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Source: (consider it) Thread: The time has come to end discounts for seniors
no prophet's flag is set so...

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Senior citizens commonly get discount on all sorts of services and products. I think the argument that elderly people need the discounts doesn't wash any more. Mostly they have the money. As a group, they aren't as poor as the young, and if they really need money, income transfer via taxes and grants is the way to go.

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(formerly known more succinctly as "no prophet"), either way not be taken seriously. \_(ツ)_/

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Schroedinger's cat

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Its a tricky one, because some pensioners are relatively well off, while others are struggling. So for some, discounts are important.

Also, for attractions etc, providing discounts is a good way to encourage (some of) them to get out and do things, so it us a positive for their health.

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mousethief

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That's not nearly as true in the States.

Also, "Group A also needs help with making ends meet therefore let's take that help away from Group B" isn't a very convincing argument.

[ 25. March 2017, 14:40: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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Bishops Finger
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Just you wait until you're a senior citizen, no prophet's etc. - you'll be glad of the discounts then.... [Two face]

Anyway, I've paid me taxes, national insurance, fought for me country etc. etc., so I'm entitled to get something back. So there.

IJ

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
Its a tricky one, because some pensioners are relatively well off, while others are struggling. So for some, discounts are important.

Also, for attractions etc, providing discounts is a good way to encourage (some of) them to get out and do things, so it us a positive for their health.

I agree. When my parents were alive, they could afford to, say, eat in a restaurant. But they often chose a restaurant where they might get a 10% discount--not because 10% would make or break their ability to pay but because it was a treat for them to be given the discount.

So I would add to Schroedinger's cat's reply that it is also good for emotional well-being and general uplift at a time in life when so many things are beginning to be difficult (e.g., using a walker, taking more meds, loss of hearing, etc.).

sabine

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mousethief

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Also who are we to tell a private business what they can or cannot do with their pricing scheme? It's like bitching about "ladies night" at bars. Do you think they would do that if it weren't increasing their bottom line? Well, anyone who thinks that is a blithering idiot. This is a business decision. Corporations may have a religion, but they don't have a heart.

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Nicolemr
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I think it's a rather mean-spirited idea, and I'm rather surprised at the OP for raising it.

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Also who are we to tell a private business what they can or cannot do with their pricing scheme?

Public agencies do it too. Seniors get discounts on public transit. When I was in grad school and riding the bus to campus, I saw loads of poor people getting on the bus in Santa Ana to go down to crappy jobs in Irvine and Newport Beach, all paying full price. In Irvine affluent older women got on the bus at half-price and rode down to Fashion Island to shop and lunch.
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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If you are struggling financially, you could be any age. The discounts are unevenly applied. If seniors need income, income transfer and direct credits are the way to go. It needs to be means tested. So that those well off get it clawed back and don't get it in the first place.

As for directing private business. Of course this may be done. Gov'ts do it all the time.

If we want a progressive economic system, it is ridiculous to select a class of people based on a demographic attribute like age versus actual need. Like underemployed young people.

The arguement that seniors deserve it and have paid taxes doesn't work either because taxes paid are spent as they are collected. The monies are gone.

(FWIW, I am also in the demographic age range which is offered senior discounts. )

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Found the link which got me going on this. [URL= http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/seniors-discounts-should-be-scrapped-study-suggests-1.2978843]Study says senior discounts should be scrapped.[/URL]

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We must learn to live in harmony with nature. If we don't cease believing we can master and dominate it, life on Earth may be destroyed.
(formerly known more succinctly as "no prophet"), either way not be taken seriously. \_(ツ)_/

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
I think it's a rather mean-spirited idea, and I'm rather surprised at the OP for raising it.

Me too. Who died and made him Donald Trump's heir?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:

Anyway, I've paid me taxes, national insurance, fought for me country etc. etc., so I'm entitled to get something back. So there.

IJ

This is a genuine problem. "I've paid me tenner, where's me hundred pounds"?
The ageing require far more than they have typically contributed. Not that I think this means they should be then left to suffer and die, but that the perception v. reality are not balanced.
This creates problems in voting as well as budgetary issues.

quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
I think it's a rather mean-spirited idea, and I'm rather surprised at the OP for raising it.

Me too. Who died and made him Donald Trump's heir?
If you read his second post, you will see that he doesn't appear to be advocating cutting off poor old ladies, but apportioning resources to need. As per RuthW's post.

This is a genuine issue. Well-off, multi-income pensioners receive aid that they do not need at the expense of those who do. This includes other old people who have real needs.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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I have long opposed means-testing of benefits, on these pages and elsewhere. To my mind, the fix for the problem "some poor people struggle to afford the bus fare" is to give the poor more money, not to means-test free bus rides.

In general, you would expect me to oppose senior discounts for publicly-run things, and you'd be right. But I suspect transport might be different: the state has a real interest in persuading elderly people who might not be safe behind the wheel to give up driving; perhaps offering free bus rides to the elderly helps people to make that choice.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:

Anyway, I've paid me taxes, national insurance, fought for me country etc. etc., so I'm entitled to get something back. So there.

IJ

This is a genuine problem. "I've paid me tenner, where's me hundred pounds"?
The ageing require far more than they have typically contributed.

Not I - worked 40 years, not a day off sick,paid NI etc. every week. Salary and pension paid to us on the understanding that we would get state pension, free prescriptions etc.

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sabine
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As I pointed out earlier in this thread (and S's Cat did also), this is more than an economic issue. It also relates ti health and well-being.

To treat senior discounts as only an economic issue misses a big point.

sabine

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Pangolin Guerre
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Unfortunately, the CBC link gave me a 'technical difficulties' message, so I'm going at this a bit blindly.

I can't imagine that seniors' discounts are such a terrible drain on the economy, even if seniors are a proportionally growing demographic cohort. If you can make it that far, why not a discount at the cinema, restaurant, whatever? Theatres have PWYC ("pay what your can") performances, bands, orchestras, etc. often play with reduced tickets for students and the unemployed, etc. This isn't strictly a 65+ issue.

This is not to say that some rethinking is not in order. When Bismarck instituted the state pension for those who reached 65, 65 was admirably long in the tooth, whereas to die at that age now is considered 'young', untimely. Certainly here in Canada we have a problem with poverty among the elderly, so how to balance that against the wealthy aged, the impoverished youth, astronomically rising rents in some urban centres, etc., is a whack-a-mole complex of problems in which discounts for seniors is really a minor concern, or should be, because addressing that one way or the other will solve nothing.

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Sioni Sais
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I can see the inherent justice in this but I'm sixty in September so I start picking up benefits like free bus travel, cheap train travel and, if I so desire I can claim my workplace pension. all kinds of.

Then again, I have paid more for my pension than those who retired before 2010 and there are fewer buses so the scope for these benefits has been reduced. I expect to see the scope reduced further (my younger coworkers already stand to get poorer pensions).

My suggestion is from a different angle and one that will upset the grey vote no end: in most countries retired folks don't pay social security/national insurance contributions which have increased for working people. Conversely, direct taxation has fallen. In that way, retirees win both ways. I suggest that tax & social security contributions should be united. Social security payments are rarely hypothecated and in this way the better off retired folk would be seen to pay their way, and the discounts for older people could remain.

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sabine
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# 3861

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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As I pointed out earlier in this thread (and S's Cat did also), this is more than an economic issue. It also relates ti health and well-being.

To treat senior discounts as only an economic issue misses a big point.

sabine

My original statement:

When my parents were alive, they could afford to, say, eat in a restaurant. But they often chose a restaurant where they might get a 10% discount--not because 10% would make or break their ability to pay but because it was a treat for them to be given the discount.

So I would add to Schroedinger's cat's reply that it is also good for emotional well-being and general uplift at a time in life when so many things are beginning to be difficult (e.g., using a walker, taking more meds, loss of hearing, etc.).

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sabine
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Missed edit window. Both of my parents could afford full price for just about anything they needed. But they both suffered a lot in their later years. A senior discount lifts the spirits of someone who has lost eyesight, is going into dementia, can't walk unaided, can't hear well, is in pain.

I find the premise of the OP way too narrow and falling prey to the idea that economics is the only lens by which to view issues.

Because it is also somewhat abstract, such a narrow premise does give the impression of mean spiritedness, but I suspect the poster didn't intend that.

sabine

[ 25. March 2017, 17:17: Message edited by: sabine ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
That's not nearly as true in the States.
.

Actually, it is true in the US. Senior citizens are, as a demographic group, the least likely to be in poverty-- children are the most likely.

Of course, elderly are also among the most vulnerable-- when they are in poverty, they have the least ability to change their circumstances. And the low level of poverty among seniors is dependent on programs like Social Security and Medicare, and we've just seen how politically vulnerable they are-- it can turn around on a dime.

So I would agree that for senior discounts to continue (fwiw, I am 60 so just begin to take advantage of these) there has to be some justification other than economic. Recently, I had this discussion among a group of similarly-aged friends commenting on the fact that my husband recently qualified for a senior discount card that allows him to ride public transport at a greatly reduced rate. We wondered why he should get that benefit that was not available to people commuting to work or even students going to college. Then it occurred to us (only half jokingly) that perhaps it wasn't at all about economic justice but rather about serving the public good by getting us seniors off the roads...

[ 25. March 2017, 17:40: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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Gramps49
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The problem with the original premise is that it assumes all seniors were able to build up a nest egg of some sort to be able to draw on when they retire.

Here in the United States income for the middle class has stayed essentially flat since the 1980's. Where it was possible for my folks to put away some money for their retirement and even support me through college, what retirement I had put away is very little, and I was not able to help any of my children through college--which means they had to carry bigger student loans than I would have liked. There are times when I myself had to get by with credit cards. I am pretty well maxed out on credit cards.

Then, about 6 years ago I lost my job--in part due to the economic downturn. I had to start withdrawing social security at 62, much less than if I could have waited until I had reached full retirement age (about $600 difference).

I have been able to work part time at a Big Box retailer for the past couple of years which has helped me start to pay off some of the debt.

In the last six years, arthritis has done a number on me, especially in my back and my knees. Last year I had surgery on my back to remove bone spurs and I had a knee replacement. I will likely need to replace my other knee by the end of the year. Remember, the US does not have single payer insurance, but I have had most of the cost covered by my employer and my wife's insurance. However, I have had to take leave of absense for the surgeries and I do not have short term disability coverage.

My wife has just started drawing her social security, but is still working full time at her place of employment. She will have a nice government pension which will pay 75% of her income at retirement.

All of this is to say, the 10% senior discounts we get do help us a lot. Not every place offers discounts, but we do appreciate them.

I look at my 93-year-old mother. She still lives in a house that dad and mom paid for on Dad's sole income--mom worked occasionally, but Dad was the primarly bread winner. The nest egg that Dad and she had set aside was pretty well spent by the time dad died. She is now living solely on social security. Once in a while, she will go out to eat, and again, the 10% discount allows her to eat a better meal than if she did not have it.

I will tell you what, if you are able to live without the discount, either refuse to take advantage of it or better yet, contribute the difference to your favorite charity. But, as for me and my house, we will take advantage of the discount whenever, wherever and as long as we can. Thank you very much.

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Brenda Clough
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Many of the senior discounts offered by private concerns are marketing. I just bought tickets to a show at Ford's Theater in Washington DC for instance. (This is the Ford's that Abraham Lincoln was shot in.) I got about 40% off, the senior discount. However, this discount only applies to the matinees. It's more difficult to get the butts in the seats during those shows, and they have to run the show even if the house is half-empty. To get seniors in there is a win-win.

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anteater

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As a receiver of benefits I have a lot of sympathy with the OP. It will vary per country, but in UK we Wrinklies are generally the most advantaged group, and I have heard it is even more so in other countries, like France.

It does seem plain common sense, and not at all mean spirited, to say that benefits should be targeted at needs rather than age. However . .

Lesson for young people : Wrinklies vote in much larger numbers so get what they want. So get of your arses. Until that happens Governments will be scared of the Gray Vote.

Is there any research? If it really is peanuts, as has been suggested, then why go to the hassle. But I wouldn't assume that.

It's tempting to phase up the age. I think I was getting free prescriptions from age 60 when I was earning quite a large salary. But if you raise these levels, you are giving another kick to people who've already seen their pensions becoming a movable feast (one way). I just got there in time.

But at least I'll croak earlier. [Smile]

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sabine
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# 3861

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I don't care about income levels when I give up a seat on the bus or let an older person go first in line. They are nice things to do for those who have lived a long life.

It's a form of honor, IMO, and I feel the same way about senior discounts.

Some cultures are Keen to honor their elders. Western cultures, not so much.

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Pancho
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# 13533

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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
I don't care about income levels when I give up a seat on the bus or let an older person go first in line. They are nice things to do for those who have lived a long life.

It's a form of honor, IMO, and I feel the same way about senior discounts.

Some cultures are Keen to honor their elders. Western cultures, not so much.

I think many (most) Western cultures used to honor their elders too but then things changed. First industrialization and then all the social changes that have followed since are what chipped away at this reverence. I think the rise of the baby boomers and the 60s and its "don't trust anyone over 30" attitude had a major effect.

I spent a lot of time at a nursing home when a family member was there and nearly the entire staff of nurses and helpers was Filipino and Latino. No doubt a lot of that had to do with economics and availability of jobs but my hunch is that people with that background, nowadays, are just a little bit more willing to look after and are for elders, their own or others, in any capacity. I talked with one of the staff members and she remarked that a lot of the "Anglo" residents never had family come and visit them.

(Whereas my Mexican family visited family member every single day, any time of day, for at least a month. It was simply what one did.)

I'm afraid society's dreary attitudes towards elders are going to effect Generations X and Y more than the Boomers. The Boomers, at least, have a great social influence to shield them, and enormous capacity for self-regard to get them through. The others, not so much.

[ 25. March 2017, 19:57: Message edited by: Pancho ]

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Pancho
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quote:
Originally posted by Pancho:
a little bit more willing to look after and are for elders...

Meant to write, " a little bit more willing to look after and care for elders..."

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“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance;
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Stercus Tauri
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Senior citizens commonly get discount on all sorts of services and products. I think the argument that elderly people need the discounts doesn't wash any more. Mostly they have the money. As a group, they aren't as poor as the young, and if they really need money, income transfer via taxes and grants is the way to go.

My first reaction on reading that was to flame the hide off you. However, maybe I shall just observe that seniors' incomes probably vary much more widely than you think. And you might be surprised by how many still support their offspring.

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Moo

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Senior discounts have the effect of bringing in more customers. If some restaurants offer discounts and others, whose food is no better, don't, I will patronize the one that gives discounts.

If no restaurants gave discounts, I would eat out less often. Eating out is not a necessity for me; it's a luxury.

Moo

[ 25. March 2017, 20:32: Message edited by: Moo ]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Pancho:
I'm afraid society's dreary attitudes towards elders are going to effect Generations X and Y more than the Boomers. The Boomers, at least, have a great social influence to shield them, and enormous capacity for self-regard to get them through. The others, not so much.

Ok, so can we have the Boomers not get discounts? Being one, they keep telling me that 70 is the new 50 etc., and we know that the Boomers have a raft of assets, while the Millenials are struggling. The majority of Boomers as a group are seniors now. I say that I'd prefer we benefit the Millenials.

A few things:
-Boomers got indexed pensions, people after them get "money purchase pensions" which means saving accounts
-Cost of education. My first year of university cost less than one month of summer income. Today it is more than than an entire 4 month summer of income
-Cost of accommodation. The cost of our first house was just more than 2 years of the average income for one person. Today the cost is somewhere around 20 times a year's income. A 10 fold increase

Yes, some seniors are low income. But to give everyone and all of them discounts is ridiculous.

And yes, I do qualify myself for senior discounts. Part of my thinking is that our economic policies aren't progressive the way they should be. And the usefulness of senior discounts is one that should go. Put the money into childcare and reduced post-secondary education expenses.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Part of my thinking is that our economic policies aren't progressive the way they should be. And the usefulness of senior discounts is one that should go. Put the money into childcare and reduced post-secondary education expenses.

All of the non-mean-tested senior discounts that I am aware of are given by private businesses. They presumably do it to attract customers.

Moo

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sabine
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No prophet's flag is set, so.....Why do you keep framing this discussion in terms of income and assets? Do you reject the idea that discounts might be a way of honoring our elders? Or brightening the day of someone who has one or several of the many difficulties that come with age?

Some things are about kindness, not money.

sabine

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Rosalind
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I get very few discounts- I have a senior railcard (for which I have to pay) and occasionally get a quid or two off museum entrance. On the other hand, as a WASPI woman I have had my pension age raised twice, without sufficient time to plan for this, and won't get my bus pass for another few years, because it is given to people of pensionable age, by which time it will probably be scrapped anyway. Oh, and yes, I get free prescriptions now, but not specs or dental treatment. But I have been paying into the system for many years. Why begrudge me a couple of privileges now?
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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Part of my thinking is that our economic policies aren't progressive the way they should be. And the usefulness of senior discounts is one that should go. Put the money into childcare and reduced post-secondary education expenses.

All of the non-mean-tested senior discounts that I am aware of are given by private businesses. They presumably do it to attract customers.

Moo

The discount senior pass on public transit I mentioned above is a non-means tested government giveaway. Again, possibly for other than economic reasons...

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
As for directing private business. Of course this may be done. Gov'ts do it all the time.

Are you seriously telling me you are in favor of passing laws to prevent Denny's from offering grannies 10% off their miserable ham-and-eggs? All because there are poor children in the world? That's crazy talk.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
No prophet's flag is set, so.....Why do you keep framing this discussion in terms of income and assets? Do you reject the idea that discounts might be a way of honoring our elders? Or brightening the day of someone who has one or several of the many difficulties that come with age?

Some things are about kindness, not money.

sabine

Yes, I reject that giving special prices to seniors is about honour. If someone has age-related difficulties, it isn't compensated for by a blanket giving of some monetary discount to everyone. Honour does not require subsidizing an entire class of people merely because of age.

So I agree with you that some things are about kindness not money. Let us not use money this way.

If someone has some age-related difficulties, they are probably health related. It is silly to not give a discount to a 55 year old with health problems and to give one to a 65 without. There are better ways to achieve such goals, whether they are aimed at helping those in poverty or those with health problems.

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

Honour does not require subsidizing an entire class of people merely because of age.

Many people in cultures around the world think honoring people "merely" because of age is, in fact, one of the greatest of honors. Sharing whatever is considered weath with an elder (even when that might be a hardship) is part of this age-old way. But, alas, in the developed world such practices have dwindled down to the token discounts that are then begrudged.

Sad, really.

sabine

[ 25. March 2017, 23:30: Message edited by: sabine ]

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anoesis
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
Some things are about kindness, not money.

sabine

In business, it's about money. There may be some collateral effect is experienced as kindness.

In politics, it's about votes. There may be some collateral effect that is experienced as kindness.

It's all the same to me if seniors can go to the movies for half the price I can, and get reductions in the price of their coffees, their electronic goods, their gym memberships, and their car repairs. It's great for them, and I doubt it really effects me or mine, in terms of cross-subsidisation. But after a recent experience, I am beyond annoyed that seniors get completely free public transport, of all kinds, and as much of it as they want, which I am certainly subsidising, because it seems like it may have become so taken-for-granted that they view it as a right. The most recent train I took was largely peopled by a.) seniors, who were travelling for absolutely zilch, and b.)schoolgirls, who were paying about 60% of the adult fare. On the whole, the schoolgirls were better behaved, I thought. Took up less room, made less mess and less noise, didn't try to eat or drink in contravention of clearly posted signage, vacated seats for freeloading seniors, and moved respectfully out of the way of those needing to get on and off the train. Unfortunately that's not the only time I have witnessed the whole this-is-my-right thing, either. Using a bus one day, the senior in front of me flashed her entitlement card, and then obtusely refused to answer when the driver asked how many zones she was travelling, on the basis that it was free anyway. Yeah, you doofus, it's free for you. But the bus company isn't a charity! They get reimbursed by the local authority for the number of passengers, over the number of zones travelled. Information which they need to keep an official record of. [Sigh].

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Senior citizens commonly get discount on all sorts of services and products. I think the argument that elderly people need the discounts doesn't wash any more. Mostly they have the money. As a group, they aren't as poor as the young, and if they really need money, income transfer via taxes and grants is the way to go.

Shirley you can't be serious [Smile]

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sabine
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Anoesis, it sounds as though you've had a few bad experiences. The post seems to take it out on a larger number of people (unless you are underreporting by a few hundred).

I get that some people are rude, and it's hard not to want to put strings on the use if our taxes.

But this felt like another example of begrudging.

A general respect for the elderly is a good place to start. Then all that self righteousness can be saved for specific elderly people who have done really awful things. We all have our definitions of awful. Just riding the bus on a discount or for free doesn't rise to many people's definition of outrageous

sabine

[ 26. March 2017, 02:53: Message edited by: sabine ]

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Gee D
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We are working towards retirement at the end of the year, complete in my case, semi in Madame's. Government funded age pensions and most other benefits here are means tested and the consequence of that is that we shall receive no government benefits at all, having to maintain such things as full health insurance. The only benefit will be that we are given a card which will entitle us to free public transport in the metropolitan area on any day after the first $2.50 worth. As a return fare to the CBD from our station is a bit over $11, that is a good saving giving more than 4 days travel for the price of 1. Very useful for concerts. I'm not aware of age-related discounts being commonly available for restaurants, theatres, concerts etc.

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Anglican_Brat
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I paid $25 for a ticket to a concert by the Choir of Kings' College Cambridge tomorrow.

The reason for the discount? I'm under 35. [Devil]

Classical music concerts are the great exception to the seniors' discount rule, where being younger gets you the discounted rate.

Regarding the OP, I don't see the problem with seniors' discounts. Actually, considering that unlike most other societies, North American society is notable for prizing youth over old age, seniors discounts might be one of the few public expressions of respecting the elderly.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Honour older people some other way please. Help impoverished people some other way please.

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Golden Key
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simontoad--"Don't call me 'Shirley'!" [Biased]

np--I'm chiming in with the comments about "mean" and "don't take discounts if you think they're wrong".

I don't know about in Canada; but, in the US, *lots* of seniors have a low income. Many, many people never made enough to save. (Yes, really.) Some had emergency funds, but (surprise!) spent them on actual emergencies. They don't have pensions. Many(/most?) American seniors only have Social Security to rely on--and that's based on how much they earned when they were working. They still have to pay rent, unless someone takes them in or they qualify for aid to live in some kind of senior home. There isn't anywhere near enough help for people.

And don't forget that many Boomers lost their savings and/or pensions during the Great Recession. (IMHO, more like a second Great Depression.)

I'm a Boomer. I'm on benefits for disability. I'm a senior by some reckonings, but not yet by others. San Francisco has a massive, long-running, affordable housing crisis. I can only afford where I live because a) it's very basic, and b) long-time residency and rent control have kept the rent lower than most places. If I were a new tenant in this building, I'd pay more than twice my current rent.

I'll happily take discounts. When SF provided free local public transportation for seniors and disabled people, it helped my budget, because I didn't have to pay for a monthly pass.

Most senior discounts are from private businesses. There's no reason to have the gov't take them away. (And, here, that would cause all kind of fuss.) If anything, especially with T and the Congressional Republicans trying to cut things that shouldn't be cut, the gov't should encourage businesses to give *more* discounts.

I'm all for helping poor people, of any demographic. But this isn't the way.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Honour older people some other way please. Help impoverished people some other way please.

Instead of setting one generation against another, why not suggest those that have plenty should share their income and wealth with those who have less? There has been a "wealth and income drift" to the top end for nigh on forty years now: that is the problem.
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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Most senior discounts are from private businesses. There's no reason to have the gov't take them away. (And, here, that would cause all kind of fuss.) If anything, especially with T and the Congressional Republicans trying to cut things that shouldn't be cut, the gov't should encourage businesses to give *more* discounts.
One reason for discounts is that it probably benefits the business in the long run. I'm thinking of a restaurant near by my old stomping grounds that offered a discounted senior's night. Surprise, surprise, it's packed with seniors on the senior's night. From a business point of view, while offering 15% off to seniors might mean an initial cut, if more people are attracted to that night, it could easily make up the cut and generate profit overall.

That's business thinking in general If people think they are getting a bargain, they tend to buy more, attend your business more.

[ 26. March 2017, 04:49: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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Huia
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Here bus fares are free between 9am and 3pm, then again in the evening for those over 65, which was a deal made by a major parliamentary party with one of the minor parties in order for the major party to remain in power.

I am not yet eligible but I like the idea of donating the equivalent to a charity working with those in poverty.

As far as giving up seats on buses goes the notice on our buses suggests giving up your seat to anyone who is more in need of it that you are. So if I see someone struggling I do, no matter what their age is.

Most of the cinemas here have discounted seats for anyone on Tuesdays.

Huia

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
One reason for discounts is that it probably benefits the business in the long run.

Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Most of the folk using our local bus service were elderly. Problem was, the regular fare was £1.80 but the senior concession reimbursement to the company from the Council was only 90p. So income went down and the service no longer runs. Other routes, serving poor areas of town where most passengers are younger, have been enhanced as they are profitable.

On the other hand I can think of a service along the Norfolk coast which has gained a lot of extra custom since the free travel came in and does very well.

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Boogie

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Oi - I'm turning into a 'senior' in July, I was looking forward to my bus pass!

(Not really - I have my furry bus, tram and train pass [Big Grin] )

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Schroedinger's cat

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So what is the cost of giving all of these discounts? Or rather, what would be the net gain if they were stopped? I suspect very little, and the loss to business would be substantial.

And the political fall-out would be substantial. For little if any gain. So what is the point? Why not target others where the gain would be better, and the downside far less?

Also, I am approaching retirement (an ever disappearing goal), so I want these discounts, these acknowledgement that I have done my bit, and I am getting some acknowledgement of this. So my kids can take me out, and not have to pay much more.

And why argue to stop them now, just as, as you point out, the up and coming generations are paying a lot more to live? It sounds like saying "I have had some discounts, but I don't need them. So those after me [who may well need them desperately] also shouldn't have them". It sounds like the message we have heard for the last 20+ years of of the people who have benefited wanting to take these same things from those coming up.

If you feel strongly about it personally, don't take the discounts. But don't deny them to others for whom them might be important. Don't deny them to future generations whose future we have already fucked big time.

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Barnabas62
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I'm a beneficiary of the "golden age"; grant aided further education, full employment, final salary pension schemes, state retirement at 65. So I'm lucky. Plus I was brought up prudent, saved, avoided debt. So I'm doubly lucky.

If a UK government decided it wanted to take away, or means test, my bus pass, senior rail card, winter fuel allowance, even take away the triple lock in favour of state pensions increase, in favour of additional support for those who need it, plus less burden on the working population, that would be fine by me.

But others are by no means so fortunate. A blanket take away would be as clumsy as a blanket give away.

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