The mainstream media understands its target demographic, or at least it seems like they do. That is the only reasonable explanation of why fluff like "Baby boomers eye adventure, bucket list" qualifies as a front page story – it's guaranteed to attract great interest from Boomers despite causing violent gagging among all other readers. I mean, who doesn't want to read the nauseatingly self-congratulatory description of how the travel industry is accommodating the Boomers' intention to spend all of the money bequeathed to them by the WWII generation before they die?

It's a gripping human interest narrative. On the plus side, the comments are good for major shits & giggles – I think the proper scoring is 10 points for every time some 55 year old says "I worked so hard for everything I have!", 20 for calling everyone under 55 "whiners" for being so bitter toward them. I guess 30-plus years of "I made it on board! Now pull up the ladder!" social, political, and economic policies has robbed them of the ability to appreciate irony. Or perhaps the reactions of others are strange and inscrutable to people who have been so selfish for so long. Check this out:

Another trend? Baby boomers want to cross items off their "bucket list" — the inventory of experiences they've dreamed of doing all their life, be it taking in the beauty of Machu Picchu, bungee jumping in New Zealand or going on an expedition cruise to the Galapagos Islands.

"We all have those things we want to do and then of course as you get older, time is running out," said Don Mankin, an adventure travel expert and author of "Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: A Guide to Fifty Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler."

"So you begin to think about, 'Well I don't have unlimited time so what are those things that I always really wanted to do, where are those places that I always wanted to go?' … I think that drives a lot of the travel decisions these days."

Good luck on your quest to fill that big void in your lives with expensive travel, folks! Here's our Bucket List. Before we die, we'd like to:

  • Have a job with health insurance
  • Have a job that won't be outsourced as soon as technology allows
  • Have a job with paid vacation time
  • Make $30,000 in a single year
  • Be able to afford a home, and maybe a new compact car every 15 or 20 years
  • Go to a museum to learn about "pensions" and subsidized public education
  • Be legally classified as a full-time employee at least once

    Boy, that would be sweet. Be sure to tell us all about your Napa Valley wine tours; take plenty of pictures from the summit of Kilimanjaro.

    At least there are a few honest people posting in the comments (click to embiggen):

    Laugh it up, assheads. Just remember: you're not going to outnumber us forever, and once your monopoly on the institutions of the media, economy, and government loosen you're still going to need your Medicaid and your pills and your Social Security and your untaxed pensions – and a cooperative nation to continue heaping these benefits upon all of you self made successes.

    (to be continued)

  • 73 thoughts on “LET'S COMPARE BUCKET LISTS”

    • Ya gotta remember, only about half of all Baby Boomers are enjoying life so fully. The other half are broke, scared, and rapidly becoming undesirable in the job market due to thinly veiled ageism.

    • The Man, The Myth says:

      I just watched "Inside Job". What a bunch of insurable pricks. Its just unfreakin believable. I'm at a loss for a better description.

    • You clearly are associating with far wealthier boomers than most of the ones I know. I'm sure among people your age, things are just peachy at the higher socioeconomic levels.

      It's not an age war, it's a class war and unless you're rich, you're losing, no matter your age.

    • Ed…. where's the fjm's. Spent a slow day at work reading through the archives nearly killed myself laughing at them. Bring it back!

    • I'm going to assume you've read Generation X. Coupland warned us about this 20 years ago.

    • As a Generation Xer I'm quite certain I wont be able to retire like my parents did at 62 with a state employee pension and early social security (and ironically my dad is a tea party supporter who likes to bitch about government spending on entitlements). I am fine with this provided we milk the rich before we slash and burn our social safety nets. Misery loves company – especially formerly wealthy company. :)

    • How long will the Boomers keep this up before they realize that the people they're screwing are the ones that pick which home to stick them in?

    • This might represent Boomers, or it might not. I would take the claims of our press with a grain of salt. Polling data is probably more reliable, although that can also be slanted. Does it make sense to group all Boomers together? The U.S. probably does have a culture of entitlement and selfishness but is this a disease of the bourgeoisie class? There was a study somewhere which found the wealthier a person was the more selfish they were. It is a depressing finding because it suggests the more we improve our situation the more we are prey to our weaknesses.

    • em typed: "You clearly are associating with far wealthier boomers than most of the ones I know. I'm sure among people your age, things are just peachy at the higher socioeconomic levels."

      Yes, I think this is part of the story. You are also associating with less well-off GenXer's than the ones I know. Economic security is out there, and it's not unattainable even by the under-55 crowd.

      Of course, that's not to say that you haven't been screwed in some ways. When I was growing up, I thought that being a college professor would be a certain path to wealth and comfort. Almost went down that road myself. They sure did kick the supports out from under that one.

    • Allright, the author does a certain amount of stereotyping- but we know who he is talking about. For us semi- old farts in our 40s, we have had to grow up directly in the shadow of the Boomers. We know exactly who Ed is talking about- it isn't the Vietnam vet who is ( still ) getting screwed over by the VA, it isn't the woman who worked in a mill somewhere and now has brown lung and has had her job outsourced, and it certainly isn't some blue collar guy who used to have a good job but is now struggling to make ends meet.
      When we shit all over the Baby Boomers, we mean the pricks in that crappy movie The Big Chill. You know, a bunch of whiny middle- class professionals who are crying because they aren't 20 anymore. " My God, Muffy! We are getting old!" The ones who looked down on us 20 year olds in the 1980s because we weren't starting campus riots or marching in the streets ( yeah, Reagan was a prick, but El Salvador wasn't exactly Vietnam ), who hypocritically looked back on a time when they were idealistic, and shed a crocodile tear before gleefully returning to dismantling any future that doesn't involve serfdom for their descendants, so they won't have to pay an extra couple of percentage points in taxes.
      Those are the douchebags we are talking about.

    • I don't understand how someone who consistently comes up with some of the more cogent socioeconomic analysis/commentary I come across, can embrace this point of view – one which seems to me to run counter to all the author's other arguments.

      There was a brief moment (*part* of a generation) where all wealth was not being transferred upward as quickly as possible, and long term benefits of that moment persist for some. I don't understand the race to the bottom mentality behind blaming people for experiencing a moment when an actual middle class existed in this country. Not that I got to take part in that moment, despite being one of the last Boomers – I live hand-to-mouth, have practically nothing set aside for retirement, expect to work until I die, don't own a home or a car, long ago gave up on a 40 hour work week after watching my wages shrink instead of growing, am now on my 3rd career, etc.

      It is possible to argue that the complacency of some (but I can attest by no means all or likely even a majority) among the Boomer generation has lead us to this awful moment. But look no further than Paul Ryan and Scott Walker to understand that the author's generation, if we are going to try to analyze our society by the useless criteria of when one was born, are AVIDLY sealing the deal.

      I don't blame generation x for that, or for my own economic circumstances – I blame the corporate/political criminals and sociopaths who are actually responsible, and perhaps to some degree, myself.

      And comrade x thanks for your reassurances that some of your best friends are old people but bigotry is bigotry, is infantile, and sucks.

    • Middle Seaman says:

      Very nice piece of demagoguery. Qualifier: I am an OLD boomer, i.e. the first year after WWII. I have been traveling a lot for 20 years and plan to continue. I am a salaried academic and far from rich; I live a simple frugal life and work in a t-shirt year around. I own one suit that is 15 years old.

      As an academic I have a decent pension I contributed to for decades; you didn't pay for it. I also paid tons of money to SS and because you and Republicans want this money doesn't mean that it is not mine.

      The country is doing badly. I have nothing to do with it. I didn't vote for Bush or for Obama in the primaries; you all did. We can fix the country if we through the rich out, that includes Obama, and start working on changing the narrative.

      Instead of constantly complaining, specialty of many blogs, go to street and scream, howler and through rocks. This old man and his wife go out and scream with the unions on every opportunity. Wake up bums.

    • anotherbozo says:

      It's not an age war, it's a class war and unless you're rich, you're losing, no matter your age.

      There was a brief moment (*part* of a generation) where all wealth was not being transferred upward as quickly as possible, and long term benefits of that moment persist for some.

      thanks to em and butler, a caution and an incisive expression of fact.

      I think Ed, who now has to fill a quota of blogs per week, has chosen to become deliberately provocative today, knowingly myopic but what the hell. He knows there are fatheads in every age group, and blaming boomers in general is a waste of time. I speak as someone a bit older than the boomers, one whose freedom-riding generation was supplanted (at least at UC Berkeley, from my observations) by the oh-so-practical gimme types.

    • As a member of the generation many of you blame for all the ills of the world, it is just astonishing that seemly educated people can be so blind. To actually believe that the whole generation is off to the Galapagos and trekking in the Himalaya's is just ludicrous. No doubt we have our jerks, but you have Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Matt Drudge and you just missed Sarah Palin. Saint Ronnie Reagan and Alan Simpson aren't ours either.

      We need to pull together not fight among ourselves, painting with a broad brush is fun and easy but accuracy is more important. Every generation has little nasty pricks that want to elevate themselves at the expense of somebody, they mostly don't care who, or how they do it. Let's face it, doesn't matter when you were born some nasty little turd from that cohort is going to try and shaft somebody just for the pleasure of feeling superior.

      I can remember returning to school in 1970 after having the joy of spending part of my youth in the USMC. Do you think that they welcomed us back to the party, not really we where just not quite their kind of people. Well you have 'em we do too, they have always been around, probably always will be. So fuck 'em, but let's try to remember that all boomers, in fact most aren't rich and all the preceding generations aren't slackers and whiners.

    • Oh crap, meant following generations not preceding. Ed enjoy your site, it is my first read of the day. Even us evil boomers can sometimes tell the real deal.

    • I'm an early boomer.
      Want to know something?
      The progressive era in the U.S. ended on 5 June 1968.
      The country has been devouring it's own since then.

    • @David: "I'm quite certain I wont be able to retire like my parents did at 62 with a state employee pension and early social security (and ironically my dad is a tea party supporter who likes to bitch about government spending on entitlements). "

      You will find that most of the people that complain loudly about "Gub'mint entitlement programs" are happily collecting from those very same programs. The Tea Party is founded on such ignorance. "Keep the Gub'mint out of my Medicare" and all that.

    • Don't blame the Boomers.

      The "Greatest" generation was able to transfer more wealth into their pockets from ours (the boomers and beyond) than any other generation can only dream of.

      Greedy Geezers indeed.

    • Elder Futhark says:

      The really funny thing is that medical science will soon advance to the point that not only will lifespans increase tenfold, but rejuvenation will be part and parcel. Now THAT's a ladder worth pulling up.

      And then all you little fuckfaces will be cornholed for the next thousand years. THAT'S funny!

      Too late for me though, so as a last prank I'll just have to kill as many of you as I can .

      Now there's a bucket list item.

    • All of this would be funny if it didn't sound so good & true.

      The boomers I know personally are working part time jobs without benefits or job security & will continue to do so until death does them part or are at most frugally comfortable. They are definitely not actively planning African Safaris, etc.

    • A Babe of the Boom says:

      Did I miss the satire? If not, why an ageist hit piece? A bit of a vast generalization isn't it? Not to mention it is way off the mark.

      It is class war and nothing else, and 99% of the "Boomers" are losing right along side the rest of you.

      Boomers: First Born After The Bomb.

    • HoosierPoli says:

      The pre-boomers are the only ones keeping the Republicans hanging on by a thread. The "Certain People Shouldn't Be Allowed on Golf Courses" Generation. They're not gone yet, that's for sure.

    • While there's plenty of generalization going on I don't think anyone is saying all Boomers are like this. Everyone who reads this blog is aware of the class struggle going on. That said there does seem to be a concentration of dumbfuckery within the Boomer generation which has expressed itself recently in the Tea Party movement. Yes the Tea Party is composed of people of all ages but if you look at the crowds the vast majority of them are Boomers and the Republican Party is so afraid of this group's wrath their plan explicitly postpones raping Medicare for anyone under age 55. Granted that still screws over the younger Boomers which is probably a big reason there was even an uproar. Had they said 45 instead it probably would've received much more support.

    • anotherbozo says:

      @HoosierPoli: yeah, pre-boomers: bigots, all of 'em. Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Barbara Ehrenreich. Not to mention Stokley Carmichael, John Lewis, Julian Bond… what, black leaders don't have birthdays?

    • HoosierPoli typed: "The pre-boomers are the only ones keeping the Republicans hanging on by a thread."

      Be careful. Thinking like this has gotten the Democratic Party in trouble in the past. The Republican House majority of 2010 wasn't voted in solely by senior citizens.

      Yes, younger Americans are less likely to take a hard line on issues like gay marriage or abortion. But there are a scary number of young economic conservatives out there. I butt heads with a lot of people in their 30's and 40's who are convinced that slashing federal spending is the only way to save the country from financial disaster.

      Just about everyone agrees that "Wall Street is to blame" for the current recession, but just try to find someone (of any age) willing to put some real effort into holding the big-money interests answerable to the people. The Tea Party is organizing against the wrong enemy.

    • grumpygradstudent says:

      "But there are a scary number of young economic conservatives out there. I butt heads with a lot of people in their 30's and 40's who are convinced that slashing federal spending is the only way to save the country from financial disaster."

      This is my experience as well (teaching midwestern undergraduate freshman). The anti-government, anti-redistributive strain in our culture has been around in some shape or form since the founding of the country, and I don't think it shows any sign of softening. There is definitely more tolerance toward morality/sexuality issues among the young, but they have also been raised to believe in a frighteningly naive narrative that posits a "post racial," meritocratic modern America. Consequently, they are individualists to the core, and are fairly incapable of even thinking about collective efficacy, the legacy of historical prejudices against groups, or any kind of notion of fairness other than equal opportunity.

      Even when the anti-tax, pro anything-that-benefits-me strain in the Boomer generation is unlikely to completely disappear.

    • grumpygradstudent says:

      Sorry, that last sentence should read:

      "Even when the anti-tax, pro anything-that-benefits-me strain of the Boomer generation fades away, it is unlikely to completely disappear from the political scene."

    • Strangepork says:

      To avoid any further confusion Ed, the commentariat humbly asks than any further critique be accompanied by a list of the several million specific members of the Baby Boomer generation you're referring to — full names and birthdates, if you don't mind.
      Then everyone in here will know that you aren't talking about them, and they can release the butthurt and let the healing begin.

    • I am the first Gen Xer. They were closing schools when I was a kid. It took forever to get established out of college because there was a glut of people just ahead of me.

    • Does anyone else remember the phrase "Me Generation" from the 1970's? This is just continuation of that philosophy.

    • johnsmith1882 says:

      To the Boomers responding on this thread:
      Yes, Ed is making a generalization, but as a general statement, it is correct. The Boomer generation grew up during the best economic times of the last century, and probably in US history. We know the white picket fence and 2 cars in the garage is a stereotype of the 50's, but the stereotype is grounded in fact. When you came of age, there were jobs to be had, college education or not. After the oil-shortage-driven economic downturn of the 70's, you voted in Reagan, voted for him again, voted for Bush I, etc., and happily welcomed the demise of the American middle class.

      I am a member of Gen X. We have known that we are screwed since Bush I was in office. College education or not, a good job is not likely. I've known this since my freshman year of college. In my close circle of friends, only one has a good-paying job. The rest of us make do with what is available. We all have college degrees. This has been the case our entire adult lives. Economic downturn? What's the difference, it's been like this for 20 years for us.

      You guys grew up with "work hard and you'll get a good job, and when you retire, there is the federal government." We grew up with "no matter what you do, you are likely screwed, and oh yeah, don't count on getting social security when you retire, that money will be gone, too."

      So is there resentment? Yes. Because you guys left the country worse off for your children, and are pulling up the ladder behind you. Some of you may be paying the price right along with us, but you know what, we've been paying the price our entire adult lives. We didn't vote for Reagan, you did. And I'm not saying _you_ you, I'm saying your generation. That's the generalization Ed is making here, he's not calling out individual members. And he's right.

    • There was a study done a while ago which found that 50% of the articles in the Washington Post were verbatim corporate press releases. I think the articles Ed is referring to come from the tourist industry.

    • This meme of "it's all the greedy boomers fault" seems to be gaining traction. I don't know where it's coming from, but the purpose seems to be to both enable the destruction of the social safety nets and to provide a scapegoat for it. I do find it somewhat disturbing to see our children being turned into a hate group.

    • hackenbush says:

      I think I'll start believing that this is "the internet generation" when someone decides to run as a decent progressive third party candidate, and is elected via non-conventional media and word of mouth.

      Of course, that's not going to happen. The status quo must be maintained at all costs.

      Those boomers saying "well, I didn't vote for Bush the Younger and Obama" are missing the big picture. The system that keeps those guys as part of the limited choice of candidates we'll see on a national stage, and allows systematic destruction of the lower classes has been around for quite a long time — and most of them are around boomer age.

      Boehner? 61 years old. Prime boomer material. All about dicking the poor.
      Bush the Younger? 64 years old. Also a boomer. We all know what his "contributions" were.
      Eric Cantor is one of those 15 year into boomerdom boomers. Still, terrible asshole.
      Bill O'Reilly, epic asshole? 61 years old. Keeping a good half of us ramped up about screwing the poor.

      So yeah, you guys really did kind of screw us all. Thanks.

    • LucyTooners says:


      I am a female 55+ boomer with a college degree of which I paid for myself. I have held corporate jobs and small business jobs and to this day do not have benefits or a pension. I will be working until the day I die but do not blame the WWII generation. It is a matter to me of class warfare which seems to be getting more heated due to the "white man" losing control symptom. I have always voted since becoming of age and did not vote for Raygun, Bush or Bush. (hate them all) I am so disturbed to find out that somehow we are being blamed for the condition of the country. I guess that Ed and I must part ways since I am seen as the bad guy here.

    • I think "bucket lists" are unique to this particular perpetually childlish, self-absorbed generation of Boomers — or rather, our media's perception of this generation and what they want or need. Our grandparents would have smacked these folks upside the head and told them to grow the fuck up. And I just have to wonder how many modern 60 and 70 year olds are really doing this shit, especially in this economy. I have some good friends in their 60s and they're all still working. None of them can afford a trip to Machu Pichu. Quite a lot of them are helping out taking care of grandkids so their children can work.

      These stories read like so much marketing PR crap. "Here's what you SHOULD be doing in your golden years, and if you're working as a WalMart greeter then something is wrong with you…."

    • @Tim: I think you're misinterpreting here. "It's all the greedy Boomers' fault" that the safety nets are being dismantled, not that they exist in the first place. Social Security and Medicare exist thanks to the pre-Boomer generations, and what pisses off the younger generations is that we are being cut off from social support WHILE YOU KEEP IT FOR YOURSELVES.

      This is not "justice for all". This does not "promote the general welfare". This is not turning your kids into a hate group – this is people with a legitimate grievance expressing their anger.

    • Paul W. Luscher says:

      Hey dude, will you PLEASE stop hating on us boomers????

      We don't ALL think that way. We aren't ALL at fault for creating the great American Clusterfuck. Some of us actually voted AGAINST Ronald Reagan way back when–Watergate was too fresh a memory for us, and we could see , even then, what the coming of St. Ronnie meant for America.

      Frankly, I think you're guilty of doing something you say you deplore: typecasting an entire class of people.

      Besides, engaging in that kind of rage and hatred just isn't healthy for you….

    • johnsmith1882 says:

      I'm not saying that you particularly, LucyTooners, are to blame for the condition of the country. I'm saying that your generation is. Your cohort. Not every individual in your cohort is exactly the same, not every individual is to blame, but taken as a whole, your generation has enjoyed the benefits of growing up and coming of age in a solid economy with plenty of governmental benefits, sucked it dry, and left a husk for future generations. Not you specifically, LucyTooners. Your cohort.

    • Major Kong says:

      I was born in 1962. I don't consider myself a boomer and I'm too old to be Gen X.

      Yes, I know, technically the baby boom ended in 1964 but I was much too young to share the defining moments of the boomer generation.

      I was 1 when JFK was shot. I was 5 during the Summer of Love and 7 during Woodstock. I was 12 when the Vietnam War ended. I was in my early 20s when movies and TV shows about 30-something boomers were popular.

      I don't really have a generation.

    • I always hate it when Ed makes these generational posts, though to a certain extent I agree with them. I can't not; I'm a Gen Xer who has seen what my parents' generation has done to my future. Not my mother, not my father, but their generation. But lobbing bombs at one's generation is often taken more personally than what is meant.

      Individually, some Boomers are very compassionate and caring, I'm sure, but as a whole they've used up the vast wealth that came with being lucky enough to have been born when the getting was good.

      Someone mentioned the Egan article in the NYTimes. Someone in the comments section mentioned how people are quick to blame Boomers, who have seen wages stagnate since the 70s. My response to that was, 'how do you think it feels to those of us who started working long after wages started stagnating?' I mean, yeah, individually, you're stuck with the same reality of stagnant wages, longer hours, and longer working life, but how sweet it once must have been. Some of us can only imagine…

    • @ johnsmith1882 (and many others…)

      It is such lazy, lazy thinking to blame a cohort (or a cohort's culture) for some supposed lack of moral rectitude rather than the institutional rules that permitted greedy, selfish, and short-sighted behavior on a mass scale.

      I would suggest that most of us generally act rather myopically to benefit our own individual (and immediate family) life chances. The becomes a problem when aggregated.

      I would invite you to think of the counterfactual a bit here. How would your generation (supposedly you are somewhere between your 20s or late-30s) act if it "came to age in a solid economy with plenty of governmental benefits"? Would it act as a generation-on-a-hill and selflessly reinvest the wealth so that future generations would reap the benefits of a progressive social-welfare state? Or would it be taken in by hucksters like Reagan?

    • @Jimcat:

      I'm disapointed you fell for this. It's the old divide and conquer routine. OMG, OMG, the welfare negroes are taking your money! OMG, OMG, the Mexicans are taking your jobs! OMG, OMG, the Muslims will kill you in your sleep! OMG, OMG, the boomers are stealing your retirement!

      If they succeed in killing social security/medicare for those under 55, how long do you think it will last for those over 55? I give it about 5 years or until the next Republican administration, whichever comes first. Those receiving social security will be characterized as a bunch of good-for-nothing welfare cheats (it's already happening) and the whole system will be history.

      I would also like to point out that GenX is not the first generation to not have it as good as the previous generation. It's happening to me. I do not, however, blame my parents for this. I blame the people who are doing it. Some of them belong to my parents generation, some to my generation, and some to younger generations. It's not how old you are, it's what you do.

      If you recall, they tried this during W's administration. They knew they couldn't stiff the boomers because there are too many of us and we vote, but they thought they could do it to our kids. It didn't fly because the boomer's wouldn't go for it. We don't want it taken away from our kids and grandkids. Who would?

      Those who don't need it would. They're perfectly happy to take it away from YOUR kids and grandkids. Don't let them get away with it. This isn't an age thing, it's a class thing. There are plenty of younger governors and legislators who are part of the problem (Wisconsin?). Cutting things off for those below 55 is a great way to create the dissent and resentment they'll need to bring down the whole system. Don't let them get away with it. We need to stick together on this and you're not helping.

    • What I find particularly ironic here is that when Ed makes fun of or unfairly generalizes the South, you Boomers chime right in with similar comments. When you are criticized specifically, though, you act like such a victim.

      Yes, generalizations are unfair. No, not every boomer is an insufferable asshole. I think we can all agree that good arguments shouldn't include these kinds of generalizations, but that doesn't seem to stop Ed (and a large portion of the commenters here).

    • Maybe none of you "older folk" directly contributed to the America's demise, or maybe some even earned some participation points in standing up for the middle class (hollering with the unions, if you will). But, this is problem: you didn't do anything of significance to stop the problem, it wasn't good enough (obviously). America has steadily turned to shit on your watch, and getting an "E" for effort ain't good enough. You can go "holler with the unions" at any one of the rotting factories in my city: take your pick.

      Also, don't act like you aren't a product of your times. Just like you did nothing of significance to stop America from turning to shit, you did nothing of significance to make America great when it was great. I'd love to see you "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" today and earn a living merely by the sweat of your brow. Let me tell you this, it isn't happening.

      The younger generation has been given a huge mess, and things will get to the boiling point as things continue to get shittier. Older generation: if you guys actually want to join with the younger generation and do something of significance this time, feel free. If not, keep doing what you have and watch America rot even more.

    • Wow, I never realized what a bunch of whiners Gen-X delivered, and the ignorance is stunning.

      "Individually, some Boomers are very compassionate and caring, I'm sure, but as a whole they've used up the vast wealth that came with being lucky enough to have been born when the getting was good."

      No one 'used up the vast wealth', it's still here but is being concentrated in the hands of the few at the top, just as it was when the 'greatest generation' was coming of age. Redistribution of wealth is what gave us the middle class. The oligarchs are turning that around once more, a trend that started with Reagan. The only way to stop this trend is to fight it. Boomers fought the inequities of their time. Time for the next generation to do the same. Quit whining. And before you make any more gross generalizations remember, Bill Clinton and George Bush are both Boomers, and couldn't be more different.

      Join a union. Start a movement. Quit complaining.

    • In the early 20th century, industry pitted white against black in order to prevent labor organization in the south. Right now workers in the private sector resent public sector workers for still receiving benefits that are no longer available to them. Looks like we're already seeing the next battle playing out. Let those over 55 keep their benefits, while those under 55 lose many of theirs while still paying for the old folks. By playing on the resentment of the young toward the old, the right will be successful in dismantling the social safety net for everyone no matter how old. It will just take a little longer.

    • @oxus

      "It is such lazy, lazy thinking to blame a cohort (or a cohort's culture) for some supposed lack of moral rectitude rather than the institutional rules that permitted greedy, selfish, and short-sighted behavior on a mass scale. "

      Yeah, it's those institutional rules that allowed this to happen – like, say, when Glass-Steagall was repealed by the very first boomer president; when taxes were catastrophically lowered by the second boomer president; when the third boomer president passed a "universal" health care bill that still left millions uninsured and gave state blessing to a rapacious and corrupt private insurance industry.

      It's not that the institutions allowed this situation – in fact, the Great Society and New Deal institutions that were designed to prevent it were specifically target and destroyed by a cohort of me-first jackoffs whose very existence is so corrosive to a just society that their progeny will breathe a heavy sigh of relief when time inevitably reduces their primacy in the American electorate and we can set ourselves to undoing the damage.

    • Well, this certainly has stirred up a gargantuan comment thread. Hmm, cui bono?

      "We didn't vote for Reagan, you did. And I'm not saying _you_ you, I'm saying your generation."

      Whereas by that logic you, and I'm not saying _you_ you, I'm saying your generation, voted for whom?

      "as a whole they've used up the vast wealth that came with being lucky enough to have been born when the getting was good." … actually, your share of wealth hasn't been used up, it has been, and continues to be, stolen – and not by the previous generation, who if they even are experiencing some benefit from the luck of the draw, are guilty in this instance only of experiencing the social contract honored to some degree. Don't lower yourself to fight for scraps. To paraphrase: don't waste time in whining, organize.

      This thread is a right wing dream. Has anyone read about right wing "blog warriors":


      …? If they aren't the ones posting the divisive nonsense on this thread (other than the blog author who perhaps has his own reasons), they should be.

    • Hey NYD, I, personally, did not do those things you are complaining of. Certainly didn't agree with them. So why are you tarring an entire generation? And I feel sorry for you that you have to work yourself up into such a rage rant against boomers that you apparently cheer for their deaths. Be careful what you wish for–if just might happen to you…

      And, uh, Chris, re "doing nothing of significance": what would you have had us do? We tried activism, revolution, and protest (which is more than I think your generation has done), and it got us nowhere. But maybe you forgot it was the action of boomers that brought you feminism, gay liberation, and "Green Consciousness", among other things?

      Most of us were like everybody else: trying to make a living. And it wasn't all that easy. I went through recession and stagflation under Nixon and recession under Bush. After while, "Saving the world" had to take a backseat to saving my ass.

      And as for acts of significance: Well, as I recollect, it was your generation that so eagerly rushed to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I guess that was an "act of significance." Hope you're proud of it.

      All I'm saying is get off the generational blame game, will you. Playing the victim is such an easy cop-out.

    • Also, too, to those jumping on my imprecise comment about 'boomer using up… wealth': sorry for being imprecise. I wasn't trying to make a big economic statement. In the context of the comment, I was trying to defuse some of the poo-bombs being flung between the generations. I can hate the condescending professorial attitudes of people like Marian without hating her entire generation. But I'm of such a whiney, stunningly ignorant generation that I clearly missed the mark on that one.

      To the boomers, who 'fought' the inequalities of your time: you're time is not up! Why do you think the politicians are pandering to your sorry asses? While my generation is raising your grandkids on the necessary two incomes, how bout you join a union, start a movement and quit complaining.

      The flames may continue, but they shouldn't… we should maybe work together instead of bitching about each others' generations.

    • Funny. I read the article and thought "Yup, sounds just like my parents." Of course, they only cr that way because it's what all their friends are doing…

    • "Kids! What's the matter with kids these days?"…..

      Hey, Leon, watch it–you'll be saying that yourself some day. Along with: "Get the hell off my lawn!"

    • @PWL

      I'm not cheering for the death of anyone, but unless they find some way to repeal the regulatory aspects of time, it's pretty inevitable. When their stranglehold on America is gone it will be a sigh of relief, not a cheer of joy.

      "We tried activism, revolution, and protest (which is more than I think your generation has done), and it got us nowhere"

      No, you destroyed activism, revolution and protest as legitimate means to change society. From the 1880s to the 1960s, taking to the streets and demanding changes delivered results, if haltingly. After the 1960s, anyone protesting anything could be easily dismissed in the media and by members of the middle class as "hippies".

      And really, your activism was all about getting high and fucking. In the end, those are the changes that stuck in America. The whole thing was a big "But I wanna feeeeeeeeel good man!" social hissy fit, one thats self-centered nature was easily translated to 'But I wanna BMW man! So your tuition should triple!" You want to see what real activism looks like, look at the Progressives, Socialists and Labor activists that came before you.

    • This all reminds of a joke David Cross told during a performance; with some contextual editing for germane-ity:

      A Gen-Xer and his Baby-Boomer dad went to the bank owned by Baby-Boomer Dick Gotbux and run by his Gen-Xer son, Dick II, to ask for a $50,000 loan at 3% to pay some Dr. bills owed to Dick's brother and Dick II's cousin, Dr. Malcolm Practice the elder and the younger, respectively, as well as to put some credit cards out of their misery.
      The Gotbuxes heard the request, and replied, "Forty thousand dollars at 10%? What do you need thirty thousand dollars at 20% for?"

      In other words, what everybody else has said: It's class warfare. It always has been, and it always will be, and the sooner you forget that, the happier the plutarchists will be.

      So it goes.

    • NYD:

      "And really, your activism was all about getting high and fucking. In the end, those are the changes that stuck in America. . . . You want to see what real activism looks like, look at the Progressives, Socialists and Labor activists that came before you."

      And you seem to have overlooked the fact that if Alfred Nobel hadn't invented dynamite, and the mine owners and building contractors hadn't taught the lowest common denominator in their work forces to use it to avoid undue expense because of the risk involved, there would be far fewer unions–because the Pinkertons would have otherwise shot them all.

    • Arslan Amirkhan says:

      You can add this item to your bucket list:

      "Pull the plug on a boomer; lecture them on self-reliance and personal responsibility until they expire."

    • From the article I quoted above:

      "Finally, always remember: you can pretend to be a progressive, but you can’t pretend to be smart, and these paid ‘blog warriors’ decidedly aren’t."

    • Bob Hopeless says:

      Ed, I enjoy the hell out of your blog but the repeated bashing of "boomers", as though everyone in a particular chronological cohort shares the same values, beliefs and propensities, is pretty lame for somebody of your evident wit and intelligence (you're pretty smart for a young whippersnapper). I am 53, and have barely enough money to keep my home and take care of my kid. I am terrified of the future that she may have and that my generation, and the generations BEFORE and AFTER me may end up leaving her. Yes, a lot of people of my generation (which also, according to definition, stretches over an almost 20 YEAR SPAN) are useless shits, but pardon me if I look around the generation of people 20-35 years old and decide they look pretty useless too, with their fucking i-phones and inability to get themselves into a voting booth more than once a decade.

      Here's the thing- I try not to make those judgments because I know it would be lame and reductive to do so, and because, as several people not above, we know this isn't an age war or a generation war, this is a class war. And lots of "boomers" don't have jack, relatively speaking, and stand to maybe get screwed even worse than your generation – because while you guys MIGHT be able to get things turned around in this country, (given enough time), our time is almost up.

    • Every generation fucks over the world in their own unique way and every generation bitches about the one before it…

    • Boomers have always been willing and able to sell subsequent generations down the river on Medicare and Social Security, as long as they get theirs. Being born in 1967, I have spent my entire adult life knowing full well that the Boomers would suck SS dry before my generation ever gets within sniffing distance of it. Naturally, my right to continue to pay into the system, to keep them going, remains blessedly intact.

      Also, too — Donald Trump, boomer in all its living, breathing, pulsating humpitude.

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