This Week in Elder News: 14 June 2008
Maya’s Granny: Joycelyn Ward


category_bug_journal2.gif Coming so soon after the announcement on Saturday of my first story in the Wall Street Journal, this seems an overkill of self-promotion, but I am immensely proud of an honor that occurred nearly simultaneously.

First, however, some background. In his 2005 State of the Union address, President Bush formally announced his intention to privatize Social Security. Such a momentous and dramatic change in a program that, across 70 years, has kept millions of people from poverty in their old age (including me) seemed a serious undertaking worthy of careful scrutiny.

And so I embarked on a research project to understand the underpinnings of Social Security along with the details and ramifications of privatization. As I did so over the following year while the president tried to cram his proposal down the nation’s collective throat, I (well, Crabby Old Lady, but you all know she and I are the same person, right?), wrote a long series of posts about what I learned.

(If you didn’t think privatization was a bad idea back then, consider where your personal Social Security fund would be now had it been invested in the stock market.)

It wasn’t easy untangling all the suggested versions of privatization and commentary pro and con. One of my best sources during that period of education (and since) on all things Social Security and Medicare was the website of the NCPSSM – The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. They cleared up a lot of questions for me and led me to other resources that helped too.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago, when I received an email from the NCPSSM telling me I had been selected

“ receive an award in the electronic press category in recognition of your outstanding blog, Time Goes By”.

To mark its 25 years of advocacy, the NCPSSM held a celebration last Thursday, 12 June, at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. I was enormously disappointed that other obligations prevented me from attending, but I sent a video acceptance speech that I hope adequately expressed my pride in the award.

I’m sorry too that I didn’t get to meet my fellow awardee, Newsday’s Saul Friedman. His Gray Matters column has been a regular on my reading list for years and is a standard on the subject of aging that all newspapers should aspire to in this era of an aging population.

Here is the Committee CEO and president, and former Member of Congress, Barbara Kennelly, at the celebration last week to tell you a little about the organization. (5:40 minutes]

Medicare was enacted as an extension to Social Security in 1983, during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. His daughter, Lynda Johnson Robb also spoke at the National Press Club gathering on Thursday. (1:26 minutes)

James Roosevelt, Jr., the grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who created Social Security during the Depression, spoke too. (2:21 minutes)

The NCPSSM website is crammed with useful information to help you understand Social Security and Medicare, including a column on the intricacies of Social Security, Ask Mary Jane, to which you can send your personal inquiries.

There is also the Committee blog, Entitled to Know, which is smart, clear and cuts through the political hype on these two programs. Senator John McCain has announced his intention, if elected president, to resurrect the Social Security privatization proposal. I think you’ll find the NCPSSM website and the blog worthwhile in the coming campaign months.

So this is a public thank you the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare for this award. I’m very proud to have been selected.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Linda Davis tells of a recent experience with her son that any mother - and father - will understand in Tread Softly, Heroes: On Meeting Seth Godin.]


Congratulations Ronni! You've really done so much to help the elderly by vocalizing their plight and well deserve the recognition.

And, a thank you from your readers!

I am so happy I found your site about 6 months ago.
When my computer is turned on in the early morning you are clicked on first.
Thank you for all the time you spend on research and sharing on a vast number of subjects.
You are appreciated and I smile at another deserving award presented to you.

Well deserved, Ronni. You continue to make important contributions to the dialogue and you have made an impact as well. Not so many people can say that. Thank you from all of us who benefit from your efforts.

Congradulations, Ronni! Well deserved recognition of a job well done.......for all of us. Thank you, thank you. Dee

Congratulations again on a well-deserved award! While I seldom write about the political arena, your success gives me some hope that the Chicago media will eventually discover my books and my advocacy of writing for all seniors in "Write your Life!" and "Never too Late!"

Congratulations, Ronni, on both this and the WSJ story. As others have pointed out you definitely deserve this award. And like the others I too appreciate the time you put into this blog. Thank you.

Well done, Ronni.

The recognition of your work for the elderly is well deserved.

I hope all of your readers join with you in your efforts to keep Social Security working for us as intended.

Imagine if Bush had gotten his way and I had invested all of my Social Security funds in a really safe stock like General Electric . What could go wrong there? That's no "Fly by Night" company. Safe investment for your funds, right? Well, the value of my stock( And my SS fund) would be off by thousands of dollars because the stock price has gone down considerably since that privatization scheme was first proposed. The only person who would have made out financially would have been some stockbroker.

Keep the pressure on,Ronni, and we'll be right beside you in support.

A senior member of my family, possibly my grandfather said, "If it's true then it ain't braggin."

Congratulations on your latest in a string of achievments. All I can say is, "Wow!"

Well done Ronni!

This recognition is well deserved and am glad to see your research efforts and writings are being recognized. Thanks for giving us a voice to which others listen.

Congratulations on receiving this hard-earned and well-deserved honor.

Congratulations, Ronni. I felt so proud this morning reading about your award. The feeling reminded me of when my children were small and had made some new accomplishment which was finally recognized by the official establishment in the French school they attended as being important. Thanks again for all the research you did!

I think it’s totally fine when good people brag a little! And you SHOULD be recognized for your outstanding blog! I really appreciate your blog AND your investigations into some of the ultra dry topics. I trust your integrity. Thanks, Ronni!

I believe it was Walter Brennan or one of his characters who was fond of saying "No brag--just fact". Thanks of working to keep Social Security viable.


Braggin'- when you own the rights- is just downright...Texan.

Tip o'tha stetson, darlin'!

Congratulations again, Ronni...Also, if I were being compared to Molly Ivins, I might consider that yet another honor--you think? Whatta week!! Enjoy!!
I sure miss reading Molly...

Congratulations from me, too, Ronni.
I do appreciate all the hard work you put in on this blog and other projects; more work than we will ever fully know, I suspect.

Well done!

Peggy's granddad got it right. Congratulations Ronni! You are one smart woman and it must be wonderful to receive such a gift of recognition. Well deserved.

Another "three cheers" for you! You did a tremendous amount of thorough research on social security and it's good to know that you're being acknowledged for your efforts.

What can I say that hasn't been said better? Congratulations for the well deserved award and for taking the time and making the enormous effort to get the facts on the source of my income. You have earned the award and deserve the compliments.

You are truly an advocate for the elders and we appreciate you immensely. Thank you so very much.

All your time and hard work has paid off. You received the award and recognition you are so entitled to!

What a week, the WSJ and now this. You must be flying high!


Slammed it right outta the park, Ronni. As a Canadian,I find many positives and good tips in your blog. Keep it up.

Yeah! Congratulations! You deserve every bit of this for years of research and work!!!!

Congrats Ronni!

Hi Ronnie,
I knew you were the best and most talented the first time I saw you on RLTV.
Thanks loads,


The comments to this entry are closed.