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The Aldrich Alert
Gary Aldrich

A Publication of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

Get Your Reparations Here!

April 17, 2002

by Gary Aldrich - Volume 2, Issue 20

This article appeared on TownHall.com on Thursday, April 11, 2002.

Have you heard? Retired federal employees cannot get full Social Security benefits even if they worked sufficient quarters and make enough income outside of federal employment to qualify. Yes, itís true, and itís all because some left-leaning politicians decided it was “just not fair” for these one-time public servants to “double-dip.”

People live much longer these days, so it’s logical that many people have back-to-back careers, as I have, first with Uncle Sam then moving on to something else. OK, I won’t complain. You got me fair and square. I’ll not act “selfish” and insensitive even though food is being taken out of the mouths of my children to feed somebody else’s children. I’ll wave goodbye to righteously earned benefits from jobs I had before and after my employment in the federal government in the name of Political Correctness.

Will folks who have benefited from Affirmative Action live within the same rules, using the same logic? So many have been hired, promoted, retained and have enjoyed all the benefits of a federal government system that’s bending over backward to help those who have real or perceived grievances due to their race, creed, gender or nationality.

Let’s get an agreement from all those federal, state and local employees, and all the government contractors and consultants and paid advisors and vendors – whoever has obtained a “helping hand”– because maybe, at some point, they have been held back because of somebody else’s discrimination.

There are literally millions currently employed because of affirmative action, and probably fall within groups who consider themselves to be long-term victims, currently seeking reparations through legislation or civil lawsuit. Seriously, one of the issues here is whether the citizens of this country have already helped those who have suffered slavery and discrimination. I think the answer is “yes.”

I am not happy with what my father’s generation did to groups such as the Blacks, Hispanics, women and Asians. But, they had the power and the generational tradition to back them up. So for a period of time, folks were discriminated against. Maybe they were tied up and distracted by The Great Depression, World War II, and the Korean War, not to mention the Vietnam War. But, whatever the case, that was a bad thing and a shame on that generation.

However, the Boomer generation, my generation, changed all that, and we should get the credit. As much as I loath the politics of the New-Left, it was their activism and their radical politics that finally tripped the wire and caused much needed change. The New-Left did it for the wrong reason – to increase political power. We should never allow a political group to enjoy power from the misery of any group of set-upon citizens.

But the wrong was “righted,” and we poured five trillion dollars into a welfare system to make up for the damage done. Not only that, we overhauled all the laws of the land, federal, state and local, to open the doors of opportunity, and in most cases, bump folks ahead in the lines at our universities and places of work. We also made it easier to buy a home and achieve that “American Dream.” I say, "Bravo!"

But the resulting upheaval was no small matter, no walk in the park. Millions of families were traumatized and uprooted with the process of busing, again, another dramatic way to try to set things right. That didn’t work, but we tried it anyway. Our inner city schools are terrible and we somehow put up with that. If I were president for a day I sure would change that!

Regardless of what we have done – most of us gladly and willingly – some in the Black leadership say itís not enough. They want money…and lots of it. They say that is the only thing that will set things right. Some of us recognize a political agenda when we see it. Itís an issue sure to divide us and cause us to continue to feel uncomfortable with each other. At a time when America really needs to pull together, we now have a lawsuit seeking damages for matters that were out of our control and happened hundreds of years ago.

“Well,” some would say, “these are corporations that are being sued, and they benefited from the slavery.” Maybe they did, and maybe they didn’t, but corporations have stockholders, and stockholders are people just like you and me. Stockholders are also taxpayers, and I guess the greedy Black leaders who don’t speak for the majority of Black people think that if they can’t go directly to the taxpayer with legislated reparations, then maybe they’ll do it indirectly with activist jurists or sympathetic juries.

In any case, I think the federal government should move today to get signed waivers from every employee hired if there is any hint of affirmative action involved in their hiring, education, promotions, or in any other way they may have benefited directly, or indirectly. While we are at it, perhaps we should establish a national data base to keep track of every single dollar given to a member of any aggrieved group for any purpose, so that if they ever do win such a ridiculous lawsuit, they won’t be paid twice.

Retired federal employees cannot “double dip.” Let’s prevent anybody else from enjoying extra benefits on the backs of the hardworking taxpayers – many of whom are in the same group of victims who would benefit from such a lawsuit.

Someday the various races and genders and groups will find peace with each other. But I guess not during the time of the Baby Boomers. Some of us are too busy being selfish to remember to get along with each other. Others don’t care, as long as they line their pockets with your cash.




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