Sunday, October 28, 2007


With the advent of baby boomers entering retirement age, the media focus, not to mention consumer regulatory focus, appears to be on the scores of millions of new people who have entered “victimhood” status. Now it can be assumed that anyone turning 50 and receiving their coveted first AARP card in the mail is now a protected class of victims. There goes the neighborhood…again!

Being in that age class, I’m embarrassed at the number of people I know (pretty much all of them who’ve turned 50) who snatch up that membership card with a certain giddiness. They pay their dues happily to get a ten percent discount on a cup of coffee to drink while they read the inevitable and unstoppable barrage of junk mail heaped upon them.

I don’t know of one of them who have bothered to find out what AARP is. Apparently it doesn’t matter as long as it strokes folks’ senses of entitlement.

AARP is a shamelessly liberal gim’me organization that boasts its powerful lobbying status. Formerly the “American Association for Retired Persons,” AARP dropped the name and stuck with the acronym when they realized there were millions of baby boomers to sucker into making it the second biggest organization in the United States, behind the Catholic Church, and the country’s most powerful lobby.

AARP is good at marketing its ideas to the over 50 and stupid crowd, such as opposing President Bush’s social security reform plan.

The reform plan would have allowed people to volunteer up to five percent of their social security payments to private investments. That would have given anyone who chose to participate, control of up to five percent of their social security taxes. Politicians and AARP dopes like to call these taxes “investments.”

For the first time in the history of the program, people could have had control over how their money was invested. They also would have “owned” that money. That means the money they controlled would not be part of the social security disaster, the fund that does not exist. Up to five percent of someone’s forced contributions would actually belong to THEM! What a concept! So radically sensible that AARP couldn’t stand the thought of some of their members having some freedom and being five percent less dependent on government.

They did a grand job of trashing the idea simply by telling their membership it was bad. I wonder how many members bothered to look any further than their most recent junk mailing on the subject from their AARP leaders. No problem spending money on one of their affiliates’ life, health, prescription or long term care scams, though.

To the 35 million members of the second biggest organization in the country, it was a lockstep non-decision to oppose the plan. Freedom anyone? Self sufficiency anyone? Nope! It’s sad to think that these 35 million people are all eligible to vote. I do wish most of them would stay home and leave the election process to folks who could pass a simple civics quiz. How about to people who have read the Constitution? Nah, let’s not get carried away.


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