Social Security Panel 6

6. When it comes to solving social problems like poverty in old age, should you have a bias in favor of aggression or persuasion?

Mandatory programs like Social Security are inherently aggressive. They require taxation to fund. You must arrest people who refuse to pay their taxes, and kill people who resist arrest.

A persuasive approach would threaten no violence. You would simply try to persuade people to cooperate with your preferred method of addressing problems such as old-age poverty.

If you have a bias for persuasion then you would make Social Security a voluntary program. If you have a bias in favor of aggression, then you would continue with mandatory Social Security, and perhaps even expand the amount of aggression involved. Use the slider to register your opinion.

  1. State aggression (think of mandatory programs like welfare, food stamps, and Social Security, backed by violence)?
  2. Peaceful persuasion and voluntary cooperation (personal responsibility and community charities)?

A bias in favor of persuasion and cooperation, option A, would mean …

  • Always looking for non-aggressive solutions first
  • Only using state aggression as a last resort, after all other options have been exhausted
  • Limiting state aggression to the bare minimum needed

Tax funded programs like welfare and Social Security flunk all three requirements.

  • Politicians made no attempt to fund these programs voluntarily
  • Politicians could have made a program like Social Security into a true safety net designed to help only the needy, but instead they created a dragnet that captures everyone. In other words, they did not use the minimum aggression needed to address the problem.

Use the slider to register your personal, nuanced view.

Need help understanding the slider?
Pick 0% if you want to address the need for retirement income using only peaceful persuasion and voluntary cooperation.
Pick 10 or 20% if you want a tax-funded safety net focused only on seniors in dire need.
Pick 30 or 40% if you want a dragnet plan (like Social Security) that includes both the rich and poor.
Pick 50 or 60% if you want to increase taxes to keep Social Security solvent.
Pick 70 or 80% if you want to control how people invest their savings.
Pick 90 or 100% if you want The State to control all savings, investment, and retirement income.


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  1. How many people moved toward persuasion or away from it, and by how much?
  2. How your Aggression Quotient (A.Q.) compares with the average A.Q for this issue?
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