If You Don’t Like Socialism, Return the Checks!


I’m trying to get a little more active on social media.   It isn’t easy for me because I’ve honestly never really liked it.  My profile picture is from about 8 years ago and all my “about” information is probably outdated and incorrect.  However, over the past few months one of our friends, Katy Khaos, has had several vlog posts asking other anarchists what do they do to spread the word.  Even as recently as today she posted this video asking how other anarchists have “come out“.  

Well, I write this blog, I read a good amount of political philosophy and economics, and I don’t back down when people ask my opinion.  But what is the sense in having rational views that are outside the mainstream without sharing them?  Imagine if abolitionists kept their mouths shut when they were only getting 2% of the vote.

So, just the other day I saw a conversation between 2 friends I haven’t seen in years.  I’m going to skip all the details and get to the one comment that I couldn’t let slide: “ If you aren’t big on socialism, I hope you plan on mailing your Social Security checks back every month.”  This is fairly common and bothers the hell out of me.  It usually comes from a snarky, condescending person and they drop it like this is the final nail in the coffin.  Now you’ll have to submit and accept socialism because you might accept a Social Security check in the future.

I didn’t want to get into a back and forth about the solvency of Social Security, or the fact that there might be a better, more productive way to save for retirement than a giant Ponzi scheme, so I just pointed out that his little “gotcha moment” is flawed.  I made my response short and to the point.  I didn’t want it to be confusing at all….How can you violently coerce someone to pay for a retirement benefit then tell him if he didn’t like his money being taken for 45 straight years that he should return the benefit when it is paid?  There is no option to not pay for Social Security, but his argument only makes sense if there is a way to opt out of paying.  Basically, if someone was to not pay for the benefit, then expect to get paid when he turns 65, you would be right to rip him by saying, “you didn’t like socialism when you had to pay for it, but now you want the benefit.”

His response to my comment might have been more frustrating than his original comment.  He went on a semi-incoherent rant about how there cannot be an option to opt out.  If there was the rich wouldn’t pay it and the poor wouldn’t either and it would extend the income gap, etc…He totally missed that I didn’t even argue for an option not to pay, I was only saying that he doesn’t make sense.

I don’t know what I was expecting.  I didn’t think I’d change his mind at all, but I thought he would at least read what I wrote.  Oh well, some people just have their minds made up.