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AARP: I Know What You’re Doing

Today, Fred Griesbach, AARP Campaigns sent me one of those unsolicited e-mails telling me all about AARP’s wonderful work in defending Social Security and Medicare, and then asking me for a donation, so they could continue working their magic. Here’s my reply.

Dear Fred,

I know about AARP’s willingness to compromise on Medicare and Social Security for the sake of deficit reduction, and I’m Mad As Hell About it!

Trying to manage fiscal policy by using projected surpluses or deficits as targets is a stupid and harmful distraction from what needs to be done for full economic recovery. It’s a fool’s game which AARP and all the other “veal pen” organizations are playing. Responsible fiscal policy uses Federal spending to produce full employment, price stability, and other important public purposes. It is not policy that is targeted at producing particular deficit, surpluses, debt-to-GDP ratios levels as goals in themselves. Those numbers are best determined by the operations of the economy; and not by futile efforts of the Government to cut social programs or the safety net.

As long as AARP supports a deficit reduction focus in the area of fiscal policy, and retains Bill Novelli, their resident deficit hawk, as CEO, I won’t donate a dollar to its efforts. I will also do whatever I can to see to it that other organizations representing Seniors replace AARP as the leading voice for older people.

As far as I’m concerned AARP can stick a fork in it; ’cause it’s done!

Warm Regards,

Joe Firestone

(Cross-posted at All Life Is Problem Solving and Fiscal Sustainability).

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Joseph M. Firestone, Ph.D. is Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director and co-Instructor of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program, as well as Director of KMCI’s synchronous, real-time Distance Learning Program. He is also CKO of Executive Information Systems, Inc. a Knowledge and Information Management Consultancy.

Joe is author or co-author of more than 150 articles, white papers, and reports, as well as the following book-length publications: Knowledge Management and Risk Management; A Business Fable, UK: Ark Group, 2008, Risk Intelligence Metrics: An Adaptive Metrics Center Industry Report, Wilmington, DE: KMCI Online Press, 2006, “Has Knowledge management been Done,” Special Issue of The Learning Organization: An International Journal, 12, no. 2, April, 2005, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management, Burlington, MA: KMCI Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003; Key Issues in The New Knowledge Management, Burlington, MA: KMCI Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003, and Excerpt # 1 from The Open Enterprise, Wilmington, DE: KMCI Online Press, 2003.

Joe is also developer of the web sites,,, and the blog “All Life is Problem Solving” at, and He has taught Political Science at the Graduate and Undergraduate Levels, and has a BA from Cornell University in Government, and MA and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Politics and International Relations from Michigan State University.