Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Old People Are Greedy

I am going to break the current silence on the greatest problem facing the United States today, the incredible greediness of old people. I mean really, these people are absolutely insatiable and even worse, they vote like pack animals. The AARP is the most powerful lobby in the United States (Trust me; I am intimately familiar with the subject. They enjoy a bipartisan support, or sycophancy depending on your point of view, unequaled among special interest groups.). Can anyone think of a recent bill that went against the wishes of the “aged”? Do you think anyone above 50 actually cares whether or not Social Security will be extant when their children/grandchildren come to collect? You will hear a number of platitudes but when it is explained that someone is going to have to pay either by increased taxes, reduced benefits, or a combination of both those altruistic wrinkles quickly turn into Polident scowls. Currently we all assume that the old people living across the street go to bed at 7 p.m. but we are wrong. The reality is that they are busily working on behalf of a well organized, generously financed cabal of interventionists bent on skewing American legislation to disproportionately serve their own needs.

I know you don’t want to believe that grand mom has been plotting against you this entire time but it is an unfortunate fact. How many times have you arrived at her house to find her “just taking the cookies out of the oven”? How many cookies can she possibly bake? Grand mom isn’t baking cookies, she’s formulating detailed issue papers, calling congressmen and congresswomen, and perpetuating the myth that older Americans are somehow in special need of society’s largess. Did you know that the poverty rate of those 65 and older is lower than that of the population as a whole and has been that way since 1974? Did you know that in 2000 35% of ALL federal spending dollars went to social security/Medicare and by 2040 that number will be something like 60%? Older Americans do have to deal with “huge” medical bills due to their deteriorating health (A fact you will often see played up in the media) but the average medically related bankruptcy filer is a 41 year old home owning woman, not a 77 year old male shuffleboard player. The unfortunate side-effect of the New Deal and the Great Society was to inculcate an idea among American citizens that the U.S. government was responsible for their retirement as well as all of their medical expenses. These same citizens are unwilling to accept ANY cuts although, just on social security, they will be paid out an average of $77,000 more than they paid in (While we members of Gen-X and Gen-Y can expect to pay in $377,000 more than we receive in benefits).

So, where did we go wrong? A major problem is that the age limit to Social Security was enacted at a time when CT scans were science fiction and cancer treatment consisted of morphine and a “Good to know ya.’”. I admit that it is unfortunate that all of the oldies out there have banked on social security for all of their retirement needs but I’m sorry, for the health of society we are ALL going to have to sacrifice, you included. I can think of several changes we could make right now; first, no more bullshit “old people” wheelchair seating on flights. Is it just me or does every single old person now require a wheelchair to get on a freaking plane? I saw one guy lug his golf bag in from his huge Cadillac (of course), stroll to Cinnabon, then request a wheelchair and priority seating due to his arthritic hip. How about this Oldie Oldstein, if you can play golf you can sure as hell walk the 100 yards to the gate and wait with the rest of us. And no, I don’t care if you have a colostomy (although I pray I don’t sit next to you).

Even shopping is now a hazard because, in a fit of genius, stores have begun to provide people who can barely handle a car with motorized electric wheelchairs. They then set them loose along narrow aisles filled with people. Let’s be honest, most of these people are either fat (I see plenty of 40 something fatties in those things) or just lazy. What did old people do 5 years ago before they filled the stores with those things? I’ll tell you what, they drove to the store in their monstrous cars and walked down the aisle to get their batteries, milk, and bread (because it’s going to rain 0.5 inches three weeks from Tuesday) on their own two feet. And do they require any proof of driving ability to use one of those things? I saw a 65 year old guy take out a seven year old at Wal-Mart. It was ugly, the guy had glasses on so thick I think he could see the future but somehow he missed a huge preteen in the middle of the candy section (In America, all the kids are huge).

If we just added on a few years to the Social Security age limit maybe we could pay for 1/100th of that generous new prescription drug benefit that was never meant to be a part of Medicare. But, our politicians have forgotten how to lead and only remember how to follow (particularly the wishes of a large, well coordinated voting block such as, say, OLD PEOPLE). Someone needs to stand up and say “Enough” to these people. We have given away the store (In the form of vast entitlements, privileges, and motorized wheelchairs) and now are left holding the bill but they still ask for more and yet want to pay less. I do find it difficult to say all of these things to people who spent 2 years of their life in Europe or the Pacific defending my freedom but call me crazy, all of those people in the senior citizen line couldn’t have been at Bataan. Personally, I’m not going to go around kicking senior citizens in the shins (although I think about it) but I don’t think I’m going to be able to hold back next time I sit down next to one and they begin to pontificate on what they “deserve”.


Blogger Brad Warbiany said...

Hilarious. I found you through Dada, but saw this post and had to link it here.

I never knew Granny was so devious!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Tyrantmizar said...

What's scary is you sound like someone I know.
What's even more scary is that a lot of it makes sense.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You got it all absolutely right. Plus, it was well-written and hysterical. BTW, I am a baby boomer, making me almost as old as those you so beautifully and deservedly hammer. Difference: It is the World War II generation--my parents--you are talking about, and I've been saying they raped us for years. Indeed, the people worst hit in the current mortgage debacle were not the aged people you mention, but the boomers who hadn't yet begun to draw Soc. Sec., had little savings since wages have been flat since 1974 (the WWII folks made theirs mainly before that, and invested it in houses they sold to us for fortunes), were the worst hit group.

I loathe the WWII generation. Loathe it. Can't wait until it's gone.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Jim C. said...

You really shouldn't call over-50 "old." It's more like 65. And you are pigeonholing an entire group of people based on the actions of a single organization.

Old folks who are greedy were probably the same way when younger, i.e. Republicans.

In my experience, a lot of older people get MORE generous (and naive) with their money and time. You have to take it on a case by case basis, as with so many other things.

3:32 AM  

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