OK. So we’ve all heard about how our generation is gonna make the social security system go bust. Forget about the fact that we’ve been getting our pockets picked since we saw our first pathetic paychecks from that crummy teenage job all those years ago. When we stared at it in adolescent dismay and squeaked out something like … “Ah, gee – Mr. Smith, what’s all this stuff that got taken out of my pay?”
It was then that we were explained to in paternal tones, that after Big Brother (the Government – City, Sate and Federal) got through picking our pockets, they came back for one more round with a little doozy called; Social Security. An interesting little shell game that we’ve all come to find out is neither very social nor secure.
I know we’ve all heard this before, but the not so subtle message - that we better put our hands back in our pockets if we expect to collect what SS is due to us, has been becoming a lot more ominous as of late.
Have you noticed for instance that the retirement age for us – The Baby Boomers – keeps moving forward; 62, 63 64, 65 – 67…! It’s kinda’ like that mechanical rabbit at the Dog Track. You know the one that they use to keep the dogs running at top speed. And the poor old mutts never seem to catch on that the faster they go, the faster the rabbit runs to keep just tantalizingly ahead of them. Just like SS, where as we approach the current retirement age, it moves tantalizingly ahead – just barely out of our reach. Just like the dogs and the rabbit.
Now the message has begun to alter slightly. “Hey Boomers – forget about that measly little SS check. Just stay on and work at those lucrative big-time, high-stress jobs that you’ve been over achieving in since you were in your twenties. Yes sir and yes ma’am – that’ll work out just find for your friendly helpful government, ‘cause if you do it will mean that…”
a.) You won’t ask for the Social Security (that we don’t have to pay you) and;
b.) You’ll keep making ‘big bucks’ that will enable you to by cars, boats and second homes for retirement (that you’ll never get to actual retire in but it will make the housing and condo markets happy) and you’ll be able to keep the economy humming along as well as;
c.) You’ll be able to continue to pay lots and lots and lots more City, State and Local taxes. And best of all;
d.) You’ll continue to pay into Social Security instead of collecting from it! (which will make your friends in the government much happier at not having to break the bad news to you that they’re spending it faster than you make it.!)
Well whew! Now that you put it that way, that sounds a lot better to me. You know, pay in instead of collect. Yes indeed, a whole lot fairer.
Plus if we take the governments obviously well meant advice, then we get to keep working at the ‘fun’ jobs we’ve been plugging away at for the 20, 30 or 40 years! Cool.
Just a couple of quick questions for the friendly, ‘man from the government who’s here to help’. You have cleared all of this with our employers, right? I mean they’re all on board with us sticking around the job until we’re into our nineties – right?
Perhaps we could be issued with government subsidized Depends and Metamucil to keep us at our desks longer.
On the other hand there is the lttle matter of those pesky younger generations who are already beginning to make unpleasant noises, saying things like, “Why don’t you guys retire and get the ‘bleep’ outta here so that we can move up to better jobs!”
And if that one doesn’t move you, then how about this. “Hey if you don’t retire, then we’re never gonna get those better jobs with the big bucks which also means that we’ll have to keep living in your basement which will mean that you’ll have to continue working to support us … Forever!”
Instead lets remember that we were the generation of ‘Protest’! The generation that The Who spoke for when they san, “We’re not gonna take it!”
So remember that the next time the friendly government man tells you what fun it will be to keep laboring away at the same old popsicle stand all through your ‘Golden Years.’
Tell him you want that crummy little check that you’ve been bustin’ a hump for all these years. And that you’re gonna take it and go bird watching, or fly fishing or back packing in the rain forest. And when you stuff the measly little thing into your pocket and amble off to ‘do your own thing’, just keep on whistling that cool old anthem of our generation … “we’re not gonna take it!”
Shadow of Innocence
Kunati - April 2007
Ric Wasley has spent almost forty years wandering through corporate board - rooms and honky-tonk bars. He now divides his time between writing mystery novels – Shadow of Innocence & Acid Test - McCarthy Family Mysteries – and observing the really ‘juicy parts’ of the human condition
New from Kunati Publishing: SHADOW OF INNOCENCE - The Newport Folk Festival provides a groovy backdrop for this fun and exciting mystery set in the music and drug soaked sixties. The Baby Boomers and everyone else are sure to enjoy this appealing mystery featuring a pair of musician partners in love and danger. Don't miss Shadow of Innocence From Kunati Publishing. Available now on; Amazon ,Barnes & Noble and at bookstores everywhere.