Here’s how you get rid of a whole generation of well-educated, highly compensated, middle-aged middle management – now superannuated in the Neo-Gilded Age. It’s a long-term plan.
First, strip their pensions from them. Offer them 401(K)s instead (“this is so great, you’ll be able to take advantage of the growth in the stock market, as opposed to some pokey 3% or 4%.”)
Second: Persuade them to cash in on their accrued home value, hopefully with ARMs.. (“Take a vacation! Granite countertops! Or just consolidate all your huge credit card bills.)
Third: Break up the companies that employ them and send those jobs overseas. (“It’s the competitive thing to do, because those workers are hungrier and will work longer hours for less.)
Fourth: Foreclose of those homes. (“Oh dear, your ARM ballooned? You’re not working? Time to downsize your life.”)
Fifth: Cut off their extended unemployment benefits. (“If you were serious about working, you’d take *any* job that was offered you, at *any* wage.”)
Sixth: Don’t hire them, *because* they are unemployed. (“If you were employable, you’d already have a job.”)
Seventh: Publicly castigate them at every turn.(These lazy bums, who loaf around on unemployment while the rest of us have to work – why don’t they get off their behinds and work? They deserve no sympathy from us!”)
Eighth: Raise the Social Security age, so that it will take even *more* years before they can collect even a modest pittance from a fund they have paid into all their lives. (“We can’t affird it! We spent all the money giving tax breaks, running two really expensive wars, and saving over-leveraged banks and hedge funds. Social Security is unsustainable!”)
What’s left? What’s Ninth and Tenth? No health coverage – that way the 50- and 60-year olds will die faster. No savings, no housing, no jobs. Will that get this group the message?
You aren’t worth anything to this society any more.
You were told that your power as “Consumers” made you invincible. Hey, “consumer demand” was the great engine of American capitalism for two decades.
But now you have no money. You can’t consume.
Not only that – you expect too much as it is. You were raised in an America that taught you that gave you expectations. Now you’re upset because those expectations became unfulfillable in the new reality.
Best if you all quietly went away. Go move in with your kids and babysit for them – they both have to work two jobs, anyway. (That’s the way your great-grandparents survived old age, after all.) If you won’t die of natural causes, perhaps you might consider unnatural causes.
Of course, you could always end up sitting on a park bench, drinking vodka til you’re incoherent, and showing all the passerby your “Hero of the Soviet Union” medal for your bravery during the Siege of Stalingrad.
In our dotages, we’ve become our old nemesis, Russia.