Legacy? What Legacy?

John Liming has a thought or two on what leaving a legacy for future generations really means.
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I keep hearing all this talk from the Right Wing about how we have to be concerned about the legacy that we will leave our children and their children after them.

Republicans who dwell a little over on the extreme side complain that our entitlement programs (Social Security and all it’s allied programs) are going to leave a huge indebtedness for – “the children.”

So they think that cutting these programs and their benefits here and now in the time in which we are presently living is going to do something to protect the legacy for those who come after us – or some such cockamamie bull manure as that.

It all sounds so good when a Rightie says it but one gets a feeling in the pit of the stomach that no matter what the budget whackers are fantasizing, whatever it is they want to do to the budget is not going to accomplish the ideals they are blathering about  because…

Historically all so-called conservative fiscal policies have done for America is create a bigger and more uncontrollable financial mess.

They seem to keep on trying the same old things just like someone who knows for sure that a square peg will never fit comfortably into the round hole but I think they are so convinced of their invincibility and their omnipotence and omniscience that they are driven to keep on trying.

I do not believe enough of them have the capacity to actually consider alternative courses of action so I think it will always be the same old thing with them.

My sons used to say to me, “I will not repeat the same mistakes of your generation dad, because these are new and different times now.”

After living on this earth for 74 years I have come to believe that my sons are right!

I think the coming generations will not repeat the same old mistakes my generation made – I think they will make their own mistakes which in the end will be nothing more than refinements on the mistakes that my generation made.

I think the coming generations will make the same old mistakes my generation made but I think they will make them in a more perfect way!

In other words, they will make the same errors but they will put a cleaner and more modern face on them.

I think human nature is inescapable.

Whenever you hear a Rightie screaming and ranting about the need to leave a better legacy to our children and grandchildren just look them in the face and ask the question, “What kind of legacy did our parents and their parents leave for us?”

And then comfort yourself with this thought: “Maybe all this austerity talk from the far right in this country is not about “legacy” at all.  Maybe it is all about re-designing the national spending habits so that more money will be freed up to find it’s way into the coffers of the upper wealthiest echelons of the country.  Has anyone besides me ever considered that possibility?

I do not think our parents and grandparents were the least bit concerned about what kind of legacy they were leaving for us.

I think our parents and grandparents had it tough enough that the only things they were actually concerned about were how to make it through each day and how they could feed us, clothe us and keep a roof over our heads.

I think “Legacy” was the farthest thing from their minds.

When I graduated high school, our class motto was “the world is open, the future is ours.”

As I look back on that momentous graduation ceremony in the spring of 1956, I cannot help but ask myself, “The world was open and the future was ours – what in the Hell did we do with it?”

In my mind there is room to believe that each generation will eventually discover that it is responsible for it’s own destiny and that whatever we do or try to do will have very little effect on whatever confronts them because they always tend to find their own way to screw things up for themselves.

So enough of the Right Wing austerity talk already!

 

John publishes Blue Heart Chronicles.
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8 thoughts on “Legacy? What Legacy?

  1. The GOPs legacy, everyone for themselves, you are on your own, slave for the 1% and hurry up and die if you get sick, oh and science is the devil!

  2. After living 65 years on earth,I have seen a disquieting launch of greed from my generation. The legacy of pension plans by our fathers and grand-fathers have been eroded by higher management of companies. The 1 % of those people who have been given a blessing, have taken it to the highest order and have decided that millions of upper scale entitlements should go to them and shareholders and the bottom 99% who devoted their careers to the betterment of the company are left hanging with lousy pensions. When once we could aspire to 70% of our best five year earnings,I find myself earning 30% of annual earnings because stock markets and banks don’t earn enough for the past seven years at least..

    Naturally if you start attacking social security and medicare and medicaid,the legacy will be that America doesn’t care about the future of its people. We have Walmarts,Taco Bells and others who don’t pay enough and for which people can t put income into registered retirement programs and indirectly will create poorer seniors. America will either face a hungry older generation in 50 years or will need to allow them to perish because the rich need to buy their islands with fish swimming underneath their floor.

    We need to start a conversation on the future for our children and teaching our children that me,myself and I philosophy cannot continue. America is better than that and the spirit of uniting and building a barn for a neighbor is better for the soul than amassing unknown riches that you can’t bring to your grave.

  3. Let’s face it: if they saved money by cutting social programs, they would just use it for more wars. What about that crappy legacy? I would rather make sure seniors, vets, children, etc. don’t get the shaft, rather than see money go for war.

  4. What legacy will we leave for our children if we take away the social safety net they made end up needing unless they’re smart enough and lucky enough to end up in the 1%? That’s some pretty long odds. I think the best bet is to make sure the safety nets are in place.

    Occupy – I agree, I am totally fed up with the I, I, I, me, me, me generation (ours) that has so screwed this country up.

    My parents moved to the city from the farm when I was born and what they wanted for me more than anything else was the education they didn’t have. They knew with that education i would be able to get a better job and have a better life. Other than that, it was all about keeping the bills paid and helping others when they could.

    My future was my own to make.

    Lloyd Blankfien (bless his little pruned up heart) would like us to work until we’re 70 before we can collect Social Security.

    Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) is introducing a bill to lift the cap which would make SS solvent for 75 years. That is a legacy we should be leaving our children:

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/16/1208701/democratic-senator-introduces-bill-to-lift-social-securitys-tax-cap-extend-its-solvency-for-decades/

  5. Conservatives like to talk about the redistribution of wealth. They want us all to believe that when taxes go up on the wealthy, that it’s redistributing their wealth but in reality, it’s only trying to even things but not very well. Tax cuts can never take the place of good wages and good benefits for a day’s work.

    I am all for lowering taxes for the wealthy, just as soon as everyone who works gets decent wages and benefits, enough to take good care of their families and provide for them sufficiently throughout their lives. That is far from the case now. Instead, those same conservatives would like to get rid of the minimum wage, when minimum wage should be a great deal higher.

  6. If the cons were really concerned about not saddling “our children” with debt, they’d be raising taxes to support state colleges and universities. When I entered the University of California in the mid-1970s, registration fees were under $300 a quarter. Thanks to Ronald Reagan and his ideological heirs, college is now unaffordable for most young people – my daughter’s friends, for example, can barely afford to go to community college part-time.

    These days, a young adult is lucky to start his/her career (assuming s/he can find a career-oriented job) without a crushing debt burden – the average student loan debt is over $26,000.

  7. The GOP favors –

    right to work
    abolishing minimum wage
    elimination of collective bargaining/unions
    privatization of public sector jobs

    all the above’s goal is to turn American workers labor into public servitude whose total dependence will be on the “trickle down” provided to them from the “company store”. I think we’ve seen this movie before – it didn’t turn out well for 98% of the people.

    Combine the above with GOP’s austerity plan and – what “legacy”? The Return to Slavery?

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