Monday, June 4, 2012

Pension or Prison?

A friend of mine sent me a new joke which is currently going around the Internet. Having discussed some of our concerns about health care here in the US as we age, he found a new plan for me.
You're a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home available for you. So what do you do?
Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are allowed to shoot four Politicians. Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you will get three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, air conditioning and all the health care you need!
Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart? They’re all covered. As an added bonus, your kids can come visit you as often as they do now. Who pays for all this? It’s the same government that just told you that you they cannot afford for you to go into a home. Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay income taxes anymore.
Is this a great country or what?

It really isn't all that funny. I mean, I laughed when I read it and it amuses me, but the bottom line is there is truth mixed in with it, and it is a little frightening.
Another friend of mine and I were discussing prisons. He runs a prison ministry He had two related stories for this and both concerned the Federal prisons.
When he first started his prison ministry he and his mentor visited a Federal prison. One inmate told him "This? This is a vacation, a country club. When I get out of here I'll go back to doing the same things I was doing before." Inmates in the Federal prison dress in civilian clothes and they are assigned to rooms or small houses. They had a choice of three different lines to choose dinner; one was specifically if you were on a diet and wanted to lose some weight. Just as a side note, the man mentioned above told him "You can preach all you want. I don't believe in God." My friend's mentor said to the man "Then you don't mind if I pray for God to take your life." The man became a believer pretty fast.
The second story was more recent. A couple he knows are now convicted of federal embezzlement crimes and must report to a Federal prison for three to five years. They sat down with him to find out what the prisons would be like.
My friend said "I told them to be glad it's a Federal prison and not a State prison. Federal prisons are built by Senators and Congressmen in case they end up going to jail."
So the joke isn't so funny anymore. You do lose your freedom, though. According to some inmates in Norway's Bastoy prison, that's the part that matters the most.
I don't want to shoot anyone to get a better retirement deal in the United States of America. We're supposed to be the most innovative country in the world. Can't we come up with some sort of retirement community plan for seniors that could rival a Federal prison?

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