Flashbacks: On Politics

Sports and politics are the main topics when I started this blog. As the sidebar shows, I broadened my posting interest since the early days – however, politics as maintained a presence. Enjoy, visit as many as you want, and I hope you comment on the post you visited.

On Necessary Dialogue

As a nation, the United States faces its share of problems. Now is a time needing meaningful solutions; however, finding meaning solutions requires meaningful dialogue between individuals who come to the table with ideas, a willingness to listen, the desire to find a solution, and as few sacred cows as possible (preferably none).

On the other hand, we live in a society that loves “it’s all about me at all cost” attitude of reality shows. After all, I’ve often wondered if reality television is mimicking society or does society mimic reality television.

We also live in a society with commentators who promote their position with a flamethrower in order to scorch the other side rather than educating their point of view. We live in a society whose politicians and supporters who find it difficult to have meaningful discussion beyond taglines and rhetoric.

For example, not long ago I asked a guy about his retirement system, which he explained. It was interesting, thus I used his example to explain an idea of a new Social Security system. Not long after I mentioned “Social Security”, he and another guy immediately blurted out some meaningless and possibly inaccurate tagline that had nothing to do with the conversion.
I fired back – “This is a meaningful issue that needs good conversation. I tried to foster a discussion, and I got meaningless, unrelated political horseshit – and you wonder why we can’t solve important problem.” Needless to say, the conversation was over!

On a Thought from 2005

Early in his second term, President Bush launched a trial balloon regarding reforming Social Security. As a basic supporter of the notion, he caught my attention, but I had questions. As we know, the idea did not get any traction because (as a whole) Republicans fumbled and Democrats balked. However, my interest and questions still exist.

Like anything, Social Security has a history. Yes, Congress enacted the legislation in 1939, but here is a link with more of the story. The bottom line is that Social Security’s intent was to protect senior citizens from poverty.

As it can happen over time, and regardless of the reasons, many Americans developed a view of Social Security as a retirement system. As the largest demographic group in our population is approaching their time to draw, and with high unemployment numbers, Social Security’s financial soundness is questionable.

If it ever happens, odds are that privatizing Social Security won’t affect me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not supportive of the idea. Money from individual paychecks going into a dedicated account for that individual simply makes sense. Giving some basic investment choices for that account that the holder decides makes sense. I guess “making sense” is the reason Washington won’t do it and if they do, they would screw it up.

Yet, my questions from 2005 are still on the table.

  • How will we financially transition from the current system to another?
  • How will we protect senior citizens from poverty during and after the transition?

I may be for privatizing Social Security, but I still believe in its intent.