The new issue of WORLD, with Ben Bernanke on the cover, notes that the federal government’s sequestered budget is still larger this year than last. If current trends continue, federal spending will grow by two-thirds over the next decade, even with the S-word uttered, because the sequester doesn’t touch the biggest driver of spending, entitlements.
One group can make a huge difference: The baby-boom children of the greatest generation. Most members of that cohort are likely to have good health and the opportunity to be productive into their 70s and 80s. If more people understand and act on the truth that work is a blessing despite the post-fall thorns and thistles, not a “necessary evil” or merely a way to make money, the cultural case for entitlement reform will grow stronger.
One problem now is that older people are leaving the workplace at just the time they could be mentoring the younger generation. Another is that any attempt to raise the normal retirement age seems to some an attack on seniors. But what if the debate changes from “raising the typical retirement age will alienate the elderly” to “not raising the age infantilizes and disrespects them”?
Such a change in thinking could parallel the 1990s change in thinking concerning welfare. Welfare reform became not a way to punish the poor but a way to help them be seen as capable people made in God’s image, givers rather than takers. The debate changed when most Americans, and many among the poor themselves, saw federal doles as enslaving devices on a modern plantation.
Today, putting out to pasture old people is similar: Yes, take into account the physical and mental decline of some, but let’s spotlight the ability of many others to continue to be productive. Let’s start on WORLDmag.com.
Our stories on “marriage longevity” celebrate and encourage life-long fidelity, thereby combatting the notion that serial adultery is more satisfying. Long marriages say in concrete terms that modern/post-modern notions of polyandry and same-sex “marriage” are pale counterfeits of the real thing. By bearing witness to long marriages we help people understand that having the “real thing” is indeed possible.
We’re looking to start a series on workplace longevity. If you know of people in their 70s and 80s who are still working and would like to be profiled, please send a note with contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.