Thursday, April 16, 2015

Was Ayn Rand a hypocrite for collecting Social Security?

John Fugelsang seems to think so:

But wait a minute . . . there's nothing inconsistent about being a libertarian and collecting Social Security. If you believe the government is wrongfully taking your money (in the form of taxes), naturally you should want to take as much of it back as possible (in the form of benefits). You could still complain that this was inefficient because you would've spent the money better if you had kept it all along; some of your money was siphoned off by government workers; etc.

By analogy, if a thief stole your wallet and spent half of the cash that was in it, then offered you the wallet back, you'd take it back, simply to recover most of what you had lost. That wouldn't be an admission that what the thief did was good.

If anything, the hypocritical libertarian would be one who declines to receive Social Security checks, since this would be essentially donating money to the federal government.


LemmusLemmus said...

But your argument presupposes that the libertarian pays taxes first, then collects social security - right?

CatherineM said...

...or I would have saved and invested the money and had more money at retirement than my payout from social security.

Fugelsang is the king of the straw man argument.