Jacob Hornberger is right.
Social Security is theft.
Libertarians understand that Social Security is a socialist program. It uses the force of the state to take money from one person to whom it belongs and transfer it to a person to whom it does not belong. That’s classic socialism. It’s a perfect embodiment of the Marxian principle, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
Mr. Hornberger wants to put an end to this Ponzi scheme. He would dump it tomorrow if he could.
But here’s the problem.
Social Security will not be shut down because the state knows after more than eight decades the American people are dependent on this program for survival. Dismantling this system represents a threat to their monopoly of power.
Joshua Fulton writes:
Mutual aid, also known as fraternalism, refers to social organizations that gathered dues and paid benefits to members facing hardship. According to David Beito in From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State, there was a “great stigma” attached to accepting government aid or private charity during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.1 Mutual aid, on the other hand, did not carry the same stigma. It was based on reciprocity: today’s mutual-aid recipient could be tomorrow’s donor, and vice versa.
Before Social Security mutual aid and fraternal organizations helped the poor and indigent. These organizations were systematically destroyed by the state and its business cartels, namely medical monopolies and insurance corporations. A number of laws were passed at the behest of the American Medical Association and others to limit and eventually outlaw the work of fraternal societies.
In its place, dependence on the state, its faceless bureaucrats, and diminishing handouts. Johnson’s Great Society took this scheme to the next level. It created an underclass addicted to welfare and state management. It also created immense social problems, including violence, drug abuse, and children with absent fathers.
If we are to follow Mr. Hornberger’s advice and end Social Security and welfare, there will be social chaos of the sort never before experienced in America.
Moreover, we have to take into consideration what the bankers and their government partners have done to the economy. Inflation and an increasingly devalued dollar have made it impossible for the unskilled poor to find employment at a living wage. Other workers had decent jobs shipped to Asia and are unable to find a comparable job—if any job at all.
In large part, the managed destruction of the economy by the financial class is responsible for “deplorables” and “garbage people” electing Donald Trump. However, this crony capitalist narcissist will not bring back middle-class sustaining jobs to America. It’s too late for that.
The swamp has not been drained—and who actually thought it would?—and the corporate monopolists, the lobbyists, the foreign interests (most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia) and a Congress on the take will work hard to keep the system of handouts and “foreign aid” churning along.
Meanwhile, mile high stacks of funny money are pumped into a grossly distorted monetary system and a hyperventilating stock market that will soon implode with devastating result.
If you’re looking for riots, arson, murder, and a police state—depending on the severity of the response to economic calamity—dismantling Social Security and welfare is a sure ticket.
I know. This is unprincipled pragmatism, and certainly not libertarian.
Or is it?
One of the only libertarians allowed to take a seat in Congress—Ron Paul—proposed phasing out SS for younger workers, while keeping it in place for older Americans.
During the 2012 election, Paul said “my program’s the only one that is going to be able to take care of the elderly. I’d like to get the young people out of it, just the younger generation, because there’s no money there, and they’re going to have to pay 50 years and they’re not going to get anything. I’d take care of all the elderly, all those who are dependent, but I would save the money from this wild spending overseas [on endless war and foreign aid].”
Mr. Hornberger is right, of course—the very idea of SS is socialism and theft. However, the alternative—elderly folks dumpster diving and dying with their cardboard signs at the side of the road—is not going to be pretty.
I would prefer bringing back fraternalism—mutual aid to those who sincerely need it—without government theft and mismanagement.