lament the end of the social welfare

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gimhee

Senior Member
Korean
We can lament the end of the social welfare net that we’ve forced businesses to provide in this country for the last three generations, but it’s irreparably damaged.

does this whole sentences try to say is

Even if you can lament the end of the social welfare (since it is what we have tried hard to achieve)
, because it's irreparable damaged, it should be replaced ?

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/...on=U.S.&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body
 
  • goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Not exactly, though you're close. The implication is that lamenting (i.e. crying about and mourning) the end of the business-based social welfare net won't do any good because the damage can't be repaired, so new "creative solutions" are needed.

    The word "replaced" can imply that you're replacing a broken item with the same thing (which the article implies is impossible with "sharing economy" businesses like Uber). And "since it is what we have tried hard to achieve" seems irrelevant here.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    We can lament the end of the social welfare net that we’ve forced businesses to provide in this country for the last three generations, but it’s irreparably damaged.

    Is this whole sentence trying to say, "Even if you can lament the end of the social welfare (since it is what we have tried hard to achieve), because it's irreparably damaged, it should be replaced"?
    No, except for your conclusion. The author is saying: For three generations, businesses have been forced (by the government) to provide a social welfare net. "Social welfare" is an adjective phrase; it is the net that has been provided. (It's a metaphorical net. Think of the net that is provided beneath circus acrobats to catch them if they fall from a high wire. A social welfare net is put in place to "catch" people if they suddenly lack money, food, or a place to live.) That net, says the writer, no longer works, and it's damaged beyond the possibility of repair. That does suggest that it needs to be replaced.
     
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