If only business was as good to America’s struggling older workers as it is for the AARP.
In 2010, the AARP had assets totaled $2,546,636,000. According to its 2013 Financial Report, the AARP’s assets had grown to $3,026,971,000 in 2012 and $3,393,94,000 in 2013. By 2014, the AARP’s assets totaled $3,585,853,000.
That’s an 40.8 percent rise since 2010.
Meanwhile, a recent AARP survey showed that half of the people ages 45 to 70 who experienced unemployment during the past five years are not currently working. Fifty percent of survey respondents reported they were either unemployed or had dropped out of the labor force. Among those who had become reemployed, nearly half said they were earning less than in their previous jobs.
In my book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace, I show indisputably that older workers are suffering from unaddressed and epidemic age discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was weak to begin with and has been eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Older workers have far less protection than their counterparts under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. My attempts to interest the AARP in working to ensure that older workers obtain equal justice under the law have met a solid wall of disinterest. This, despite the fact that age discrimination in the workplace denies millions of older Americans the right to work and dooms them to poverty or near poverty in their old age.
The AARP calls itself the leading advocate for Americans aged 50 and older. But the AARP also sells the most popular “Medigap” plans in the United States, AARP Medicare Supplement Health Insurance Plans, as well as a huge array of travel services, high tech products and … you name it.
The AARP’s for-profit enterprise, AARP Services, Inc., is essentially marketing access generated by its non-profit entity, the AARP Foundation, to 37 million of America’s oldest consumers.
Is it really too much to ask the AARP to use some of its riches to do more than just take surveys – to act to insure that older workers are treated equally under the law, and not subjected to bogus restructurings and downsizings, chronic unemployment and poverty in old age? Fifty years of inequality is enough.