We’re seeing a lot of talk about people saying the next generation may be the first in a long time that has it worse off than the one before it. I’m not sure if that is going to be the case or not, but the last two generations have certainly made political decisions that are setting up the next generation for a much tougher time than they had to deal with economically.
I wrote about this at length in one of my recent posts at WNYC’s Its a Free Country:
Their parents and grandparents love them, and want them to succeed, but have supported politicians who have ensured that they will see a job market that is more difficult, while at the same time having to pay taxes that are higher than they’ve ever been in this country.
How is the next generation going to be able to adapt to a world that will be changing even faster than it is now, when merely paying the interest on the debt will take up a quarter of the federal budget? How are they to save and join the ranks of homeowners and investors, with far fewer of them having to pay for Social Security and Medicare benefits to people who live much longer?
Actions speak louder than words. We know politicians are a generally selfish bunch, but they’ve known all of these things were coming for decades, and yet even now only focus on the next election. This same short-sighted mindset led to the financial collapse. Bankers only concerned themselves with quarterly returns, rather than how their actions might affect the greater good.
The “Greatest Generation” came back from war and built a foundation for the greatest economic expansion in the history of mankind, then they raised a generation, who still hold the reigns of power more than any other generation, who have not only built upon that, but have also stolen TRILLIONS from future generations, so they could have things they wanted, that they weren’t willing to pay for themselves. This goes beyond generational theft… more like a generational ponzi scheme.
Our “leaders” have known this for decades. The media has been warning us for almost as long. There are no excuses. I don’t even care if you’re a liberal or conservative. Regardless of where you think money should be spent, or how much, there is no excuse to pass the costs of that spending onto the next generation.
As I say later in the post, its no wonder one of the nicknames of the Baby Boomers is “The Me Generation”. They’ve supported two parties who are so amazingly selfish that they rarely have flinched when faced with a question of telling the public that they need to pay for things if they want more from government, or just sticking our kids with the tab. And through all of this, they scream and wail when there is any mention of trimming the growth of social security or medicare spending, even though there are far less workers to pay for each retiree than ever before, while medical costs are higher than they’ve ever been AND people are living longer than they ever have.
The “Me Generation” still has a decade or so where it’s members will still have most control… how they use that will be telling as to where their priorities really are.