Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Many, many years ago a President named Franklin Delano Roosevelt felt that the average person in the United States was in dire need of some kind of funding that would give them enough money to live on when they were too old to work. There were no widespread pensions in businesses. In fact, business gave the cold shoulder to suggestions of retirement pensions. Their views were likened to "I got mine, you get yours." Big families were the rule, but many people were not able to have children or they had children who could not support Mom and Dad and their own families. The United States was in the midst of the worst Depression ever. Now Franklin Roosevelt was a multimillionaire (would have been a billionaire by today's standards) who cared about the average man. So he twisted arms in the House and the Senate and got a new law passed to help the poor out of their dilemma. He called the new law Social Security and it was to be used to help the elderly when retirement time arrived. (Businesses
used to just fire you when you got too old.) It worked. Finally the elderly would not have to be cared for in run down, ratty old folks homes. It restored some pride in being an American and being among the middle class. America was living up to its promise. You weren't going to get rich on Social Security, but you weren't going to have to rummage through garbage cans, either. Is this the greatest country on earth, or what? America taught the rest of the world to care about their own seniors. For some years now, I've been hearing about Social Security being "in trouble". How, I wondered, can that be? It was designed so that each succeeding generation would fund itself through its own contributions. Yes, Franklin was a genius. So what's the deal? Why "in trouble?" Well, it seems that Social Security has decided, under other administrations and governments, to fund things other than retirement for the elderly. Money from this great well is used to support children going to college. It's being used to support single parent families, it's being used to create an outsized agency that has too many workers, too big a pay roll. It pays money to illegal immigrants who never put a dime in it. It picks up the tab when someone becomes too handicapped to work (even if that handicapped was extant at birth). So many other things than Franklin had envisioned. We're making him roll over in his tomb. Somehow I cannot help but feel, if he were alive today, he'd stop those "fundings" by brow beating our present Congress. He'd point out that all these other things would no longer be funded by Social Security. And he might just set up other funding (avoiding entangling alliances and the military/industrial complex, the too liberal Congess and the "let 'em eat cake" and we'll make a profit by supplying it groups) to handle those problems. But Franklin was a genius. Find one in charge of our country today? I don't think so. The last genius we had was a peanut farmer and you know what happened there. I don't find any of this class running actively for President today. Oh, there are some available, but they are not widely known by the vox populi. And with the dumbing of our schools, I kind of doubt they could be elected. We tend to fear, rather than esteem, these people. Yes, many people were afraid of Roosevelt in his time. Usually those with their fingers in the pie. He also had a wage/price board established when this country could not afford galloping inflation. Gasoline pricing was also controlled. A real leader wouldn't make us "dress up" to shop a Walmart.

1 comment:

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