Should Senior Citizen Discounts Be Banned?

Over at USA Today, Don Campbell is hoppin' mad about the economic injustice, nay reverse "ageism" that is the senior citizen discount. He opines:

... the question is, why should someone who is 50 or 55 and likely to live to 85 or 90 be considered a "senior citizen" worthy of special treatment?

I've now passed all the age benchmarks for senior status, and I'm committed unequivocally to a free market, but I think that such discounts are absurd, illogical, and helping fuel the growing economic divide between struggling younger generations and a self-obsessed, mostly well-to-do, older generation. To me, these "deals" add insult to injury to the very people who are being saddled with trillions of dollars in debt to support entitlement programs for the elderly, such as Medicare and Social Security.

I also find them to be a delightful source of amusement when they pit vanity against financial self-interest as cashiers try to guess your age and customers ponder admitting in public that they're a certain age in order to save a few nickels.

I was in line behind a woman at a grocery checkout in Atlanta a couple of years ago on a Wednesday, the day the store gives people age 60 and over a 5% discount. When the cashier said to the woman, "And are you taking our senior discount today?" the woman exploded: "Don't insult me like that! I'll have you know I'm 54 years old!" (She looked closer to 64 than 54, if you ask me.)

More recently, I was in one of those trendy organic food stores when the checkout clerk said to me with a big smile: "May we offer you our military or wise-man discount?" I had no idea what defined "wise man," so I just smiled back and said, "Ma'am, I am wise beyond my years." (I later found out you became "wise" at 60.)

What do you think? Should senior citizen discounts be banned? Answer after you get off Don's lawn: Link - via Moneyland

Photo: Older Than Dirt T-Shirt from the NeatoShop

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50 or 55??? Is that a senior citizen in USA? It's 65 and over here in UK. Sheesh, according to him, I'm a senior citizen.
Most senior citizens are on a low income (not all have good pensions, many were too low paid for that, and not all own their houses, many pay rent, so don't benefit from being mortgage free) and have to pay for home fuel bills all day, as they aren't at work and saving on home heating costs because of that, so their fuel bills can be much higher than people of working age. Many can do with all the help they can get. I'm neither for nor against senior citizen discounts but they aren't necessarily unjustified.
Calling people of 50 to 55 senior citizens is!
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In Australia there are a lot of seniors discounts available for over 50s that I think maybe they shouldn't be entitled to.

Eligibility for the aged pension is currently being gradually increased to 67, it's around 64 or 65 at the moment depending on your gender. I think within 10 years 67 will be the eligible age for an aged pension for everyone. I think any discounts pensioners can get are fine - the pension certainly wouldn't cover everything but whether it's the aged pension, disability or whatever, I don't see a huge difference.
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Uh, I think Don needs to relax just a tad. Helping fuel the economic divide? Are you kidding me? Yes, sure, that couple of bucks is breaking my bank and leaving my elderly parents sitting fat and happy.

Honestly I am thankful for the tiny breaks that my parents and grandfather are able to get every once in awhile. They are on fixed incomes and struggle to make ends meet. If their diner dinner costs $1.00 less than mine I say heck yeah! They worked their butts off for all those years so that their kids could have a good life. They EARNED those discounts.
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Every single person I know who gets a paycheck gets the same check every pay period. Social Security gets automatic cost of living adjustments. AND you can't be fired, downsized, etc. by social security!

I'd take a social SECURITY check over a PAY check any day...
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