Simon Rosenberg

Recent Articles

Whose Point of View?

You're the proverbial alien on our planet, fresh off the UFO. You found a job -- congratulations! -- and you've just received your first paycheck. On the stub, you notice that something, or someone, named "FICA" is skimming 6 percent off the top. "Oh, that's Social Security," your new colleagues tell you. But what's that? You turn to Google, which refers you to Wikipedia -- the free online encyclopedia that "anyone can edit" and that increasingly serves as our culture's reference source of first resort. There, you learn that Social Security is "a social insurance program" that is "funded through dedicated payroll taxes." In 2004, it "paid out almost $500 billion in benefits." It is, "by dollars paid ... the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget." The "Social Security (United States)" Wikipedia entry includes the long history of opposition to Social Security, from the 1930s to the present, a litany of philosophical criticisms...