A month before my father passed away in 1990 at age eighty six his youngest and only surviving sister tape reordered a biographical interview with him where she asked many questions. I still find the answers to be relevant to in todays reality.
One outstanding thing her questioning touched on was how life was before Social Security and Medicare both of which were begun by Presidents during my father's lifetime.
Although my father was able to accumulate a little savings his financial security was primarily due to both of these programs especially the need not to worry about my mother's finances after he died. She lived for twelve years longer and never was able to generate a lot of income herself except for a few years during WWII when she joined the legions of women doing defense work.
Social Security, a paid for house and supplementation from my fathers saved earnings provided for her security until it was necessary to go on Medicaid for her final years in a nursing home.
My father considered FDR a veritable angel for beginning Social Security and later when LBJ began Medicare my parents could not get over their hospital and other medical bills almost being paid in full rather than wiping out their meager savings.
My father always considered insurance as "gambling". He still benefited greatly from both social welfare programs which of course were examples of the pooling of community resources to serve all as needed. This is the principle all insurance is based on even though many details will vary.
Some of the same generation as my father considered both programs as Socialism which is true but some also considered FDR a Communist or "Fellow Traveller" with Communists. Others consider him as the President who got America out of the depression and thru most of WWII.
As perspectives go that is about as far as one can get.
Was he an "angel" or one of Satan's minions?
Both extreme views and lesser examples still exist in the world, and in WOTL.
I take special notice of the Mormons since they have been able to create a type society that offers some of the same economic security pooling community resources Socialism does with the exception that it exists under the umbrella of religion.
Mormons will say and have said to me "but we have a choice."
Implying that Socialism is imposed and Religion is optional.
Apparently some of those apologists are unaware of "shunning" or think perhaps that I Am.
Certain choices within a social or religious community are considered detrimental by others in that group. Such choices can lead to formal or informal shunning or social isolation.
That implied or often actual threat seems to me the anthesis of "choice".
My father's words from the grave mean much to me especially since he was a hard working and tax paying community member well respected by it's citizens.
Much of his social philosophy was Conservative however his personal benefiting from two of the greatest Twentieth Century's social programs was well acknowledged by him.
© 2010 Albert 1 - 6/26/10