Remember "The Old Days," Before Social Security
Rarely do folks in this community "just opine," and I promise, I won't make a habit of it. But as I'm trying (still) to put together a coherent blog on Social Security reform policies, I thought I'd take a break from it. And I feel compelled to make a point about the importance of protecting Social Security from draconian cuts.
You see, even though I'm not even old enough to file for "early age" Social Security benefits, I've got a bit of experience with a situation that many folks my age don't have.
Because I was born to very much middle-aged parents (both), I had a glimpse into a bygone era. You see, one of my Grandmothers was 90 years old while I was still a college student. And if my parents were alive today, they would be 100 and 107 years old.
You're probably wondering: Where the H**l is she going with this? So here's my point.
I actually had parents (as well as grandparents) who lived as adults during the Great Depression. I guess because of this, I probably feel a bit more of a "connection" with with this era, and the austerity associated with it.
And, at least some of the lessons of the Great Depression were not lost on me. My Grandmother outlived her husband by well over 40 years. By time she was in her sixties, Social Security had not been around that long. [As best I can figure, she was born around 1882.]
At any rate, she and my Grandfather had lost a general mercantile business during the Great Depression, and they never fully recovered from that loss. He died in his fifties. And she received a Social Security check. But again, they hadn't paid into the System that long, so it wasn't a very large check. Therefore, after my Grandfather died, she lived with her two surviving children.
I guess my point is this: If the PtB enact the cuts that the Bowles-Simpson proposal call for, I truly believe that we'll definitely be going back to another era, for many folks. Obviously, some people will not be affected in this way. But I believe that it will be relatively commonplace within the next 10, to 20 or 30 years to see many intergenerational family situations, just like we had in the thirties and forties.
Some folks might think this is for the better. There actually are some very good, constructive and helpful aspects to this type of living arrangement. But with so many households being two-income households, I'm sure that this type of scenario will likely present some difficulties for many families. After all, years ago, many, if not most women were homemakers, so caring for their elderly and infirm parents was somewhat more manageable.
I especially worry that Medicare cuts will be severe, and that families will not have adequate access to skilled nursing facilities, or nursing homes, when their parents really need the care that only they can offer.
I'm bringing up this topic as a reminder of just how important Social Security is, when it comes to the "independence" of our elders.
I remember several years ago that I accidentally tuned my car radio into a conservative talk radio show of the Christian genre. I recognized the show host to be the former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Richard Land. He 'was on a tear' about just this topic. Except that he was decrying the fact that we don't live as intergenerational families, and that we "look to the government" for help.
Well, Dr. Land--looks like you may get your way.