Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NO! Oldsters are not gluttonous, uncaring TYCOONS!

I detected the hands of the Overclass PR Meisters in the new spin stories about the "rich elderly" as soon as they emerged, e.g. one of them here:


and others emanating out of AP, etc.

As I read through them I realized what a brilliant masterstroke of propaganda this memetic assault represented. In one blow, the Elites had taken the spotlight and ire of the young (e.g. as embodied in the Occupy Wall Street movement) off of themselves, and shifted it to the elderly - depicting THEM as the rich tycoons! This tactic known in information warfare as "deflecting the target", almost always works because so many are lacking in knowledge backgrounds and history of the country, as well as unfamiliarity with basic statistics. (For example, understanding how just a few elderly billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and Warren Buffet can skew all the results toward a higher median and mean than would be found without them.)

Do that, play at the statistics and jury-rig the figures and Voila! Those nasty old aged folks are racking up median net worths 47 times higher than the average young person!

That is cause for WAR! Against the Old Farts! Or as one ignominous poster of a salon.com comment put it:

"Death will cure this accumulation of wealth by the Boomers. You just have to wait for it."

Charming, 'KatieCat'! So you think that's the answer to your own money and debt woes? Just "wait" while the older Boomers die out and your generation will collect? Think again, babe! It ain't gonna happen. The actual wealthiest - the ONE percent - who have average net worths four HUNDRED times that of the typical aged Boomer in the middle quintiles (40-60th income percentiles) will ensure that by tilting the laws and lobbyists in their favor, you and your cohort won't see a fuckin' dime!

But THIS is also what the Overclass manipulators want: a battle royal being fought between the younger generation and the elderly over limited resources, because the real rich fuckers have already grabbed most of the pie for their new yachts, hedge fund investments, ETFs, rose wine wraps, 18 holes in St. Kitts, and foie de gras!

Now, let's uncork some of the extreme bull shit located in these articles to show what kind of horse manure propaganda they enfold.

First, the median net worth of the elderly, cited as $170, 494 in both the salon.com article and another report written by Hope Yen of the Associated Press. At first glance this appears as a whopping high number, and unsightly for an older American to have given the nation's parlous economy! Damned close to luxurious level wealth, especially when we're given the other stat, that the median net worth of younger households is only $3,662. So hey! Those old farts are getting 47 times more! Unfair!

But not so fast there! According to the latest poverty figures issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of households living in poverty in the 18-64 year range is essentially the same as the percentage of households living in poverty in the 65+ age range (15.2 % and 15.9,%, respectively). In other words, via the choice of a different indicator (the poverty levels for the different demographics), one comes up with a radically different image: that significant segments of BOTH the under and over- 65s are in the shit house!

Illustrating that one has to be careful using statistical measures of central tendency. One also must be careful to appreciate and recognize that the unscrupulous Elites, with whom we are also waging an information-PR war, will use any statistics they can to turn the spotlight of ire away from them! They will also drop any press releases they can, circulating them, to see who will bite and promote their malarkey. Evidently many in both the mainstream and alternative media are happy to oblige. Maybe it's just fun to go after the elderly, who knows?

But again, the net worth figures given for different ages must be interpreted differently! For the older population, a higher net worth is needed because of the many health issues and infirmities that tend to befall them over a short time, as well as their costs. In addition, look at the effective cash value net worth which entails the total assets.

Recall net worth factors in the home as well, and we do know most over 65's own their homes- because they've owned them longer and hence had more of a chance to pay them off. (Which is a move also heartily recommended by financial planners). Let's say the home is nominally worth $100,000 then subtract to get the actual monetary net worth, which turns out to be $74,000 - if we adopt the "median" net worth used in these articles.

But this is nothing! Given current over-65s are already advised to have on hand $225,000 EACH to cover expenses and co-pays Medicare won't! That already eats up over three times the total cash net worth in real money terms of the average over-65'er .

And look, we aren't even factoring in the cost of nursing home care! While a young turk or lass of 25 usually has strong bones and can take a fall, it can be devastating for a 70-year old. One hip fracture from a fall on an icy walkway can mean death, and even less impact than that can require an extended nursing home stay which can easily run $7,000 a month. Even basic math operations will reveal that eats up most of the putative cash net worth in seven months!

The point I am making here is even if it were true that all or most over 65s had such a net worth it doesn't confer any astounding advantage in this country given the blows and insults that elderly flesh and bones are heir to! Thus, the 47x difference cited is largely based on a mirage, to wit, that the conditions and other circumstances of the young vis-a-vis the elderly are more or less the same and so can be judged by the same economic standards. They aren't and they can't!

The next bit of generational conflict baiting (from Yen's AP piece):

"Older Americans are staying in jobs longer, while young adults face the highest unemployment since World War II"

Again, this makes the older folks appear as "job hogs" - greedy old farts who just want to hang on for an ever larger pension or whatnot, while the young uns are left out in the cold. In other words, blame the elderly! But not so fast! Most of those elderly still trying to work had no choice after either: a) they were rudely downsized by a company paying decent wages at age 50 leaving them without enough saved for later medical expenses, insurance etc. or b) losing in their 401ks - maybe half or more of the value - and now having to make up the losses. And I'm not even noting here how many companies in the 90s altered pension plans for older workers to make sure they received lower payouts.

The unemployment of the young, the largest since WWII, meanwhile, is not the fault of the older generation but of greedy profiteering corporations that have sent well over 12 million jobs overseas since 1994 and show no sign of stopping! Don't pick on the American average elderly, focus on the traitorous fuckers who dispatched all the best jobs out to China, Mexico and Bangalore!

Lastly, another propaganda piece, in fact it's the ideal "set piece" within which to set the tableaux for the unelected, unconstitutional super-committee to try to justify cutting Social Security and Medicare. Yen's recycled propaganda reads:

"Social Security benefits account for 55% of the annual income for older age households, unchanged since 1984. These benefits, indexed for inflation, have been a consistent source of income even as safety net benefits for other groups - such as low income students- have failed to keep up with rising costs or begun to fray."

But see where this is going? Much the same direction that the private vs. public union worker has gone. Rather than the private workers demanding THEIR pay and benefits be increased, they have bought into the false consciousness that the public unions workers must see their pay and benefits cut! WHY? Why not instead raise the private workers to the public unions' standard! But see, this is where the corporate leeches....errr....lobbyists enter to derail any such efforts. But that doesn't mean they ought not be attempted.

In the same manner, why not pass laws to benefit the younger adult- rather than take from the elderly to bring them down to the bankrupt, impecunious level - especially when 40% of the elder population already has Social Security as their only income, and most of these must choose each month between food and meds, or between fuel-heating and meds!

There are all kinds of changes that, if pushed into law, would bring about the needed benefits. Some of these include a student loans plan such as proposed by Obama, with lower stable interest rates on college loans and also a time limit to pay them off, after which the debt is forgiven if students haven't had the earning power to do so. That move alone would rid the students, young adults of the equivalent of a small mortgage!

But why isn't it done? Because the House repukes and Tea Baggers have prevented it!

Another move to help would be for the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to expand the subsidized (Section 8) housing program for young people. But again, the R-tea Party brigade is in stern opposition to it. If this move could be accomplished, young college grads could live in rent subsidized apartments, as opposed to living with mom and dad or being saddled with a new home mortgage on top of a student loan.

So DO all of that, and watch their median net worth rise!

Students and the young adult demographic (21- 35) also need to be reminded that they need to get out and VOTE! Bystanding is not an option, and one reason the elderly have been able to prevent too enormous an attrition to their benefits is because they're the most consistent voting bloc in the country! Politicos rightly are afraid of their voting power, as well they should be, including any asinine super committee freaks that attempt to justify cuts to Social Security, including imposing a cheapskate COLA.

Next year, if students and young adults don't wish to find themselves in worse economic positions, they need to get their photo ID cards and whatever else they need NOW (since the repukes are using this "official voter" ID gambit to try to suppress the youth vote) and get to the polls. Preferably casting a vote for Obama.

Because sure as shit, neither Herman Cain, Rick Perry or Mitch Romney is gonna throw you a lifeline!

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