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THINKING ALLOWED


Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Surely Something Is Wrong With This Picture

North Miami Beach, FL 06-19-2005
A.H. Schectman

Front page articles in the NY Times usually carry weight and portend the need to at least think about looming issues affecting the lives of a great number of people.  Two stories that are not connected except for the absurdities they tell about surely must tell that something is wrong with what they picture.

One is the attack on the iconic Social Security Insurance System.  It was put in place to provide a safety net for millions of Americans living on the edge of poverty.  The other story covers the very few Americans who cannot surely need their out sized compensation for being at the helm of huge corporations and businesses.

Millions and millions in enormous poverty may be contrasted and compared with enormous wealth selfishly guarded by a few – that is what is wrong with this picture.  Carol and I have the luck to be on teacher’s pensions in addition to the earnings of our Social Security payments that we paid for over long years of work.  Our piece of the system is working just fine.  We have enough.  Our modest requirements and the dream of doing marvelous things with our savings and income as we reach our eightieth decade, is coming true. Our health is safeguarded and our well-compensated doctors are our heroes.

We know that most elderly Americans have not enough and we share their concern that “tinkering” with a system that is working  -  is wrong.  Turning to a different way of providing for the future with personal investments accounts sounds like and is like gambling.  That is the wrong way to prepare for the future.  Fears of older people that the Social Security net will fail are fanned by the inequities they see supported by the “Big” paychecks of “well-off” executives. (Same front page of the NY Times – Father’s Day Edition 2005)

Such disparities of labor (call it work) and income, have not been seen since Monarchs roamed the earth with nobility living like kings.  The rest of the populace lived like – well – peasants and serfs - with a tiny middle class trying to get more for itself.

Wanting more is normal in every sense.  It is immoral when some reach their dream of enough while others go hungry and find that an anaesthetized and somnolent government is ignorant and heedless of the cries of “UNFAIR” AND “WHERE IS THE SECURITY WE WERE PROMISED IF WE WORKED HARD ALL OUR LIVES?”  Illness, along with debilitating age, say the support system is unfair.  Stealing from the many to add to the piles of wealth of the few is like the serfs and peasants living like animals serving kings and nobility.

 


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