Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hayek the hypocrite?

Was Friedrich von Hayek on Social Security and Medicare? According to an article in The Nation, he may have been. The very fabric of the universe is unraveling: "A few weeks later, the institute reported the good news: Professor Hayek had indeed opted into Social Security while he was teaching at Chicago and had paid into the program for ten years. He was eligible for benefits. On August 10, 1973, Koch wrote a letter appealing to Hayek to accept a shorter stay at the IHS, hard-selling Hayek on Social Security’s retirement benefits, which Koch encouraged Hayek to draw on even outside America. He also assured Hayek that Medicare, which had been created in 1965 by the Social Security amendments as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, would cover his medical needs".

4 comments:

Tom Hickey said...

So was Ayn Rand.

Anti said...

Guys, it's been well-known Hayek was okay with something like government-provided social insurance. This quote is from chapter 9 of Road to Serfdom:

"Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance - where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks - the case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong... Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken."

A lot of the idiot born-again Austrians who troll around the web have read little, if any Hayek at all, and probably little of anything.

Kevin Fathi said...

Hayek actually retracted his support for government-sponsored social insurance. See later editions of The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty.

HeroicLife said...

"Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it . . . .

The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind. 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."

“The Question of Scholarships,”
The Objectivist, June, 1966, 11
http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government_grants_and_scholarships.html