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Are Geezers Robbing the Young?

Here We Go Again.

There is a disturbing new twist in the ongoing effort of the plutocrats to destroy their enemies (i.e. the rest of us) through the ancient tactic of divide and conquer. The idea is familiar to you by now: set whites against blacks, Anglos against Hispanic immigrants, Christians against Muslims, non-union workers against the unionized. The list does not end there.

Now the Young vs. the Old. The latest is to set the young against the old. This is particularly disturbing for a number of reasons. One is that the rationale is being accepted by many who should really know better, even on the left. Another is a particularly bitter irony: Since seniors form a rather powerful political block, any attempt to successfully impoverish them (e.g., through “reforms” of Social Security that effectively disembowel it) will be sure to impinge not on present seniors, but the seniors of the future. So the young are being set against their future selves.

But the most important thing to learn about this creative scam is that it is both baseless and destructive.

The Accepted Fable. Here is the narrative that our Media Masters would have us accept as Indisputable Truth: Population growth is slowing and in some cases even declining in the rich countries. Seniors are living longer—significalntly longer in fact than when Social Security was originally instituted. So far, all this is indeed true. Now the conclusion: Seniors will become an intolerable burden on the young. This may seem plausible at first glance—indeed, that is why it is so little questioned—but it is utterly false.

You would not be reading this if you did not have an enquiring mind, so you are certainly asking: How can we know that it is false?

Let us look carefully at the real problem. That is that the young and the middle-aged—but especially the young—are in serious trouble. There are not enough decent-paying jobs. That is not the fault of the seniors, but if nothing is done about it then we all will suffer, seniors included. It is true that present workers support those who are retired. That is true regardless of source of the retired folks' income, whether Social Security, individual pensions, savings or even inherited wealth. Those who are not working, whether children, the aged, or millionaire playboys, are supported by those who are working. There is no other way.

A Diversion from the Real Crisis. In other words, if we continue to impoverish those who are doing the work, all will necessarily suffer. But it is not true that seniors are the cause of the problems facing the young. And impoverishing the old will not help their children and grandchildren. We need to discover the causes of the economic difficulties of our workers and cure them. If unemployment were approaching zero and wages were escalating, there would be no danger of a crisis in the future of Social Security. More money going into wages means more money into payroll taxes. Problem solved.

So hurting the old will not help the young, but helping the young will help us all. Unfortunately we have been systematically blinded to the causes of the present crisis, so uncovering the truth is a little complex. Bear with me; it is important. No. It is absolutely vital.

Let us look at the lies one by one.

[Next: Taking Apart the Fable.]