WHAT MAKES A VITAL SENIOR CITIZEN

Noam Chomsky.jpgRecent medical studies have shown that "Fit Seniors Can Have Hearts That Look 30 Years Younger" than one would have anticipated finding in 70 year old senior citizens. According to the study, these unexpectedly youthful seniors owe their common vitality factor to a shared lifelong engagement with sustained vigorous exercise.

This made me wonder just how much of what we think of as the normal aging process is actually being accelerated by retirement? We've all heard the expression, "Use it or lose it." Has retirement become an unnecessary self-fulfilling degradation trigger of what had been, up until retirement, a healthy and engaged mind and body? Is accelerated senior physical and mental health degradation coming about to a large extent by our continuing to conform to an outmoded 20th century and earlier notion of when human beings truly gets old?

Given unquestioned notions like 65 years of age being the age of retirement for most of us, have we become so used to our conforming to this unnatural and premature "senior citizen" status that the resulting loss of physical and mental viability that we have thought was normal is never questioned?

Last week the renown linguist and philosopher Noah Chomsky turned 90 years of age. And like a minority of the elderly who have never retired from active physical and mental engagement, Chomsky has remained as intellectually engaged and sharp today as he was when he was chronologically much younger.

When talking about subjects as varied as politics and government or global warming, Chomsky always brings the uncontravertible evidence to support his truly insightful perspectives that consistently cite year, month, and often day of the week- as if he were footnoting a postdoctoral disertation- in obliterating the specious and disengenuous arguments of his conservative opponents that ignore Chomsky and the clear unchallenged scientific evidence he cites when they deny the existence of things like global warming.

Chomsky's in depth examination with well established legal precedents always offers a context as to what has been the effect of things like the Citizens United Supreme Court case, that gave individual civil rights to a corporate legal fiction that was initially only designed to limit individual investor liability.

Given that most of Chomsky's arguments are rationally irrefutable, the mainstream corporate media chooses to simply ignore him, while continuing to marginalize him and other "senior citizens" that in the past received an in depth, critical thinking skills education, which sadly is no longer extant in our public education system or the society at larger.

The fall of every prior civilization has come about through a self-censorship of the oldest and most learned by those who refuse to learn the lessons of the present- juxtaposed with the past- which would allow us to continue evolving and surviving.

A clear example of this unaddressed and unnecessary decay has recently been reported concerning a 21 trillion dollar misplacement of funds by the Defense Department, that will more than likely go unchallenged by the rubber stampers, who now control or government and this country.

In definitively attempting to address this inexcusable and often purposeful marginalizing of the elderly, I would propose a solution that keeps this yet vital segment of our population engaged in a manner that truly benefits all of us.

Because the United States is a relatively young country, it has not maintained its public infrastucture, like a country like France does by systematically allocating much more money on a regular and timely basis to this task. So now, our roads, bridges, and other public buildings and structures have deteriorated to a point where the cost of catching up is rather daunting.

What if the idle and unnecessarily deteriorating elderly we talked about, who still want to work, were given public works jobs commensurate with their physical and mental abilities. This would free up the younger public works force to do the more challenging jobs, while bringing down costs. You might even give this elderly Civilian Construction Corp (CCC) a modest stipend, since a significant segment of the elderly population is also profoundly poor.

Or, if United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) wanted to improve its chances in striking against LAUSD in early January 2019, it could get the support of their students parents by getting retired teachers to reconstitute educated daycare classes in churches and other public buildings. LAUSD only gets Average Daily Attendance (ADA) money from the State and federal government for in-seat attendance at LAUSD schools and not when the students are gathered elsewhere. That's the kind of clever idea that only a chauvinist senior citizen has the historic memory to come up with.

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12 2018

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