Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chain Letter

I recently received a chain letter marked with almost 1000 signatures from people rightfully concerned about the way government is spending our money. I have included the text from that letter and my response to it.

The letter:
It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If the government gives benefits to 'illegal' aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave those of us who have paid into Social Security all our working lives? As stated below, the Senate voted this week to allow 'illegal' aliens access to Social Security benefits. Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that requires citizenship for eligibility to that social service. Instructions are below. If you don't forward the petition and just stop it, we will lose all these names. If you do not want to sign it, please just forward it to everyone you know. Thank you! To add your name, click on 'forward'... Address it to all of your email correspondents, add your name to the list and send it on. When the petition hits 1,000, send it to

PETITION for President Obama :
Dear Mr President: We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We demand that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in the United States . We further demand that there not be any amnesty given to illegals, NO free services, no funding, no payments to and for illegal immigrants. We are fed up with the lack of action about this matter and are tired of paying for services to illegals.

My response:
I actually am not concerned with what Congress decides to do with the laws governing Social Security. I do not pay into the Social Security system voluntarily. If a thief takes my money, I do not trouble myself based on whether he spends it on groceries or blows it in a pool hall. Any expenditure is objectionable to me since the funds were obtained without my consent, through the use - or threat - of force.

This letter also seems to address Obama's 2009 economic stimulus package by demanding "NO free services, no funding, no payments to and for illegal immigrants." A lot of people have made a big deal about wanting to make sure that construction jobs subsidized as a result of the stimulus package would only go to firms that can prove through the E-Verify system that they do not hire "illegal" workers. Again, I am not concerned with how Congress decides to allocate the funds from this bill, but if it is to be spent on infrastructure, then the intelligent thing to do would be to give it to firms that can provide the best service at the lowest cost, regardless of who they hire.

Henry D. Thoreau once observed,

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

I don't care to strike at the branches of the Social Security problem or Obama's stimulus package. As long as both parties have accepted the "root" philosophy that government has the right to redistribute individual wealth, meddle in the market for goods and services, and assault national prosperity by debasing our currency and incurring unsustainable debt, I would prefer that the branches of the tree blossom forth with all possible absurdity. That is perhaps the only way people will realize where the road ends when you start down the path of state-sponsored entitlement programs, protectionism, and interventionism. Thanks for forwarding this email on. I won't sign it, but it was fun to think about!