAACP has helped do with blacks.

Posted by: Pat H at May 6, 2005 1:51 PM

Yes, the faster we assimilate them the better.

Posted by: oj at May 6, 2005 2:06 PM

Is it me or is Reyes committing a major non-sequitor here in presuming that if one is particularly vulnerable, it is intrinsically counter-productive to embrace change? Isn't it the must vulnerable who should be most willing to consider change if the current situation isn't going to work out?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 6, 2005 2:36 PM

If they were willing to accept a crappy status quo they wouldn't even be here, eh?

Posted by: oj at May 6, 2005 2:45 PM

Ben Domenech has a Cinco de Mayo history lesson for us.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 6, 2005 5:53 PM

Faggh. Everyone knows what Cinco de Mayo represents: it's the Mexican St Patrick's Day. During that day, everyone is Mexican and they get drunk. It's the American thing to do.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at May 6, 2005 7:14 PM