Let me preface this piece with a few necessities. First, I grew up being told that my generation (X) was the worst. We were lazy, the television generation who expected everything to be given to us. No doubt every generation before mine had to deal with the same “when I was your age”, self-absorbed and forward blaming rhetoric. Never mind that we are the product of our parents (how did we become the television generation?).
Second, this isn’t an unthoughtful whining or a blind pointing at my parents for all of the world’s woes. I always found it somewhat sickening that my parent’s generation (not necessarily my parents) were willing to place their life struggles on the “greatest generation” that preceded them. It took a lot of reflection to make sure I wasn’t simply following suit.
Lastly, obviously not all baby boomers fall into the stereotypes below, but those who shaped their generation tend to and those who dominate their politics have few exceptions. Being a baby boomer doesn’t make you wicked.
“The Baby Boomers are the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history,” Paul Begala
There’s a strange dichotomy when it comes to the “Worst Generation” (the Baby Boomers); they stressed individual freedom from the social cohorts (“If it feels good do it”) but couldn’t stretch that ideal to fit into their economic philosophies. Champions for drug use, sexual liberation, and a no-consequence society understood on some level that their imprudent practices didn’t bode well for economic stability. No need for responsibility – the commune would supply.
The problem is that nobody in the commune had anything to supply and, eventually, those who became successful became miniature Ayn Rands. Greed for this generation was either evil or righteous and no equilibrium was found. Selfishness flourished on both sides. Baby boomers are the generation with the most tied up money in our nation’s history and also the generation who demands the most in entitlement. No wonder we constantly hear clamoring about the income gap. The gap isn’t so much the problem, it’s the mentality of this generation and their refusal to accept arithmetic’s conclusions.
For instance, Third Way, a Democratic think tank found that in 1962 about 32 cents per dollar was invested and only 14% on entitlements but by 2030 we are projected to have less in investments and entitlement spending above 60%. Such math should move the populous to implement major reform so that generations after aren’t bankrupted at the expense the previous generation’s entitlements, but that’s not the case.
Baby boomers not only overwhelmingly vote to protect their sacred cows (Social Security and Medicare) they have a history of voting for expansions. Every baby boomer president we’ve had has expanded entitlements; most recently Bush’s prescription drug plan, and of course, Obamacare. Every reform attempt made has been completely destroyed by the largest voting bloc in the nation – the baby boomers.
Another baby boomer dichotomy exists that takes selfishness to a completely different level with illogical conclusions pulled from every philosophy to support their venal greed. While hippies and bohemians criticized corporate or individual greed, they fancied their drug-induced sexual orgies. Responsibility be damned; they aren’t hurting anyone – they’re all about peace and love. Meanwhile 30 million voices were never heard or asked of their opinion.
The actions that lead to the decision of Roe v Wade may be the most selfish taken by that generation. While they sneered at corporatists for hoarding “unneeded” money, they were willing to deny life to a person for the benefit of sidestepping responsibility and at times worse, in order to cut ties with a financial burden. They made a barbaric evil a mainstream badge of courage.
Today abortion is less popular in America than it has been since the absurd ruling of Roe v Wade. Polls over the last 20 years have shown a steady decline in support among the younger age groups; the baby boomers have remained steady in their creed. In fact, the baby boomers are the only group that support it – those 70 years old and older don’t, nor do the 30 and younger. These generations X and Y are even being called the “pro-life generation” in some circles; something that would have undoubtedly been more prevalent had 30 million been allowed an opinion.
Hopefully the next generation can move beyond their partial extermination and correct the folly of their parents. That folly has created the greatest debt in our nation’s history by astronomical and incomprehensible measure, destroyed an infrastructure given to them, shipped a large portion of our best jobs overseas, wrecked manufacturing, ruined our good name internationally, and currently fills the chambers of the most pathetic congressional body this nation has experienced, ignores Constitutional law and the list goes on.
So…we have a lot to do. Let’s start by removing this generation from all political offices. What say you?
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