Guns and Retirement

Certain issues seemingly capture our attention on a random basis and then slip away from the public view as quickly as they arrived. The obscene lack of control on gun and ammunition purchases in this country is one of those. In the wake of the Aurora shooting, there’s been a flash of attention, but it will surely disappear soon. How someone could legally purchase a military weapon with a high capacity drum capable of shooting 60 rounds a minute AND acquire 6000 rounds of ammo on the internet is beyond my comprehension. Yet, we are not likely to see a more rational approach to this issue any time soon. The other issue that has suddenly hit the news is the looming retirement crisis in America. There is nothing new about this news. We’ve known that the Social Security system is broken for a very long time, yet neither party has been brave enough to take this issue on. And we have also known that poverty among the elderly is a disaster of national proportion and getting worse. Half of all Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement and more than a quarter have less than $1000. Given how many people in this country are living in or near poverty, there’s nothing surprising there. Even those that participate in a 401(K) at work are in deep trouble. The average employer match in the states is three percent and I suspect going down. That compares to 9% in Australia, for example, and even 6.5% in Mexico, our southern neighbor to which we export millions of guns each year.

The future feels awful bleak today. Maybe I just woke up cranky.

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2 Responses to Guns and Retirement

  1. Probably cranky because you miss me …. ( : But as you know, I’m even more impassioned on this issue than you are (maybe) and I appreciate your take on both these issues that reveal more than anything how political expediency and fear have driven underground the important issues we really need to have.

  2. Bill Aitken '64 says:

    We need more cranky!! And let’s not forget about the children who live in poverty–and everyone else who does so. How can the wealthyest nation in the world tolerate thoings like poverty and lack of healthcare (morally, ethically, no matter what the political ‘reason’)? But we got to keep lower taxes on the wealthy. Trickle-down never did work, and still doesn’t. So go ahead, get cranky!

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