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Walking Off The Job

October 17, 2014

Over the past month, I’ve heard a lot in the news about people walking off the job to demand higher wages. Earlier on September 4th, there was a national protest by fast food workers who demanded that their wages be doubled. It seemed on the surface an admirable idea; very American in fact. All of this sounds great in a touchy feely way; great that is unless you are a retired person. We “seniors” usually don’t have a job to walk off of and if we demanded that our social security benefits be doubled, you would hear a laugh from Washington that could be heard around the world.

In fact, “seniors” are one of the largest demographic groups in America. Although we outspend all other groups, we are the single group in our country that is chronically ignored, taken advantage of and generally screwed, all without the benefit of any redress. Of all of the social injustices protested in the last century, dumping on our older population has not been one of them. Strange….

Last week, while paying bills, I noticed that literally everybody wants more money for less product or service. Sewer rates are up, yet I pee about the same as ever. My car insurance jumped over 8 percent though I have a perfect driving record. Groups with a voice (municipalities, insurance companies, special interest groups, etc.) cram the airways with their whining and whimpering and they generally blackmail their way into getting what they want. Senior citizens, as we are mockingly referred to, have no voice and no power. AARP? Please, give me a break! These were the first guys to throw their membership under the bus to insurance companies and other powerful Washington groups. Again, AARP? Please!

While the costs of everything have increased enormously, when it comes to the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), our government insists that there is little or no inflation. I’m thinking that math was not the strongest subject in school for virtually all of our bureaucrats. Excluding such items as gas for your car is not being honest or even a quarter to honest. It is ironic that the lot of them don’t look any thinner; perhaps they were all playing hooky at McDonald’s when they were supposed to be learning that one plus one does not equal three.

Another thought floated by me as I was paying those bills. I grabbed it out of the air before it left the room. While retired people can’t walk off the job, they sure as hell could go on a spending strike. Think about that just for a moment. If all retired people in our country didn’t spend a nickel for 30 days, what would happen to our economy? It might collapse. Even our 30 something yuppies would have to quit fingering their smart phones for just a moment and take notice. Just an idea….

Remember, people who are receiving Social Security benefits are not receiving welfare like so many of our countrymen. Social Security is not a gift from a benevolent government. Recipients are just getting a pittance of of their own investment returned to them, sans interest, over a very short amount of time. It’s actually like putting money in a bank at zero interest and then being told that after waiting decades, you can only withdraw a small fixed amount every month. Fair? Not really. Social Security recipients have no media charm, no group to speak for them and certainly they can not walk off the job. A spending strike just might force the good folks in Washington to take notice and maybe even throw us a bone, maybe even one with a scrap of meat still on it.. Again, just an idea…. do you have any?

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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One Comment
  1. Oh rapture, oh joy…. it looks like Social Security recipients will get a 1.7 percent COLA in 2015. But where will I spend all of that money?

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