The Deeper Problem in Society

Several years ago, the sitcom Dinosaurs detailed about how the father, Earl, was prepared to throw his mother-in-law off of a cliff in a ritual called ‘hurling day.’  Those dinosaur that were too old, and years ago would have slowed down the herd, were thrown off of a cliff to keep the herd fit and trim to keep moving.  Earl’s dream of throwing his mother-in-law off of a cliff comes to an end when his wife and son point out that there is no longer a need for ‘hurling day’ anymore as the dinosaurs live in a domesticated society and not in herds.

As a civilized society, we do not hurl senior citizens off of a cliff; instead we have developed programs for them, such as Social Security and Medicare, to provide for them when they are no longer able to provide for themselves by taking part in the work force.  Senior citizens are provided for with a monthly stipend and health coverage to provide for them.

Recently, responsible news coverage has been reporting backward and forward with about the US debt, nearly $14 trillion.  And what are the biggest reasons for the US debt?  The entitlements for seniors of Social Security and Medicare.

The reasons for this debt on account of entitlements are multiple.  The first and foremost is the shortsightedness and waste that goes along with any government
program.  Another reason for current troubles is that when these programs started, not everyone retired, and those who did only lived in retirement for a few years before they died.  Today, thanks be too God, more people are able to retire, and due to modern medicine, thanks be too God, they live longer when they do retire.

Another reason was that the original plan was for people to pay into a fund, and then the money stayed in that fund until one retired and began to draw on that money.  The result was predictable in that the government spent all of the money that came in, so the original money was no longer in the box when a person retired, instead they drew money based on what current workers paid in.

That final reason is the one we will focus on.  If you work for 40 years and pay into Social
Security, but the government spends all that money before you retire, you would expect to get a letter when you turn 65 that there is no money left.  Yet you do not.

Why not?  Because those younger than you are paying into Social Security and you are drawing on the money that they are now paying into the system.  What happens to them when they retire?  The same thing, the younger generation pays their bills with the money that they are paying in.

This will work as long as two things happen: the first is that there are no violent changes to the system in terms of funds paid out or funds paid in.  The second is that the population needs to continue to grow in order to maintain the tax base in order to pay the bills.

Therein lies the problem.  The population is not growing.  In fact it is stagnant.

What happened?  Well, several things have happened to negatively affect the
population.  The first is smaller families.  100 years ago, families traditionally had 6-10 children; today the average is about 2 children.  This alone can be attributed to several
factors, including both parents working and the increase in cost of living, necessitating
the need for both parents to work.

But there is an even greater factor involved: abortion and birth control have also greatly impacted the population, far more so then the size of families, although they are certainly related.  Consider that there have been 40 million abortions since it was legalized in the 1970’s.  Consider that those who were aborted legally between 1974 and 1990 would
be in the work force, paying taxes and contributing to the Social Security and Medicare fund.  In fact, those who were first aborted in the 1970’s alone would still have another 30-40 years in the work force.

Imagine, what would an additional 40 million people in the work force do to the tax base?  It would certainly keep Social Security and Medicare funded until they got to retirement; at which point their own children and grandchildren would be paying into the fund and paying for their bills.

It is obviously much harder to quantify the number of children who have been lost due to birth control, but I do not think it would be out of the question to assume that another 40 million children have not been conceived, let alone born, due to birth control.

There are many issues as to why Social Security and Medicare are facing challenges today; but to completely deny that the issues today are not due in at least some part because we as a society have aborted 40 million children and denied life to possibly another 40 million, is wrong.

Abortion and birth control have tentacles that reach into every aspect of society and to say that Social Security and Medicare are not affected, would be lying.  Most will never admit this, instead passing the blame to the other political party or looking for quick temporary fixes to the problem.  The truth is that this problem goes back decades; it took a long time to get here, and it will take a long time to get out.

Sadly, this part of the story will not lead the evening newscast, even on responsible media

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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