Friday, February 18, 2011

George Will Wants To Untie Gulliver

Americans must say "an affectionate thank-you" to the last century's major social welfare programs -- then sunset them, after those Americans "currently or soon to be enrolled" in them have passed from the scene. Social Security and Medicare should be updated to conform to Americans' "increasing longevity and good health." Medicare 2.0 should respect Americans' dignity and competence by empowering them to make "their own decisions" by delivering its dollars directly to individuals and expecting them to "pay for more of their routine care like the discerning, autonomous customers we know them to be."

Americans aren't living longer' American babies are living longer.

Take my Great-Grandmother. Seven children. 4 died before their 1st birthday, the remaining three lived past 80. 80 times 3 =240. 244 divided by 7 total children = 34.85 as the average life span of her kids.

Was it that bad for everyone? Nah. More than half the babies would live to see 20. The other half perhaps not 10. Her generation had an average life span of approximately 62 years of age. The baby boomers, of which I am one, began popping out to say hiya at about the same time many of the major baby-killing diseases were themselves killed, or rendered for all intent and purpose, impotent. So my generation is living to 77 or thereabouts, and lots more are dying before 80 than my Great-Grandmother's generation, and if her memory can be believed, her grandmother's people lived into their 90's if they made it out of the teen years. Without "modern" medicines.

The moral of all this? Be careful with numbers. My only wish is for children and the elderly to be taken care of, and that does happen to mean a certain level of entitlements. Going back to the bad old days means taking less care of the helpless and I'll personally fight like hell to prevent that.

On the other hand, anyone capable of contributing to society MUST do so. We've all seen or heard of the baby machines, the Medicare frauds, the lifelong unemployed who somehow seem to be forever on the dole. Mr. Will wants to see American businesses unfettered and so do I but never at the cost of reanimating disease and injury and the attendant medical nightmares attributed to the sweat-shops of ages gone by.

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