Do Not Go Quietly by George Cappannelli

Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Other Side of the Coin

On the other side of the coin, however, we face the challenges previously identified. And while these challenges impact the lives of everyone on this planet, the graying of our population — one person every seven seconds joins the 50-and-older crowd — is exacerbating them and presenting those of us who are GenXers, Boomers, and Elders with immediate threats.

Among these threats are those being advanced by people and groups that appear more committed to defending the frailty of an unbalanced economic model than in creating, articulating, and implementing truly effective strategies, policies, and methods that can better support the well-being and greater good of the majority. Their efforts include serious attempts to dismantle the social safety net by altering or eliminating Medicare and Medicaid and privatizing Social Security. And unfortunately for the majority of us, some of these attempts are gaining purchase in some quarters. If successful, the road ahead for older citizens around the world will be increasingly challenging indeed.

A number of us are also dealing with efforts to reduce our retirement and pension benefits, if not by those intent on advancing flawed theories of fiscal austerity then by organizations that seek to avoid responsibility for their past ineffectiveness by reorganizing under the protection of bankruptcy laws.

The cost of health insurance and of health care in the U.S. for individuals as well as those covered by group plans is going up dramatically. Workers’ rights to collective bargaining, which have substantially eroded over the last several decades, are now under frontal assault; and proposals to increase the retirement age are being seriously considered. Even with the recent changes to the healthcare laws, the cost of healthcare and drugs in America is spiraling out of control with no realistic or achievable solutions in sight. And this is only a partial list of the challenges we who are 50 and older face.

While some of the blame for these challenges can, at least in part, be assigned to special interest groups, lobbyists, and the politicians and legislators whose votes have been purchased by them, the reality is that each and every one of us must take full personal accountability for these conditions.

During our time at the helm, although some of us have done our best to explore alternatives and others have tried mightily to bring greater light to the shadows, many of us have witnessed, contributed to, or allowed some of these less-than-laudable conditions and practices to come into being. For example, on our watch, many of the greatest advances in science and technology have also cast long shadows that threaten some of our most cherished values, raise more than just the specter of the loss of personal privacy and human rights, and create levels of toxicity that are turning many of our homes and our places of work into places of danger.

Along with their substantial benefits and breakthroughs our medical advances have increased our dependence on artificial drugs, further distanced us from our capacity to self-heal, and ushered in a time when we are often asked to choose between a plethora of detrimental side effects (some of which include death) and the illnesses these drugs have been created to address. In short, we are asked to choose a cure that is sometimes as bad or worse than the disease.

The technology we celebrate — while making our lives easier and dramatically increasing our ability to connect with each other — has also turned many of us into media voyeurs who too often experience life vicariously rather than directly and who, as a result, appear to be losing our ability to think for ourselves.

Although we have witnessed the growth of collaborative world bodies like the UN, we continue to allow our own and other governments to practice war as the habitual though futile response to dealing with our differences. And under the guise of nationalism we continue to allow a number of our elected officials and religious leaders to fuel the fires of bigotry and hatred both at home and abroad, fires that serve as the breeding ground for ignorance, violence, and terrorism.

And while progress is being made in support of some environmental initiatives, our efforts to reduce the impact of climate change are timid, at best, and almost always limited by the gospel of short-term economic need rather than guided by a genuine commitment to protect our habitat now and for future generations.

Finally, on our watch we have abdicated too much of the primary control of our society to others, especially to a new breed of philosophically biased legislators and judges, to a privately owned and biased media, and to a strange new entity called “the corporatocracy.” With this abdication a subset of political and financial operatives now manipulate the public trust in the pursuit of self-serving religious and financial agendas. This abdication has, in turn, contributed to a number of practices that threaten the foundations on which this great experiment in democracy called America was founded.

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Genre – Non-Fiction / Motivational

Rating – PG

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Website http://donotgoquietlythebook.com/


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