Forced Social Security

Posted on September 29, 2008. Filed under: journalistic, politics | Tags: , , |

 

 Forced social security, in practice and in principle, is wrong. Our rights are being stripped away when we are forced to pay social security taxes. We have no claim to social security and we can not control what the government does with the money. This cannot be our future. We must regain our freedom of choice and voluntarily invest for our future.

            The Great Depression gave birth to social security, which may have been needed at the time, but does not excuse making it a mandatory taxation. It “was promoted as a way to prevent… unemployment, poverty in old age, and ill health,” though it received heavy resistance. Prior to the 1930’s, Americans were already finding alternatives to dealing with “financial independence in later years.” Many people over the age of 65 continued to work while trying to obtain property and build savings for financial security. In addition, the family and the community also provided for the elderly. There were also many other programs being initiated, such as military, retirement and private pensions and private institutions that provided insurance against disability (Achenbaum 13-15).

            Social security, in its entirety, is a violation of our human rights. Rights are “a moral principle defining and sanctioning man’s freedom of action in a social context,” with the only foundational right being the right to our own life. There must be “freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.” We must use our own judgement and set our own goals, by our own unconstrained, unforced choice. At the same time, we should not violate the rights of others. We must also have a right to property or we have no right to life. If we do not have a right to the fruits of our efforts, then we have no means to sustain our lives. Whenever a man produces and others “dispose of his product,” whether it be a product itself or money earned, then that man is a slave. There are no guarantees in life that we will successfully produce a product or earn money, but if we do, we have a right and ownership to that which we earn. Human rights are “unalienable”[sic], as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and belong to all humans. They are irrevocable (Rand 110-113). When the government takes our money by force and spends it, however they please, they are enslaving us and taking away our right to life and property. We must have our rights in order to survive, it is our purpose in life. The greatest achievement of the United States was the creation of the first moral society. When our government was first created the Declaration of Independence declared that its sole purpose was to protect our rights by protecting us from violence. The Constitution and Bill or Rights was then written to protect us from the government. It cannot be denied that our government has superseded it’s original function, it has been corrupted and the changes have come upon us slowly, taking us by surprise. We have been deceived and enslaved by social security and other forced taxes and we have lost our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The definition of rights has been defiled and we have been told we have a right to a job, to food and shelter, to freedom from unfair competition and monopolies, to a decent home and medical care, to a good education, and lastly the right to protection from poverty and sickness in old age and protection from accidents and unemployment. At whose expense are we given these rights? All of these things cost money or require a service. Who is to provide them? If we are granted the right to the goods and money of others, are they not then deprived (Rand 110-113)?

            Any alleged “right” of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right (Rand 113).

Social security must be abolished and we must be given the right to make our own choices about how we spend our money and save for the future. Each week, around 6.2% of our time spent working, is done solely for the purpose of social security (“Quick Facts” par. 1). That’s roughly 2 1/2 hours each week, 1 1/25 days each month, 2 weeks each year that we are forced to work for the government. We are enslaved to the government for that portion of our lives. Most of us work at least 45 years or more of our lives. That’s nearly 100 weeks of our lives spent enslaved to the government, just for social security. That’s not including Medicare or any other taxations, nor does it include the matching 6.2% that our employers pay on our behalf for social security (“Quick Facts” par. 1). If you add up all of the taxations we are ‘forced’ to pay, that is a substantial amount of our life that is gone and can never be regained.

            In addition, even though we are forced to pay social security, we do not have any claim to it. In 1960, the Supreme Court ruled that we do not have a right to social security. We are not guaranteed anything, nor do we have any control over what happens to the money that is taken from us. Congress is not obligated to keep its promises and honor it’s IOUs. Unlike employers and private pensions, we cannot take our claim to court when the government does not keep its promises to pay social security (“Quick Facts” par 4).

            “Inheritability” is another thing that social security does not offer. For those who die, and never collected their benefits, their is no way to assure that the money is passed along to their heirs (Abdnor par. 6-9).  Since we are not guaranteed anything upon retirement, we must fall back on the same reliances our ancestors did. We must save our money and accrue assets, invest in insurance and pension programs, and rely on our family and community for assistance if we need it.

            We also have no control over how the government spends our money. The money that is taken from us for social security is immediately spent to pay for today’s retired workers and any surplus is spent on other programs or to pay back government debt. No money is placed in the supposed ‘social security trust fund.’ There is absolutely no money in the account, nor can money be withdrawn from this account, as it performs no real function. The trust fund holds “interest-bearing U.S. government bonds, representing the accounting surplus of payroll taxes collected minus the benefits paid” (“Quick Facts” par. 2-3). However, these are different than regular bonds. They cannot be sold or used to pay benefits and in actuality they are nothing more than “IOUs the government has written to itself.” In order for the government to pay this debt they must first either borrow the money or impose more taxes. These IOUs do not tell us anything about the ability of the government to pay Social Security benefits and if the trust fund did not exist the economy would not be affected or suffer. It has been suggested that we do away with the trust fund, therefore ending the “artificial crises (whether the trust fund is running out of IOUs) and get on to the real problem: how is the Treasury going to pay the government’s bills” (“Quick Facts” par. 2-3)?

            It is painfully clear that our money is wasted in social security. Not only are we being deprived of our rights, but we have no guarantee with social security and we cannot control how the money is spent. If we were not forced to pay social security taxes we could be investing our money in tangible, more reliable means for retirement. There is 401k, IRA’s, retirement plans, savings, bonds, and assets that we could be investing in. In addition, we would have complete control over what happens to our money. Granted, some of these plans have risks, but nevertheless it would be our choice to take the risks. I would much rather place my trust in such plans, rather than trust the government to do what’s best for my interest and to provide for me once I retire.

 

Works Cited

 

Abnor, Leanne, and Timothy Penny. “Mending Social Security’s Flaws.” CATO

     Institute. 2004. 14 November 2004.

     <http://www.socialsecurity.org/pubs/articles/tp-01-20-04.html>.

Achenbaum, Andrew W. “Social Security: the early years.” Social Security

     Visions and Revisions. Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of

     Cambridge, 1986.  

“Quick Facts.” National Center for Policy Analysis. 13 November 2004.

     <http://www.mysocialsecurity.org/quickfacts/faq.html&gt;.

Rand, Ayn. The Virtue of Selfishness. New York: New American Library, 1964


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