E-Newsletter No. 17
If not us, who?________If not now, when?
In this month’s newsletter, we share some additional excerpts from Don Watkins’ book entitled RooseveltCare (How Social Security is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance) –
Self-reliant Americans eagerly pursued their own interest in concert with others by means of each person’s voluntary participation in families, communities, schools, and civic organizations. The American soul was a mixture of self-reliance and selfless service to others. America had an abundant system of private charity. [Unfortunately, this has now been replaced by the Entitlement State].
The century leading up to the passage of Social Security in 1935 would do more to relieve poverty and increase life’s security than any prior century in human history.
Social Security does not just “redistribute” wealth, it drastically reduces how much wealth is produced in the first place. It is not zero-sum – – it is negative-sum. When welfare state spending took off during the late 1960s, this is when America’s poverty rate stopped declining. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. When the welfare state transfers money away from the people who create it, it undermines how much wealth gets produced in the first place. The Entitlement State did not end poverty – it reduced prosperity. Poverty is not a distribution problem, it is a production problem. The Entitlement State has made each of us far poorer than we would otherwise be.
The best analogy for Social Security’s Trust Fund is to think of parents who set aside their child’s college fund in a jar, but who periodically “borrow” from the jar whenever they want to go on vacation, etc, and replace the cash with an IOU. By the time the child is ready to go to college, the jar is full of IOUs, which will not do a thing to help the parents pay for their child’s schooling.
The government can print green pieces of paper at will. But it cannot bring new wealth into existence by fiat.
In July 2013, rock singer Bono made headlines when he said, “Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid.”
The self-reliant person views productive work, not as a dreary duty, but as an avenue for prosperity, creativity, growth, fulfillment, pride, and joy. He / she does not envy the fact that others may achieve more than they do. His / her chief financial goal is independence.
The Founding Fathers took a crucial leap forward, by declaring that the collective has no claim on you; that the government exists only to protect your right to live your own life.
A self-reliant society nurtures freedom, justice, opportunity and prosperity. We must drop the platitude that the goals of the Entitlement State are “noble” – – those goals are un-American.
I am not my grandfather’s keeper. Parents do not steal from their children.
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Mr. Watkins ends his book with a chapter on how we can abolish the Entitlement State. He encourages us to distribute his book to our friends and family. He asks “What are our chances of success? And on what time scale? If you know that a course of action is right, and there is a chance you can win, then you fight, regardless of the odds, and regardless of how long it will take.” Our Editorial Board whole-heartedly agrees.
US Debt Clock – – April 1st – $56,674 per citizen / May 1st – $56,725