You’ve probably seen television ads, or received mailings, directed to seniors and arguing for or against some proposed regulation or law. The organizations making those arguments often have names that contain words such as “United” or “Coalition”, and claim to represent millions of senior citizens.
However, some of these so-called seniors associations run advertising campaigns that have little to do with seniors. Furthermore, when they do address senior matters they often take positions that support special interests and are unfavorable to seniors.
One “seniors coalition” states in its literature that it is not funded by businesses. Yet on its tax return for 2001, it lists several million dollars from large corporations, and no income from membership dues. Several other organizations that purport to represent senior citizens receive substantial contributions from professional societies and other business entities.
The lesson? Don’t assume that an organization’s name reflects either its true purpose or the real source of its funds.
W. A. Shapiro