Do you know the most effective government jobs program ever created? In recent years it has created thirty-five million jobs and it creates jobs by allowing people to leave jobs. The program"is Social Security. A New Deal jobs program created in 1935 in the depths of the Great Depression. Before Social Security, senior citizens were one of the poorest demographics in the country. The elderly or disabled lived with relatives or on charity, just like medieval peasants or serfs. They worked from dawn to dark until they could work no more and then"they were unceremoniously let go. If you were seriously injured on the job your employer would want you to keep in touch and let them know how you are doing from time to time, because they had no other responsibility to you.
Vacation rentals, Snow birds and winter retreats all filled with Senior Citizens. Retirement communities, land speculation and RV dealerships. Little shark suckers attached to a government program which creates jobs.
But in the United States as is always seems the case in the United States, there is a moral conflict. A diffusion where what should seem simple becomes conflated and confused. It can be based in politics or religion for obfuscation is one size fits all. A. We take care of senior citizens and the disabled. Or B. Every bodies on their own. We call "B." rugged individualism. We break rocks with our bare hands and storm the beaches of Iwo Jima with one hand tied behind our backs. Is that you John Wayne" is that me? The Marlboro man storming San Juan hill in a Com a con creation of something which has no more basis in fact than Santa Claus. We are mortal, we will all at some point get sick and die.
The political disconnect, "A." is Socialism! That dirty word, "You'll be standing in line for shoes Comrade! Comrade Stalin will be on the video tube every night!" They have conferred professorships and academic chairs on the academic science of greed. PHD's are routinely passed out on this subject. A. We take care of senior citizens and the disabled. Or B. Every bodies on their own. But see, there is this school of thought;
"All rational action is economic. All economic activity is rational action. All rational action is in the first-place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts."
-Ludwig von Mises,
Now, for those of you in the back of the room, what he's saying is money talks and bullshit walks. Money makes the decisions. Those with money make the decisions and they've decided you'd rather be a rugged individualist. Since it's inception, business and industry have been openly hostile towards Social Security it is a tax, they derive no benefit from"unless they work in Real Estate, manufacturing or the service industries. Richey Rich stomping his feet and holding his breath till he turns blue petulantly yelling, "I don't want to pay taxes!" To them, it's Moses offering a ham sandwich, it's blasphemy and heresy. They say, Let's make America Great Again! That guy in the mortarboard says it's the right thing to do! America will never be a Socialist country!
Come on, let's be honest, the good old days were nothing but a cowboy picture where we ride off into the sunset. When the house lights come up reality dictates reality. Either you take care of your people or you don't give a damn about them. But it's too expensive to take care of all those people, even if they did work for forty years! Even if they did follow the rules and pay their taxes, we can't afford them! Now, if there were ever a time in your life where you stop to ask yourself"is our society any damn good? Is it worth keeping? That time would be now.
The maximum Social Security payroll deduction for this year ends at $128.000. That means they stop withholding Social Security from Bill Gates and Howard Schultz paycheck on January first"why? Why does a program which is nothing but beneficial to our society limit its contributions? The program has no maximum payout, so why does it have a limited input?
I'll deviate for just a second. I've always felt Barack Obama was a Republican and while he looks like a super hero by local Cheeto standards his policies were basically Republican. Inheriting the worst economy since the first Great Depression, the administration refloated the banks and bailed out car companies. He offered token assistance to "Responsible " consumers, irresponsible banks, Insurance firms and brokerage houses were always welcome. It took nearly a decade for the economy to recover. A lost decade for tens of millions of Americans whose time lost is never found. What if instead, he had removed the payroll cap and lowered the age of eligibility to fifty-five for the duration of the crisis?
Millions of unemployed could have been thrown a lifeline. They didn't need to be evicted, their homes didn't need to be foreclosed, their cars didn't need to be repossessed. Millions of new openings would have been created by retirees. Social Security is a jobs program it always has been jobs program. Congress has on several occasions raided the Social Security trust fund, primarily to fund unpopular wars and tax cuts. How about a Constitutional amendment? If you raid the trust fund you must legislate a repayment plan at the time of theft, I mean borrowing. These raids are the circumvention of government just like the Cheeto one's national emergency. This isn't their money to take, it's our money deducted from our paychecks. But that's how rugged individualists are. After all, all economic activity is rational activity and it is rational to steal your money because they didn't want you to have it in the first place!
We must answer the question once and for all; A. We take care of senior citizens and the disabled. Or B. Every bodies on their own. Then we can just be honest about it. We don't care if seniors are hungry and can't afford their heating bills. Just like the good old days" when hypothermia was the second leading cause of death for senior citizens
The payroll deduction cap should be removed, and Social Security should be expanded, the age limit lowered to fifty-five. We have an aging workforce and a generation stymied by a decade of employment malaise. In the first Great Depression it took the Dow Jones Average twenty years to recover while the economy recovered in less than ten. During the second Great Depression the Dow recovered in five and the people" haven't recovered yet. We have a program that works and all we need to do is use it.