senior citizen

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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Senior-Citizen Fear, the Center Cannot Hold

Panic Dreams

I have these recurring variations of the same dream. I am running down a school corridor, desperately trying to find my next class or I am in front of a class that is paying no attention to me. In yet another panic-dream, I am a substitute teacher in a Chemistry class (I was an English teacher).

And then there’s the dream where I constantly punch in the wrong phone number of someone I am frantically trying to call or I am darting through mazes of streets trying to find a relative’s apartment. Continue reading

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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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