Friday, March 23, 2012

What's In A Number?

Picture from here:

Ever since I received my first paycheck as a kid, I've always loved to caress it in my hands for a few minutes before writing the deposit slip and putting it in the bank.  All the years that I worked, there was something rewarding about that little piece of paper.  It was more than the money it represented; it was a tangible reward for hard work.  In recent years, I bucked the system as employers encouraged direct deposit.  There are so few rewards in the work place that I just refused to relinquish holding that check, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Danny paid into Social Security his entire life.  We were recently informed that in a few months direct deposit will be required in order to receive his Social Security check.  Aside from the fact that I believe Danny should have the right to decide how he receives his Social Security, does anyone besides me see the stupidity in relinquishing your bank information to the government?

We've all watched Big Brother become increasingly entangled in every aspect of our lives.  There are cameras at stop lights, TSA agents who pat down little children, and our social media exchanges are monitored.  Our backyards are monitored by satellite equipment.  There is absolutely no such thing as personal privacy anymore.  On some level, I understand that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to live and that some of these things might be necessary.  At what point do we draw the line?  Some of us are no longer convinced that the government is still the good guy with the white hat.  (For my younger readers, the old westerns on television and in the movies always had a hero who wore a white hat, and a villain who wore a black hat.)

I suppose we have no choice but to surrender our bank information to the government because we need my husband's Social Security check, but I don't have to like it, and I don't have to be quiet about it.  I find this to be an incredulous breach of individual freedom.  What ever happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  My "life" is my own business--and that's called "liberty."  My bank account pretty much is my life since it pays for my "pursuit of happiness."  Our government is supposed to be by the people, of the people, and for the people.  A government that requires my bank information is not a government for the people.  Our government has crossed the line--again.

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