Elegant solutions

I’ve been saying the same thing since, oh, about 1973 or so, and still the debate rages on. Which I’m called to recall because my mother passed away on Sept. 28th, a few short weeks ago, and then we find a rule that says her Social Security check which was deposited on Sept 1st, must be given back to SS, so that they can make some calculation, and pro rate it, we guess, since it’s not clear, other than, give the money back — lest she get her fair share or something for nothing having survived the last entire month of her 77th year. But the money was spent by my mother in the last 28 days — so how will that money be refunded, to be adjusted, to be repaid? Beats me. It’s just in limbo at the moment. Who has time to deal with such arrant crap now in the midst of mourning?

For Social Security — which is a ponzi scheme which was broke back then, and broke now — is broke in every sense of the word. Broke as in a bicycle that can’t move, and broke as in no more money. It’s broke because people have money extracted from them all their lives — and then, if they live beyond 65 they get some portion of it back, minus the interest, and doled out by bureaucrats using arcane rules. And broke because if you die before 65 you don’t see a blessed penny of the money extracted. Broke because there’s a huge bureaucracy creating complex rules that make no sense other than to bureaucrats.

Now, how simple is this concept: the government requires every American to save towards their retirement at a set minimum rate of $100 a month. And month after month every American puts that $100 or more into their own bank account, insured by an FDIC sort of process. Not invested in pork bellies, not saved later when you get a chance, not off in REITS or stocks or even bonds, not managed by an agency. Just a simple pass book savings account with a 3 or 5 percent interest rate. Then at the end of your roughly 40 years of saving this $100 at this interest rate you’ll have some $800,000 in cash on hand. Then, in your golden years you start to draw down that account. If you die before retirement, your heirs get the cash. If you live to 80 or 90, you can withdraw more a year than today’s Social Security system ever could pay you. There’d be no bureaucrats to pay, no huge SS (don’t you love those initials!) building to pay for, no rules, no forms, no permissions needed, no concepts of eligibility, raiding the trust funds, the lockbox — nothing short of your own personal pass book savings account. Awfully easy to set up, and done, and that’s it.

But no, there’s going to be the ongoing debate about the Social Security system. Sure, sure, that’s the ticket.

Meanwhile, over in healthcare, there’s this Reform, and government agencies, and again, on and on with rules, and laws, and forms and eligibilities, and social service workers and all sorts of stuff that only bureaucrats can love. And how simpler it would be if a government wanted to provide health care to simply levy a tax and pay for a hospital and the doctors and nurses, like a park or a ball field, and just let any citizen, all equal taxpayers, come on in and get their healthcare. I’d say, guessing of course, that some 90% of healthcare is garden variety stuff which we all face. And about 10% is catastrophic which other than the grace of God any might be afflicted with.

For instance, there’s a small number of babies born every year with some affliction, and 95% or more are born bouncy baby healthy. So the regular babies get their regular bits, and sent off to become productive. And the small percentage is covered by something like the “Horrible Baby Affliction Fund” or something. Oh, the name doesn’t matter, and I’m not in the naming business. But it strikes me that if every worker in America, all 160 million of us or so, pay $1 a week to this fund, then all that money, 160 Million Bucks a week goes to pay for the extraordinary expenses that a baby born with some affliction — without regard to “eligibility,” or “income” or anything. Born with a two-by-four in the cranium, you’re in the fund. The hospital simply calls up the Help the Baby fund and it steps in to pay for the extras. Sure, a little more complex, but this is a blog, not some policy book (though maybe I should write one, since I have the time to do the research.) And in this way, the parents, already freaking out because their baby had a 2×4 in their head at birth, doesn’t have to jump through hoops to get the care they need, or find out, even more dastardly, that they’re not eligible because dad makes $10 more than the eligibility cut off point.

When it comes to elder care, the same thing, $1 a week, or is it $5? That’s the research part, but still, some small amount from every worker, into the fund, to cover the last few months of extraordinary health care expenses without question, without a bureaucrat. Some 99 year old who was healthy until the last year of life, and they were, or they wouldn’t have gotten to 99 at all, get’s the health care they need to make his or her departure from this mortal world easier, and without bankrupting him. So let’s say, just for simplicity, $100 into savings for retirement years, and oh, even $50 a month into the Afflicted Babies, Catastrophic Midyears, and Declining Last year care fund  — for every American, as a floor, a minimum. And in this way the Richest most Powerful country on earth can provide a level of care and concern way beyond any socialist state’s dream of a huge bureaucracy doling out the goodies on their own plan. There’d be no eligibility limits, there’d be no debate as to whether someone gets their fair share — for all are equal before the law, as all should be equal before the savings plan, and before the Way Out of Ordinary expenses from Catastrophe Fund. For most Americans life quiet lives, and do what they do, then go meet their maker without too much fuss and muss.

Sure, this is a blog, and so there might be something slightly off with my numbers. But ObamaCare is just the sort of thinking of government that is pointless, and my concept, which I’ve been pushing since 1973, in high school, is just common sense.

And then we can get rid of the Departments of Commerce, for we are good at commerce, we Americans, and Labor, and the Import Export Bank, and Education from the Feds, and on and on, slicing and cutting from the Federal Budget two or three trillion dollars and have but two Departments — Defense — to keep the cretins out, and Catastrophic Care — to help those inside in catastrophe. How simple. How elegant.

You want art? Pay for it — but we shouldn’t have a National Endowment for the Arts, with all the attendant politics, it’d would be a non-issue. On and on this concept could rage across the machine of government. And eliminate the politics. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about whether someone gets funded with our tax dollars, or if we’re getting our fair share of tax dollars.

And we’d have a lot less, a whole lot less politics, and get back to the purpose of the nation — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Meanwhile, I hear there’s an election coming up, which will decide our future, until the next election to decide our future and the debates rage about this or that faction in government or the populace getting less or more of other people’s money. How bizarre that this nation has gone down the road to Royalism, where we are now dependent on the whim and will of the Kings and Dukes of Washington to decide how we might or might not spend our money, if they allow us to keep it, and the bureaucracy is something of which Kafka might have written. So sad.

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