Yep, my father, who is the hardest-working person I've met in my 26 years, was let go by his firm yesterday. Not because he didn't do his job well -- he did, saved the company money, and generally kicked ass at what he did. He was let go because the firm just couldn't continue to spend that money on a 62-year old. You see, paying someone near retirement to save your firm millions isn't worth it.
This isn't about my father though -- I'm pissed off on his behalf, yes. The broader issue is the extent to which our society as a whole dismisses those 50+. It's not just about social security (which must be defended at all costs). It's extremely important that our elders have opportunities to work, and work in a context outside of gas stations or groceries.
What we have here is a society that consistently dismisses the elderly by virtue of the fact that they're not young. This is not cool, not okay, and frankly unfair. I'll keep this short, but if we don't protect our elders, who are we as a society? The most vulnerable among us are those whom we must protect at all costs. It's not that complicated.