Thursday, December 30, 2004

AARP's Place at the Table

AARP is planning to greet the new Congress with a two-week, $5 million ad campaign featuring a "Social Insecurity" theme, according to the NY Times. The spots will feature people (a Harry-and-Louise-ish couple, an options trader and others) saying they don't want to gamble with their retirement. A number of bloggers, including Matthew Yglesias and Mark A. R. Kleiman see this as a good thing.

What is not explained by either the Times or the two bloggers is why AARP should have a strong voice in the debate. Those it represents will be uneffected by the likely reforms (even Bush has stated private accounts would be limited to workers who are younger than the AARP membership).

It sounds as though AARP itself has latched onto "retirement" as its core issue, even if the issue at hand has no direct impact on its current members.

What is lacking in this debate are organized voices from those who would be directly affected by the proposed reforms, namely Gen X and Gen Y for lack of better terms. AARP does not speak for them even if it would like to.


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