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(Social Security) origins -- Thos Paine's (1797) idea of benefits to the elderly

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    While the GOP is still insisting that Social Security or Medicare, or any kind of "benefits" for elderly people, or the poor -- is some kind of "socialized medicine" or an evil Socialist plot ----- then they should HEAR THIS. Thomas Paine was brought to America by Benjamin Franklin, (in 1774) & he became prominently known for his "Common Sense" writings, whipping up enthusiasm for the Revolution. His lifework was so fulfilled, that future President John Adams was known to say, "History is to ascribe the American Revolution to Thomas Paine." (p. 381)

    Quoting (below) from Thomas Paine's "Agrarian Justice" -- written 1797:

    "It is a right, & not a charity, that I am pleading for. The plan I propose is to create a National Fund, which shall be paid to every person when arrived at age 21 years, the sum of 15 pounds sterling, to compensate for the loss of (his or her) natural inheritance." -- "And also, the sum of 10 pounds [sterling] PER ANNUM, to every person -- at the age of 50 years." (p. 334)

    Paine was also influential in the French Revolution, & was put into a French prison, (1793) where he became very sick, & nearly died. Back home, he was offered a place in the new govt of the US, but refused it, preferring to be a writer. "Paine retained none of the profits from his publications, -- he donated the proceeds to the American Revolution, and other causes." Sadly, after doing so much to provide income & financial benefits for others, --"he died penniless and alone, in New York City, in 1809." (p. 382)

    What a tragic end, for such a great man -- one of the Founding Fathers, who proudly signed the Declaration of Independence.

    SOURCE: "Common Sense and Other Writings" -- by Thomas Paine
    (Intro by Joyce Appleby) -- Publisher: Barnes & Noble, New York, 2005.