|Will The Atheists' Plan Work?||The End of Socialized Medicine?|
by Christopher Chantrill
October 23, 2007 at 4:10 pm
THE GOVERNMENTS entitlements like Social Security are based on age entitlements. At age 62 you can get early retirement on Social Security. At age 65 you start Medicare. But government researchers are looking at another approach, writes Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution.
The current practice of measuring age as years-since-birth, both in common practice and in the law, rather than alternative measures reflecting a persons stage in the lifecycle distorts important behavior such as retirement, saving, and the discussion of dependency ratios.
Get the idea? Change the entitlement for Social Security from age 62 to the age at which you have a 15 year life expectancy.
The chaps at Marginal Revolution seem to think this is a great idea. But I wonder.
As a 61 year-old, I really dont want to be forced to work until 70 or something before I get my Social Security. The fact is that most people, once they have raised their children, start to slow down. And our brains, as well as our bodies, slow down too. We get ready to get out of the rat race. If only we could.
Of course, with a judicious combination of work and savings, I can adjust my work effort and income to suit myself. But with a mechanical government program, thats not possible. Somebody else sets the rules. And the rules are not necessarily in anyones best interest.
In fact, the trouble with the governments entitlement programs is that they respond only too readily to the universal human willingness to live at the expense of others.
Hey! Ive worked hard for ___ (fill in the blank) years. I deserve it. The folks in Europe certainly do.
And once you have the government program in place then you are reduced to arguing over whether to juggle the benefits this way or that way, or change the eligibility upwards or downwards. Individuals and families are not longer in control. But the monster stays.
The entitlement problem will not be solved by mechanical means, juggling this or that parameter. It will be solved by raw political power.
That may not be a pretty sight.|
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America