“Thank goodness we have a Democrat in the White House. Otherwise, America’s seniors would be facing a serious crisis,” Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today:
The Federal Reserve’s low interest rates are a boon to overextended banks and to the borrowers who owe them money. (As well as the world’s greatest debtor, the U.S. Treasury). But these benefits come at the expense of savers — both those who hope to see their savings grow enough that they can retire someday, and those who have already retired expecting to live on interest at rates far higher than those that prevail today. The low rates are, basically, a tax on savers for the benefit of borrowers and those who made bad loans.
There’s little hope the policy will change because the Federal Reserve says to expect this to last.
That’s not all. For senior citizens, it’s a double squeeze. While incomes for retirees are going down, costs are going up. Gasoline is now roughly double what it was when President Obama took office and, in many places, it’s back up in the neighborhood of $4 a gallon.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ground beef recently hit a national average of more than $3 a pound, the first time in history it’s reached that level. (When Obama was inaugurated, it was $2.35). Anyone who has spent time in a grocery store knows that this sort of thing is happening on every aisle — coupled with “shrinkage,” as manufacturers reduce the amount of product in a box while keeping the price the same, a way of hiding price increases from (they hope) inattentive consumers. And it’s going to get worse, according to the Department of Agriculture, when this summer’s drought hits food prices in a few months.
In fact, with this double squeeze, we have the makings of a major national crisis. There’s only one thing missing: the kind of news media attention you’d usually get with this many senior citizens suffering in an election year.
Actually, the MSM has most of those bases covered. High gas prices? Good news says NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Politico. High meat prices? Helps fight global warming, says “Scientific” American. Heck, the whole flatlined economy helps the environment, according to Democrats John Kerry and Claire McCaskill.
Think of retirement as a permanent case of what the L.A. Times called “funemployment” in 2009, and the joys of what Virginia Postrel dubbed the MSM’s serious case of “Depression Lust,” at the end of 2008. Because undoubtedly, that’s how the MSM justifies America’s moribund economy.
That is, if they think about its impact on the elderly at all.