Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:34 PM
Recursion (34,524 posts)
Why the Powers That Be Hate Social Security (Yglesias)
Something that I think often confuses people but that it's important to understand if you want to understand the budget debate is that Important People absolutely despise Social Security. It's basically their least-favorite thing in the world. And it's not because they're insane or something. There's a deep logic to their hatred, and you have to appreciate not just the existence of the hatred but its source to understand the game.
And to be clear, this goes way deeper than the fact that lots of people don't like taxes and thus don't like spending that leads to taxes. Social Security is special and especially despised because lots of important people care a lot about The Economy.
The Economy consists of adding up all the economically valuable stuff that happens. All the goods and services and labor that are bought and sold. And with most government spending, you can make some kind of case that the spending boosts The Economy. It boosts The Economy because we need infrastructure or educated workers or healthy ones. Even something like Medicare does something for The Economy because it subsidizes medical training and research. The Economy wants you to spend money on things that can be plausibly described as "investments" that drive future prosperity. And mailing a check to your grandma doesn't fit the bill.
You've got this big scheme to levy taxes on working people who are participating in The Economy and transfer money to people who've dropped out of The Economy. They take that money and use it to pay the electricity bill and buy a cookie for their grandkids. If they didn't get that money, they'd probably have to work longer and spend more years being part of The Economy. And they'd have to spend their working years being thriftier, and amassing more savings that (via the magic of the financial system) finance private sector investments in The Economy. So not only would lower taxes on The Economy spur more growth, but the mere fact of not sending your grandma those checks is good for The Economy. The Economy thrives on incentives (if you work, we'll give you money) and desperation (if you want money, you have to work) and Social Security is a double-wammy, reducing the incentives of workers and reducing the desperation of the elderly.
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Replies to this discussion thread
Why the Powers That Be Hate Social Security (Yglesias) (Original post)
Response to duffyduff (Reply #1)
Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:19 AM
xfundy (4,282 posts)
6. They do?
Citation and link, please.
If so: Doesn't that count as employee compensation? Is it something they would gladly pass on to the employee, if not for th' damn gubmint? Is the employee taxed on it? Is the employer? How much of a percentage of the employee's earnings does that contribution represent? How much of the employer's?
Should people just die because they can't physically perform the labor anymore? Should they be able to continue living after they've outlived their usefulness? Should your grandma? Your dad? Should you?
I really don't know, so am asking for enlightenment. Thanks in advance!
Response to Recursion (Original post)
Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:39 PM
HereSince1628 (29,104 posts)
3. Sorta overlooks that Grandma is spending everything AND her SS in THE ECONOMY!
What the asshole elites really don't like is so many old folks with a fragment of life for leisure.
It ruins the benefits of LEISURE by making it look down right COMMON!!
The ELITE HATE TO LOOK COMMON.