15 September 2011

Pay it forward = a family value

I have been alternating between seething and trembling because of the Republicans and Tea Party people who are calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" (or the equivalent), and because the people who shouted "Yeah!" when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul, "Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?" were not rebuked by any of the candidates on that stage. 

Whatever happened to the concept of Pay It Forward? 
For that matter, whatever happened to the concept of caring for society's  elders? 
Isn't that a family value?

Noam Chomsky has an answer that makes me sad, but seems true. Don't you hate it when that happens?

  • Social Security is based on a principle. It’s based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat. And that’s a notion you have to drive out of people’s heads. The idea of solidarity, sympathy, mutual support, that’s doctrinally dangerous. The preferred doctrines are just care about yourself, don’t care about anyone else. That’s a very good way to trap and control people. And the very idea that we’re in it together, that we care about each other, that we have responsibility for one another, that’s sort of frightening to those who want a society which is dominated by power, authority, wealth, in which people are passive and obedient.


Ryan said...

Kind of the same philosophy behind health care. Do you care if you can go to a doctor, but your neighbor can't? Sometimes the answers people give to these questions are frightening.

Donna Lee said...

The Ponzi scheme tells me I have to work until I'm 72 now before I can retire. And even then, I'll be lucky if I can live on what will be in my account.

I don't understand this "only care about me and mine" attitude. I want to make sure we all have food to eat and access to healthcare and a safe place to live. And I fear those of us who feel this way are quickly becoming the minority.

PJ said...

As a culture, sadly, we have lost it. Perhaps at the point where we went wrong- is where we can only repair it. :( the 'bottom line' mentality is absolutely killing us

teabird said...

You probably are right - we may be able to fix things on the local level only. How disheartening.

Carrie K said...

I find it really hard to believe that since it's inception, every penny of it has been used for the intended purpose.

A Ponzi scheme? WTH?