Boomers Left Behind in Washington Political Circus
Filed Under: Opinion, Politics | Posted: 03/11/2012 at 10:56PM
Comments | Region: United States
As one of those in the "forgotten" boomer generation, it seemed only fitting to address the inequities and grievances I have with the current election campaigns of both the Democrats and Republicans who seem to be focusing on issues which will fundamentally negatively impact the boomers but seem so lost at this point as to this agenda
Perhaps a little heads up might help.
We are, after all, the largest demographic with the even smaller World War II generation dying out (if THEY didn’t perish in the Second World War).
We also did lose more than our share of young men’s lives in the Viet Nam war, a war in which there was a draft and it was not volunteer service, but mandatory.
And without paid housing, for the most part, out in those jungles or for those who were required to serve who were married. At least not like the base housing I have witnessed for today’s military.
Maybe this is why there are fewer men to go around for the single boomers today, and why there are so many single parent households also what with the increase in the divorce rates after those progressive changes to divorce laws post World War II in most states throughout the nation.
Men who came back with not only PTSD with no treatment available much less even a medical diagnosis, but also without limbs in many instances due to being used as guinea pigs for Agent Orange.
Many did not wish to serve in Viet Nam, another war that was called under false pretenses, but were forced to serve under threat of criminal charges unless they had enough money and connections in order to flee to Canada.
Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, or other previous military actions in the Middle East.
Which is also why I find it so highly unusual that one of the foremost Senators from my former home state of Arizona last week called for military intervention yet again in the Middle East – as one who served in Viet Nam and saw close up the horrors of war.
This week there were reports in the mainstream media Fox network that the many of the boomers have quit seeking employment in this bust economy, and instead are retiring – many of them early.
My question is, with the cards stacked so much against them, what other choice do they have?
I mean with all those ads for the banks hawking those reverse mortgages so that the boomers end up having to use whatever savings or equity they have in their homes in order to just survive in order to get that property back in the hands of the banks eventually so that their children end up without any inheritance to speak with gas to get to that job now at $4.00 a gallon, remaining employed and self-sufficient into true retirement or old age seems unsurmountable to many.
And with AARP sending those "senior" discounts at 40 even, it appears to me that it is the public sector employees which are their target market.
The ones who CAN retire after sometimes less than 20 years of service with those fat pensions, and retirement accounts.
So that there is then a huge market for their supplemental health care plans, discounts on "elder" care services for those simply 40 and over.
I mean, for heaven sake, employers are getting tax breaks not to hire older workers, but those under 40.
Because, of course, the costs for their health care are less so a younger work force means less "costs of business" costs, and higher profits for those stockholders.
But most of the boomers, unfortunately, don’t think of themselves as old, nor ready for those golf carts (of those that do play golf, actually, and if the 60’s are any indication, would appear most of them would not be found in your local clubhouse having a few beers after a round).
What is so very funny is that it is the boomers who actually grew up with technology – televisions, computers, cell phones.
And invented them, for the most part.
Yes, I’m old…I remember dictaphones, fax machines, and Xeroxes and was so excited when in the office I worked, we got our first Xerox that had a collater.
I remember our first color television…although we had had a black and white for as long as I could remember beforehand.
I remember truckers using short wave radios, and radar detectors.
And when gas was 33 cents a gallon during the Viet Nam war.
A war against a country that had little oil, and yet instead we had plenty that we didn’t give away so that we had to fight a war to get more from a foreign Middle Eastern country.
Those were the days of cars with gas guzzling engines – Firebirds, Corvettes and souped up Chevys.
Bank loans were at fixed rates, or VA and FHA loans were plentiful for those that wanted to own their own homes.
Developers bought land by the lot, not by the parcel.
We made our voices heard, and eventually Viet Nam ended.
But we never forgot. And we will not be silenced.
Because, we remember.