Old and You're Lower than Garbage
September 1, 2001
I hope you're not old. Or getting old. Or thinking that you
might get old someday. Because, you see, it's getting awfully
precarious to be old these days. Or to be in that baby boomer
generation that by now has to be thinking about retirement.
If there's one thing you've must have learned in the past
seven months of the Bush Administration it's this. They hate
On Thursday the Dow hit 10,000 and is heading in the wrong
direction. The U.S. economy, not so long ago the envy of the
entire world is tanking. Unemployment is on the way up. Nineties
boom companies like Cisco, Gateway, Intel and Corning can't
jettison workers fast enough.
So that 401k fund that you were counting on for retirement?
Try not to get too attached. It's value is heading in the
same direction as the stock market.
And not only that. Through either a deliberate deception
or simply flat out mind boggling incompetence (I'm not sure
that it makes a hell of a lot of difference which) the incredible
shrinking surplus has eroded the prospects for Social Security
so I don't think I'd be counting too heavily on that either.
The money that was supposed to shore up Medicare ? Don't
look now but frankly, my dear, that's gone with the surplus.
The prescription drug program for seniors that we heard about
so much about last year during the campaign ? Uh, well that
was on the wish list last year but now it seems that trying
to shoot missiles down is more important.
So after just seven months of the little man in the White
House your dream of a comfortable retirement in your own home
with an assurance that your medical needs will be taken care
of is beginning to look more and more like a horror show of
spending your brief declining years on a steam vent dining
on an occasional can of cat food. Or maybe you can go to one
of those dungeons that pass for public nursing homes where
the halls smell, the staff is abusive and the food is what
the cat walked away from. Or, best case scenario, you can
become a crushing burden to your children, that is if you
have any and you get along with them.
But there's one group of seniors that do have the administrations
concern. They're the ones who happen to be in the richest
1% of Americans. They're also among the ones who got all the
money that could have made a difference for the less fortunate
At least the Bushies have taken steps to insure that retirement
won't be unduly prolonged.
You see there are these evil scientists who wish to use tiny
frozen petri dish embryos to cure deadly diseases many of
which tend to plague older people. Since we don't want too
many poor oldsters around our courageous president rescued
the cells so that they could thrown into the garbage.
So the philosophy of the Bushies is obvious:
If you're old and you ain't rich you're lower than garbage.