A NEIGHBOR OF MINE NAMED DAVID ROTHENBERG, WHO HAS MANAGED TO reach the age of 62, informed me with some pride recently that he is now eligible for the senior-citizen discount at many movie theaters.

"How do they know you're 62?" I asked him. Could it be, I was wondering, that the accumulation of regulations in this country has reached the point at which citizens are regularly carded at both ends?

"Most ticket sellers are about 18," he said. "To them, we all look alike."

A lot of people are unenthusiastic about becoming eligible for the slim privileges that go with...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!