A wrong turn calls for a U-turn

Down through history it was expected that men of wealth and influence would live longer than the common rabble.

Thus it would surprise no one that former presidents of the United States often achieved great age even while toil and poor living conditions took the average American while still much younger. Even so, when John Adams, the former second president, turned 90 in October of 1825, he joined an even more exclusive club.

It wasn't until 1964 that another former president, Herbert Hoover, reached that age. The next nonagenarian former president was Ronald Reagan, who set the age record in 2004 by living to 93 but held it for only two years. Now it's held by the late Gerald Ford.

In just a few weeks, George H.W. Bush will join this growing fraternity, as will Jimmy Carter in October. Their milestones will be of some interest to the nation, but these days people living into their 90s are not at all hard to find. My own grandmother lived to be 93, and her two eldest sons also reached their 90s.

What accounts for this longevity not only among the wealthy and influential but also among the middle and working classes, is a combination of ever-improving living conditions, better nutrition, and phenomenal health care.

At least, that was true until the health care system was upended by legislation enacted in 2010. That, combined with a poor outlook for the middle and working classes under the present administration's economic policies, bodes poorly for the future.

I don't worry that Bush or Carter – or Clinton or Obama – may not live to be 100, but I do worry that our hamstrung economy and increasingly regimented health care system, where every medical decision is now second-guessed not merely by insurance companies but also by unelected D.C. bureaucrats, will erode the gains in longevity and standard of living in the coming decades.

Something needs to be done to put this country back on the upward track we remember. While there are still those among us who do.

Kevin McGehee

Newnan



More Opinion

Georgia Says

The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia, on the passing of former Gov. Carl Sanders: We wouldn't have the Georgia we know today if it weren' ... Read More


Support for UWG-Newnan

Local residents’ support of the University of West Georgia Newnan campus, currently under construction at the old hospital on Jackson ... Read More


Why the secret vote?

During a recent regular meeting, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners voted to go into executive session. For those unfamiliar with the ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: REALLY?!? The city of Newnan and Coweta County are joining with VestNewnan to ap ... Read More


Georgia Says

Morning News, Savannah, Georgia, on immigration reform: President Obama must be tone deaf. His threat to go it alone on comprehensive immig ... Read More

Seeing the light

If you’re paying attention, you’d never know that only a couple of years ago this area was in the midst of one of the worst econ ... Read More