by Marc H. Rudov
December 10, 2010
Violation of Immutable Psychology
Social Security has the dual distinction of being both an abysmal failure and a whopping success, and that’s not just political double-speak. It all depends on the side of the coin you favor.
As the most-egregious—and unconstitutional—Ponzi scheme of all time (today’s elderly recipients are funded by young workers, not from their own contributions of yore), Social Security is irreversibly insolvent. In 1950, the worker-to-beneficiary ratio was 16.5-to-1. In 2010, that ratio is almost 2-to-1.
Notwithstanding the political nonsense, Social Security’s failure is rooted not in actuarial anomalies but in the violation of immutable psychology: people succeed only when they are responsible for their own decisions and actions. When government manages your life, it will fail—and, therefore, you will fail.
Examples of socialism’s failure abound—from the Weimar Republic to the Soviet Union to Cuba. Even the history of Thanksgiving provides such a lesson. The colonists at Plymouth Plantation were starving because of laziness and dependence on the industrious few who produced food. In 1623, Massachusetts Governor Bradford fixed the problem by abolishing socialism and mandating self-sufficiency. He gave each household a parcel of land and the right to keep or trade any food produced—or face starvation. End of famine.
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