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Retirees and AARP
Old 10-19-2009, 10:43 AM   #1
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Retirees and AARP

Good article. I am an "elder" also that does NOT want AARP as an advocate.

Comparing Paychecks: Workers and Retirees - Registered Investment Advisor
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:56 AM   #2
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I agree with you Wiiliam. AARP wants to pay themselves like Wall Street Bankers and simply do a bunch of affinity mktg to what they think of as a captive consumer audience. They do not and will not represent me for a measly fluff magazine and lobbyists which support the AARP Agenda instead of the elderly population. They have their collective heads stuck where the sun can't shine!
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:01 AM   #3
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The thing is -- to some degree AARP *does* advance what they think is the "senior agenda," but they forget that some seniors are more concerned with not ruining the financial future of their kids and grandkids than they are with getting a few more debt-fueled goodies that they don't *need*.

I look forward to telling them to stick it when I turn 50, personally.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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We stopped our AARP membership. They seem to be very concerned with politics, and I guess they assume all seniors are of the same opinion and party affiliation.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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The thing is -- to some degree AARP *does* advance what they think is the "senior agenda," but they forget that some seniors are more concerned with not ruining the financial future of their kids and grandkids than they are with getting a few more debt-fueled goodies that they don't *need*.
One of the biggest problems we have today is the prevalence of focused agenda political groups which myopically support something without a concern for larger perspective. There are as many "senior agendas" as there are seniors.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:49 AM   #6
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I have mixed feelings. I don't feel bad about collecting SS and expect every penny that I was promised. I was forced to pay into a system that is basically setup because most people are irresponsible and don't save enough for their future years. When you start SS you become part of the government payroll and for the first time for many, get a cola that has been enjoyed by many government employee's.

Workers have a choice of where they work. They don't all have to work at McDonald's.

I think AARP has too much influence over senior issues and does not always have their best interests in mind. Seniors are no different than any other special interest group. They vote and there's lots of them.

I'm not going going to feel guilty for collecting something I paid for even if the return is miserable.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #7
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The only effective US politics is single issue politics.

The best strategy is to figure out what group you belong in, and support it. The gun lobby figured that out, the gay/lesbian/ transgender group figured it out, the women's movement and NOW figured it out, and the religious right figured it out. Do you want to be in the the only group that doesn't understand?

It's a mistake to confuse poitics with philosophy or emotionally driven identity; it is just the organized application of influence.

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Old 10-19-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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Well put Ha. But instead of group, it should be groups.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:15 PM   #9
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One of the biggest problems we have today is the prevalence of focused agenda political groups which myopically support something without a concern for larger perspective. There are as many "senior agendas" as there are seniors.
Well said, and I agree with the article, we have to balance the needs of everyone. I have been telling the AARP to stick it for 5 years, and expect to continue for another 30 years or so. I have told them repeatedly to take me off their mailing lists, they always agree to do so, but they never do...
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #10
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One of the biggest problems we have today is the prevalence of focused agenda political groups which myopically support something without a concern for larger perspective. There are as many "senior agendas" as there are seniors.
True -- but to AARP there is basically one senior agenda -- I don't care how much you have to raise taxes on working stiffs or bury our grandkids in more debt -- keep the goodies coming and make everyone else sacrifice.

Fortunately, to me it feels like a growing number of seniors are saying "enough is enough" about taking more and more of the future prosperity of their descendants for their own desires today.

There are a lot of problems with debt and unsustainable entitlements, and we really need a broadly shared sacrifice. As soon as you have a few groups lobbying to be exempt from sacrifice, special interest politics get in the way.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
The only effective US politics is single issue politics.

The best strategy is to figure out what group you belong in, and support it. The gun lobby figured that out, the gay/lesbian/ transgender group figured it out, the women's movement and NOW figured it out, and the religious right figured it out. Do you want to be in the the only group that doesn't understand?

It's a mistake to confuse poitics with philosophy or emotionally driven identity; it is just the organized application of influence.

Ha
Excellent insight Ha.

I have lots of disagreements with AARP philosophies and initiatives. OTOH, as long as other special interest groups are busy driving political agendas, I'd hate to see a total lack of a spokesgroup for seniors. It's the aggregated outcome of all these political groups, the actual outcome of their combined influence, that counts.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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True -- but to AARP there is basically one senior agenda -- I don't care how much you have to raise taxes on working stiffs or bury our grandkids in more debt -- keep the goodies coming and make everyone else sacrifice.

.
Do you have some backup for that?

Zig, pretty much every political action group, be it Acorn, any union, environmental groups, consumer advocate groups, ethnic groups, immigrant groups, gender groups, religious groups, professional associations and on and on, want to achieve benefits and advantages for their group which will invariably come at the expense of others. The real question is which group will throw in the towel first, say that their constituents will give for the benefit of others and assume others will reciprocate?

Which senior benefits are you advocating be cut back? Which "goodies," as you put it, need to be tossed out? Less SS through means testing, eliminating COLA's or raising the qualifying age? Higher Medicare premiums? Elimination of tax benefits directed at seniors? Elimination of govt insurance for private pensions? Elimination of age discrimination laws?
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #13
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Do you have some backup for that?
The first part of it is not stated, of course, but is a natural and unavoidable consequence of the last part.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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The first part of it is not stated, of course, but is a natural and unavoidable consequence of the last part.
Actually, isn't the middle part, being tangental to the beginning of the escalating lower section hovering at the center of the force field responsible?
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #15
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Which senior benefits are you advocating be cut back? Which "goodies," as you put it, need to be tossed out? Less SS through means testing, eliminating COLA's or raising the qualifying age? Higher Medicare premiums? Elimination of tax benefits directed at seniors? Elimination of govt insurance for private pensions? Elimination of age discrimination laws?
First things first, the proposed $250 vote-buying scheme needs to be scrapped. I and many others didn't get a raise this year -- many w*rking stiffs actually got a pay CUT -- and our share of health insurance premiums are rising even more than Medicare's. No one ever talks about giving us anything, because no one kisses our butts as a voting bloc.

Beyond that, I don't advocate any *specific* area to cut -- but overall the sacrifice in terms of cutting benefits, cutting services and raising taxes should be shared by all to the extent reasonably possible.

In reality, a lot of that is windowdressing to try to sell a bunch of overpriced financial products. Why do you think their dues are so cheap? It lets them claim to represent a LOT more people in political lobbying, and besides, they make their money on those overpriced financial products sold to people who have too much trust in the AARP name. Make people think they're on "your side" in Washington, and they'll trust you enough to buy dimes for a dollar.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:29 PM   #16
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AARP does a wonderful job in marketing itself. They have little regard for their "members." I wonder what kind of coin those AARP execs are pulling down?
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:35 PM   #17
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AARP does a wonderful job in marketing itself. They have little regard for their "members." I wonder what kind of coin those AARP execs are pulling down?

William D. Novelli, Secretary/CEO AARP Foundation & AARP, respectively

$902,171


Salary paid by AARP.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:40 PM   #18
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First things first, the proposed $250 vote-buying scheme needs to be scrapped.
OK. But isn't that more of a move by a political party than AARP? Sure they're for it. Given their agenda, why wouldn't they be? AARP being against the $250 handout would be like a teacher's union being against Congress providing more money for education.
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Beyond that, I don't advocate any *specific* area to cut -- but overall the sacrifice in terms of cutting benefits, cutting services and raising taxes should be shared by all to the extent reasonably possible.
So is your position one of being against all special interest groups as opposed to just AARP?

Again, I'm not a huge supporter of AARP, but I do belong. I'd hate to see a total void in the senior spokesgroup arena. I also belong to Consumer Union despite being disappointed with them recently. I'd hate to see us have only the govt as a consumer advocate. And I'm in favor of the union DW belongs to, although I think some of their demands are over the top and definitely not in the "sharing the pain" mode.

I'd be all for the total elimination of special interest groups. But, short of that, it seems like a large number of special interest groups competiting with one another is the next best thing.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:35 PM   #19
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The AARP newsletter gave me a clear explanation of the healthcare debate without the spin and distortions that are out there. That plus the 10% discount I get from hotels gets me to keep my dues current.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:54 PM   #20
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Yes, the discounts on hotels and car rentals pay for the membership and we like that! But the organization doesn't speak for us.
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