"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Socialist Insecurity

I’m not sure how people were fooled into letting the government control their retirement, or why people now are so intent on “preserving” Social Security. The program promised security in exchange forsome small economic freedoms (in the form of a tax). The government would provide "old-age insurance" for the elderly who couldn't work to support themselves anymore. Sounds good, right?

Now, over 70 years later, most people in their 30s and younger realize that they almost definitely will not be collecting a Social Security check. What went wrong? Well, nothing. For the textbook-definition Ponzi scheme that it is, Social Security was a huge success. For the people depending on it, a constant source of disappointment and uncertainty.

People were duped into it because they misunderstood it. They thought they gave their money to the government, something magical happened, and then they got their own money back with interest when they retired. It can’t fail!

So how does it really work? The government brings in SS money from current workers, claims their money as its own revenue, kind-of pays pensioners, then spends the rest of the money on other things while writing out an IOU to current workers/future pensioners for the difference. In a word, fraud. Social Security is the Federal Government’s piggy bank but it was broken open over half a century ago. 

It would be like your employer forcibly taking your money, telling you it’s for your retirement, then spending it on a retirement bonus for the board of directors. But since the government does it, it's okay. Wait, how could you be angry?

This dude just found out how Social Security works. 

So instead of giving back the money that was paid into it by the current generation of pensioners, the government spends all of that money as soon as it gets it and forces the following generation to pay the bill, making one generation a slave to the previous. It’s just another excuse to tax us while telling us it’s for our own good and we can’t do without it. Workers who retire in 2020 will have to wait 21 years to get back everything they put into Social Security. With an economy that's getting weaker and weaker, there won't be nearly enough people paying in to SS to sustain it. In 1940 there were around 160 workers paying for every pensioner. Now there are only about 3 per pensioner and falling.

Solution? Just let people opt out. What’s wrong with that? The freedom to say “no, thanks” is something that is abhorred by the statists in America. If Social Security is a solid program (which it isn’t)  that can endure in a free society (which it won’t) without the government forcing people to do what it wants (which it can’t), then it shouldn’t be a problem. Let people opt out and eventually this gigantic burden on our workers will run its course.

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