Social Welfare Isn't About "I Paid My Share"

This is important. Though the post focuses on social security, you really have to consider it across the entire social safety net. That's because "welfare" is a dirty word, but "social security" is somehow the honor and the privilege of "hard-working Americans". If you're even on these pages, you should know where this is going--those who think they are deserving of honored categories of government payments see "welfare" as something for Black folks and people of color. The entire culture of the modern welfare state is geared toward this kind of thinking, such that you can't call student grants, subsidized loans, the mortgage interest deduction, 401(k) pre tax deductions, employer provided health benefits credits, government contracts and funding, and and and... For some reason none of that is called welfare but is considered deserved  for being a productive member of society. Nevermind that societies take all types, that economic cycles govern production, that racism and sexism affect access to productivity; nevermind that human life has intrinsic worth and should be valued for the sake of itself. But like the article says, once we sell these social welfare schemes as deserved rewards, it makes all the rest of it easier when you don't "pay into" the kind of welfare they think only PoC receive. 

 

Read more: 

 http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2017/05/paying-social-benefits