The Social Security Entitlement Adventure

Good morning readers. I’m obliged you came by for a read.

I got an email yesterday from an old acquaintance who’s carrying a serious chip on his shoulder about somebody calling the Social Security pension he lives on an ‘entitlement’. He raged on about how he paid into it fifty years, and his employers matched everything he paid. So, he says, it’s not an entitlement.

Sheeze. I wonder what else a person would call it. He’s entitled to it. What the hell is it but an entitlement?

But I think he’s concerned that because ‘entitlement’ has become a buzzword for something else he doesn’t like.  Namely a whole range of government payouts to bank owners, automobile companies, multi-national corporations, all manner of people bleeding the US budget dry with bailouts and payoffs.  I think he figures they might quit paying him his pension because they called it an entitlement.  Putting him down with scum bankers and CEOs and Chairmans of Boards and politicians.

Seems to me he’s just not thinking right.  He’s gotten old up there in Al Capone country and no longer seeing the opportunity it would represent if they took away his retirement check he needs to live.

Truth is, we lived fairly tame lives, we retirees.  Generally we did what was needed and more-or-less stayed within the boundaries of the laws and ethics while we did it.

In a lot of ways we screwed ourselves out of the adventure we were entitled to.  The adventure of sticking up banks and shooting it out with the cops and whatnot.

Those bankers and CEOs and politicans got to have all the fun, though they didn’t do it in a way that would take them out in a blaze of gunfire.  But we spent our lives in an environment with them in their houses on the hill, and down on the street corners and alleyways people were shooting it out with one another and the cops.

We just plodded along working our asses off not getting to drive limosines nor scoot around in the shadows mugging anyone.  But now maybe they’re finally going to give us our shot at having some fun finally.

Seems to me it’s about time.

Old Jules

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19 responses to “The Social Security Entitlement Adventure

  1. You have touched a sore spot with me. So, is the government entitled to take our money for 50 years and bitch about giving it back? My answer, an unequivocal ‘HELL NO!’ (pardon my not so french)

    • Michael ultra. Good seeing you. Hope everything’s going well in your life. I reckons they’re entitled to do anything they have the power to do, same as always. The question of whether it’s right or wrong doesn’t have a lot to do with whether they can do it. Same as always. All you and I have a right to do is whatever we can get by with, same as them. Same as always. We just never managed to make it work for us the way they did for themselves. Gracias, J

  2. This is my territory: Social Security is about maintenance of the society, not about making sure folks have enough money to buy an extra lake home or boat. It’s there to try to ensure that older adults and folks with disabilities get to eat, pay some bills, and keep a roof over their heads. One is “entitled” to it because they’ve crossed a threshold (e.g., age, disability, etc.) not because it’s a freebie for landing on some square in the game of life. It’s there because bad things used to happen all the time to older folks and people with disabilities who happened to be poor. It can’t “fix” everything—that never was the intent—but it’s there to help. Social Security is a good thing!

    • Hi George. I’m obliged you came by and shared your viewpoint. Certainly what you’ve said has a lot of merit. But I hope you’ll agree when it comes to picking priorities involving where money ought to go the people who are already richer than 18 inches up a bull’s ass and the people who robbed the SS system blind ought to be protected from having to support freeloaders such as myself, my amigo who sent the email, and the disabled. It ain’t as though we’re likely to contribute a lot more to their holdings than we already did. No point coddling us if they can help it. Gracias, Jules

      • Regarding earlier: Rich folks already have more protection than if they all were wearing full-body condoms–they don’t need help from SSA. For the maintenance of society (i.e., ensuring a certain level of existence for those in need) we all should pay into it, but Social Security should become more of a safety-net program that should absolutely be means-tested. Rich-ass folks don’t need to be drawing a benefit that does nothing for them, but make them a little richer–and depletes the program faster. I hate it that some people have done all they can to poison certain words like “entitlement.”

        • Hi George. I don’t think I’m qualified to have an opinion about whether the people who passed the SS Act and the changes in the program from then to now intended it to be as you describe, or otherwise. My impression has always been that the lawmakers established it as a fund separate from the general revenues, and that when they passed it their intention was for anyone who paid in and met the qualifications established could draw from it under the specified conditions. But I might be wrong about that. I appreciate your comments. Gracias, J

  3. I am spending my SS and enjoying every minute of it with no guilt at all.

  4. An entitlement is something like Aid For Dependent Children, or set aside acres for farmers. SS is more akin to a Federal Pension Plan.

    • Hi Swabby. I suppose that works as well as any other definition, depending on who’s doing the defining. I’d have been more inclined to say an entitlement is something a person’s entitled to by some whatever reasoning the person’s able to apply. Or that a legal entitlement is something a person is entitled to by law. But words, I reckons, carry too much baggage to allow them to fit the mold the word was intended to fit. I’m obliged you dropped in. Gracias, J

  5. Technically SS is indeed an entitlement, because the workers of today are paying the money directly in real time to the retirees of today. It’s always been that way. The “SS account” that you have paid into is just a number. It really has no relevance to how much you are paid or for how long. For example, I met an immigrant who had lived in this country for a few years and was recently naturalized. Now she’s getting SS checks to the tune of $1,100+ a month, and she never paid a dime into the fund. That’s an entitlement. It is a transfer of wealth from the young to the old. It works great until there are not enough young people to pay to support the old people, which is beginning to occur now.
    I would be fine with abolishing Social Security, because I will never see any of the money I paid into it. It will be bankrupt by then.

    • Good morning Marvin. Technically every federal program that hands out money, including grant money, once it’s statutory, is an entitlement. No big deal. As to whether you’d willingly give it up, or wouldn’t, it’s of no consequence. Your hero idols and enemy idols in Washington DC will figure out what they’re going to do without regard for what you might wish, I might wish. And of course, they’re as greedy and consumed by self-interest as you and me. Unless you can find one of their stars to hitch your wagon to, you won’t profit by anything they do unless by fortuitous coincidence. Thanks for the visit. J

  6. My view is draw it while you can get it. You earned it and if someone wants to take it away, there are only 1 word that need to be spoken…Draw!

    • Hi Rick. I reckons a man’s going to have to do whatever he thinks he’s got to do. What that turns out to be will likely differ person to person. Thanks for coming by. J

  7. I agree and if I hadn’t “voluntarily” contributed to Social Security and had invested the funds myself I would be doing fine. Not bad as it is. But it’s the government and they simply don’t have a clue how to make money and put it to work for themselves/us. They only know how to spend, give entitlements (pay farmers not to grow something) and tell us what to eat to ensure the drug makers have lots of money to spend on their outrageous advertising. Or maybe everyone thinks that with nearly 50% of the population being overweight and needing lots of medication is a good thing.

    OK. I’ll step off the soap box now and go back to work. 😉

    • Hi SL Schildan: “But it’s the government and they simply don’t have a clue how to make money and put it to work for themselves/us.” Thanks for coming by for a read. As individuals members of the government, elected, appointed, or just as employees, aren’t doing to badly at making money for themselves. That fact suggests they might have a clue insofar as personal wealth is concerned, but the clue loses focus in the larger picture when it’s the general welfare rather than their own involved. Just saying. Jules

  8. There are rumours of a similar situation here in Canada. I shudder with distaste.

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