Unalienable Rights?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…

For these rights, the Founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. Throughout the 238 years since, many men and women have claimed their God-given rights. But, unfortunately, some Americans now face discrimination of a type not seen before in the history of our great country.

Those discriminated against are skillful, alert, knowledgeable, and healthy American citizens who have done nothing illegal, but they cannot obtain drivers’ licenses (Iowa Code, section 321.182). As pariahs, it is illegal for them to marry (Iowa Code). Employment is closed to them, and revenues from self-employment/entrepreneurship must not exceed $400 if they are to escape the icy glare of federal penalties (IRS Code). They are young, talented, strong, and beautiful, but they are the untouchables. They are the numberless Americans. For the laws of our country have been re-written to declare:
We hold these truths to be evident, that only those men and women holding social security numbers are equal, that they have been endowed by the state with certain privileges, that among these are life (to the extent of everything needed to sustain it over $400 per year), liberty (to use one’s faculties in work, to enjoy the fruit of one’s labors, and marry), and the pursuit of happiness (at any speed greater than 5, 10, or 15 mph--depending on your greatest speed walking, running, or biking).

A Social Security Number? Do you mean to tell me that the inhabitants of these United States have made the Creator’s gifts of the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness contingent on whether or not the young adult obtains a number, joining a system which itself predicts its own insolvency by 2038 and takes about 15% of a person’s life wages? Do you mean to tell me that the parents of these young Americans have so little faith in the abilities of their progeny that they would as soon see them die as opt-out of a degenerate social program designed 80 years ago by a man whose bones are now dry in his grave? Do they believe progress is impossible? Will they strangle the fresh youthful vigor and revitalizing initiative that could lead civilization on to heights of freedom and security? That is my nightmare, and I hope someone can wake me and show me that it really is just a bad dream--not the cold, hard truth.

But I also have a good dream. It’s called the American dream. And that dream is freedom and equality before the law.

Congress, some people have asked you for food stamps. You’ve given it to them. Some people have asked you for free healthcare and medicine. You’ve given it to them. Some people have asked for federal funding of the arts, museums, and schools. You’ve given it to them. Recently, some have asked for money to research how chess might help with executive control and academic achievement, and you, through the U.S. Dept. of Education have granted them $1,049,094. I don’t ask for a penny. I ask only for my unalienable, God-given rights: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. End this discrimination based on numbers. Let young people opt out of Social Security without becoming 2nd class citizens. Set the young Americans free at last.