Editor's Column

"Young people of America, please save us. Your lack of involvement in the political process has resulted in mature adults being the primary focus of politicians, and we can't take it any more.Democrats and Republicans are all promising us old-age related stuff, such as free prescription drugs, free health care and a never-ending supply of Social Security money. They do this because of organizations such as the American Association of Retired People (pronounced AARP) whose membership includes millions of voters who think they deserve free stuff for having listened to politicians for so long. What young people of voting age don't realize is that if they only organized, the politicians would be happy to promise them free stuff, too. To date, your only offer is from George W. Bush, who will allow you to keep one-sixth of your Social Security contribution to invest yourself, probably in the high-tech companies you love so dearly. Why, if one year ago you had invested $1,000 in Microsoft, today you would have $600 saved up for retirement. Now do you understand why older people are afraid to have the undivided attention of politicians who want to help them?What this country needs is the American Association of Young People (pronounced APE) with millions of young voters paying annual dues that can be used to buy politicians. Then you too could have some promises, which at least would make political campaigns less dreary. Once AAYP is established, the politicians will start addressing young people's problems by promising more government programs, such as:* Free drugs, of the non-prescription variety. Government agents with bags of cash will be stationed on every street corner and in every schoolyard, and pay 80 percent of your drug purchases. Or, the government will bus you to Canada where drugs are cheaper.* Napster forever. Young people love their free Internet music through Napster, but corporate America is trying to shut down the Web site. Politicians won't let this happen once you start voting. Every youth will be entitled to free music, and the government will pay the corporations for whatever music is downloaded, so everyone will end up happy in a win-win solution.* Paid non-health care. Since young people have very little need for medical care, politicans will promise to pay you not to go to the doctor, based on proven government programs in which they pay farmers not to farm. Vast savings will be projected because it will cost less to not go to the doctor than to actually go, at least until the lawyers start suing doctors for nonpractice.* Subsidized housing. Everyone knows that many young people strongly desire to leave home, but can't due to high housing costs. If you would only vote, politicians would promise you government-built Junior Housing projects, with a foosball table in every room and subsidized Bud in every refrigerator.These are just a sampling of the promises young people will receive if they only organize and vote. Some of them might even be fulfilled, probably around the time you're ready for Social Security. "

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