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For young people, Social Security is a misnomer. The generations that follow the Baby Boomers are anything but “secure” in the Social Security program.
The premise of Social Security is that American citizens who pay taxes out of their paychecks into the program will get their money back at retirement. However, current retirees, who have not paid enough into the system for what they are collecting, are supported by younger generations. This Ponzi Scheme violates their property rights.
According to the 1936 Pamphlet on Social Security, “Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States government will set up a Social Security account for you... The checks will come to you as a right.” By calling these checks a “right,” implies that the money you put into your Social Security “account” is your property –– your future entitlement. But this is not the case.
The Heritage Foundation estimates that by 2017 Social Security will pay out more in benefits than payroll taxes bring in. In 1940, 42 taxpayers supported each retiree. Now, it’s only 3.3 taxpayers per retiree. That means Washington will have to raise taxes for the working class to support retiring Baby Boomers.
What would our Founders think of this program?
James Madison said that a “just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species…” This is exactly what big government is doing: instead of securing property, the government transfers it, rewarding retirees at the expense of the younger generations’ future.
Not all feel this way.
Because of the massive number of people living beneath the poverty level, Progressives feel that it is the government’s duty to save the citizens from possible economic trouble. In his 1944 State of the Union Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out a second “Bill of Rights” that would provide happiness and security in the face of economic fears.
“All of these rights spell security…And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being,” he said.
FDR missed the mark. An individual’s most sacred right is his or her conscience: the ability to think and make rational, personal decisions.
“Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right,” Madison wrote. He had it right. When big government is given more power to make choices for its citizens, they lose their individual freedoms.
This is exactly what is happening with Social “Security”. American citizens are losing their right to make personal decisions and younger generations are losing their right to their future retirement funds. Big government must remove itself from the picture and protect the true rights of the individual –– life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness –– by privatizing Social Security.
We wouldn’t be the first to try it. Chile privatized Social Security by basing the system on individual choice. Private companies were given the freedom to provide insurance, Chilean citizens pay 10 to 20 percent of their paychecks to the company that best fits their needs. Because of this simple policy change, Chileans now receive 40 to 50 percent higher retirement pensions than the public system provided. America should take notes.
Madison says that a wise and just government “will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in the rights.” Only when our government follows this rule will the individual have real social security.
Our country needs to be willing to seek alternatives to our unsustainable Social Security system. Younger generations should not be left to pick up the pieces of this broken system. Washington needs to take responsibility and pave the road to reform.