9 November 2011

Ageism, Class, and the Wealth Gap Between the Young and Old

The only place in Huffington Post that the generation gap, or aging, or ageism, is being discussed is in the business section. And even so, this piece (the US Wealth Gap) written by Hope Yen could actually be about so many things, and not just about the division of wealth between the old and the young. It is a false division, more than likely intended to create division between the generations instead of explain it.

We all know there are seniors who are living in poverty, just as we know there are under 35-year-old­s who have too much money to spend. Manipulati­ng statistics to arrive at the conclusion one wants to isn't clever. It is devious, it is cunning, and it may even work (depending on one's agenda), but how can people have respect for such a person who writes this nonsense, or for the Huff Post editors who condone it, even encourage it. After all, isn't what counts the amount of reader interest, the number of comments (over 8,000).

Furthermore, why is there still a section called 'Women' in the Living category of this paper? Why isn't it called Gender? And how about one called 'Couples and Singledom'­?

And why isn't there a category called 'Aging' or the 'Generatio­n Gap'? Why are the difference­s between the young and the old all made to come down to money? I would like to talk about aging itself, and not simply about the differences in income between the generations that some writers are treating as the main issue.

The other piece referred to below is another piece of nonsense, placing the blame squarely on the high worth of the top 1% of households in the US. Yet the problem is not the top 1%. The problem is all around us. The problem is in the way some of the higher income earners in the 99% treat others in this immense category, which includes doctors, lawyers, service workers, and receptionists. It reflects the struggle of life, the quest for more, and the effort for some to stop others from getting even a small share fo the scarce resources our world has to offer.

The problem is not that the healthcare workers are overworked. It is that they spend their effort on taks that are non-productive, on trying to give more to some individuals and making sure others get less. The system is not so much overburdened with too may sick or old people. It is overburdened with too many who have health insurance making sure they get every dollar's worth, and then some.

I don't believe that 'generational warfare' was designed by the 1% to distract the rest of us from looking at class differences, as stated in 'One Percent.' The complexity of our world is such that different agendas collide as they pursue their own interests, and sometimes join forces to gang up on one group - usually the most vulnerable, and for the purpose for protecting their own interests. Get people to blame the 1% and they won't be so ready to place the responsibility where it lies - in the way boys and girls are raised, and indoctrinated, into pushing their way forward, seeking more money, and more power. What's more, the main divide isn't between the young and old; it isn't a generational divide. It's between each level of society, between those struggling for more and those who have it and are trying to keep it!

The One Percent Turns Class War Into Generational War
By Dean Baker
Huffington Post - Business
Nov 7, 2011

U.S. Wealth Gap Between Young, Old Is Widest Ever
By Hope Yen
Huffington Post - Business
Nov 7, 2011

No comments: