Thoughts on economics, finance, investment, and money.
Monday, August 25, 2008
On Social Security
Despite the harsh words, the real difference here is values. Libertarians value personal liberty and money and not much else. Liberals value those, but also social values. Libertarians see themselves as islands separate from society. Though they believe in markets, they see money as a zero sum game, taxation as impoverishment, and want the freedom to spend their money as they see fit. If it leads to large numbers of starving elderly, well they will just deny that it will, blame it on their foolishness, or if that is not enough, that that is what charity is for. Liberals see themselves in the middle of society and see money as a social artifact. They see their neighbor's wealth as enriching their own and their neighbor's poverty as impoverishing their own. For them freedom is good, but not an absolute good. Freedom to starve as no freedom worth defending. The conflict is irreconcilable logically, but only through a change of heart. It may be resolved in time though as society becomes wealthier and can provide the basics to everyone at minimal cost and we start to focus on our potentials rather than whether our neighbor's meal is food off our table.