Saturday, November 29, 2008

And the 'Boomers' Went BOOM

Are the present 2008 economic dilemmas of deficits, stock market crashing, China owing 10% of our debt, etc. nothing more or less than the death rattles of the often-self-congratulatory 'Boomer' Generation? Is the decline of American prestige and moral aythority an inevitable bi-product of the 1970's "Me First" philosophy finally crashing to its inevitable hell, burning in the devilish fires of selfishness and excess (credit-card mania, no savings, sub-prime mortgages--a curse on both buyers and sellers--and greedy executive compensation)?

I must admit, I was never a fan of the Boomer Generation. They seemed like selfish children, romping in a social playpen, incapable of learning the regimental lesson of Kindergarten 101: sharing costs as well as benefits. They wanted the immediate gratification of an open democracy: social goodies (and they were good, wonderful, necessary goodies--primarily social advancement for minorities of all colors, genders and religions) but boomers didn't want to pay for them--share their paychecks with the newly enfranchised.

Instead they offered much cheaper words and slogans: "Come on out of the closet, guys and gals, blacks and browns, and play ball with us! Sorry about the last two hundred years. Forgive me if I don't see the rickets you have from being cooped up in the closets of sexism, genderism and racism for centuries and therefore forgive me (don't call me on it) if we unfortunately miss seeing your $$$-need for medical and educational attention, extra programs (more $$$$) to enable you to catch up and play on our level playing field.

That would cost us too much $$$, and deny us boomers our e-toys. How about we offer you shouts of busing, affirmative action, NOW, loving 'rap' and a lot of hollow commiseration?

J'accuse: The Boomers are guilty of having neglected to fund the assimilation of worthy millions of race, gender and sexual-identity individuals who here-to-fore massively deprived of a great many of the benefits of the US political and economic system...and we are all now paying for it. The Boomers wanted revolution without cost. "Free now and pay later!" seemed to be their mantra.

Well...we are paying now.

Because of all this, and other things (SEE following), I never did think the Boomers were anything special. All they really had going for them was: (1) sheer numbers (a reflection of their parents desires and optimism for kids after WW II's end); (2) a result of these same parents who survived the Great Depression and World War II wanting more and better for their children (and, helped by Dr. Spock and his theories of child-rearing) spoiling them rotten and leaving them with a legacy of long-delayed adolescence; (3) an inevitable social change (blacks, women, gays) which would have occured without their screaming and carry-on); it was more a legacy of the war (WWII soldiers and workers democracy-empowered through mixing on the battle-lines and in the factories) more than anything the Boomers did; and (4) their inherited (and subsequently wasted on themselves) post WWII economic power.

Baby-boomers parents passed a vast economic legacy on to their children; and the Boomers spent it not on social programs but on themselves (hence the debt); and here we are today.

"Free now; and pay later."


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