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.