Friday, June 11, 2010
What Social Security?
MY COMMENT ON THE "We learn why they hate Social Security" post on "ANGRY BEAR" today.
What Social Security? I worked all my life and now I'm 66 and get $675/mo + 162 in Food Stamps + Medicare/Medicaid. When my nearly 90 year old mother can no longer keep me indoors in the fashion to which I am accustomed I could be on the street.
[Note: Don't take up a collection. After 10 months of hard work I am finally getting a handle on online poker: earned 44 cents today in only 1 1/2 hours. There is a catch 22 that keeps poker less than excessively profitable: a good player by definition folds most hands pre-flop, more at the flop; more at the turn, loses often at the river, mostly doesn't make much when he wins -- often enough gets the perfect hand and everybody just happens to fold. That's why pro grinders [my future?] two and four table: they have to combine dribbles to make a few bucks. By Christmas that hopefully will be me. If not, I can exercise my option for Irish citizenship [5 Irish grandparents counting my mother's stepmother] and go to Europe and get on the dole -- anywhere in Europe.)
Back on topic. When I started cab driving it paid enough to live on but not to pay taxes on. Good for everybody else: they pay us less for a ride now and nothing for our retirement later. As should be plain from my "good jobs" post that was back when I started. It quickly went downhill so you couldn't make a living now (maybe compared to that steel mill in Pakistan). Ended up moving 2000 miles to San Francisco -- giving up free rent, cable and use of my brother's Towncar -- to make a living driving a cab (San Francisco is so liberal they treat you like you have a union even if you don't have one -- maintain a 1968 minimum wage level too!).
Like just about every other problem discussed in this and other progressive forums, it all goes back to unconscious American labor and the resulting distorted labor market and political arena. Wake America up and wage America up. (i was a poet and I didn't know it.)
There are some real simple, things that Americans could grok at the common sense level without a Ph.D. in economics (the reason America listens to Gingrich and company on complicated things like the economy and health care is that the know the Dems and the media are lying to them -- or at least acting like there is only one-liberal-side -- on all the social issues; issue which they can understand at the common sense level).
Tell Americans just a couple of too plain facts like the federal minimum wage is now 75 cents below what it was in the Eisenhower administration (not to mention $2.75 below LBJ's!) and that sector-wide labor agreements work just fine all over the world to fairly balance labor markets. Let loose a couple of simple truths and let the market for ideas sort out the result.
Did I say: what Social Security?