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Miscellaneous replies, followed by answers most people don't want to hear.

<<Maybe SS is like medicine, doesn't leave a good taste in the mouth, but it can help you.>>

<<...I still would not want my mother stuck out in the cold. And I would prefer not to support her entirely myself,...>>

<<I agree here.... especially since I think the ant took in the grasshopper for the winter and properly chastized him.<g>>>

Ask how many people would *prefer* to pay for anything entirely by themselves or have the responsibility passed along to society. Welcome to the great American welfare state. BTW, does the "lifeboat scenario" sound familiar? Oh, life can certainly be cruel and hard and never fair, and I would sacrifice for my family to correct whatever misfortunes I can, but I won't sacrifice for your family. Very few people are that altruistic. While you may retort that losing 7.65% of my income is hardly a great self-sacrifice, please present this argument a few generations from now when there will only be two workers per retiree and a 7.65% tax will be referred to as the good old days. Then tell those people why they should pay for you while trying to provide for their own children.

As for the grasshopper, in the original story he died. It was only after Democrats determined that federally mandated entitlement programs should save us from ourselves that the politically correct ending was added.

If you want an answer that is neither coldly calculated nor flippant, try a simple word; community. First, realize that retirement is NOT a right. It's a concept that is very new to mankind (yes, relatively new even in U.S. history) and not very well thought out. But before this concept came to be, it was the community (family, neighbors, church, etc.) that provided the safety net (and while I won't sacrifice for your family, I do contribute to my community). Give people a choice and "local" will always draw a stronger response than "national". When the safety net became a federalized project, let's just say that the ropes were rewoven to form a noose instead. Politicians aren't willing to hang themselves by making changes that are necessary to keep SS solvent, so you better hope that communities don't become obsolete.
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