Thursday, May 16, 2013

Inequality Isn't All Bad

The geezer reads several blogs devoted largely to bemoaning the evils of discrimination against older folks. One problem often addressed is lack of equal employment opportunities. Another involves cost-of-living adjustments that fail to recognize increased needs of seniors for expensive health services.

However, news from a nearby city, Portage, MI, shows the old caution, “be careful what you wish for,” might sometimes be good advice.

For many years, every Portage homeowner age 62 or older got a 10 percent discount on water and sewer bills. A rate study committee appointed by the City Council recently recommended eliminating
What? No discount!
the senior citizen discount program because it was “found to be noncompliant with current nondiscrimination requirements” by giving one age group a preference over another. The city attorney agreed, saying the program favoring oldsters probably was unconstitutional, and could cause problems for some city bond sales.

As a consequence, about 3,000 elderly Portage residents lost their rate benefit. Surely at least a few believed they deserved the break. How many appeared at a hearing to protest the change? Zero!

What’s next? Will Applebee’s cancel my 10 percent senior discount because some miscreant seeks a ruling that it is unconstitutional? Will Denny’s start charging full price for my morning coffee? Will all who favor seniors fall in line in a sort of discount domino effect? Carried to the extreme, this kind of stuff could put insurance goliath AARP out of business.

Clearly, demands for equality should be considered carefully. After all, anyone can see we geezers deserve to be more equal than others.

4 comments: said...

I wish folks would stop discussing inequality. I think eventually we will lose all those "perks" seniors need and love. Dianne

Bob Lowry said...

I think most of the discounts are safe. There is a big difference between what a government must do and a private concern may do to attract customers.

Think of all the bars that charge admission for men but let ladies in for free. That "discrimination" has been challenged in court and dismissed.

PiedType said...

I don't get out much and thus don't benefit from a lot of senior discounts. A few dollars off on one or two movies a year. My all-time favorite senior perk is the $10 lifetime pass to the national parks. I do a happy dance over that one every time I use it. Hope sequestration doesn't force its suspension.

Kay said...

I agree with you! Now that I'm a senior, I'm all for being more equal than others. But don't tell my kids.