In no other time in our nation's history has the outlook for the majority of our senior citizens been so bleak. When the current economic crisis hit it was and continues to be the seniors who are suffering the most. Not since the Great Depression of the 1930's has a whole generation of Americans been faced with such financial loss. Retirement portfolios, for those still fortunate to have one or in this case may be not so fortunate after all, pension plans that were still existing, and the equity in our homes all literally vanished overnight. Throw in, that our society today especially in our corporate world of business older Americans are perceived as expendable. No longer valued for their experience, knowledge, or expertise but are shown ever so quickly the door to spend their remaining days practically in oblivion. It has become more apparent in today's society that are senior citizens are continually being victimized by the very society that they were so instrumental in building.
Unconscionable the plight of our older Americans in the way the our government, and the rest of United States as been treating, abusing, and manipulating them. Other Countries have and are still viewing their senior population almost the same way the United States is. Remember in 2003 the scorching heat wave that expanded over Europe and rendered France to experience one of their hottest summers. It was then that hundreds of their older citizens perished because they could not escape that oppressive heat. 2003 was a good year for French wine, but a horrific catastrophe for a generation of French citizens. Every year in the United States we hear that more of our senior citizens fall victim to heat waves or perish because of the inability to find and stay warm during winter.
The financial barriers that prohibit the majority of our senior population from securing, maintaining, and attaining a quality of life are now too insurmountable for so many to overcome. Many are only existing. Granted Social Security is supposed to be a life line of financial rescue. Pension Plans were supposed to be there to reward workers for their long continued service to a company. 401K plans are supposed to be their for retirement and for any real financial calamity. All of these programs were supposed to help elevate the financial turmoil that so many senior citizens are now facing. What happened that has rendered people who are old enough for AARP membership to fall into such destitute times?
It is not surprising that our very own government has failed yet again to come to the aid of our seniors. For the second time our "Wizards" in Washington have consistently and purposely denied any cost of living allocations for Social Security. With all the current unfunded mandates as well as the continually rising cost of living has forced so many older Americans as well as younger generations to really make so many very difficult choices pertaining to their quality of life.
A recent report indicated that life expectancy in the United States has and is continually falling much faster than any other industrialized nation. This is even though the United States spends the most money per person on Health Care. Our population's life expectancy has steadily declined for the past 20 years. What was once a life span on average of 79 years for men has been effectively reduced by more than 10 years. For women it is pretty much the same ratio of decline in life expectancy. This drastic rise in declining life spans has much to do with how our whole society has evolved and the governmental policies that contributed to it.
The Journal of American Medicine has stipulated the the American health care industry is designed around profit and continues to make only a few people extremely wealthy at the expense of our citizens especially our seniors. Even with this new Affordable Health Care Act that was passed this past spring all the focus is on profit and very little on wellness, healthy balanced diets, or what is best for the over all health of our population.
It is the seniors who are on fixed incomes that are affected the most because of cost constraints prohibit them from attaining any other alternatives. What the United States has done with the food industry has rendered it almost completely void of the nutrients needed to attain and maintain a healthy life. The industrialization of our food has increased the level of obesity, the number of people suffering from arthritis, high blood pressure and many other illness associated with an "American diet." It is no wonder in the United States we see fast food chains cropping up on almost every other block and our schools are loaded with vending machines filled with assorted toxic beverages and foods.
The policies that could increase not only the life span of our seniors but the quality of their lives are overlooked and even ignored by our elected officials. In the United States today over 59 million Americans rely on Social Security. Of those 59 million about 1/2 rely strictly on Social Security as their only source of income. A situation so dire when pension plans fade away and 401K plans are absorbed to help stave off business failures all have a direct impact on the continued plight of our older Americans. With averaging a little over $1,000 per month Social Security Beneficiaries are now no-where near the amount of income levels needed to support themselves let alone help support their local communities. With an ever increasing aging population now becoming so impoverished only heightens the deplorable conditions our seniors are now forced to live under.
Some countries are now realizing the plight of their older populations and redirecting policies that will in effect enable those seniors to age with dignity, receive preventative health & wellness measures and achieve financial security. With more aging populations worldwide it makes sense that this generation is able to contribute to the over-all economic stability of their country and not be a major inhibitor that retards economic growth and stability. When in the United States this generation of Americans is no longer able to or denied the ability to age with dignity, receive preventative health & wellness measures and achieve financial security every local community will continue to suffer.
Brazil has now established policies that are creating more economic growth by realizing that by aiding the poor and their aging population directly equates to more economic growth and stability. Using the William's Theory of Economic Evolution has in effect enabled Brazil to experience a resurgence of economic growth. The same principal can be used successfully here in the United States to end this financial nightmare that so many of our poor and our senior populations are now experiencing.