Thursday, January 13, 2011

Poverty Among the Elderly in the USA

Sad news, for the elderly of present times, and for the elderly of the future if we don't change course: According to new calculations by the U.S. Census Bureau, poverty among those 65 or older has risen to 16.1% in 2009.

If you remember nothing else from the article I linked to, remember this: "What the numbers show is that rather than Social Security benefits being too generous, they are too meager to keep one in six old folks out of poverty." And they, whereby I mean most Republicans, blue dog Democrats and, to a great extent, the President and his advisers, want to weaken Social Security, either by making you work longer (and pay you less in benefits as a result), and/or by reducing your Social Security payments. So, you see, bipartisanship is not a dream. It still happens, when the goal is sticking it to the little guy.

In the meantime, let's keep cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1% of the country, since 30 years of evidence that doing so does not produce the desired effect, i.e. an increase in the standard of living for everybody else, are not enough. We need to keep experimenting with the Laffer curve and Reaganomics until the number of the poor decreases so much (not because of an improvement in living conditions, no: we'll just stop counting them, like we do with about 50% of the unemployed) that the per-capita income for those who remain in the U.S.A. will rise.

How a country treats those who are closer to the end of their lives, those who have already contributed the most, at least in number of years and effort, is a good indicator of what those in power think of the rest of us. Increasingly, we are becoming expendable annoyances to the plutocrats and the ruling class, the pampered ones. Those who need the least get ever more, while those who are the neediest and least powerful are left to their devices, to whither away.

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