Sunday, 23 August 2009

Old men in the U.S.A. - beware the 'Searle Freedom Trust' - no friend of yours

I came across an apparently, benign, You Tube video called :
'Save Sonny Episode 1 - Pimp my Walker'. I add the link below.

Closer investigation revealed a very nasty attack on old Americans, delivered with the aim of turning young Americans against tax payments to Social Security and Medicare, in favour of investing for retirement in private accounts.

* In Episode 1, Sonny asks his Uncle why he " has had to pay $32 of his first pay cheque to FICA ?"
His Uncle tells him that "these are Government programmes that take money from old people to give it to young people."

* Three old ladies turn up on souped-up, electric, disabled scooters and mug him for his money.

* Sonny is told : " When FICA takes your money, it is combined with everyone elses and then distributed to the elderly - on average, the wealthiest group in the country."

* Sonny tracks the old ladies and finds a room marked 'Trust Fund' which contains lots of money. One of the old ladies then punches him out of a first floor window. On the ground he says : " I go home. There's got to be a better way."

* It takes Sonny 4 more episodes to find that better way.
His journey takes him to :

' Episode 2 - Boom Baby Boom '
' Episode 3 - Policy Warriors '
' Episode 4 - Broken Trust '
' Episode 5 - Run Sonny Run '

Of course, it is in the last episode that we learn that : 'today's kids can and should be able to save for retirement in private accounts.'
Who is behind this heartless portrayal of old Americans as nasty and greedy. What is their motive ?

I tracked down the video maker to 'Lineplot Productions LLC' in Cambridge Massachusetts.
They are apparently, 'an animation studio that focuses on describing complex financial and economic issues to broad audiences.' They say that : 'we are very appreciative to the Reason Foundation, who is distributing Sonny through Reason TV. And we deeply thank the Searle Freedom Trust for providing a grant to make this work possible.'

( My emphasis on poor grammar )

So there it is : 'The Searle Freedom Trust' - the money behind a campaign to turn people against tax payments for social security and pensions in favour of the open market and it doesn't care if it uses and reinforces the nastiest stereotypes of old people to do that.

America - the land of free enterprise and opportunity and No Place For Old Men.

1 comment:

  1. Johnboy, thank you for pointing out our grammar errors - we fixed them promptly upon seeing your post.

    I think you will find that the real story here is far less nefarious and heartless than what you portray. I think we'll all agree that something has to change as demographics get older worldwide. The question is what, and the good thing about this world is that we get to have a discussion about it all, eh?

    Be well and keep up the good work.