Social Security vs. social security – SASM 106

Joel Zaslofsky Smiling at You Picture

Imagine this: what would happen to you and your family if you had zero dollars to your name for the next year?

That means you can't pay for gas to drive anywhere. There would be no grocery store trips and no funds to pay rent or a mortgage (or even set up a tent somewhere).

Would you survive? Could you barely get by?

These questions are for everyone and this episode is beneficial for all. But the less privilege you have – the fewer material and financial resources you have right now – the more you'll get from it.

The seed for this solo episode comes from a recent chat with Colin Beavan where we got into the concept of security. Colin was riffing about having physical and financial security and I basically said:

“Hold up. What about another potentially primary form of security – the kind that's been all we've had for almost 100% of our human existence (and well before that, too)?”

What about social security?

And I'm not talking about the U.S. Social Security Administration like most people think of when they hear “social security.” Instead, it's about having enough connections, community, and resources from my online and offline social circles to sustain me and my family without other forms of security.

I then asked Colin why people think more about financial and physical security instead of how vibrant their local community is. We didn't go deep there, but I've been obsessing about the difference between capital “S” Social Security and lower case “S” social security ever since.

Because it's a big topic, I'm dedicating a whole episode to the pros and cons of basing your security on the recurring financial payments we expect from others – an employer, investment portfolio, or most prominently here, a governmental entity – versus the social capital we build and distribute at the local, global, and digital level.

Which one's better in what context: upper case Social Security or lower case social security? Press play and let's explore together.

You're about to Learn ...

  • Why and when social security is more important than Social Security.
  • The history behind Social Security and how the word “social” got attached to it.
  • Why your social capital is literally keeping you alive.
  • Why I hope the Citizens Income replaces Social Security.
  • A great way to make the leap from me to we.
  • Why I'll almost always take a covenant over a contract.
  • Whether it's possible to budget your social capital.
  • Why social security dependence may be more unstable than Social Security.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode

Timestamps and Topics

  • [03:36] Why it's worth contrasting Social Security and social security
  • [07:05] The history of social insurance and the Social Security Administration of America
  • [20:27] The history of lower case “S” social security
  • [21:41] The pros of capital “S” Social Security
  • [26:07] The cons of capital “S” Social Security
  • [28:26] The pros of lower case “S” social security
  • [37:01] The cons of lower case “S” social security
  • [42:40] How to support the community behind my social security

Extra Gratitude and Special Mentions

d'Arcy Lunn sent me this picture of him listening to Smart and Simple Matters in Delhi, India. He's a huge fan of the show and I'm a huge fan of him as well (and his efforts to do things like eradicate polio, end global poverty, and empower children that have never had a voice).

d'Arcy Lunn Listening to Smart and Simple Matters in Delhi, India

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