Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ageism Revisited

Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing this article by Michael Kinsley:

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/144230865.html?page=all&prepage=2&c=y#continue

Age discrimination might not be hurting Kinsley's friend, the lawyer who's close to retirement age...but is it ever hurting the empty-nesters who've been working only part-time, or not even working for wages, while raising children, who are now trying to take their last chance to qualify for a Social Security pension. And the fifty-somethings who've built their lives around their "careers," who are still productive, but who are being urged to retire so that the company can hire someone cheaper.

Age discrimination has been around for a long time. My husband was a victim of it when we met. I can't take the credit for converting him from a "victim" to a "beneficiary." I was the one who suggested that, instead of trying to get a hardship assignment and be honorably killed as an overseas volunteer, he might go for a real challenge in the D.C. school system. His latent talent was what made him a perfect match for the job. See! Some people who've been forced out of their original "careers" actually like their "second careers" better!

But not all of them do...and the bigotry that forces people out of the jobs that really are their lives, and forces able-bodied people even to consider welfare-cheating before they've reached age 65, is as ugly as racism ever was. And as anti-American.