Though we tend to knock the younger generation, at least they possess enough sense to understand the sobering reality of their situation: they will never achieve what they want, and their lives, such as they are, will be an endless series of battles against disappointment. Cheers to the young for their realism. More than we can say for their elders.

According to a new survey, the vast majority of elderly people in America—despite being not only stuck in a nation on the brink of moral and financial bankruptcy, but also afflicted with the harsh and painful ravages of time, with little to no real health care safety net to save them from oblivion—are optimistic.

  • "The majority of older Americans (64 percent) report that it is very or somewhat easy to pay their monthly living expenses now"
  • "More than three in four seniors aged 60 to 69 expect their quality of life to stay the same or get better over the next five to 10 years."
  • "More than eight in 10 agree with the statement, ―I have a strong sense of purpose and passion about my life and my future."

The only logical explanation for such a rosy prevailing outlook among the demographic most likely to suffer osteoporosis and the loss of a grandchild's love on the same day is this: the proximity to death's door serves as an intoxicant, causing the elderly to take leave of their worldly senses and rush forward to meet the Grim Reaper's bony embrace. With the grave as your constant beckoning companion, what use is it mourning your bursitis and the collapse of your nation's claim to global supremacy? For the elderly, this mortal world is but a momentary stop in a longer journey towards the void. Might as well chillax about it.

Objectively speaking, though, they are fucked.

[NCOA via The New Old Age. Photo: Bill McChesney/ Flickr]