Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Just one week remains before we are shed of this house and move into our new one. I am very much conscious of the fact that we are blessed...there are a lot of Americans that are moving, but they are moving out and don't always have a place to go.
What a difference a few years can make. I was born in 1940 and so I missed the Korean War. Then, I joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in 1959; getting out in 1965...just a year before the war in Vietnam exploded and Corpsman began dying daily in the horror of that war. I joined the Carpenters Union after I got out of the Navy, married and we soon had a family of five. Because of the Union, I had a health plan and a pension. I had work. We bought a house. During the first thirteen years I was able to scrape together one week for a family vacation. Other than that, it was almost always continual work. I worked in commercial and high rise construction and was not affected by the sudden 'stop and go' of residential work. I retired in 2004, right at the top of the housing 'bubble' and was able to cash in on all of the years of house buying and moving. My pension exists. Social Security exists...and I paid into it for many years. Medicare exists...something I pay for every month.
But for my children, what future exists for them? And my grandchildren? I have a great-grandson and he's four. What kind of world will he see when he wants to retire?
In a Republican world, he won't know what a pension is and he will have read about Medicare and Social Security in his history books...if the authorities allow them to be mentioned. He will have to take care of his own retirement plans and heaven help him if he makes a mistake and invests in the wrong stock or if the stock market should plunge just as he retires. Too bad. Sorry about that. Healthcare? Once again, that will be up to him to provide for. Remember; in a Republican world it's every man (woman and child) for himself.
Yes, just a year or two can make a big difference in how our lives turn out. It doesn't seem fair, does it? Well, it isn't fair and it is Social Security and Medicare that help to make it less unfair. Through those programs we help each other...it seems like the American thing to do.


  1. Steven,

    This heartfelt post is headed for my Facebook wall.

    How the hell could anyone conclude that they have entirely made their own luck? You would have to deliberately ignore all of history. And you'd have to be really scared.

  2. Perhaps 'birth timing' should be added to gender and race, in the list of things that open (or close) doors for us. Interesting point indeed. Thanks.

  3. Thanks...high praise indeed.

    Do you ever wonder if the 'introspection' gene is disappearing as a part of evolution? It feels that way at times.