A weighty observation
I feel sorry for families that are broke. I’ve been there, too. A recent TV program featured a nonprofit free food center. Such places fill a genuine need. Its clients seemed grateful but had plenty of complaints about the economy. What bothered me was the number who were seriously overweight. Those people needed free exercise!
The bad old days
In the bad old days, Americans didn’t have Social Security or Medicare. Today, the minimal-government advocates would get rid of them if they could.
The news media often describe the programs as “popular,” and for good reason. Social Security allows dignity and a better life for millions of older Americans. And Medicare, which currently clicks in at age 65, can be, and often is, an actual lifesaver. (In America, we don’t let people die just because they can’t afford medical care—do we?)
Helping citizens in their old age is expensive, of course. If rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the very rich would shore up the coffers, I think it’s certainly worth it. My old business partner used to say, “I don’t care about the taxes as long as I make the money.”
I say, “If you’re lucky, you’ll get old—and you’ll be very sorry if the bad old days come back.”
As the decades turn
• ON TURNING 70: You still chase women, but
• ON TURNING 80: That’s the time of life when even your birthday suit needs pressing.
• ON TURNING 90: You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.
• ON TURNING 100: You don’t feel old. In fact, you don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for your nap.
A cranky-looking man sat in the front row at a town meeting, heckling the mayor as he delivered a long speech. Finally the mayor could stand it no longer. He pointed to the heckler and said, “Will that gentleman please stand up and tell the audience what he has ever done for the good of the city?”
“Well, Mr. Mayor,” said the man in a firm voice, “I voted against you in the last election.”
Louisiana Highway Department employees stopped at a farm to talk with the owner. “We need to inspect your farm for a possible new road.”
“Okay,” said the farmer, “but don’t go out in that pasture over there.”
One of the guys flashed his identification card and said, “I have the authority of the state of Louisiana to go anywhere I want. See this card?”
It wasn’t much later when the farmer heard screams. He looked over and saw several Highway Department employees running for their lives. Right behind them was the farmer’s huge prize bull. The bull was gaining on the Highway guys at every step.
The old farmer shouted, “Show him your card, show him your card!