Walking on the board walk this morning, I ran into a friend I had not seen in a long time.
She looked a bit haggard, not quite the gal I'd seen about a year or so ago. Maybe it was the humidity. These days the humidity makes anyone look haggard.
While visiting her relatives she was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, she said. Adding, "For me, this is a feared disease. I have a brother gone blind because of it. Luckily, there is now a new medication they can inject directly into the eye," She says. "So far I can keep driving, taking care of me, and playing tennis with my senior citizens group. The medication is expensive like there is no tomorrow. My HMO won't cover much on it. My doctor's co-pay is $40. The co-pay for the injection itself is $95. I have it twice a month. Each month I am out $300."
Then, fighting back some tears, and sounding rather mournful she adds, "I won't be able to get a new car."
I say nothing, though I sense a certain fear--will her car keep running. Now that her car is looking as haggard as she, will her friends think less of her?
What does this really mean to her? What would it mean to me?
From there we move the conversation along, on to a political thread of our own, on how this country is on the wrong track. How, we, seniors, matter little to the powers that be anymore--what, with their not giving seniors a cost of living increase in social security, with all the talked about cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement benefits, she says, the outlook for Seniors is bleak.
However, the outlook for the country's young is as bleak as well.
Just a day or two ago there was a Jobs Fair held on the University of Miami Campus.
Hiring were companies like Winn-Dixie, Verizon Wireless, Pollo Tropical and others.
None of the jobs offered at the Job Fair were professional jobs requiring professional degrees, yet some of the applicants were degreed professionals who had lost their jobs, or they were recent college graduates who had not been able to find jobs in their line of studies.
None of the jobs offered were career service jobs--either Federal or State. But I digress.
My friend and I proceeded in our chance encounter to, "fix the world."
Neither one of us is an Obama fan much less an Obama supporter. Her antipathy for Obama is linked to a fear that through him, or because of his background, Muslims are coming to take over the country.
"Oh! Don't believe that," I said. "That is just a bunch of malarkey being spewed by those who want to keep your focus away from what is really happening to the country. Those who want you to keep your eyes away from seeing their stealing of our social security and Medicare monies to fund wars that should not be taking place and tax breaks for the wealthy and the corporations. Obama is one of those taking money from our coffers, but so are others." I added, "I am sure that Boehner, Perry, Ron Paul and others wouldn't blink an eye while taking money from you and me, and many others to fund whatever greedy wars they want to, or give tax breaks to greedy corporations just like Obama doesn't blink an eye either."