Today at lunch one of my friends asked me what the point of my whole geritocracy idea was, what I hoped to accomplish with a 'society' rebuilt under those conditions.
Honestly, I'm not a very compassionate person; however, even so, I can see this is something our society, as it is now, fails at. Every time a poor kid gets a free lunch or an elderly person uses Medicare to pay for a bad hip, someone idiot...okay, usually a lot of idiots...bawl about how it isn't fair, that they could have used that money for whatever's bothering them. I hear things like this every goddamn day. Usually from middle-aged white men. Usually from people who have never been poor, hungry, or experienced a major illness.
I think if someone lives to be in their nineties or older, they have experienced or at least witnessed enough of this kind of suffering to have a more finely tuned (or existent!) sense of compassion for their fellow humans. They understand that paying a few extra pennies a year to fight hunger, disease, and poverty is not zomg! unfair. It's what decent people do.
Then why aren't old people out there making a difference now?
Some are. I know volunteers in their mid-to-late eighties. Seriously.
But for the most part, our society warehouses the elderly starting at a pretty young age, especially if mobility issues are involved. For my part, I don't thinking walking around is that important of a qualification for good leaders. I ::heart:: FDR, yo.
We see older people as in the way, especially once they're no longer competitively spry, and as a society we do our best to not see them anymore, either by putting them away or setting up obstacles to participation in public life. Put together, all of that leads to further decline. Sad stuff, folks.
I also don't believe it's suggested much that people do anything but molder in their old age. Maybe the slightest push would do it.
And...yeah, a lot of the elderly in our society end their lives in poverty, which limits their ability to do stuff just as much as it limits everyone else's, you know? Volunteerism actually does cost something, even if it's only gasoline for the car. Usually more.
As a caveat to this issue, this is why ending political campaigns would benefit everyone. It's no longer rich bastard vs richer bastard. Geritocracy helps level the playing field somewhat. Richer people live longer, sure, but then again, the majority of our most venerable citizens are not Fortune 500 people. They're ordinary. Like the rest of us.
Yeah...so answering the original question, what do I see as the major benefits here? Compassion, work ethic, civic responsibility, and life experience, not the almighty dollar, informing our country's governance. The implications are pretty amazing, if you think about it.