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Old And In The Way: The Politics, Policies and Poverty Of Aging

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A perfect storm is brewing in the United States made up of several converging factors; an aging Baby Boomer population, a crashing economy, the draining of Social Security to pay the government's bills combined with the rise of ageism in the workplace. All of these factors are coming together to create a new demographic of poverty among those that are too old to work and too young to retire.

More and more blogs, news sites, newspapers and magazines are publishing stories about older Americans losing their jobs in the worst economy since the Great Depression. These stories are about people in their fifties and sixties that have had their 401Ks and retirement funds wiped out and have frequently worked for the same companies and corporations for the bulk of their working lives. They are laid off and, despite years of experience, proven track records and skill sets that are far beyond anything most younger people have, cannot find a job. Many of these people are also supporting either young adult children who cannot find jobs themselves or their even more elderly parents.

Some of the publications write only about bits and parts of it.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article about older people simply not being able to retire. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903639404576520772216559438.html This story ignores the fact that if an older person loses their job, chances are very good they may not be able to get another and will never work again for the rest of their life. It seems to assume that no matter how old someone is, as long as they can work they can find a job.

The AP ran an article about the fact that Social Security Disability (which is separate from regular Social Security Retirement) is on the verge of insolvency.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44220205/ns/politics-more_politics/
According to the article, a great deal of the pressure on the system is coming from aging Baby Boomers, with disabilities related to aging, who are applying for disability benefits as a last resort when they can't find a job. Applications are up over 50% from a decade ago due to this phenomenon. This is despite the fact that disability payments are roughly only half of what full retirement would be if the worker were allowed to work and continue to contribute to the system. The Director of Social Security, himself, calls this the result of "economic desperation". This problem is becoming so bad that Congress recently allocated $4 Billion to Social Security to invest in programs to comb it's rolls and drop people being overpaid and who no longer qualify.

Compounding this problem are the calls by the GOP to raise the retirement age to 70. This isn't based on any evidence that people are working longer and don't actually need it, but on the fact that people are living longer and draining from the fund longer than in years past. In fact, the real belief is that many who have to retire before 70 will do so for health reasons on truncated benefits and die before they ever reach 70, thus saving the system money. Those few that actually can and do work until 70 will continue to pay into the system, so it's a win/win move. Added to that is the fact that earners in the top half of the economic strata have a longer life expectancy than those in the bottom half and have a far greater chance of making it to 70 and drawing full benefits.
http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/07/raising-retirement-age

Saddest of all are the personal stories showing up daily on the internet of older people falling between the cracks; able to work, need to work and cannot find jobs due to the rising ageism of employers. Employers are reluctant to hire older workers who may not be with their company more than a few years and are seen as costing more, due to years of experience, than younger prospective employees who are willing and eager to work for less money over a longer period of time. Simply put, in a society that translates everything into business terms, older workers are seen as a "bad investment". This ageism is insidious and, despite the fact that it's illegal, virtually impossible to prove. These people are draining savings and retirement accounts, if they have anything left after the market roller coaster of the last few years, simply to survive. And their money is running out.

In an article around a year ago in the Washington Independent (http://washingtonindependent.com/87333/too-young-not-to-work-but-too-old-to-work) it was stated that the unemployment rate for those over 55 is the highest it's been since 1948. The government is aware of the subtle ageism in this rate and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has held hearings about it. Laurie McCann, a senior attorney at the AARP Foundation Litigation and expert on age discrimination, stated, "...the phenomenon is so prevalent that discrimination simply seems like reality. As a society, we’re willing to tolerate age discrimination, more so than other kinds of discrimination. People sense that, and it gives older job-seekers a sense of futility. Why even bother applying for jobs, or bringing a discrimination case? I won’t win.”

To date, the U.S. Government has been very lax in addressing this problem and there doesn't seem to be much hope that it will be in the near future as the economy continues to deteriorate both at the public and governmental levels. The most that can be done is that those who work with the poverty stricken prepare for a social storm that has every possibility of reaching hurricane proportions; an unprecedented upsurge in poor elderly that has the chance of being monumental in scope.

In the end, the ones that may be sacrificed on the altar of economics will be society's oldest and frailest. This is the true "death panel" and the older worker faces it with every job interview.

(This is the final draft of an article I wrote to be published in a professional political blog as a guest post. You get to read it here first.)

Comments

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Very sad.

And, perhaps, an almost inevitable result of the pursuit of profit above all else in our society.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I haven't forgotten anything.

And, I said the pursuit of profit "above all else" - there are any number of scenarios in which profit is pursued, but other considerations as well, that could turn out well for everybody involved.

Stu Clark 3 years, 3 months ago

L-1 I learned that S & D curves never lean backward. You haven't said much about what you know. So, what's your point?

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Says the clown who believes all police are "thugs." It's insulting when people like L1 think you can lecture others when you know so little yourself.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

liberty, I posted the following to one of your posts on another article. When businesses were small, they cared about their workers. They had a vested interest in keeping people employed, even if it meant they wouldn't make as much profit. Now good profits aren't good enough, and they could care less who they hurt to get them.

"Unemployment is the fault of the employee? Unemployment is the fault of big business that you worship as your god. If you can make 1 person do the job of two, then there's more profit. And you can make that 1 person accept whatever wage you deem to give them, because they live in fear of being the next person laid off. More profit for the clueless investors, more bonus for the executives."

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Yet you always seem to support the politicians who are working for big business. The Koch brothers for instance really want to get rid of those pesky pollution regulations, so they can make even more profits.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 4 months ago

I'd share this with our representatives, but I am pretty sure they do not read and/or comprehend their mail. And, sadly, younger folks are invincible. They do not need to listen.

How do we get people to understand?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Above is an excellent example of how the older generation dismisses the younger (A tradition that goes back at least to Socrates).

The key is getting people to want to understand. Comments like "And, sadly, younger folks are invincible. They do not need to listen." alienate the people you want to understand you.

Would you listen to someone made statements such as yours?

Carol Bowen 3 years, 3 months ago

Your response surprised me and gave me cause to reflect. I could have worded my statement better, but it may still have not been palatable to you. In intergenerational relationships, the roles mature with age. Younger people are stil working on their own identities and accomplishments. Unless they are intimately involved with eldercare, they have little to no experience with the issues. I did a quick web search, but did not find a whole lot on the issue. Try

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Growth_Ages_18_Over/?page=2

Emotional Development Most young adults aged 18 and over will:

-Move into adult relationships with their parents -See the peer group as less important as a determinant of behavior -Feel empathetic -Have greater intimacy skills -Complete their values framework -Carry some feelings of invincibility -Establish their body image

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I guess I am not understanding what you are trying to say then.

I believe you will find that young people will listen to elders' experiences if presented in a way that does not dismiss them.

Older people do not like to be talked down to either (something that can happen when the roles are reversed and the child becomes the caregiver.).

There is also a reverse problem. Many older people are quick to dismiss younger people's ideas and thoughts because of little to no experience with the issues.

Sometimes good ideas come from people who have not had experience because they are not "in" the situation and can see answers that others too close to the situation are not able to see.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Cait, great job explaining a very real problem facing America today. The only thing I would add is that not only are older Americans looked upon as a bad investment, our youth-obsessed society is against the elderly like never before. Plastic surgery runs amok, botox is sold like candy, and wrinkles or grey hair is frowned upon. Further, we have become a throw-away society. We buy cheap stuff at Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store that gets tossed out and replaced with more cheap stuff. Is it at all a surprise that we treat people this way?

Sadly, it won't get better. Logan's Run anyone?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

Get with the program! You can't be reborn unless you ride the Carousel!

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Kudos on the Logan's Run reference! Made me smile, forgot about that.

ForThePeople 3 years, 4 months ago

Very well written article. Thanks for sharing locally first.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I'm still continuing to do final polishing and you may see some slight changes here and there; correcting tenses, voices, etc. All of that nasty "grammar" stuff. I have some bad writing habits (I especially seem to get free with unnecessary quotation marks a lot for emphasis) and have to get stern with myself when I edit. So you might see some changes but the content won't change.

Katara 3 years, 4 months ago

I find it difficult to feel sorry for the Baby Boomers. This mess is a creation of their own.

The Baby Boomers sold the younger generations down the river so as to maintain their own lifestyles. The Baby Boomers are not the ones to clean up the messes they created. The rest of us get to and unfortunately, there are not enough of us to do so. It is unlikely that we will get to see anything out of Social Security even though we have paid into it all this time. We'll get to enjoy higher taxes to cover the cost of more social services needed by the elderly.

The burden of taking care of the Baby Boomers now falls on the shoulders of the next generations. I am willing to bet they will wish they invested more into them so not only do the future generations have the tools to do so but also the willingness as well.

There are tons of opportunities that one has as an older person. You have many skills that you can pass on but I see so few opting to do that. Many do not want to help out the younger generations in any shape or form. Why the resistance? Don't you want them to succeed?

I don't have a problem taking care of my elders. It is the right thing to do. But our elders sure aren't making it easy to do.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

"There are tons of opportunities that one has as an older person. You have many skills that you can pass on but I see so few opting to do that. Many do not want to help out the younger generations in any shape or form. Why the resistance? Don't you want them to succeed?"

This peaks my interest. You have any suggestions of where older people, retired or not, can go to do this? For those that are unemployed it will give them a chance to practice certain skills and keep them current as well as network and pass on those skills to younger people. But you should also consider that if someone is unemployed, simply burning the gas to get to a meeting place is also a consideration.

As for the "Baby Boomers", there are inherent problems with the generation just in it's sheer size. One could have seen this barreling down the highway decades ago. Some of them did and tried their best to protect themselves and their adult children. But when your 401k is wiped out overnight by a hedge fund trader there isn't really a lot you can do In a twist of irony, those who did nothing to prepare are in no worse shape than those that did. In fact, my guess is that you are a member of the "Me" generation or a Gen X'er. This puts you in between a rock and a hard place because on one end you have the Baby Boomers who are shaping up to be a huge liability and on the other you have the Millennials pushing into the marketplace with all kinds of social networking tools and techno skills you didn't/couldn't even dream of 20 years ago. And you are, at best, only half way through your own working life. Yeah, I can understand the resentment.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

School districts provide a lot of opportunities. One doesn't have to have a teaching degree to tutor. One of my family members assists first and third graders that are behind the group with reading. One on one interaction seems to help them catch up to the others. You can be a lunchroom monitor. Kids need to learn proper eating manners and this is an excellent way to show them.

Nursing homes and assisted living homes also provide opportunities. You can teach classes for the elderly or disabled at both.

Parks and Rec also offers opportunities to teach classes in the community. Or you could take classes to expand skills. They are fairly inexpensive and there are scholarships for those unable to afford the fees.

You can help weed with the pesticide fee parks. They look for volunteers all the time.

These are things that not only older people can do but also anyone that is unemployed.

You can also walk, bike or ride the bus to those things so you are not burning gas.

The excuse of the 401k being wiped out is not really that great of one. Baby Boomers are the ones who put into place the laws and policies that allowed those things to happen. It was more important to pursue profit above all else than to look down the road and try to consider some the impacts of those decisions.

Baby Boomer are a huge problem since we will have to take care of them and their needs but every generation is responsible to take care of their elders. Previous generations understood that and tried to make it is easier to do. The Baby Boomer generation prefers not to do so. They are too busy trying to pretend that they are twenty somethings to think ahead. Aging scares them. They don't want to talk about it. They don't want to plan for end of life care (you know, the death panels). They want to bury their heads in the sand.

As for the Millennials, they are not as technologically advanced as you believe and many of the tools that they used were actually developed by Generation Xers. They'll face the same problems. While they are a bigger population than Generation Xers, they will still have to support the Baby Boomers and then also the Generation Xers when they get to retirement age. They've had to deal with the lack of investment in their generation as well.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

" tools that they used were actually developed by Generation Xers."

Maybe the tools, but the materials for the technology were developed by the baby boomers. Bill Gates and company were all born in the '50's. Baby boomers weren't leaches.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

They were not leeches but certainly there was leaching.

And IIRC, there were questions as to how exactly Bill Gates got his ideas for some of his work.

Did the Baby Boomers invent fire too?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, that's a pretty broad brush you're using, don't you think?

My wife and I are both in the BB category (I'm just on the very tip of it) - we didn't sell anybody down the river, or maintain lavish lifestyles, or anything else like that. It's not our fault that politicians took SS trust fund surpluses and used them for other governmental purposes, screwing up the system royally.

We don't have children, but I'm not aware that BB didn't take care of their children, and "invest" at least as much into them as other generations have.

Are you mad at your parents for something?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Hardly any more of a broad brush than "In the end, the ones that may be sacrificed on the altar of economics will be society's oldest and frailest. This is the true "death panel" and the older worker faces it with every job interview.".

Of course, it isn't your fault. Nothing ever seems to be with the Baby Boomers. No one likes to take the blame for anything but the Baby Boomer generation takes the cake when it comes to denial in their role of our economy today.

It isn't the Generation Xers or the Millennials that slashed education. It isn't the Generation Xers or Millennials who put the policies into place on Wall Street and Corporate America that allowed to them to raid the government coffers.

And not that I think you should breed to make sure there is someone to take care of you in your dotage, but if you didn't have children, who do you think is going to be taking care of you when you are unable to do so?

Mad at my parents? Oh sure. That would be the only reason why I have complaints about the previous generation who has pretty much screwed things up for everyone. Just an adolescent rebelling against her elders, right? Nothing to take serious...

And older people wonder why younger people don't want to listen to them...

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow!

I thought we were friends.

I didn't slash any of the education funding, and voted consistently for the politicians who support public education.

Similarly with Wall St., etc. I have always voted for those that espouse regulating businesses well, rather than those that promote little to no regulation of businesses.

Are you the younger version of George now?

I sure hope not.

If you're looking for people to blame, I suggest you consider somebody other than people of a certain age group - you might focus on people who have voted for politicians that want to de-fund public education, and ones that want to deregulate businesses, etc.

I'd be very disappointed if our conversations take the turn that my conversations with George have, and wind up in a similar place.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Those are some interesting conclusions you jump to and those are some pretty harsh insults you are slinging. I thought you were one to advocate civil discourse?

It is great that you personally did not do those things but many in your age group did. My age group wasn't old enough to vote when many of these policies (including the ones that cait48 describes) were put into place.

Were you aware that the majority of the social conservatives and Tea Party folks are Baby Boomers? What is the average age of Congress?

Are you aware that many of these folks are seeking to disenfranchise younger voters? It isn't just minorities and the elderly who are hurt by voter ID requirements.

Have you looked at the ages of those in the boards of Corporate America? Not very many young faces there.

It isn't Gen Xers or the Millennials dictating current policy. Baby Boomers have an iron fist on that.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

It seems odd to blame an entire generation for something, the way you seem to be doing.

I would venture a guess that there are a variety of political viewpoints among the Boomer generation - after all, many of them were young adults in the '60's.

Sorry about the George comparison, but your argument seemed eerily similar to his blame of "renters" or 'the poor", both of which you and I could see through quite easily.

Just wait a little bit - the older generation will die off, and then it's your turn. That's the way it's always been, isn't it?

I had to live with the consequences of the previous generation's decisions, just as you do, for a while.

Let's assume you're right, and that the majority of social conservatives are in the Boomer generation - that doesn't mean the majority of Boomers are conservative. That's a common logical mistake that many people make.

I'd be interested in some statistics on it.

It's a big generation with lots of people in it - it stands to reason there'll be a lot of folks of that age in a variety of places.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

There may be a variety of political viewpoints in the Boomer generation but it doesn't really matter if they are not the ones who have been dictating the policies and politics for the last 2-3 decades. And those policies and politics are what are hurting us now.

There is little similarity to any of George's arguments as you can actually see the results of the policies put in place by the Boomers. All George has is guesses that a renter does this or that.

And you are correct, barring disease or accident, I will be here longer. Then my children will take the reins. It is the Circle of Life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwSKkK...

The difference is that previous generations stepped down fairly willingly. There was a balance that existed. And the consequences of previous generations' decisions were mild compared to what we see now. Boomers are even willing to kick their own generation to the curb as social services for the impoverished elderly are slashed.

I've not claimed that the majority of Boomers are conservative. I think you've misread me there.

However, of the Boomers who are currently in power, the majority of them are socially conservative (social conservatives are not true conservatives) and those are the ones that have dictated the policies which are now affecting their brothers and sisters and their children.

I'll give you the Google link to the statistics on the Tea Party folks because there are a lot of articles out there on this. http://tinyurl.com/3foakm5

As for social conservatives, there seems to be a distinction between "enterprisers" (seems to fit with what most term "right wingers") and "social conservatives". I was surprised to learn that the majority of social conservatives are older women, mainly because the people who speak for them are mostly men.

Right Wingers seem to be predominantly older men.

http://people-press.org/2005/05/10/profiles-of-the-typology-groups/

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Then your anger should rightly be directed at the "socially conservative" folks, not the whole Boomer generation, especially if there are many of that age who aren't "socially conservative".

Or aren't "in power" at all, just living their lives like you and I do.

That I would understand completely - being angry at the actual people who've done the things that upset you.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Who do you think put those folks into power, jafs? They just didn't magically appear in their positions one day.

I never thought that complacency would be such an accepted excuse for avoiding responsibility.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Ok - I give up.

You seem determined to be angry at and blame an entire generation for the actions of some in that age group.

That's too bad.

I don't blame entire generations for anything - it wouldn't make sense to me.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I win!!!! /jk

You seem to be pretty determined at labeling me as "angry" and you also seem to have difficulty in differentiating in discussing the collective rather than the individuals.

This blog was not about individuals but about groups. In this case, older workers.

There are many older individual workers are not and will not be in the situation cait48 describes but that does not mean that, as a whole, the problem does not exist.

Verity explains it better below.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

You seem quite angry - are you not?

And, again, in order for your argument to be sound, you'd have to show that a significant majority of those in the Boomer generation act in the ways that are responsible for the problems you're upset about.

Otherwise you're blaming the whole group for the actions of a minority within it.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I seem angry to you because you want me to be. It certainly makes it much easier to dismiss my points and also helps you maintain illusion of complete innocence for yourself.

There is also a difference between frustration and anger. Anger is not a productive thing.

You do understand how complacency works, right?

It is certainly interesting how the Boomer generation wants to take credit for the good things that came out of their time but denies any responsibility for the impact of policies they set in place that now have negative consequences.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Ok.

I think we've reached the end of productive conversation on this topic.

I take responsibility for my own actions, not for an entire generation.

It seems rather off to me to talk about a large generation of people as if they're one person.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

You know, one of the markers of the Boomer generation is the "Me" generation.

Do you understand how you've demonstrated the appropriateness of that nickname throughout this entire conversation?

You are right. This is done. I've seen ample demonstration as to how we have gotten to where we are today and it just strengthens my resolve not to become complacent as the Boomers did.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Nope.

I have consistently voted for politicians that are in line with the values you have expressed - I find it disturbing that you would attack me in this way.

In addition, in my own life, I have helped others, and my wife works with the developmentally disabled.

Your target sights seem to need an adjustment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"It is certainly interesting how the Boomer generation wants to take credit for the good things that came out of their time but denies any responsibility for the impact of policies they set in place that now have negative consequences."

I guess I missed the mass Boomer Convention where we all decided on how we're going to screw over all the younger generations.

When is the next meeting? I'd sure hate to miss it again.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus is complaining about being lumped into a group when the many of his posts do that to many others on here?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

To quote you from above--

"Would you listen to someone (who) made statements such as yours?"

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

My statement is that the Boomers put the policies into place that have caused the many of the problems that cait48 addresses.

I have yet see anyone refute this.

Just pretty much a bunch of "not my fault" justifications. Or you're blaming a whole generation and that is not fair!

So, can you answer the question that jafs refuses to answer.

Who do you think put these policies into place?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Politicians put the policies into place.

"Some" of the Boomer generation voted for politicians who put the policies into place that upset you.

Some of other generations also voted for those politicians.

Some people don't vote at all.

Some people voted for politicians who then acted in ways that ran counter to what the people voting for them expected.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

And Baby Boomers may end up losing valuable support from younger generations due to tactics to suppress younger voters.

"Turning to the issue of voter fraud prevention, O'Brien said his party will "tighten up the definition of a New Hampshire resident." He said that Plymouth, a college town, experiences 900 same-day voter registrations. "They are kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience," he said." http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011701139913

"In Wisconsin, where public attention now is focused on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) efforts to undermine the rights of workers to engage in collective bargaining, there is another piece of proposed legislation that could have a substantial negative impact on the state’s young and minority voters. Conservative representatives in the state have proposed a law, backed by Walker, that would ban students from using in-state university- or college-issued IDs for proof-of-residency when voting. If this legislation became law, it would become one of the strictest voter registration laws in the country and would provide significant logistical and financial barriers for a variety of groups, including student and minority voters.**" http://campusprogress.org/articles/conservative_corporate_advocacy_group_alec_behind_voter_disenfranchise/

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

Cait48, a very good article, but I wonder if there is one thing left out about the ageism statements.

Could it be that employers are reluctant to hire older workers because of higher health care premiums for older workers?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I'll bet that is a big reason, RonHolzwarth.

Employers are starting to do many things to minimize their employees' healthcare costs. Some will not hire smokers. http://www.kmbc.com/health/14671023/detail.html

Others are working on reducing obesity in the workplace by offering incentives (gym memberships, cash payments, etc.)

But there isn't anything one can do to reduce or decrease aging.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, other than the fact that it's age discrimination and well, y'know, illegal.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

It could be discrimination or not. Not all health ailments are within a protected class nor are all exclusive to age.

You'd have to prove it was age for the reason to fire (or decide not to hire) someone. That is difficult to do as it is with most discrimination.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, other than the fact that it's age discrimination and well, y'know, illegal.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

Higher premiums for age and pre-existing conditions is one of the things Obamacare is supposed to take care of. Giving all employers an insurance exchange to shop around is another one. These are good things, if they're allowed to happen. However, given that a lot of provisions of the health care bill don't even exist yet and aren't even in place, it could be a reason. However, I have to say it's an extremely poor one. I've worked for employers in the past who gave no benefits, not even a paid day off for Christmas. Nor was there any "payment in lieu of" to compensate for it. Nah, I don't buy it. If they had to pay 10 bucks more a month for an older workers premiums that's just being cheap.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

I doubt very much that it's only $10 a month more, due to the much higher risk factors of older people. Heart attacks, stroke, cancer, diabetes, broken bones, and various other problems due to aging are much more common among older people.

Are you seriously trying to tell me that a person who is 66 years old is going to pay only $10 a month more per month for an insurance policy than one that offers the exact same coverage for someone that is only 21?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

It might be cheaper for women though since pregnancy risk is mainly what keeps their premiums higher than men's.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

from: http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2009/04/26/prickly_policies/

"State law allows insurers to charge older people up to twice as much as younger people for the same coverage. "

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

"In other states, the disparities can be even greater."

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

The article you linked to is about about the self-employed and retirees. It goes on further to state that employer based insurance protects people from those practices.

"Most people in Massachusetts buy insurance through their employers, which insulates them from age-based pricing because companies negotiate rates on behalf of all employees."

This does not support your argument that employers could be getting rid of older workers due to higher premiums.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

Someone know made this comment about her health insurance premium: "Pretty soon it'll go down because of Miss X's damn cancer."

Those were the exact words said by a relative of mine who was waiting for another teacher to die and thus end the increase for everyone else's premiums.

It was a group policy, and everyone shared the risk.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

A few months later, she finally died of brain cancer, and then everyone's premiums went back down again.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

But, you do have a point. This is Kansas, and not Massachusetts. I'm sure it does vary state by state.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

from: http://www.suite101.com/content/sample-individual-health-insurance-rates-by-age-a332100 Considerably more than $10 per month! Sample Average Health Insurance Premium Cost for Singles

For single coverage, national-average health insurance premiums range from $1,350 per year for applicants under age 18 to $5,755 for persons ages 60 to 64.

Under age 18 … $1,350 average annual single rate
18 to 24 years … $1,429
25 to 29 years … $1,723
30 to 34 years … $2,104
35 to 39 years … $2,457
40 to 44 years … $2,888
45 to 49 years … $3,414
50 to 54 years … $4,127
55 to 59 years … $4,895
60 to 64 years … $5,755.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm on the far side of 60 and, although Katara makes some broad statements, she has some very good points. My generation started out rebelling and thinking we would change the world. Then we sold out or at least rented ourselves out and became the establishment that we had been fighting. We thought we were making a new and better world, but somewhere we failed and things are now worse (in my opinion) than they were when we started out as young people. While, as a person, we may not feel that we did anything wrong and are not individually responsible, our generation did screw up.

We best not be dissing the young people because they are everybody's future. I don't think they are any different than we were, but I hope they are smarter or we are in deep doggy ---. Please, Katara, keep up the fight.

The problems Cait addresses are certainly real, but we cannot solve them without changing the political process to being controlled by all the people, not only those who have enough money to buy the process.

One suggestion for retired people is to get involved in activism now that you have more time. If we don't change the political process or we are going to keep sliding straight to that dark place (don't know if I can use that word here).

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

Correction last sentence: "If we don't change the political process, we are going . . ."

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I make broad statements because the blog makes broad statements. It is easy to talk generalities.

I fight because my children's future is at stake. Mine has already been determined. I want better for my kids and I don't want them to be stuck with the mess that I get to clean up. They will have some but I hope to reduce the impact.

I could not agree more with your last 2 statements.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"While, as a person, we may not feel that we did anything wrong and are not individually responsible, our generation did screw up."

I disagree-- everything "we boomers" did, we did as an individuals. Did large numbers of individual boomers make bad choices that all of us are now paying for? Sure, but probably no more than previous generations, and, sadly, probably no more than subsequent ones. But blame those individuals who deserve it-- adopting some weird generational guilt trip is just idiotic.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks.

You seem to understand my point.

It's particularly ironic that Katara wants to blame me personally, when she and I generally agree on policies, and most likely have voted for the same political candidates.

And, tend to agree on most topics on these comments.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't think either of you get the point.

It is strange to me that jafs would take talk about a generation to be about him personally. This is one of the reasons the Boomers are called the "Me" generation.

As I've said before, you may not have personally put the policies in place, but you are part of the whole group that allowed it to happen. Verity had a good post about that too.

This "not my fault" or "I didn't do it" mentality is disturbing. Do you really think things will improve if we all adopt that thinking?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Your argument is very odd.

Boomers that voted against the policies that you dislike did what they could to prevent them from being implemented.

I think personal responsibility is important, and I would urge everybody to practice it.

To me that means taking responsibility for one's actions, and acting in ways consistent with one's values.

It certainly doesn't mean that you should take personal responsibility for the actions of others in your age group, in my view.

Why do you think blame is/should be a thing shared among a large group of people who have acted in diverse ways?

Are you really willing to be blamed for the actions of your "generation", without any distinctions?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Yea, right, all we need is a little more abstraction, a little more of the right "ism" in our lives, and miracles will happen!!!!

Steve Jacob 3 years, 3 months ago

Funny, on CNBC today the discussion was how the government is going broke because boomers did not save enough.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

It would be so nice if you actually RTFA once in a while.

"The fraud is difficult to track, as officials have to rely on store owners and vigilant citizens to report it to authorities. Daniel said she couldn't put a figure on how much the scam has cost the food stamp program, though she noted it's concentrated in a handful of states."

Well, we don't know how much it is actually costing taxpayers but it certainly will give us a good excuse to make people spy on other people and distract them from getting outraged about much bigger cases of fraud such as that which occurs in our Medicare system!

Oh and we are going to waste even more taxpayer monies by prosecuting individuals for about $6 worth of water.

kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

Katara, it certainly is my fault that I worked in an industry that crashed in the 1980's and with it went the pension fund I contributed to each paycheck for thirteen years; it is certainly my fault that I got horribly sick and almost died because of a genetic disease I was unaware of that continues to this day; it is certainly my fault that health insurance costs me $10,000 a year; and, it is certainly my fault that the government took bucket loads out of the Social Security fund, which I contributed to for over forty years, for things other than what it was set up for. Watch out, or your children's generation will blame you for things out of your control as well.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I think Verity already addressed this but it is interesting how many of those who consider themselves Baby Boomers have the first words out of their mouths of "It's not my fault".

Is this another case of just pointing fingers at phantoms or is the Baby Boomer generation going to accept responsibility for getting us to where we are now?

Whether you like it or not, the Baby Boomer generation put the people in power who put the policies into place that are now coming back to bite you in the rear. You are not immune from their short-term thinking and extreme pursuit of self-interest.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's because you're blaming them for things that they feel aren't in fact their fault.

What if someone said that our current problems in society are due to your generation?

And that you should accept the blame for them.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Baby Boomers say that our current problems in society are due to the younger generations all the time. Where have you been?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Ok.

How does it make you feel?

If you think it's not accurate, wouldn't you respond "No, it's not my fault"?

And, again, the Boomer generation includes a huge number of people - why are you so intent on speaking of that many people as if they're one unit?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

See my 8/26/11 11:47pm post.

And actually, no. I wouldn't respond that it is not my fault. I have the ability to see that others in my age group may have given reason for those things to be said about us even if I wasn't directly responsible.

I am still curious. Who do you think put the policies into place that have gotten us to this point?

Do you believe it was just a teeny tiny fraction of the Boomer population? A few select Boomer individuals that were able to manipulate the system without all the other Boomers noticing?

Complacency is not a good thing.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Ok.

That's the difference - I'm only responsible for my own actions, not the actions of others.

If you're willing to be lumped in with others in your age group and blamed as a group, that's a different perspective.

I wouldn't do that to you, though - I don't see it that way.

I don't know who's responsible - I imagine that a good analysis would have to include lots of factors, including an analysis of the large percentage of the country that just doesn't vote at all, an analysis of broken promises by politicians, an analysis of the effect of third party candidates on the elections, etc.

Let's say that 60% of the Boomers support the policies that you dislike so much - that leaves 40% that don't. With such a large group, that's a lot of people you're casting blame on who don't deserve it, in my opinion.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

No, the difference is that you are only responsible for your own actions and I am not. I am a parent & I am responsible for the actions of others even if it is for a limited time.

We have different life experiences that influence our thinking on the difference between individual responsibility and collective responsibility. .

You seem to have difficulty understanding that by people doing nothing they have helped shaped the policies that are now in place that harm us all.

How about a more local and recent example?

You are aware of how few people voted in the last Kansas election. You've stated yourself how few. Those few got us Gov. Brownback. How well do you think Kansas is doing now?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

The people who have "done nothing" are most likely young people, who don't vote at all in most elections (the 2008 presidential election was a notable exception).

Or the poor and disenfranchised segments of society, who also tend not to vote as much.

I'm not one of those people, and I suspect most in the Boomer generation aren't either.

So, you want to blame the "Boomers" because other segments of society don't vote?

Something doesn't make sense here.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

The thing that doesn't make sense here is your inability to understand that these policies were not put into place overnight.

They took decades and we are now feeling their impact.

I am not sure why you have difficulty with this.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Ok.

Your point seems to keep moving around.

First you blame the "Boomers", as if an entire large generation of people voted the same way, and supports the policies that you dislike.

Then, you blame those who have "done nothing", which I strongly suspect is made up of people mostly not in the Boomer generation.

Then, the issue is how long the policies took to be put into place.

By the way, even politicians like Clinton, who I voted for, and who I assume you prefer over Bush, etc. do things that I don't like. We don't have the luxury of choosing from ideal candidates, we have to make do with actual, flawed people.

Politics is a spectacularly unsatisfying arena for me - but I participate, and vote for the candidate that seems relatively better to me.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

No, the point doesn't seem to be moving around.

The policies that were put in place that have caused us to get where we are now are a result of the Boomer generation decisions.

I've been pretty consistent in saying that. In fact, my first post on here says as much.

Yes, politicians do things that some people may not like. The question is then, why throw your hands up and say oh well, they're flawed rather than actually do something to change the policies you dislike?

You do understand that you can do other things besides voting to influence and change policies, right?

And you do understand that by not doing those things you are the impression that is it okay to continue policies that you don't like or find to be bad policies (You can like an idea that a policy addresses but dislike how the policy enacts that idea.).?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm going to have to stop answering soon - I don't think we're getting anywhere.

The notion that one blames an entire large generation of people who have acted in diverse ways is very odd to me.

"...are a result of the Boomer generation decisions" is a sentence that doesn't make sense to me, given that the generation consists of many people who have made many different decisions. You do understand that in our system, a majority wins elections, so a large minority loses out, I'm sure.

And, it doesn't include any of the other factors that undoubtedly influenced what happened politically - for example, young people that don't vote at all, or that vote for third party candidates, etc.

Or those who are marginalized who also don't vote at all.

If one really wants to spread the blame around to large groups, I'd have to say that the entire adult population of the US is responsible for the collective decisions that are made.

Otherwise, I see individuals as being responsible for their own decisions.

Centerville 3 years, 3 months ago

The real tragedy is that so many BBs think that Social Security was invented to fully fund their retirement. It wasn't. That's why it was originally called 'Supplemental', which even FDR made perfectly clear. Somehow, the reality has been completely obscured and that's why you'll hear (all too often): 'I only get $XXX a month Social Security. How does the government expect me to live on that ?." Answer: it doesn't.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely correct!

It was designed to be a safety net to keep people from complete poverty when they got older.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

None of us may be individually responsible for the mess we're in, but we are all suffering because of it. We need to fight together to get out of it.

Write letters, sign petitions, let our politicians know how we feel. May not change their minds, but at least they know there are people who don't support their slime.

Let other people know how you feel so nobody feels that they are in this alone.

Get out the vote! The only way we will ever get the political mess cleaned up is from the outside because most politicians seem to be looking out only for themselves, not their constituents.

Stop voting for those who spent the most money and whose name you recognize. Educate yourself. If you have time to spend on here commenting, you have time to do voting research.

Counter the lies that are repeated until they become accepted truth with the facts.

Please add your own ideas.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I wish people would listen to what you are saying, verity.

The problem is, as you've seen demonstrated here, is that many people believe it isn't their fault and since they've convinced themselves it isn't their fault, they don't have to accept any responsibility or obligation to do anything at all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"The problem is, as you've seen demonstrated here, is that many people believe it isn't their fault and since they've convinced themselves it isn't their fault, they don't have to accept any responsibility or obligation to do anything at all."

You certainly seem to have adopted that position for yourself.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

verity, one of your statements is not very original. You stated: "Counter the lies that are repeated until they become accepted truth with the facts."

There is no positive proof who said it first, but it was one of these two:

"A lie told often enough becomes the truth." - Vladimir Lenin

"A lie, repeated often enough, will end up as truth." - Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

It wasn't my intent to be original. Everybody paying attention has heard a variation of that statement ad nauseam as it is favorite method of propagandists. I doubt that the people you mention were the first to think of it by a few thousand years.

It was my intent to suggest a plan of action to solve our problems---one of which is to counter that sort of propaganda and lies with the truth. Not sure why you have a problem with that.

'

kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

Katara, the best advice I can give you is to do everything you possibly can to make sure your generation and the generations following yours, understand the how the government works and what the political process is. I've met too many people younger than the Baby Boomers,who also don't understand how the economy works or basic scientic principles. They don't want to take the time to learn what the issues are, look at the possible solutions or act on them. They don't want to study history because it's boring, even though history teaches us not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Too many have told me it's no big deal because someone else will do it. What they need to understand is they need to BE that someone else. I'm talking about people with higher education, which I find sad. I hope you have the stamina, because it's going to be an uphill road all the way.

By the way, I did not mean to convey "it's not my fault", just that you can't always be prepared for every land mine on your life's journey no matter how proactive you are. Good luck to you!

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

You are absolutely right that you cannot plan for every land mine but that isn't the issue with what is happening now.

It is funny because I've met a lot of people in the Baby Boomer generation and above that still don't understand how governments or what the political process is. You would expect them to have a clue by now but I guess they were too busy doing something else.

If you look at your description of those younger than the Boomers, you'll notice that pretty much every generation has said that about the younger generations. I can't think of a time where anyone thought history class was exciting in school.

You can blame part of the problem with the younger generation learning those things though with all the slashes to education and the constant emphasis on testing rather than critical thinking. History and other subjects not considered necessaery anymore are pushed aside so teachers can prep the kids for the next round of multiple choice computerized testing.

I don't know if I have the stamina but as most others on this forum can testify, I am very persistent. ;)

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

This was an interesting article that came out today about grandparents playing a much bigger role in the raising of their grandchildren than they have in the past.

http://tinyurl.com/3cvdpxf

What is even more interesting is that it seems to refute some of cait48's claims about older workers and the beliefs of how well the finances are of the older generation. From the below quote it appears that older workers enjoy more job security.

As to why that is, I am not sure. It could be the industries that they are in favor more experienced workers. It could be that employers realize the value of having an experienced knowledge base in their work force.

"Francese says the stereotype of grandparents who are frail, receding and dependent is changing. He noted that unemployment among workers ages 25 to 34 last year was double that of Americans aged 55 to 64. U.S. households headed by baby boomers also commanded almost half of the nation's total household income, and are more likely to be college graduates than grandparents in previous generations."

It also is interesting in how people believe that the recession has brought families closer.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

Bernie Sanders (one of the few unaffiliated independents) is introducing a bill in Congress to lift the tax cap on payroll deductions for FICA, ensuring the health of SS for at least 75 years. http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=da460dc1-a6be-4ff9-8f92-4759c78f92be This is going to make the GOP squeal like a pig stuck under a gate, I'm sure. We'll see, I guess.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

Say what? Talk about painting with a broad brush. This is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start. The egotistical self-righteousness would be a beginning.

So many of the things this screed said (I take it that you didn't come up with it yourself) could also be said about the baby boomer (geezer) generation. This dissing of the younger generation is just what Katara was talking about---they are certainly no worse than us or the generations before us. Not only is it stupid, it is counterproductive to treat them with such arrogance and disdain.

It was not just the young who voted in Obama and the Democratic Congress and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Certainly don't like everything they have done, but it's preferable to what the Republicans are trying to foist on us.

I would say that this state doesn't belong to the likes of Sam Brownback or this country to those who continue the redistribution of the wealth from the working classes to the wealthiest citizens as has been happening for the last 30 years. I may be old but I still have my health and I have more than one fight left in me. And I'm taking it to the people.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

BornAgainAmerican edited out part of that.

The original email says, "This land does not belong to the Muslim in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid."

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

The original email (you certainly can google it) uses the exact phrase "the Muslim in the White House".

Even more funny is how inaccurate the "facts" you claim the old people know are correct.

Fact: The hand over the heart was not the original Pledge position. So no, you don't know the correct way to do it.

Fact: the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian Socialist. And it was changed in midst of your childhood.

Fact: You can't be a Baby Boomer and have fought in WW2 or in Korea.

Despite your email being chock full of inaccuracies and bitterness (sprinkled liberally with a whole lot of arrogance and ego), the younger generations will still probably take care of you. You should be grateful for that. Even the oldest dog knows not to bite the hand that feeds him.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't expect anything original to come out of BornAgainAmerican's mouth.

He couldn't catch a clue if it came up and smacked him on his wrinkled old butt.

Certainly he is the most bootstrappiest of them all!

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, I'd hardly expect the 115 year old person to be the one taking care of you should you fall and break a hip. That would be one of the clues that you don't get.

Your grey-haired brigade can't take care of you when you can't. They are dealing with the same issues.

The other clue that you don't get is that you can't plan for every conceivable thing.

Your "plan" certainly involves you still working until a certain age. You can't get into your retirement accounts until at least 59-1/2 so you can't dip into those should you become disabled.

Disability insurance does not replace all the income you had coming in.

SSDI has, on average, a 2 year wait until you can collect because most have to keep appealing even though they are legitimately disabled.

You can't control everything, yet you claim that you are so prepared.

You can't control the driver that loses control and crashes into you headlong.

You can't control the burglar who catches you by surprise in your home and shoots you in a panic.

You can't control germs. Respiratory illnesses are much more likely to kill elderly people.

Who do you think is going to take care of you when you are not able?

The nurses are not going to be your age or older. The doctors that you will have to see are going to be younger than you.

Do you think your own children are going to have all the time in the world to take care of your every need when you can't? Do you expect them to sacrifice their families to do so?

People such as your bootstrappy self don't understand those things. You don't have the ability to do so. And then the rest of us ended up picking up the tab for it.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Sure thing, there, BornAgainAmerican.

Health insurance policies don't get cancelled in your world. Disability doesn't become 100% in your world. Investments don't lose your value in your world. Banks don't fail in your world. And recessions or depressions don't happen in your world.

You ARE untouchable, sir!

Chuckle.

You brag of financial independence and bootstraps and, in the same breath, brag of FREE health care courtesy of the taxpayers.

I wouldn't be so confident about your military benefits being there when you need them though. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/15/eveningnews/main20092652.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody

Oh wait. Nothing changes in your world. You are the Bootstrap King!

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I hope you are not voting for Rep. Bachmann. Her proposal is not pretty for veterans, in particular disabled vets.

"Representative Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., proposed a cut of federal spending by freezing the Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cutting veterans’ disability benefits. Her proposed VA budget cuts would account for $4.5 billion of the savings included in her overall budget cut plan." http://www.militaryhub.com/article.cfm?id=297

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Ooooo! Awesome, so you get income off the taxpayer dime.

You lose your title of Bootstrap King. :( :( :(

You may believe that cuts are doubtful, I think you are incorrect. In particular because of the folks that you advocate to take power in 2012.

Comments from them such as Rep. Jeff Miller (head of the House's VA Committee)

"For now, however, Miller says he will stick to his conviction that veterans “are willing to sacrifice again as long as everybody else does at the same time.” http://origin-www.congress.org/news/2011/02/11/congress_eyes_cuts_to_the_va

You do understand that many people have been promised benefits as compensation for services rendered and never got them or had them reduced due to many changes to their employer. Government is not exempt from that.

It is interesting that you believe yourself to be exempt from such things. It isn't as if contracts can't be broken or changed.

Of course, if the government goes broke, good luck on collecting that FREE healthcare or any further income as a Contracting Officer for the VA.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Lots of justification there as to why your taxpayer income is more important than someone else's taxpayer income (teachers, for example) and is thus untouchable.

And as for someone with 27 years of experience in contracts, you know full well if someone wants to get out of them, they will. And trying to enforce it can take some time. Time perhaps that you don't have when you are waiting on the FREE healthcare to treat you.

So continue to believe that you have insulated yourself against all bad things that can happen. There are many on here of all ages that can tell you by experience that you are not immune.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Dude, I am not planning on hiring you. I don't need your resume.

Sure, your entitlement is deserved and the guy who got hit by an uninsured driver on his way to his job at McDonald's isn't. He's a bum and you are not. His job wasn't as important as yours. He didn't do enough in your eyes.

Ilk. That's cute. And you consider the liberals to be elitist. Interesting. You also sneer at those accepting welfare which also includes the elderly and the disabled. I guess those Developmentally Disabled folks that jafs' wife assists with didn't do enough for their country to deserve any assistance. Dear ol' Grandma didn't put herself in harm's way for the country so she certainly doesn't deserve that Medicaid or those Food Stamps.

You are correct, I don't think you have complained about your benefits possibly being reduced but I think that is mainly because you believe yourself untouchable and don't seriously believe that it could happen.

I am very certain that if you honestly believed that there was a real possibility your benefits could be reduced, we'd hear all sorts of complaints from you. It'd definitely be President Obama's faults, or the Democrats or the liberals or the Welfare Queens or some other group you blame everything on.

Instead, we get posts that just echo the Tea Party (motto: We Got Ours. Screw You) and the right wing extremists views.

Union and their collective bargaining are bad and they're socialistic ways on insisting that the worker get paid a fair wage and benefits are breaking our country but as a "Contracting Officer" for the VA, you engage in collective bargaining (on behalf of the veterans and the government) and you should be thanked for it. I guess it is only Socialism if the person doing it isn't you.

You know, you might actually get some thanks for the job you do if you weren't so self-righteous about it.

Perhaps that is why your posts are so ugly? You feel unappreciated for the things you do and really just need a pat on the back and a "job well done" to feel better about yourself. Maybe a edible fruit arrangement too. I'd be happy to send you one so that you and your co-workers can see that you get the acknowledgement of how awesome you are.

Should I address it to Mr. Bootstrap or would Sgt. Bootstrap be more appropriate given that you work in a military environment?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

Can you two take your thread-sh*tting elsewhere, please?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

I didn't claim it was my thread.

I just requested you take your love-fest with Agnostick elsewhere.

If you'd prefer or simply are unable to contain the affection you feel for Agnostick, I'll take my request to the moderators.

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

On page 5.

Obviously you didn't read the full ToS before posting on this forum.

You should ALWAYS read the fine print before agreeing to anything.

camper 3 years, 3 months ago

This is a really good blog. Much to ponder. If anything, I don't think things have changed much at all and people have not changed much either. Generations are seemingly caught in a wave much larger than the individuals. And each wave has individuals far different than what the group is later labeled as.

As always and unfortunately, the young and old often are dismissive of one another. Baby boomers were once labeled as the hippie generation, but now may be mislabeled as the tea-party generation, the far right. Younger people are mislabeled as liberal.

The best people I know are those who are mostly apolitical. Young people who like old people. And old people who like young people. White people who like black people. And black people who like white people.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

"The best people I know are those who are mostly apolitical."

Camper, mostly I agree with you, but I'm puzzled by that statement. I would love to be apolitical, to spend my dotage sitting in my garden drinking coffee and enjoying the fruits of my labors. However, it was apathy (apolitical?) by too many people that got us into the situation we are now in---and I don't know of anybody who thinks it is a good situation, whatever their political leanings. I feel like it is a moral imperative to be political and to do what I can in my own small way to get things back on track.

camper 3 years, 3 months ago

Hi Verity. I am obviously not apolitical, but I find I am most happy when I don't read the news and am amongst family and friends when politics does not come up. There is something evil about politics. It is polarizing and prevents people from enjoying the good of one another......from loving one another.

I think Jesus nailed it down and I also like most of what Tolstoy wrote, which deals with passive resistance and non-violence. I don't know, but sometimes aploitical is apathy, and this is not good either. Thus I also beleive that we must in our small ways promote things that are best for the greatest good like Mill wrote about in theory of utilitarianism. It takes work to promote things we think are best for our communities and society, and it is also imperative to call out things we see as wrong and add it to the public debate. This is what makes America the best place on the planet.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for answering. I think we are basically saying the same thing.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

I think this is a good blog. I read it to be about aging boomers finding employment difficult in this economic environment. They are caught in a gap between a heretofore productive life and the time when they reach the safety net for seniors. I saw no solution offered nor any generation “dising” in it and I am puzzled at from where that issue came.

I researched the impact of economics on life expectancy. It is about three years and the centroid is about 70. The real issue is gender. Women live longer – longer than the wealthy do in relation to the “poor”. Might want to think about that segment. In my opinion it adds little.

Do you have a solution for the boomers? They do have the normal social safety net avalable until they reach retirement age. Is it inadequate? Why do you perceive there will be a future storm of not quite seniors in this gap. Do you not expect the economy to come back?

Katara 3 years, 3 months ago

And if anyone wants a "sneak peek" into BornAgainAmerican's inbox, check this link out. Absolute comedy gold!

http://myrightwingdad.blogspot.com/

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Fw: The Truth About The Free Stuff

Sounds good to me. Guess I am on the right right. But then, as someone posted, the Democratic Party is right of center so most everybody is right of center.

What is wrong with wanting to keep some of what you earned during a life time of work???

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