Increasingly, the average American is incapable of debating their position politically. Due to this, we often see people resort to strawman arguments, personal attacks, or attempts to find some way to write off the person delivering the message.
Nowhere is this more visible than in the comment sections of online posts.
Recently, I watched such an exchange go down on a viral post I shared that contained an excerpt from Ayn Rand.
The predictable comments followed swiftly: “Ayn Rand took Social Security!” As if this somehow proves that Rand was dependent on the government, a hypocrite, and needed public assistance.
There are multiple problems with this reaction.
One, it shows the commenter is actually unable to grapple with the merits of the material being presented to them. That’s a sad state for society. We need people who are capable of logic, debate, and rigorous thought. As Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” We instead have minds who melt down at the sight of any idea that challenges their preconceived notions.
This pseudointellectual argument is also flatly wrong on its face and indicates the person making it has no understanding of how our government works.
Social Security is not supposed to be a “welfare” program. Rather, it is a Ponzi scheme we’re all forced to pay into by the government. Every time I work a job I am made to pay a percentage of what I earn into Social Security.
Allegedly, that money will then be invested by the government and paid back to me when I retire. Currently, Americans can expect to make far less on Social Security’s return than we could expect were we allowed to keep our money and invest it privately.
No sane person would opt into Social Security if given the choice, especially considering the fact that the system is going broke. The likelihood my generation will receive even a lower rate of return, or potentially no money at all from this system, is high, despite decades of being robbed by the government and forced to pay into it. It’s a disgustingly immoral system and it’s also very badly designed. Both Ayn Rand and I believed that to be true and advocated/advocate against it.
But does that mean I shouldn’t try to take back every single cent from it I can in the future?? LOL… of course not. That would be the epitome of stupidity—to allow myself to be robbed, protest the theft, and then refuse to take back any part of my possessions I can get?
Get out of here.
It is simply false to, in any way, insinuate that taking Social Security makes one dependent on the government. Hardly. We are simply taking our money back while also working to stop the theft being perpetrated on the American people at the same time. This is a purely principled position.
And this position does not just apply to the Social Security attacks against Ayn Rand.
•Ayn Rand took social security!
•You took student loan forgiveness!
•Caught you driving on the roads!
•Bet you deposited your stimulus check!
Uh, yeah bruh. I’m not financially stupid.
Any half wit would take back what was stolen from them while still opposing the theft
— Hannah Cox (@HannahDCox) August 25, 2022
The reality is the government steals, at minimum, thousands of dollars from all of us each year. Through income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, business licenses, fees, and fines, we are flat-out mugged by these people day in and day out. In return, the vast majority of us get jack squat for this money. We can and should put an end to this thuggery, and at the same time, we should work to bleed the government dry of every cent we can get back from them.
Yes, many Americans accepted stimulus checks or Paycheck Protection Plan loans during the COVID lockdowns. Many citizens will now have $10,000 in student debt paid off. But we can oppose these economically illiterate policies while still taking our money and running for the hills.
Taking one’s property back is not an endorsement of the initial theft. Warning about the economically detrimental effects of bad public policies doesn’t mean we should force ourselves to suffer them more.
As an example, student loan cancellation is a terrible idea that will surely increase inflation, allow schools to become more expensive, and further devalue college degrees. I and those around me will suffer those economic consequences, even though I’ve worked hard to prevent this policy from going through. Why should I also turn down the $10,000 I’ve more than paid to the government and that will at least minorly offset the poor decisions of politicians?
Ayn Rand was right and principled to take her money back from the government. We should all carry on that legacy.