Democratic Underground

Get Old and You're Lower than Garbage
September 1, 2001
by birdman

Printer-friendly version of this article Tell a friend about this article Discuss this article

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 you.

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 seniors.

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.