I have just turned 66. All my friends, family, colloquies, and people in line at Walmart tell me I should apply for benefits, since now I can draw “Full” benefits and keep working, which is the boomer generation’s equivalent of having a Winnebago and being a Snowbird.
First, a word about “Full” benefits; every once in a while, on a seemingly random basis, I receive a statement from the Social Security Commissar that tells me that what is supposedly my hypothetical Social Security Account is in Bill Clinton’s mythical lock box. When my turn in the barrel rolls around and I am lucky enough to win a report, I notice that it always tells me that if I am disabled, I will receive X-1; if I claim benefits at 62, I receive X; If I wait and claim benefits at 66, I receive X+1; and if I wait until I am 70, I receive X+2. So how does 66 equate to full benefits?
Perhaps it is because at 66, I can receive my X+1 and still keep working making 10X with no penalty? This is what leads me to my current conundrum.
I hear from all sides, “You have paid into this system your whole working life. That is your money.” I also hear, “You’d be crazy not to take it.” And, of course, “They owe it to you.”
The problem is I know that every cent I ever involuntarily contributed to the Social Security Ponzi Scheme was spent at least 10 years before they confiscated my contribution. I also know that, to give me my X+1, they are going to confiscate a contribution from some poor working millennial who is making X or maybe even X-1 just to keep the illusion of solvency going. Then, every time I accept the automatic deposit of my fiat money, my acceptance and my silence keeps the FDR’s great Ponzi Scheme going, and I have just become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.
Can anyone say Cloward-Piven Strategy?
According to Richard Poe, DiscoverTheNetworks.org, “First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the Cloward-Piven Strategy seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”
Yes, I know I have had money confiscated by Uncle Sam since I drew my first paycheck. Yes, I know that this is legal and I know that the rules of the system say I can now draw a monthly check. However, I also know that to pay me, the government can pretend all they want that it is somehow related to the money they have confiscated from me, and I know they will pay me by making money magically appear in my account each month. I also know that this money is backed by nothing more than borrowing from our foreign creditors or putting more IOUs in the mythical lock-box.
I don’t know if there is anyone else going through this type of anguish about whether or not to draw money from Social Security. Is it just me?
I feel like a square peg in a round hole. A boomer who hasn’t worried, “Will Social Security be there when I am ready to retire.” A boomer who hasn’t reached the gateway to X+1 who isn’t singing:
So long sad times, go long bad times We are rid of you at last Howdy gay times, cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
Happy days are here again The skies above are clear again So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again.
Instead I am conflicted and lamenting for my beloved memory of a constitutionally limited government, personal liberty, and economic opportunity as I sigh:
The party’s over It’s time to call it a day They’ve burst your pretty balloon And taken the moon away It’s time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid.
Recent headlines like, “It may be time to put some money under the mattress” over stories filled with advice from some of the world’s largest hedge fund managers should at least give people pause for thought. When we as a people keep charging our Visa to our MasterCard and then charging our MasterCard to our Discover and then getting a cash advance on our Visa to pay our Discover, how long can we keep asking ourselves in the middle of the night, “How can this go wrong?” When we as a nation have Alfred E. Newman for a leader asking, “What, me worry?” how long it will be before we are saying, “That which I have feared has come upon me.”
It is thoughts like these that have me swaying both ways. On one hand, I don’t want to be part of the problem. On the other, I honestly believe we have passed the tipping point, so what does it matter?
If anyone else is having this inner debate, I would love to hear from you. Or am I alone in this? Are my beliefs in limited government, individual liberty, and economic freedom merely a nostalgic impediment to my enjoyment of our shabby, progressive utopia?
I have never wondered, “Would the money be there for me when I reach retirement age?” Why? Because I have always known the government would continue to transfer the money, even if they don’t bother to print it or if they have to borrow it from China or steal it from future generations. They will never stop transferring the money because to do so will be to expose the fact that the emperor has no clothes and it has been a Ponzi scheme all along. So don’t worry, you will get the electronic transfer, even if it will only buy a loaf of bread by the time you get it.
Should I sign on the dotted line and let Social Security pay back my student loans as the serpent of socialism eats its own tail?
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