John Attarian

Related Freeman Articles

Article

Is Social Security Reform Paternalistic?

Under Some Proposals, Tax Payments Are Only the Beginning

JANUARY 01, 2004 by JOHN ATTARIAN

One great, and valid, complaint about Social Security is that it is paternalistic: it does things for the individual that he should do for himself. In so doing, it commits the twin transgressions of forcing some people to support others and making the beneficiaries the servile dependents of the state.

Article

Social Security: Mythmaking and Policymaking

The Government Program Is Robed in Myths

DECEMBER 01, 2003 by JOHN ATTARIAN

Beginning in 1935, when Social Security was enacted, the program's administrators made a huge effort to shape the public's understanding of and beliefs about it. In speeches, articles, pamphlets, and other mass-circulation literature, they described Social Security as "insurance" under which workers pay "contributions" or "premiums" to receive "guaranteed" benefits that, being "paid for," are theirs "as a matter of earned right," without any means test.1

Book Review

The Power to Destroy

A Powerful Book That Could Catalyze a True Tax Rebellion

OCTOBER 01, 2000 by JOHN ATTARIAN

Article

The Myth of the Social Security Trust Fund

The Looted Trust Fund Myth Is a Serious Barrier to Social Security Reform

MARCH 01, 2000 by JOHN ATTARIAN

Book Review

A New Deal for Social Security by Peter Ferrara and Michael Tanner

Ferrara and Tanner Offer a Welcome Exercise in Thinking Through Social Security

JANUARY 01, 2000 by JOHN ATTARIAN

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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