Opinion

Editor's Column: Baby boomers become a target

As a member of the baby boom generation I am deeply concerned about the effort in Congress to once again raise the retirement age.

This time the goal is age 68, after which baby boomers can unhang their shingles and live the easy life on rice and beans and Social Security, until kicking over at age 69.

The hidden message in this relentless raising of the retirement age is that Congress wants us dead, but is fearful because baby boomers vote. Otherwise, they’d solve the manpower crisis in Iraq by drafting us older people. Why waste the youth of America when those of us who will soon be a drain on society are so plentiful and available? The drawback is that we’d lose the war, being unable to see the enemy clearly or venture out into the hot sun because of our elevated blood pressure, but what the heck. That simply means the Iraqis would have to take their country back, ready or not, and America would have a lot fewer people approaching geezerhood to worry about financially.

This is not to say that baby boomers are looking forward to retirement. I dread the thought of not having a place to go and sit at a desk and drink coffee all day. What’s worrisome about raising the retirement age is that it makes the younger employees more restless, tacking yet another year onto the date they can take over. The fact is, due to our overwhelming numbers, baby boomers fill most of the country’s management positions. And to say the younger generation is getting restless is putting it mildly.

Prudent baby boomers such as myself realize that other people want our jobs, probably deserve them, and are growing impatient. Can we last another 10 or 12 years until retirement — maybe even longer if they keep raising the retirement age? Or will the young folks just get fed up one day and kill us all, then tack our skins as a trophy onto the bathroom wall.

I already have my suspicions and take certain precautions, and recommend that other baby boomers do the same. Just a minimal study of history shows that people will stop at nothing to unseat those in power — no more inspirational words have ever been penned than “the king is dead, long live the king.”

I personally never drink the first coffee from the pot, unless I make it myself, for fear that someone may have put some potion in it to either kill me or disable me for life. And I’m extra cautious at company pot-lucks. I can’t afford my own food taster, so I watch carefully as others dig into the casseroles. Is anyone gagging on the garbanzos, choking on the artichokes, asphyxiating from the chicken, keeling over from the Kool-Aid, or upchucking the chocolate cake? No? Then, and only then, is it OK to dig in.

Sometimes I suspect the employees would like me dead, but are afraid to do the deed themselves. That’s why my reporting staff keeps asking me:

“We need a wreck picture, why don’t you go have one?”

“Gee, nobody’s jumped off the bridge for months, why don’t you take a leap for the paper?”

“Roger Brooks is giving another presentation, would you like to get bored to death this time?”

It’s not easy being a baby boomer. We feel like everyone is out go get us. And judging by how Congress is acting, they are.

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