blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 10:48 PM
azimuth - 2/7/2005 8:33 PM
So, let's have social programs and make them attractive. If I can expect a better return on my investment through a socialized security system than in the private sector, there will be no need for compulsion.
Who is to say that your SS system does not provide a better return, based on a NATIONAL basis? Heck, it might even based on an individual basis given differing risk tolerances. It's kinda like the basic tax system. We're thinking about NATIONAL prosperity as opposed to an individual basis.
I know that the US has a stronger history of individual needs coming before the needs of the collective, but I think some of that history is overblown in the minds of the citizens, especially as of late with Cheney, et al. In truth, the US has a significant history of collective thinking and it's that aspect of your history that has created the world's remaining super-power, both economically and militarily.
The US looked to Eastern-Bloc nations not as collective thinkers in their socialism, but as totalitarian dictatorships using socialism to oppress it's people through "collective backwardness." The US chose to utilize collective thinking to build a powerful nation, but provide opportunity on an individual basis as well. Collective thinking, on a national basis, requires participation.
Being poor in the US or Canada, or most of Europe is a far cry from being poor in most of Africa or many parts of Central America or Asia. We made a conscious decision to elevate even our poorest to a standard of living envied by many in the world. This is one of the things that truly separates "us" from "them." It wold not have worked had it been "optional."