As I’ve argued previously, “safety nets” within a state system function as revolt insurance primarily, not for their stated purpose. Us yanks, comparatively speaking, are bribed on the cheap by developed nation standards. Regardless, certain parts of our rations (that is, Social Security and Medicare) are pretty popular. Consider all the above, then read this (all emphasis mine):
In a meeting with editors of the Wall Street Journal, [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor said Americans must “come to grips with the fact that promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept for many.”
The Republican plan for dealing with the exploding cost of health care is to phase out Medicare and replace it with a system of subsidized private insurance for elderly Americans, starting when people currently 55 and under reach retirement age. “The rest of us have got ample time to try and plan our lives so that we can adjust to reality here when you look at the numbers,” Cantor said. “Again the math doesn’t lie.”
“Plan our lives”. “Adjust to reality”. This is referring to an insurance program for senior citizens. The point of insurance being pooling of resources for future serious needs. In order to do this, you & everyone in the pool have to have resources now that are beyond what you need to survive today — a.k.a. “savings”. For most of the population, being able to actually save money for the future has been a fairy tale, as the cost of living outpaced wages due to the crushing of labor. The gaps over time were papered over as a result not by savings, but by debt, whether in the form of payday/title loans, loans against your house (which you still owe on, the value of which would later drop like a brick thrown from a penthouse suite window), even the plastic. Your entire life has been financed away, and some people got — remain, even — very, very wealthy gambling over it. After all that the world seemingly sucked you dry, of course you’re going to feel overjoyed once it is finally your turn to partake of a tit. Wait, what’s this?
“Well, we’re sorry to inform you, but…”
Governments break legs and hand out crutches. That’s what they do. When there’s any concern whatsoever about paying for this, inevitably someone proposes cutting back on crutches. Not breaking legs in the first place is never an option, that is simply not how the system works.
The capability of people to organize and prepare for the future, if truly allowed, is a threat to this system and all like it. In my view, the pursuit of reviving and building said capability should be our first priority, because without first ending the leg-breaking all that will be asked is “who shall supply the crutches?”.