To the editor:
To the advocates of our compulsory Social Security system (both liberal and conservative) I have but one question: Is it proper for the federal government to exempt the Amish from forced participation in this system, as it currently does?
Since 1965, the Amish have been allowed to opt out of this system due to their religious convictions. They do not wish to be tied to government in this way, and Congress has allowed them to create a voluntary system free from government oversight. Prior to this, the Amish had their horses and livestock seized by IRS agents in the midst of spring planting and auctioned off to pay for a system they wanted no part of.
If the Amish are to be excluded from this system based on religious convictions, while those who hold different religious beliefs (or no beliefs at all) are forced to take part, is this not the state favoring one religious view over another? Seizing the wages of a factory or office worker at the time of payroll is no less devastating to their livelihood than seizing the horses that help the Amish maintain their livelihood.
The only answer is to allow all Americans to have the same liberties as the Amish regardless of their livelihood or what their religious convictions are. If one wishes not to have the fruits of their labor forcibly expropriated by the state and to invest their own money as they see fit, they should have the right to do so.