Students Not Snickering at Benefit Cuts

The folks at Students for Saving Social Security have found an ingenious way to educate citizens about the importance of Social Security reform, posted on their blog.  They set up a game for students at Portland State offering free Snickers bars as the prize while displaying full size bars in their advertisements.  When students won the game, however, they only got mini-sized candy bars, enraging many of the students.  In response to this anger organizers explained that the game was meant to show students the inherent unfairness of Social Security, where large benefits are promised but only bite sized ones can be delivered under current funding.


Often simple lessons like these are obscured in partisan debates.  Bill Clinton summarized reform succinctly, claiming only three options exist to fix Social Security.  Either one must increase taxes, cut benefits, or increase the rate of return on taxes.  The Snickers’ bars demonstrate quite clearly what benefit cuts actually mean.  Perhaps for their next demonstration Students for Saving Social Security could promise a full size Snickers but cut away and eat the part of the bar equal to the rate of taxation that would be necessary to fund current entitlement promises to illustrate the unfairness of raising taxes to pay for someone else’s retirement, although eating that much chocolate might be unhealthy.