06 Mar 2011

The Me Generation's Selfishness is Leading to a Hindered Generation

In a post of mine at WNYC’s Its a Free Country, I talked a bit about how the selfishness of the Baby Boomer generation has directly led to a situation where the generation that is growing up now will face problems that the Baby Boomers’ choices caused:

They propped up parties that differ widely in political priorities, but who share an undying love of spending money they don’t have, to pay for things they promise they can deliver to their constituents without having to pay for them in higher taxes or substantial cuts in spending.

When you talk about these things to the types of young, politically active types I have the pleasure of meeting all the time, you see in them a sort of frustrated disbelief. I’m not removed from their situation by all that much, and I share in this disappointment.

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?

We’re all going to have to deal with this in the next several years, but really its those who are growing up now who will bear the brunt of it… the ones who’s grandparents are among the baby boomers. They’re the ones who are going to have to pay for the things the baby boomers decided they’d give themselves, while also choosing to pass that bill onto their grandchildren.

Read the rest at It’s a Free Country »

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0 thoughts on “The Me Generation's Selfishness is Leading to a Hindered Generation”

  1. The situation we are in is an incredibly frustrating one. We constantly here the doom and gloom of America’s place in the world falling while falling father and father behind the east. The incredible debt and bleak economy does not inspire us. We are an ADHD society with the brunt of responsibility for actions we did not subscribe to. Millennials will have to learn how to live a simpler life while adopting values like sharing and green living. Can’t say we don’t live in interesting times though…

    Gotta stay optimistic!

    -Dan

    http://www.whoisdanfonseca.com
    http://www.twitter.com/whoisdanfonseca

  2. For years and years, it was another generation, not the then-youngish Boomers, whose votes kept Social Security & Medicare on their current track. I’m talking about the so-called Greatest Generation. (It’s fine if Brokaw wanted to call them that, but there’s something very much unseemly about anyone from that generation calling themselves that.)

    1. I think the farther you go out, the less fair it is to assign blame. I understand there were some difficult decisions made in the 80’s that helped things. The Baby Boomers have most of the seats in power right now, but will start ceding them to more of the generation you and I are in here soon. If we don’t do more, we’ll deserve blame too.

      1. Any number of cliche phrases come to mind:

        The buck stops here.
        Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
        If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

        And all of them are true, and we avoid them to our shame.

    1. We had privatized social security before Social Security. That’s why so many old people were dirt poor. If you privatize it, many will lose it in the markets, almost all of it.

      I think for most of us, the follow-up would then be to take care of the old and indigent anyway. Paul Ryan’s plan does not, however, budget for that.

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