"Society is always engaged in a vast conspiracy to preserve itself --
at the expense of the new demands of each new generation."
John Haynes Holmes
(1879-1964) prominent Unitarian minister and pacifist
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
I think there is some truth here. As kids we always asked why but eventually we just accepted a lot of BS becasue well that is the way it is. There probably is a silent difficult to understand, and non-threatening "conspiracy", I believe it is also known as cultural syncretism.
 -- Waffler, Smith     
    And at times it is that new generation that is driving the change in society that preserves it as our society... making the older generation's needs the ones that lose out.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    Some truth. The government spent the Social Security surplus and has run the debt up to comfort the older generation and now expect the younger generation to foot the bill for programs that won't be there for them when they get older. Live big now-let the next generation pay for it.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    There is some vague truth to the statement. I disagree with its sentiment though. Our "leaders" are supposed to be the ones who are wise enough and concerned enough to preserve sensibility. That means not capitulating to irrational demands that can not be sustained. Sadly though, they are instead political whores with almost zero integrity.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Cal it was Reagan who increased Social Security and cut taxes especially on higher levels of income for his rich friends. He used the Social Security Taxes to pay for his star wars etcetera. We need to pay the Social Security Bonds back now by raising taxes.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, It doesn't matter a whit whether it was Reagan or Che Guevera...the system itself is corrupt and broken beyond repair. Any system that has people born into eternal financial slavery...is an evil system and should be thrown out. Just like the "Americans" did in 1776!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Cal you do not understand the social security system. A surplus is literally impossible to have. No one ever was intended to live off of the money they had put into it. That was seen to within 6 months of the beginning of social security by congress. They could not tolerate a fund growing that they were not allowed to spend. They invented a thing called "pay as you go". Since then all money received by the government goes into the same account and is spent well before it even gets there. It matters not what excuse the money was taken for. It is all the same always has been. Every generation has foot the social security bill for the older generation since it started. This statement would be an obvious truth if it did not have the word expense in it. It is all too often that preserving our society is to the betterment of the younger generation in spite of their ignorance and opposition. As always Waffler you make a fool of your self.
     -- warren, olathe     
    How about "Politicians are always engaged in a vast conspiracy to preserve their offices -- at the expense of the next generation."
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Yes Warrem bit I never get embarrased. When you have and speak the truth it also helps to be thick skinned. As McCain said during his campaign "there is no real problem with social security, I know how to fix the minor problem". The solution is also readily available to anyone who will look for it on the net or elsewhere. A combination of a payroll tax increase say 1/2 to 2% and increasing the retirement age by several months for each of the next ten years and the fund is solvent until near the next century. A 2% increase and no reduction in benefits or increase in retirement age is required. The 1 1/2 trillion in US General Fund Bonds must be paid to Social Security from the Generarl Fund, that is Income Tax Money, so taxes must be raised or the money found somewhere in the General Budget to pay the Social Security Administration the money it is owed. The only thing Americans have to fear is pessimistic people. Today Bank of America announced that it will soon pay off its bailout in full. You obviously know nothing about Social Securtiy Warren just like you know nothing about Global Warming/Climate Change.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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