retirement

Consumerism in America

To Consume or Not To Consume

Politicians and economists love talking about how the “consumer”  is the main engine of the American economy.

Keep in mind that if they are Congressional politicians, they are probably making around $170,000 a year.

If they’re an economist being quoted by a newspaper, there’s a strong possibility they are a tenured professor at a university; on a speaker circuit; doing consultant work for the government; and on their fourth or fifth unreadable book.

On the other side of the coin (no pun intended), the religion I was brought up in taught me that materialism is not conducive to a spiritual life, that the “poor” will indeed “inherit the earth.”

So, my friends, the dilemma: Should I shop for things I really don’t need, or should I live on the fringes of society and only buy what I need to survive?

Or, since I can’t afford what the 1% affords, should I go for what I call “fashion lite”—a used BMW with over 150,000 miles; a winter Florida trailer five miles from the ocean; name brands at Marshall’s or TJMax. Continue reading

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Retirement

Bartering for more time,
Slow, disgruntled goat
Among the sprinters.

A weeping clock,
Refusing,
In your own time,
To be the last
Creeping wrinkle
Of defeat.

In the scorched land
Of stained notes,
Ragged files,
Bruised finger-tips,
Your aching bones
Limp into
The coffee room,
Listening to your
Taut Monologues of
Sweet revenge
Against the
Arctic wind
Of old age.

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Is it Ageism or are Pensioners Really Smug Escapists

In economic hard times and an ever changing economy, older Americans are becoming increasingly paranoid about being let go or bought out by their employers—for the sake of raising the bar, let’s just call it the Willy Loman syndrome

Older full-time employees are often a high needs group in spite of the experience they bring to a workplace. Our salaries are often at the prime-rib level, our equity loans more numerous to pay for children’s colleges, our medical needs more extensive and expensive than they were when we were in our twenties.

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