The following was shared on Facebook by a left-leaning friend.
This argument is invalid. I have (do not carry) a Social Security card only because the government forces me to have a Social Security account. Kinda hard to get a (legal) job, or generally exist, without one. As Obamacare advocates would point out, I didn’t build that, and it’s the law.
Because historically, Socialists always have to force their programs down the throats of free men.
The original post was by an exceedingly giddy young (I assume) woman, who accompanied it with the observation, “Just found this today:-) gonna love sharing it with anyone who calls Bernie a Socialist like is a disease??”
Well, Bernie is a socialist. Bernie is about the free stuff. The problem is that this giddy young (I assume) woman doesn’t understand that, historically, in order to provide the free stuff, socialists take over the means of production and dictate who gets what, who lives where, who gets to attend college and become more than just a drone, and who labors as the drones to produce the free stuff for the elites. That would probably surprise this giddy young (I assume) woman, who on her Facebook profile indicates that she is the “owner” of an Etsy shop that sells jewelry. Silly woman. Under a Sanders administration, nobody will own anything — not even their body.
Well, OK, maybe that’s extreme. But it would not be outside the realm of socialist thought.
More to the point, she has not a clue about why and how Social Security came into existence, nor what it and the deluge of social programs that followed it have done to the very fabric of our nation. Before FDR and the New Deal, these social concerns were taken care of locally, by families, extended families, religious institutions, and in some cases, the local government (think “county poor farm”). In some of these instances, the solution wasn’t particularly nice (think “county poor farm”). But where there was life, there was hope, and depending on the community you lived in, it wouldn’t be long till you were back on your feet, even if you were working a job at manual labor for a dollar a day — because the community didn’t have any use for layabouts and shirkers.
Because the 1929 Great Depression had so much more impact on the nation than previous downturns — or at least was perceived to have more impact, probably due to a combination of better news reporting and fumbling attempts (or non-attempts) by the government of the day to do anything to contain it — FDR was able to run and win in ’32 on an essentially socialistic platform which was parlayed into the New Deal. Of course, FDR had no actual answers either, and the Great Depression got even worse before it got better, mostly due to his administration’s incompetent meddling with the levers of government. (The man would literally wake up in the morning and set the day’s price for gold on a whim. Don’t believe me, read some history. Here’s a good place to start.) As a result, the economy, which actually appeared to be recovering by the time the ’32 election rolled around (even though 1932 was the “worst” year of the Great Depression in terms of joblessness), went back into the dumper and hit a nadir in 1937 which was only alleviated by FDR backing off some of the more socialistic New Deal “reforms” he’d put into place. And of course, most honest historians will acknowledge that the Great Depression didn’t end until the economy transformed from consumer-driven to war-driven with the onset of the Second World War.
But look what it took to implement FDR-style statism/socialism.
1) A historically-epic economic downturn in 1929. But we’d had bank panics and downturns many times before in our history. Here’s a list as long as your arm. Somehow we always seemed to get out of them without handing over our lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the gummint.
2) An unwillingness to accept that, by the end of 1932, the country was in fact working its way out of the downturn.
3) The election of a rich bastard asshole one-percenter Democrat (but I may be repeating myself) from the Northeast.
4) A nascent national news media (via radio) that aided and abetted socialistic reforms by giving the President of the United States a true nationwide bully pulpit.
5) The packing and corruption of the Supreme Court with the tacit collusion of the Democrat-majority Senate.
6) A reading of the Constitution’s “general welfare” clause that was out of keeping with historical interpretation of the document.
7) A flatly unConstitutional requirement that workers in most industries must sign up for the new Social Security program. (Railroad workers, among others, had sufficient power to avoid that until the 1960’s, when my grandfather, among others, got screwed when his railroad pension was converted over to Social Security. He lived in penury the rest of his life as a result.)
And finally, 8) A populace that was gulled into a false sense of security by its federal servants, who became their masters without anyone really thinking about it.
To this day, with the later additions of LBJ’s Great Society and the general disaster known as the Obama Administration, little has been done to stem the tide of statism masquerading as socialism. That old fascist Woodrow Wilson, creator of the federal income tax and nationalizer of railroads, would be pleased to see government firmly in charge of the people, with its grasp on their throats tightening more and more every year.
Which leads us back to the original point of this post. The giddy young (I assume) woman who thinks it’s funny that we’re all card-carrying socialists because we’re forced to have SSI accounts proves that she has no idea of what came before. Admittedly, I do only because I have studied history (I’se gots a degree innit, right?) and because my parents lived through the Great Depression and the War that ended it. But I know more about why we have those cards than she does, or probably most average Americans do. If you look through the list I provided above, you’ll see clear parallels between the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the Great Recession we’re currently still in the midst of.
Social Security is one of the best examples of a failed socialist program I can think of. It is funded not by a trust fund, as the people were led to believe when it was created, but by current revenues even over and above what the FICA tax takes in. The “trust fund” was shown to be nothing but a wad of IOU’s from the Treasury some years back. All of us working stiffs are paying into FICA not for our own retirement, but for that of our parents’. (Who, pray tell, will pay for ours? I’m not sanguine about the prospects.) The associated programs Medicare and Medicaid are rife with fraud, and the less said about the abuse and fraud associated with Social Security disability programs, the better for my blood pressure.
We have walked, eyes wide shut, into a fiscal disaster that has been the better part of a century in the making, all due to politicians trying to make us into socialists. And now, the Democrat front-runner wants to impose even more socialism on us, if he’s elected. (So does the Republican front-runner, but he’s being a bit more sly about it.) Both parties are culpable and guilty of aiding and abetting this long, slow slide into state control of our lives. People in Congress like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner (who thankfully is gone, only because — unlike McConnell and John McCain and others of their ilk — he recognized his time was at an end) should have been shown the door years ago, because they do not represent the people — they represent themselves, and the special interests that funded their rise.
And legislators seem honestly hurt by the fact that Congress polls at a rate lower than ever before.
So yeah, Ms. Denny Love, sure, yuk it up that we’re all Socialists now. Laugh while you can. In a few years, your sense of humor may be all you have. But you’ll have to live with the fruits of your folly a lot longer than I will. Thank goodness for small favors.