Contrary to popular opinion, especially among seniors, Social Security is not a retirement program. There is no fund into which people have been contributing their money. Instead, from the very beginning Social Security has been nothing more than a welfare program, one in which the federal government taxes younger people and gives the money to seniors.
The question, of course, is: Why? Why do we need this welfare-state program in America? Why not simply repeal it, now? Why not leave it to younger people to keep the money that is being taxed from them to give to seniors and let them take care of parents, grandparents, and others who need help?
After all, one benefit to abolishing Social Security would be that it would no longer be necessary to pay all those generous salaries to IRS and Social Security bureaucrats whose job it is to collect and redistribute the money, many of whom get $50,000-$100,000 annual salaries for performing this “service.” Those people could be laid off and sent into the private sector, where they would become productive members of society rather than people living off the monies that are being forcibly taken from productive members of society.
There is one big reason why proponents of Social Security oppose the repeal of this socialist program: They say that countless seniors would die in the street without their welfare dole.
And the reason that this would happen, they say, is that younger people would not step up to the plate to help their parents, grandparents, and other seniors who need assistance. If free to keep their own money and decide for themselves what to do with it, younger Americans, they say, would turn their backs on the parents, grandparents, and other seniors in need and simply let them die in the streets.
That’s why, they say, that younger people must be forced to take care of seniors by having the money forcibly taken from them and given to seniors. If the good, caring, and well-paid bureaucrats at the IRS and the Social Administration were not providing this “service,” the argument goes, seniors would be dying in the streets.
That is one enormous insult. Why younger Americans put up with it is beyond me. My hunch is that since they have all been born and raised under this socialist program, their mindsets have been conditioned to believe what these people say about them — that they are indeed bad, uncaring people who cannot be trusted with freedom — and that if they were entrusted with that freedom and responsibility, they would end up turning their backs on their parents, grandparents, and others in need.
There is virtually no chance that seniors (except libertarian seniors) will ever be willing to support the repeal of Social Security. Once people go on the dole, it’s like a narcotic. They’re hooked. Once on a political narcotic, the recipient convinces himself that he could never survive without the dole.
But there is always the chance that younger people will join up with us libertarians to get this morally and economically destructive socialist program repealed, not reformed. For one thing, it is impossible to reconcile a system of mandatory charity with genuine freedom. A free society is one in which people are free to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with their own money.
It is also impossible to reconcile a system of mandatory charity with genuine charity. Genuine charity entails helping someone on a purely voluntary basis, not at the point of an IRS gun or the threat of an IRS audit.
What is ultimately needed to rid our society of this socialist program is a high sense of self-esteem on the part of younger people. They need to reject the gigantic insult hurled at them and demand the freedom and responsibility to decide for themselves what to do with their own money. We libertarians believe in them, but that obviously is not sufficient. Younger people need to capture a faith in themselves, in others, in freedom, and, if they choose, a faith in God rather than in the coercive apparatus of the government.