During a recent road trip, I had an interesting chat with my buddy Phil. We were talking about the state of America’s despair, and I started taking a pretty hard-line stance on my opinions of social entitlement programs. During the course of the discussion, we talked a bit about the morality of social entitlements (a worthwhile debate in it’s own right), and we also discussed the economics. The two major programs we have today (in entitlements) that keep coming up are Medicare and Social Security. I was curious as to the nature of Social Security, so I looked up a bit more about what the program was designed to do:
On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act established a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped.
These seem like fairly reasonable ideals for which to establish a social welfare program. Essentially, as the name suggests, a security system for those who would frequently be at a loss in society if they didn’t have any personal support system (namely: family, friends, or non-governmental groups like churches or non-profs). Even lightly applying a veil of ignorance to the country as a whole, it’s reasonable to say that we might want to have some money tucked away for people who are truly down on their luck, or have reached old-age with nothing to support a person who is no longer capable of working. Sure, I’m with ya.
So what went wrong?
My position is straightforward but a little morbid: Continue reading A Little Perspective on Social Security