June 6, 2020


Why is it that age limits never apply to men? (Prue Leith, June 4, 2020, Spectator USA)

I'm not sure that we oldies aren't being over-protected at the expense of the young. We're told that people over 70 are 90 percent more likely to die of coronavirus than young children, so I guess it's important to keep us out of harm's way so we don't clog up the hospitals. But I bet some economist somewhere is thinking what a good thing it would be for the country if there were a lot fewer old people. We are a very expensive cohort: we need a lot of healthcare; we don't earn any money, we don't do much work and we live longer and longer. Anthony Trollope wrote an amazing novel, The Fixed Period, about a shipwrecked community in the South Seas who devise a quasi-religion that makes it compulsory, and honorable, to walk into oblivion at the age of 70. Interestingly, when the charismatic leader responsible for this solution nears 70 himself, suddenly it doesn't seem like such a good idea.

Funny that. I can't count the number of men in my long business life, who, when reaching 70 and expected to leave the board, found very good reasons why an exception should be made in their case: 'I'm the only true hotelier on the board; I understand the history of the company like no one else; So-and-so needs my guidance for a couple of years.' Dictatorial presidents are less subtle. They just change the rules.

Posted by at June 6, 2020 8:35 AM