John Attarian (1956-2004) was a free-lance writer with a Ph.D. in economics. He wrote for numerous national publications and was an editorial advisor to Modern Age.
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.
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
An excellent handbook for taxpayers by a former Social Security actuary
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