Last week’s column about babies without Social Security numbers drew
a ton of mail. Usually, that’s good. This time it was a mixed bag. I
heard from gutsy people refusing to cooperate with government
child-tracking schemes. I heard from people with helpful info. But I
also heard from lots who either didn’t get or didn’t like what “Lawyer
X” and I had to say. This week I want to deal with some of their
“How will baby drive, get credit or buy a house without a
Last week’s column argued, “Give baby a chance to choose whether or
not he wants a number. He can’t do that when he’s an hour old.”
I didn’t take a stand against all government citizen-numbering
(though, in fact, I do and will). I just said that the decision to bear
a tracking number has far-reaching consequences for freedom and privacy,
and that an individual is entitled to make that decision for himself,
not to have it imposed upon him at birth.
Yep, years from now — when it comes time to drive or go to college
— grown-up baby will have some tough decisions to make. Of course, baby
might face a more hopeful future if enough people — today — tell the
government (and its Little Brother corporations) to take a leap into the
their control schemes.
“But how will I get my tax deduction if I don’t number the
The government wants more of your freedom. If you don’t give
in, it’ll extract more of your money. And if you do give
in, it’ll know it can take even more money or freedom from you next
time. Are these the kinds of choices you want to continue to be
pressured to make? Or do you want to say a resounding NO to such
There is an alternate government number you might be able to wheedle
for your baby in order to write him off. Ask the IRS about it. You can always make deals —
if that’s the kind of world you want.
“But you have to use an SS number. Otherwise, you can’t live a
This objection — repeated by more correspondents than I care to
think about — depressed me for days. Of course it’s true. Absolutely,
totally, completely true. If you don’t have — or if you refuse to use
— an SS number for ordinary activities like driving, connecting
utilities, purchasing firearms, renting videos, etc. — you’ll find
yourself leading a curtailed life or constantly fighting with
bureaucrats, store clerks and company officials.
But can’t you see? That’s exactly why it’s so crucial to fight
this universal numbering business as fiercely as if you were a rabid
The abuse of SS numbers has been growing since the first SS
legislation was spawned. But only since 1996 have the worst abuses been
codified into law. You — and your children — are slowly being squeezed
into a position of absolute submission to authority — with your SS
number as the lever. It’s being used to control your access to
everything from credit to health care to work to investments to
education to insurance to housing to travel — and eventually, to food.
Free people do not tolerate such control over their lives. It must be
halted — and reversed.
“You didn’t tell me how I can get a credit card or health
insurance without a number.”
Right. First of all, it was a 1,500-word column about babies. You
darn betcha I didn’t solve the entire SS problem in that limited space.
I couldn’t solve it in a book — though in fact, I
have written one on the subject.
Anyone who imagines 1) that regaining freedom is going to be an easy
little thing or 2) that any writer, adviser, expert, consultant, guru —
or politician — is going to give them all the answers — all
wrapped up in a nice, tidy package — is dreaming.
I’ll do what I can to supply leads and info on various ways to live
free. I hope to have much, much more on this topic, over time. But
actually getting free takes dedication, research and risk — on the part
of each and every person who seriously wants freedom. The only
question is: Do you consider freedom important enough to make the
As former slave Frederick Douglass observed: “Those who profess to
favor freedom yet deprecate agitation are men who want the crops
without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder. They want
the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. … Power concedes
nothing without demand. It never has and never will. … The limits of
tyrants are prescribed by the
endurance of those whom they oppose.”
“I just don’t like your method of resisting.”
One acquaintance wrote:
I don’t see the merits that you do of separating oneself
from the advantages of mass society just because some idiots are in
charge and are making a pest of themselves.
My orientation has always been to either “get out” entirely (through,
e.g., establishing several alternative identities along with passports
for each) or to simply ignore the bastards whenever possible, comply
meekly like a good little sheepie when you can’t avoid them, and throw
grit in the
gears over one’s shoulder.
And to this I say, “Great!” “Gopherit!” “Hooray for you!”
I’ve written frequently that the rowdy, unpredictable power of the
individual — millions of individuals — is the most potent weapon
against tyranny. You do whatever works for you. Just as one car,
one color, one book isn’t the one for everyone, neither is their
only one road to freedom. We can confuse the heck out of the
control-freaking creeps by following our individual inclinations and
I have just one fear about freedom lovers who choose apparent
submission — with heartfelt beliefs that they’ll monkeywrench the
tyranny works along the way. And that is that, too often, they’re
fooling themselves. They suck up the benefits, accept the easy life —
and never take a real, effective step for freedom. Oh, but they will
someday. Sure, someday. …
But heck, however you can screw up a tyrant’s plans — why not? Toss
that monkeywrench. Misspell your
name a dozen times in that database. Sue the SOBs. Whatever moves
you. Just don’t submit.
But I still say your child has the right to make her own choices —
when she’s old enough.
Finally: a tribute and a sigh
Consequences? There are so many — and so many heroes who endure them
for freedom’s sake.
Here’s the story of one young man, Trey Felton — 18-year-old Eagle
Scout and 4H clubber — a sociable kid from a family that “doesn’t stand
out from the crowd.” He has no citizen number because of his religious
objections. His mother wrote to explain just one of his struggles.
First, Trey was hired by Burger King — after being up-front about
not having an SS number. A month later (after he pointed out that they
shouldn’t be withholding SS taxes) the franchise owner — whom he had
never even met — came in and fired him.
Then he was hired by a major department store — again, being
up-front about not being in the SS system. He worked for one day, then
was told to get a number. His mother says, “He has since furnished them
with written documentation explaining there is no law that requires him
to get a ssn
against his religious convictions, a complete breakdown of the IRC which
explains the proper procedure for an employer to follow in such a
situation in order to avoid penalties, etc., from the IRS, and a copy of
ruling which supports his position.”
An attorney for the store — attempting to utilize a loophole in the
(non-binding) EEOC ruling — pointed out that business aren’t “required
to accommodate the employee without a ssn if it would place undue
hardship on the company.” The attorney then claimed that reprogramming
human resource software to list Trey without an SS number would be cost
Trey’s mother continues: “I have an extensive background with
computers and software. I made a call to the software company and spoke
with a person in the know there who said it could be done in any of four
simple ways without any expense at all.”
The family and the department store are still trying to work things
out. But when this worried mother — seeing the possibility of a
religious discrimination suit on the horizon — e-mailed WorldNetDaily’s
own vendor-partner, Pre-Paid Legal
Services Pre-Paid’s rep, Faith Thomas told her bluntly:
[A] SS# is required for membership. The SS# is used as a
and again — after full discussion of the family’s religious
opposition to numbering:
If you want this service … then give a SS#. If not I wish
you the best.
Pre-Paid Legal has the right to set whatever membership policies it
wishes. But when a company can confidently expect that an audience
filled with conservative Christians and libertarians will humbly submit
their federally issued tracking numbers as a condition of doing
business, we have
indeed come far down the road to universal submission.