We owe oldest Americans an apology
Another one of the reasons that I am angry at the Wall Street buffoons!
- Bob Greene: Oldest Americans don’t have time for markets to turn around
- He says they survived Great Depression and sacrificed in World War II
- Greene: They should be enjoying calm retirement but can’t due to crisis
- It’s shameful that they suffer due to foolish Wall St. decisions, he says
I think the elderly have pretty well been thrown under the bus sorry to be so blunt. No doubt medicare has to be cut back as appropriate healthcare entitlements for impoverished children and unemployed working age adults are instituted. No way social security entitlements are going to be increased to keep up with real inflation if it hits. Many of the older adults (over 60 up to 80) I work with were told to keep some money in stocks and are now unable to support themselves to the end due to losses in the stock market even though they saved responsibly. Some of these individuals either survived the depression or served bravely in World War II or Vietnam. IMHO, much of the stimulus is oriented towards younger people (i.e. under 40 or so). I mean SCHIP, job retraining, and plans that will not show any benefit for several years. These will not help the disabled elderly without families to take them in (and there are many in my corner of the world) who have very little to fall back on in a society that frankly seems willing to let them go under. I sometimes think the yuppies "age of narcissism" has led to this outcome. I am 47 and a member of the age of narcissism. I do not have data to back up my ideas, but these are my observations.
The elderly I work with are terrified, and some of them clearly plan on dying sooner rather than later because they will have no money very shortly. It may sound weird but I think they are aware they are being abandoned. Of course good people of conscience will do what they can to help but many of these elderly are proud, housebound and disabled and will not reach out readily on their own. It is part of the culture of their generation.
I am getting preachy and apologize for this but I just want to say I am glad you have identified this problem. It is a shame and shameful. I do not know how to correct this problem but I think these people will need real money to cope and they are fast running out.
I’ve already apologized to my kids (reallly! )for saddling them with what will surely be incredible debt not of their making, and now I have to apologize to my parents too?
I agree with everything in this article except the "we" part. Who is "we" supposed to be? I surely feel for those who have suffered or will soon be suffering, especially the generation that is the subject of this article, but I personally had nothing to do with this mess and I resent being thrown in to some collective apology. I’m sorry, but this is bullshit.
The Fed, our government, countless generations of legislatures and the presidents that worked with them, our banking system, unscrupulous lenders, loan-packaging hucksters, fiat-money puppet masters, and a willing media should not only apologize, they should be forced to pay restitution and go to jail. But not I.
I reject this collective apologetic bull. This is wreaks of more socialism, collectivism, and pitching in to save a group of people who are victims not of a collective, but of an elite.
Again, I am sorry for our elderly. They do not deserve this, and I share their anger. But I will not apologize for something I had no hand in creating.
Thanks for posting this Sam,
Rather than apologize, I think I will be thanking my older relatives for passing on a respect for frugality.
And, I can’t help but think that some of those who should be apologizing aren’t feeling bad about this outcome because it is one more way of destroying the middle class.
we could also add in the young military people who blinded by the lies of their society bought into the idea of defending the homeland – I do feel bad for these young men and women who come home to wives who left them, homes foreclosed, no jobs, and PTSD or permanent disabilities to boot…
Life is a comic tragedy, young and old alike suffer, everyone is blaming someone else but no one is to blame in the end – its just the way things are.
It took 100’s of millions of years for evolution to create the perfect predator – T-Rex. And then they end up as gas in my car! Talk about pointless! Life is pointless and, far from depressing, this is liberating! We’re all just along for the ride – so kick back and enjoy the roller coaster!
Patrick is right. Younger Americans should not feel any sense of guilt for the economic pain that will be experienced by older citizens. They did not create the problem. I’m a senior citizen so I feel qualified to weigh in on this thread. Trying to make younger Americans feel responsible for what is happening to my generation is somewhat like trying to make Germans born after the war feel responsible for the Holocaust. Not guilty.
Actually, Patrick, I feel sorry for you and your generation. My generation — which is the the so-called Silent Generation immediately preceding the postwar Baby Boomers, has enjoyed some good times. We lived in America’s Golden Age, which appears to be drawing to a close.
I’m not so worried about my wife and me — our lives will draw to a close in the fullness of time. I’m worried about our kids and those who will follow. It happens that I’m a naturalized citizen. My mom and dad immigrated to America in 1951 from grim postwar-Britain (where rationing was not eliminated until a decade after the war ended). I was six years old at the time and I’ve enjoyed the fruits of American citizenship ever since. I have paid enough in taxes to compensate the Treasury many times over for admitting my family in 1951. I also served in Vietnam as a field artillery officer, so I’ve paid my dues. The point here is that I love this country with a passion that may be hard for some to understand. That’s why it is so painful for me to see what is happening to our beloved country.
Patrick, I wish your generation the best of luck. You will need it.
I was just fixing to post a reply, but see that BSV said it for me.
I’m pushing 62, if there are any apologies due, reckon they should first be directed to the younger generations.
As a species we have been no more intelligent than mold. We have exploited the abundance of the earth in no time. I dont think we owe the older generation an apology. The finiteness of the earth’s resources is and was no secret to any generation. The boomers are said to be the most influential generation, have always been, enjoyed the most out of this golden age, and have accomplished nothing. We owe our children an apology.
I feel no need to apologize to the elderly. Many of them played a big part in electing the buffoons that have run this country into the ground for so many years and many of them continue to do so hoping for a bigger SS payment, more medicare, entitlements, blah blah blah. I see this line of thinking even in my own family, and find it repulsive.