The older are getting richer on the backs of the poor. How? Rich people who don’t need government services get them whether they need them or not. Medicare and Social Security isn’t a safety net for the poor, it’s a cash cow for many people who already have money.
Where does this money come from? Younger workers who don’t have the money to pay off student loans, buy a house, or save for their retirement.
In documenting a rising age gap with regard to economic well-being, the authors compare households headed by adults over age 65 to households headed by adults younger than 35. They examine data over time–particularly from 1967, 1984, 2005, and 2009-2010. (The comparison between 2005 and 2009-2010 illustrates the impact of the Great Recession.)
Here are some of their conclusions:
• From 1984 to 2009, the median net worth of older households rose 42%. For younger households, it declined by 68%.
The author of the post ends on a high note, saying that more young people have college education and says that the education translates into higher income potential.
My thought is that college education is worth less now, too. Basically, college education is what a high school education used to be. I see the very intelligent and innovative foregoing college and working right out of high school–often in the tech industry. Some professions will still benefit from education, but I see an impending burst bubble there, too.
Bottom line, the way things currently are, the Baby Boomers will hoover up all the revenue and incur tremendous debt that will cause the younger generation to transfer their wealth to pay the tab.
Who ever thought that the Boomers would kill the youth culture? They’ve managed to.
It’s all old-aged melodrama now. Reality doesn’t apply to Boomers. They will not get old.
Shhh…don’t tell them, but they’re old.
I don’t necessarily mind that people are reassessing their activity level and what it means to be old.
Still, the self-indulgence of these folks is grating. Perpetual adolescence by an entire generation is lame.
P.S. Where was Jack Nicholson?
Also, why the Grammy’s were better than the Oscars.
An elderly driver killed Cassy Fiano’s brother and it pisses me off worse than if it had been by a drunk driver. Why? Because we all are going to get old and so the issue of bad old drivers is relevant to every American citizen. It is ridiculous that the issue is right in front of our faces and no one wants to talk about it, meanwhile the M.A.D.D. crowd have made it so you can’t have a sip of beer without fear of having your life ruined if you get stopped. Proportionally many fewer people drink,
little own let alone drink and then drive, and so they constitute less of a threat.
Way before I knew Cassy or about her brother’s untimely death, I wrote about elderly drivers. It is a health issue we’ve seen in our office. People either waiting for a ride, depending on their children to get to a doctor’s appointment, or driving and imperiling innocent citizens.
Here’s the thing: I get the loss of freedom. Aging sucks ass. I can say this already. My eyes are blurry to read and to this point I’ve been too stubborn to do anything about it. I only have to look at a french fry and my gut expands. I’d like to claim memory loss, but I’ve been a feather brain since forever. I’m freakin’ addled. It’s not fun.
Still, if my incompetence KILLS someone, there’s no excuse. Whether it is alcohol or old age impairing someone’s judgment, dead is dead. So, you want to tell Cassy’s family that it makes it less bad because the lady was old and didn’t intend to kill anyone?
And, it’s nearly entirely preventable. Unlike an errant drunk driver or fatigued driver who falls asleep at the wheel, a person who is older and is impaired is not impaired part-time or rarely. He or she is always a menace when he is on the road. Every. Single. Time. This is old, but informative:
Fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65, according to a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, based on data from 1999-2004. From ages 75 to 84, the rate of about three deaths per 100 million miles driven is equal to the death rate of teenage drivers. For drivers 85 and older, the fatality rate skyrockets to nearly four times higher than that for teens.
The numbers are particularly daunting at a time when the U.S. Census Bureau projects there will be 9.6 million people 85 and older by 2030, up 73% from today. Road safety analysts predict that by 2030, when all baby boomers are at least 65, they will be responsible for 25% of all fatal crashes. In 2005, 11% of fatal crashes involved drivers that old.
My answer to this problem? If you get a senior citizen discount and qualify for social security, you get tested. So, at 60, you get a baseline reflex test when you get your license. A person gets tested again five years later. Has the person’s reflexes declined significantly, a little, not at all? The person is given information on accident prevention. Longer stopping distance, no music, etc. The person is tested in five years again. Same drill. If the person has good reflexes and all is good. Five year rule again. However, if a person’s response time declines significantly but isn’t dangerous quite yet, the person starts getting road tested every two years (although, I have to believe that simulated tests could do the same thing, I don’t know). And once the person is impaired like a drunk driver, he or she cannot drive any more. Period.
The problem many families have is that they know ma or pa can’t drive worth a damn but ma or pa won’t cede control of the keys. The family will sometimes collude with a family doctor or call a friend who’s a police officer and ask the parent to stop driving. Still, the person might be determined to drive. However, this helps (again from the USA Today article):
The only measure scientifically proven to lower the rate of fatal crashes involving elderly drivers is forcing the seniors to appear at motor vehicle departments in person to renew their licenses, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), citing a 1995 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
My other solution back in the day was more tongue-in-cheek. Everyone over a certain age should have to drive one of those tiny Smart cars. That way, if they’re in an accident they cause, they will be the one crunched–not the father supporting his family of three kids or working mom or teenage boy following the rules. Too often, an older person is driving a big old behemoth that destroys everything in it’s path. Sure, the old person feels safer, but no one else is safe.
The last act in a person’s life shouldn’t be killing someone else because he has long since lost the judgment and self-awareness to know that his actions risked lives. And a younger, healthy person should not be killed or have his life endangered because everyone is afraid of dealing with old people anger.
This will be an uphill battle. The Boomers are going to resist any constraints on their freedom and they form the biggest voting block. So, really, my ideas are pipe dreams. As the population ages, more aging drivers will do more damage. It will be damage that never had to be done.