Acton Institute Powerblog

Nipsey Russell on Social Security

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:
Nipsey Russell (1918-2005)

I was flipping stations tonight and passed the Game Show Network, which was showing reruns of Match Game ’74. Nipsey Russell, the so-called “Poet Laureate of Television,” began the show with this poem for prosperity:

To slow down this recession,

and make this economy thrive,

give us our social security now,

we’ll go to work when we’re sixty-five.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • It is fascinating to see that the Great Communicator-Nipsey Russel-had a more sophisticated understanding of economics than John Kerry, the New York Times, or the AARP.

    Reading more into this, Russell is suggesting lower taxes up front, allowing people to invest their earnings rather than squander money on government managed spending. Excellent advice!

    But Russell is bolder than that. He asks that we allow older people to work, if they chose. Perhaps if taxes were cut on 65+ workers, more would chose to stay in the workforce, and not become dependent upon the state for their support.

    One can only guess what comic/economic gems Richard Dawson, Brett Sumners and Charles Nelson Reily had to offer. Perhaps President Bush can take Russels advice as a rhyming slogan for Social Security reform.