Policies So Good, You’re Not Allowed to Say “No”

justin-katz-avatar-smiling

Kevin Williamson’s “Utiopia’s Jailers” would be good assigned reading for a low-level political philosophy course:

The Left’s heart is still in East Berlin: If people want to leave your utopia and have the means to do so, then build a wall. If they climb over the wall — as millions of low-income parents with children in private schools (very commonly Catholic schools) do — then build a higher wall. …

It isn’t just education, of course. In much of Canada, private health insurance is effectively banned. The existence of private insurance is a very strong indicator that there are some people who are not entirely pleased with Canada’s single-payer system. (Monopolies rarely have happy customers.) So they opt out, at least in part, exercising the right of exit that is the most fundamental of civil rights. This is an affront to progressive values. Solution? Ban private health insurance. …

… try opting out of Social Security or Medicare and see how long it takes for Uncle Stupid to put you in prison as a tax evader. Those metaphorical prison walls are almost always political veneers for actual prison walls.

A more difficult question is why we let them do it.  In East Berlin, there was the little matter of an invading military force, but Americans are letting progressives rope them down like an incrementally compliant Gulliver.  Williamson’s examples give a good indication of the answer.

Acquiescence to the pitiful likes of President Obama and former Governor Chafee, let alone the legions of Whitehouses, Cicillines, Foxes, and so-ons, requires a long-term effort to miseducate the population, promise them things at others’ expense, and gain a patrician’s power over them.  As the wall goes up, the effort of dismantling it becomes greater and greater, making it easier and easier to succumb to the hope that the malicious builders will stop after one more row of bricks.

They won’t.



  • George from Warwick

    A more difficult question is why we let them do it…

    A question that was answered more than 70 yrs ago
    by F A Hayek =►

    . . . http://tinyurl.com/ometoar

  • Warrington Faust

    When I was studying Finance, right after the war of Northern Aggression, I recall the professor (Capt. Thorne, USNR) drawing on a board to show that you would have to live until age 108 to get your money back from Social Security. I don’t remember the calculation, I expect that assumed the rate of return prevailing in the 60’s and 70’s, or about 6%.
    I assume that current rates of return would effect that. On the other hand, in those days, SS tax stopped after you earned 5K for the year. I also think the SS rate has more than doubled.

    I am not sure the calculation above survived intact. I know a few old biddies whose husband’s began working in the 1930’s, and 40’s (paying practically nothing), they are drawing about $1,800 per month. I think they won that game, but I suppose it was their last earning years which controlled the pay out.

  • George from Warwick

    Warrington ,,

    On the other hand, in those days, SS tax stopped after you earned 5K for the year. I also think the SS rate has more than doubled.

    For 2015, you pay the 6.2% FICA with·holding on your 1st
    $ 118,500 of income. That is up 1.28% from 2014’s $ 117,000

    So the max you will ‘contribute’ this year is $ 7,350. Your employer will contribute the same amount — or YOU will , if yer self-employed — bringing the total to $ 14,700

    … I suppose it was their last earning years which controlled the pay out.

    Actually, your benefit is calculated on the average of your highest 35 years of income. If you worked only, say, 25 yrs, they will average in a ‘zero’ for the other ten years

    You need 40 ‘quarters’ — i.e. ten years — of reported earnings to qualify. But you only need $ 1,220 a quarter to get credit for each quarter. If you can earn $ 4,880 in one quarter, they will credit you for all 4 quarters of that year

    There is no minimum benefit, but as I’ve griped about supra, the benefits are *way* heavily weighted towards the lower end of the earnings spectrum

    The people who *really* get screwed are dual-earning married couples. But that is the subject of another post ☼

    • Warrington Faust

      “you would have to live until age 108 to get your money back from Social Security”

      I think I stated that poorly, the professor was attempting a comparsion between sums paid in to SS and sums privately invested. For instance, if you began as a relatively high earner of $60,000, self employed, at age 25, and averaged the the 60K over 40 working years you would pay in about 7,400 per year. If that sum were privately invested at 5%, compounded but free of taxes, at age 65 you would have accumulated approximately $945,000.. That would be “in your hand” at age 65. I am not certain what you would receive from SS. But settling on a number, devide that sum into $945,000 and see how many years you would have to live. Do not forget to factor in that you will continue to accumulate interest on any portion of the $945,000 not spent.

      • George from Warwick

        Well, for now & for the forseeable future, privatizing social security will remain a pipe dream — Utopia’s Jailers will make sure of that

        A word about that article from National Review that Justin linked to in the OP …

        I subscribed to NR for over twenty yrs … finally got too busy to read it every two weeks and then WFB died

        The weird thing is … I had never even *heard* of NR until Woody Allen mentioned it derogatorily in the 1977 flick Annie Hall … and by then I had already spent *five years* in college at a Big Ten university

        So the roots of the scourge of Political Correctness that is destroying our education systems go back at least that far

        The very term “politically correct” was introduced into the American lexicon at Brown University back in the ’80’s. The term itself was coined in the 1930’s by Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky

        Interesting too that that article mentions Eagle Rock in LA. My lovely wife grew up a few miles from there in Wilmington, LA — a town whose main claim to fame is being a punch·line in one of the Cheech & Chong movies

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