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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Midsummer Policy Sonnet

Erik Shive, Former Intern, National Academy of Social Insurance

The piece was written in August 2011 

Now is the summer of our blasted dissent,
With our eyes cast upward at the debt ceiling,
And no one seems even remotely content.
Will this fallout leave us fiscally reeling?

Into this bloodless, ever-present, hot fray,
Come bright-eyed, eager interns ready to learn.
They are told for social insurance to pray,
For nothing it will give and take all we earn.

Unemployment is in federal error,
The Class Act has been passed but still needs a fix,
Medicare is causing the old to terror,
Social Security’s done by ‘thirty-six.

But UI’s computers will be updated,
A tweak here, one there, and the Class Act will roll,
By healthcare reform, Medicare is sated,
Though Social Security still has a toll.

Gens X and Y were told it was done, finished,
 ‘Tis but a myth, devotedly to be wished,
Social security is but diminished,
The payments to us may yet also be dished.

Solvency makes the program affordable,
Adequacy lets us enjoy our free time,
Both of these things make our lives enjoyable,
Allowing us to reach goals for which we climb.

What do we want for our dear, lovely, family?
Increase the benefit for some, like widows?
Should we cut benefits arbitrarily?
Leaving friends to feed off the scraps like minnows?

College money for children of dependents,
Lower the small Cost -of-Living Adjustment,
Give parents 5 years of child-tax-credits,
Or  increase the age of our retirement?

The possibilities are endless and vast,
Thought-up by all the Leadership’s advisors.
The key is to create policies that last,
While convincing the public they’re no misers.

Look at this painted counterfeit presentment,
Rife with Caesar-stabbing, partisan debate,
Leaving no room for either side’s contentment,
And our Congress no chance to collaborate.

On those we elect we place our pho-mistrust,
Thinking those seeking power must be corrupt;
Though it’s not for control that they truly lust,
But from ideas, that their drive does erupt.

As an intern of NASI, leaders I’ve seen,
Engaging in active, wise, civil discourse,
With minds that are sharp, ready, selfless and keen,
These are the ones with weapons other than force.

To the down-trodden public, all that they see,
Are the slings and arrows of their sufferings,
Made worse by their status as citizen-bees,
Thinking all that they have are their mutterings.     

To grow the government is not socialism,
In a country where we elect those who lead,
All can stand in this participatism,
The home of the brave and the land of the free.

Social Insurance programs are legalized,
To put say in hands of the citizenry,
Alas, the vote is lost when programs are privatized,
Unless you belong to invested-gentry.

The more voices heard in our democracy,
The greater we collectively compromise.
Less say is given to aristocracy,
Leaving solutions of our own fine devise.

If by words and deeds you have been offended,
Reach across the wide aisle to those less than friends.
Your gallant actions shall not go dead-ended,
With equal voices we shall restore amends.

Posted on October 11, 2011  |  Add your comment
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You're ahead of your time, Mr. Shive!

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