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Concerning Hobbits and Social Security

On a recent reading of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic “The Hobbit,” I couldn’t help but draw some comparisons between the world of Middle Earth and our own current political system. I won’t claim to be the first person to cite the obvious similarities between Gollum and Nancy Pelosi (She’s so good at riddles).

I will take credit however, for noting that the Great Goblin who lives under the Lonely Mountain and Dick Cheney both sit on thrones made from the bones of their enemies. Bonus fun fact: Once we get to the Lord of the Rings, we have nine Supreme Court Justices and nine nazgul, all wearing black robes. Also, they were all once mortal men! Coincidence? Hardly…

Of course, for all the similarities, there are some glaringly bad differences, and I think it could be worthwhile for us to consider following the example of Bilbo Baggins in several regards. Most important to consider, I think, is our social security system.

It has been widely noted since the Bernie Madoff debacle the social security is nothing more than a government run Ponzi scheme. Critics point out that social security will go broke long before young tax payers like me ever see a dime from it. Now I’m no political science major, so I don’t know if these claims have any merit. What I do know, however, is that there is a better way.

I propose that we move to a Hobbit style system of providing for our retirements, whereby we steal our retirement funds from treasure hording dragons.

This has two major benefits that I can think of. First and foremost, we don’t have to worry about providing for those who are too slow to outrun dragon fire. Secondly, those who do successfully collect dragon treasure will have vastly more money than what the government would provide you anyways (assuming they can keep some of it from those greedy dwarves… Hey! I just thought of another comparison).

Finally, there will be those who refuse to get up and get their own dragon treasure. These people will obviously become servants to those who did collect dragon treasure, doing their gardening and preparing for their eleventy-first birthdays.

Without dragon treasure, you can hardly expect your retirement to last you until you’re eleventy-one anyways. So good luck and happy hunting.

Next Week: Elven Healers and Health Care.