An afterword for my thoughts concerning socialism.
Even when I was a mainstream conservative, I knew something was amiss with government programs like Social Security. As high schooler, I challenged this sacred institution with anyone who tried to defend it.
Why, I asked, do I have to pay into it?
Retirement, the answer came. You get it when you retire.
Oh, I’d say, thinking I had found a solution. In that case, I’ll just keep the money and save it myself. I don’t need the government to do it for me. I’m fiscally responsible.
But not everyone is as fiscally responsible, came the riposte. If we didn’t have Social Security they wouldn’t save and have nothing for retirement.
Fine, I rejoined. Then let them participate. I shouldn’t be forced to give the government money to hold onto it for me.
Cue the awkward face. Michaelangelo himself couldn’t adequately depict it, no matter how much paint you gave him. It’s how every single one of those discussions concluded.
Sometimes, however, they’d be honest enough to admit that everyone had to participate or it wouldn’t work.
Now, I was and am not mathematically inclined. A smart eighth grade probably knows more algebra than I do. But when it comes to socialist programs, it doesn’t require much knowledge of math to discover the numbers don’t add up. Maybe it was my proclivity to think about things from a logical approach.
My reasoning: If I take out of Social Security only what I put in, then by not putting it I’m not harming anyone else. If I’m going to take out more than I put in, then I’m doing someone else a favor by not participating.
If, however, I put in more than I take out when I retire, then that’s something else, isn’t it?
Therein lies the rub. It’s really intended to go towards someone else’s retirement. It’s not intended to benefit me, or else no one would care if I participated.
Why should I be forced to give money to other people and, inversely, be forced to accept money from other’s who had it taken from them forcibly?
I have never received a morally defensible reply. I never will. Nor will you.