Seniors: Being Pushed to Make Choices

May 18th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Social Security and Medicare, if you believe some pundits and politicians, is in deep and serious trouble.  The cacophony of voices and cries to reduce health care and support by way of social security rises with the tide of political discourse.  It is a frightening moment for those who count on these benefits, “entitlements.” It is agonizing for those who are nearing the age when they would or will or might. 

This is a scary moment for a society.  Unemployment figures indicate that hordes of people are not able any longer to bring home a living wage for themselves and their families.  The growth of the national debt has spiraled into the trillions.  The costs of running this country become more expensive by the quadrennium.  The loss of industry and manufacturing has left a major hole in the health of our national productivity. 

What if we come to that time when those who are retired, or soon will be, are excluded from the safety net of programs to which we have long become accustomed?  What if the lobbying efforts of AARP and others are not enough to stem the tide of those who would simply cut those programs? What if fear becomes so rampant because our social and welfare systems have become so instituionalized, that we have to choose between the needs of the aging and the demands of the rest of our society?

Questions and challenges now being raised are overwhelming. It is not a pretty picture.  Those on the right would trust huge tax cuts for the wealthy and major surgical slashes to many who depend on support for their survival.  Those on the left continue to press for a “no fix” formula and that continuation is not a threat to the economy. 

Whoever prevails in this debate will shape the outcome for those who are most caught in the sites of politicians and prognosticators.  It is a time for seniors to pay increasing attention to their own welfare and the policies that influence that welfare.  It is time to discard name calling and to invesitgate with great care the ideologies that are driving this debate.  It is time to be less selfish and to take on a more informed and realistic approach to how human beings will fare in this discourse.  It is time to be ready to stand straight and tall and to march to the polling booths, when next elections are upon us.  It is time to speak out and speak up to representatives in Congress and the White House.  It is time to be reasonably motivated and to overturn the emotional diatribes that would leave us all “weighed in the balance and found wanting.”



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