Boomers, Prepare to Fall on Your Swords (June 2005)
Perhaps the most mocked generation in the last century, the "Baby Boomers" have certainly enjoyed a roller- coaster ride: born in the socially constrained environs of the post-"good war" boom, saddled with an old man's "limited" (unless you got killed or wounded) war in Vietnam, reviled and feared as drug-crazed hippies and idealistic founders of anti-war, feminist, Black Power and environmental movements, sucker-punched by the worst recessions since 1929 (1973-75 and 1980-83), revered as founders of the personal computer revolution, reviled (again) for an obsession with "me" and "getting mine," benefactors of the Dot-Com boom of the 90s, and now, in a grey-haired botoxed frenzy over staying "youthful," we collectively face the bankruptcy of the social welfare programs our parents have enjoyed at our expense: Medicare and Social Security.
Now it falls to us to fix the finances of our foolishly bankrupted nation. Either we sacrifice our freebies (every recipient of these programs has extracted far more than they paid in, even including accrued interest) or we leave our children and their children burdened by an impossible debt.
I say we go out with idealistic panache, and fall on our swords with grace and dignity. Instead of sucking off future generations like our parents have, let's pay our own way, tighten our belts, stay healthy without absurdly expensive operations and medications (which don't work that well anyway, in case you've ever read the fine print) and leave the next generations a financially stable nation rather than a bankrupt, self-absorbed "pass the buck to your kids" mess--which is the current state of affairs.
Why leave our debts to the next generations?
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copyright © 2005 Charles Hugh Smith. All rights reserved in all media.
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