Monday, May 02, 2005

A Baby Boomer looks at his cohort

It is no secret that I have problems with a significant portion of the Baby Boomers. They walked their pampered selves into the America of high promise, and left us with this. GEN X and Y are doing a fair job trying to survive the cultural fetid byproduct of the Boomer’s selfishness, but their numbers are hard to fight. As young adults and now leaders, the Boomers have not left an environment easy to raise the next generation. At least some of the social trends the Boomers helped decimate are slowly turning back from the abyss.

Speaking of difficult relationships, 80% of the time NYT’s writer NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF drives me nuts, the other 20 % of the time he is spot on.
As a baby boomer myself, I can be blunt: We boomers won't be remembered as the "Greatest Generation." Rather, we'll be scorned as the "Greediest Generation."
About 20 years too late, but I’ll take this as progress.

Mr. Kristof is a Boomer, and he calls his Generation out.
Our influence has been huge. When boomer blood raged with hormones, we staged the sexual revolution and popularized the Pill. Now, with those hormones fading, we've popularized Viagra.
As we've aged, age discrimination has become a basis for lawsuits, and the most litigated right has become the right to die. The hot issue of the moment is Social Security, and the newest entitlement program is a prescription drug benefit for the elderly.
We need to hear more like this. Everything they have done to our culture has been based on their selfishness and self-focus. You saw it when the drinking age went from 18 to 21 (hey, doesn’t affect me), to Stalinist Tenure Terror at major universities (no one can punish you for your beliefs, until we gain control – then you have to agree with us) and so-on-and-so-on. The train wreck of political fights starts this decade shipmates, the Boomers are retiring – and they want as much of your and your children’s money as possible.
With boomers about to retire, I'm afraid that national priorities will be focused even more powerfully on the elderly rather than the young - because it's the elderly who wield political clout.
"The elderly are retired, and it's easier to get them to go to rallies or write their congresspeople," notes Heather Boushey of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. "Children can't vote, don't give money and have no power, and neither do their parents."
We boomers are also preying on children in a more insidious way: We're running up their debts, both by creating new entitlement programs and by running budget deficits today. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist and fiscal expert who with Scott Burns wrote the excellent and scary book "The Coming Generational Storm," calls this "fiscal child abuse."
Hat tip Ramesh at The Corner.

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