NOTE: I wrote the post below in September of 2010 at my original blog site. This post has, by far gotten the most hits. Even more interesting is the fact that the majority of the views came from Russia, South Korea, Slovenia, and Latvia…..not so many in the United States. I am curious about this pattern so maybe you could read this and give me your opinion as to why those countries found this post so interesting.
I seem to remember that I used to hear regularly the line: “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” I found a site that says it originated in 1969. Wikipedia states that it was used 1960’s to 1980’s.
I was reminded of this phrase because the motivation behind it was to encourage parents to fulfill their parental role by maintaining an awareness of the location and activity of their children. This is a good thing; parents taking responsibility for providing their children with supervision to ensure that they are safe. Then, you have the government jump into the mix and you get a lot of unintended consequences. Reason magazine has an interesting article regarding a city governments imposed curfew on teens. Was it a good thing? Were there unintended consequences? I think there were. I think parents supervising their children is a better way to go.
Now let’s use another example of government jumping in where it does not belong; Lifetime Income Options for Retirement Plans. I just love the names the government elite give to these things. It sounds so innocent. It sounds like they are trying to take care of us from cradle to grave, even though that is not within their Constitutional role. After all, they handled Social Security so well, they should take charge of everyone’s retirement resources, right? Wrong!
Let us consider the history of Social Security. I also suggest reading, New Deal or Raw Deal by Burton Folsom, Jr. At the “social security” link above you will some history on the creation of this system. One of the statements that I’d like to highlight is: “So, also, security was attained in the earlier days through interdependence of members of families upon each other and of the families within a small community upon each other. The complexities of great communities and of organized industry make less real these simple means of security. Therefore, we are compelled to employ the active interest of the Nation as a whole through government in order to encourage a greater security for each individual who composes it.” That sounds so nice, but it is not what our federal government is supposed to get involved in. We can apply, I believe, principles numbers 6, 7 and 9 in the 9-12 concept of my earlier post.
You can also find some great resources for information on Social Security, including the option of privatizing social security, at the Cato Institute. There are other sites that discuss the pros and cons of privatization, but I think we need to keep one thing in mind: the social security system is in trouble. It is now in the red. Our national debt is growing and our unfunded liabilities are staggering. Taking your hard earned money that you have saved for retirement is outrageous. Just looking at the state of the Social Security Trust fund tells you where this would end up.
The overall concern in all that I present here is that we need to return to the principles this country was founded on. We also need to return to those values that have been eroded by a Progressive world view. I think that takes us right back to restoring honor. That means we strive to begin again to take care of those in need. That means we take personal responsibility for our actions and suffer the consequences for bad decisions. That means we hold each other to a standard that reflects our values and principles. It doesn’t mean we will always succeed, but I believe we would be better off.
It is NOT the government’s job to “take care of us” contrary to the propaganda video seen by many of our children, The Story of Stuff.
UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer makes some good points in his recent editorial: Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme that can be saved through reform.