During a discussion about Social Security, a happy Obamist suggested that those who have earned $1.0 million over the course of their working lives should not get social security payments.
“But they paid money into the system,” said I.
“But they’re rich” was the reply.
Let me add that I detest Social Security. It’s a ponzi scheme. I would happily cut my losses on it if we could vote the thing out of existence today. But that’s not likely to happen. Like all government programs, it will continue to operate in a faux-reality in which the government prints money to make payments to people to compensate them for taking their money in the first place and spending it on welfare queens and sub-par health care.
But if we’re going to all play along and pretend this is working, then fine. That’s the social compact we’ve made so let’s get to it. So, the “but they’re rich” comment annoyed me because rich people shouldn’t be forced to pay into a system, then have that money go directly to others, and then just take a loss on it. That’s not fair.
The more salient point, however, is that just because a person is “rich” by your definition doesn’t mean that they should be punished.
My ancestors, and probably yours too, came to this country because it was a place they could be more than their neighbors. They escaped the bloody fists of Castro and Khrushchev to find a place they could work hard, and earn some money, and live on their own terms.
But that place no longer really exists. It is a place where making money warrants persecution, where because you have become successful, you are automatically guilty, and have been elected to pay more into the general pot “because you can.” It is a place where your wealth is thought to belong to the commons, for other’s needs to take precedence over your own.
This has got to stop. I don’t know how to stop it. I am not, after all, a community organizer drafting my own little utopia and hoping others follow. All I want is to be left alone. I want to keep the billions I’ve earned with Cara Ellison Corporation and not have to give any to anyone else. I accept that there are things we need. Roads. Policemen. Clean water plants. Sewage. And a standing military. I’m happy to pay for those. In fact, I bet you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t want to pay for those things.
But I don’t want to pay for your health care, your house, your new car, your abortion, a new airport in Minnesota, and for politicians to fly around in private jets. This is absurd. You don’t own me and I don’t own you — you have no moral claim to my wealth and more than my body.
If people would just take care of themselves, the deficit would plummet overnight. I started to think about this very closely, pondering why people won’t get a job, why they believe the government would take better care of them then they can.
I think it’s pride. I think it really comes down to people not having that thing inside them that tells them they are significant, worthy, and capable. I think it was more common in years past, and slowly parents became more interested in their children avoiding pain instead of taking pride in accomplishment. Thus we have a “self-esteem movement” where everyone gets a trophy and thus real accomplishment isn’t recognized. For the kids, the special ones who run the fastest never feel special, but for the masses of others, they never have to know the feeling of defeat.
If it were up to me I’d slash programs for under achieving kids and dump that money into the gifted and talented programs. The different kids – the very bright – should be encouraged. They should not be dragged down to mediocracy.
Likewise, the USA should not be dragged down to the level of Cuba. The USA is special. We need to keep it special – and I think the best way to do that is to become a strong, accomplished individual. You’ll be taxed and torn down, assumed to be evil or criminal. But it’s better than the alternative of assuming the masses are right – that accomplishment is bad, and in mediocracy, you will find a golden trophy.