Should guest workers pay into Social Security?

"Paying into" it implies that in the future one will be "withdrawing from" it. And there's the rub. Michelle Malkin panics that guest workers will be drawing funds out of our treasured nest egg of Social Security, rapidly depleting it. Aside from the fraudulent conditions under which these workers have been paying already, which should be punished, we can only reply, Well dammit, if guest workers are being FICA-d at the same rate as I am, they ought to be able to get out of it what they put in.

. . . beginning the day they're legitimized, of course. Losing all of the contributions they've made prior to that day is ample penalty for working here illegally. Let our laws change to let them re-enter the United States to work as guests, and from that day onward, we can be explicit that they get ownership in the new contributions.

Without any mechanism to return these monies (but no more) to the people who earned them, Michelle is conceding that Social Security is and ought to be income redistribution, not a safety net or a pension.

Imagine the outrage if we concede that we need the forced contributions of foreign workers just to keep our own system afloat, or to forestall the day it ultimately sinks. We gringos will take their money and keep it. In any language other than Democrat, that is represented by the noun "theft". The "forced" aspect of Social Security will be harder for Americans to ignore, hastening the day we have serious discussions about making it fair or eliminating it.

Look at the political implications of not compelling guest workers to contribute. All other things being equal, guest workers' labor will be about 12 percent cheaper than that of native US citizens. If we agree to design a guest-worker system at all, and we want to structure it so that it does not displace native US labor, this 12-percent disparity must not stand. We would have to collect the same FICA tax from them that we require of native workers.

Then it will be easy to persuade native workers to demand rights to FICA distributions in relationship to their own FICA contributions----the "wetbacks" are putting in their 12 percent and they'll get that 12 percent back at the other end of their working lives (if they live that long, and the typical Mexican or Guatemalan probably does not, which is another matter).

I didn't even have to complete this thought to a friend of mine. He saw where I was headed with it and completed it for himself: "I'll be damned if I can't get my twelve percent back too!"

If Uncle Sugar remits these FICA funds to the guest worker's government, instead of directly to the guest worker himself, that foreign government is bound to piss that money away before a significant amount of it gets to the workers who earned it. In the short term this is a good thing, because it will either incite them to revolt against the corrupt government, or cool their interest in guest working. Still, WUTT! proposes that the remittances be made directly to the worker, deposited into an account of the worker's choosing in their home country and currency, or even made toward the purchase of an annuity that will be worth more if they leave it untouched---exactly the kind of annuity that our own workers ought to be paying forward. It will be their property, it will be part of the estate if the worker croaks early, and the worker can borrow against it, none of which Social Security allows today.

We'd have to structure a guest worker system to collect Social Security taxes from them just to get the legislation through Congress and past the labor unions. In karmic return, the guest workers will be able to claim a right to the monies collected from them. Once they claim such a right, native workers will too.

This could spell the doom of Social Security, at least as an income redistribution mechanism.

At that point, privatization will be an easy sell too. Joe Sixpack, over your life you put $125,775 into Social Security. Here it is back, to the penny, minus some adminstrative charge you didn't have a choice not to incur. Had this money been invested in mutual funds over the years you worked and contributed this $125,775, today it would have been worth four times that. It's your money, it should have been making more money, and more jobs (for gringos or immigrants, doesn't matter) while you were waiting to get it back.

In short, I'll entertain Bush's guest-worker program, even if it is a cynical attempt to buy the Latino vote as Laura Ingraham asserts, if it can be a lever with which to wreck out Social Security. I'd like the program even better if it followed Citizen Smash's blueprint.



Courtesy of Dogtolusba, an Observer's Initial Report of terrorist use of dihydrogen monoxide has been confirmed in the Seattle area. This ruthless attack represents First Use in Theater, and has been reported by Flash precedence to the National Command Authority.

NBCREP Two to follow . . .


Finally found the term I was looking for

In a Liberty magazine review of Christopher Hitchens's biography of George Orwell, a paragraph seemed dissonant to me. The term "working class" and the term "middle class" appeared in the same sentences, several sentences in sequence, as the reviewer compared them. (Sorry, Liberty has no web presence so I can't offer a link.)

Perhaps my lack of a formal university education has allowed some misuse of terminology to enter, perhaps not. But to me, the middle class is the working class: people who get out of bed each weekday, pull on clothes that serve to identify a worker's purpose as well as to facilitate that purpose, report for work that is only nominally physically exerting, and come home with only nominal concern that their expenses are being met or they'll be mugged as they enter their homes. They work, at jobs that allow them to live within their means.

So who was the reviewer, or Hitchens, talking about in the term "working class"? To me, most of these people don't work, or many of them don't, because they are recipients of various forms of government charity. Of course there is a class of people who work their tails off, and seem to be slipping backwards into deeper poverty---our Church has connected a few of us with such a family, whom we sponsor, and that's what I've gathered about them. They're "working poor" and they are one doctor bill or uninsured car accident away from not being able to work any more.

What shall we call these people?

The term is "client-class," discovered among the comments to Armed Liberal's post on the Democrat Party's war stance. I'm not using the term here as the commenter, Trent Telenko, did, but who's the master, me or the word?