Gay People and Social Security

My gym in D.C. has stacks of the usual urban papers near the front door, including the Washington Blade, the D.C. gay paper that this week featured a cover story on how many gay political groups are opposing reforming Social Security to allow personal accounts because they are guided by the usual leftist ideology, and MetroWeekly, essentially a gay theater, restaurant, and bar guide. The December 16 issue of the latter contained an article on their “Coverboy of the Year,” a handsome 25-year old grad student named Will Bell who hasn’t quite mastered the concept of cause and effect. He expresses his preference for life in Spain (which is, indeed, a great country) because,

“Here, we’re so obsessed with making money. It’s all-consuming. Here, you have to save for retirement because Social Security is a mess. And we don’t get healthcare unless we have it through our jobs. There’s so much pressure here to go to a good school, to get a good job. If you’re not making a certain amount of money by a certain age, you’re a failure. Basically, [in Spain] they work less than we do, and they enjoy life more.”

Um, Will, someone has to work and save for retirement, because when you’re old you can’t consume what’s not been produced. Without reform along the lines of the Chilean model, the Spanish retirement system is headed straight for the rocks. It won’t be able to sustain its current level of benefits because it’s even more of a pay-as-you-go system than the Social Security system in the U.S. and because pension assets as a percentage of GDP in Spain are a tiny fraction of what they are in Switzerland, the Netherlands, the U.K, or the U.S.

You can be a grasshopper or you can be an ant. The ants don’t all die in the winter.

P.S. One reason that gay people should find personal accounts in their interest is that being the owner of one’s own capital, rather than the recipient of a state-granted entitlement, means that you can leave that capital to your heir, which is not possible for gay couples under Social Security. There is more discussion of the pressing need for changes in Social Security below (1, 2) and at

3 Responses to “Gay People and Social Security”

  1. David Timmerman

    If we had ownership over our own social security accounts, no government provided health care, and less repressive taxes (and a simplified tax system), I could almost care less if we ever get government sanctioned gay marriage.

    I don’t need their beaurocratic blessings for that.

  2. Brian Radzinsky

    Despite the overwhelming potential benefits for gay couples in a system of private, personal accounts, the major gay lobbying groups, that is the Human Rights Campaign and the NGLTF refuse to endorse them because (gasp!) they are a major part of the President’s second term agenda. When HRC came close to endorsing personal retirement accounts, they quickly relented and once again proved themselves pawns of the statist nanny-government left. Are they pro-gay? Or rather anti-Bush and anti-privatisation. I think they have made their answer quite clear.

  3. Tom G. Palmer

    Having gotten a series of perverted and altogether unpleasant comments (with the kind of suggestions one can imagine) on this topic from Justin Raimondo and his ilk, I’ve closed comments on this thread.