Ezra Klein’s Nov. 22 column on Social Security [“Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age”] left me mourning the loss of personal responsibility and individual reliance, characteristics that I feel define, or used to define, the American psyche.

If bright young people such as Mr. Klein do not accept that Social Security has morphed from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s intent to give the elderly dignity in their last few years of life into a national welfare program to which young and old alike have access, then the nation will never wean itself from its too-costly entitlement programs.

Mr. Klein’s Robin Hood formula to revitalize Social Security is also saddening. Demanding that the government take ever more money from those who have it to redistribute it to the many who want it destroys the incentive of both to be productive and to prepare for their respective retirements.

James Roberts, Alexandria