There is no socialist running in this election.

The word, “socialist,” understandably terrifies people. There is no Socialist running in this election. Bernie Sanders is a Social Democrat, which just means that he wants everyone to get a fair shake. He is a capitalist. He understands how market economies work and believes in them. He’s not giving away free stuff. He just wants to collect taxes on money that should be taxed and use it for the greater good. Jobs. Infrastructure. Education.

The uncontested truth is that almost all of the wealth in this country floats to the top and stays there. Much of this wealth escapes taxes through loopholes designed by the people they benefit. We don’t live in a democracy any more. The rich get richer and buy elections (think Trump, Koch, Clinton). Citizens United is the root of this, but that’s another letter.

The rest of us can’t keep up. The family that owns WalMart controls about $150 billion, equal to the wealth of the bottom 40% of Americans combined. How? Their workers aren’t paid enough to feed their families: they get food stamps, rent assistance, Medicaid. Costs have risen. Wages haven’t. No one makes them pay their employees enough to survive without help! When wages rise to $15/hour, a “Bernie Sandersliving wage,” big corporations may not make quite as many billions in profits. And your and my tax dollars won’t subsidize their wealth. We, you and my, pay for the public assistance that others need because their employers don’t provide a living wage and don’t pay proportionate taxes on their wealth.

For Bernie Sanders, “socialism” just means “social.” It means, in the words of Lincoln, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Social benefits are good for you. Police. Roads. Water systems. Flint, MI, is just one example of what happens when money is not available for the good of the people.

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Puzzled about Medicare?

Intelligent adults have a difficult time understanding all of the nuances of Medicare, but expecting our aging population to make a large number of complex decisions that are so very crucial to their health and wallets is almost a crime. Not only that, but what’s “best” is different for everyone, and what’s best this year may not be the best next year!

I’ve spent hours and hours trying to understand  so that I can enroll my Mom in the right plan – including a 5-hour phone call with a Medicare representative! Here’s a high-level summary of what I’ve learned.
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Hey, Boomers!

Are you a boomer? Maybe… do these sound familiar?

  • You’ve talked to an operator.
  • You liked black and white TV.
  • You know what rabbit ears really are.
  • You owned a Kodak Brownie camera.
  • You know what negatives are.
  • You rode in the back of a station wagon with no seat belts.
  • You know what a station wagon is.
  • You think “rave” is a verb and “sketch” is something you do with a pencil.
  • You hid under a desk to save yourself from an atom bomb attack.
  • You feel like the bologna in a caregiver sandwich – stuck between your kids and your parents.

But you don’t need to be a Boomer to follow this blog. If you’re thinking about Medicare, dreaming about retirement, worrying about aging parents, making a bucket list, imagining your grandkids’ futures, or wondering if you’ll ever have grandchildren, this is the place for you!  Welcome!

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