You are about to turn 50 years old.
Suddenly your mailbox is full of full of invitations to join AARP®, that bastion of soon-to-be-dead old people intent on spending their cash down to the last farthing, shekel, or red cent, as the case may be, and in desperate need of endless discounts on self-indulgent necessities: hotel rooms, afternoon early-bird specials, and even discounts on British Airways to help get rid of your farthings.
It doesn’t cost a lot to join AARP® so some people who are usually intellectually honest join just to get the discounts even though they may disagree with AARP® on political issues. According to Wikipedia, AARP® made almost $300 million from membership dues in 2015. Are these so-called dues really dues in the conventional sense like joining and supporting civic organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis, or 4-H? Are they dues paid to an advocacy and educational group such as the National Rifle Association? Before joining just to get the discounts, shouldn’t you see what AARP® is advocating and decide if it is what you want to support? Are there better ways to get the same discounts?
The easiest way to get a discount is to ask for it! Veterans qualify for many discounts from retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and many automobile dealers. There are many ways for everybody to get discounts without paying to join an organization, especially an organization with which you disagree and is already incredibly wealthy.
(Here is a link to a site that details many discounts available to veterans.)
Don’t Join AARP®
We invite you to join us, AltARP, a community of people dedicated to preserving the Constitution of the United States and to sharing the principles of freedom with those around us, and especially with future generations. Forget about AARP®; they have forgotten about you. Russ Vaughn said it well in a 2012 issue of American Thinker, “We Didn’t Leave AARP®…AARP® Left Us.”
Even left-of-center media outlets have opined that AARP® is pushing the wrong agenda.
Stephen Miller in a November 11, 2016 opinion essay published in the Washington Post sums up the argument why no one should join AARP®: “But I don’t join because there’s one “benefit” AARP® offers that I dislike. ‘You benefit from AARP®’s leadership in Washington as AARP® fights to protect Social Security, Medicare and employment rights.’ Protect? AARP® doesn’t protect Social Security and Medicare. It prevents any serious discussion of meaningfully reforming these programs, which are in great danger of becoming insolvent.”
Steve Malkenson in the Huffington Post also recognizes that shamelessly lobbying for the supposed welfare of senior citizens is not in the best interest of all citizens: “As any actuary will tell you (and we all know in our bones), if we don’t intend to bankrupt our nation, changes need to be made to Social Security and Medicare.”
We are a private Corporation. The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people too, so we have a First Amendment right to say whatever we want within the bounds of propriety. Churches and other not-for-profit organizations have been threatened by the IRS with loss of tax-free status for taking controversial positions on some issues. We explore controversial subjects and rely on the Constitution to protect our individual and corporate voices.
We sell stuff to sustain the association. Membership is free so we rely on the sale of unusual products and from contributions or advertising from organizations that share our values.
Membership is Free
You can join AltARP for free and print our exceptionally handsome membership card proudly displaying your unique computer generated membership number. Print your card and ask for the discount. Then write us a note to tell us how it went.
A Final Thought about Discounts
Just because you may be over 50 or 65 years old, why does that make you uniquely qualified to meekly beg for a discount? Everything is negotiable. We have a President that is teaching that idea to a shocked nation. Most discounts (let’s just say all discounts) are not offered by a benevolent commercial enterprise to soothe your fragile status as a senior citizen. They are doing it for sound business reasons and understanding those reasons will get you the discount. As our friends in Latin America and China understand, haggling over the price is part of a friendly transaction. It is a skill that many people in the U.S. have not practiced so if you choose to retire, and have a lot of time on your hands, learn to enjoy haggling over prices but always remember to smile.
In the meantime, join AltARP and we will try to direct you to easy discounts and good deals.
And another thought: Don’t retire.