Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is This Blog Really a Threat to the Economy?

I'm right on the cusp of being a baby boomer, born two years too early, but I was none-the-less a war baby. Having been in advertising for 37 years, I've not only been aware of market trends but was a part of the industry helping to set and define them.

For several years, our impending retirement has been feared because apparently our sheer numbers would threaten to cripple Social Security and Medicare. I find this somewhat humorous as our numbers were established at the time of our birth, six-plus decades ago, but apparently come as a recent surprise. The gloom and doom predictions seemed to focus on our leaving the work force en masse' and resting on our laurels to take from society, for the remainder of our days, without making any contributions to it.

Governmental solutions include raising the retirement age to keep us employed longer, yet with unemployment numbers as high as they are, one would think that kicking us out of the job market as soon as possible might make sense. Oh, excuse me, I think I've made a major blunder as "governmentsl solutions" and "make sense" are rarely appropriate in the same sentence. I know that's sarcastic and ugly but that's my take on the situation as I see it this morning because...I have come across an article "Another threat to economy - Boomers cutting back?".

Give me a break! What is a Boomer to do? When we were first aware that Social Security might be in trouble down the road, we invested in our own retirement. How'd that work out for us? Our investments are down 40%. When we decide to continue earning a living...we are taking bread out of the mouths of young families who need our jobs. So we cut back, pare down, make do with less and now we are a threat to the economy because we are spending too little. Where is Jack Kevorkian when you need him? Sometimes I think the government would just like to shoot us. It's almost enough to make a person get depressed. Nah! Not really.

We may be old and starting to wrinkle. We may walk instead of run and parts of us that once were proud and perky may be headed south but there's still a lot of spunk left is us boomers. And even when the spunk starts to fade, we'll have a great deal of history to share and know-how to pass along. For the most part, we're an optimistic crowd. We've known bad times and good times have developed a sense of balance and more importantly, we've learned that satisfaction is internal and has little to do with McMansions and fancy cars.

So, I don't think my blog is going to destroy the country. I believe we can pare down and cut back and enjoy life just as much with a little more in the savings account as we did when we gave no thought to spending. And now, I'm off to make Watermelon Rind Preserves and Blueberry Jam...and I'm thrilled that I know how and it will cost me no more than the sugar that goes into it.

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