In Creepy Ad, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to Younger Generations: Drop Dead

Entitlements are considered by their recipients just that: benefits to which they are entitled. Not always so; see Social Security

Do you ever meet someone who announces with pride that he or she is "not interested in politics?" It is more often than not a young person.

People who want to take younger generation's money and control legislators who can ensure that it happens are very happy with your lack of interest in politics.

Meet the American Association of Retired Persons, known widely as the AARP, which is ecstatic that you find politics uninteresting and hopes you don't vote, especially if you disagree with them.

They do vote -- around 70% of seniors 65 and older vote, while younger voters vote at about 50%, and around one-third of the youngest cohort of voters (18-24) votes.

So when the newest and most prolific advertisement of the AARP threatens Congress that they better not cut Social Security or Medicare because seniors vote, they know of where they speak. The warning and justification are not ambiguous: "We are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits, and you will be hearing from us...on election day."

You should not accept the claim that seniors have earned all their "benefits." You should, however, infer that they are serious.

Blackmail is always serious.

Perhaps "blackmail" is too strong a word, if seniors do not realize that most of them will receive in Social Security payments, for example, much more than they ever put in plus interest. Maybe they don't realize that they are taking money from their children. The AARP never tells them about the zero-sum-game reality of enhancing entitlement strategies.

But at some point they -- we -- have the responsibility to understand this fact. As Michelle Malkin argued in Real Clear Politics earlier this year in support of raising the retirement age to 70, "Americans can no longer feel entitled to some 20 to 30 years of subsidized retirement, often collected over the course of many more years than retirees actually spent paying into the system."

In a landmark article titled "Why are we in this debt fix? It's the elderly, stupid," the excellent Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson punctures one of the major premises of those opposing the cutting of the out-of-control entitlements of senior citizens: the "...mythology...that once people hit 65, most become poor."

Samuelson notes, consistent with this blog's opening argument that "We have a generation of politicians cowed and controlled by AARP." While estimating that retiree programs including Social Security and Medicare "constitute roughly half of non-interest federal spending," the transfers of income from workers to retirees "unless checked...will sabotage America's future."

So, keep your voting percentages down, young voters, so we can expropriate even more of your money.


Red Maryland: The Premier blog of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the Free State.

Prof. Vatz, a Cockeysville resident, is a full professor at Towson University.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dale October 30, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Interesting thoughts, however, after working for the last 46 years and still employed and planning to work for the next several years, I resent your assertion that those of us over 60 rely solely on Social Security. Most seniors still are working and continue to put $'s into the system, and most will continue to work as long as they can. It's next to impossible to live on the paltry amount of money that Social Security provides. The biggest problem with SS is the way the money was systematically robbed by our government over the years to pay for other programs. I have friends in their 70's working. No retirement for many of us in the future. I envision myself dropping dead on the job.....
Richard E. Vatz October 31, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Dear indignant reader: re your comment, "I resent your assertion that those of us over 60 rely solely on Social Security" Tell me where such a sentiment is asserted in the blog... Focus, friend... Vatz Richard E. Vatz, Ph.D. Towson Distinguished Professor Towson Student Government Association first Faculty Member of the Year, 2009-2010 Professor, MCOM/COMM; University Senate; Towson University Blogger, Red Maryland Thomas Szasz Civil Liberties Award Psychology Editor, USA Today Magazine; Editor, Current Psychology (410) 704-3107 Author of recently released The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)


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