Johannes is an overweight middle-aged man. Recently, the government has found a correlation between the weight of an individual and the cost the government incurs for his medical expenditures. As a result, the government determined that it is in both Johannes’s and society’s best interest to curb his eating habits.
To do this, the government has decided to take away all of the food in Johannes’s house that is unnecessary for his well-being. All of his Cheetos and his fine collection of German chocolates will be confiscated. These delicacies will be returned in small amounts, determined by the government.
Does this bring to mind any real government programs?
In 1935, the U.S. government implemented Social Security, a policy whose reasoning reflects that of the above example. The only difference is that instead of deeming Johannes unworthy of determining his food intake, the government has taken the responsibility of retirement savings upon itself. How did the government acquire the right to regulate an individual’s consumption?
If the government is created by the people and a random guy named Frank does not have the right to confiscate Johannes’s collection of fine German chocolates, then how does this right come about when individuals, just like Frank, form a collective known as the government? Therefore, the government does not have the right to either confiscate Johannes’s food or force him to save money for retirement. Truly privatizing Social Security would mean abolishing Social Security.
Upon hearing this idea, one may wonder how the elderly who currently rely on Social Security would fare without it in the future. This is an insightful and caring question to ask. Regardless of whether it is right for the government to regulate Johannes’s consumption of various goods, is it necessary that it does so to alleviate the struggles of society’s weakest?
Without the taxation from Social Security, an inefficient bureaucracy, each individual would have a greater income. Observe the response to the tsunami disaster in late 2004. When Americans have the means, they are willing to donate millions of dollars to worthy causes. Abolishing Social Security does not mean people would no longer want to aid the elderly. With the increased means due to less taxation, money could be donated to private organizations that would fill the void Social Security leaves. These charities would be more efficient than government bureaucracy, as private organizations like the Red Cross illustrate.
As reported by FOX News, the American Red Cross prepared to send water, food and supplies to the Superdome before Hurricane Katrina devastated the land. It was only because the government refused to allow the organization to enter New Orleans prior to the storm that it did not offer aid sooner. Just imagine how much better off the poor and elderly would have been if they had gotten that quality care. The least one can do is afford it to them in the future.
Even if one does not believe aid would increase without Social Security, the prospect that it could remain at its current level appears strong. By eliminating Social Security, the government would not only remain within the bounds of justice, but would also help the weakest Americans.
Information from – foxnews.com, “Looking for Answers in the Hurricane’s Aftermath,” Sept. 8, 2005