There’s a bit of an uproar in Paris these days. What with the flying rumors of threats from Al Qaeda in Yemen. And then there’s that second-volcano-in-Iceland that was supposed to happen following past models, spewing ash hither and yon for weeks.
But what poked through my hectic, multi-layered life these days is the protests against raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. The shallow thinker might say, hey, what are they whining about? We’re going from 65 to 67 to…
It took the students to get me to thinking.
The more countries raise retirement age, the more they strangle the job prospects of students entering the work force.
Because big corporations have already outsourced a ginormous share of the job market. And the struggling economy and reduced buying power of middle class incomes have forced some seniors to work long beyond retirement age to pay their rising costs that don’t show up in the COLA stats, while workers are downsized, laid off, early-retired, half-timed, part-timed, two-timed out of their previous standard of living.
And banksters on Wall Street have cynically, criminally, corruptly enriched themselves at the private trough while calling themselves masters of the universe.
So the current generation of American students and recent grads are already facing the fate the French students protest.
Unless we make election day our firewall — because as frustrating as the pace of change is for some of us, the alternative is more of the de-peopleing of democracy, the Constitution, and this country.
But rather than take to the streets, I hope America’s students and all the rest of us* will take to the ballot box. I’m counting on you. And so are my grandkids comin’ up behind…
* Yes, I have voted already.
Crossposted at Prairie Sun Rising.
["Travailler plus pour travailler plus… Des pensées en moins." Translation: "Working more for working more… Less dreams and intelligence." (photo: zo² via Flickr)]