Dear people between the ages of 25 and 40,
As we near retirement, Mom and I wanted to write you kids to share a few thoughts about the lives we've lived and the world we've left behind for you. We feel this is necessary because at first glance it might seem like we are a generation of narcissistic, spoiled assholes who freeloaded off of the magnificent world our parents built for us and then cashed out before handing it over to you. This is an unfair characterization. It disregards the fact that we earned the right to do those things. We earned them by being awesome. Haven't you seen the films of us marching around protesting The Man in the sixties? Or the Woodstock footage that documents the way we changed the world with drugs, bad music, and indiscriminate fucking? We didn't cash out. We merely took what was due.
We grew up in a much different world (hence our endless lectures about the way things were in the fifties and sixties) that you kids wouldn't recognize. Ridiculously cheap energy – at least until 1973 – and the fact that WWII left the rest of the industrialized world in ruins allowed us to grow up with unprecedented prosperity. Even though our parents were minimally educated, blue collar work still paid back then. Of course, none of this is anything that we did. Our parents fought the war and did the hard work. But it sure did give us one hell of a sense of entitlement!
By the time we got to college we were convinced that the world revolved around us – and we were right! This was back when education was still affordable and the degrees actually made it more likely that one would find a job. The costs didn't matter much, though, since Mom and Dad footed the bill thanks to that nice, stable employment they enjoyed. When we graduated and started to overtake the rest of the workforce with our sheer numbers we were shocked to learn how many opportunities to enrich themselves our parents' generation was leaving on the table. Let me tell you, we weren't about to make that same mistake!
We really appreciated the blue collar work that made our lives possible, but how could we ignore how inefficient it is to pay Americans to do work that can be done in Indonesia? The genius of outsourcing was self-evident. Still is. Brilliant, isn't it? We've been at it for decades and I still can't see the downside. Some people complained, but the important thing is that WE got our bonuses and our stock prices went up. Our stock and other investments are really superfluous, though, since we're all going to retire on lavish pension plans, not to mention Social Security. More on those in a minute, son.
The structural changes we made to the economy, changes that were solely to our benefit and essentially told future generations to eat a dick, are nothing compared to the political changes we've made. This is the generation that gave American Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, and Newt Gingrich. Two words: you're welcome.
We realized like no other generation that the purpose of politics is to line our own pockets. Yes, most of that has been at your expense, kids. Sorry about that. Here's some token financial assistance with your college education. That should set things right.
Inflation may have made our mortgages incredibly cheap and essentially wiped out whatever student loans we had, but once we took over the political process you'd better believe we pursued the hell out of anti-inflationary monetary policies. Sorry about that! We needed the low interest rates for our vacation home mortgages and our 17 credit cards. We have taken advantage of dozens of New Deal era social programs, but boy are they pricey! So we did the logical thing and kept the benefits for ourselves and piled the costs onto you. Then we voted for people who would ensure that your generation would never enjoy the same horrible, inefficient Big Government. Sure, we waited until we got to the top of the income pyramid before demanding round after round of tax cuts with fanatical zeal. But I don't see how that makes us bad people.
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You enjoy low taxes too on whatever it is you earn when you're working.
Are you ready for the best part? We're all retiring on those fat-ass pensions I mentioned a few moments ago – and now we're dismantling pension plans too. Not for us, of course. For you. Here's how it works. We retire with full salary and zero uncertainty; then we lecture you about how expensive and inefficient pensions are compared to "building your own retirement" in the stock market. Hell, we even tried to replace Social Security with the Nasdaq Roulette wheel. No, WE would still have Social Security. You, not so much. Think of it like the way we enjoyed cradle-to-grave employer provided health coverage and then nearly died shitting ourselves opposing health care reform. Doesn't your boss give you insurance? Oh, come on. They must. You are probably reading the forms wrong. Let me take a look at them next time you visit.
In closing, kids, our entire adult lives have been guided by a simple philosophy: we got ours, so fuck you. It's hard to watch you struggle while we live off of all of the things we took away from you in the name of "fiscal responsibility." Some people might call that greed, but we are the greatest, most special generation of people who ever lived. I think we earned it. Maybe rather that whining and blogging and drinking Pabst you should earn some of these things too. I mean, you have a Master's Degree and you're working as a temp! With that kind of lack of ambition, how do you expect to accomplish as much as we have?
Everyone born between 1945 and 1960
PS: Sorry about those budget deficits. We don't really have much to say in defense of those except that Communism was really, really scary, especially in the 1980s when the USSR was on its last legs. How were we supposed to pay for all that stuff the country needed? Taxes? Come on. That sounds like something our parents would have said, what with their lack of vision and foresight.
211 thoughts on “AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE BOOMERS TO THEIR CHILDREN”
Oh, fuck. I'm still holding out for Boomer professors to let go of their stranglehold on tenured faculty positions.
Urge. To Kill. Rising.
This capture so nicely everything I feel about the Boomer Generation. I'm not yet part of the group to whom the letter was addressed, but I already feel screwed over.
Dear Prototypical Gen. Xer (are as my 2 children who've done better than I ever dreamed of), We also are the ultimate antidote to that atrocious war our parents denounced by reproducing in a literal celebration of life. Ungrateful then, hardly recognize ourselves in the mirror now.
J. Dryden says:
You neglected to mention how once *their* brand of music became mainstream, they hard-wired the industry to produce only glamorized variations of it. Also, I'm pretty sure that drugs and fucking became evil/deadly again once they'd decided they'd done enough of them.
Evan Hurst says:
This is my parents, with two exceptions: The indiscriminate fucking didn't happen until the 70's. Yes, Mother made the transition from Campus Crusade to Fucky Fucky 1974 to All Reagan-y at lightning speed really. Gay friends? Hardly knew ye!
And Dad doesn't have a pension, but rather one of those things that "bid'ness people" have. But this part:
"Think of it like the way we enjoyed cradle-to-grave employer provided health coverage and then nearly died shitting ourselves opposing health care reform. Doesn't your boss give you insurance? Oh, come on. They must. You are probably reading the forms wrong. Let me take a look at them next time you visit."
Yes. OR more specifically, pissing all over me for having a life and passions which aren't exactly conducive to easy-peasy employer provided health insurance, and then acting like "Well, if you were like [insert name of wingnut welfare progeny of wingnut bid'ness people with Roman Numerals in their names and no souls] then you'd be set!"
This is a large part of why I broke up with them in September. There were other things, too…rest assured, it wasn't an overreaction.
Grace Nearing says:
God I'm such a loser. I'm a mid-cohort boomer who never got to enjoy all the good boomer stuff !
All I remember is the pig-in-the-python demographics, eg, being stuffed into crowded classrooms (72 kids in my first-grade class!) and being surrounded by endless construction work: in grade school, in high school, in college. My first semester at college, some of the dorms weren't quite ready yet and several hundred of us had to sleep on cots in gymnasiums for a few weeks.
After college, I was forever being priced out of things: priced out of apartments, which were rapidly being converted into even pricier condos; priced out of homes; and, finally, priced out of having babies.
But I will say this: You young ones have it far worse. At least I was debt-free when I graduated college.
Wait – WHICH generation now has a bloated sense of their own entitlement?
Mayya: I believe the answer is "The Baby Boom Generation."
This answer has been the same for several decades now, and looks to remain accurate for at least another 20 years.
Angry Sam says:
Sorry, Mayya, but despite the overwhelming popularity amongst Boomers to accuse us of same, Boomers are the endlessly-entitled generation. Entitled to shirk their parents' sense of responsibility, entitled to experiment with drugs and free love and rock and roll (actually a good thing they did), entitled to abandon their ideals once they became inconvenient, entitled to have children without ever finding out how to be parents, entitled to the same job security their parents had without any of the drudgery, entitled to expand the generational economic warfare of Social Security and entitled to accuse their children of thinking they're entitled to everything.
Re: Your letter, or the Assumptive Blanket Statement (which leaves out millions that don't fit the careful construct which you posit.)
Many of us worked 2 jobs to afford getting a degree with zero help from our parents, then were drafted into a war in which we had no choice, then were spit back into a society that had changed radically, then were forgotten about while struggling to make ANYTHING happen financially and worked, AGAIN, for everything we're now trying to enjoy while watching prices rise on most of what it takes to live. Just hoping social security holds out for another 20 years.
The Millions (you left out)
Brilliant! "The Worst Generation."
Pan Sapiens says:
You, uh… oh, I see. This is really about you getting old and out of touch and no longer being hip. Can't help you with that, youngster. Try having kids. That helps.
Crazy for Urban Planning says:
What an awesome post. I must concur, however the pity is Ed its like everything in history: the wealthy class of people that George Walker Bush came from likely had more to do with the whole series of destructive decisions than other people. As always – the rich make the wars/rules for the rest of us and we just have to do the best we can.
Crazy for Urban Planning says:
And by the way – people can find temp work with a Masters? I can't find dick with mine!
Crazy for Urban Planning says:
I want to change that past post: my dick can't find any vagina despite my Masters.
comrade x says:
You could add to the colossal failure of leadership of the middle- class boomers the absolute suicidal determimnation of the working class of that generation to " get back" at the " college liberals" of the 1960s by voting into office union busting assholes like Reagan and Bush I. I hope the glorious victory over Grenada made it all worthwhile, assholes.
displaced Capitalist says:
johnnyboy, I've met boomer like you before. It's weird because for the longest time I thought all boomers were like my parents and their idiot friends (just as Ed described) so the first time I met a boomer like you it blew my fucking mind. I mean really? What happened? How was it that your parent's didn't have a huge nest-egg that they used to help you get through college? All my grandparents and their friends all died wealthy. (And they were all blue-collar workers who put their children through college so they could have white-collar jobs.)
Well said, Ed. I will add how infuriating it is to read one trend piece after another featuring said boomers whining about how brutally unfair it is to have to help their kids pay the rent, when their generation has rigged the system so that they dictate the jobs that are available to us, what we earn at those jobs, home prices, tuition prices, and so on, and so on.
Angry Sam: "entitled to have children without ever finding out how to be parents"–this rings particularly true, IMHO.
And I thought things were going to be so easy for us Gen Xers. I remember reading all those articles in Inc. magazine back in the 90's where they proclaimed that because all the Boomers would be retiring in the 2000's that jobs would be plentiful and well paying. Well … still waiting.
Matt L says:
right on ed.
Are you familiar with the works of William Strauss and Neil Howe? Most of what you posted echoes what they wrote in the book "13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?"
I can't blame my parents directly, since they were born while WWII was still going on and are thus a bit too old to qualify as Boomers. But I still got caught in the fallout from all the other Boomers who were younger and more ambitious than my parents, and embodied the philosophy of "Screw you, I got mine" that my father still rails against to this day.
The bit about never learning how to be parents is, I think, the root of the whole problem. They spent their youth rejecting the values of the "square" elders, and then had kids for no reason other than biological/social compulsion. Then they made sure that those kids made as little impact on their own lives as possible.
The only thing I'm grateful to the Boomer generation for is their music.
Once again, you've hit it. I say, fuck them. Fuuuuuuck them. I get seriously indignant every time I see Dennis fucking Hopper selling e-trade like it's some goddamned cultural revolution or happen to catch an infomercial with two smug 62 year old economic vampires peddling boomer-centric island getaways as if, somehow, their generation has unique and superior tastes when it comes to vacationing in the caribbean. The fact is, these are the people who took the most broadly prosperous period in the history of the human race and morphed it into a topheavy monster of iniquity. Maybe the period of fighting for equality and justice between 1966 and 1969 gave them the idea that whatever they did, no matter how selfish, was really, truly an extention of those halcyon days when they almost possessed actual beliefs and convictions for the betterment of mankind and not the just prosperity of themselves.
Well thanks guys. I would hope your 401k took a monster beating in the last two years, but the longer you stay in the work force the more you depress my wages and stifle my advancement…
Oh yeah, and let's not forget the Boomer attitude towards pollution.
When their parents' generation was doing it: bad, bad, bad! Be kind to Mother Earth!
Now that they are the Establishment and have a chance to clean it up: um, yeah, maybe, only if it doesn't affect our lifestyle.
Oh, please. I'm 47 and have never taken for granted that Social Security or Medicare would be there for me. Instead, my wife and I saved everything we could, without sacrificing daily quality of life. Been to Italy (twice), Brazil, Costa Rica (twice), spent a number of vacations in Hawaii. But we've worked hard all our lives and are damned well going to enjoy our self-financed retirement. It may be in Costa Rica, or some other country where the cost of liivng remains relatively low, but we're ready to check out.
Why? Well, because the CHANGE that everyone has voted for lately is going to cripple this country. Now, it's not all BO's fault here (GW and others did their parts). But Boomers did not get Obama elected President, nor did we alone usher in all these liberal "share the wealth" idiots in Congress. Face it, younger generations' fingerprints are all over the new "progressive" programs that are going to sap our society of initiative, a sense that "if you work hard, you will succeed", and the Capitalist spirit (oh, my, a dirty word!) that helped us grow this country into the leading industrial and economic power in the world for decades.
Sack up, everyone. You have the power to take this all back. Vote for real change. Congress turns over every two years IF you want it to. 1/3 of all Senators, too. And the entire Executive branch can get kicked out every four.
Vote for a stable economic platform that does not tax the achievers at 90%! If you don't want to pay for our retirement, don't. Get SSN and Medicare scaled back. You won't hurt my feelings – I have MY money saved. But maybe, just maybe, if you push this country to adopt economic policies that incentivize achievement rather than reward sloth, MY taxes and cost of living will go down as well. If not, I'll be building that retirement house in Costa Ballena (look it up), living on my savings, and watching you all crater into Socialism.
It's all in your hands, Gen Y'ers and the like. Don't wait for the world to change. Change it, or shut up.
Thank you, anonymous visitor, for disproving my misguided generalizations about people in your age group.
dear getoveryourselves: why do you hate black (look it up) people?
Why Forrest Gump sucks! says:
This is why the movie Forrest Gump makes me so ill. Robyn Wright's character represents the Boomer Generation – she goes to rallies she does not care about, gets wasted with the drug of the decade and lives the decadent lifestyle, all the while rejecting the fundamental values of America (as represented by the Faulknerian idiot man child Forrest Gump). In the end, he is a Jesus figure absolving her sins as she dies of aids, by taking her child and rearing him, a child she would never have mentioned as Gumps if not for her impending death.
I bought their crap. I believed their music. I believed their books. Then I grew up and saw that the Me-ist Generation had screwed me again and will be leaving me to clean up their mess when they are gone.
Quitcher whining you crybabies and learn something about America! Read a little honest history, oh and maybe alittle something about your Constitution and how it came to be. Then get off your asses and drive these progressive assholes out of your government before they complete their plan to destroy your economy and turn your country into another failed social-democracy like Norway, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Italy, et al. Oh, and, of course, France.
The boomers may have established the culture of me but you people seem to be waiting for someone else to fix it while you complain. Get to work and build the nation that you want to live in.
By the way, only one nation in the entire world has had the same government for over two hundred years. Can you name that country?
oy vey says:
"Vote for a stable economic platform that does not tax the achievers at 90%!"
First, no one is taxed at 90%. They haven't been since you were a two year old, getoveryourselves. Then the top bracket was 92%. It is currently 35%.
More importantly, achievers?
There's a myth that the majority of these extremely wealthy people are "self-made" men and women. Complete BS. The majority of these people have inherited or were handed everything they own. For every Bill Gates, there's 1,000 Paris Hiltons.
Executive compensation is ridiculous. CEOs now make thousands of times what the average employee who works for them makes. And, thanks to Reagan and the Bushes, they are taxed at a rate far lower than their counterparts in your parents' generation. You remember your parents, right? The ones who fought and won a world war, came back and built the infrastructure that allowed you to have the cushiest childhood imaginable?
Get over yourselves indeed.
I was born in '62 and I've been rolling over on the Boomers' wet spot for my entire goddamned life. When they were having an orgy at Woodstock, I was in kindergarten. When they were snorting coke at the discos I was a wallflower at the high school dances. By the time I was ready to party the discos were closed and the Boomers were all busy being Reagan Republicans and starting their careers. Then I jumped the line by having kids fairly young, so I got to listen to resentful Boomers at the playground complain how tired they are raising the kids they finally got around to having in their Thirties. However assuming I survive that long I look forward to the cheap prices at the empty retirement resorts, and all the great anti-aging treatments that the Boomers will demand in an effort to extend their sense of entitlement.
I am bit confused. What is wrong with Norway and Sweden exactly? Can you please spell out how these two states have failed? If you can cite any empirics that would be very helpful.
C'mon. The 'social-democracies' have failed because they say they have failed. They don't actually KNOW anything about life in one of these countries, but is has to be worse than life in AMURICA, because AMURICA is the best ever, just read the constitution. Nevermind the fact that economic growth in Europe has been higher than in the United States over the last decade, or the fact that it has become easier to move up the economic ladder in Europe than it is in the United States.
No nation in the entire world has had the same government for over two hundred years. "Government" and "regime" are not synonymous.
I love that getoveryourselves and KruelOne's solutions to our current problems seem to be, "By God, more of the same!"
I especially like how getoveryourselves outlook is, basically, 'I made a ton of fucking money, so if America is changing in a way I dislike, then fuck America, I'm taking all that wealth I sucked out of the system and going somewhere else. Because I love America so much.'
By the way Ed, I think you are right on with this, especially the bit about parenting. Something about being the millenial generation (or whatever you want to call it) and having the quarter-life crisis is that we have our boomer parents to thank for that too, at least in part–they're the ones who told us we were special and that we could be anything we wanted to be. Not to mention that college (4-year university) was/is the only way up and that white collar jobs in offices are the only desirable livings to be made. (Let's not even start on how fucked the education system has gotten, what with forcing everyone through a college prep curriculum, whether they will be able to get into college or not, and leaving them with no kind of marketable skills when they get their diploma.)
Have to disagree about health insurance…The boomers didn't fight it- why should they? They will now get guaranteed reduced-premium health care in their declining years, paid for by us gen-X'ers with much higher premiums. My premiums for me and my two kids are set to triple under the new plan (because our high-deductible plan is now legislated out of existence.) No, the health-care bill is just a final bend-over from the Bomers
Ed, I loved this (in my bitter, Fuck You Very Much, Boomers! way,) but I wish you would write another letter from the actual working believers of the boomer generation to the current apathetic twits. Dear Children: we joined the Peace Corp and dug wells, we went door to door for the ERA, we rioted at Stonewall and marched on Selma. You have joined the military in record numbers, decided that you're not feminists because you're Divas / Princesses / Goddesses, and think there is no such thing as racism because you know all the words to "Baby Got Back." We may have been lost idealists, but we put our backs into it, rolling bandages for Sandinistas and exposing businesses that supported Apartheid. You think spending thousands on plastic surgery, capped teeth, and airbrushed tans counts as self-improvement, and it never crosses your mind to improve the lots of others. You've earned your low self-esteem, antidepressants, and enormous credit card balances, but what happens when your parents decide to stop supporting you? Just a thought.
What Ed said, although I would exempt my parents from it, mostly. They were solid, blue-collar workers their whole lives, and my Dad told me in the Reagan years, "I feel sorry for your generation, son. You'll be the ones paying for this fuckup, not us."
What kills me is the goddamn classic rock. I was born listening to it, I listen to it every fucking day of my life, and I'll bet I'll breathe my last in a nursing home while, "The Long Run" is piped over the speakers.
I just turned 40, for fuck's sake! When do I get to hear the music of my generation? Do I have to wait until the very last Baby Boomer dies?
@getoveryourselves: while at the encyclopedia looking stuff up, as you suggested, I discovered that "socialism" doesn't look much like the handing over of 35 million new customers to the flabby, bureaucratic health insurance industry (that rode corporate welfare for decades and incentivized the glorious achievement of a healthcare system that leaves out 1/6 of the population completely and uses up 18% of the economy) – about as socialist as a Trump Hotel. Just one little thing you forgot about: the military budget is by far the biggest eater of your taxes of any gov't (aka "socialist") program, and your sweet sweet consumerist life would have been impossible without it, and Costa Rica would be another Cuba. Oh, and Costa Rica has a single-payer healthcare system, by the way, what you would call "socialized medicine" but anyone in the rest of the enlightened-capitalist world, from Europe to Japan to Australia, would call "a healthcare system". You, or your myopic rich friends whose agenda you are pushing, payed ZERO percent of your income over $106,000 last year to pay for any Social Security programs – a far cry from 90% – but then facts aren't your ilk's forte, are they? You right-wing cultists are apparently entitled to your own set of facts, as self-entitled as you appear to be about the fruits of LBJ & FDR's largesse along with your Reaganaut free lunch. Typical self-interested, self-entitiled, privileged, I've-got-mine, myopic American (boomer or whatever age, it doesn't matter). Healthcare reform was/is about filling in the gaps for a basic need that everyone has and that private enterprise is only partially capable of delivering, and it's intended to actually shrink the deficit. Bush's tax cuts were simply giveaways to the top 1 percent of the country, who are the chief beneficiaries of military spending already, and everyone knew they would balloon the deficit when they were passed. Please do go to Costa Rica, asshole, you might learn something about being a human being is about more than just "looking out for #1" – a boomer-coined phrase if there ever was one.
As a boomer, I'd say you mostly have a legitimate complaint – except about the music. At its very best, the music of the 60s reached a spiritual and cultural high that has yet to be attained again, although I'd agree too much of it has been hopelessly remixed, repackaged, ad nauseum. I can't stand listening to it either, and I can imagine how later generations would be even more revolted, ten-fold.
On the one hand, the USA emerged as the most prosperous country on earth during the 50s and 60s, concurrent with a generation of Depression era parents who wanted us kids to have everything they did not. Believe me, you would have acted exactly as we did – we were just stupid kids dropped into this amazingly fortuitous circumstance.
Not every one of us ditched our idealism and went Reagan when the wind changed (I fought like hell against the Greed is Good mentality, and still do), and so your generalization is a bit unfair (but not untypical for young people – we boomers did the same – painting our elders or circumstances with a broad brush).
As a boomer I often marvel at the amazing karma I must have accrued somewhere to have been born into such a fantastic time, but which has so sadly gone south in such a big way, in only a generation or so. Were I your age, I'm sure I'd be bitching and moaning about it, just as you are now.
The real question is, given that this is how the cards were dealt, what are you going to do about it? Why were you born at this time, what is your mission on earth? As a member of one of the most gifted generations ever, I know the answers to those questions for myself, and believe me, I know I have a lot to answer for when I die. I'm not a churchy person, but there's a verse in the bible that has always spoken to me, it's from the book of Luke: "From those to whom much has been given, much is expected".
You know, the boomer generation, for all of its faults, managed to stop a war, get rid of their sociopathic president, and make massive gains in civil rights and environmental protection. And at great risk to themselves, as many were beaten, gassed, and in some cases murdered.
Fast forward to more recent times; another psycho administration; another illegitmate and catastrophic war. Where were the young radicals of the next generation? Blogging vigorously while chugging a soy latte? Playing Farmville? Or seething quietly that the boomers had sucked all the fun out of the universe for them?
The post-boomer generations seem like electronic zombies to me. I suppose it is the fault of television and the internet; the very idea of a public sphere where one might take action seems rather quaint.
"For every Bill Gates, there's 1,000 Paris Hiltons."
Not to entirely diminish the success of Bill Gates, but he is the son of William H. Gates, a successful attorney who was able to afford putting his son through the Lakeside School, an elite prep school near Seattle. At Lakeside, Bill spent much of his time working with computers that were so expensive only institutions could afford them. Had Bill not had these early experiences with computer, it's unlikely that he would have achieved the same magnitude of success, despite is obvious intellect and considerable work ethic.
Much, if not the majority, of the wealth amongst America's elite is either directly, or indirectly, created through inheritance. American 'self-made' success stories, such as Sergei Brin, are about as rare as sensible pundits on network news.
For a loose reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates
You're incorrect to pin "[t]he structural changes we made to the economy, changes that were solely to our benefit" on baby boomers enmasse.
Remember that the benefits of these structural ecomonic changes accrue disproportionately to the wealthy. True, the crumbs that fell to our blue collar fathers were tastier than the crusty bits dropped for today's majority, but don't forget who's eating big pieces of pie.
Remember, too, that those responsible for these changes are not just baby boomers, or all baby boomers; they're the priveleged and wealthy sons and daughters of privelege and wealth; they just happen to be baby boomers.
Baby boomers aren't the enemy of the less-fortunate vast majority; look up the affluent scale for them.
Same as it ever was.
@ mtraven: It wasy your 'sociopathic president', Richard Nixon, who ended the Vietnam War. The sixties antiwar movement utterly failed. Also, the only thing that got rid of Nixon was Nixon; he was re-elected in one of the largest electoral drubbings in history.
Furthermore, if you want to know why younger generations haven't gotten riled up about the war, it's because the Boomer generation saw what sort of strife would result in forcing all of America to participate in her defense; now that the military is being run by Boomers, we have a 'volunteer' force populated almost exclusively with people who have no where else to turn. So thank you, boomers, for thrusting the burden of defending liberty upon those most easily ignored.
Also, I'm an electronic zombie sitting here on my boomer designed computer, accessing my boomer-crafted social media and blogs, and doing all the little things the boomers need me to do to funnel wealth into their hands.
Since we had a robust entrepreneurial spirit when the top marginal rate was 90%, I do not see how going from 35 to 38% is going to sap it. Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance are not wealth redistribution schemes. They are sensible, government run programs to insure against the infirmities of old age and the cruelties of market fluctuations. Scale back on them and you also scale back on the revenues they generate, leaving us in the same place fiscally. Maybe you are advocating a scale back of benefits but a full collection of the money. Good luck with that idea.
England's system of government pre-dates ours. If you are keeping score.
Ed, you forgot "constantly looking for a war that would live up to their parents' wars."
@NYD wrote: The sixties antiwar movement utterly failed.
Not true. I was there.
I'm pretty sure the kids did have a little protest movement about that whole Iraq war deal. You know, the one that included the largest mass protest in recorded history. But since it didn't magically make doves spring fully formed from our asses and flower petals rain in Baghdad and Dubya spontaneously combust into a shower of multicolored sparkles while the whole world embraced peace and sang Age of Aquarius together, it didn't really count. 'Cause that's totally how it happened in the 60's.
Anthony V says:
That's such bullshit – most high earners worked their way up. And even if they didn't, taking high fractions of their income is not going to sustain whatever economic activity they are generating.
The only reason the 60's antiwar movement succeeded was because they were drafting middle-class white Boomers. Had the powers that be targeted their drafts to the poor and to racial minorities, we'd still have troops in Viet Nam. Instead the powers that be simply destroyed the U.S. educational and economic infrastructure, driving more recruits into the military, and allowing for the endless Occupations of Mideast oil nations. Where are the Boomers now?
OneMadClown: the reason contemporary peace movements go nowhere is because the military industrial complex and the corporate media know better than to broadcast coverage of such events. Had the '60's media been as compromised as the media is today, we'd have never seen coverage of what we now consider turning point social protest events. The corporate aristocracy learned the lessons of Viet Nam coverage well, which is why we have the farce of "embedded journalists," and the refusal to air footage that might rock the boat (such as today's Wikileaks stories).
"Norway, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Italy, et al. Oh, and, of course, France."
… If we were anywhere near what Norway and Sweden are like in many regards I would be happy as a pig in mud. Oh, and, of course only one country in the world has had the same government for…. oh wait… how long have those Monarchies been around?
I for one will be working hard indeed, and for those unfortunate enough (including those in your generation whom felt the hand of misfortune) I will be more than willing to chip in and help provide them a helping hand if they become ill on their way to finding stability again.
All the answers I have not, and I am ok with that. Unlike you, I will try to use the accumulation of age to retain wisdom and not stubborn ignorance.
@ Tony V: The idea that 'most high earners work their way up' is objectively testable, and unfortunately the facts don't support your ideology; I have great faith that your opinion will be changing any second now.
oy vey says:
"American 'self-made' success stories, such as Sergei Brin"
whose parents were, respectively, a math professor at the University of Maryland and a researcher for NASA. I doubt they were living hand-to-mouth.
What "economic activity they are generating"? What activity are you talking about? It is the same mythology that the wealthy "create jobs". They don't. Demand creates jobs and wealthy business owners reluctantly hire people (sometimes even in the USA) to fulfill that demand. Not one employee more than they need, mind you.
"Economic activity"? I think you misspelled "sucking the lifeblood from the lower and middle classes", but don't worry–it's a common mistake.
Child of non-typical boomers says:
Hmmm…I am not sure if I should be proud of my parents for being the exception to the rule and not playing into the "get mine" mentality, or if I should be totally pissed off that they didn't play the game well enough so that they at least had scraps for me to beg for.
Apparently, you are not paying attention. A vast majority of young people voted Obama into office precisely because he was everything your generation's politicians weren't. On the whole, I am still happy with my purchase of the President. My vote for him was specifically for cleaning up the garbage your generation has wrought upon the greater population. I say we're doing a good job if we can rile you up this well.
Surprisingly enough, I love history, and I know quite a bit about it. I think this is why I am fairly progressive and liberal. I think your main problem is that you're only interested in the revisionist version of history that doesn't expose your generation's failings, and abject failure to maintain the just American ideal. You guys completely screwed the pooch, and now you want to claim some kind of allegiance to the Constitution. As if. It boggles my mind that you would even claim that America is the only country with a government that's over 200 years old. I mean, talk about your lack of history reading. The United States government is specifically modeled on that of Great Britain. Parliament, divided into two houses (House of Lords and House of Commons). Also, there is San Marino, which has been a Constitutional Republic (like us!) since 1600. Let's see, there's also the Isle of Man, which has had a continuous Parliament since 979 AD. I learned all of this in social science college at my state university, i.e. history class and world governments class.
Further, I wouldn't exactly call any of the countries you named failed social states. All of them have higher life expectancies, all but one have higher literacy rates, all have cheaper health care systems, and most report higher rates of satisfaction with their lives than that of US citizens. We should be so proud to be in lofty company as those "failed" states.
Frankly, sir, you are the intellectual beggar railing at the more learned about ignorance. You've got an almost inhuman Pavlovian response to criticism in that you regurgitate half-baked "facts" and shallow patriotism when someone calls the failures of the US and its population to the carpet.
I should be so bold as to admonish you to grow up, but I fear it will fall on ears that have long ignored that direction.
Established a culture of taking, hoarding, use and abuse of and wither-to-all-damned-be-the-concequences?
Then yes I think I would agree, you selfish bastards.
Alternatly bring back a generation that dreamed of getting off this blasted rock.
[quote]Alternatly bring back a generation that dreamed of getting off this blasted rock.[/quote]
Hear goddamn hear. I am 24 years old and I want to be an astronaut and go to Mars, damn you all. Why? Because it's [i]awesome[/i]. I don't care whether it's profitable.
Also I am ENTITLED to my BBS syntax. Get on that, Ed.
I couldn't believe my eyes when i read your response. Me first! Me first! Me first!
Good for you that you worked hard and have saved money. (Thank people who went through the depression for the mindset to do so)
The progressive movement is not going to destroy this country. They are actually going to save it. CEO's making so much more than their employees is never going to be just fine. The people will demand equality.
Have you noticed (when not watching fox news) that the middle class is rapidly dwindling? If not, let me clue you in, it is! Progressives and pro-union politicians are trying to remedy this but run into people who fear unions as socialist. The same people that are so afraid of a little bit of socialism also claim to be Christian. Let me clue you in on something else, if on earth today, Jesus would be a socialist!
Dodo David says:
Apparently the author of this "open letter" isn't very good at math. The letter begins with "Dear people between the ages of 25 and 40" and ends with "Everyone born between 1945 and 1960." A person age 40 would have been born in 1970. So what about the people born between 1960 and 1970?
Also, the letter leaves out full-time workers between the ages of 18 and 25. Why?
Actually while I'm on the roll with space, WTF is UP with the goverment squandering billions on frankly beurocratic crap ( read funneling money up some ones elses money for the kick back )instead of giving the men and woman with some sodding brains, unlike the rest of the knuckel draggers ( and thier 11 equally thick loin-spawn ), and calling it social welfare
For frak sakes even with a fraction of what the military gets we could have had a permanent lunar settlement already, hell even an orbital shipyard in the works.. but no.. war… war never changes… blood oils the guns and money feeds 'em.
as for the nukes .. ever heard of shooting it to the sun?
Capitalism will always survive, because whenever it fails, socialism comes to the rescue to save it. So it was in 1932, so it was in 2008. They should be more grateful to us, but as soon as they are restored into power, they go right back to tearing down our social institutions.
@Dodo David – I wouldn't be so sure.
"Dear people between the ages of 25 and 40"
"Love, Everyone born between 1945 and 1960"
Generally when writing letters, the person to whom the letter is addressed is referenced in the opening line after the word "Dear", and the person writing the letter is referenced in a closing line after some sort of closing sentiment, in this case "Love". These are generally not the same person, unless you frequently write letters to yourself.
The 25-40 set are the children of the Baby Boomers (who were born between 1945-1960). The math is correct.
@Hobbes: Forget profitable–by the end of this century I think space colonization (and probably mining) will be necessary.
Baby Boomers did a fine job of wasting the post WWII potential, changing their values when it was convenient, and turning good social programs into time-bombs.
Gen X'ers, did a good job of giving us Radiohead and establishing a workable model for angst in the Post-Cold War world. What does "Generation X" even mean? I always thought it was an adaptation of the eXtreme! marketing push. The boomer generation deserves plenty of criticism, but they knew how to market to youth, and you Gen X'ers ate it up without contributing.
Not that it really matters, but the people you've left out of the conversation are the next "hero generation" according to generational theory. It doesn't have much real value, but it's fun to think about.
Oh, and we prefer to be called "Millennials." Gen Y makes it sound like we're just the assholes who picked up after X – when in reality there isn't much to take up.
Breaking into this conversation to note that I recently went to a lecture by Mary Childers, who wrote "Welfare Brat" a few years ago. She's a true Horatio Alger stereotype: grew up on welfare with a mother who had eleven pregnancies by four different men, then started college at age 16 and eventually earned her Ph.D. I highly recommend her book. It's the only time I have ever waited in line to have an author autograph a book for me. By the way, she said she believes that today it is harder–much harder–for a person to rise above poverty than it was in her day.
Of course Gen X and Y are fuming pissed about getting hosed by their parents. We watched them squander their fortunes while ignoring their kids' future in exchange for cheap consumer goods and ever appreciating house values. We're pissed and have a right to be. That being said, what are we going to do about it now?
Like it or not, the damage is done. The boomers that hitched their wagon to the right companies will start retiring in droves, those that didn't won't be able to retire for a long time, if ever. The problem is that we need them to get the fuck out of the way. This will happen regardless as they become easier to replace with younger, more educated and entirely more desperate people trying to get in and move their way up.
How do we fix this?
First, we need to stop the bleeding from outsourcing. Young college grads are going to find out that nearly all of their jobs are exportable. If you can do your job from a desk, so can someone in China or India. The free market, fair trade policies we have adopted need to be replaced with balanced trade.
Second, we need to re-unionize. The ridiculous notion that educated people are part of the "management class" must be eliminated from our thought process. If you don't have direct negotiating power for your salary and benefits, you are not management.
Third, we need to address the supply of labor in this country. Those of us idiots that sign up for "Salary exempt" positions that force us to work 60-80 hours/week have as much to do with wage depression as anyone.
Fourth, it's time to bring back the tax rates we say in the 1950s. At that time, we were building our infrastructure to defeat the Commies, this time, we're rebuilding our infrastructure to prevent collapse into a third world nation.
Lastly, we need to address the inequality that is at it's greatest level since the previous gilded age. Education should be free to all those that choose to seek it out. A person cannot succeed at the same level as others if they start out life with a crippling debt load. Estate taxes should help along with a real progressive tax rate that allows the motivated and fortunate to thrive but perhaps not at the obscene levels they do today.
Yes, we're pissed and yes, we deserve to be. It's now up to us to bring sanity back to the equation and focus on the future.
P.S: Fuck off Boomers.
You make several excellent points. As a late Boomer (b. 1959) let me say something in our own defense. Most of the Progressive Left, the most hated members on the Tea Party hit list are Boomers who maintained their Progressive idealism. During the 80's and 90's we were outnumbered by our corporatist brothers and sisters. We rejected the conformity of our parent's generation and helped create a more egalitarian workplace. Some former hippies went on to invent the PC, the Internet, and the information revolution which has provided countless jobs and wealth, better health care through technology, and a better living standard for much of the world.
I retract my P.S. to you and your progressive group. I reserve the comment to your corporatist brothers and sisters.
The hippie invention of the PC, the Internet and the information revolution is also the main driver in the elimination of white collar jobs in America. It may have elevated humanity, or at least increased their access to hardcore porn, but in leveling the playing field, it also opened up the floodgates to the destruction of the middle class.
I respectfully disagree. The reduction in work force came from "free trade" policies designed to ship middle class manufacturing jobs, and their white collar support, to cheaper markets. Notwithstanding the porn, our semiconductor revolution has empowered all of us to share information and ideas as you and I are doing now. Keeping that genie in the bottle would have been ill-advised and impractical. The level of discourse may not always be elevated, but that is a function of the users, not the technology. The semiconductor has also allowed for countless other useful devices, in medical, communications, manufacturing, aerospace, and on and on.
Max Powers says:
I am a member of the Y generation (82-2001) so I fall just outside of GenX, but to hear all the boomers talking about Obama is just getting old. I have yet to hear any actual facts that support that he is doing a bad job or anything close to it. All the boomers do admit that Bush was a bad president but only in the same breath as saying that Obama is going to do worse. It's all pretty funny really.
It is sad to think that my generation will never see Social Security benefits, will never see pensions, will never be able to stay entrenched in a job for our entire careers, will never be able to use our college degrees for anything more than $30k a year….. AWESOME!
I have been laid off by companies that keep people twice my age, with half the talent and knowledge of me. I have also been fired because they could get someone fresh out of college at half the cost. The boomers never had to deal with any of that, yet I keep getting told to "man up" or that I must be lazy. HA!!
I think I just might start digging ditches now… Oh wait, those jobs are already taken by the piss poor immigration policies started by the boomers. Well maybe I can just join the military
You know something is wrong when those of us with graduate degrees are drooling with envy and the pay and benefits offered to garbage men. Seattle's waste management is flirting with a strike by collectors who are making $75K/year plus full medical.
Maybe the real money is in the blue collar, unionized fields.
I was born in 1947 and I certainly am not the person you descibe! You would not believe what I've done for others and what I've done without to try to make this a better world — and continue to do so. I harp about corporate pigs and corrupt politicians all the time. I put in my time and earned the right to a comfortable retirement.
displaced Capitalist says:
No no no… the less information for the masses the better. After all isn't that working swimmingly in North Korea?
Every time I go back to the U.S., I sense a nation in decline. It's a vague, but strong feeling. However, let's look at some facts:
1. Median income for the entire population has declined in past 10 years.
2. Median income for those without a college education (about 70% of the adult population) has declined for the past 30 years.
3. Birth rates among the white middle class are below replacement – similar to those in Europe. Nothing wrong per se with Blacks, Latinos, and the poor becoming a larger percentage of the population, except that an even larger percentage of the population will be poorer and less educated.
4. The percentage of the adult population with a university education is in decline in terms of generations – the "Baby Boomer" generation has more college graduates than the generation "X" that succeeded it. This is very negative trend for the country.
5. In a country with rapid demographic change in terms of ethnicity, there may be problems with one generation's taxes supporting an older generation's retirement, if there deep political and ethnic hostility between the dominant groups within each generation.
6. America has the highest Gini coefficient in the OECD, with the exception of Mexico, and it is getting higher. Countries with high Gini coefficients have a great deal of inequality by definition, but that inequality tends to create crime and a less-cohesive society – in short, a lower quality for everyone who cannot afford and/or does not prefer to live behind massive gates.
7. America has allowed many of its great cities to decline in a way that is unparalleled in advanced economies. The kind of decay, crime, poverty, racial segregation, gutting of manufacturing, and demographic decline seen in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Hartford, and so on is tragic. Why would a rich society – one with a GDP per capita in the top 10 highest in the world – allow this to happen unless there is some deep dysfunction? Go to Canada, Australia, Japan, Western Europe: you will never see cities with anything similar to the decline in many American cities. A couple that I know from Sydney, Australia, recently visited Los Angeles for the first time, and they were shocked at the level of poverty and dinginess of certain areas, and that they were not free to go to any part of the city in safety.
8. Contrary to the myth of the American dream, social mobility in the United States is actually much lower than in many advanced economies, as recent OECD studies have shown.
9. America is the only advanced economy where its citizens right to access health care is not guaranteed. Yes, this may change in 2014, but the system designed seems to still have some loopholes for companies and cracks for people to fall through. And, why is the state of health of Americans at the low end of advanced economies if America spends twice as much or more per capita compared to any other country?
10. The murder rate in the United States is about five times as high (per capita) as that of countries with similar incomes. Even more worrying: why is this not a cause for consternation in the society?
11. America has the largest prison population in the world, and it is very high in terms of per capita figures. What does this say about a society that it must lock up huge numbers of its citizens in order to function? What does it say about America if one out of nine Black men is in prison, jail, or on parole? Again, deep dysfunction that is not being addressed.
12. Tertiary education is often financially difficult to access in America, and for those not from wealth families, it means huge student loans that will mean wage slavery for most holders for the next 30 years of their lives.
13. Americans have no legal right to vacation time, sick leave, or maternity leave, unlike nearly every other country on earth (even poor ones). This makes for a family-unfriendly society, a less healthy society, and a stressed society. Only the rich and powerful would want such a society. America is no beacon of hope on this account, but rather, tragically retrograde.
And so on – these are just items that come to mind now as to why America is not such a great country in terms of quality of life, which is, in the final analysis, the only statistic that counts. Do you see evidence for a great turnaround on these negative characteristics? I don't, except perhaps for somewhat on health care. I can tell you that as long as the things above are ignored and silly cheerleading for laughable books about how great life will be 40 years into the future, I am not optimistic.
Carl - Dallas says:
Cute. Maybe 5% of the Boomers fit in that category/sterotype ala Dennis Hopper, et al. If you want to piss on older people, go right ahead. It will be your turn soon enough.
As for me, I put myself through Undergrad and Grad, raised a family, cared for my parents until they passed, had business successes and failures, paid off my mortgage, put my kids through college, and have paid SS and Medicare taxes at max rate for nearly all of my working life.
Now you act as if it is an insult for me to use SS or Medicare? You elect Mister Naive Anti-Capitalist Never-Managed-Anything-Significant to micro-manage my healthcare? Bitch to him, not at me.
Go back to your pot and grunge music. Be sure to use the wonderful stuff we built for you with no regard for what efforts it took to build, finance and maintain, you arrogant little bastard. I seriously doubt that this piece was written by anyone over the age of 30.
Signed: Turned 64 in Dallas and did just fine.
So Carl, how old were you when you paid off your student loans? How much did your education cost you?
Just curious… I think you'd be shocked at just how inflated a college education became after your time of extreme subsidies.
bb in GA says:
From an old boomer,
Interesting slug fest between eeeevil people like me and all you wonderful young 'uns.
Kill us, starve us, cuss us, chop off our body parts…whatever. (I will shoot back y'all until I start drooling on myself)
But please quit bitchin' and get in gear to make it like you want it.
I hate most of what you commie bastards want to do, but it will be whatever y'all want it to be…So get 'er done! //bb
Just to add another bit of historical perspective, DrCyanide mentioned "a generation that dreamed of getting off this blasted rock". But at the beginning of the space race, dreaming was all they could do.
Werner von Braun was born in 1912; Willy Ley was born in 1906; Robert Goddard was born in 1882. Most of the engineers and scientists who worked on the space program were in their 30's and 40's in the 1960's, so they were members of the G.I or Silent Generations. The youngest of the Mercury Seven astronauts was born in 1927. The oldest Boomers were in their mid-twenties when Armstrong walked on the moon.
The baby boomers certainly cheered on the space program. But again, when they got the power and had the opportunity to make it a national priority once more, they decided that there were better things to spend their money on, namely themselves.
Butcher of Bakersfield says:
The word (or letter) "I" came up in your small post 6 times. I I I I me me me I I I I me me I me…
To all of the Gen x,y and z people. As a Boomer I must apologize for not dying in my 50s. I know you want to get ahead but not over my dead body. The fact that you will probally live even longer is thanks to the boomers.
It's not a question, we will get ahead by throwing you to the wolves while you're in your 50's or 60's. You'll find yourself the victim of downsizing and grasp frantically at dwindling employment opportunities until you finally give up, sell all of your worldly possessions, move into a tiny apartment and live on what little Social Security and your decimated 401K provide.
This is how it will be to the vast majority of boomers including those that commented about the evils of socialism.
Remember, you were warned that your kids would choose your retirement home. Now it looks like your kids will simply throw you into the streets. They don't have enough to feed themselves.
Bob Hopeless says:
Way to generalize. There are a lot of us (me, b. 1958) who pursued less than lucrative professions and have no savings or pensions to speak of. Maybe I'm just a fuck up , but I think you're talking about (an admittedly large) subset of a generation. I was too young for the groovy times and have never outgrown or outearned my progressive politics. Some of us at the latter end were the punk generation, you know, without whom all the hip kids today wouldn't have anything to plunder for their various forms of post-whatever culture.
A lot of your points are well taken indeed, but it's important to remember that generational stereotypes may not be the best way to examine some of these problems. Even among the boomers, class and money are big dividers.
And there's still plenty of time for the Pete Peterson Foundation and the rest of them to get rid of my social security, too.
"Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance … are sensible, government run programs to insure against the infirmities of old age and the cruelties of market fluctuations."?? Really? They are about to go broke, and we just added 15 million people to Medicare. The only way ObamaCare shows to be revenue-neutral is through accounting tricks.
I hate black people?? Really?? How do you arrive at this conclusion? I DO hate lazy people, but not black people.
Perhaps you have not seen projections that the marginal tax rates for the "wealthy" (a level which seems to creep lower every time Obama turns on the teleprompter) would have to reach 90% or more for us to re-tame our deficits. That's only one way to get tehre, but regardess, the money is going to come form somewhere, and not from those who don't pay taxes, right?
Bottom line – the initial article was all about how this mess was dropped in your laps. Bull. But if you really believe that, get over it. Fix it. Take away my SS benefits if you want. Vote in your real changemakers. But the way things are going, we continue to move toward wealth re-distribution and, yes, Socialism. How else would you characterize a system that takes more and more from those who make the money to compensate those who won't?
I feel like freakin' Trenton, NJ here (look it up).
I'm a boomer (born in 1953) who couldn't afford to finish college (and my parents couldn't afford to pay for it), stayed home to raise my kids so we lived on one income, and got laid off from my part-time job in December 2008. I am painfully aware of how hard things are for my kids' generation (they are 29 and 30) and my husband and I have done our best to help them out, with college, with health insurance, and whatever else came up. We have always lived moderately — no pricey vacations, new cars, big houses for us.
I am NOT happy with the way things have turned out — this is not the world I wanted to give my kids, with wars, racism, sexism, and stupidity in the form of Fox News and teabaggers running rampant, not to mention the devastation that will be wrought by climate change. The one big investment we did put into our house recently was solar panels on the roof, if nothing else but to show other people in our middle-income neighborhood that it was do-able. Unfortunately, so far, nobody else has followed suit, but we did ours right before the economy went into the toilet.
Which, by the way, turned our 401k's into 200 1/2 k's. I sure hope we can get social security, because if we don't we are really screwed. And no, I really don't want to be a burden on my kids.
Just writing this so you know that not everybody in my age group feels "entitled" and happy that the world has gone to shit. I know there are a lot of people out there who feel that "I got mine, screw you" — and some of them are the people my kids' age who work with my husband and voted who for McCain in 2008 because they didn't want that "redistribution of wealth" thing. My husband and I both worked for Obama. Yes, I know Obama's not perfect and there have been many disappointments, but it's better than the alternative would have been.
Characterizing an entire generation as being a certain way is as unfair and prejudiced as characterizing by race or sex. I have heard people complain about the younger generation, because their kids have made bad choices, screwed up, and acted irresponsibly, and have a sense that everybody owes them everything and nothing is their own fault.. I remind them that not all younger people are that way. My own kids have worked hard, gone to school, faced really tough conditions, and come out on the other side admirable human beings. They don't feel entitled to anything, and they just want to make the world a better place. I know a lot of their friends who are the same, who strive under adverse conditions faced with an uncertain future. I am immensely proud of all of them.
So just know that some of us boomers are just as unhappy as anyone about the current state of affairs. None of us is perfect, but there are a lot of us who did not turn out to be selfish fucks and weren't the ones driving the car off the cliff.
The point of this entire open letter and its responses are that the Boomers enjoyed a highly subsidized life including excellent schooling and comparatively dirt cheap college educations along with excellent access to stable and lucrative employment.
After they took advantage of these subsidies that were paid for by tax rates as high as 92% (yes, look it up) by their parents, they decided that they no longer wanted to rich and the corporations to pay taxes anymore. Regan started the GIANT tax cuts for the wealthy while simultaneously increasing military spending while shouting down the "welfare queens" and spewing Horation Alger bootstrap bullshit.
Your children are now required to have far more education that you did at a far greater price (if gasoline prices kept pace with higher education, you'd be paying $7.50/gallon) and with far less return on that investment.
We're pissed and looking for a better deal not only for ourselves but for the kids that we scramble to figure out how to feed, clothe, and provide medical care for as we bounce from temp gig to temp gig and spend the majority of our income on student loans.
If it weren't for unemployment insurance, I can all but guarantee that riots would be breaking out all over America right now. If I have to rob you to feed my family, I will.
All of this "Socialism" that you denounce is the only thing that is keeping capitalism alive right now. Sit in your comfortable, smug little cloud but understand that the world you grew up in is much, much different than the world is for your kids.
What you're feeling, boomers, is the long-overdue fear and guilt of irresponsibility smacking you straight in the nuts.
As a boomer, I'd like to offer a defense of my generation – and I'm going to make one of a sort – but much of what you say is true. It was sad to watch many of my contemporaries become so enamored of the SUV and the McMansion and the bland toxicity of Ronald Reagan.
Here's the defense I can offer. If you look deeper, you see a lot of social service organizations begun and maintained by boomers. There are many my age who have spent their entire lives making much less than their neighbors, trying to actually make the world a better place not just for their children, but for everybody's children. There are gray-haired ex-hippies working everyday to move those intiatives ahead, and they'll continue until they are too old to push anymore.
And there have been some successes, along with the pathetic failures you list. In 1970, the year of the first "Earth Day", environmentalists were considered kooks at best and dangers to the republic at worst. As little as 10 years ago, they were still "treehuggers" and worse. Today, building green is a business no-brainer.
Women and minorities face much less descrimination in education and the workplace. A black man as President of the United States was unthinkable in the 1970's
The internet we're communicating on was built by hippie geeks and is constructed in such a way as to make oppressive interference difficult – partially due to the ethos of sharing that enfused the computing world in the 1970's
I do not deny the greed and fatuousness of many people my age. But people are people. Look around at your colleagues, who share your anger at what's gone before. Trust me, the day will come when they will dissapoint you as well.
You forgot to mention their appallingly ball-less and supine control of the mass media. Once a vibrant fourth estate doing its proper job of holding those in power accountable, we now have a soulless, back slapping and utterly corrupt third arm to the military-industrial-media complex.
Free speech wasn't enshrined in the constitution so that I could call my neighbor an asshole, is there because the founding fathers knew that all leaders eventually swing towards despotism and the only a free and courageous press could hope – even vaguely – to keep them in line.
Watch the Sunday talk shows. What we have now are simply people who play journalists on TV. They are the new camp guards, heads turned the other way. Pure and simple.
One thing I forgot, which I haven't seen mentioned. It wasn't the Boomers who swooned over Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America". By my experience it was the Gen Xers. Most of the people in my boomer cohort that I personally know are still liberal and progressive (that's what a halfway decent education given to working class kids will do for you); but most of the people I know who are five to ten years younger than me are dittoheads (who incidently still haven't figured out why they walk and talk so funny with that shaft up their asses).
So please don't blame the boomers for everything.
Jimmy Cracked Corn says:
This blog reads like one big long roll of BALONEY. The world aint coming to an end, and you retards couldn't handle a real capitalist society to begin with. You want to see that in action, look at the Great Depression, or travel to Saigon and get a fucking job washing vegetables in the street for $3 a day.
The problem isn't Boomers, it's you sissy pricks in the current generation HAVE NEVER LEFT HOME. You think a cultural experience is eating at a Mexican restaurant. There isn't enough time in my night to write a clear rebuttal to this load of meat products but SAUSAGE it aint! The whole lot of you have sucked the teet of your previous generations and so far all's we've seen is more reasons to stay inside and hide from the real world you will lack the courage to face, change, and mold in a new light. Nobody and nothing is stopping you but your own sense of helpless victimization……in other words…
G man says:
As a 1955 boomer who has worked hard all his life and is getting screwed by this Community Organizer the boomer children helped elect, I can say that none of the shit comming down on the children is caused by illegal aliens sucking off the government with anchor babies. or wellfare broodmares and their kids.
Yea, don't mention those drains on our economy.
Amnesty is next. Wait and see.
You elected him.
i hate baby boomers too but you come off like a whiny pussy. i want to stretch my wet scrotal sack over your face and suffocate you with it
Entertaining to say the least. I'm not a "boomer", I don't know what the fuck i am, I am a 30 year old unemployed Veteran of the war in Iraq with 2 college degrees and about 90k in student loans owed to I think the government now, I don't know, people keep changing it up on me. My parents are of the "boomer" generation, they do good for themselves and they should, they have earned it, both of my grandfathers were Vets of WWII, one died of MS a long ass time ago and the other just passed away, broke as fuck. I think (this is only an opinion) that the middle and/or working class of the "boomer" generation could be excluded from the POV of this article, as they all busted their asses to support a bunch of ungrateful sons of bitches who are all now crying because we can't get a fuckin chance at success no matter how hard we want it. Liberalism is the disease that has infected so many and caused such a large epidemic of self proclaimed entitlement and at the same time most of the individuals that are immune to the liberalism outbreak most likely suffer from debilitating greed whether it be an inherited strain, a mutated form of corporate avarice, or a self induced ailment contracted through conservative values. It happens, either way I'm fucked and I could cry all day about the political injustices that have left me and a large majority of willing to work hard Americans in its wake, but what the fuck is that going to do, waste much needed salt that my body needs that I can't afford to buy at the store. FML.
questio – "You're" You + are – a.
Just writing this so you know that not everybody in my age group feels "entitled" and happy that the world has gone to shit.
Thanks. I feel better now.
laurie ruettimann says:
This was so long that I didn't read it. If I wanted someone to lecture me, I'd call home more often.
Hahahahahaha, just kidding. (Sorta.) Interesting post — but I still can't wait for the lot of you to retire.
Actually, as a TRUE boomer, myself, born in 1953, to parents who both experienced living through the great depression, then the war years of the 40's, no, I was NOT raised "entitled"..we did NOT have much, specifically, like the kids of today have..1 toy, 1 bag of chips LASTED me!
Forget this disposable society crap I raised MY kids with in the 70's and 80's, now THAT was entitlement and spoiling!They never had to lift a finger or work, or help around the house like I DID!
I worked at 13 years old, part-time while I was in high school, AND in college!I had no car! I rode buses and hitchhiked..(well ok in the 60's you could do that!LOL!)
The generations TODAY are entitled! Rarely do you see children walk to school any more, their parents drop them off of they drive themselves in their own cars..never saw anything like it…they block the entire road on my way to work, while they are all LATE for their HIGH SCHOOL classes!It's no wonder our kids today score lower than kids in other countries!
We did our kids a great disservice by enabling them so much. I agree! I guess they will have to figure things out the hard way with the "new" Great Depression that we have now created & will be soon approaching!By then, they will have to take us in and take care of us in their homes when we become elderly, so that will be our punishment!
jude haurt says:
WTF!!!!! I was born in 1948, absoluty nothing was given to me. I was married at 18 and a Mother at 19 and have worked hard all of my life….I do not understand where anyone would say that the boomers are the worst.. You younger people who rail at the "boomers" have all of the best of the best –education, ease of life, all of the most modern gagdets because of the boomers —-What do you not understand about ONE DAY YOU WILL BE THE OLDER GENERATION and the younger ones will grouse about you????
And to reply to PeeInHer===== could not have said it better myself…
I really enjoyed this post. My parents are just now in their 50's and though they don't consider themselves boomers, they're definitely at the tail-end. My mom didn't finish community college and ended up working her way into several vice presidencies at various credit unions and my father only had two associates degrees that were not related to his upper-level (but always endangered), position at IBM. Both worked very hard to get where they are, but it's certain that neither of their stories are possible for me or my peers currently in college or about to graduate.
I'd like to think they're both more decent than the typical boomer that you're referencing but the theme of looking out for number 1 has been echoed in a lot of advice they'd given me, and though they themselves aren't money-grubbing, they certainly reaped the benefits from an infrastructure their peers helped tap and bleed dry.
To the boooomer who places the blame for Reagan on us genxers: i'm an early genxer (66) and was 14 the year Reagan got elected. Second time around I was 18, and voted for Mondale, because I'd already had 4 years too much of Reagan's boomer-centric policies. I remember very well that "yuppies" (now "boomers") were the deciding tide behind the "Reagan revolution" and thus all the crap that was to follow.
Boomers: all you who are posting here– all I hear are excuses ("…but, it wasn't ME!"). please shut up. better yet, please get your own site to post your excuses on, your rebuttle letter, and the inevitable self-congratulating comments you'll post to each other to validate that of course it wasn't you, and place the blame where it should be, on the generations before and after you.
What a bunch of whiners. On both side.
Jeez, Tito. What a whiney little bitch of a comment. Bravo.
Admit it. You've ruined our country, our culture, and our public image.
Things will be loads better when you people stop running our country.
Many of you are just a bunch of spoiled children. Most baby boomers did not grow up affluent…were not war protesters or druggies. Unlike many of you, we did not have credit cards, video games, or color televisions. We worked our way through college or earned our tuition by risking our lives in the military. Many of us worked two or three jobs our entire adult lives…drove old cars that we could fix ourselves, never took vacations and saved our money while we lived frugally and just want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We didn't have cable or internet…or even calculators. Unfortunately many of us raised children that are too self indulgent to sacrifice and too lazy to work. You borrowed money for school to take classes in subjects that there is no job market for…but "stimu;ates" you. Now you are annoyed that someone will not pay your loans for you and cannot understand why your C average in basketweaving will not buy that new WRX and I-phone you cannot live without. You envy those that work harder or smarter and whine that somehow they were more fortunate or ruined things for you. The fact is that you are ruining things for yourself. You elect whatever liberal that promises to give you the most of someone else's money…and wonder why there are few jobs. Of course…anyone that has made some money is loathe to risk it in the current socialist "free healthcare" and amnesty for illegal aliens environment. These things are not free…even if bought with other people's money. The same is true for all the social welfare programs that you feel you need. If you don't make enough money to raise a child…don't have them until you do. Don't play the brood mare then ask others to pay for your bad judgement. Of course, why would someone in your generation ever even consider having personal responsibility. It is never your fault. When you played sports in school, everyone got a trophy…unlike the singe best player did when I played. Of course you did not flunk when you were too lazy and stupid to do your work in school. We just lowered the standards. Of course, then we lowered the standards to get into college…so you could all get in…and then had to lower the standards again for you to graduate so that none of you would get a negative self image. Now you all expect a huge social welfare program so that you can have things you did not earn. WIC to pay for your kids food…Foodstamps to pay for your food, section 8 housing to pay your rent. And you are not even ashamed that you cannot seem to work hard enough or smart enough to pay your own way. Now your foodstamps are "SNAP," a credit card that has no stigma. Why should you have to be embarrassed while you are little better that the fellow with the "will work for food" sign that begs at the corner? If you want the things that other folks have, go to school and work as hard as you can. Then get a job and work hard until you save enough to pay your own way. Don't get married or have kids until you can pay for them. If you get married, plan to stay married until your kids are grown. Nothing will ruin the rest of your financial life like paying the bills for two families. Don't buy things you don't absolutely need (and that is not recreation or beer or eating out). Save some money each month (compounding/time is your friend). Eventually, if you get out from in front of the TV and quit watching American Idol and whining on bog sites about your misfortune and how it is someone else's fault (it always is for your generation, isn't it) and get to work…you will make your own fortune. last of all, pull your head out of your rear and quit electing folks that offer to make tings "more fair." That is only code for wealth redistribution and only ensures that you will never have the opportunities that your parents had to make a good life for themselves.
It's hilarious to read most of the boomers comments responding harshly to the letter while (unconsciously) proving some of its points.
While I understand and mostly agree to the points that have been raised in it and through the comments, in defense of the boomers, I think it would be quite dishonest to believe that they voluntarily crafted this future for their children. The causes for their numerous bad societal decisions might be diverse but I am sure that they didn't, let's say, chose tax cuts perfectly knowing the long-lasting impacts they would have on their country's economy. And because they believe so much to have taken all the right decisions, their resistance to acknowledging their mistakes is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance.
They have been duped and are now duping themselves, daily. It must be hard to lie to yourself everyday to maintain your self-esteem. I pity them more than I am angry towards them…
A real shame and so true…But I don't understand how Dick C. made it from one generation to the next. I hope that the next generation considers getting a very large eraser…
Holy Christ … you Gen Xers really are a bunch of cry babies who don't know how to get off your asses and actually do something instead of blaming an entire generation for your "hard-knock" life. You don't know shit about hard times. Go sit down with a 90-year-old man or woman who lived through the Great Depression. They saw hard times. You lack the imagination and creativity to adapt. They call Generation X and Y "fragile" and man is that true.
Cry me a river. It is always someone else's fault…isn't it? It just didn't work out like one would expect after watching MTV and "Saved by the Bell" nonstop through puberty, did it? Real people have to earn their own way. Clearly, increasing taxes on the productive to reward the less productive really is not the answer. Most Americans pay no federal income taxes and quite a few get returns in excess of what they pay (other people's money)…and still complain. Typical for a narcissistic generation that believes it is all about them…and that they should enjoy the fruits of labor that they have not accomplished. This is a nation where opportunities are abundant but outcomes are not guaranteed. One can be successful, but only if they are willing to make the necessary sacrifices/effort.
Having eaten themself fat on our lives now vomits flesh eating bile all over the place.
oh … btw … yeah boomers made a lot of crappy decisions and I know there is some truth in your complaints, but christ oh mighty … you act as though the only option is to just sit around on your asses and wait for all the boomers to die off. Alias Says is right … if you're going to blame boomers for the state of our country at this point in time … you better deconstruct the last 100 years of American history and culture and only then you'll get to the bottom of why our country is all screwed up right now. Looking back at American History beyond one's own generation seems to be a rarity these days.
Absolutely brilliant!!! Perhaps the most detailed explanation ever on the subject. It mentions all the things I have fumed about for years. I wish every single American would read this, especially those under 40.
Gunther is dead on. I could not agree more.
Late-end Boomer here. The article was full of easy cliches but was essentially right: too many in the Boomer generation feel entitled to services without sacrifices. They want national security without enrolling themselves or their children in the military; they want retirement and health-care security but not taxes; they want infrastructure, as long as they don't have to pay for it.
Boomers, Tea Partiers: you are bitching about how the federal government is creating a mountain of debt for your children and grandchildren. I am too!
Raise the Social Security eligibility age to 70. I believe this step is right and inevitable. We love our children, don't we? We can make this sacrifice for them.
Jude is so fucking ignorant! Are you incapable of seeing the world of shit boomers have left the next generations?
Where is this "ease of life" and best education you speak of?
Seems like nothing ever changes. Everything remains the same.-Otis Redding
I remember the 'Generation Gap'. I remember Kent State.
Hating you parents and hating your children is a path to death.
displaced Capitalist says:
Hey TestPilot, I'm probably wasting bandwidth, since I'm sure you'll never come back, but I'll try anyway:
Fuck you. If you were have the person my grandparents were, I wouldn't be stuck in the mess I'm in now. I've become quite convinced that the "good hard workers" of America skipped a generation. I've worked my ass off, just like my grandparents did and what do I get for it? Practically nothing. Meanwhile my shit-for-brains parents and their friends are telling me I need to work harder. Fuck you and fuck the Baby Boomers.
Well, Ed, looks like being controversial has made you relevant again. Congrats!
"3. Birth rates among the white middle class are below replacement – similar to those in Europe. Nothing wrong per se with Blacks, Latinos, and the poor becoming a larger percentage of the population, except that an even larger percentage of the population will be poorer and less educated."
I suspect that this has already been addressed, but just reread that a couple of times. What are the assumptions there? Are they valid? Are they justifiable? How does the chain of logic go in that argument? Missing any steps?
This is one big reason why I have long felt that a course in logic, with a mandatory passing grade should be required for high school graduation. That would also help us deal with advertisements and political PR. Naturally, that will never happen.
displaced Capitalist says:
Crap. My fingers are typing poorly this morning. I meant to say "…half the person my grandparents were…"
three chord sloth says:
A truly righteous rant… as far as it goes. But the author missed an important destructive change the Boomers fought for (and got) back in the 60's… the guilt-free, comprehensive welfare state.
You see, during the two decades after WWII, the thought that a person could be on relief for years, let alone decades, was an anathema. People were expected to earn their keep, and they overwhelmingly did. But this wasn't good enough for the Boomers, they remade the social contract into a one way street — the taxpayers give, the needy take. This led to the post-Great Society mindset too many folks have today — the belief that government owes their people an economic floor, a standard of living that no one should fall below. This has been every bit as destructive as any of the other changes wrought by the Boomers.
So when you are wishing for a return to an America that works, keep that fact in mind. The modern-day mentality of entitlements, positive rights, and cradle-to-grave welfare is as alien to American success as globalization and runaway CEO pay.
The cancer eats away society from both ends… the top and the bottom.
Does it help that I didn't have children? Or does that make it worse? Which choice makes me more selfish? I love children, but I never had any because it just never worked out. I never married, and I never had the emotional or financial wherewithal to have and raise a baby on my own. Feeling "entitled" never had much bearing on any of my decisions.
I get why you're angry. I'm sorry that I didn't make things better for you.
You should print out this post, keep it safe, and read it in 20 years. Please.
Hey displaced Capitalist – Fuck you, too … no double Fuck You … :-)
Of course I came back ….
Nobody is half the person my mom and dad were or my grandparents or your grandparents. I certianly am not nor are most people of the Boomer generation or GenXers.
Nobody in this country has the corner on working their ass off. I did and still do … and don't have much at all to show for it. But, I do get up every day with the intention of doing what I can to make the world better than it is. How about you?
The difference between the generations prior to the GenXers (the Boomers, my parents and my grandparents) is that when life threw them a shitty deal they didn't stand on a street corner, stamp their feet and shout Fuck You over and over and over again… ad nauseam… expecting things to change.
Like Larkspur says above … copy this post and re-read it 20-25 years from now. You will likely be really embrassased …. or still wrapped up in your own shit still shouting Fuck You Boomers! … Fuck you all! Only problem is we'll all be dead, but that won't matter to you … you'll still just stand on your corner complaining while the rest of the world moves on without you.
Three chord sloth –
Cradle to grave welfare? What decade are you in? Here in California, which E-Meg Whitman scornfully calls 'THE welfare state' in the gubernatorial radio spots, the current lifetime limit for public assistance is five years.
She wants to cut it to three.
You may be thinking of something other than General Assistance; perhaps Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFCD)? Could you possibly identify the jobs available to women with young children, or the daycare providers they can park their children at while they work? Or SSDI – surely if I just worked harder, this annoying HIV thing wouldn't be such an issue any longer.
For the record, I was born in 1961, so I'm right on the cusp – all of my older siblings are well in Boomer territory. And when I look at all our lives, there's two consistent things – first, all of us who went to college did not procreate, all of us who did not, did; second, three of us have had stable careers in our chosen fields, four of us have not. The three who did all work/worked in the public sector, the other four in the private sector.
displaced Capitalist says:
Thanks for saying it with a smile :-)
If you do work hard testpilot, good for you! You're a rarity from my dim view of the world. I wish you could have been the parent that I and the rest of my generation didn't have. Having Ed and many other Gen Xers write the same thing here confirms to me that it's probably more than anecdotal.
I'm sure I'll read this in 20-25 years and come to the same conclusion. Remember, it will be my generation that will decide when to pull the plug. So go ahead, keep wasting the resources that my generation and my children's generation (your grandchildren!) will need to survive when you're gone.
displaced Capitalist says:
I just read your comment closer testpilot:
Isn't that what all the protests in the 60s and 70s were all about? For all the good that your generation fought for, most of you abandoned it in the 80s. I'd say that's as much of a waste of time "standing on a street corner" doing nothing.
By the way, both Mr. Ginandtacos and I (and probably the rest of the Gen X commenters here) do have jobs. We work for organizations that have squandered all their money and can't afford to pay us living wages anymore. And who was it that was in charge of these organizations when they lost all their money? It certainly wasn't the "greatest" generation nor the Gen Xers so I think that leaves your generation as the culprit.
You guys make life seem like a big collective where you somehow have rights to the things that others have earned (resources). If I drive a Porsche, it does not mean that you have to drive a Kia. It is not a net-sum game. You don't have to take something away from me sothat you can have something. You can earn your own.
The protestors that you refer to were the losers of that generation as well. Most folks continued to work hard, go to school, serve in the military, etc… And ignored the rest.
Triple dog fuck you! Sorry, I couldn't resist.
You failed to mention your career field but based on your handle, it seems you may have worked for the federal government. Thanks for your help and service but understand that the reality of public service and that of private enterprise couldn't be more different. I can vouch as I spent a fair amount of time in both.
In my career as a naval officer, I was subjected to long hours, months away from family and friends, and a rigid command and control structure. In exchange for this, I received excellent health care for myself and my family, unparalleled job security, continual career training including fully subsidized graduate level education plus I looked pretty cool in my dress blues.
After I left the military, I entered the world of business and while the salary was higher, the probability of actually retiring someday looks bleak. My 401K has been nearly wiped out twice in the last 10 years, I have been "downsized" 4 times in the same 10 years through mergers and acquisitions.
I've discovered that the biggest growth field in management is eliminating American jobs. The Boomers may not have created this ethos but you most certainly were complicit with its growth.
Gen X and younger people are complaining for a very good and very real reason – we simply cannot compete on a dollar per dollar basis with third world labor. India and China are producing excellent engineers who live a lavish lifestyle on $25K/year. The same salary in America will get you a one bedroom apartment and Ramen noodles 6 nights a week in a major city.
The complaint about the destruction of what used to be a fairly guaranteed entry into the middle class for hard workers is valid and it's quickly getting worse. The corporate structures in America are based solely on quarterly profits without regard to the stability of the nation of even for the ability of future customers to be able to afford what it is the company sells.
If we are to maintain a middle class in America, these problems need to be addressed. Decades of deregulation and expansion of free trade (which is in no way the same as free market) principles need to be rapidly reversed.
Times are changing and the Boomers will have a decreasing voice in the outcome. Enjoy the fruits of your generation but don't complain when your kids treat you with a bit of contempt as they clean up the shit storm your generation left them to clean up after.
Companies "squandered"away their money…so they couldn't give it to you…to squander away? That is rich…and sort of an oxymoron. If it is their money, they can spend it however they like.
Hey displaced Cappy ….
I wish I did have the resources to waste…:-) I have no children, but I do have two nieces in their late 20's and all I can do now is save what money I can for them that they may desperately need in the future.
I don't know who really is to blame for the fucked-upness of our country today. Most certainly boomers are in the mix somewhere, but honestly, and I'm not trying to side step any responsibility — you really do have to go back in time. This fucked-upness has happened over time and unfortunately it is all coming to a head on your generation's watch.
I'm a product of the Greatest Generation. My Dad fought in WWII and then killed himself in 1964 when I was 6. My Mom raised 3 kids by herself. My mom was a product of the Great Depression. Her parents, my grandparents raised her through those hard times. Being a child of the Depression … my mom desperately wanted my childhood, my brother's childhood to be as worry free as possible. She worked her butt off to support us … all the while teaching us all those things like … work hard, don't lie, sometimes you will need to sacrifice your happiness for others…etc. She was a true child of the depression.
My point is …. she so wanted it make it "easy" for us, her kids, because she had it SO hard growing up. The Greatest Generation "wanted" their kids lives to be easier than theirs. My mom gave me things she never had. And you're right … I did grow up expecting things … because they we're always provided for me by my mom and grandparents. I'm not talking big things … I'm talking … ski lessons … books … new adidas sneakers. My mom was always caught in a strange paradigm … she wanted to teach us how to survive in the world and be able to depend on ourselves, but she also wanted to give us the things she never had. It left me with some very weird mixed messages …:-)
So all I'm saying is that there is a long trail of blame to be laid and Boomers are certainly included, but there is much more to the problem than just "the boomers".
I take back the triple dog fuck you and transfer ownership to Flint who is far more deserving of it.
You seem like a nice guy.
Yes, many boomers did abandon the fight. I can't speak for them … some probably just got tired or got greedy. Those protests in the 60's and 70's were brutal and painful. Thr race riots in Alabama, the riots in Chicago and the Chicago 6, women's rights, and Vietnam. People gave their lives in protest – Kent State. Don't talk to me about not following through on our battles. To you it's some far and distant part of history. If you were there … you'd know more of why things happened they way they did. It was a brutal time.
I'm sure you do work … and hard! Most Americans are right now. Yes, there are some fucked up, greedy, sonsofbitches Boomers out their that just happen to be bosses or CEO's they lie, cheat, steal and take this coutnry down the shit hole. I hate 'em … they stand for everything that is wrong with this country.
So ……… so what are you going to do? What's your plan? You feel victimized …. so what's next? I guess you could go fucking nuts, go get a list of boomers in your neighborhood and pop 'em off with a .38, but I already know you're a smart guy … so I doubt you'd choose that option. So then … what's your plan?
ms. frisky says:
how do you manage to blame children for how they are raised?
Hey Fer-rizzle …. no, I want that triple dog fuck you left me … made me LOL..:-)
Not a part of governnent … but actually private sector. I'm just a civilian pilot. I sould be the one thanking YOU for your service. My Dad was in the Navy during WWII so I have a special place in my heart for Navy guys and damned straight I bet you looked mighty fine in your dress blues. Best uniform out there.
Ferizzie … I think some of you GenXers just don't understand that there are MILLIONS of boomers out here who feel the same way you do and are experiencing the same crappy existence. You say:
"Enjoy the fruits of your generation but don't complain when your kids treat you with a bit of contempt as they clean up the shit storm your generation left them to clean up after."
What the heck fruits are you talking about? You mean having worked very hard for years and then having nothing to show for it. I know the country is fucked up … that's more than apparent. I'm sorry for how "some" boomers turned out … basically greedy liars, but the majority of this group you call "Boomers" are just regular folks who lived their lives the best they could …. and got screwed, too.
….and ..and…uhm quadruple fuck you! ;-)
ms. frisky …
excellent, excellent, point.
Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D. says:
I don't know, man, that's a buncha boomers I sure don't identify with.
As the old bumper tag said, "Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern."
This may have already been covered, but, I was 17 when Ronny was elected and neolith reports above that he was 14. He's now 66 and I'm around 46.
I apparently have stumbled upon a time-slowing-down-machine! Would anyone like to send me cash to invest in this awesome way of life?
displaced Capitalist Says:
"I've worked my ass off, just like my grandparents did and what do I get for it? Practically nothing. Meanwhile my shit-for-brains parents and their friends are telling me I need to work harder. Fuck you and fuck the Baby Boomers."
Did it ever occur to you…that if you have nothing…and everyone seems to think that you need to work harder…they could possibly be right?
"Cradle to grave welfare? What decade are you in? Here in California, which E-Meg Whitman scornfully calls 'THE welfare state' in the gubernatorial radio spots, the current lifetime limit for public assistance is five years.
She wants to cut it to three."
Whahhh! Oh the humanity of having to get a job. Don't you think that the very fact that a limit of 5 years had to be enacted to keep people from living on the work of others clearly indicates a serious lack of work ethic? Anyone that can go 5 years in CA without being able to find a job is either severely handicapped or severely lazy. That does not include all the other social welfare programs that are disguised to protect loafers from shame like Section 8 housing, food stamps (SNAP) and WIC.
"…Could you possibly identify the jobs available to women with young children, or the daycare providers they can park their children at while they work? Or SSDI – surely if I just worked harder, this annoying HIV thing wouldn't be such an issue any longer."
Perhaps they should have considered whether or not they could afford children before having them…and expecting the rest of us to finance them.
ms. frisky Says:
how do you manage to blame children for how they are raised?"
I do not, I blame their parents. What I do blame these 18-50 year old children for is how they blame everyone else on their misfortune. It is not like they are fresh from the womb…and just sitting around crying and wetting themselves will never get them the things that they so envy other folf for having….peole that have worked longer, harder, and smarter.
Until they wake up and face the truth, they will never achieve much of anything. Excuses are crippling.
The world, as a whole, is looking forward to the inevitable moment of your great call. Trust me, it's coming.
Fint you could save yourself a lot of typing with just a few words. In fact, you can copy-paste and not have to type anything at all: "Fuck you, I got mine."
displaced Capitalist says:
Hey Testpilot, I'm sorry. I agree with Fer-rizzle that you seem like an all right guy and I guess I'm just prone to a little over-generalization these days. :(
This rant of yours is priceless: http://www.ginandtacos.com/2010/04/06/an-open-letter-from-the-boomers-to-their-children/comment-page-4/#comment-24000
Hey old dude, run it through spell check before you berate others for their C-level grades…..
Or did you?
Hey Cap … sometimes I am, too — prone to generalizations – guess we'll just call it a wash….:-)
Christ … here I am trying to convey to the GenXers that they can't just throw all Boomers together in one "you fucked me over" pot …. and here you go trashing ALL GenXers. I'm a boomer that knows a lot of GenXers … and I have no problem busting the whiny ones, but not all of them are lazy losers. You sound more like a pissed off conservative teaparty kind of guy than any boomer I know.
I think some people have neglected the fact that the original post, though true to a certain extant, is meant to be sarcastic as well. Obviously it's broad generalization for effect and not accusing each and every person born between a certain period. I will be honest. I agree with this rant entirely. Specifically those who lived most of their early adult lives in the 60's 70's and especially the 80's took advantage of social programs that if proposed again today, would be considered "communist" and "redistribution of wealth." Those who took advantage of the relatively cheap things like collage eventually went onto nice big jobs like they were guaranteed on the brochure and then when they got into power, realized they could make even more money by doing things like getting people into government who would cut taxes to let them pay less, cut school funding so they wouldn't have competition and themselves raised the price of college education because they felt they deserved more. I totally agree with this. Obviously it's not "every single baby boomer" that did thing like this but they are the one who did. Then when they are proceeded by a generation or two of people who get less education (which counts for way more than people want to admit), have to pay exorbitant amounts for things that people in other countries with less economy than ours can easily get and maintain for a fraction of the cost, and are constantly sold on the ideas of "get rich quick", "Consumption is patriotism" and "buy, buy, buy, or you're a bad person" that the boomers on the top have constantly tried to feed us for the sake of taking our every last dime, how can you not see the natural progression of things? I am not blaming each and every one of you but you have to see where this is coming from. We complain because we don't know what we really can do and are bred into a world of cynicism, hopelessness and endless consumption that was taught to us from an early age by commercials and parenting designed to keep us quiet and never meant to learn anything except how to construct the simplest things by teachers who get paid next to nothing for the responsibility of safeguarding the minds of the next generation while simultaneously being blamed for it's demise. I am young and stupid but you have to understand this.
My father used to say something like this (not in English though) "what you do to me and you mom, your children will do to you". This was what his father had said to him… You are not the 1st generation who hates their parents' generation, not are you the last one. Apparently blaming someone else for your own circumstacnes makes one feel better about oneself. I can understand this need. Just take it easier a bit, and remeber you will have children too.o
Baby boomers had the moral compass to feel guilty about the material wealth they enjoyed. Many of them fought for social justice.
Slackers however – in true Ayn Rand form – are the architects of the Meltdown and all they have to say is "Damn who gives a shit about those little people – give me more!"
Scared As Hell says:
Now, I've never been a particularly good History student, I've always been a Math and Science guy. I also apologize for my godawful writing. Composition has never been my strong point.
Here's what I can say about this article. My mother was born in 1956 to a middle class doctor, and his artist wife. I would never go so far as to say that my maternal grandparents were wealthy, but they were always very fiscally responsible, and my mother never wanted for anything growing up. She never graduated college and yet she's been a life-long entrepreneur. She built up a business that failed, a restaurant that was flooded (New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina), and is currently on her second restaurant. She has been very fortunate to be able to live off of her parents, and then her ex-husband for most of her life. Additionally, her parents died within a year of each other at a very fortunate time for my mother. As I said, my maternal grandparents were fiscally responsible and lived far below their means.
My father on the other hand was born in a low-class white neighborhood in 1944. I don't know much about his parents (they died long before I was even born), but I do know that they were steeped very deeply in New Orleans crime, and very close with the mafia. He also never graduated college, and has been working as a contractor and insurance road man for most of his life. He has had to rebuild his life from almost nothing twice due to divorces which left him nearly penniless (in one case without a home, a set of clothes, or even a car).
Now, I am a freshmen in college. My parents both wasted away their money on their own business ventures, and I currently have no money with which to get an education. I am on financial aid at the school which was cheapest for me to attend, not the school I wanted to go to (even though I got several scholarships to some very nice institutions, it still left me wondering how to pay for the other $20,000/year without being in debt in the middle of the worst economic time I could be in).
My parents were fortunate to grow up in an age where a college education was not necessary for success. They never had to deal with any amount of debt outside of a mortgage. I cannot imagine building my life from nothing as my father did twice, and I can't hope to have the seemingly limitless capital that my mother seems to be living off of.
What I can say, outside of the ad nauseum "it's not fair!" argument, is that I am currently scared out of my mind for what my future is gonna be. I was completely unable to even think about going to an above average college, and now attend LSU (a good school in its own right, but nowhere close to a reasonably good or balanced education). I am currently working towards a B.S. in Physics, and hope to spend at least the next six years in school until I can achieve a PhD (which is pretty much required to do anything other than teach high school in the natural sciences). I hope that my situation will be less bleak at that time than it is now. At least maybe a few more tenured professors will have retired opening up spaces at universities for me to hopefully get a job to pay off my debt with.
This open letter has me scared, because from my point of view (as I said, poor History student, but great with Statistics at least), it seems like it's mostly right. Baby Boomers had the time, and resources to protest and change the world. I can't even waste my time volunteering in my community because I need to worry about where my next meal comes from. I try to take advantage of every resource available to me, which as a poor college student is mostly free information via the internet. I don't want to say that it's not fair how easy the Boomers had it. It was a different time, and they did no less than I would have done in their position.
Instead, I hope that having come of age in such a bleak time will make me a better and more responsible person than a majority of the Boomers who started to come of age thirty years before I was even born. To me, this seems more like a growing experience, and chance to learn so as not to repeat past mistakes. Additionally, I feel that coming of age in a time where "Communist" is a political party and not a slur, makes me more open to a more (if not totally) Socialist government. I just want to be able to have a chance to have a career. Maybe I can't ever afford a family, but I will at least try to have life worth sharing with someone else, GOD DAMN IT!
Sorry if this comes off as petulant or just plain immature. This article, and the ensuing comments, stirred up a lot of thoughts in my head that I needed to get out. I am not a qualified opinion, a good writer, or even representative of my generation. I wish I could say things nearly as relevant as what Kirk, Nunya, or Gunther have been saying here.
I find it interesting that the topic of education has been glossed over so much, for in it lies the responses to many questions. As we have established the boomer generation had access to much cheaper education, as well as an existence of blue collar jobs where it was actually possible to make some money. They left the Xers and Yers with exorbitant college tuition and large percentage of outsourced blue collar jobs. All the while telling there children that the only way to get ahead is to work hard and go to college. Well, it turns out that a college education ain't worth squat these days; you have to have a masters or a phd to get entry level jobs in a good percentage of careers. So here we have a generation that went to school for 4 (sometimes 5) years and have, in some cases, as much debt as a as a person with a small mortgage or a super nice car. So they follow the advise of the previous generations and "work". They can't get a job with their degree so they decide to work two or three jobs until they pay off their loans. Whoops it turns out that most jobs are outsourced now and there aren't enough for everyone to have one let alone 2 or 3. Then there's the ones that are lucky enough to realize the situation while still in school. I think it's rather interesting that not a single person has mentioned the college tuition protests that have been going on for the past few months. Could be the fact that the news coverage for them is always on the back page….. so basically, maybe rather than calling the younger generations whiners and brats. give us an idea: how can we work harder at 21 years old to overcome $60,000 worth of debt with a degree that won't get us anything more than a secretary position? Maybe we could gain another $40,0000 to $150,000 worth to get a masters or phd and get an entry level position that doesn't put us much more ahead than the previous situation (due to the new load of debt)
Scared As Hell,
There's an adage that I think is appropriate for the times we're living in now. "When things are great, we think they'll never end. When times are lousy, we think they'll never end." The truth is, they both end. It's inevitable.
Although we've all taken a pretty giant hit to what we all thought the world is, in some ways it's a great time to be alive, particularly as a young person. One of the great things about being broke in 2010 is that you're in good company and the stigma that may have accompanied it only a few years ago is largely gone. Enjoy it, live in a house full of guys, take road trips, camp out, go to museums, learn to cook cheap food. Learn that fun can happen on the cheap. Eventually, your bottom line will improve but if you learned how to really enjoy life of very little money, you'll be much happier (and eventually much richer) for it. I'm learning this later in life and wish I had a different attitude at your age.
At 36, I may not be able to offer the wisdom of old age but I can explain life from the point of view of a guy that lived through the boom of the dot-com era to the bust of its aftermath and has come to accept that there are a lot of ways to live a good life that you're proud of and that money should be only one of the priorities to weigh when deciding what to do with your life.
If you have time, I'd recommend three books that might give you some perspective on the present and the future:
– The New Golden Age:-The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos by Ravi Batra
– Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford
– The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
One thing that I can tell you after living in the corporate world for over a decade is that the pursuit of money in the corporate setting requires you to sacrifice an awful lot of yourself. After doing actually pretty well for several years, I chucked it all to pursue something that is fairly well paying but that relies more on skill and less on connections and degrees (although I had both of these.)
If you're seeking financial stability, I would recommend learning a trade of some sort. Find a union and seek out higher education that increases your own personal understanding of the world and not that of the people who may someday hire you.
Higher education shouldn't just be job training but rather should let you explore the larger world and allow you to grow as an individual. This country would be a far more ethical place if our society thought of it that way.
Remember, what seems like hell will pass and you'll be left with the memories of just how much fun you can have with practically no money.
Why not learn a trade? Who says you have to go to college? What? Just a thought for folks trapped in a box.
Nunya – you may be only 36, but your words of wisdon to Scared as Hell fit in the "elder wisdon" category. Well done. I'm in my 50's and you just made my night – what you said is a benefit to ALL ages.
Can I please compliment the very intelligent and relatively civil conversations on this site? Seriously, I now believe that true understanding may someday some to both the FOX and MSNBC crowds.
To all of the responses by pissed off, entitled boomers, I can guarantee that they will mull that over for months and may, perhaps in secret, change their points of view.
My husband of 42 years confided in me that he is now a democrat but made me promise that I'd never tell anyone.
He's a Rotarian.
Yes, the world is changing. I'll keep his secret for another year but I want the rest of the young people to know that there are a lot of people in the Lone Star state that back you (albeit silently).
I am an X'er that had the privilege of being raised by parents a couple of generations older than the Boomers. My father was 20 years old when he went into WWII with his brothers and my mom was a generation younger than him. They got married and started a family in '61. The only trace of Boomer influence to be found in our house was the music. Other than that, we were a regular working class family. We didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of but we were happy. We kids never felt like we were lacking anything, and we truly weren't. We didn't measure our lives by our possessions and we sure as hell didn't keep up with the Joneses. We were a family of 7 and both of my parents worked. Nobody complained, nobody cried self-entitlement, we just lived. Did my parents struggle? Fuck yes. My dad went to an early grave because of it. Did they feel bad for themselves because they had a big family and had to work? Absolutely not. Unlike a lot of people, my parents didn't expect others to give them handouts. They just wanted the chance to make a living like everyone else. My husband and I maintain those life values to this day and hope to pass on those values to our son. Most of my friends were raised by Boomers and the unfortunate truth was that their parents acted more like teenagers than they did. I realize this is not true for all Boomers, but a surprising number were still free-loving it while their kids were growing up and looking for their guidance. I don't want to polarize an entire generation and the boomer generation did contribute some positives to the lives we have now, but I am glad that I was raised by the parents that were not of the Boomer generation. We kids got the best of both worlds: I had hard-working parents that taught me the value of making my own way while allowing me to be myself and not domesticating the free spirit out of me.
So we are blaming our parents for the state that the county is in? Is that what I am getting from this…hmmmmm seems that the best education in the world is usless if motivation is not present, and as for the State of Country….that is the work of Corporate America, the Government is OWNED by them so when you are looking to place BLAME look in the right places. Most of us had decent hard working parents that were plagued with the same struggles that we are facing now, did they give up? HELL NO they didnt, so we have reached a point now where WE as Americans need to decide what we are going to do…Perhaps it is time that we stood up to what Corporate America is doing, lets look at the facts here, the Government has virtually WIPED out the Middle class, it is non-existant in the World that we now live in. Yet there you sit, as any self-centered, un-motivated person would, desperately trying to find someone to BLAME instead of standing up and taking responsibility and trying to find a resolution to how YOU can help. Like it or NOT we all contributed to the State of the Economy, so collectively WE have to Fix it, lets go back to the days where it was a GOVERNMENT for the PEOPLE….BY the PEOPLE! The ball is in our court, and it is YOUR turn to SERVE.
Not everyone should be entitled to their opinions when they are not well thought out and add nothing to the search for knowledge and wisdom.
Fint was a troll, pure and simple.
Fint, I blocked you because you're repetitive, stupid, and boring the living shit out of everyone. If it makes you feel better to think it is because I am afraid of the power of your ideas, go right ahead. You're actually only the 2nd person I've ever banned, and that says something about how utterly inane your 20 posts in 12 hours were.
"Fint, I blocked you because you're repetitive, stupid, and boring the living shit out of everyone. If it makes you feel better to think it is because I am afraid of the power of your ideas, go right ahead. You're actually only the 2nd person I've ever banned, and that says something about how utterly inane your 20 posts in 12 hours were."
On the contrary. Apparently his ideas stimulated quite a bit of discussion here…as most of his posts were in response to others here that had responded directly to him. Clearly you thought his ideas dangerous enough to remove them…even though he attacked no one, did not use profanity, etc. I guess my question now is…why did you delete my post?
Because it's difficult to overstate how uninteresting you are. Judging from the fact that you're now pretending to be someone else, I'd say you have some psychological problems too.
Start your own site. No one will ban you there.
bill brugman says:
There is an element of truth to the post. But the underlying problem is being ignored. The humanist cultural brainwashing of the last 50 years has been successful. We now view the development of society through a naturalist filter.
In the 50
bill brugman says:
There is an element of truth to the post. But the underlying problem is being ignored. The humanist cultural brainwashing of the last 50 years has been successful. We now view the development of society through a naturalist filter.
In the 50’s scientists told the world they had discovered, in the lab, how life originated. In the 90’s they were proved wrong, that a chemical reaction resulting in a life form can never take place, but the humanists ate it up. God was eliminated from the human equation. Time magazine, in the 60’s, ran a headline…“God is Dead”. The Godly moral imperatives that were part of our social fabric since 1776 lost their authority. Without God, morals became relative and certain behavior was not judged as wrong or evil, but rather justifiable, depending on the circumstances.
Boomers jumped in with both feet. Drugs, sex and rock n roll! A generation later their marriages had crumpled and their children were cast adrift in an amoral sea. Many turned back to God but the damage was done. Materialism was king. The boomers experimented with a society in which morals were self determined and our society became gravely ill. The sickness culminated in November of 2008 with the election of a man who promised society that the government would take the place of God, that the government would be our protector.
Things have not gone well, however, so we blame the boomers for the current state of affairs. Rightly so, but we do not understand the underlying problem. Society is now Godless. We will not recover without returning to God as a nation. We want to continue the experiment – gay marriage, government. funded abortion, no prayer in public places etc. etc., because we like the idea of charting our own moral course. But we can’t have our cake and eat it too. We must accept that we are not supreme in the universe, that God has authority over us, and that if we live according to the principals laid out in the Bible, we will prosper. If we go it on our own, as we are now doing, the United States will collapse in discord, lawlessness, amorality and dissension.
Unfortunately the old boomers like me, who have been blessed with divine light and can see the error of our ways, are in the minority. But we are gaining strength. And we can certainly speak out when we see the type of tripe being ladled out to your generation.
Well good luck on your retirement, your going to need it. First off your pension are seriously underfunded, the CEO's pulled all the cash out of those pensions by assuming a higher riskier rate of return. Don't worry he made is bonus. Secondly, get ready for inflation to spike on you which will cause a downward spiral on your home values even further. As your generation leaves the stock market your are going to see an artificially inflated market literally shrink before your eyes. Next, forget about collecting SSI for your full term it will get re-adjusted down before to long. Finally, in your senior years your are going to all see the return of inflation and watch it ravage your savings and consume your income far beyond what you had ever planned. Your sound sincere for what you have build in your generation really nothing. The hard times are coming and nothing in your entire life has prepared you for what lay ahead.
Oh wow. The crazies have truly landed this week.
I would love to see an FJMing of Grandpa's concise modern history of the USA above, but I think even Ed would struggle to unravel that Gordian knot of nitwittery.
It always annoys me a little that people born in 1964 are considered part of the Baby Boom. Perhaps technically I am a boomer, but I always felt more like a tail ender showing up at each stage in life just after the parade had moved on. I was a kid when kids were seen as an inconvenience. I joined the workforce just after all the good jobs were taken (though I understand it's gotten much worse). I suppose have to work doubly hard when the "in thing" is to be retired. I'll be retired (or perhaps "permanently laid off") when "in thing" to be is dead. Meanwhile, since technically I am a Boomer, I get blamed for this mess!
Paul e says:
I've been saying this for years. The all about me "stoner generation" idiots have completely screwed up America. There are those from that generation who served honorably and paid their dues but too many consider themselves geniuses, wasting our time blathering on about how smart they are.
Using "stoner generation" lingo, karma
Ella Robinson says:
My grandpa is also a Baby Boomer and we love him a lot..*~
Kirk and Nunya, you make me happy. I love hearing people talk sense.
However, this letter really should include some of us under 25. I'm only 23, and my parents are definitely boomers. Though at least not asshole boomers (they believe in things like taxes). And they both put themselves through college.
As an older member of Gen Y (1984), I am so scared and worried about my future right now. I have a BA and some coursework towards a masters degree, but left the program after a year due to dismal job prospects unless you are willing to relocate to anywhere. I have no desire to live in small towns or rural areas because I grew up in a small town and hated it. I hate that even though you may have lived there for ten years, you are still an "outsider" because you weren't born there.
I'm currently working part time for a job that offers no benefits and I pay for my own not so great insurance. Boomers and older individuals may say that young people have no work ethic, but entry level positions today are vastly different than what they had.
Most service and retail expect you to have 24/7, 365 day availability. This schedule is for people under the age of 40. If you're over 40 and have a family, then you get regular work days. Your manager has a coronary if you express any desire to have god forbid a holiday off to spend with your family. Holidays are for the older employees to have off to spend with their families. The younger employees whom they automatically assume have little family obligations have to work Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Eve and Day for them. Some younger people have their own families and would like to spend Thanksgiving day with them instead of standing around doing next to nothing at a grocery store. We would also like have dinner with them during the week instead of working until 10 pm or later.
That attitude in retail is fairly recent, maybe fifteen years old. Most boomers and "greatest generation" if they worked in retail worked Monday through Saturday during normal business hours.
I also got a really good laugh at the senior citizens protesting Obama's health care reform. I saw one holding a sign that said "Don't Mess with My Medicare". The same woman when interviewed said that she didn't want more government interference in her life. Um dear, your Medicare is paid for by the government. My thought was how stupid are you.
I also couldn't believe how naive or dumb some people, especially older people were about the reform. My personal favorite was my aunts in their sixties who believed that death panels were going to happen. I really had to hold my tongue because they are not the best informed individuals about many things and they think very highly of their own intelligence.
For all of you non-boomers out there. Trust me on this one, as screwed up as the worlds seems today, as close to Armageddon as everyone would have you believe the world is, things are far better today than when I became an "adult" back in the 60's. FAR FAR BETTER OFF TODAY. While I would like to take credit for all of that I cannot, I have to give credit to my kids generation. My advice is to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. There is a lot of wisdom in those two documents. Also bring your kids up to love your neighbors. They will be far better off for it. Keep Spreading the word, the world will get it one of these days as the majority of people on this rock ARE intelligent.
Ralph Rykard says:
This chick is really crazy. I think she's cool enough
Reece Khan says:
my grandfather is a baby boomer and i am quite proud of his longevity all these years;-'
I detest my own generation of Baby Boomers? Not all of us fit the mold. Those who don't have not responded because most detest the whole affair.
I personally know many of my generation who put their lives on the line for what our parents taught them AND lived by it. I detest those who attempt to classify people as a group never mind an entire generation. Hitler tried that.
If people turned out to be assholes then someone let them become assholes.
We each ride our own journey on the highway of life. Get one.
I graduated from NYU Law in 2008 (#5 ranked law school at the time, #6 now), worked for a year in Big Law and then got laid off (with no severance) along with some 40,000 other attorneys nation wide. Unable to find another job in NY before my meager savings were depleted, I was forced to move back to Alabama and live with my parents.
Of course, moving to another state means I had to wait months before I could sit for another bar exam, and then another two months after that before I would get the results (which should be out in the next two weeks). But, even if I pass the bar here, it's unlikely I will find employment.
The ABA's response to the mass layoffs was to create a Jobs Board, but they failed to work on populating it with jobs. It has only 50 full time positions, 9 full time legal positions, and only 1 entry level posting. My state bar's job site has only 4 postings, none of which I am qualified for (due to lack of relevant experience). My school's jobs database has only 2 job postings in my state, but both are summer associate positions (reserved for rising 2nd year law students).
I have searched for non-legal jobs, but there are extremely few entry level positions out there, and many jobs advertised as "entry level" often want several years of specialized experience.
Boomers have failed to realize how irrelevant education without job experience is. More people graduate from college now than graduated from high school when the boomers were my age. The number of lawyers per capita has nearly tripled since the 1960s and the education is focused more on social policy than skills, so the value of the degree has been completely eroded (but the price is still sky rocketing).
I have over $165,000 in law school debt, and my best chance at gainful employment is to apply at Target or Starbuck's, and that gap in legal employment will mean even if the market recovers, no law firm will ever hire me (if my current unemployment hasn't already guaranteed that).
Your a contradiction. How could yo detest most in your generation then accuse those who classify people in groups as Hitler like
Epoxy Floors : says:
there are lots of cheap foods on the market that taste like crap but there are good quality ones too ""
I found it really interesting to read this blog post together with this recent article in the Economist, about the way that, while previous generations held similar political beliefs to the general population, this Boomer generation is overall more conservative and will continue to be politically influential as it protects its own (pension-related) interests over the coming years.
I'm a steadily employed X-er (b. '71) with parents born in '44 and '45 who stuck by most of their ideals but lost a lot of money after they fell for those younger Boomers and X-ers who assured them that "we're in a new economy now and the stock market will never go down!" I have been fairly lucky in many things in life. I've never applied for a job I didn't get – oh, wait, once I guess I did, but just the once. I was pretty well educated in public schools. I still have health insurance w/my state university job and even a traditional pension (so far) though ppl hired from this year on will get some kind of less-reliable thing instead of a pension. My only-child mom inherited a fair chunk of $ from her Depression-shaped dad (b. 1899), which is a good thing b/c my brother has a major mental illness and still lives at home and is only sporadically employed at age 36. My mom, a nurse, invested a lot in a Masters in the late 80's but then ended up leaving the paid workforce for good around age 49 in order to take care of my bro when schizophrenia hit him at age 20. One reason husband & I didn't have kids is the thought of how we'd be potentially the sole caregivers for 2 sets of parents, each several states away from us in opposite directions, and probably the main social and financial support for my bro – and possibly also hubby's bro, who has made some astoundingly awful life choices that landed him in more debt than I can even contemplate…and how on earth could we support kids on top of that?
Evon Schwoerer says:
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Paul the Geography Major says:
So, im an early 20s student. I don't accept modern culture and I don't think like anyone my age. For starters, I listen to music that dates all the way back to the 1950s…that doesn't include my classical taste…thats me in a nutshell-different.
My greatest idol is my grandfather whom is still alive, the man writes books about his entire life and I can't believe what he went through. Basically my family history is all lumberjacks and mountaineers average and mostly poor…they still own a sawmill today. I grew up the city kid while my extended family worked on the farm.
I have now noticed the difference between my uncles and my grandfather. Though my family grew up hard workers and extremely conservative…THEY ARE SELFISH and they do have the mentality of pushing out what theyre parents taught them. As soon as one of my uncles would start making money they would buy huge vehicles and things they didn't even need. I do not take much advice from my father anymore but rather I travel to talk to my grandfather at what I should do in my future…they truly are the greatest generation, no doubt. YES I have serious animosity towards the way I was raised and the thoughts put in my head, even though my parents are good people, they selfishly raised me and I can't really ask for help when I need it without looking like im asking for a hand out (of course what is the irony in this?).
The Boomers as a majority screwed up many of our chances to survive hardship ETC. But ive come to the conclusion that we need many of the boomers, they have the experience that we do not have, are we not made of compassion? If they do come to realization of what they did and want to fix things…than we need theyre knowledge and leadership. The only chance we have to kill corporations and prepare for the new world is so small that it could pass through a needle. The generation after Y will be raised off of media and technology because many of them will not have parents, which already shows to be a huge destructive factor today. The last shot we have is generation Y but only if we will side with the boomers that are willing to accept failure and to help us prepare for the future. It's no longer WHITE america, this is now a globalized nation whether we want it to be or not. We must remain human beings and not become canibalistic animals.
Santo Farquer says:
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Non Boomer For Now says:
"So what about the people born between 1960 and 1970?"
As usual, we don't count. I was so amused to discover that people born in 1960, who would have been six or seven during the summer of love, were now being lumped in with the ex-hippies. I'm not that old, but with the whole baby boomer concept being redefined all of the time, I'm sure I'll be one eventually. So let me tell you what my "privileges" consisted of, in the real world, as opposed to wherever it is that some of you have been living.
I got to work my way through school, never putting in less than a full 40 hours week before studies and usually over 60. This because in an era in which colleges are now admitted to have engaged in price fixing on tuition, which ended up rising at many times the rate of inflation, the members of the Clinton generation, who were already running the show at that point, decided that just because THEY had gotten to enjoy the benefits of financial aid, that was no reason why we should get to. So, I pushed on, and managed to get my Master's in Mathematics and ABD status in the same field from a top 20 school, along with my first case of angina in my early 20s, doing so with a dean's list average, while my classmates suffered nervous breakdowns around me, and karaoshi (death from overwork) entered English as a loan word from Japanese. At about the same time, many of my peers worked for companies like Arthur Anderson, which would engage in the magical practice of working their 20something employees to the point of collapse until they were approaching 30, and then tossing them out in the street to be replaced with a new crop of 22 year olds. Such fun.
My turn would soon come. With my math coursework, and an undergraduate degree in Physics as well, I went out looking for work, because at this point, I was now nearing exhaustion, myself, and needed the relative vacation that a mere 50 hour work week would afford. I just needed to catch my fucking breath. Also, I had lost the job I had been working my way through school with, and did not have the funds to complete my studies, at a point at which I was well past the halfway mark on my thesis.
Why? Because some of the younger tykes in one of the classes that I had been a grader for, as part of my assistantship, had decided that they wanted detailed commentary on each and every problem on each and every homework set, and they wanted those papers back by the next class, this being an upper level state university class, held in one of those nice, large state university classrooms. For this to even be possible, I had to work, nonstop, between Monday and Wednesday, without taking time to sleep, doing those while being paid for the 18 hours per week we supposedly were working, all overtime being performed gratis, working under the threat of blacklisting, should I in any way object. I did explain the difficulties this was presenting to my supervisor, who told me to quit whining and suck it up, because I was paying my dues. He also was good enough to join with some of his students in sharing a few choice ethnic slurs, and comments about my status as a "cripple" (I'm partially disabled), which I did indeed get to such up, because courtesy of court decisions made during the Reagan years, I would have had no a chance in Hell of successfully pursuing a civil rights complaint, even if I could have afforded a lawyer. Which I couldn't have, because the legal services corporation had been gutted. So, I got to work like this for a few months, getting increasingly punchy, until one day, I forgot a packet of quizzes in one of the rooms. I realized they were missing within three minutes of my departure, and went back for them immediately, but somebody had already turned them in, and I got fired.
This is about the same era in which one of my equally privileged 60s kid classmates go to lose her hand in a meat grinder, because her Clinton aged boss – you know, the Clinton crowd, who people my age are now in cahoots with – her boss in the butcher shop had decided that all of those safety precautions were just SO last decade, and kept forcing one speedup in the workplace after another, until the inevitable happened.
So, out I went into the world, hoping for the restful possibility of a job in which I'd only have to work 25% overtime without compensation – and ran into a management fad of refusing to hire anybody for any job, even an "entry level" job, until he had 2 – 5 years of work experience, my assistantship (the one I had been doing those 40 or 60 hour weeks for) not being counted as a job because …? Oh, because Human Resources didn't feel like it. "And you'd better suck it up, boy" or words to that effect. I then went to one business after another, never less than ten in a day, usually more, looking for an entry level job with credentials that any sane individual would have to concede were solid ones, losing track of just how businesses I had applied to after the 40,000th application.
Three interviews, no offers, and no explanations. In the case of two of the interviews, not even an acknowledgement in the records that I had been there. That was almost 22 years ago. I'm still looking for my first job, and have been looking, albeit no longer full time, since before some of you were even born, and you know what? I'm getting kind of pissed off.
The only "help" I've received along the way consisted of the glorious $2 to $3 per day I got on welfare, before being cut off under the so-called "welfare reform" bill that Newt Gingrich was good enough to push, the willingness of a few cops to look the other way as I unlawfully fished food out of the garbage and Project Chance. Oh, let's not forget about Project Chance. One was handed a sheet of paper, and was told to get the names of 40 businesses at which one had recently applied for work, and hadn't applied to, before, doing so within three weeks, or one's welfare would be cut off. It was getting a little hard to find places where I hadn't already applied, and harder to find such places where people weren't determined to just be jerks about the whole thing.
I'd explain that while I'd love to work, really anywhere, if they weren't hiring at the moment, I'd understand; there was just this program I had to comply with, if I didn't want to be thrown out into the street and left to starve. If they were going to throw away the application after I was done filling it out, I'd understand, but could I just fill out the paperwork, because this really could be a matter of life and death, at this point? Generally, the answer was "no", and I would sometimes run into some wonderful gen X riot grrl or another who'd show her eagerness to fight the patriarchy, by trying to get me arrested for having dared to ask her to think of me as being a human being.
A few years passed, and businesses started noticing that they now had a shortage of junior professionals, not surprisingly, given that they had turned entry into the job market into a chicken and egg logical impossibility. So, they started hiring again – but they weren't willing to hire anybody who was to be numbered among the long term unemployed. "Son, why have you been out of work for so long?" "Because you guys were refusing to let new people get a foot in the door for the last few years?" "We can't hire people who blame other people for their problems". And so the idiocy went on and on.
Getting to stand in a line that stretched around the block, in -10 degree weather with a 25 mph wind, waiting with the others to apply for a single hamburger flipping position, only to have the girl rip my application to shreds, throw it in my face, smirk and talk about overqualification, as so many others would in the years to come? I hear that some of you would like to enjoy the same privileges we got to, when we began our job searches in the late 80s and early 90s, and you know what? I'd like to see some of you get to experience them, too.
I got to be homeless for a while because of the aforementioned flakery in hiring, watching others freeze to death around me, and to this day, as my 50th birthday approaches, have never known anything resembling the freedom that used to be the recognized birthright of an adult in the Western World. Or live on more than $6000 a year. I eventually did manage to get into public housing, aka the projects, and seen most of my civil liberties shredded on the basis that I was poor – 4th amendment, what's that – and that beggars ought not expect to be choosers. But who was it that made a beggar of me and of so many others?
Now, having known nothing in life but brutal overwork, unyielding job discrimination, and occasional terrorization at the hands of the authorities, I find that the children of those who stomped me and my classmates into the mud now expect us to be good sports, and get out of their way, giving up on any notion that our unearned misery might finally come to an end, because the party time is over for us. To which I'd respond by asking, when the fuck did it begin? But, in honor of those who say those of us who've been unemployed for so long really ought to blame ourselves for the impact the unprofessional lack of motivation of others has had on our lives, because we surely haven't explored ALL of our job opportunities, I'll admit by saying that they're so right.
By this, I'm not referring to the kindly old girl who observed that I could sell my body, while licking her chops and looking at me like I was a slice of prime rib down at Old Country Buffet. No, I'm thinking of the magical moment when, having made my own job as a self-employed math tuor, working my way through another degree program (this one in engineering), again with high marks, and on getting stonewalled in yet another profession, had a sudden, fun thought.
"I now know how to build thermonuclear weaponry"
That IS a needed skill, isn't it? It wasn't all that I had learned, but that was a watershed moment. I began to see just how much I had learned, and how much I could do, especially if I didn't worry too much about who my employers were. I don't know that this is THE skill I could market overseas, but if it is, then I'll market it without apology, having lost any qualms I had over selling it, during a fight with a rat over a moldy piece of meatloaf sometime during the 90s, I believe it was. So, I'm breaking out my books and am refreshing every bit of knowledge I've forgotten, determined to move on to whatever job opportunities I can find, wherever I can find them, and if those opportunities should involve doing things that some people might think aren't very patriotic or nice? That's on them.
If I should end up playing some role in making another 911 or worse happen, why should I be bothered by that? All that my worthless countrymen would have needed to do in order to keep that scenario from unfolding, would have been to stop engaging in job discrimination, and do for me and my peers what others did for them, once – take the time to break us in as new employees, and let us have a fair chance to make an honest living. Something that the Woodstock generation refused to do during their time in power, and their children, apparently, will now refuse to do as well, continuing their parents' evil work. How much compassion is owed to those who destroy the lives of others, just for shits and giggles, by those whose lives they have destroyed?
How long should people need to find the resolve to just act like fucking human beings? How much patience do I, as one of the people being stepped on, owe to a society that has never passed on an opportunity to step on me and mine, and then wipe its feet on us? Especially when one can read pieces like this, and see that patience isn't ever going to be rewarded with anything other than more mistreatment?
22 years. Longer than many of you have been alive. Longer than the depression years and the McCarthy years put together. That's patience, enough. As for what I'll be leaving behind for my descendents, courtesy of the crap dropped on me for the last 22 years, I never had the chance to have a family of my own, and so have no posterity to worry about. Live for now, and fuck the future, because listening to the kids, I sure as hell know that the future will be glad to fuck me.
Multiply me by the thousands of other outsourced, downsized and betrayed scientists, mathematicians and engineers, imagine all that we can do to you given the resources, and just think of the fun that awaits. Let's play.
This 54 year old Boomer:
*worked since I was old enough to have a work permit,
*worked himself through college and law school,
*works paycheck to paycheck to pay the mortgage, send the kids off to college, and pay the bills,
*has voted for a liberal every election since 1976 (except this past election when I voted for Obama instead)
*will probably retire with enough money to last a year or so, if I don't get sick
*spent 7 years taking care of a dying parent
*wonders what the fuck is happening to our country
*is scared shitless for his kids' future
*didn't have time to "find himself"
*wants SS, medicare, medicaid, and national health care for every single American and is willing to pay more taxes to get it.
*is more liberal than just about anyone I know.
*wonders why Boomer are becoming a scapegoat for all that's wrong with the country.
I'm just sayin'
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Not even gonna get into your life accomplishments, good for ya.
The "Boomer" generation isnt being used as a scapegoat as they are still causing us (me being a y gen) these problems in real-time today, literally right now. I can understand that they were kids with nothing but youth and opportunity infront of them yet the fact is that they persist in their destructive cycle which my gen has to pickup the tab on. Constantly new markets and ideas are generated by the x-gen and my y-gen only to see them infiltrated with "boomer" capital and thus influence. What happens then? greed manifest along with a sickening me me me mine mine mine structure. Almost every-time im wondering why some service or product is going to shit i find that some new boomer guy has taken over with that maximizing/resource stripping mentality they seem to emanate. I dont think all of the boomers are bad, that'd be silly, yet their are enough of them making my generation quite pissed by their selfishness as well as their blatant audacity in general.
Also I dont know any lazy people in my generation, none. I know alot who find a plethora of ways to block out this dirty diaper the boomers intend for us to change, mind you with ample baby powder on their tush. I certainly know many who got tricked into the ways of debt as a mere teen and are quite demoralized. Heck, theres so many graduates working crap jobs its not even funny. I'm unhappy that when our gen takes over ( if we even get the chance, AKA: fighting off the 14 trillion dollars of debt. AKA: fighting and dying from a generally greedy and self-entitled gen) we will have to pickup the pieces. No offense X but i feel that we truly feel the full effects of their bullshitting ways and sure as hell don't see mom or pop to add restraint.
Tbh im not pissed about the past im angry about the present. THEY KNOW lemme say that again THEY KNOW! what their doing and the persist to screw everyone else till their dying breath. All i know is that if the shit hits the fan and countries pull a domino effect debt collection the boomers wont be hobbling along the battlefield "fighting the good fight".
Gwenda Sondelski says:
The jet powered train was not a good idea on so many levels.
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Im 14, and I am scared to death of my future….
Born in 93 says:
I agree with this article, but I don't agree that blaming our parents is the right way to find a solution to the problem.
The boomers were babied and acted like children for too long. A baby won't clean up his own mess. It's time for the children of today to clean it up, but how can we with the boomers still in power?
Phil Hood says:
I'd like to disagree on one little point. There is a generation that took far more from the government than they ever gave back or could give back. And that is the greatest generation. My father used to joke about it all the time, in a gallows way. "Keep working son, we're getting so much more social security than we paid in, but you won't. I need people like you to keep working." Boomers, especially those born after 1955, won't get the same deal. They were the first generation with college debt and to have to fight the population bulge of their older siblings for top jobs.
As for the budget mess we're in, all generations have a part in it. A tremendous amount of the government debt piled up since the '80s went to the WWII generation as well as boomers. A great amount of the personal and corporate debt piled up in that period was achieved by people born after '64–Gen X, not just boomers.
What we need as a country is to grow up and stop blaming each other for our national and personal shortcomings. It's not just the banks that got bailed out. We've got a bailout culture. Every kid on the soccer team gets a trophy. And, if your kid screws up in school you blame the school or call a lawyer. Let's end the bailouts and the blame.
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Jack Lebowitz says:
I can understand where you're coming from and the generational rage you feel.
But, for all the self-righteousness you feel, you should realize that the 99% (let's say just to pick a random number) got similarly screwed by the elites for drinking the Kool Aid of Reagan Movement Conservatism and rejecting their youthful values. But not everyone did…lots of people like my wife and many of my friends did not sell out.
You might want to read an interesting book on the cultural aspects of how this ideology was sneakily sold to boomers and others during the 1980s, a book by David Sirota that focuses on popular culture, not politics, and the anti-liberal, conservative views embedded in the popular movies of the late 1970s and 1980s: The Big Chill, Ghostbusters, Die Hard, Rambo, Wall Street and others.
The book is "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now–Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything", available at Amazon.com http://amzn.to/H6HIUx
Keep in mind many of us, perhaps 51% of people in the blue states, never went along with any of this conservative reagan-bush-limbaugh-fox news worldview, but enough did to serve the needs of the 1% plutocrats. That is your real complaint, and to conflate it with "boomers" is, while understandable, simplistic, wrong and unfortunate.
A couple people have mentioned that the internet was invented by Boomer hippies. I call bullshit. ARPANET (the first internet) was a US Dep't of Defense project, and its creation occurred when most Boomers were still in primary and secondary school. ARPANET was created by the Greatest Generation. TCP/IP came a few years later, but was basically a joint effort between the US DoD and the French (CYCLADES project). The World Wide Web is not the internet, but is the main thing we use the internet for (so many people understandably confuse them) was invented by a Brit, Tim Berners-Lee, while he was working in France. I have no idea where people got the idea that the internet was made by Boomer hippies. Do they just assume that anything that happened from 1945 to present is thanks to them? Wasn't a large part of this thread about the undeserved sense of achievement the Boomers have?
Even if it had been invented by Boomers, I'm not sure how the achievements of a handful would somehow excuse the rest for their collective failure. You had nothing to do with the internet's invention, but as long as you are a citizen you are partly responsible for the development of government policies & societal values.
Timothy Ryan Domitrowski says:
All I have to do to keep surviving and having hope in my life is thinking about how amazing they made Christmas. I mean Jesus Christ. Those memories of waking up and fucking opening presents from 'santa', I need to thank the government for that. The government found a way to make parents work even harder for their kids by inventing this so-called santy claus. It worked out for everyone except my dad who died of a heart attack. My dad knew his role and he worked his ass off for me and my younger brother. All men can do in this current country called America is work for their family and die for their family. No other option.
I want to go into space.
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BBS Boy says:
I don't know what to do for higher studies, let alone a college
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I am unhappy. I am a 30 year old gen-Y member. I do not own a house or have a family. I am an insurance adjuster.
I am going to avoid the vitriol and just tell you my experience. I would be interested to hear from Boomers to tell me if you think my current unhappiness results from poor decisions and inflated expectations or simply terrible circumstances.
I graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Spanish. I tried to do pre-Engineering and Physics, but I simply was not going to be able to graduate because it was too hard for me. That is just something I have to accept. I was very good at Spanish however and it helped me start working right away. In 2006, being bilingual in this country was actually pretty helpful.
Most of the jobs I got were very poorly paid. I just accepted that this was the nature of entry level positions. The jobs I did find, however, seemed pretty important to my various employers so much that my low pay seemed pretty unjustified because of my age.
My first job was hiring and training all of the Spanish speaking workforce of the largest furniture manufacturer in the US. I made 13 dollars an hour. I had to live in rural Wisconsin which was very far from anyone I truly cared about and I only lasted about a year.
Then I worked a customer service agent servicing insurance policies for Spanish speaking customers. I was the only one that could speak Spanish at my place of business, so that seemed pretty important to me and did therefore justify better than the 10/hr pay I received.
By 2007, I had decided I really wanted to pursue government work. My dream job was the US Foreign Service, but I was willing to take basically anything that was operated by the federal government that had some international component. There are actually a staggering number of departments operating internationally – DoD, CIA, FBI, NSA, USAID, Civil Service, Foreign Commercial Service, etc. Then there are the subcontractors – Booz Allen, SAIC, etc. I would have accepted any position with any one of these organizations. I have failed to gain one of these positions.
I went to grad school in International Commerce and graduated. I also did two Congressional internships in Washington DC and a staggering amount of training in Arabic language. I graduated from the American University in Cairo's Arabic language program and was awarded a very coveted US State Department Critical Language Scholarship in Arabic in 2009 at the advanced level. I did so well that I was recruited to run that very same program in 2010 in Alexandria, Egypt.
At that time, I was in charge of about 80 people for this program in Egypt and I ran all the finances and contracting, logistics, budgeting, etc. In 2011, there was a revolution in Egypt and the federal government cancelled all funding and relocated us to Morocco. I got promoted to run all the North African sites in Morocco and Tunisia and had about 200 people working underneath me. My Arabic, consequently, became very good and I learned some tremendous management skills along the way.
In 2011, I lost that job at 28 years old. This was very close to my dream jobs and aligned closely with my education and goals. I was paid well. The pay was probably not what I would make in medicine or engineering, but it didn't matter so much to me because I accepted that education is not a well paid career field.
I have not recovered from that job loss. I now work as an insurance claims adjuster and have been for two and half years.
However, I am tri-lingual in Arabic and Spanish at a very high level of proficiency for both languages and hold an M.A. in International Commerce. I have 6 years of full time work experience in Insurance, Human Resources, Education and Grant Management. I lived in Egypt for over a year and worked extensively in Morocco.
Now – Here is my question prefaced by a summary. I am really struggling to get ahead these days and I do not own a house or a nice car. I realize I did not studying engineering or medicine and I probably should have, but I was very bad at science fields. I tried to take the most practical and difficult path I thought possible for me by gaining serious proficiency in languages and learning as much about international trade and economics as I could.
As a Baby Boomer would you characterize my decisions as failures and as a hopeless and deluded dreamer and romantic? Does being tri-lingual in difficult and important languages have no value? Would my parents have needed to have these kind of skills and education in order to be successful in 1975? Today, I find many of my colleagues and friends have similar skills and education and still struggle.
Please lambaste me if you think I deserve it because I would rather know for sure this is my fault, or not, than be in constant doubt about the source of my unhappiness.
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