Saturday, June 8, 2019

Apology

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't, yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.


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Dana -- A Gentlereader
Iggy -- A Sticky (GT*)
Marie-Louise -- My Muse (GT*)

"To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense." -Ambrose Bierce


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

I apologize on behalf of my entire generation, the Baby Boomers, to our future fellow Americans. Although not officially authorized to speak on behalf of my entire generation, I'm going to do it anyway.

After all, in an era in which even so-called traditional, mainstream news outlets (an increasingly murky concept I admit) feel free to publish/broadcast unverifiable content -- based on an occasionally reliable source identified as not authorized to speak because _______, and that likely as not proves to be incorrect -- why not?


I'm sorry, we spent all the money. Not only that, we're now living off of your credit card.

I'm not talking about the money or assets that some of us may intend to leave behind for some of you. But fair warning, you can't count on that.

Medical science is keeping people alive, on average, far longer than ever before. A given Boomer may use up all their money to slake their Starbucks addiction and to keep eating organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free, etcetery, this, that, and the other thing by the time they're recycled.

Or,

The ever-spiraling cost of health care might claim it all and then some.

And,

Medicare and Social Security, which many of us desperately need and aren't about to give up, are Ponzi schemes in trouble. This is partially the fault of the Millenials and whatever they're calling the ones after that (this week). They aren't making enough babies to keep the hustle going.

And,

In my experience, people my age (and even older) are prone to maintaining just enough life insurance to cover our "final expenses" and maybe a little more to cover the cost of a wake.

See,

Even term insurance gets breathtakingly expensive if you hang around long enough.

And,

There's no shortage of firms willing to buy a given geezer's whole life policy who are running no shortage of commercials to get the word out.

Cash out now and see Tahiti before you wake up dead! Or imagine being able to afford all your medical needs! No more taking your scripts every other day! 

But like I said, that's not what I'm talking about; that's not what I want to apologize for.


The crushing and ever-expanding national debt and a plethora of unfulfillable financial promises, that's what I want to apologize for.

Granted, it's hardly all our fault. Let's look at unfulfillable financial promise number one, Social Security. Social Security is an 83-year-old program that's been around since before the first Boomer (1946) was born. Social Security is a welfare program. Always has been. I'm not complaining or about to give up my distressingly humble little piece of the pie. Without it, I'd be living in a tent.

[All right, let me be honest, without it and its first cousin, Medicare, I might not be living at all, but one example will serve my purposes here.]

However, when it was set up, living long enough to collect it was much more chancy than it is now. The Gummit set up a Bernie Madoff sort of system. Why invest the money in something real and when there would always be plenty of new taxpayers to fund the needs of the retired?

Till there aren't.

In the meantime, The Gummit was provided with a steady stream of money that they used/use for all sorts of things besides mailing out checks. But it wrote itself IOUs and promised to pay itself back, with interest! to itself -- to be paid by, itself (you).

And now...

The Gummit says there's a problem. The Social Security trust fund, which consists of IOUs, is running out of money. In reality, what this means is that there are not enough new marks taxpayers in the pipeline to pay for the old marks taxpayers.


My clearly stated mission is to provide enlightened infotainment via the wit and wisdom of a garrulous geezer. The use of the word wit, to me at least (some of you may find this puzzling), is indicative of a commitment on my part to make you smile.

Therefore, I hesitate to link to the best article I've ever read about not only what's up with Social Security but also the plethora of unfulfillable promises mentioned above. It's not particularly amusing.

But my generation has been in charge for a while now, and my generation has known about this problem, for a while now, and so far hasn't done a damn thing.

Hopefully, it will all work out somehow. If it doesn't, I hope I don't live long enough to say I told you so (and ask if there's room for me under that overpass you call home).

When I'm king, I'll phase in a system like the on Singapore uses. They came up with an affordable, well run, social security system wherein their citizens, not bureauons, decide how their money is spent that provides real social security, for everyone, cradle to grave.

Their healthcare system makes ours look sick. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day. 
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©2019 Mark Mehlmauer As long as you agree to supply my name and URL (Creative Commons license at the top and bottom of my website) you may republish this anywhere that you please. Light editing that doesn't alter the content is acceptable. You don't have to include any of the folderol before the greeting or after the closing except for the title. 

 







     



 

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