Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy 73rd!

Let's celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the Social Security Act with some perspective on the significance of the law.

Franklin Roosevelt said of the measure: "We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age."

John McCain, himself 71 but having the good fortune to marry a heiress, calls this a "disgrace."

I think of it as a social contract that ensures the financial security of all the old people you love. And even a few you dislike.

I think that's a fair tradeoff, given that their efforts made it possible for us to enjoy our society as presently constituted. And I'll expect the future generations to do the same for me.

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