One isn't forced to have one, as far as I know, however it is a necessity to exist with a decent life in these United States. The only life one will end-up with while not having a SSN is that of a vagrant or endless wonderer dependent on friends and hitchhiking to get to distant places or walking. Everything requires a photo-ID and one needs a SSN to get a photo-ID; so by default one needs a SSN.
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