Friday, May 22, 2015

Humorous 1934 view of Social Security by George Gowen

Nola and her mother Myra Gowen
The Ord Quiz: September 6, 1934

Care of the County Board: By George Gowen

Dear Jake...
My sister [Nola Gowen Vredenburgh], in California, writes that there is a movement there (they have lots of ideas in California) to the effect that the government shall pay every person over sixty years of age two hundred dollars a month. She says that the idea is gaining strength fast and everyone seems to be in favor of it as soon as the proposition is explained to them. There is only one requirement, and that is that the recipient spend the money. In that way we would soon start the circulation of the lucre in the place of soaking it away in the mattress or in the bank to make temptation for the bandits. As soon as this money has become well on its way in the typhoon, prosperity will dawn for all of us.

I am beginning to be converted to the idea myself. My wife's parents are both over sixty and so is my mother. I wish the measure would soon be adopted for not one of the three are of any too good health at the writing. Further, all three of these folks are none too exacting with me. They are the nicest folks to borrow money from I ever saw. They will loan me their last dollar and nearly starve before they ask me to pay them back. Then I would plan to rent my mother a room for about forty per and charge her a dollar for a bottle of milk. Great Guns, Jake, think of the possibilities! And then think of how some of these old folks who are getting a dollar and twenty a week to live on would act. They would sure tell someone where to go in short order. And in place of five dollars a month rent, we might get enough to pay our taxes.

I presume that I better mention how this money is to be raised, although we all know that that is a minor matter now days it is argued that we put on a sales tax of very small denomination. That would be all right. One more little tax on top of all of the others would not be noticed. Of course if there was too much "hollar" about that, we could just have Morgenthau issue some more bonds. No one objects to that way of paying.
George G.

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