Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Social Contract?

Jude Blanchette on Social Security on National Review Online:

"I would like to reflect for a moment on exactly what he thinks we have to gain and lose from keeping the current system as is.

The first thing we gain is a legal dependent - our grandparents. Of course, it's not called dependency; rather, Social Security represents a "social contract between the ages." Like most social contracts, however, it's neither social (government coercion rarely is), nor is it a contract (I don't remember signing it). Instead, Social Security is little more than glorified income redistribution. The young pay the old and hope that someday there are enough youngsters to do the same for them. Ethical, it's not. What is just about one human being coerced to subsidize another, I don't know, but certainly there is something even more unsettling about the younger (and therefore relatively poorer) subsidizing the older (richer) to take Carnival cruises. (According to Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson, 20 percent of senior citizens do.) "

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