Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bush's Market-Liberal Scam (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell is thankful for the failure of Social Security "privatization":

President Bush began his second term with a big push for "Social Security privatization." I put the words in quotes to point out that neither his plan, nor any mainstream plan, is actual privatization. What he proposed was the gradual replacement of a publicly funded welfare program – those premiums you pay are really just taxes – with a mandatory private scheme.

Before we go on, let me explain. Let's say the government provided you lunch every day. The food was bad and the price for taxpayers was sky high. So instead, some Beltway policy wonk suggests that government not do this anymore. To be sure, lunch will be eaten. In fact, government will force you to both pay for and eat lunch. To assure its quality, government will designate certain spots where you will eat. It will have authorized restaurants and meal packages.

The plan is proposed by people calling themselves "market liberals." They say it is a step in the right direction, toward freedom. From the point of view of everyone else, what do you think? It's not like you can now skip lunch and save the money. And who can't but notice that there is a large sector of lunch-providers that now have a stake in the program? The lunch business is being subsidized in a big way. We might even say that the previously private lunch industry has been nationalized.

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