Yesterday morning, I received an email from a man who occasionally sends me a link to a website, essay or news story that is related to the kinds of things I write about here.
His email signature includes a link to his blog crowsperch where, until a couple of weeks ago, he had not written anything since 2011. His sig also includes this:
Wondering why I'd not done so when I have received past emails from Mr. Delmore, I tracked down a bit more about him. His blog tells us this:
I was born and live in Seattle, the youngest of 11 and I am an identical twin. I have been writing poetry, successfully and unsuccessfully since I was 17.
Delmore's next-to-last 2011 blog post expands on this:
”I was reminded that I have not written here for quite awhile. So a quick update. I got divorced and moved to Seattle and some healing. My latest book Tell them that you saw me but you didn't see me saw is being published by Moon Pie Press at the end of the month.”
You'll find that book with a poem sample at the Moonpie Press website. There is another, A Poultice for Belief at Amazon although currently unavailable. Librarything has another of his books, Child is Working to Capacity.
You never know who you'll meet on the interwebs and it's nice to know a bit about the people who are kind enough to write and give me suggestions.
What Delmore sent is a blog post at the Arts Journal website asking, Why do Seniors Get Discounts?
Since that essay, by Michael Rushton, is about pricing of the arts, there is a bunch of discussion in the post about elder poverty past and present, Social Security, Medicare and redistribution of wealth before he gets to an interesting thought about us old folks:
”...many discounts we observe in the market are targeted at seniors not because they are poorer but because evidence suggests they are careful shoppers, mindful of prices, searching for deals.
“The discounts at cinemas may be the result of (misdirected?) altruism by the owners, but it also could simply be a realization of different willingness-to-pay by seniors, a group that is easily identified and segmented by the presenter.
“Seniors pay less for groceries than non-seniors who shop at the very same stores, not because of discounts labelled [sic] “seniors discount” but because they take advantage of coupons, and random sales.
"In that case, the store recognizes different willingness-to-pay by a group but employs indirect price discrimination to provide the discount.”
Mr. Rushton, I believe, is on to something.
We old people have a lifetime behind us of purchasing mistakes due to carelessness, lack of knowledge and lack of time when we were working and raising a family.
Now, in retirement we have more time than younger people together with the internet that makes comparison shopping so easy.
Way back in 2005, I wrote about a TGB reader's and my own first senior discounts as a rite of passage into elderhood. Mine had a been a movie theater discount and I routinely ask for them now.
But except for movies, mostly I forget to inquire. Some elders, however, refuse discounts even when freely offered. On that 2005 post, Millie Garfield of My Mom's Blog left this story in the comments:
”I was waiting in line at the movies one day when the woman in front of me said to the cashier, 'you gave me too much change back.' The cashier's response was that was the senior rate.
“The customer was so mad she insisted on paying the full price! I guess she was not a senior and was insulted that she was taken for one.”
Mr. Rushton wrote his blog post to refute another that quite forcefully stated it's not elders who need discounts, but millennials:
”You’ve seen them on the bus, in museums, and at movie theaters: senior discounts. As a reward for being old, senior citizens pay a quarter less for bus fare, a small fortune less for movie tickets, and receive discounts generally all over the place.
“If you’re a twentysomething, or part of what some journalists have colorfully called “the screwed generation,” you may be wondering: why not me?
“It's Millennials, not seniors, that are vulnerable today. Yet it's still the seniors that receive discounts on public services and benefit from price discrimination by private companies.
“So if you’re a twentysomething, the next time you see an adorable old lady paying less bus fare with her senior discount, demand that you receive the discount instead of her. Tell the driver it’s the screwed Millennial discount.”
Pretty much everyone who's not in the one percent is having financial difficulties since the financial collapse in 2008. How do you feel about elders being the only generation that is routinely offered discounts?
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marc Leavitt: On Sleeping In