Thursday, May 5, 2011

Smoke 'Em if You Got 'Em...please!!

I’ve never quite understood why young people are generally more politically liberal than older people. Sure, I know all about youthful naiveté and innocence and how every kid grows up wanting to change the world and all. But there seems to be a gigantic disconnect between the young appetite for activist government policy and the reality of actuarial tables. Let me try to explain.

If kids today knew just how screwed they are they would be marching on every nursing home in the United States with signs that read..”Die already!!!” …and “80 years is enough Gramps!!”. Why don’t kids realize how the baby-boomers like me are taking them to the cleaners and will be forever in the future? My two children will be taxed to the moon and back to pay for Mom and Dad’s sweet pension check from Uncle Sam. And the best part is, by the time they are old enough to collect, we’ll all be dead and their retirement age will have been raised to 85 so if they do live long enough to get any money from the government they will have to spend it all on Dentucream and adult undergarments! And it all started when the do-gooders of the American left set their high-minded sights on cigarettes. That’s right, cigarettes!

In 1950 we were a smoking nation. Watch any movie from the forties and fifties and if you can make out the actors through all the smoke you will see that they have cigarettes hanging from their lips. And they looked so good doing it! Back then fully 46% of the population smoked. Not surprisingly longevity in the fifties was around age 65 meaning we had a perfect system. People loved to smoke and cancer loved to shave 15 years or so off smokers’ life spans. Everyone got what they wanted! Now 60 years later, after banning cigarette commercials, adding graphic warnings to packages, passing thousands of laws banning smoking in public places, smoking is now indulged in by only 21% of the U.S. population and guess what?? We’re living a lot longer…A LOT longer. The average lifespan in the U.S. today is roughly 78 years which means that the average retiree gets about 12 more years of paychecks from the Treasury than he used to 60 years ago. And its not just smoking. Now the “Too-Much Fun Patrol” has turned their gaze on childhood obesity. By all means , lets encourage healthier eating habits among all those elementary school porkers out there so they too can live to be 100.

When Social Security was designed back in the thirties the government was secure in the knowledge that very few workers would EVER live long enough in retirement to actually cost them anything what with all the smoking and diarrhea and influenza killing people left and right. Now look at us. We’ve killed off Joe Camel. Michelle Obama is taking the Twinkees away from junior, and Pepto-Bismol sells over the counter for $4. Throw in seat belt laws, helmet laws, air-bags and the Clean Air Act and what you find yourself with is a nation of future ninety year old tech-saavy Grandmas tweeting their congressmen not to even THINK about cutting their Medicare.

So kids, keep voting that Progressive ticket, and ..we’ll leave the light on for ya!