Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Granddad liked his Social Security, dagnabbit

Former Labor Secretary, and failed Massachusetts politician, Robert B. Reich has an article in USA Today that is steeped in mawkish, personal nostalgia yet devoid of any serious discussion on Social Security. Here’s the opening paragraph that would have been crossed out in heavy red marker by any self-respecting high-school paper editor:

My grandfather lost all of his savings in the Great Crash of 1929. He never trusted the stock market after that. But he kept working, and by the time he retired, he had a tiny nest egg. It still wasn't enough to retire on. He and my grandmother relied on the Social Security checks they got every month. Granddad died at the ripe old age of 91.Only years later did I understand that those checks didn't come from Granddad's own payments into Social Security. They came from the Social Security contributions of my father and mother's generation, made during their working lives.
Maw and Paw were thrilled to turn over that money to Grandpa, who would sit in his rocking chair and spin yarns about his life on the farm. And, of course, nothing has changed in the past 50 years since Pappy was smoking his pipe that could diminish those hagiographic memories of egg creams and Ebbets Field.

Sentimental tripe, all of it, without a redeeming passage. Reich should be justifiably embarrassed.

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