Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

This sticky post was written the day we appeared on the internet in 2004.

Besides INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, a lot of articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously. Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account. Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to WIX - a site where you can start your own blog for free - because all new signups I get seem to be from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me directly.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report a web attack) - it’s SPAM.  I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community.  There’s no way to stop anyone from forging anyone else’s email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header.  For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner does not opt-in to insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here, except for a little FLASH VIDEO I found on the internet wrapped as execulatable so you can just run it.  Check out the TELECOM ARCHIVE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, and TELEPHONE TRIBUTE websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

As we head into the next depression (which happens every 10 years or so), fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC, business-loving, US government, MIKE WHITNEY wrote a solution in 2007 that makes a lot of sense to me:

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous sufbsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

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Wednesday, October 05, 2022

NWO - The People’s Garden

image: seeds

USDA Now Asking People to Register Their Vegetable Gardens for National Database
Why does the USDA want you to add your local vegetable garden to a national database?

By Matt Agorist
The Free Thought Project
October 4, 2022

In a move that has many folks scratching their heads, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has renewed its push for the PEOPLE’S GARDEN INITIATIVE which now includes registering vegetable gardens nationwide. ACCORDING TO THE USDA, the move is to foster a “more diverse and resilient local food system to empower communities to address issues like nutrition access and climate change.” But those who have been following the USDA closely for years know that they couldn’t care less about your health and nutrition.

To register your garden with the USDA, one must meet several easily obtainable standards.

School gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural, suburban and urban areas can be recognized as a People’s Garden if they register on the USDA website and meet criteria including benefitting the community, working collaboratively, incorporating conservation practices and educating the public.

These standards essentially define every community garden in the country. Now, the government organization that shells out billions every year to companies whose products, like high-fructose corn syrup, are responsible for a massive epidemic of obesity across the planet, will have a database of them.

“We welcome gardens nationwide to join us in the People’s Garden effort and all it represents,” SAID Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, “Local gardens across the country share USDA’s goals of building more diversified and resilient local food systems, empowering communities to come together around expanding access to healthy food, addressing climate change and advancing equity.”

Secretary Vilsack added: “We encourage existing gardens and new gardens to join the movement. Growing local food benefits local communities in so many ways, and we offer technical resources to help. Also, its a great way to connect with your local USDA team members.”

Again, it is important to point out that the mission statement of the USDA does not involve anything to do with keeping Americans healthy. In fact, their track record over the years has done the complete opposite.

Case in point: In December 2020, a scientific committee, composed of 20 academics and doctors, recommended cutting the limit for added sugars in the diet to 6% of daily calories from 10% in the current guidelines. The group compiled a massive trove of data and presented this request to the USDA citing rising rates of obesity and the link between obesity and health problems like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

To be clear, you need absolutely 0% of your diet to be comprised of sugar but this panel seemingly knew the USDA - who hands out billions of taxpayer dollars to companies who specialize in addicting Americans to sugar - would never get behind a recommendation against all sugar. So, they offered a slight concession.

This scientific committee asked for a measly 4% drop in the USDA’s recommended sugar intake in foods - providing 835 pages of evidence showing the horrifying effects it is having on children and adults and the USDA refused.

“The new evidence is not substantial enough to support changes to quantitative recommendations for either added sugars or alcohol,” Brandon Lipps, deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services at the USDA told the Wall Street Journal at the time.

In December of 2020, it was clear that excessive sugar intake was connected to comorbidities like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity - all of which drastically increased complications from a COVID-19 infection. Yet the USDA who pretends to care about your health - refused to budge in the slightest..

Now, this same organization is claiming that it wants you to register your vegetable garden so it can place you in a database and put your healthy food source on a map for your health, of course. You also get a cool sign for your front yard too.

While a handful of folks inside the USDA may have well-meaning intentions behind this program, the behemoth organization’s track record and history clearly indicate that the overwhelming majority of them do not care about your health. Not only do they not care about your health but most of their farm and food budget goes toward subsidizing products that directly harm your health.

So, skepticism over a national garden database run by this organization is entirely warranted. As the world teeters on the verge of nuclear war and economic collapse, remember that in times of war and economic downturns, food is more valuable than gold.

SOURCE

BACKYARD CHICKEN RAISING

Posted by Elvis on 10/05/22 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO
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Tuesday, October 04, 2022

NWO Covid Year 3 Part 5 - CDC Lifts Covid Travel Restrictions

image: caronavirus

CDC dropping country-by-country COVID advisory list

By Jared Gans
The Hill
October 4, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed its country-by-country list of COVID-19 travel advisories on Monday.

The CDC said in a statement to The Hill that its ability to accurately assess the risk for most places that Americans visit has become limited as fewer countries are testing and reporting COVID-19 cases. 

The agency will only post a travel health notice for a country if a situation like a concerningӔ COVID-19 variant occurs.

Regardless of their travel destination, all international travelers should stay UP TO DATE on their COVID-19 vaccines and follow recommendations found on CDCӒs COVID-19 INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL webpage, the statement reads.

The announcement comes as a new round of booster shots have become available in the United States to protect people from the omicron variant and subvariants of the coronavirus.

Much of the country and the world has fully returned to normal activities in recent months, as COVID-19 cases are causing fewer hospitalizations and deaths than earlier in the pandemic.

The seven-day rolling average of cases in the U.S. is still above 40,000 for the past week, and the average number of deaths is above 300, but both numbers have been gradually dropping.

President Biden made headlines last month when he said DURING AN INTERVIEW on “60 Minutes” that the pandemic is over, but acknowledged that a lingering problem with the virus remains.

Responding to those remarks, White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said the pandemic is “heading in the right direction” but that the intensity of outbreaks remains “unacceptably high.”

“We still must be aware of how unusual this virus is and continues to be in its ability to evolve into new variants which defy the standard public health mechanisms of addressing an outbreak,” he said, warning that a new variant would likely emerge heading into winter.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 10/04/22 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO
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The Dispensable White Male

image auscwitz entrance

Back in 2004 AT&T layed off lots of inside and outside plant technicians, and replaced them with contracted techs. 

A friend who was an AT&T executive at the time called it a transition to a FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE.

THE CWA UNION WAS OK WITH THIS, and encouaged layed off members to apply for jobs with Tucker Technologies - the contracting company - doing the same job they did at AT&T - at considerably less pay and benefits, but still represented by them.

TUCKER TECHNOLOGY, INC is a full service Information Technology firm with special emphasis on providing full-service Telecommunications and Information Technology solutions to our customers for Voice and Data applications

Today, the Tucker Technologies website redirects to TTI-USA that says:

TTI is a women & minority-owned 5G telecommunications installation company that utilizes staffing & supplier aggregation to expand the nation-wide 5G network.

I see so many minority-owned, minority-run, and EVEN THE EEO SELF IDENTIFICATION PAGE for government and contractor jobs lists minorites first.

The days of the white male dominated job market are over.

In 2020 Time Magazine WROTE, it’s one percent of white men that’s getting all the money:

White, non-urban, non-college educated men have the slowest wage growth in every demographic category.

That the majority of white men have benefited from almost none of this growth isn’t because they have lost income to women or minorities; its because they’ve lost it to their largely white male counterparts in the top 1 percent who have captured nearly all of the income growth for themselves. According to economist Thomas Piketty, men accounted for 85 percent of the top income centile in the mid-2010s - and while he doesn’t specify, these men are overwhelmingly white…

Thus, by far the single largest driver of rising inequality these past forty years has been the dramatic rise in inequality between white men.

I’m talking about jobs

A MAJORITY OF WHITE AMERICANS believe discrimination against white people exists in America today. Many believe its getting worse, even more prevalent than discrimination against black people. According to a Pew Research survey, 14 percent of white folks said being white holds them back from getting ahead.

In 2017 NPR WROTE

More than half of whites - 55 percent - surveyed say that, generally speaking, they believe there is discrimination against white people in America today.

“If you apply for a job, they seem to give the blacks the first crack at it,” said 68-year-old Tim Hershman of Akron, Ohio, “and, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you’re white, you don’t get it. If you’re black, you get it.”

Add that to ageism for white male boomers that don’t have enough to retire, and the situation is as dire as when I ALMOST TOOK MY LIFE ten years ago.

2019

AS MANY AS 25,000 COMPLAINTS CLAIMING AGE DISCRIMINATION have been filed each year since 2008, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission… A work study conducted by AARP in 2017 found that age is the leading reason for negative treatment by an employer.

2021

THERE ARE SOME STARK DISPARITIES in both gender and race when it comes to SUICIDE. Men die by suicide 3.6 times more often than women, and the suicide rate is more than twice as high among Whites compared to African Americans or Asians and Pacific Islanders. The result? White men account for nearly 70% of suicide deaths.

The ENGERS VS AT&T LAWSUIT led to my first retirement kick in the face:

In 1997, AT&T converted its traditional defined benefit pension plan to a cash balance plan. As a result of the conversion, the accounts established for older participants were significantly less than the value of the accumulated annuities they had already earned under the old plan. The workers sued, claiming that the conversion discriminated against older workers and that AT&T executives knew that employees within seven years of retirement eligibility would not earn any additional pension benefits for several years… The bad news for those people who had their AT&T pensions cut from the cash balance transfer years ago - is they lost the 12 year court battle.

Over the years

WE’VE SEEN MANY LARGE CORPORATIONS choose to cut employee benefits whether that be pension, 401(k), or healthcare. Verizon created headlines all the way back in 2005 when they announced they would freeze their pension program.

[AT&T] Employees retiring after 2022 will be hit the hardest, as they will lose all medical coverage typically given to retirees. AT&T will no longer supplement monthly premiums for medical or dental.

Things like this may help explain the violence from so-called right-wing EXTREMIST groups of mostly white men like the ones President Trump coaxed to breaking into the Senate chambers last January.

THESE ARE GUYS that really think that they don’t matter in the world and have been tossed aside.

Some say it’s a conspiracy theory.  Not me.  Like I said before - even the SELF-IDENTIFICATION PAGE on job applications I fill out lately defaults to Hispanic or Latino.

THERE IS A RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY theory called the great replacement, which says that white people are being overtaken by minorities and that this is going to cause a loss of rights for white people. It used to be on the fringe. Its been around a long time, but what’s special now is that that theory is embraced in full-throated fashion by major political leaders and also by major media figures. If you live in an area thats losing white population, you can start yourself to connect the dots to the spinning that’s going around with these narratives.

I lost a Central Office Tech position because of EEO QUOTAS in 1988, that saved a black guy’s job who had less seniority than me. I wound up getting downgraded to a clerk, kept my pay grade, and had to move to another city.  But I didn’t wind up hating black people.  Coming from BROOKLYN where just about everyone black was poorer than me and my mom - they deserve a break. 

IN THE BEST OF TIMES, many African American communities are forced to tolerate levels of unemployment unseen in most white communities. The 2001 recession pushed the white annual unemployment rate up from a low of 3.5% in 2000 to a high of 5.2% in 2003. During the same period, the black unemployment rate shot up from 7.6% to 10.8%. National recessions take African Americans from a bad situation to a worse one.

What I object to is the SYSTEM THAT CREATED THIS SEPERATION AND FRICTION, feeding hate and resentment between all workers. 

Today it’s WHITE MALES being shafted in the job market.  Before this it was THE GIG ECONOMY, before that TWO-TIERED PAY, before that the FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE with CONTRACTORS AND TEMPS, and the big ones going on since NAFTA - OFFSHORING and OUTSOURCING to cheap overseas labor that may have slowed down from COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS, and the RUSSIA/UKRAINE WAR - but after that will probably pick up again.

Did you know in 2020 70% of suicides in America ARE WHITE MEN?

In 2015

A STUDY released late last year by two Princeton academics, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who won the 2014 Nobel prize for economics, revealed that the DEATH RATE FOR WHITE AMERICANS AGED 45 TO 54 has risen sharply since 1999 after declining for decades. The increase, by 20% over the 14 years to 2013, represents about half a million lives cut short.

President Trump may come back stronger than ever in 2024 with promises of a new Aryan world.

Like Hitler.

IN GERMANY, the Nazis promoted this false notion that glorified the German people as members of the “Aryan race,” while denigrating Jews, Black people, and Roma and Sinti (Gypsies) as “non-Aryans.”

But a fat, old white man, who hates our system of rule, is not an Aryan they’re looking for.

Nor would I want to be one.

We’re all human beings, and we ALL deserve a good life.

I thought OCCUPY WALL STREET in 2011 that was labelled A MOVEMENT TOO BIG TO FAIL, would be a defining moment in taking back our country from the OLIGARCHS and PLUTOCRATS.

It wasn’t.

Then in 2020 we tried to roll out the President’s chair for America’s most loved politician - BERNIE SANDERS - who sold us out and backed PRO CORPORATIST, REPUBLICAN LITE, FASCIST WANNABE Joe Biden - the same Joe Biden who I WROTE TO in 2012 asking to help the long-term unemployed - whose now our 46th President, throwing us into the WORST SUFFERING we’ve ever experienced.

I’m guessing a food crisis will lead fossils like me (and the poor, and the disabled, and anyone not fitting the Aryan mold) into the gas chambers so the hard-working new Aryans have food.

IN MARCH 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of a hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the “global food system” in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine.

Guterres said food, fuel and fertiliser prices were skyrocketing with supply chains being disrupted and added this is hitting the poorest the hardest and planting the seeds for political instability and unrest around the globe.

Rember what the GEORGIA GUIDESTONES said

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual BALANCE WITH NATURE.

Did you know

In many states, laws say that doctors can sterilize disabled people against their will. This is called forced sterilization. MOST STATES ALLOW FORCED STERILIZATION today. Laws allowing forced sterilization exist in 31 states plus Washington, D.C.... Sterilization is an operation that stops someone from ever having babies.

The only reason they may be keeping old people alive is because they’re big dollar signs to the drug and health care industries.

“In 2003, SENIORS IN MEDICARE MANAGED-CARE PLANS will pay an estimated $1,964 in average out-of-pocket expenses for health care, 10 percent more than last year and twice as much as four years ago.” (Marsha Gold and Lori Achman, Average Out-Of-Poket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase 10 Percent in 2003.” The Commonwealth Fund, August 2003).

Costs are expected to grow because scientists are continually discovering medicines to treat diseases of aging and people are living longer. The elderly population, now 36 million, is expected to reach 70 million by 2030. (Robert Pear, Prescription Drugs Now, Day of Reckoning Later, New York Times, 19 August 2003).

Today more dollar signs are waving at big pharma.

LECANEMAB is the first drug to help improve the symptoms of Alzheimers by slowing the disease. These are very promising results, although the only data we have at the moment is from the drugmaker’s PRESS ELEASE.

When famine is the issue, there may a big fight between the companies that want to keep pill popping seniors alive, and goverment propaganzing there isn’t enouigh food for everyone - turning into a war between the young and the old.

And the old divide and conquer will go on like it always has.

IT IS AS IF millions of our fellow citizens have fallen asleep, as if they have become hypnotized and brainwashed by the powers-that-bes incessant managing and massaging of reality. These powers simply manipulate an already gullible and highly suggestible public into a game of “divide and conquer.” They get rich off of others blood - they incite conflict, and covertly support both sides, as they themselves reap the benefit of the conflict.

Chris Hedges PREDICTS

The step from dysfunctional democracy to full blown fascism was, and will again be, a small one. The hatred for the ruling class, embodied by the establishment Republican and Democratic parties, which have merged into one ruling party, is nearly universal.

By next spring, following a punishing winter of rolling blackouts and months when families struggle to pay for food and heat, what is left of our anemic western democracy could be largely extinguished.

Posted by Elvis on 10/04/22 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Dying America • Section Fascism • Section Personal
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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Maine Battles Ageism

image: older workers
How does a hiring company legally get your age for an interview?  Easy.  Make the person first fill out a job application and/or agree to a background check giving name, social security number, drivers license number, and birthdate.  A lot of companies like Sprint do that, and the EEOC says it’s perfectly OK. 
- Sneaky Way to Get a Job Applicant’s Age
 
The program is one of the latest efforts aimed at tackling the thorny problem of long-term unemployment. Millions of people have been jobless for months or years in the wake of the Great Recession, and its much tougher for them to work their way back into the labor force, particularly if they are older… “Subsidized employment allows older workers to dispel the myths many employers have about those over age 50, said Emily Allen, a vice president at AARP. “Older workers have the highest long-term unemployment rates of any age group.”
- Platform to Employment
 
As many as 25,000 complaints claiming age discrimination have been filed each year since 2008, according to the U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION.
- Ageism, 2019

---

How do you stamp out ageism? This state wants to try.

By Jessica Hall
Market Watch
September, 29, 2022

The state of Maine wants to end ageism in a decade. Really.

In a move to improve the health of Maines 1.3 million residents, reduce workforce struggles and improve the economy, the MAINE COUNCIL ON AGING said it launched an initiative to end ageism within 10 years.

Ageism refers to the stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination directed toward people based on their age no matter what their age might be. It can be institutional, interpersonal or even self-directed. Globally, one in two people are ageist against older people, according to a United Nations report.

“It’s also the right thing to do,” the council said.

“Americans don’t believe AGEISM IS REAL. Or that it’s not as bad as the other ‘isms’,” said Jess Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging. “But it costs us a lot financially. It costs us emotionally. It taxes our health systems. It affects housing. It affects our workforce. It costs us a lot.”

The Maine Council on Aging set a goal to eliminate ageism in the workplace, in the media, and other leading segments of Maine culture by 2032, in part, through targeted discussions with different business sectors, community leaders, and policy makers. Maine has the oldest population in the U.S.

Eradicating ageism is also important for the health of the economy. A STUDY from AARP found that the lost economic activity from older Americans not being able to find work, change careers, or earn promotions because of age discrimination cost the U.S. economy $850 billion in lost gross domestic product in 2018. In the long-term, age discrimination could cost the U.S. more than $3.9 trillion in 2050, AARP found.

Meanwhile, a Yale University study found that discrimination based on age increased healthcare costs by $63 billion annually.

The Maine Council on Aging isnt alone. Last year, the World Health Organization announced a global campaign to combat ageism with strategies such as educating people about ageism, fostering intergenerational contacts, and changing policies and laws to promote age equity.

Why now?

Maurer said the pandemic highlighted societyҒs prejudice against older people. Seniors with comorbidities were more vulnerable and died in increasing numbers from COVID-19 than younger, healthier people.

“COVID hit us over the head with a two-by-four. ‘Older lives do not have the same value as younger lives.’ People were willing to say that out loud. We knew we had to do something,” said Maurer.

“Were all ageists and we will all be victims of ageism. Every last one of us,” Maurer said. “The irony is that when you talk to people, 90% of them get it - that denigrating getting older is ultimately about them. Stop pretending it’s somebody else. You’re experiencing aging right now. Otherwise, youҒre dead.”

Last year, the council launched a program called the Leadership Exchange on Ageism to help Maine business and community leaders fight ageism. So far, 60 people have gone through the program and the council secured funding for an additional 40 participants, as well a chance to replicate the program in other states.

A similar effort has started in Australia, where more than 20 high-profile organizations and individuals formed a coalition to help fight ageism and age discrimination called EveryAGE Counts.

In Colorado, a different approach, called CHANGING THE NARRATIVE, has been used; it has raised awareness about ageism through workshops educating the public about ageist language, beliefs and practices. It also launched a campaign calling attention to ageism in healthcare and the workplace, and pushed for age-friendly policy initiatives and pop culture changes.

How will Maine actually wipe out ageism?

“We’re going to change hearts and minds one at a time. It’s a top-down, bottom-up and everyone in the middle approach,” Maurer said. We’re going to start with the early adopters. You don’t start with the people who are skeptical. You start where you can.”

One metric the Maine Council on Aging will track is the number of people over 65 who are in the workforce. Another metric will follow the number of healthcare institutions, from primary care practices up to hospitals, that implement the Age Friendly Healthy System program supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation and others.

The council also will push for a reduction in age-based stereotypes and language in reporting after an intervention with local media, as well as track the investment that the state of Maine makes financially in infrastructure that supports healthy aging. Other efforts will focus on giving older people an opportunity to make decisions on how public money is spent to develop affordable housing for older people.

“Its a lofty goal. Whenever we put our minds to tackling something as big as an ‘ism’ - it’s admirable. Addressing ageism is going to take a movement like this,” Tracey Gendron, chair for the Virginia Commonwealth University’s department of gerontology and executive director for the Virginia Center on Aging. “I do think this will make a difference. They’re putting action behind their words.”

Gendron likened the Maine campaign to other public health efforts such as getting people to wear seat belts, use sunscreen or stop smoking.

“People DON’T UNDERSTAND the consequences of ageism and this will help,” Gendron said. “It’s important for anyone to take the lead. What Maine is doing is creating a playbook that can be replicated. Here’s what we’re doing, here’s what were reading. This is the training we’re doing. Here’s the steps we’re taking. So it can be replicated in other states.”

Janine Vanderburg, director and chief catalyst at Changing the Narrative in Colorado, said she believes Maine’s efforts can make a difference and help eradicate ageism.

“We don’t wave a magic wand and ageism disappears. But goals are important. The more were all spreading these ideas around, the more work gets done” Vanderburg said.

Maurer admits that the amount of change needed will be tough to manage.

“Ageism is going to IMPACT EVERYONE and it’s uniformly bad. If we do nothing - this suffering is coming to a theater near you,” Maurer said. “Change is hard. Humans only change things when things don’t work. The next 10 to 20 years is going to involve a lot of change, and it’s going to be hard.”

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/29/22 •
Section Dealing with Layoff
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