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Do the Wal-Mart Commercials
Tell a Different Story?

By Mary MacElveen

We have all seen the Wal-Mart commercials on our television sets where they show senior citizens working in their stores. From looking at these commercials, these seniors look like a happy bunch. They seem happy to be interacting with the younger generation, feeling productive, and getting out of their homes. That is because for the most part across America, many of our seniors are truly isolated. But through these commercials is Wal-Mart deceiving the American consumer on the true state of affairs facing our senior citizens? Are these seniors truly happy after a lifetime of working hard, to be doing so in their golden years? Some might, but perhaps many need that extra income in order to survive. They may need this extra income to help pay for increased prices in the medications they take. During the 2000 presidential campaign, then candidate Bush said he promised to address this very issue to help our seniors that have given so much for our country. After all, they are called, “The Greatest Generation”. They know all too well what it means to sacrifice, since many had to do without and did so without question during World War Two. But, haven’t they sacrificed enough? Through the Bush budget and his surplus breaking tax cut, we see all too well who got the lions share of our tax dollars. But our seniors are left with the scraps. In many societies our seniors are revered, but it just seems to me that under this present administration they are not. George Bush should be ashamed of himself.

To back up my argument that these tax cuts, the war on terrorism and the Bush budget have devastated our senior citizens, I urge you to go to this AARP article and judge for yourself. It is located at this site. Mr. Bush has argued many times for the private sector, namely businesses to help out in so many social issues, but according to this article, many businesses are failing to do so.

It is also well known that many states put their retirement investment programs into Enron, and those investments all but disappeared due to the collapse of Enron. Leaving these retirees in an economic crunch. But, no one has been held accountable yet for this practice. We see Kenneth Lay being able to keep his vast millions due to certain loopholes in the law, but our seniors who have depended upon these funds for their retirement are not protected. One state in particular is Florida. Where many of our seniors go to live out the rest of their life in dignity and hopefully in good financial health. This year Governor Bush is running for reelection. I am calling on all Florida Democrats to really reach out to the retirement communities down there to pull the rug out from under his reelection bid. He should be punished severely for allowing those funds to be invested in Enron.

I think a great strategy for us Democrats to use is by us individually going up seniors who work in these stores, and ask them if they want to work or need to work. Ask them about the proposed Bush plan to help them with their escalating prescription costs, and if they believe that promise will ever be fulfilled. Also remind them of the invasion of their Social Security funds all to pay for the war on terrorism. Where the lions share of these funds will be going to defense contractors who have given heavily to the Bush campaign. Terrorism happens on many different fronts, and right now our seniors are being terrorized by the escalating costs of prescription medications. They are still choosing whether their money goes for food or drugs. People joked about the lock box, but for our seniors it is no joke.