“Equality issues” – this is rich

Ageism accepted, national poll shows – perverse plague will worsen as boomers age”  That’s the gist of an article in the Ottawa Citizen of November 3, 2012.  The article  provides an overview  of a report, Revera Report on Aging.  The reference to “equality issues” comes from Dr. Jane Barrett, Secretary General of the International Federation on Aging, co-producers of the report.  She describes a “perverse and sinister” plague.  “While we’ve been combating race and gender, in terms of equality issues, the new player on the scene is ageism”.    That’s rich.

Boomers have been stacking the deck in their favor for sixty years and now they are the disadvantaged demographic? Give me a break.

The report results tell me that a lot of people aren’t happy with the mess that they have been left with and they’re not keeping their displeasure a secret.

  • Six-in-ten (63%) seniors 66 years of age and older say they have been treated unfairly or differently because of their age
  • One-in-three (35%) Canadians admit they have treated someone differently because of their age; this statistic goes as high as 43% for Gen X and 42% for Gen Y
  • Half (51%) of Canadians say ageism is the most tolerated social prejudice when compared to gender- or race-based discrimination
  • Eight-in-ten (79%) Canadians agree that seniors 75 and older are seen as less important and are more often ignored than younger generations in society
  • Seven-in-ten (71%) agree that Canadian society values younger generations more than older generate
  • One-in-five (21%) Canadians say older Canadians are a burden on society

Gee, boomers must be pretty sad about getting older, right.  Wrong.  They’re all set.  It’s the younger generation with not much to look forward to:

(from page 11 of the report)

After lamenting the sorry state of boomers, the report recommends three ways to reduce the “inequality”:

  1. Invest in technologies that can help older people live independently for longer
  2. Raise awareness about ageism so that it is as socially unacceptable as other ‘isms’, like sexism and racism
  3. Provide more government funding of healthcare solutions that address the specific needs of an aging population

I’ve got no problem with No. 2, but Nos. 1 and 3 are just another way of stacking the deck: directing limited resources of the general population to the solve the boomers’ “problems”.
Let the boomers look after themselves, please.

Boomers – Behaving Badly in Bulgaria

Quoted in The Week, Nov2/12,

Bulgaria: Why we don’t respect our elders: Today’s young people don’t want to take advice from the generation that endured communism.

posted on October 24, 2012, at 8:47 AM

Ruslan Jordanov

Bulgarians hate old people, said Ruslan Jordanov. I’m not kidding. In the latest Eurobarometer survey, 58 percent of us admitted to disliking the elderly, making them even more reviled than the Roma—quite a feat in Bulgaria. No wonder “nobody ever gets up to give them a seat on the tram.” Long ago, our society revered grandparents as fonts of wisdom. But today’s young people don’t want to take advice from the generation that endured communism. The old are “blamed for enabling the totalitarian system.” More to the point, they are “blamed for the shambles of post-communist reality known as the transition, in which their children and grandchildren struggle to live.” Their pensions are seen as “an onerous burden on the budget” to be paid to people who failed to generate wealth in their own time. That’s partly because there are fewer and fewer young people to pay taxes to fund these pensions—in the past decade, nearly 200,000 young people have moved abroad to chase after “material success and worldly comfort.” In a cohesive society, people would be glad to part with a small sum so that old people would not “be forced to dig through the garbage or fall into starvation.” Ours, though, is a “callous society.”