More on Rights and Freedoms
The other day I commented on
Rights: Social and political aspects and
implications and stated that one individual's rights are someone or
everyone else's obligations.
Here is a bit more background on the
example I used (i.e.: social security benefits are a right).
When you read the following, keep in mind that men, as is the case with
all other payroll deductions, make about 70 percent of contributions for
Social Security, while women receive about 70 percent of the benefits
derived therefrom. But that is not the only issue. Even more importantly,
the concept of Social Security is (in the words of Milton and Rose
Friedman*) "more like a chain letter".
following paragraph that appeared year after year until 1977 in
millions of copies of an unsigned HEW booklet [whose title is] 'Your Social
Security': "The basic idea of social security is a simple one:
During working years employees, their employers and self-employed
people pay social security contributions which are pooled into
special trust funds. When earnings stop or are reduced because the
worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies, monthly cash benefits are
paid to replace part of the earnings the family has lost."
This is Orwellian doublethink.
Payroll taxes are labeled "contributions"
(or as the Party might have put it in the book Nineteen Eighty-four,
"Compulsory is Voluntary").
Trust funds are conjured with as if they
played an important role. In fact, they have long been extremely
small ($32 billion for OASI as of June 1978, or less than half a
year's outlays at the current rate) and consist only of promises by
one branch of government to pay another branch. The present value of
the old age pensions already promised to persons covered by Social
Security (both those who have retired and those who have not) is in
the trillions of dollars. That is the size of the trust fund that
would be required to justify the words of the booklet (in Orwellian
terms, "Little is Much").
The impression is given that a worker's
"benefits" are financed by his "contributions." The fact is that
taxes collected from persons at work were used to pay benefits to
persons who had retired or to their dependents and survivors. No
trust fund in any meaningful sense was being accumulated ("I am
Workers paying taxes today can derive no
assurance from trust funds that they will receive benefits when they
retire. Any assurance derives solely from the willingness of future
taxpayers to impose taxes on themselves to pay for benefits that
present taxpayers are promising themselves. This one-sided "compact
between the generations," is a very different thing from a "trust
fund." It is more like a chain letter.
The HEW booklets, including those
currently being distributed, also say, "Nine out of ten working
people in the United States are earning protection for themselves
and their families under the social security program."
More doublethink. What nine out of ten
working people are now doing is paying taxes to finance payments to
people who are not working....
Milton & Rose Friedman
in Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
pp. 94, 95
The taxing of working people for payments to people who don't work is
common in all developed nations. It is also common to all developed
nations that most people who work are men and that, aside from the infirm
and children, most people who don't work are women. To repeat what I said,
about 70 percent of payroll taxes are paid by men, and about 70 percent of
the taxes thus collected are being paid to women. Two-thirds of the
elderly are women. The very oldest of the elderly are almost exclusively
Women live longer than men because they are being pampered. They have
the options of working full-time, part-time or not at all (or any
combination thereof throughout their lives).
Men's options are generally limited to working full-time. Unemployment
insurance benefits are only a limited option for men, as men who wish to
receive welfare or perpetual unemployment insurance benefits will soon
find themselves living on skid row and handouts.
Moreover, men who are desperate for work often can find only employment
in dangerous, dirty and unhealthy jobs. On the other hand, women are less
likely to be desperate for work because welfare is always available to
them, no matter for how long they wish to receive it. If that is
unsatisfactory, women can always find themselves a man (or some
organization) to look after them. That is easy. Men marry down, and women
marry up. That is why only about 10 percent of people on skid row are
Thus did the "right" to receive social security benefits become a
compulsory duty and tax that primarily affects men. Therefore, women's
independence from slavery in the patriarchy requires that primarily men
slave for Father State so that Father State can then pay welfare primarily
to "liberated" women, welfare that was formerly provided in the form of
goods and services internally within families.
It follows that on account of Father State controlling the productivity
of primarily men for the benefit of primarily women, families are no
longer a necessity for the security of women.
Therefore, by law, women's rights became men's duties, and women's
liberation became men's enslavement.
As I said, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody must pay
the bill. That always was men, and now Father State holds them to it by
law, whereas formerly men did it voluntarily and received much respect and
even love in return. Who in his right mind would respect or even love a
slave? Most people don't, but people with common sense would respect and
often love men even though men are enslaved in many ways.
There is still a considerable but gradually shrinking number of women
who wish to be married and mothers. Unfortunately for them, the supply of
men who are marriage material is gradually shrinking, too, perhaps even a
little bit faster.
More and more men are unwilling to carry the double burden of slavery
to Father State for the benefit of primarily women who give nothing in
return to men, plus voluntary slavery within marriage to a woman of their
own, regardless of how much love or respect that woman may be willing to
give to her man. To boot, the risk posed by marriage to a given man is
about equal to him playing Russian roulette with more than every second
Men, far more often than women, pay the bill when a marriage breaks up.
However, although that is not always the case, it would be correct to
consider that women, too, play the deadly game of Russian roulette that is
marriage, except that women are more likely to pull the trigger than to be
at the business end of the gun.
Walter H. Schneider
Milton Friedman won the 1976 Nobel Prize for
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SUN — Seniors United Now
The up- and coming, rapidly-growing advocacy organization
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If you are concerned about how seniors are affected by the
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to about 80 web pages at Fathers for Life that will be of interest to you.