The US has had a Social Security Administration for eight whole decades now, a government agency aimed at assisting the aged, the disabled, and those with limited income capabilities. Highly admirable stuff, that, however imperfectly executed. The fact that many of my generation and younger have had reason to question whether the monies we ourselves have set aside and invested (through this very agency, in hopes of securing our own places if and when we reach the point of need in any of those categories) will still be there waiting for us gives the lie to the amiably well-intentioned name of said organization. But if there were to be an agency with the opposite name, I have a feeling it would be devoted to something a bit different, or at least much broader, than the opposite of supporting the aged, the disabled, and those with limited income capabilities.
If you ask me, insecurity—especially of the social variety—is pretty darned near universal. It strikes at the hearts of the poor and the rich equally, at those with profound physiological barriers to their earning potential and those who make their mind-bogglingly large incomes by being spectacularly physically gifted (here’s looking at you, pro athletes!), at those with limited income capabilities, say, because they are [ahem! Starving] artists and those whose income potential seems utterly unlimited (you know, artists of the bankable-actor type or the rockstar variety and their cohorts). I know from long observation that the seemingly most potent and gifted, powerful and well-established, famous and accomplished, are also among the least socially secure people on the planet. It has a little to do, I’m sure, with the idea that the more one has, the more one has to lose. But it’s really not so logic-based as all that. It’s an inborn, often reinforced, sense that what one does have not only can vanish in the blink of an eye but is highly likely to do so. A belief that if anybody else on earth has any such gifts and privileges and earned honors, then the ones that one has, oneself, are diminished by an equal amount, or just plain eclipsed. The zero-sum game in a terribly emotional, wildly self-destructive form. How pitiful.
What I would like might be to create the Social Insecurity Administration, and let everybody who feels a need to join, or is nominated for the dubious honor by others who know what fears lie in their secret hearts,