Die Nasty


Statist “progressives” are obsessed with wealth and power. I think that back in the ’80s, they must have been sucked into their TV sets, and they’ve been trapped ever since in an endless episode of Dynasty. This must be why they have no idea what the real world is like.

Oliver, a friend of mine who’s about to retire, will need to go on working — just to survive — until he dies. He can’t disclose to the government that he’ll still be earning money, or he’ll lose the Social Security he paid for with money he might otherwise have invested. Without it, he can’t make enough money, at any job that will still have him, while living on Social Security alone would reduce him to poverty. When I complain about this to people with standard-issue leftist views, all they do is rant about the greedy rich and the big corporations — as if Oliver didn’t exist.

On both the Left and the Right, statists seem to get their view of the world from soap operas.

Another friend, Kevin, keeps bees and chickens at the home he shares with his life partner, on a spacious property in a semi-rural area. The city, or county, or whoever hands down such edicts, does not permit him to have enough bees or chickens to make a living selling honey and eggs. So he must return to an office cubicle — to spend the rest of his life working for big corporations and the rich.

How does any of this make sense? I mention my second friend to people who care so much about “the working class”. And I get blank stares and silence. Then they launch into yet another diatribe about “social justice.”

I’m beginning to think that they live on a different planet. A good name for it would be Die Nasty. And that’s definitely the way a whole lot of us are going to die, if “progressives” keep showing us their compassion.

The first requirement of honest politics, it seems to me, is that they apply to real people, here on earth. On both the Left and the Right, statists seem to get their view of the world from soap operas. They ignore those of us who actually exist. Stereotypical, one-dimensional characters are all that interest them.

I’m much more concerned about actual human beings. Oliver would love to spend his golden years camping and fishing, and God knows he’s worked hard enough to earn it. Kevin’s farmette is within a stone’s throw of the zoo. He loves getting up to the crow of the rooster and the roar of the lions, and tending to the living things that flourish in his care. But although the American Dream looks different to each of us, for many it’s been preempted by a nightmare.

Were I to appeal to one of my own favorite fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes, he would quickly collar the culprit. “Tell me, my dear Lori,” I hear him muse, as he puffs on his pipe and plays the violin, “who really benefits from this mad scheme?”

I don’t need Doctor Watson to help me find the answer. It is elementary, indeed. The statist Left is the only sector of our society that gets anything out of the equation. “Splendid!” Holmes would declare. “And there is . . . do you not agree . . . a terrible beauty to it all.”

I suppose there is. Leftists keep making the very problems they purport to solve even worse than ever, thereby assuring that they themselves will keep being needed to save the day. Only day after day goes by, and no matter how many years pass, the problems remain. We keep getting more and more desperate for a solution, and far too many of us continue to call upon our “progressive” heroes to help.

The only people who might hold the statist Left responsible for keeping its promises are those who support it.

Both Oliver and Kevin are diehard progressives. They persist, against all evidence to the contrary, in thinking that their saviors will come through for them. Racial tensions soar into the stratosphere, the battle of the sexes goes thermonuclear, and gay activists snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by attacking religious freedom just as same-sex marriage is gaining ground. Still, the faithful keep faith. If I were to tell my friends that government is making their lives miserable, they would quickly protest that — oh, no! — government is noble, and has We the People’s best interests at heart.

The only people who might hold the statist Left responsible for keeping its promises are those who support it. I have stopped, because I no longer believe in statism at all. I, too, will have to work for the rest of my life, because Obama and Company have robbed me of the chance that I might ever retire. I still believe in progress, but I refuse to accept the silly mummery that claims to promote it as any substitute for the real thing.

Real people need real solutions. It would help if more of us got a clue. Where is Sherlock Holmes when we need him?

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The property tax is the worst tax of all. It prevents the very security that your friends seek. A tax to maintain curbs and streets, that I can understand. Most property taxes go to the general fund and for education, and allow the individual no chance to ever fully own her home.

Richard Parker

"Oliver" needs better advice. Once he reaches his full retirement age, he can draw social security and keep working with no penalty on his current earning.

I was born in 1949 and I reach my full retirement age this year. I can draw full social security and continue working with no penalty.

Lori Heine

So Oliver's life must be ordered by the state. He can't retire early, because the government must determine when he can.

Though he is taking retirement now to save what's left of his health--the job is killing him—our lords and masters in Washington don't want to permit him this much control over his own life. In their divine benevolence, they will permit him what's left of it—if anything is left by the time they decree that he "may" take his retirement.

He's been paying into the social security system all his working life. But the money he earns is not his, according to the state—until and unless they choose to give (some of) it back to him. Nor, if he makes more money after taking his retirement, will the government not have something to say about it.

Sir, I'm glad you have the privilege of retiring when the government is willing to permit it. That doesn't change the fact that it's still ordering us around in our own lives.

I don't think Oliver merely needs better advice. He also needs to be treated as a free man who wholly owns himself.


Why is it so hard for some people to say "Your point is well taken; I stand corrected"?

Never let pesky facts interfere with a melodramatic narrative?

Lori Heine

If Oliver waits another three years, until he reaches "retirement age," he can retire with no penalty. Since by then he would likely be dead if he kept working, he would be--well, permanently retired, and Uncle Sam would keep all the money which had been confiscated from him over his working life.

I suppose that's "melodramatic." It would also very likely happen to be true. The point is well taken, but I do not stand corrected.

Why is it so hard to place human beings above the demands of a centrally-controlled state?


I suspect that most visitors to libertyunbound are quite aware that Social Security is a massive Ponzi scheme and would like to see it repealed. Misrepresenting how that Ponzi scheme works does not advance the argument for its repeal; it distracts from it.

Lori Heine

My article was a glimpse into the lives of two people who believe they can trust government to look out for their best interests. I explained why I don't share their faith.

If you wish to alert the world about the great Ponzi scheme of social security, then by all means do us all a public service and go to it.

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