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Aging Boomers could soak up nation's resources

Panel: Without changes, entitlements will consume defense, education, research funds

Without big changes in public policy, the cost of caring for aging Baby Boomers will deplete the resources of younger Americans in the coming decades, members of a Stanford University panel agreed Saturday.

Current projections indicate Medicare and Social Security entitlements alone will soak up all federal tax revenue by 2057, assuming revenues grow as fast as the gross domestic product (GDP), Stanford President John Hennessy said in a Stanford Reunion Weekend panel.

Other panelists were former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a Stanford alumna; Director Laura L. Carstensen of the Stanford Center on Longevity; CEO Barry Rand of the American Association of Retired Persons; Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg; and Stanford Biology Professor Robert Sapolsky.

"Nothing will be left for defense, education or research, which creates the seed capital that leads to new companies," Hennessy said in the morning panel in Maples Pavilion.

"If you look at the models, there's no way we can do anything unless we adjust our spending profile."

Panelists suggested boosting the retirement age, finding breakthroughs on costly public health problems such as obesity and Alzheimer's, and creating incentives for home care -- rather than expensive institutional care -- for the elderly.

The title of the panel was "Generation Ageless: Longevity and the Boomers: Consequences for Our World and Ourselves."

O'Connor -- who received the warmest applause from the alumni-dominated audience -- discussed her late husband John's lengthy struggle with Alzheimer's disease. When she no longer could care for him at home, O'Connor said she realized they should be near family in Phoenix, leading to her decision to resign from the court.

"I had to stop and get him cared for," she said.

"I realized he needed to be in Phoenix, where two of our three children are and where people could visit him regularly. We were married 57 years, and he was awfully good to me."

O'Connor warned that Alzheimer's represents a looming cost to society, striking one in two people over 80.

"When we had problems with polio and tuberculosis, we got together as a nation and attacked it on a broad scale and found some solutions," she said.

"What is this nation going to do about (Alzheimer's)?"

Facebook's Sandberg waged a playful campaign to persuade O'Connor to join the social network.

"Definitely no," O'Connor said.

"I manage to stay in touch with my friends and, as far as my grandchildren are concerned, there's something -- I think it's called Skype -- and you can talk to them and see them."

"We'll get her. We'll get her," Sandberg murmured.

Sandberg said technology and social networking can enhance the aging process by removing barriers of time and geography.

Social networking is "helping people share and connect and, as you age, that becomes more important," she said. Facebook's "fastest-growing demographic is people over 65."

Sandberg said Facebook's youthful workforce probably is not well aware of the challenge posed to its generation by aging Baby Boomers.

"I can't speak for a whole generation, but we're great at technology, so tend to be insular in focus. You hear more talk about the new iPhone than about what's happening with Medicare and Social Security," she said.

Sapolsky said advanced aging is "a spectacularly rare event in natural populations.

"When it does occur, often you have what we hope for," the biologist said.

"In elephant populations you have matriarchal social groups and, the older the oldest individual is in the group the better the infant survival rate. You have a 70-year-old matriarch, and she's going to remember which valley it was that had the water last time there was a drought."

Rand, a Stanford MBA whose 40-million-strong organization is a powerful political force, said seniors care about their children and grandchildren and are willing to debate the future of entitlement programs if the issues are framed correctly.

Any discussion of reforming entitlements must exclude "present beneficiaries -- people now on Social Security or approaching Social Security," he said.

"Social security is self-funded and has not contributed anything to the deficit -- it's not a deficit issue," he said.

"The real issue with Social Security -- a 75-year-old a sacred promise we've given to seniors to support their lives and in many cases keeping people from falling off a cliff -- is solvency."

Citing what he said has been a doubling of age discrimination lawsuits in the past two years, Rand said many seniors want nothing more than to keep working and to stay engaged – but the jobs aren't there.

"There have to be job opportunities, so raising the retirement age cannot be discussed in isolation," he said.

Carstensen said people who are "mentally sharp, physically fit and financially secure can do really well in this society as an old person."

The biggest predictor of aging well is education, she said.

"People with high levels of education fare very well to very advanced ages," she said.

"The good news is we can get people to old age doing really well. The bad news is that most people aren't in that category in this country."

Despite concerns about high rates of obesity and diabetes in the younger generation, Americans so far are arriving at age 65 healthier than in the past, Carstensen said.

With 30 years added to the human lifespan in the past century, "we didn't just add years, but most of the years we've added have been healthier, so far."

But Carstensen said "we're headed for a major crisis in all sorts of ways if nothing changes.

"It's extremely important to realize that we've added 30 years to life expectancy in less than a century, but we haven't changed a lot of the way we live, haven't found cures for diseases.

"Aging is going on all over the world, and it's one of the most powerful factors that will influence our futures," she said.

"We think of it as individuals, but we're not talking about it globally -- and it will change every aspect of life, from education to families to financial services."

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Can-We-Live-Within-Our-Means?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

For decades we have been "treated" to a never-ending Siren's song of: "
It's a rich country, and everyone deserves a share". Well, after trillions in transfer payments to an ever-growing underclass, and entitlements to the so-called "middle class", we now have liabilities that are somewhere between $100T and $200T (at the Federal Level) with possibly $3T-$5T in unfunded pension obligations to millions of State/Local government workers across the country.

The following Bloomberg reports on the situation:

Web Link

> Based on the CBO’s data, I calculate a fiscal gap of $202 trillion

Sadly, very few people in government, at any level, seems to understand the problem .. and there are few solutions on the table -- other than "more taxes".


Like this comment
Posted by Stanford Employee
a resident of University South
on Oct 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Stanford suggests raising the retirement age, but will Stanford employ me until I reach that ripe old age?


Like this comment
Posted by Diet?
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm

This is an interesting topic. Baby Boomer generation was dealt a terrible card on how to take care of themselves. They were the first generation that grew up on a high carb, low fat, vegetable oil, grain based diet. Shocking their healthcare is so expensive.
Medication will fix poor diet. When that doesn't work, a cardiac catheter will.
People are not getting "healthier" medical intervention is getting better. Sans surgical intervention, cardiac death rates would not have slowed down in the 60's, they would have kept rising.

Try eating lean meat, vegetables, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Avoid all vegetable oils, grains, legumes and dairy.
This would fix the problem.



Like this comment
Posted by What?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm

"Can-we-live-within-our-means"

The transfer of wealth has been for the middle class to the super wealthy not the other way round in the last few decades and especially the last 10 years, in case you didn't know.

Let's let the Bush tax cuts expire for the top 2% of the US population and we will already do much better.


Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Just tax the rich, then we will all be just fine.

In fact, why should the middle class be required to work? Just take it from the rich!


Like this comment
Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 25, 2010 at 8:04 am

What? I'm eating too much dairy?


Like this comment
Posted by senior2
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 25, 2010 at 9:08 am

Who do you think will do the better job of dealing with these problems, the dems or the repubs? Frankly, I think politicians on both sides are failing us. I'm going to vote for Meg even though I think she might just turn out to be another Arnold. I can't bring myself to vote for Brown (as I did in the past) because I think the dems (my party) are growing govt way to big.


Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

Don't worry about the future. We can generate a magnificent economy by putting up solar panels and windmills. High speed rail will also help to solve our problems. Don't worry about the money either, we can just print it (it is just a pschological construct). We should tax the rich anyway, because they don't deserve to be rich.

Socialism will provide a glorious future for us.


Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

To Stanford Employee:

Will Stanford employ you to your ripe old age? Don't count on it. A member of my family few years back at age 60 got salary threatened with a 50% cut which would have axed her health insurance and pension requirements. Ended up with 80% time which did qualify for pension but reduced it then 'encouraged her' to retire at sixty-one. And a 55 yr. old co-worker got cut to 50% then laid off and a young new hire took the job. Stanford just upped the monthly retiree health insurance premiums for retirees - big time except for those on Kaiser Permanente.


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

Barry Brand of AARP pointed out the dangers of the rising cost of health care at the Forum. Ironically, Stanford Hospital is doing little or nothing to curb costs, despite the opportunities from its behemoth expansion.

Stanford should lead the way in cutting costs -- and not just be axing employees and their wages.


Like this comment
Posted by Geoff Ball & Associates
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 25, 2010 at 11:39 am

Two excerpts from the article

Medicare and Social Security entitlements alone will soak up all federal tax revenue by 2057, assuming revenues grow as fast as the gross domestic product (GDP), Stanford President John Hennessy said.

CEO Barry Rand of the American Association of Retired Persons said,

"Social security is self-funded and has not contributed anything to the deficit -- it's not a deficit issue," he said. "The real issue with Social Security -- a 75-year-old a sacred promise we've given to seniors to support their lives and in many cases keeping people from falling off a cliff -- is solvency."

By combining medicare and social security in one sentence President Hennessy implies that Social Security is a major part of the problem. [Medicare clearly is.] The Social Security trust fund has said that the Fund is SOLVENT out 30-40 years. And yes some tweaks are needed - not a big deal if we get it done NOW.

Social Security is NOT an entitlement. It is a program funded by its trust fund that we all pay into during our working lives. By including them together, President Hennessey suggests that the same kind of solutions are needed - e.g. privatizing social security - not surprisingly a favorite of Wall Street Firms. The administrative cost of social security is, I believe, less than 4% (like 2%) whereas Wall street funds are much higher - and riskier.


Like this comment
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 25, 2010 at 11:43 am

When Social Security was established the retirement age was 65 and life expectancy was 62. Today, while the retirement/benefit age remains at 65, life expectancy is 78. The math equation that worked in 1935 does not work now and will continue to get worse as time goes on. Raising the retirement/benefit age to 70 still gives you 8 years of probable benefit years (where in 1935 you were lucky to get any.) This is a no brainer - even the French have figured this out!


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Perhaps if the employers would stop throwing older workers overboard by the boatload, we would not be having this discussion. Of course, all the tea party types and republicans cuss and fuss about "Obama Care", but health care costs are the primary cause of this economic purging of the workforce. Can't have it both ways, can we?


Like this comment
Posted by pecuniac
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

"Nothing will be left for defense, education or research, which creates the seed capital that leads to new companies," Hennessy said in the morning panel in Maples Pavilion.
Yes, let us not forget all those military dollars going to academe for defense related research. How else could we have created Silicon Valley without the fear of those nasty Soviets overtaking the West?
Sadly, the only way we seem able to justify the expenditures for research that leads to technological breakthroughs is for the military and for war.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

The problem with Social Security is that it was raided by Bush and his lackeys.


Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Raiding Social Security started waaaay before either Pres. G. Bush!! Was it Lyndon Johnson's administraton -"Guns and Butter".


Like this comment
Posted by senior2
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Commensense, no the French have not figured it out. Socialism isn't working there. They are against retirement at 62 and want to keep it at 60. All those wonderful socialism programs that sound great but only work for a short time and go bust. Anyway, we are already at 66. If we follow the French model we could retire at 62! But looks like the powers that be want to move it to 70 for us, yikes!


Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

"what"

You said it all in a sentence, the problem in my opinion is. I think most people don't care or don't get it.
The middle class is shrinking at a record rate. The rich are more so every year. Union membership is lower, people are working longer and have less time off. Working harder to make sure the rich get a bigger percentage of the pie.


Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

All we need to do is to understand that money is all about psychology, not something absolute (like drinking water). We can just print it, and spread the wealth. China will continue to sell even more stuff to us. Let them do the work!

Give according to one's ability, take according to one's need.

Socialism is beautiful!

Jerry Brown for governor!


Like this comment
Posted by jb
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm

As to Social Security, there is a dirty little secret that your politicians don't want you to know. the Boomer generation paid into Social Security and could have built a huge trust fund. After all, the larger families of the past had 3-6 children very often, and many had more than that. They all paid into Social Security that cared for their two parents per family. There should be a lot of that money left over except for one thing.

Every time politicians went to fund a program, they discovered that the easieist source of ready cash was...the Social Security Trust Fund. That fund was the source of cash for many programs that each dutifully left an I.O.U. to help fund the care of the Boomers. The Social Security Trust fund is not empty because of the expense of helping folks out in their old age.

Now, completely glossing over the loss of that cash, the no-government-but-police-and-military folks are gleefully assuring us that Social Security never could work. See, it's broke, empty, no money for those folks.


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Social Security has an easy fix.

Remove the *cap* on payroll taxes that exists, currently around $106,000 per year.

Folks making more than $106,000 annually should pay the same rate as poorer folks, on all their earnings.

Why should a Wall Street bankster "earning" 10 million a year, pay the same payroll tax of (about) %3,500 a year as the engineer making $106k?

That fix makes Social Security solvent for the century, but republicans won't tell you that.


Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Just tax the rich people at 100%!

We don't need them. They are leaches. Make them poor. Just print more money. Make the Chinese work for us, if that is what they want to do.

Socialism will only work when we have the guts to impose it.


Like this comment
Posted by Michele
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Just put us all out on icebergs when the time comes - that is, if there are any left.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 26, 2010 at 7:26 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

As someone with the T shirt, I can only suggest they make it possible for the elderly to stay home as long as possible. My wife's folks spent their last few years with us. In my case now, this means railings and grab handles around the house, and both of us carrying phones to call for help. It helps to have family close by. My mother was an early user of the "I've fallen and can't get up" pendent and my sister is now being cared for by her eldest daughter.
One reason I support measure R is the knowledge that trained emergency assistance is available in a timely manner.


Like this comment
Posted by 2 cents
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:15 am

jb, you are dead right, unfortunately. There is no "there" there, no money in a vault. It has been stolen.

gene: your sarcasm just cracks me up.

senior2: I suspect the comment about the French figuring it out refer to the fact that, despite riots in the streets by children and senile, the adults in that government are doing the only possible thing they can do and raising the retirement age to the very elderly 62 from 60 ( yes..it used to be 58, then it was 60..now it is 62). So, the French leaders are figuring it out.

Well..so now even STANFORD PANEL has finally figured out we are collapsing our system, 30 years after the rest of us with any ability to think figured it out, from MIT to Georgia Tech...we've known for 30 years that Social Security and Medicare is nothing but a massive Ponzi scheme.

So, what are we gonna do about it?

I say:

1) Raise to 70 years old any Social Security or Medicare
2) Begin letting the young put at least SOME of their hard-earned money into private retirement instead of to the government..at least it is THEIRS to manage as they wish when they age, and go to their family when they die.
3) Everybody pays a co-pay who is already on Medicare...I don't care how "poor"..even a dollar per MD visit or therapy visit or day in the Skilled Nursing Facility at least causes everyone to realize that these services are not FREE and need to be used more wisely.

That is my 2cents.

If you don't agree, then in the words of our current great President of the USA, you "gotta sit in the back" ( Web Link) and must "punish ...enemies" Web Link



geez


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:40 am

If 60 year olds and above lose their Stanford job it is extremely difficult to get another job according to Stanford's Ombudsman. Unfortunately, Stanford doesn't track how many layoffs are able to find another job. Hiring managers only need to find the candidate "not a good fit".


Like this comment
Posted by Boomer Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Typical of boomers...This discussion is all about how this will affect boomers--Boomers perseverating on THEIR personal needs. I wonder what our kids will think about our self-absorbed generation when they are saddled with paying our debts.

Roll up your sleeves. WE (the current seniors and boomers) are obligated to fix the mess we have made. For once, please behave like adults and plan for future and consider the long-term needs of our children.

Grow up already!


Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by senior2
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Boomer mom -- you missed the opening of this topic: it is about boomers! Since that is what the topic is about, staying on topic doesn't mean we are all self-absorbed.

What we are dealing with will affect our children and grand children and we know that. As for it's my fault that I (us boomers) made this mess, would you please explain how? I think we are in this mess because politicians have promised too much and don't want to face the hard tasks of trimming the budget and trimming programs and living within our means.


Like this comment
Posted by 2 cents
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 27, 2010 at 5:15 am

Boomer Mom; You must have skipped the proposed solutions part of the prior post.

Senior2: No, the topic of the thread is "aging boomers soak up next generation's resources"..so, in fact, anyone who is only worried about themselves IS self-absorbed. And, it IS the Boomer generation's fault.

We have been told, as a nation, since Reagan that not only is the system a Ponzi scheme, with ever shrinking numbers of people supporting ever growing numbers of people, we have been told since Reagan by conservatives that there is no "there" there..no "money in the bank"..we KNEW it was being stolen and buried our heads in the sand and consistently voted for people who kept growing our government and stealing the money.

Many of us knew back in business school before Reagan's time that the system was going to collapse before we retired, and were warned by our professors to prepare for it. Those of us who read the Wall Street Journal before it was taken over by Murdoch also got strong editorials for years before now...

We, our generation, would have been infinitely better off if we could have taken 1/2 our social security payments and put them into our private retirement accounts. We would have a lot more of money in our accounts right now..better than the big fat zero in Social Security!

The US citizens were foolish, they thought that somehow the government workers were somehow concerned about carefully investing the social security money in an interest bearing market account, and that the fed employees were guarding it and growing it.

The next generation, I pray, will always remember the lessons of ours..the fox can NOT guard the henhouse.As with the hungry fox, our henhouse is empty.

To everyone who says "thank Goodness I didn't have anything in stocks!!"..wouldn't 30% less of 2 million be better than zero? Imagine if you put everything you are paying into social security instead into a personal retirement account for 40 years of work...add it up with all the growth,wouldn't you have been better off?

We can help the next generation pull out from our selfishness...read my post above.


Like this comment
Posted by senior2
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 27, 2010 at 9:22 am

2 Cents yes that is the topic and so it is OK to be concerned about how this affects our retirement changing from 66 to 70. To say that is self-absorbed is just to try to make us feel guilty and shut down discussion. This forum is supposed to be a discussion and it's worrisome to some of us to think about retiring so late. Some seniors do work well past 70 -- it's one thing to have a choice and another to be forced to do so.

And you point out yourself that we were snowed by the promises that this would all work out when you state: >The US citizens were foolish, they thought that somehow the government workers were somehow concerned about carefully investing the social security money in an interest bearing market account, and that the fed employees were guarding it and growing it.<

Frankly, there's the rub. Mostly I agree with what you have to say and there were warning signs but too often the Repubs caved-in in the name of bipartisanship. I hold our politicians accountable for this mess. But clearly now it is our job to pay attention and not get snowed by them (on either side) anymore.


Like this comment
Posted by geezer
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2010 at 10:45 am

I am a boomer who grew up hearing that most boomers would never get a cent from Social Security because the system would go bankrupt before we retired. Even before the financial shell games began, Social Security was subject to massive political manipulations that ensured its lack of long-term viability. We have known for decades that the system was corrupt; the current plight shouldn't be news to anyone.

Social Security was originally established to provide a floor, to prevent people from becoming destitute, not to serve as a pension. For a few people born at the right time, it has generated enough income to live on, but that was not the intent. We would all be better off if it returned to its roots as a welfare program for poor seniors. People need to plan for their own retirement; the government is incapable of managing financial planning for individuals.


Like this comment
Posted by the answer is simple
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2010 at 10:57 am

Soylent Green


Like this comment
Posted by 2 cents
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 30, 2010 at 6:50 am

geezer, well said.

Nobody is saying throw old folks out onto the streets. We are saying that the program was never intended to be a "full retirement" option.

Case in point...I was at a Palo Alto Senior Living facility with all 3 levels of living, from independent to skilled nursing, last week, visiting a friend.

I had a revelation.

The friend I was visiting was living there...on Social Security only, the facility accepting Medi-Cal level residents and getting supplemental money to support them through our taxes...getting all services, including help showering and transportation etc...

Sounds great until in the same week I visited another friend who lives LESS well in another PRIVATE senior living center, who paid 1/2 million to buy a smaller studio, and I don't know how much per month, but thousands, to remain there with the same extra help friend #2 gets. And worrying about what happens when she runs out of money, afraid to even go out to lunch and spend that money.

Same end result, one was "poor" and getting it all for "free", one was "rich".

Question: With such an outcome, why should any of us save for our own retirement?


Answer: It is completely unsustainable. We cannot continue to have the same results for different choices, eventually we have ( as has happened) more and more people making non-productive choices at the expense of the productive.

We need to go back to what the original intent of Social Security was. A safety net in the last few years of life, not full retirement for 20 years.

As for "those of us it affects"..I am one it DOES affect. I long ago accepted that it would come to this, and have known for some time that I was going to have to work until I am 70, not 65. I never intended to live off the generation after me, which is what Social Security does, and so I have long planned to work and SAVE for my OWN retirement.

Though, as time goes by, after seeing the story of my 2 friends, I wonder why I am doing so for any other reason than pride in taking care of MYSELF.


Like this comment
Posted by boomer child
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Post World War, the American Economy (capitalism) grew like a weed on steroids. This was fantastic for perceived success. It is crappy for EVERYTHING else. Is our knowledge of world history that narrow. Ok, so we weren't the first people to make things unsustainable. That would have to be the discovery of agriculture appr. 10,000 years ago.
Post World War, America changed from a regional power nation to global power. Capital growth skyrocketed, which, as any political philosopher knows, divides people into rich and poor. In our quest for success we have soaked up all resources from sustainable water and food to land, oil, and the list goes on.
Quit focusing on the trees and see the forest. We are consuming ourselves to death.
The answer: I don't know. It wouldn't hurt to downsize on an extremely large scale. Maybe go back to an agrarian lifestyle of early american ancestors. Let a few trees grow back. Have a few less children. Boycott all foods that are subsidized by the american government, i.e. corn, wheat, soy and dairy. Support local farmers. Quit making medical advancements only to keep nursing homes in business. I know that is a harsh one, but that is no way to live. 90% of the reasons people are in a nursing home are preventable diseases if we eat, sleep and exercise correctly. After all, they are "diseases of western civilization."
So yeah, the Baby Boomers ran away with growth and capitalism and this is where we are. I'm not totally blaming you because you didn't start it. Agriculture did.


Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm

"So yeah, the Baby Boomers ran away with growth and capitalism and this is where we are. I'm not totally blaming you because you didn't start it. Agriculture did."

boomer child: Bingo!

Let's get rid of all the rich people first, then get rid of agriculture. The defectives will be eliminated by the predator animals. Then the human race will be back in balance with nature.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Has anybody tried a co-op retirement home, where able retirees do most of the labor in return for the care when they could no longer work?


Like this comment
Posted by 2 cents
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Walter: Never heard of it..but it sounds great! A "commune" retirement home.

boomerchild: "Capital growth skyrocketed, which, as any political philosopher knows, divides people into rich and poor."...yes, terrible, isn't it? SOO much better to be divided into poor and poorer! All for one, one for all. While we are at it, we should change our education system...if you ever get an 'A' in your classes, I think you should share it equally with someone who got an 'F', and both of you get Cs. This grading system stinks, dividing us into the "successful" and "failures"...


Like this comment
Posted by 2 cents
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm

boomerchild says "Let a few trees grow back." There are more trees in the USA now than in the 1600s..

"Have a few less children" Oh yes, do what China did, I guess..abort every kid after the first

"Quit making medical advances to keep nursing homes in business"..yup, terrible, all those medical advances, aren't they? We should just withhold medical treatment from everyone over 65..that would save us a lot of money. BTW, what keeps nursing homes in business is our tax dollars..without that, they dry up.

I am almost certain, based on these assertions, that you are only trying to jerk the chains of someone... but I couldn't resist responding. ( Childish, I know..and unproductive..but it was kinda fun cuz it was the easiest thing I have had to do all day, so thanks for the pleasure)



Like this comment
Posted by Gene
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

"Has anybody tried a co-op retirement home, where able retirees do most of the labor in return for the care when they could no longer work?"

Works for me, as long as the rest of us are not expected to give up our weekends to help. However the real problem is that there are too many old, unproductive people. Why are the rest of us paying for their drugs?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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