March 24, 2005

Terri Schiavo and the "Hurry Up and Die" Movement

In the uneven recent remake of "The Stepford Wives," Bette Midler plays the author of a bestselling memoir about her relationship with her mother entitled "I Love You, But Please Die."

That book would have sold very well indeed among Academy Award voters, who fell in love with the drab little euthanasia movie "Million Dollar Baby."

The Baby Boom Generation tends to get what it wants in terms of social attitudes, and the first wave of Baby Boomers (the Bill Clinton cohort born in 1946) is now 59. Their surviving parents are mostly octogenarians and nonagenarians, who are getting past the decorative and cuddly part of old age. But a lot of these parents of Baby Boomers are quite asset-rich, especially if they are homeowners in Blue States, where housing prices have gone up much faster over the last 25 years than in Red States.

In Jane Austen novels, the characters hardly ever shut up about inheritances, but in modern America the whole topic is semi-taboo.

So, to summarize, millions of Blue State Baby Boomers are in line to inherit a bundle ... but not if Mom or Dad lives forever or, especially, if his or her slowly declining health requires a fortune in expensive care. A nice quick fatal heart attack would do the trick, but with Lipitor and the like these days, oldsters are going slower.

So, when you wonder why a lot of people, especially Democrats, are okay with starving Terri Schiavo to death instead of having her kept expensively alive, follow the money.

It's hardly the only reason, but it's out there, and part of a big topic that almost nobody wants to talk about in 21st Century America.

Steve Sailer's homepage and blog is

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