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« Greenspan Testifies Today, Social Security On Agenda. | WILLisms.com | Classiness, Pure Classiness, From Other Blogs. »

Socialism and Social Security.

There are myriad reasons for reforming Social Security. The most obvious is that the system, as of now, is not self-sustaining, and reforming it could prevent constant revisiting of the issue. Secondly, reform could simply offer Americans a Better Deal at retirement than the rather dated New Deal.

But what about making America more free market-oriented, less socialistic?

Pete du Pont makes a compelling case:

"American socialist Noam Chomsky made the same argument concerning Social Security: that allowing people to invest in markets is a bad thing, for 'putting people in charge of their own assets breaks down the solidarity that comes from doing something together, and diminishes the sense that people have responsibility for each other.'

So the 2005 Social Security argument is an old and familiar one: government decisions versus individual ones, government control of assets versus individual ownership. In short, socialism versus individualism."

As the global economy becomes further globalized, the United States must position itself at an advantage relative to other nations, particularly China and India.

Right now, roughly 1/8 of American wages are encumbered by Social Security taxes. Those dollars are not growing; they are not even in a real "trust fund" somewhere. Currently, Social Security revenues get slurped up by the black hole that is the U.S. government bureaucracy. That is not efficient, any way you look at it.

The U.S. can and must do better. America can move those Social Security revenues from the black hole into the free (or at least freer than now) market.

"When you increase an individual's wealth, he becomes less dependent on government, and his attitude towards government changes. Socialists can't allow that, for it erodes their fundamental principle that social justice can only be achieved when important segments of the economy are under government control.

And that is why today's very liberal Democratic Party is so vehemently arguing against personal ownership of Social Security market accounts. The government's Social Security system is socialism's last redoubt, and must be preserved at all costs."

An ownership society, with Social Security reform at its base, would make America more American. Low and middle income people would be able to accumulate and bequeath wealth in personal accounts they, not the government, own. America's startlingly low rate of savings would increase. Americans would have more resources at retirement.

Most of all, Social Security reform would deliver body blow to the very concept of subtle, creeping socialism in America, injecting trillions of dollars into American entrepreneurialship and individual control.

The Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Social Security reform would maximize economic liberty in America, leading to greater actualization of the pursuit of happiness.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 February 2005 11:39 AM


When social security was founded most African Americans lived in the South and most did agricultural work. Some rural employers had benevolent, paternalistic relationships with their share croppers, and laborers, looking after them when they needed burial money, care in their old age, or medical help. They applied the same principles that landed elites have used to maintain their workforces in less developed societies around the world. The laborers, black and white had to maintain the connection to their patrons to achieve some form of security for illness and disability. It created a system of dependency, where laborers sacrificed their freedom and submitted to their benefactors in exchange for the paternalistic security system.
Social Security offered a form of old age insurance that was portable. If you left one job for greener pastures or to work in a promising, but untested enterprise, you could take your old age security with you.

One of the things that social security did was free African American share croppers and laborers from dependency on wealthy white landlords. It gave them more freedom to go north for employment in the emerging manufacturing sector. It gave them more freedom to try new, more fulfilling, forms of employment. It gave them more bargaining power with respect to bosses over wages and working conditions. It assured that if the plantation owner or the innovative airplane maker went bust, then your old age security would not go bust with them. This proved to be an enormous boon to personal freedom. It allowed markets to better accomplish something they are supposed to do: allocate labor to the most productive sectors of the economy. It freed workers to leave outmoded agricultural operations for more productive industries. It stimulated the backward sectors to mechanize and become more efficient, by forcing them to compete with sectors that could make better use the freer labor force. Obviously, by allowing workers to seek their fortunes it gave them more personal freedom, it allowed more options for making a living to open up. This greater freedom to quit and make a better living somewhere else also gave them more freedom to walk out on oppressive forms of segregation and race prejudice. It helped to lay the groundwork for the capital letter FREEDOM that African Americans had been dreaming of for generations. What the Bush administration proposes is not less dependency on the government, but more dependency on the employer, and on the vagaries of the market, such as that which swept away billions of retirement dollars when the dotcom bubble burst. Turning life into a poker game of winners and losers will indeed give more freedom to the winners, but it asks working people to gamble more than they can stand to lose. It undermines the entire system that they certainly can not stand to lose. It keeps those who cannot afford the risk from exercising their freedom, and it clearly steals the freedom of the great majority, who will come out behind in the great game of chance that a privatized retirement system would create.

Posted by: Sean Herlihy at March 28, 2005 05:01 PM

Dear Narcisist,
This site is the biggest load of rubbish i've ever seen. If I were I would disontunue it imediately before someone kicks you in the balls. Everyone has the right of an opinion, but not necessarily the right to post it on the internet; especially if it's a load of crap.

Posted by: Your Mom at May 22, 2005 04:34 PM