Stop the Granny Bashing: Despite What You May Think, Our Seniors Are in Trouble

Note:  This story is about two women in a long term relationship, who do not enjoy the security of marriage not the extra income they would have if one of them had been male.

I am an old lesbian with an even older partner and this is why marriage equality and issues involving Social Security/Medicare have a far higher priority on my agenda than does a transgender inclusive ENDA.

From Alternet:

We must fight the deficit hysterics’ relentless granny-bashing. Most people don’t grasp that this group has already been hit hard by budget cuts and the recession.

By Joshua Holland
May 30, 2011

“We lived very well,” said Norma Hair, 71, over a shaky table at the small pizzeria she runs in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with 68-year-old Carol Schmidt, her wife and partner of over 30 years. “In 1979, Carol was making $33,000 per year, which was a lot of money back then. Then I rose to the position of supervisor of accounting in a company. So, our combined income [in the early-1980s] was probably about $60,000.”

The two women are sharp, with bright, youthful eyes and a slightly wicked sense of humor. But their bodies betray their years. “The reason we have nothing,” says Hair, “is because we spent everything we could on medical to keep Carol alive when we were in the United States.” Both women suffer from chronic heart problems in addition to other ailments.

“Hospitals have to treat you for life-threatening illnesses,“ explains Hair. “[Carol] got two lifesaving surgeries for nothing. But it was getting harder and harder, so I decided that it was easier if we traveled to different cities.”

So they did. They sold their home, bought an RV and toured the nation’s emergency rooms. “We were on the road for three and a half years,” says Schmidt, “just so we could go to a new ER each time and they wouldn’t be suspicious — oh, you’re back again?”

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4 Responses to “Stop the Granny Bashing: Despite What You May Think, Our Seniors Are in Trouble”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    On the forums in Ireland, this subject has been coming up at an ever increasing rate for the last 5 years. Now it is starting to become one of the main discussion points.

    A lot of Irish people are talking to elderly reatives in the US about coming back home to Ireland. According to my Polish, German, Lithuanian and Croatian classmates, the same discussion has been occurring amongst Polish, Lithuanian, Croatian, Italian and German immigrants to the USA. A lot of Germans and Polish working immigrants have already left the USA to either go back home or to other European countries.

    Most Irish I know who have relatives in the USA have seen about 20% of there relatives go from being home owners who owned there homes outright, to living in rented accomodation on welfare. Bizarrely that includes people who are retired civil servants, police officers and fire officers who normally have OK pensions.

    I don’t think the full picture has become clear yet regarding the full extent in changes in wealth and immigration in the USA or any other country that has followed neo-liberal ideology.

    Regarding healthcare. In Europe people have watched the debate in the USA regarding healthcare with horror. The campaign against socialised healthcare is insane. That debate is nothing to do with capitalism, it is purely to do with imposing feudalism for about 1% of the population at the expense of the other 99% of the population. Strangely that 1%, just like feudal lords of old, they don’t seem to realise that if 99% suffer, they might get an initial boost but will eventually find there own healthcare degraded as well. To me it comes across as a case of cutting of ones nose to spite ones face.

    • Suzan Says:

      The ultimate goal of all capitalism is concentration of all wealth in the hands of a few and enslavement of everyone else who then becomes disposable human resources to be discarded when they are no longer useful as profit sources. The oligarchs have all the wealth the rest produce the wealth without gaining the actual benefits of their labor, which is siphoned off to produce the surplus value that makes the oligarchs rich.

      This shit is pretty basic Marxist analysis.

  2. Andrea B. Says:

    @ Suzan,

    What you are talking about and what is causing this is feudalism, not capitalism. They are distinct and seperate as are TG and TS. They just sound similar to an outside observer.

    Capitalism needs everyone in society to get richer constantly, even if it is by a significantly smaller increment than the richest, so that wealth is constantly created.

    The only sytem that needs the majority to get poorer as the richest 1% or less get richer during wealth destruction, is feudalism.

    This is not out of Marx as in Das Capital which i have read. This is out of the Roman empire and middle ages feudalism. The roman empire when it was a taxation system for the military is a closer analogy.

    In all honesty I am hearing this more often every day.

    I spent this afternoon with a South African friend sorting out how to get her parents into Ireland as one of them is Northern Irish born. Three weeks ago a polish friend of mine was getting into poland an uncle and his wife.

    More is happening than most realise.

    You need to realise what is happening is not from left wing or right wing dogma. Modern politics is nothing to do with it. What is happening is actually batshit insane lunatics trying to impose roman empire type taxation at the expense of society and the empire for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. It is as if the catholic empire under Leo 1 was in resurgence. That is actually how this looks to an outside observer who has a knowledge of history. It is weird.

    Seriously. Sit back and think about it. It is just lunacy.

  3. tinagrrl Says:

    A “mode of production” (in German: Produktionsweise) means simply “the distinctive way of producing”, which could be defined in terms of how it is socially organized and what kinds of technologies and tools are used. Under the capitalist mode of production

    both the inputs and outputs of production are mainly privately owned, priced goods and services purchased in the market.

    production is carried out for exchange and circulation in the market.

    the owners of the means of production (capitalists) are the dominant class (bourgeoisie) who derive their income from the surplus product.

    A defining feature of capitalism is the dependency on wage-labor for a large segment of the population; specifically, the working class (proletariat) do not own capital and must live by selling their labour power in exchange for a wage

    The capitalist mode of production may exist within societies with differing state systems (e.g. liberal democracy, Social democracy, fascism, Communist state, Czarism), and different social structures such as tribalism, the caste system, peasant society, and urban industrial society. Although capitalism has existed in the form of merchant activity, banking, renting land, and small-scale manufactures in previous stages of history, it was usually a relatively minor activity and secondary to the dominant forms of social organization and production; the prevailing property system kept commerce within clear limits

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