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“The Boomers Did It”
A few weeks back CAIT48 posted a blog (Old And In The Way: The Politics, Policies and Poverty Of Aging). It brought out a rather vitriolic discussion of the Baby Boomer Generation. I was puzzled at the time and remain puzzled as to what brought on that broad-brush treatment of a whole generation (large one). I researched the web and found few if any negative articles on the “Boomer Generation”. Therefore, I went back to the blog and copied the charges made. Those include:
- The Baby Boomers sold the younger generations down the river so as to maintain their own lifestyles.
- Baby Boomers are the ones who put into place the laws and policies that allowed those things (401k being wiped out ) to happen.
- (Boomers) pursue profit above all else (rather) than to look down the road and try to consider the impacts of those decisions.
- The Baby Boomer generation prefers not to do so (think about aging). They are too busy trying to pretend that they are twenty something to think ahead.
- It isn't the Generation Xers or the Millennials that slashed education. It isn't the Generation Xers or Millennials who put the policies into place on Wall Street and Corporate America that allowed them to raid the government coffers.
- The majority of them (Boomers in power) are socially conservative (social conservatives are not true conservatives).
I do not know how to summarize these points as they are IMHO all over the map. It seems to me that the protagonists feel that the society is not as they would have it and they blame those who came before them. I suspect that every generation has that beef. The points made, however, seem woefully inadequate for such a broad denunciation.
I might observe that on the one specific concerning education the point is factually in error. In my time, we have increased societal contributions to education by a factor of four in real terms – it has only been in the past few years that funding for education has declined as tax revenue has declined because income has stagnated.
I might also observe that the “Great Society” originated on the Boomers’ watch. Is there an argument that the efforts therein were not a serious attempt to take the edges off many of the generally recognized ills of our society? Could “Social Conservatives” be responsible for such a broad set of empowering social legislation?
My one beef with the “Boomers” is that they have allowed the government to grow tremendously since my childhood. It is the government that guaranteed risky mortgages with the taxpayers money, provided inadequate oversight of what it demanded and now hides from the results (the negative impact on “Boomer’s” 401Ks). It is the government that bargains away all kinds of benefits to those able to pay for them. You cannot bargain something if you are not granted the power to do so.
In the dialogue there seemed to be a thread that addressed the cost of providing for the Boomer Generation as it retires. Now I find that a bit deceptive. That generation improved/created Social Security and Medicare and paid for them with their own money. Politicians spent that money. To conceive they did so with the agreement of the “Boomers” defies reason. Perhaps the rising generations just don’t want to contribute as past generations have.
In the absence of anything but general grousing that the society is not what some of the rising generation desire, are there specifics as to the generation wide “faults” of the “Boomers”? Otherwise am I to conclude that the comments expressed are those of a small group of unhappy citizens who have been unable to convince the society as a whole to “see it their way” to the benefit of the complaining group?
Is there any difference between “the Boomers did it” and “Bush did it”, “the Military Did It” or “Wall Street Did It”? Seems like those attacking the “Boomers” are the ones that find a need to blame everybody else.