Monday, January 03, 2011

The War of the West Next

This war will not be fought with guns (mostly) - but with money.

The opening shot was fired this weekend.
The oldest members of the Baby Boom generation turn 65 in 2011 and will begin to swamp the struggling Medicare program with millions of new applicants.

Boomers born in 1946 - the first year of the postwar era when birthrates soared - will be eligible for the government-administered health insurance program starting Saturday.

The AARP estimates Medicare will gain 7,000 potential recipients a day in 2011, totaling more than 2.5 million over the year.

The Baby Boom floodgate will stay open for the next two decades as more than 70 million Americans reach age 65.

Medicare covered just 45.2 million people in 2008 and cost $500 billion. By 2030, that spending is expected to double, raising concerns that the health care program could go bankrupt - a devastating blow to Baby Boomers who have paid into the system their whole working lives.
The beginning of the end before all falls down. Generational warfare as the economic mask slips when the lies can no longer hide the truth.

The clock waits for no man or program.

Yes, the generation who first lived off their parents as long a possible and began the trend of narcissistic extended adolescence - inherited the most from their parents of any generation - and are also the first generation actively planning to impoverish & steal from the their children and grandchildren to keep things focused on what is important - themselves - are likely to turn into the worst cohort of greedy geezers ever seen.

As their demographics are are ahead of ours and their sense of entitlement the greatest - let's look to Europe for a preview of what may come.
Giuliano Amato, an economist and former Italian prime minister, was even more blunt. “By now, only a few people refuse to understand that youth protests aren’t a protest against the university reform, but against a general situation in which the older generations have eaten the future of the younger ones,” he recently told Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest newspaper.

The daughter of a fireman and a high school teacher, Ms. Esposito was the first in her family to graduate from college and the first to study foreign languages. She has an Italian law degree and a master’s from Germany and was an intern at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It has not helped.

“I have every possible certificate,” Ms. Esposito said dryly. “I have everything except a death certificate.”

Even before the economic crisis hit, Southern Europe was not an easy place to forge a career. Low growth and a corrosive lack of meritocracy have long posed challenges to finding a job in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. Today, with the added sting of austerity, more people are left fighting over fewer opportunities. It is a zero-sum game that inevitably pits younger workers struggling to enter the labor market against older ones already occupying precious slots.
“What we have is a Ponzi scheme,” said Laurence J. Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University and an expert in fiscal policy.
Southern Europe are loath to hire new workers on a full-time basis, so young people increasingly are offered unpaid or low-paying internships, traineeships or temporary contracts that do not offer the same benefits or protections.

“This is the best-educated generation in Spanish history, and they are entering a job market in which they are underutilized,” said Ignacio Fernández Toxo, the leader of the Comisiones Obreras, one of Spain’s two largest labor unions. “It is a tragedy for the country.”

Yet many young people in Southern Europe see labor union leaders like Mr. Fernández, and the left-wing parties with which they have been historically close, as part of the problem. They are seen as exacerbating a two-tier labor market by protecting a caste of tenured older workers rather than helping younger workers enter the market.
The result is logical - and for a nation with few young to begin with - tragic.
As a result, a deep malaise has set in among young people. Some take to the streets in protest; others emigrate to Northern Europe or beyond in an epic brain drain of college graduates. But many more suffer in silence, living in their childhood bedrooms well into adulthood because they cannot afford to move out.

“They call us the lost generation,” said Coral Herrera Gómez, 33, who has a Ph.D. in humanities but still lives with her parents in Madrid because she cannot find steady work. “I’m not young,” she added over coffee recently, “but I’m not an adult with a job, either.”

There has been a national debate for years in Spain about “mileuristas,” a nickname for college graduates whose best job prospects may well pay just 1,000 euros a month, or $1,300.

Ms. Herrera is at the lower end of the spectrum. Fed up with earning 600 euros a month, or $791, under the table as a children’s drama teacher, Ms. Herrera said she had decided to move to Costa Rica this month to teach at a university.
Here is the light of the train.
As she spoke in a cafe in Madrid, a television on the wall featured a report on the birthday of a 106-year-old woman who said that eating blood sausage was the secret to her longevity.

The contrast could not have been stronger. Indeed, experts warn of a looming demographic disaster in Southern Europe, which has among the lowest birth rates in the Western world. With pensioners living longer and young people entering the work force later — and paying less in taxes because their salaries are so low — it is only a matter of time before state coffers run dry.
How will it end? Who can tell. Perhaps the system can save itself, but that will take the right leader. Europe in economic crisis does not have a good track record when picking leaders ... so .... we'll see.

Worst case will be a systemic crash with the young leaving and the old remaining and no system to run it effectively. Of course - if you need young, demographics in Yemen, Egypt, and Somalia should be able to help you there.

Good luck with that.

Back to the USA though - I think we will be luckier (or at least have fewer excuses) as we will have all the warning we will need by looking to Europe. We are also younger and our immigrants are mostly Western New World types. Worst case - we get better food options.

It won't be pretty though - our Boomers are the worst and will demand what they were promised. They won't care if they were lied to by both parties for decades - they want what they want and will not be denied.

I was told by Professor Liebowitz in the 80s to not expect what you are promised by the government for your old age. He was right then, and I am glad I followed his advice.

For those getting a gov't check - it will be nice for maybe the decade it will remain in its present form - but by 2020 all bets will be off. If not - 2030's reckoning will be even worse.

You've already seen the benefits start to slide. You ain't seen nothing yet.

Prepare and you will be OK. Trust in the government, and you will get what you deserve.


DeltaBravo said...

<span>Wow, Phib.  Your paragraph about how they parasitized their parents and will parasitize their children and grandchildren without a second thought... you hit the nail on the head.  You take no prisoners!</span>
<span>My generation feels like the younger sibling that followed behind the Pig.  Saw the family fortunes pillaged... everything was about Big Sibling.  Now big sibling expects the family to take care of him as he starts his end of life perpetual vacation.</span>
<span>Since I'm in a dark and caustic mood I will venture a prediction.  First it will start in Europe.</span>
<span>The generation that promoted abortion as an answer to its own self-absorbed convenience will find itself the victim of the society they created.  There will be growing and ironic calls for euthanasia as public policy in the coming decades.  </span>
<span>Let's all sing along: </span>

"Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by."

John said...

We must stop the spending.
We must not make any new entitlement programs.
We must cut back on existing entitlement programs.
We must end "refundable" tax credits.
We must raise Social Security and medicare eligibility ages.
We must cut federal employees (less DOD).
We must cut federal wages and benefits- especially Congress.
We must abolish public employee unions.
We must curtail non-productive "feel good" education programs.
We must abolish entire departments of the federal government (Education and Energy immediately, others tomorrow.)
We must teach our children to live within their incomes, even if it is a lower standard of living than they expect.
We must allow imprudently run states and cities to go bankrupt, and not bail them out with federal funds.
We must end the self imposed costs from needless envrionmental regulations.
We must elect steel spined Conservative officials, not tax and spend Democrats or the slightly less evil RINO Republican cousins.
We must enforce our borders and deny public benefits to illegal immigrants.

Or we will be an inflation racked third world country, a colony of China and/or Mexico within a decade.

Mike M. said...

I've feared most of my life that the Euthanasia State would be the ultimate outcome of this whole business.

Mike M. said...

I'd like to point out one thing.

A political generation is not, repeat not, twenty years.  It's 10-12.  The implication is that the "Baby Boomers" are NOT a monolithic group.  You have the Brat Boomers, born in the late '40s and early '50s, and the Baby Busters, born in the late '50s and early '60s.  The Baby Busters are a very, very different group - as DeltaBravo put it, we're the younger sibling who has always made do with the hand-me-downs of an older sibling that consumed all our parent's money and attention.

A very, very irresponsible elder sibling.

And a smart politician could leverage this to give real reforms traction.  Because the Brat Boomers are retiring...and the Baby Busters are entering the most productive period of their lives.  Meaning that the Busters are the most likely to be taxed into penury.

Mike M. said...

I'd like to point out one thing.

A political generation is not, repeat not, twenty years.  It's 10-12.  The implication is that the "Baby Boomers" are NOT a monolithic group.  You have the Brat Boomers, born in the late '40s and early '50s, and the Baby Busters, born in the late '50s and early '60s.  The Baby Busters are a very, very different group - as DeltaBravo put it, we're the younger sibling who has always made do with the hand-me-downs of an older sibling that consumed all our parent's money and attention.

A very, very irresponsible elder sibling.

And a smart politician could leverage this to give real reforms traction.  Because the Brat Boomers are retiring...and the Baby Busters are entering the most productive period of their lives.  Meaning that the Busters are the most likely to be taxed into penury.

DeltaBravo said...

Great reminder.  I'm crawling under the porch with Badger.  Into that locker.  With the cooler.  Gaah!

roxrok said...

It makes you wonder how much longer the military retirement check will be there as well...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

No, Mike.  The "baby boomers" are technically the children of the most fertile 20 years of the WWII generation, and they are definitively born between 1945 and 1964, after which the birth rate of that generation was overtaken by those too young for the war.

ewok40k said...

well the problem is you can save all the $ in the world but with no young man to work the shop where you buy bread... you get the idea
worse still, the 1000 euro youth are loath to start a family when they cant even afford to live on their own...
it is a classic structural crisis where too much is not enough, forcing entenpreneurs to raise wages would force them to quit altogether or move out elsewhere with capital, never mind inflation problems, while leaving things as they are makes for a demographic implosion...

jim said...

Also, there is a racial/ethnic angle on the generational warfare -- especially in the West/Southwest. California is increasingly going to have to choose between cutting services to a primarily hispanic younger generation vs paying pensions to aging whites. References to "parasites" takes on a much more menascing tone in that scenario.

Adding the racial/ethnic tension into the mix is not a recipe for stability. There will be a huge opportunity in 2020+ for a charismatic hispanic politico in California to campaign on shafting the old white people and cutting their pensions.

There's a lot of research on the problem of societies with a market-dominant minority -- which whites are increasingly becoming in the West and Southwest -- and it generally isn't good for the society. Examples are the Chinese in Southeast Asia, whites in southern Africa (Zimbabwe, S. Africa). South Asians in places like Fiji, whites in most of Latin America.

In such societies it's very easy for a populist politico to run on a fairly explicit platform of, hey, let's screw those rich bastards who look different from us and take their stuff. And that's a somewhat benign scenario since the situation often descends into outright ethnic violence as the majority decide to do a little vigilante redistribution and not wait for tax law changes.

Market-dominant minority societies tend to be more violent, more socialist, and more authoritarian.

OldCavLt said...

Absolutely correct in all respects.  The problem?  No one in government has the courage to do what must be done, and politically, an even shorter political life expectancy if they try.

How many of those we elect are, in fact, prepared to risk their political futures on principle?  How many are will to risk it all to take the steps to right our ever-listing ship of state before the inevitable happens?

AFAIK, only 3 of the incoming congressional class made the determination to turn down the Cadillac health care plan they all get once they're sworn in.  Only 3 were actually ready to put principle ahead of their own needs/wants.

Those who advocate for cuts will be targeted by unions and portrayed by a willing media as uncaring child-killers and the like... to become road kill by the next election.

The choice the people will make is to pick between one side, who will cheerfully redistribute our wealth to those most willing to spend it, or the other side; the side which has and is paying attention and who, like we mostly do, see a european-style response to our efforts to avoid an increasingly imminent bankruptcy.

Far too many Americans have forgotten the Kennedy-esque virtue of not asking our country what it can do for us.  Far too many have the entitlement attitude drilled into them from birth.

And as common sensical and obvious as the remarks of John and the CDR are, their implementation appears to be impossible... much like trisecting an angle using a compass and a straight edge.

We are in serious trouble.  And the people don't particularly care, because in all of this, they must get theirs first.

Charley A. said...

It's not just the boomers, and it's really about expectations (FTR, I am too young to be a boomer.)  I saw a story last week about the changes we will be seeing in health care starting this year.  One patient was a six year old girl who was moderately retarded, but her major medical issue was a seizure disorder.  Her care costs $500K a year, and there is no cure for her condition.  Her insurance coverage had a lifetime cap of $6M, but now will have no cap at all.  Say she lives to 50.  $25M to sustain a life that has little chance of improving, and in all likelihood, she won't be contributing value to society nearing the amount spent on her care.  Is that fair to the insurance company, it's other members, and society s a whole?  I am certain that her parents think so.  We as a society need to figure this out.

andrewdb said...

Charley - And they laughed at Sarah when she talked about "death panels". 

DeltaBravo said...

Your post is based on two premises that are debateable:
1.  That the seizure disorder never will have a cure and she will never improve or that the cost of the cure will remain that high.  An error based on extrapolating today's medical knowlege 44 years into the future.
2.  That one can quantify the "value" anyone contributes to society.  Or to their family.   Or that dollars and cents tell the whole tale.

Your conclusion is that to be fair to society as a whole... what?  do not insure her and let her die or go untreated and live in pain?  Be careful once you start that.  First it's the six year old girl who is mildly retarded.  Then it's the old who have outlived their usefulness.  And then who?  History has seen this before.  It is not pretty.

spek said...

By 2020, look for new recruits to be given the option to join the "DoD 401(k)", coz the current military retirement plan is unsustainable also...

MCPO Airdale said...

I was born in 1953. I've held a job since I was 12. I joined the Navy out of high school and served 30 years. I retired on a Friday and reported to my next job on Monday. I raised children who now hold jobs and pay taxes.

What have I, and my compatriots, done to deserve such scorn?

faintfuzzy said...

A bit of a screed ehh?  Truth be told, we are all at fault for electing idiots that promise us things we cannot afford.
Social Security is not in any immediate danger (but it is coming).  Huge problem is Medicare/medicaid.

If interested in this subject I reccomend "Seeds of Destruction" written by two economists, a liberal and one who thinks correctly.
They do a fine job of pointing out the stupidity of both Bush II and Obama, but more importantly they have a cure for our economic morass.
It is a great read and you don't need a degree in econ to get the drift

DeltaBravo said...

Dear Airdale... it must suck to be a member of that generation and have people think you are "one of them" when clearly you were the exception that proved the rule.  And are proving it again because you started your second career and did not retire and make your kids and grandkids pay for it.  Thank you for your service and congratulations on a life well lived.  Would that more of your peers been like you.

cdrsalamander said...

Screeds are good for my blood pressure!   ;)

Salty Gator said...

Where the hell did my avatar go?!  
I hate when all the good men and women get grouped in with the dirtbags of the baby boomer generation.  That's like grouping General Mattis in with Bill Clinton.  Not fair.  That being said, PLAN SALTY GATOR calls for deploying select members of the "Me Generation" into the tar pits after they are no longer capable of providing for themselves.  I already know I'm screwed as a member of Generation Y.  I know Gen X'ers are screwed too.  I refuse to think that my future children and grandchildren will be punished for their sins.


Salty Gator said...

I'm with you except for one point.  We CAN cut the DoD civillian employees.  TRUST ME.  The majority of the acquisition workforce could be canned tomorrow and you wouldn't notice the difference.  These folks are NOT engineers, by and large.  If you killed DODINST 5000 series, JCIDS and returned to more common sense acquisition practices, like, oh, say those we followed in WWII and Vietnam back when we could actually take a requirement and turn it into a piece of gear in less than a year, you would be surprised at how few people could actually get the job done.  Secretary Gates know this, I think, but he can't kill the fed jobs without Congress going ape.  Plus, acquisition workforce jobs are usually contracted out to private firms...firms who lobby hard to justify their existence.  Sigh.  We need Gates to stick around for another 8 years...just change the CINC.

DM05 said...

Always wondered when the chickens would come home to roost with the boomers, of which I am one. Danged pig through the python, and now coming out the back end. As some others have pointed out, the BB's are not one single demographic...I was born in the last 5 years of the boom ('59-'64) and missed Vietnam completely as I was watching in PJ's on TV, along with the moon landing. Neighbor next door, also a boomer, is 60+ and his experience was far different, with drugs, then the army, then college/grad school, and maybe some swapping along the way. While not exactly mournful on telling "I was there at Woodstock" stories, nor beating up on my elders, there is a vast entitlement difference between the Clinton era boomers (The Big Chill soundtrack comes to mind) and those of BB's eating the absolute leftovers. That said, trust the federal government relative to promises, pensions, and payouts? Uh, no..., most of the younger of us bit on the 401(K) narcotic and are distrustful as he11 of feds/Soc Security, etc, as many of our elder brethren ran up the bills, "changed the world", and spent every personal $$ of income rather than saving. Never trust anyone over 30, man....

Shaman said...

I will turn 65 this year.  Make you 9the gov't) a deal:  send me a check for all the SS and Medicare taxes I paid over the last 45 years and you can keep the benefits.

Charley A. said...

The point is that we developed medical technology to the point where we can treat diseases and disorders today that was not possible a generation or two ago - but the financial implications of applying novel procedures have been largely ignored - until recently it seems.   If we want to treat everyone for every ailment with every technology, then we all must be prepared to spend a lot more money on healthcare, and a lot less on everything else.  But it seems that some are ok with denying care to others when the prospect of having to pay more for their own is on the horizon.

Skippy-san said...

Once again you blame the boomers. As I have pointed out before-its an unfair rap. ( Not to mention a lot of boomers comprise the group screaming about cutting spending). It gets a little bothersome being blamed for everything.

You are also ignoring the fact that "the 401K: narcotic" is a bit of a pig in a poke too. More and more companies are walking away from their matches, and the gains of the future will not ever resemble the gains of the 80's and 90's. So the only effective counter weight is to invest even more-and lose access to money that folks could be using now to better their lives now.  401(k) plans were originally introduced as supplemental plans. 401K's were originally not intended to replace retirement plans-anymore than TSP is supposed to replace military retirement. Nonetheless they have turned into a vehicle by which companies can walk away from their obligations to their employees-which strikes me as more than a little odd, that I am "the worst" because I demand what I was promised, while companies make huge profits and are not taken to task for their part of the problem.

ewok40k said...

to add some insights:
-for centuries, the elderly were given the utmost respect as the ones with most experience and lifetime of knowledge gathered... it is no coincidence that most societies included "Council of the elder" or equivalent...
-when in heyday of "wonder 50s" postwar welfare societies were drawn, politicians actually expected healthcare costs to diminish with better tech and overall healthier population
-prolonging retirement age into late 60s or even 70s will result in even more crowded jobs market, and this means even less incentive for the employers to pay good - after all they have huge surplus to pick from
-to those who say we cant afford to care for every disabled person, I will ask , what about if that girl rises to be another Stephen Hawking?
Worst thing, there are no simple solutions, and those that we end up will probably be those that we can afford, economically and politically, not the optimal ones. Plus affordable economically can be mutually exclusive with affordable politically...

Outlaw Mike said...

'said Coral Herrera Gómez, 33, who has a Ph.D. in humanities '

That alone says a lot. HU-MA-NI-TIES. F*cking humanities instead of engineering, medicine, or chemistry.

Ewok, I'm just back from Poland. My own brother-in-law has a just below university degree in IT, and yet, three years ago, at the age of 23, he decided to study SO-CI-O-LO-GY!!! It's none of my business, but I could cry my heart out. Of course, he still lives with his mom, at age 27, and with two more years to go. And in two years he will enter the job market, at 29, as a SOCIOLOGIST.

I wonder what the HELL is wrong with Europe?????? Not pursuing careers anymore in EXACT sciences, nooooooooo, social engineering stuff, cultural awareness, shitting on your own cultural heritage is sooooooo much cooler. My bro in law saw I was reading Goldberg's Liberal Fascism and had a peek in it. He thought Goldbergs theorem was CRAZY. Mind you, this from a young guy whose mom and older sibling (my wife wtill know very well how it was to find just cucumbers and mustard in the groceries. BUT!!!!! BUT!!!!! According to him, Bush broke international law by invading Iraq!!!!

I'm gonna post, on our blog this night, a sobering page of my old school journal - I'm a member of the organization for former students (dunno what the right expression for that is in English). Sobering, I will tell you.

Deceased: about TWENTY names. Of fathers and grandfathers of former students.

Births: ONE. That's ONE.

It makes me mad as hell. Over here, I'm considered some kind of lunatic because I'm so pro US. God, what a fucking situation we are in.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Do that and by 2026 the reenlistment rate will be bupkiss.  We went thru this in the 90's.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Old people vote. More old people vote percentagewise than other categories. Most folks, soon, are going to be old people. So you favor disenfranchisement at 65? Or just skip the whole democracy thing?

The problem is resources, or more correctly, importing resources.  Energy. Raw materials. The cost of EVERYTHING GOES EVER UP. Absent protective tariffs, cheap overseas labor makes imported goods cheaper. Note bene: the fact that them furriners work cheaper doesn't mean they don't work smart, or compete intelligently.

When you chose to deindustrialize, which is what free trade treaties really do, there are consequences. No industry. No jobs. No cash to flow, except overseas. Tax revenues collapse. If immigration rules are dead letters, the demographics shift.  The boomers retiring would open more jobs then could be filled, creating a labor shortage. Those drive pay UP, and tax revenues increase, assuming cross border flow is regulated to fill jobs that the working age cohort can't. If the gummit is going to hand out bennies, it needs to max tax revenues, so it better encourage high paying jobs and a positive trade balance.

If you sold off the trucks and didn't buy salt, because you drove away your tax base, the fact that the drivers have a pension and a good paying job is not the reason the snow didn't get plowed.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. So is planning stupidly.  The game has been increasingly rigged against the lower middle class skill trades folks since the 70's. The chickens are coming home to roost. Agism is just another red herring.

Check your assumptions, Sal.  On this topic. check 'em at the door.

ewok40k said...

The problem is, whether you are engineer or sociologist, only careers available now is salesman at walmart equivalent or call center employee selling things nobody wants to buy...
Manufacturing has gone down the drain, and it wasnt because of lack of engineers.
Still Poland isnt at the worst of the scale, having attracted some investment lately and keeping slow but steady GNP growth even at times of global crisis.
And around here liberals are the economic free market adherents, so it is fascinating how two sides of ocean hate perceived liberals for exactly opposite reasons...
Well, regarding Iraq, it is simple, the train of thought is:if US can invade Iraq, they can invade anyone, including our own XYZ country... Of course this is quite mad extrapolation, but shows exactly how unipolar hyperpower by its very existence creates opposition. Didnt help that the threat from Iraq to the outside world proved to be pretty much nonexistent.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

URR, certainly your definition is the common, technically correct one, but I think Mike's classification is also useful -- since all the lines get blurred at the boundaries anyway.  I'm pretty sure that I (born in 1961) have a lot more in common with DB than with any random hippie born between 1946 and 1955.  For one thing, the Vietnam War was the 800lb gorilla in the room, whereas us "Busters" mostly watched it on TV.

Yes, I'll also stipulate there are exceptions that prove every rule.

Parallels to the Diversity Wars left as an exercise to the reader.  ;)

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>URR, certainly your definition is the common, technically correct one, but I think Mike's classification is also useful -- since all the lines get blurred at the boundaries anyway.  I'm pretty sure that I (born in 1961) have a lot more in common with DB than with any random hippie born between 1946 and 1955.  For one thing, the Vietnam War was the 800lb gorilla in the room for the "Brat Boomers", whereas us "Busters" almost exclusively watched it on TV.  Another issue to consider is that most "Busters" were born later in life to Greatest Generation parents, after they'd already had a couple of kids, or ended up raising an only child as more mature adults than others.  
Yes, I'll also stipulate there are exceptions that prove every rule.  
Parallels to the Diversity Wars left as an exercise to the reader. ;)

DeltaBravo said...

One sometimes wonders if it was by design.... we used to have a kind of intergenerational pact.  Mom and dad take care of junior until such time he grows up.  Later when mom and dad can't take care of themselves, junior takes them in.  If junior didn't do it because of the moral obligation and filial piety owed his parents, he did it hoping to inherit whatever they had gathered during their lifetime.

Enter gummint.  Split the generations with confiscatory level taxes.  Make junior's generation struggle to support the older generation in a 1:3 employee/recipient proportion. 

Then tax inheritances.  Make sure there's nothing to inherit after the taxes are paid because the "wealthy" had to sell the shop/farm/business to pay the taxes after grandpa dies.

Sit back and watch as the generations duke it out over scarce resources. 

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

It would be Alumni Association.  YAY, OUTLAW MIKE!

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

YAY 1961 MODELS!  12 AUGUST 1961, here,  I am an oooold Badger!

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Be sure and enter into the food and beverage computer, in the office on level 3, tunnel 6, so it can be restocked.

Mike M. said...

Precisely my point.  I was born in 1963.  How much do I have in common with someone born in the late 1940s?  As opposed to someone born in the late 1960s?

No.  A political generation (which might be better referred to as a Decade Group, except that I think the break-point is in mid-decade) is about ten years.

Mike M. said...

Precisely my point.  I was born in 1963.  How much do I have in common with someone born in the late 1940s?  As opposed to someone born in the late 1960s?

No.  A political generation (which might be better referred to as a Decade Group, except that I think the break-point is in mid-decade) is about ten years.

Mike M. said...

Tou didn't frag enough hippies.  :-D

DeltaBravo said...

Dang!  Was there a hunting season?  A limit?

ewok40k said...

In fact there were 2 boomer generations... one that protested the war and burned cards, and the other that served and fought, one that developed political correctness and affirmative action and the other that voted Mr Reagan to the White House to end Cold War... It is like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde...

spek said...

yes but with so many people living longer - is it sustainable to have someone work 20 years - retire at 38, and collect 50% of base pay for the next 50 years?  the VA health care alone is a hell of a bennie - at least it is in my case - looking at what some of my colleagues pay for health insurance...

Stu said...

Where is it a given that we are entitled to or have a right to retire from the workforce at any age or even at all?

Bubba Bob said...

And, the corporate state makes you put your 401K money in stocks and bonds.  Try and own land in a 401k.  In theory, you could invest in real property, but no custodian will allow you to have anything in your 401K other than the stocks and bonds they sell.  

In a world where the market can, and does, crash, investing 100% in stocks and bonds, like the standard corporate/government approved 401K is as foolish as thinking social security will be there when you need it.  

Bubba Bob said...

Yeah, but, 

I'm not real keen with the idea of 50 year-olds hopping out of the landing craft and running up the beach.  I work out twice a week, play tennis one night and soccer on Sunday.  Those 20 year old kids back from college over Christmas . . . they kicked my 50 year-old A55!

Some things the young are better at than the old.  Cf. Brett Farve.  I want my nation’s infantry to be young! 

Outlaw Mike said...

Scott, thanks. Alumni Association. For what it's worth, here's the overview:

OK OK, it was The Departed 14 - New Arrivals 1. Not 20-1. Still...

RST said...

Good Morning everyone!

As a Spaniard who has lived most of his adult live abroad I can tell you the article is good but I believe the truth lies elsewhere. Spain went through their best economical years ever as a country between 1995-2006, unemployment was near zero and for the first time in 50 years we reached the point where workers had to come from mainly South America and Morocco to do the jobs Spaniards didn't want to do. Spain went from emigrating to immigrating in a generation. Yet the baby boomers which in Spain are people born on the 60s and 70s failed to increase the birth rates. The reason?, pure selfishness. They like the life the way it is: Summer holidays overseas, weekend dinners with the friends, latest luxuries and so forth. The result: a birth rate of near 1. Let me give you my family as example: I have got a total of
7 cousins and 2 bothers. We range in age from 25 to 42, we have in all 7 kids! and 3 are mine! What made middle class people with above average income and education not having kids? Well,the myth of perpetual youth, the laziness( let other people have the kids) and, as I said before, keeping the life styles the way they are.
In all we are facing an bleak future. Just in Catalonia, where I was born nearly 40 years ago, the birth rates of 2009 gave us 1 in every 10 birth as Moroccan background! It boils my blood that while the kids I grew up with keep their Facebook pages updated, plan their next holidays and generally act like they are still 20, they are setting up the seeds for the oblivion of Catalans as we know them.

Greeting from down under, where things are a little better!

Grumpy Old Ham said...

Good ol' FDR established that "entitlement", as part of the largest Ponzi scheme in history.  Ref DB's comment below.