"Don't Blame it on the Elders"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012

Stop the world. Many of us want to get off.

As we listened to daily debates on the political stages we wondered: are we being blamed for today’s financial woes? When I say we, I’m referring to those of us that built the Medicare program financially. Those of us who paid into Social Security for years as politicians were not paying in.

Some of us were busy as youngsters selling U.S. Savings Bonds and stamps before we ever started school. Most of us have raised families, served our country and communities. Some took over family farms or businesses. Some had to move from rural communities into cities and work in factories or take whatever jobs were available.

As I see it, we paid our taxes, took care of our kids, helped with their schoolwork (before computers did all of it for them), took family vacations. We are now supposed to be enjoying our grandkids.

Today’s problems are problems we can’t help with because they are problems we never expected would exist. We never expected to turn on the TV news and see a crime scene where a shooting had taken place or where gangs were having wars and drive-by killings. We would not have had any idea what a gang was: in our day, a gang of kids were a youth group at church or a dance club or group headed to a movie.

In the summer, a gang of teenagers would get together and fill a car or two and head for the beach. (We didn’t all have cars but a few did or could borrow their parent’s ride.)

Today the police are dealing with road rage all the time and being called to crippling or killing accidents as a result. In the past, young drivers gave law enforcement a fit by causing them to police back roads where drag races were being held.

You might have heard one driver say to another, “Want to go for pinks?” That was our type of road rage I guess.

Today the word “pink” would likely refer to the color of a pill being sold on the street.

Bullying was around in the old days but not like it is today on “social media.” In the old days, bullies might take your lunch money a few times but someone would hear about it and help put a stop to it.

Drugs in the old days were aspirin and now and then a diet pill that would keep you awake all night — it was called a “Benny.” Few people were addicted to any type of drugs. Drinking, especially beer was common but being drunk was not. It was considered foolish by everyone and ridiculed plus parents would not stand for it.

Smoking was also popular and most young people tried it but parents did not approve of it. They told us it would stunt our growth. They also said it would diminish brain development. Many boys and a few girls paid no attention — it was thought of as “cool.”

Today, young smokers are still not paying attention to admonishments not to smoke. They ignore all the scientific data that proves it causes cancer. Perhaps one of them will finally find the cure.

When I said “many of us” would like the world to stop so we could get off — where would we go? Could it be any worse? More killings, spousal abuse, drive-by’s, drugs, gangs and other horrific happenings — I think not. Please, don’t charge off all of today’s problems on those of us who paid our way in the past. And please, politicians, don’t cut our services. We already paid for them.

How about enforcing a law in many states against driving or texting while behind the wheel — collect some hefty fines and use them to pay for some of the high costs of today’s “happenings.”

Well, we all had our say and the election is finally over. We can answer our phones and watch TV without incessant political ads. After billions were spent trying to buy favors, it appears little will change. We can only hope and perhaps insist our elected officials learn how to work together, for our benefit.




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