"In a desperate period of economic collapse, nothing would prevent government from aiding the indigent if it has a desire to do so."In a time of 'desperate period of economic collapse' the gov't may be powerless to do much other than soup kitches and tent cities. If things are like 1929 (and that wasn't the worst in US history by far), there might be no ability to borrow more money to fund more programs. You might have hyperinflation of, say 20% per year for 10 years, and the gov't be unable to pay its debts on more borrowed money.At some point in the present scheme, if nothing changes, more than half of every dollar will go into social programs. The other half will go to pay debt. That doesn't leave much for other programs - ZERO....incuding defennse, runnning the gov't, etc. "It is not merely a transitory period - about half to one-third of the population would lose the ability to support themselves in old age PERMANENTLY. "Even in the depression of the 30s. 3 out of 4 people had jobs. Older folks lived with kids if they had no assets or worked part time.... if you assume the 'safety net' would still be there for those who had started receiving benefits, no one would starve...maybe have to live in group homes, share cost of food, but heck, why not if things are 'that bad'..."If you are 45-50, and your nest egg gets wiped out AND you have a period of 10 years of serious economic problems in front of you you will not be able to save enough for retirement. "Good..then you work to 70.....or 75...why should the rest of us have to make up for your 'nest egg' getting wiped out? likely through bad decisions you made? Why is 'personal responsibility' never a factor? If people 'risk it all' why should they get rewarded for failure? THey made a bet..they lost it....so? t.
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