Time for an American Association of Elder Independents?
Posted by Mike O on August 16, 2009
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have long had a huge disconnect between their liberal, big-government ‘leadership’ (a lot of which is not even old enough to be members themselves) and their rank-and-file. Nothing has so enlarged that disconnect as the current ‘under-the table’ support the AARP leadership is giving the current healthcare proposals (which counts on it ‘savings’ by taking a half-trillion from medicare). I am proud to be a member of the small group (though wasn’t there personally) that generated the video that visualized it for the nation. (As you watch the video at the link, note the age of the leadership ‘defenders’; only one qualifies to actually be a member of the group).
This problem with this disconnect is that it is as wide as the video indicates and is long-term. AARP was built on an outdated model of retiring at 65 and counting on the federal ‘insurance policy’ to keep you afloat as you sit in your rocker for the next decade and kick off with little fuss (or expense). That model may have changed in advertising mindset to a more positive model, but the background structure changed to something far more negative; a greater and greater dependency on and advocacy for growing federal involement in the elder’s lives. Medicare was the beginning (and I am old enough to remember it); that program has done some good things, but it established an unsustainable model (as Reagan lectured on before it was passed) and- more seriously- a mindset of entitlement that has massively exceeded the intitial insurance concept.
Now many elders are realizing the fallacy behind this and also that the AARP is no longer their advocate, if they desire to retain as much independence from the government as possible.
Maybe it’s time for a new organization; one that recognizes those of us willing to continue to work (at least part-time, or in charitable efforts) in our retirement. one who organizes elders to help take care of themselves, to rely less on government and family. and to keep elders busy on productive activities, rather than ‘make-busy’ work. And an organization that works to protect elder from the government, rather than turn them over to the government.
So I propose the formation of the American Association of Elder Independents, a group to counter the direction of AARP. An organization to support:
- Elders wishing to continue to work and not be penalized for it
- Elders interested in forming cooperatives to to support each other and reduce dependency on institutions and family for day-to-day support and healthcare
- Elders wanting to continue to contribute to the world right to the end of their days.
Anybody with big resources willing to take a crack at forming this?