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Retirement Pitfalls - Keeping Your Head Above the Water in Politics and the Economy

Jerry Elrod

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It had to happen.  First they began changing and blow drying the images of our historic heroes on our currency.  Now, wouldn't you know it, for something that is not much needed any longer, the visage of Abraham Lincoln on the one cent coin is being altered. Is nothing sacred any more,  I ask with tongue in cheek?

But it is just such incidentals, and costly rearranging, that stirs up the people.  We aren't much into trying to understand the real life issues affecting the body politic, but give us some nit picking incidental and we are all over it.  It is just such avoidance and denial (not a river in Egypt) to which we flock readily and eagerly. Those who bothered to learn about the Romans and their herd like behavior as they crowded the coliseums for graphic, xxx rated, violent and merciless entertainment as animals and gladiators met in open combat to the death may draw some insight.  Or perhaps we are all content to play the fiddle (do any of us even know it is a violin) while Rome burns!  It is encouraging that 43% of the American public seems to be following and taking the present presidential marathon seriously.  It is promising that more young people are getting heavily involved. It is hopeful that some in the media aren't afraid to press the hard questions.  It is reassuring that some, particularly seniors, are willing to change their minds.   We are at the threshold of one of the most serious moments in human history, and certainly in my lifetime.  

For years I found myself bored when my parents discussed the Great Depression.  With retrospect and some education, I realize what they were teaching me then.  I realize that their experience was a harbinger for mine.  They were among those who were rescued by the vitality and the innovation introduced by FDR.  They were among those who did not defame Mr. Roosevelt for his helping to dig America out of the morass that greed and Wall Street helped create. They learned that government sometimes works for the benefit of the whole. . . . and that sometimes it doesn't. Keeping in mind that any political party can create havoc, and certainly we need no more proof than is presently playing itself out, it is time for us to make bold decisions,  to filter information, to refuse to allow a sound bite to be the determining factor in the choices we make, to commit to preserve bed rock principles that have helped to uphold our political system.   No magic formula, no silver bullet, no imaginary genie coming out of an imaginary bottle to rescue us! It's just us now. . . . face to face with the harshness of a very tough time.  Pretend if you like, stick your head in the sand, if you must, but on the other side don't blame someone else for the choices you make.   

Article provided by Dr. Jerry D. Elrod. For information on retirement, Baby Boomers and everything related to Seniors, please visit my web site at and my blog at


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