Monday, October 14, 2013

No Shortage of Wisdom From Those Who Know

Lacking the time and inspiration to develop my own thoughts for this blog, I was bailed out by a single mother from Maine (with help from Wikipedia). With the government shutdown (why do I always insist on putting an "i" instead of "u" in the word shutdown?) in week 2, with no hope in sight, I'll share her words. Diane

"Social security" is a *universal* coverage, greatly expanded since the creation of the program as a response to Depression in the '30's. In the early days, only white men were 'entitled;' since the 50's, women and minorities were no longer excluded and also began receiving benefits. The *whole point* was to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, *poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children.*

Regrettable, the still sexist language; 'widows' and 'fatherless' recall social meanings from the 30's, before eligibility became universal, back in the days when only the (eligible) white men were working, to bring money home to the wives and children. These days we can add 'single mothers.' In most cases, gender matters: the appearance of children affects the people in charge of their care (generally women), in ways that usually mean less time available for income producing work.

While the governmental administration of taxing and benefiting workers is problematic in nightmare proportions, it's nothing like the nightmare people face who find themselves in circumstances that require receiving 'benefits' of assistance for food and shelter.

Words have meaning.

A nation may hope to achieve 'social security,' and will never achieve it by belittling the less fortunate and scrapping for resources rather than sharing the bounties.
Poverty is the enemy, not the people who suffer it.
Poverty has no rightful place in the great nation striving to protect itself with universal coverage created expressly to share the benefits of capital.
Just my two cents.
Shared in a neighborly moment.