On Thu, 31 Aug 2000 16:33:02 +0100 Walter Hart <[log in to unmask]>

>.I lay much of the blame for us going so
>astray on the misallocation of economic resources to our elderly
>generation.  Our family lives are hectic and stressed because it takes
>two parents to earn a decent living.  All the true fruits of "more" -
>most importantly our time to enjoy them - have been allocated elsewhere
>to the elderly.  We have unshackled the elderly from their economic
>limitations and bonds to their children.  We have given them the
>freedom that our economic system could make available.  And it seems to
>me that there are many elderly who are living the good life.   So
>perhaps, you and I and your neighbors are all simply the wrong age.

Mr. Hart,

In that S.S. taxation has climbed dramatically as other taxes
have declined, we certainly may infer that those on S.S. (and other
sources, double and triple dipping) may well be living "on easy
street" -- compared with the two-wage-earner families supporting

Perhaps some of our excellent 'data masters' such as Mr. Davis
could shed more definite statistics about this.

In contrast we do hear the horror stories of those living only
on S.S., about the large portion that goes to pharmaceuticals
and about "bus tours" to Canada to buy cheap drugs.

And, my retired next door neighbor (and my retired father) appear
to be living quite a financially unencumbered life.

When my father supported our family including three children, he
was the sole 'bread winner' at a time when an engineer's salary
was more than sufficient for a family that kept a car longer than
ten years, vacationed at a cottage (long ago paid for), and
with a mother who frugally clipped coupons and prided herself on
sale items.

But I also witnessed a father who chronically came home from work
tired, went to bed at 8:30 PM, made the 'around Boston' commute,
and worked an eight-hour day.

My father, as do I, took his work very seriously and, perhaps too,
did not have the physiological stamina that this schedule demanded.
My mother whispering in my ear, "Not now Curt, your father is tired."

And, while when I asked him once how he liked being retired and
he muttered something about it being 'boring' -- he has remarried
twice as he outlives his wives, and I have never seen him as
rested and pleased with the world as this period of retirement.
Careful of his diet, his doctor tells him he has better blood
tests than most twenty-year olds, and he walks and hikes every
day -- mostly for the pleasure of it (he is now 84).


The news regularly reports that we, as a whole, are the most
underslept era in the history of the U.S.  Having inherited some
of my father's fragile physiology (or self-demanding temperament),
I am at my best only with ten hours of sleep.

The sleep pundits say 9 is desirable.

The data show most getting from 5-7 hours.

How do they do this?  We also see the impact of sleep deprivation
on car accident statistics and the occasional articles about the
effect of too little sleep on the quality of life.

It is suggested that the underslept take naps.

But I've heard of only one company that actually had places for
taking naps and encourages their employees to do so.

In response, I tele-commute and work from a home office.

When my head is swimming and I can't concentrate, "my company"
has a nap room, and 45 minutes later I am a changed man.


Perhaps this digression into a personal life is off point from
the debates on the Concord list ?

I hope not.  The Concord list is one of very few lists with
a dedicated group trying to make this country better by relieving
it of the burden of debt.

When surveyed, couples cite "finances" as the greatest source
of tension in a marriage.  So, whether national debt or household
debt, the result is the same -- a source of misery when debt
is overused.



           W. Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS
      Center for Information, Technology & Society
         466 Pleasant St., Melrose, MA  02176
         Voice: 781-662-4044  [log in to unmask]
      Fax: 781-662-6882 WWW:

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