Here is a nasty little piece of ageism appearing in the op ed section of the New York Times this morning:
“If anyone should be complaining about deficits, it should be the 20-somethings who will have to pay for all those meds-popping boomers moving into the comfort of Medicare and Social Security.” (Timothy Egan, “Save Us, Millennials”)
This nonsense is promoting inter-generational conflict. It is reminiscent of the inter-class, racial conflict promoted by the Neo-cons in the 1970s and 1980s that led to cruel welfare changes in the 1990s. Poor folks – mostly women and children – were sterotyped as lazy, shiftless, and dependent (and visualized as being African American). Most people who knew nothing about welfare recipients – and that was most people – bought into all of the stereotypes. You have probably heard the one about the welfare mom standing in line at the super market with expensive steak. Everyone had heard a horror story about some welfare mother.
Meds popping, in the comfort of Social Security and Medicare Boomers indeed! The generation approaching retirement now is quite diverse. A large portion will be poor (at least a third). Many have lost a big share of their hard earned retirement funds due to a corrupt relationship between Congress and the financial industry. Most have paid their FICA and MICA taxes throughout their working careers. Who were they paying for?
Comfort? What comfort? Social Security doesn’t even provide enough to afford the minimal needs of elderly citizens.