Liberals Call Ayn Rand A Hypocrite For Collecting Social Security And Medicare Benefits
The hot new trend on the left is to accuse advocates of limited government of being hypocrites if they do things like collect Social Security or Medicare benefits. Here in North Dakota, the state Democrat party has accused recently-elected Rep. Rick Berg of being a hypocrite for accepting health benefits as part of his compensation package for working in Congress. Tea partiers, too, have been routinely derided as being hypocrites for collecting benefits from government programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The latest target in this trend is libertarian icon Ayn Rand, who accepted payouts from Social Security and Medicare.
… it was revealed in the recent “Oral History of Ayn Rand” by Scott McConnell (founder of the media department at the Ayn Rand Institute) that in the end Ayn was a vip-dipper as well. An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand’s law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand’s behalf she secured Rand’s Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O’Connor (husband Frank O’Connor).
As Pryor said, “Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out” without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn “despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently… She didn’t feel that an individual should take help.”
But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so.
So Ayn Rand is a hypocrite and the proponents of big government are right, blah, blah, blah.
Except, there’s one problem: Rand herself addressed the issue of individuals taking benefits from government programs they were forced to pay into in a 1966 article for The Objectivist newsletter:
It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.
In other words, programs like Social Security and Medicare aren’t optional. We are forced to pay into them or we go to jail for tax evasion. Given that reality, there’s really nothing hypocritical at all for a proponent of limited government – and an opponent to social programs like Social Security and Medicare – to try and get back from these programs what we are forced to put in.
Allow us to opt out of paying into these programs, then we can speak of hypocrites.Tags: ayn rand, medicare, social security