What exactly is Social Security?He pretends to know know what Social Security is, but the answer is at his fingertips with Wikipedia. Just click the link I provided in the previous sentence.
Some say Social Security is like a retirement plan, but that would require it to be self-funding, which it isn't.
I've called Social Security a Ponzi scheme because it's funded by the next generation of suckers. But Ponzi schemes are voluntary. So that analogy is flawed.
Some say Social Security is a social safety net. But old people wouldn't die on the streets if the program suddenly stopped sending out checks. You and I are compassionate. We would open our homes and take in the oldsters. The alternative would be feral gangs of senior citizens grazing on our rosebushes. That's not good for property values.
So it seems to me that the main purpose of Social Security is to prevent old people from sleeping on our couches. Keeping old people out of the house, and away from the rosebushes, is expensive, so we cleverly pass along part of the bill to people who haven't yet been born.
While each person in my generation is paying to prevent, on average, one old person from sleeping on his couch, the next generation will be paying to keep two or three old people out of the living room, and the thermostat below 85 degrees. It might seem like a bargain to them. I call that fair.
People in my age group don't have a cool name like the Greatest Generation. But I think we have a legitimate chance of someday being known as the Generation that Prevented the Greatest Generation from Sleeping on Its Couches.
He claims he doesn't know how it is funded. It has always been funded by the current generation paying for the current seniors' retirement. He wants to call that a Ponzi scheme. It isn't. It is the same principle that families are built on (parents care for children when they are young, the children take care of their senior parents). We don't talk about "family exploitation" and demand that children stop requiring parents to feed, clothe, and raise them. We don't talk about seniors "extorting" money from their adult children to help them. Why does Scott Adams want to see social programs as "exploitation"?
The reality is that back in the early 1980s Greenspan ran a group that changed the funding formula for Social Security. The worry was that the retirement of the Baby Boomers would bust the system. So the plan was to build up a huge surplus to tide the system over during the retirement of the Baby Boomers. So they started charging a lot more for FICA. And a big surplus was built up. And just last year did that process of setting aside hundreds of billions (trillions?) to fund the Baby Boomers finally came to an end because the number of retirees started growing, so the big surpluses have come to an end and the system will not start taking tiny amounts from that surplus to cover the extra costs over the next 30 years. Social Security is well funded. But the Scott Adams' of the world ignore this fact. Instead they focus on the fact that Social Security funds is just "IOUs" and are "meaningless". Well, if you are a thief, then ownership is "meaningless" and up for grabs. But for most normal people, the Social Security Trust Fund is well funded and isn't "going broke". Adams has to know this, but he willfully purveys the lie that it is some kind of "Ponzi scheme".
This is expecially funny because Scott Adams presents himself as a paragon of virtue would would willingly look after not just his own aged parents, but any aged person in need. He says "You and I are compassionate. We would open our homes and take in the oldsters.". If he is so compassionate, why is he complaining about a social program to help the aged? I don't know Mr. Adams but I suspect he is a hypocrite. I suspect he loves to play Scrooge McDuck and sit on his piles of gold and let the gold pieces trickle through his fingers and his real complaint is that the government would tax him to force him to exercise his so-called "charity" for others.
He claims that the US doesn't need Social Security because "Some say Social Security is a social safety net. But old people wouldn't die on the streets if the program suddenly stopped sending out checks.". But if Scott Adams read some history he would find that prior to government programs, a fair number of old people did "die in the streets". Those who were spinsters and never married, those who were childless couples, those who were socially isolated. But Scott Adams lives in an ideologues heaven where there are no storm clouds, where manna falls from heaven, and liberty reigns. He lives in a fantasy world. Prior to Social Security there was real privation among those too old to continue to work.
Ah... but the Scott Adams' of the world have a solution. They are pulling out the old playbook and calling for a "fix" to Social Security that would simply tell people to work into their late 60s, through their 70s, through their 80s, and if they are so luck as to live into their 90s, to keep plugging away at a job so that they don't become "social parasites" and require a rich man like Scott Adams to have to give up the possibility of a third vacation home, or taking his eighth getaway vacation, or hiring his fourth domestic servant. You know, times are tough for the rich, the world needs more WalMart greeters. That keeps the aged "productively employed" where they should be!
I gag when I think of Scott Adams. He is a hypocrite. He is too smart to not know the lies he spews. To point of social programs is to give everybody a social safety net. But Scott Adams wants to go back to the sharp divides of the Dickensian era when the rich could lord it over the underclass and the poor people knew that their life was a veil of tears, many years of hard work, and when their health failed, the only recourse was to crawl in a corner and slowly starve to death because the "charity" of the rich was certainly "on show" with lots of balls and galas where the rich showed off their "urge to help the poor" but in fact the poor were left to starve. All those "donations" really went to wine and dine the rich. It didn't end up as crusts of bread and a little milk for the poor.