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WikiProject United States Public Policy (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
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Campaign Finance Law[edit]

If the AARP is, as the article states, "known for advancing the interests of aging populations through lobbying efforts at the state and national governmental level" then why aren't they subject to any campain finance laws like PACs are? 17:57, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

interesting trivia[edit]

In his widely referenced article/later book Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam (political scientist) remarks that " even more dramatic example is the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which grew exponentially from 400,000 card-carrying members in 1960 to 33 million in 1993, becoming (after the Catholic Church) the largest private organization in the world."

Second to the church in

(I hope Vicarious enjoyed his drunken night in front of his PC.)

Jabbi 02:12 15 dec 2005 GMT



Seeing as though the acronym AARP no longer stands for American Association of Retired Persons, should the title be changed to "AARP" from "American Association of Retired Persons"?

  • I'll second that.--Hraefen 02:56, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
  • So... uh... what DOES it stand for? -Anonymous
That was the former acronym, but now the name AARP stands for itself. The title of the org. is now "AARP," not :: insert old name ::, so it makes more sense if the WP article's title is AARP Mike Murray 21:45, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree. (It no longer stands for anything, it's now just a name with a historical 'former' meaning. --Rehcsif 14:13, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I will third that motion. 15:03, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

It's onomatopoetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:26, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Current version is the AARP PR version.[edit]

According to today's LA Times,

In late 2003, when the Bush administration was struggling to get its Medicare prescription drug program through Congress, a timely endorsement by AARP helped turn the tide in its favor. But the program has become more than just a legislative victory for the influential lobbying group and its pro-senior-citizen agenda.

... With at least 1.8 million members and counting, the AARP plan has the potential to generate royalty revenues amounting to tens of millions of dollars for the organization.

To help finance its activities, the organization long has sold various types of insurance. It derives more income from its businesses than from the $12.50 annual dues paid by each of its 35 million members.

According to a Paul Krugman editorial,

[F]or most of its history the A.A.R.P. was basically a business enterprise using politics as a sales gimmick. Until the 1980's, a mogul named Leonard Davis effectively controlled the organization, using its publications and mailing lists as a way to sell insurance to members. The A.A.R.P.'s political activism was undertaken essentially for advertising purposes: just as corporations sponsored the recent Olympics to enhance the credibility of overpriced gym shoes, the A.A.R.P. sponsored pro-retiree legislation to enhance the credibility of overpriced insurance policies. Of such seeming trivialities are public policy disasters made.

Ironically, the Davis years were brought to an end by another institution whose commercial success depends on its image as a public crusader: the television program "60 Minutes," which did a devastating expose of the organization in 1978. Since then, the A.A.R.P. has gone a long way toward cleaning up its act.

Krugman refers mostly to the book, The AARP America's Most Powerful Lobby and the Clash of Generations by Charles R. Morris

This site has a more balanced, detailed history. If you search AARP's site for "Leonard Davis", you find nothing.

I'm not well versed enough in Wikipedia to properly present this information, nor do I have time for researching better citations, but it should balance what is now a very uncritical article.

Page not found, re This site Brian Pearson (talk) 17:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


(Copying this from Talk:AARP the Magazine) KeithTyler added a merge tag here without explanation, so I'm simply starting talk page discussion in order that others might weigh in. The magazine, to be sure, is notable irrespective of its AARP association, if only in view of its massive circulation, but it is also, unlike other geriatric magazines, inextricably linked to AARP, getting its readership only by virtue of its AARP association. I haven't yet developed an opinion apropos of a prospective merge, I suppose. WP:MM suggests that we merge where the instant page is very short and cannot or should not be expanded terribly much, and I can't imagine that this article could be greatly expanded; OTOH, Consumers Union and Consumer Reports, between which the relationship is similar to that betwixt the two articles of which we write, have separate articles, even as they cover related subjects...[and] have a large overlap (viz., in that CR is published by CU, such that the former is largely incorporated by reference into the latter) (see also ESPN The Magazine and ESPN). At the very least, I think we can safely say that, if this article can't be expanded much, we should merge; if it can be expanded, well, we should expand it. Thoughts? Joe 22:35, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

To the degree the Magazine is a real journalistic publication, it may deserve its own article. To the degree it's just an AARP newsletter, it does not. 20:14, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


"Today, "AARP" is not considered an acronym, but simply a name." Move back to AARP? Rich Farmbrough 07:42 31 May 2006 (UTC).

Requested move[edit]


  • Support: Per original nom. —Wknight94 (talk) 17:13, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. American Association of Retired Persons should redirect to AARP, not vice versa. --Rehcsif 18:29, 18 July 2006 (UTC)


Add any additional comments

I have moved the article per request. I also changed the tag at the top of the article to reflect the change. Thanks --liquidGhoul 03:14, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Added some critical views to begin moving toward NPOV[edit]

This was pretty much an AARP PR site, as somebody said above, not very encyclopeda-ish. I added some section names and a few critical items, to start the article moving toward neutral. I lifted source ideas from those who posted above, thanks. I think there's a lot more that can be added, the article is still pretty much a skeleton.

How did I get myself into this? Well, I looked up AAA to find out how their hotel-rating system worked, then I looked up AARP just out of curiousity because I am a member of that exclusive organization as well, and up came this page, tidy but tilted. I'm new and I thought it would be good practice to fix it up a little. The source material is a real snoozefest, but the editing was fun. --CliffC 00:23, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, I revised the Criticism section to make it more clear that's the act it was talking about.
When is it time to remove the {{Expand}}
tag? --CliffC 13:49, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I would leave the tag. AARP is a huge and very influential organization. What we have here is still pretty bare-bones relative to the influence they wield.--Hraefen Talk 14:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Added a photograph[edit]

Tourists at Oahu island, Hawaii

Until something better comes along, I added the photograph at right, lifted from Tourism. It seems like a nicely neutral shot of "active" 50-somethings enjoying themselve by doing pretty much nothing, and avoids the stereotypical image of a smiling grandma and grandpa on the shuffleboard court. I also considered this one and this one.

--CliffC 16:35, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Anyone have a photo of the AARP headquarters in DC? This would be an appropriate photo... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


Wow, today it's 37 million? This is like watching the McDonald's "___ Billion Served" sign. Does anything besides the headine of the 10/31 AARP press release about car rentals support this? Recently someone reduced the membership number in the article to 33 million from 35 million, and I don't know where that number came from either. --CliffC 19:37, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

I cited it and clarified that it's AARP's own number. 15:40, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe that it should be changed to 40 million, since that is what it now states on AARP's about section. (talk) 21:57, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Is link to 60 Plus history of AARP legit?[edit]

As far as I can tell, 60 Plus is a highly partisan group, possibly political astroturf. The American Prospect article says the following (be aware The American Prospect is partisan on the other side):

... a coterie of "seniors" groups ... had been created by archconservative and direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, including the United Seniors Association, the Seniors Coalition, and the 60 Plus Association. They hired former Republican representatives to lobby and coordinate activities. Although founded years earlier, none of these groups were very active on Capitol Hill until the Republican takeover. Suddenly they were invited to testify in support of Republican Medicare cuts. Jim Martin, president of the 60 Plus Association, testified in 1995 against AARP, arguing that as a lobbying group, it should not be allowed to receive federal grant money. Through public statements and reports detailing AARP activities and finances, these groups attempted to discredit AARP. A bumper sticker distributed by 60 Plus declared, "AARP: Association Against Retired Persons."

(Linkified by me, of course)

The question is, is it appropriate to link to their history of AARP, even if we contextualize the link as a critic's history? I have no reason to think 60 Plus is a reliable source. On the other hand, I haven't found another history that covers the ground theirs does. Try Googling 'AARP history' -- there's nothing out there. 15:53, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Seems OK to me, given that it's characterized as you suggest. If we only allowed undisputedly neutral sources, we'd lose all the cites to my favorite newspaper. --CliffC 17:35, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm ... "neutral" and "reliable" are two different things. But lacking anything better, I would leave it for now. 22:56, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Needs AARP's response to critics, for balance[edit]

The article does clearly identify the criticism as such, but it lacks the other side. We need more balance. 17:00, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Other side? The entire article reads like it was written by the AARP's PR form. The miniscule Criticism section could be much longer, and reads how it is supposed to read - as a criticism. The are is already far short of being NPOV as it is.

Political posture statement[edit]

I'm removing the following statement, which needs to edited to meet the standards of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Attribution.

[AARP has been] generally and historically liberal in its advocated political posture

Also, I think it may be hard to fit it, with NPOV balance, in the intro. Perhaps in another section? Guanxi 15:43, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Is that statement disputed? Brian Pearson (talk) 17:09, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Money magazine article has some good info[edit]

It's from 1988, but it covers much history until that point. I don't have time at the moment, but maybe someone else wants to mine what's useful (I added it to External Links, too) Guanxi (talk) 15:14, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

"Sam Biglari"[edit]

I removed the following:

(Adrus founded AARP) along with the help of Professor Sam Biglari of Harvard.[1]

Here's why:

  • The citation is not a Reliable Source. It's a user-maintained website.
  • I searched Google, and the NY Times back to 1851, for AARP Biglari, and found nothing.
  • I searched for biglari and found nothing.
  • I searched Google and the Times back to 1851 for Biglari harvard and also found nothing, except another Wikipedia article. I wonder if he exists (pardon my ignorance if he does).

If he does exist, and he was involved in the AARP, we need a citation from a reliable source saying so. Guanxi (talk) 23:27, 10 June 2008 (UTC)



Someone might want to add info on their subsidiary, National Retired Teachers Association. Info on their website. Pretty big and impressive. (talk) 01:54, 21 June 2009 (UTC)Robert Tolmach

Quality assessment[edit]

I've looked at this article to get an idea of Wikipedia:WikiProject United States Public Policy/Assessment might compare with the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment, which I'm more familiar with. My first impression is that the present article resembles C-Class, so I'll do an assessment against the B-Class criteria:

  1. B-Class-1: It is suitably referenced, and all major points have appropriate inline citations.
    - There are some weakly referenced sections, particularly 'Activities' and the last paragraph of 'Divided We Fail'.
  2. B-Class-2: It reasonably covers the topic, and does not contain obvious omissions or inaccuracies.
    - I'm unsure how comprehensive the content is, but judging by the talk page, there have been numerous requests for expansion, perhaps broadly met now.
  3. B-Class-3: It has a defined structure, including a lead section and one or more sections of content.
    - Structure is defined, but is the distinction between 'Activities' and 'Health care' logical? According to the 'Criticism' section, AARP is AARP Foundation + AARP Services Inc (this needs mention in the lead). Perhaps the activities would be better organised by those two divisions explicitly?
  4. B-Class-4: It is free from major grammatical errors.
    - Pass.
  5. B-Class-5: It contains appropriate supporting materials, such as an infobox, images, or diagrams.
    - Weak here. Surely some more images could be found? (see talk above).
  6. B-Class-6: It presents content in an accessible way.
    - No problems (I added alt text for the logo).

So this would be a decent C-Class article per WP 1.0. Hopefully it will also be assessed against USPP criteria, and it should be interesting to see what that arrives at. --RexxS (talk) 00:22, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

It would be better if what reads as ad copy/promotional material was removed. Huw Powell (talk) 07:06, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that this article makes claims about lobbying that are cited by 2 Newspaper Articles alone! Isn't there a better source for, what I assume should be, publicly available documentation? ILMostro (talk) 23:25, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

American Seniors Association[edit]

American Seniors Association adds almost nothing to what's written in AARP#Criticism, and the group doesn't seem to have had any news coverage since 2009: is it notable enough for its own article, or should it redirect here? Thanks, Gurt Posh (talk) 16:11, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Well that's two weeks with no reply, so I'll go ahead and merge. Gurt Posh (talk) 15:19, 18 June 2011 (UTC)


They sent me a card with a number when I turned 50. I threw it out. Does their membership figure only include dues-paying dupes people? Or do they claim everyone they have mailed a card to? Huw Powell (talk) 07:09, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Is it correct for Wikipedia not to be neutral[edit]

There seem to be two competing associations for seniors in the United States AARP and ASA. It is incorrect to present only one of these associations. I was trying to find information about these two associations in order to be able to decide which is the one which best suits my concerns as retired citizen. I only found out that Wikipedia supports one of the associations and rejects the other.

The only conclusions I could draw from Wikipedia it that Wikipedia is not an objective source of information. Maybe there was an article which did not have sufficient information on ASA. This could have been eventually completed with additional information. But presenting only one of the associations and not the other one is definitely incorrect and confusing. A site with encyclopedic claims should present the information. If this would be generalized, Wikipedia could present only America as a continent and not present Africa or Asia, considering them less important than America (actually this happens if not for continents, at least for other information which is considered less important if it deals with developing countries). Anyway, just another proof of the lack of reliability of Wikipedia information. 04:46, 17 September 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Afil (talkcontribs)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on AARP. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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