Sunday, April 1, 2007

Incentives? Can We Negotiate?

Wretched Excess would be a great name for a rock band (apologies to Dave Barry), but in this case it's part of the headline for a review in the Chicago Sun-Times of a new book called Boomsday.

Written by Christopher Buckley, the book is said to sizzle with the same rollicking brand of satire on display in his Thank You for Smoking and Florence of Arabia: A Novel. Both of which were terrific.

Anyway, here is what we newspeople call the "nut graf" of the review, which approvingly calls the the plot " convoluted as Social Security financing and as outrageous as mass suicide."

Indeed, the central character, 29-year-old Cassandra (Cass) Devine, suggests the latter as a solution to the former. Angry over the government's fiscal irresponsibility in taking "food off my generation's table in order to feather the nests of aging, self-indulgent, pampered Baby Boomers," she proposes in a blog that, in exchange for certain incentives, boomers be encouraged to commit suicide -- or, as she calls it, Voluntary Transitioning -- at age 65 or 70 to prevent Social Security's financial meltdown.

And so, our first question: Do these incentives include complimentary FloMax (our current all-time favorite prescription drug) during the pre-transitional period?

The book comes from Twelve, a relatively new, impressively exclusive and rather interesting publishing house. Read more from the review here.

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