A Possible Solution

22 January 2017

To hear Paul Ryan go on about it, America is chock-a-block with parasitic welfare recipients and moochers. Well, it’s not as bad as the Speaker would have us believe, but it is a problem.  But the problem lies in human propensities not money.

Years ago, I was a Guardian ad Litem (a.k.a. Court Appointed Special Advocate) out here in Washington. We are apostles for children who are victims of abuse and neglect.  I won’t get into a full description here, but if you want to know more, go to http://snohomishcountywa.gov/881/VGAL-program and read all about it.

All of us in programs like the Guardians ad Litem see that:

  1. The vast preponderance of children who are abused and neglected come from impoverished parents.
  2. The parents are unschooled and ignorant and are satisfied with the situation. This, of course, explains the poverty.
  3. Many parents are of low IQ.  Like one of my colleagues said, “They’re as dumb as dirt”.
  4. Over 50% of the parents are felons and junkies who are incapable of looking after their own selves, let alone their children. Of the remaining 50%, most are simply felons and junkies who haven’t yet been caught.  This includes booze and tobacco.
  5. A few have, or keep, jobs.  Most don’t work.
  6. These children’s lives are truly horrifying. They live with beatings, starvation, rapes and an utter and complete lack of love and concern.
  7. Almost all of these children were unplanned and are unwanted.

By the time we see these kids, most are so bent out of shape by their home lives that they carry the baggage with them into adulthood and, in turn, foist it on their own children.  As the old saying has it, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree” so the phenomenon of multi-generational poverty continues in an unending concatenation.

Surely the Speaker’s ire does not extend to the poor devil who came down with a grody, incapacitating disease a week before his employer unexpectedly folded up. If this poor wretch and his family are not to be put out on the street to sleep under a bridge until death takes him, he’ll need general assistance, food stamps, Medicaid and perhaps more. If simple pity doesn’t move us to provide these things out of our taxes, surely the prospect that this person will soon be back to work as a”contributing member of society” should settle the issue.

Now Speaker Ryan, being a good conservative, measures everything by loss or gain. Money rules.  Parsimony is his watchword, with cruelty coming in a close second.  Well, I have a plan that will satisfy the Speaker’s thirst for thrift while at the same time, putting an end to the woeful cycle of poverty.  It’s quite simple, really.  Here it is: Give each poor person, man or woman, whither or not they’ve been dragged into the child welfare system, $20,000, cash money, to be surgically sterilized. Tubal legation for her, vasectomy for him, all expenses paid.  After the operations, each gets to spend the night in a special low-intensity ward of a hospital where they’ll also get a nutritious dinner and breakfast.  In the morning, as soon as the doctor says they are ready to go, each is handed an envelope containing the promised 20-grand. If the man and woman are a pair, with or without benefit of clergy, they get to take home $40,000 to squander as they please.  Not bad.

An Aside: As this cohort of parents are mostly drunks and junkies, $20,000 will buy all the booze and dope they could ever want.  Consequently, there will be many overindulgences which will result in death, further reducing the numbers of people on welfare.

Gad.  Just think of the savings.  According to the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/cost-of-raising-a-child_n_5688179.html), the cost of raising an American child to age eighteen is $304,480 (adjusted for inflation) so that $20,000 or $40,000 looks pretty cheap, No?  And let’s not forget all the government services the issue of their loins will require: Special Ed. nutrition programs, psychologists and, for some, cells in the juvenile detention center. We save on those too.

Of course, this $20,000 will not prevent the conception and birth of just one child, it will prevent the conception and birth of many as these kinds of people breed like flies.  From my experience in the Guardian ad Litem program, such “families” usually produce three children so the savings to the taxpayer will be almost a million dollars.  Think on that for a moment.  Almost a million bucks!  And no more underclass!!

Of course this proposal will outrage the politically correct.  They will see it as an affront to humanity.  But these days, political correctness is out the window so this proposal should have no trouble being put into law.  Speaker Ryan will be pleased.

Now let’s turn for a brief moment to theology for many of the churched will object to this plan.  They maintain the Grand Realm is packed to overflowing with little souls chomping at the bit to have a life here on Earth.  I think if we could be flies on the wall, we might hear something like this:

Little Soul: Angel, dearest. When do I get to go down to Earth?

Angel: Well, I don’t have any gestating fetuses right now.  I was thinking Bill and Betty Tosspot might by ready to get a bun in the oven, but they each took the twenty-thousand simoleons and got fixed, so . . .

Little Soul: But Angel, why would they do that?  Don’t they know I want to be born on Earth?

Angel: Perhaps, but I think you should consider yourself lucky.  Bill Tosspot takes his belt to his two other kids at least once a week. A while back, he put out a cigarette on one kid’s cheek.  As for Betty, she gets falling-down drunk at least once a week and the kids have to call 9-1-1- before she comes to grief.  Besides, she turns her tricks on the living room couch, and you don’t want to see that.

Little Soul: Oh.  Well.  OK . . .  Maybe I’ll just run along and play for a while?  If you ever find a vacant fetus that’ll be born to people in a nice gated community, will you let me know?

Angel: Sure thing, kid.  Have fun.

-Merlin-

 

 

 


Social Security – Keep It or Kill It.

15 January 2017

Who wrote this? A Demopublican or Republicrat?

Back in 1959 when my dad died, almost everyone had a pension waiting for them when they hit sixty-five.  You’d get a fancy watch, a goodbye party, a pat on the back by the boss, handshakes from your colleagues and out the door you went.  A month later you got your first pension check.  If you were a union member, you usually got a pension from the brotherhood as well.

A pension.  This was part of the promise the company made to you for your decades of toil on its behalf.  These pensions were mostly the result of unions.  Pension were part of the negotiated compensation packages and while not generous, pensions took care of you.  Companies could afford these pensions because most people died in the harness before they were eligible for retirement.  In my dad’s case, cancer took his life when he was fifty-nine, six years before reaching the magic number of 65.  No pension there.

Back when Social Security was developed, most people earned their bread by back-braking toil that left them spent and used up with broken health long before age sixty-five, then they died.  If they lived beyond sixty-five, they didn’t live long.  Social Security was there to prevent these ruined old men and women from living in dire poverty.  Oh, sure, the scolds on the TV money shows put their noses in the air and sniff that it was the old farts’ own fault because they didn’t save.  Well I’ve got news for the scolds: People didn’t make enough to save.  In any case, along came FDR and Social Security which was — and still is — a compulsory savings plan.

Now it’s 2017 and pensions are things of the past, as are the unions that got them.  Now, people have to rely on the pathetic 401k plans and outright investments (mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, etc).  The trouble is these things are not reliable, as recent history has amply demonstrated.  You can get seriously burned.  Witness Enron whose collapse left many people stony-assed broke.  Of course the miscreants who skinned the investors were jailed, but that’s small comfort to the thousands whose dreams of a comfortable retirement went down the drain.  The only thing they had left was — you guessed it — Social Security.  With the death of traditional corporate pension plans, Social Security has become America’s pension plan.  For most of us today, there is nothing else.

Of course, some say Social Security is nothing but a con.  A Ponzi-like scheme that takes from the young to give to the (always deemed improvident and undeserving) old.  Yes, it does — just like the insurance policy you buy from Prudential or The Hartford or whomever.  It’s the good old free market.  Nothing wrong with that, is there?

Now, as to how much you “contribute” (their word, not mine) to your Social Security account: If you are an employee, you see the FICA deduction on every pay stub.  But that’s only half; the employer kicks in an equal amount.  Your FICA is $50, your boss kick-in another $50 for a grand total of $100. This is why Social Security is solvent.

Another seldom-recognized fact: Social Security is not part of the Federal budget.  It stands alone.  It’s independent.  To say that because the Federal budget is a mess, Social Security is a mess too, is disingenuous.

If Social Security is not as funded as well as could be, and should be, it’s because Congress keeps plundering the Social Security fund to pay for such things as pet projects and wars.  Yes, wars.  Why haven’t your taxes gone up to pay for a set of wars whose price tag, buy some accounts, is over $1,000,000,000,000?  Because Congress plundered the Social Security fund to pay for them, that’s why.  If we had prevented Congress from touching the fund, or interfering with its management, we’d all be retiring at age 50.

So, then; we should keep Social; Security, but with some provisos.

  1. Social Security remains outside the Federal budget.
  2. Congress keeps its mitts off.
  3. To reduce the temptation of raiding the fund, there will be a hefty War Tax levied on all taxpayers whenever Congress sends troops overseas to fight.
  4. FICA will apply to every dollar earned: Salary, commissions, investments, hedge funds — whatever.
  5. As with FICA, there will be no cap on incomes.
  6. Estates providing $5,000,000 or less to each heir will be tax-free.  Over that, the estate will be treated as a Social Security contribution.  It will be liquidated and the proceeds will go directly into the Social Security trust fund.  NOTE: This proviso should be especially appealing to those who heatedly admonish others to stand on their own two feet and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

We keep Social Security.

-Merlin-

 

 

 

 


Demopublican or Republicrat?

9 January 2017

The poisonous state of American politics is intolerable.  If we do not find a way to rein it in, we’ll go the way of Italy or France — or, God forbid, Venezuela.  We’re like a dog snapping at its own tail while ignoring the T-bone steak sitting in its food dish.  What to do?  What to do?

Well, first thing is tune your radios to some music of your choice and eschew the cranks, demagogues, braying asses and mountebanks that spew 24/7/52.  Most of these self-proclaimed “journalists” are cast in the mold of Billy Sunday or Che Guevara and are as dumb as dirt.  I’ve listened to a few and read their pamphlets and wonder if they can find their hind-ends with both hands.  With hysterical tractates and infantile slogans, they bend the minds of those who tune in or subscribe to their yellow rags.  They strive to outdo each other in one preposterous notion after another.  It’s gotten so bad . . .  Well, its gotten bad.

We need to discard our two political parties.

I propose two new ones that will be built on reason and logic — of course if we strove for those two characteristics, we’d have only one party, the Pragmatists but as there will be too many nuances and side issues to be accommodated in the Pragmatists, factions will emerge so we really need two.  I propose the Demopublicans and Republicrats.  These two should accommodate about eighty percent of our population.  The rest of our body politic (and we all know who they are), can form noisy little parties of their own where they can gather and wear lampshades for hats.  This will provide lots of material for stand-up comics.

The one thing was must avoid, at all costs: Messing with our Constitution.  It ain’t broken, so let’s not fix it.

In coming posts, I’ll talk some about the Demopublicans and Republicrats and their common interests.

-Merlin-