EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnMANAGING EDITORrnTheodore PappasrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, ]r.rnEDITORIAL ASSISTANTrnMichael WashburnrnARE DIRECTORrnAnna Mycek-WodeckirnCON’I’RIBUTING EDITORSrnHarold O.]. Brown, Katherine Dalton,rnSamuel Francis, George Garrett,rnE. Christian Kopff, Clyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrnBill Kauffman, Jacob Neusner,rnJohn Shelton Reed, Momcilo SelicrnEDITORIAL. SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnPUBLISHERrnAllan C. CarlsonrnPUBLICATION DIRECTORrnGuy C. ReffettrnPRODUCTION SECRETARYrnAnita CandyrnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnRochelle FrankrnA publication of The Rockford Institute.rnEditorial and .Advertising Offices:rn934 North Main Street, Rockford, II. 61103.rnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5034.rnAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5811.rnSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IE 61054. Call 1-800-877-5459.rnFor infornration on advertising in Chronicles,rnplease call Rochelle Frank at (815) 964-5811.rnU.S..A. Newsstand Distribution by Eastern NewsrnDistributors, Inc., 1130 Cleeland Road,rnSandush,OH 44870.rnCopyright © 1995 by The Rockford Institute.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicles (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishedrnmonthlv for $39.00 per ear by ‘Lhc RockfordrnInstitute, 934 North Mam Street, Rockford,rnIE 61103-7061. Second-class postage paidrnat Rockford, IL, and additional mailing offices.rnPOSTMASTER: Send address changes tornChronicles, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris,rnIL 61054.rnThe iews expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford Institute or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied bv a self-addressedrnstamped enelope.rnChroniclesrnVol, 19, No, 8 August 1995rnPrmtcc] in the United States of AmericarnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn Social SecurityrnIn his May editorial, R, Cort Kirkwoodrnfeh compehed to speak for Ayn Randrnand to castigate “entitlements” forrn”home-owning, white Republicans” withrnretirement income in excess of $50,000rnper annum. Kirkwood is sorely confused.rnRand would indeed have been offendedrnby the compulsory form of savings forrnretirement that Social Security imposesrnon “home-owning white Republicans”rnwho would rather set aside aird invest forrntheir own retirenrcnt in ways not subjectrnto federal “borrowing.” But Kirkwoodrncertainly does not know the same Randrnthat the rest of us know when he suggestsrnthat those of us who have more thanrnpaid for our benefits help comprise arn”ponderous burden.”rnhi fact, anyone with a retirement incomernof $50,000 per annum almost certainlyrnhas paid into the Social Securityrnsystem far more than will ever be madernavailable to such home-owning, whiternRepublicans. It is this very class that hasrnhelped subsidize the far more numerousrnclass of retirees that receives a “minimum”rnbenefit that far, far exceeds anyrncontribution made by them to the system.rnKirkwood had better figure out justrnwhere the “ponderous burden” rests, andrnnot do a doublethink in the name of AynrnRand.rn—Douglas ThornsjornKennebunkport, MErnMr. Kirkwood Replies:rnI do not understand Mr. Thornsjo’srncomplaint, for he does not dispute myrnfacts. Of course, retirees, whether theyrnare rich white Republicans or poor blackrnDemocrats, are entitled to receive thernmoney they “invested” in Social Security,rnThe problem is, recipients often collectrnmore than they contributed. Moreover,rnan increasing number of Americansrnnever contributed any money to the SocialrnSecurity system, yet thanks tornCongress are eligible for benefits.rnAs for Social Security itself, anyonernwho ever believed the politicians and bureaucratsrnin Washington could be trustedrnto save money for retirees is eitherrnnaive or stupid. I say scrap the programrnfor everyone 45 years old and younger.rnReturn their monc’ and let them fendrnfor themselves. Give people 46 years orrnolder a choice; take your money now,rnwith interest, or stick with the system.rnLet this group know that an indi’idualrnwill not receive a dime more than he putrninto the system.rnIdeally, Social Security ought to bernabolished immediately, but the governmentrnhas gotten too many older folks accustomedrnto the idea that it will care forrnthem in their dotage. In fact, that wasrnpart of the agreement with today’s retireesrnwhen thcv paid their money intornthe system. The government has nornright to breech it. I lowever, Americansrnmv age deserve the option of opting out.rnIt is amusing, and periiaps telling, to noternthe town in which Mr. Thornsjo lives. Itrnis Kennebunkport, Maine, home ofrnwhite, George Bush Republicans whorntypically earn more than $50,000 perrnyear, own their own homes, and in allrnprobability receive a corporate pensionrnand the Social Security payments he defends.rnOn John Maynard KeynesrnIn his May column, Samuel Francis describesrna famous passage about “defunctrneconomists” bv John Maynard Keynes asrn”perhaps the only wise sentence thatrn[he I ever wrote.” May I suggest that inrnaddition to that wise passage, there arernothers, among them the followmg fromrna paper on the politics of Edmund Burkernwhich he wrote in 1904 while a oungrnCambridge undergraduate: “Our powerrnof prediction is slight, our commandrnover remote results infinitesimal. It isrntherefore the happiness of our contenrporariesrnthat is our main concern; wernshould be very ehar of sacrificing largernnumbers of people for the sake of a contingentrnend, however advantageous thatrnend may appear. . . . We can never knowrnenough to make the chance worth taking.rn. . . There is the further considerationrnthat is often in need of emphasis; itrnis not sufficient that the state of affairsrnwhich we seek to promote should be betterrnthan the state of affairs which precededrnit; it must be sufficiently better tornmake up for the evils of transition.”rn—Arnold BeichmanrnNaramata, British Columbiarn4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn