Thursday, March 24, 2016

Anti-Social Insecurity

You go back, Jack
And do it again
Wheels turnin' round and round
--Steely Dan

The author's purpose here is twofold. First he criticizes progressivism, claiming that it "is not a rational system of thought but a means to make progressives feel better about themselves and provide a (false) sense of control over a big, complex and often hostile world."

Such a mindset must ignore the possibility that progressive programs might fail or be cost prohibitive. Progressives must also ignore fundamental axioms such as the presence of resource scarcity in order to constantly propose spending more for programs that continue to escalate in cost.

Progressives cannot question their assumptions because, if they did, they would realize that their approach is not a viable one. So they just plow ahead. "Forward..."

The psychology is one of denial and escalation.

The author also demonstrates the flawed progressive mindset in the context of Social Security. He observes that the institution of Social Security in the 1930s was a response to previously failed government programs and actions, including US participation in WWI, the Federal Reserve, government schools, the Smoot Hawley Tariff., and, of course, the New Deal. Flawed programs never die in the minds of progressives; they get institutionalized.

Social Security lengthened the Depression and continues to cost jobs. Social Security payroll taxes increase employment costs. ECON 101 tells us that when labor prices go up, buyers of labor will purchase less of it.

The author makes an additional point that I hope to expand upon in future posts. He observes that Social Security has made older Americans dependents of the State, and molds them into supporters of the ponzi scheme of generational theft necessary to keep welfare programs afloat. "At a time when the elderly should be relying on their families," he notes, "they are forced to spend their golden years voting like automatons for the same wretched state that is destroying the future of their own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

As such, Social Security and the welfare state has weakened age old bonds between parent and child. Formerly, elderly parents would live with their children and help raise the grandchildren. Now, adult children think nothing of moving thousands of miles away from their parents and outsource their elderly care problems to government-funded institutions and the tax slaves that toil for them.

Social Security can be seen as a monumental oxymoron of progressive ideals. It is not secure at all because it lacks a sustainable economic foundation. It is also anti-social in that destroys the basis for voluntary cooperation between individuals in society.

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