Matt Brundage

Senior Citizen discounts

Poverty Rates by Age Put an end to senior citizen discounts. You read that correctly. No more 1/2 off breakfast platters at Denny’s and IHOP. No more $3 off movie tickets. No more discounted hotel rooms or plane rides.

The myth that seniors fall into poverty when they retire couldn’t be further from the truth, as a visit to the Census Bureau website will attest. In 2006, the percentage of seniors (those over 64) in poverty was a mere 9.4% — about 25% less than the national average. Minors (those under 18) were almost twice as likely to be in poverty, with a rate of 17.4%.

If an establishment must discriminate based on age, a “minor discount” or “under-18 discount” would be the most logical, as that age group has the highest levels of poverty. 45 years ago, though, seniors were the ones suffering the most. Sadly, they are still stuck with that reputation.

2 Responses to “Senior Citizen discounts”

  1. Haven says:

    Yes: But does one really take into account the large amount of money that they are forced to spend for health care, medications, and often-times nursing home fees? I’ve always spent large amounts of time with senior citizens, both wealthy and poor, and can tell you it is not a cheap lifestyle. Their expenses far outweigh any other age group.

    However: Even if they’re wealthy or not, it’s still a sign of respect to our elders to give them a discount. It’s very much part of our society to ignore the elderly and look down upon them, I think that giving them discounts is a way to give them respect that they deserved. The majority have spent their life working for a living, paying taxes, raising children, etc, etc…when old age rolls around they should have a right to certain peaks. I don’t think 18 year olds should have these perks at all – the majority of 18 year olds are already privileged brats and don’t need to be any more spoiled.

    Just keep in mind that this is coming from someone who has been studying society, and societal changes, non-stop for nearly four years. So while you might view this from a consumer point of view, I view this from a societal point of view. It has nothing to do with being liberal, it’s merely how society works. If you go back in history, you’ll notice that the elderly have always been granted more respect and more rights. This has of course lessened considerably in modern times, starting in Victorian times when old age started to be viewed as “disgusting.” It is interesting to note that in Japan, where the elderly are still revered and respected, the average life expenctancy is nearly twenty years more than the US. Coincidence? Probably, but it would still be interesting to look at the correlation between the two.

    Anyway, it was interesting dropping by your site – I enjoy doing it once in a while. You normally have well-thought out arguments, even if I quite disagree with them.

  2. Bonnie says:

    Seniors don’t receive discounts because they can’t afford things. They receive discounts to encourage them to spend their disposable income at the establishment offering the discount. They tend to have more disposable money as a group (obviously there are some big time exceptions) and spend less money than any other group. What’s the point of encouraging 18-24 year old men to frequent McDonalds when that’s the demographic that already frequents it? They also tend to spend money at times when the rest of us are working, going to school or the like. Retailers can’t close their doors for a couple hours in between commute time and lunch and then lunch time and commute time. Encouraging someone to fill up those time frames simply makes good business sense, not ageism.