“Systematically and in all sorts of ways, old people are doing everything possible to rob you [today’s youth] of your money, your future, your dignity, and your freedom.”


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“Systematically and in all sorts of ways, old people are doing everything possible to rob you [today’s youth] of your money, your future, your dignity, and your freedom.”

I am sometimes more ashamed of my baby boomer generation than I can possibly express.

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11 comments

  • wodun

    Of course “old” people will have more wealth (not money) than a recent college grad, they worked, saved, and invested a lifetime but that still doesn’t mean they have the wealth to live out their retirement. People tend to forgot that when people retire they don’t get a paycheck. They couldn’t even get a job if they wanted to work.

    Savings and investments have to last another 20-30 years paying for all of the normal costs but also costs that effect older people more than younger like healthcare and toward the end those limited funds have to pay for a nursing home then followed by assisted living and finally hospice. This is not cheap. One could burn through millions of dollars in assisted living and not live anything like the stereotypical lifestyle of a milllionare, living more.like a college kid in a crappy studio appartment would be more accurate.

    Someone at the age of 65 with $1m in assets isn’t rich. How many years will that nest egg last? Not until they turn 100 or even 90. If they are lucky they wont have to rely on Medicaid but it wont be easy. So when people talk about means testing, I am always worried the people.setting the standards don’t know anything about what.it is like to live as an old person. And the number of people how have $1m in assets is very small.

  • Each generation leaves its mark on history, for the good and the bad. 100 years from now our descendants may crawl out of their little hovels, gaze at the moon, and wonder how a society that sent humans to the moon could have doomed its progeny to such poverty.

  • Kelly Starks

    >.. They couldn’t even get a job if they wanted to work.

    They can, do, adn have to. A generation that expected everything to take care of them – didn’t set up for their retirement. Past that, you have a lot of pension and retirement funds trashed by the stockmarket shifts, or political whims (Obama confiscated the Stock for GM and Chrysler and gave them to more politically favored groups. Most all that stock was held by pension funds.

    >..I am sometimes more ashamed of my baby boomer generation than I can possibly express…

    Yeah, I’m there as well.

  • wodun

    Fair enough but many elderly cannot work, it gets increasingly harder to work, and not many will be able to get the type of jobs they used to have and will be greeters and some big box store.

    They need to work because SS and Medicare help but wont pay all the bills and sometimes even retirement plans wont solve all their problems either.

    I just dislike the agism aspect of attacks against entitlements for retirees and that people point to their wealth and not only want to cut their entitlements but want to increase taxes on their wealth. The people making these decisions probably never had to care for an elderly relative and have a demonstrated lack of understanding of how long wealth has to last and the types of expenses that it has to pay for.

    I am all for entitlement reforms but it should effect people in their 20’s and 30’s who still have time to implement a retirement strategy not for people who are already retired. The attitude that many of our country’s youth have toward the elderly is a disgrace.

  • To add to Kelly’s point, POTUS wiped out bondholders as well. This completely violated law and precedent, but the Court let him get away with it.

  • Though technically a ‘Boomer’ (I’m the same age as the author of the article), I’ve never considered myself as such, because my formative years were the ’70’s, and most of the Boomer cultural touchstones have no meaning for me. Boomers grew up in the most secure and material society in human history, because their parent’s didn’t want them to know the hardships of their generation. This was understandable, but it created tens of millions of narcissists. Their parents literally gave them the Moon, and all the Boomers wanted to do was, like, you know, pick up on what Timothy Leary was puttin’ down.

    People talk about the bill coming due for the excesses of that generation, but that day is here. Now. Cities and public entities are gong bankrupt, almost entirely due to pension and health benefits for retirees and soon-to-be retirees. The local transit authority has been called a health care organization that happens to own a few buses. It’s also facing serious budget problems, and is already charging more for less service. This is a trend that’s going to become more pronounced at every level of government, and it’s really going to snowball in the next five years.

    The Boomers have been called ‘The Worst Generation’, and, I think, deservedly so. I’m pressed to think of a single signature achievement that that generation can lay claim to. Well, they (or some of them) did put computers in the hands of the masses, but that’s about it. Historians aren’t going to be kind to the Boomers, because they have a lot to answer for. I’m not alone in wishing that they’d just STFU and go away.

  • Blair,

    To get my perspective on the Baby Boom generation, which jives with much of what you say, see this essay that I wrote for Behind the Black back in September 2009:

    A question for the baby boomers

    I am still waiting for someone to answer my question.

  • jwing

    Maybe I can answer this a little better this time without rambling. First off, it must be understood that the baby boom generation was unique in having been the generation born immediately post WW2 in peace and enjoying the prosperity of the world’s true superpoewr. It is completely understandable that you were spoied and pampered by parents who just suffered through worst hell humanity has bestowed upon itself known as WW2. As a result, your cohort group became the first generation to be directly demographically marketed to ina booming post war economy. You were the first generation to en mass go to college and become the largest delayed-adolescent demographic cohort in history.

    Protesting the Vietman War, buring your draft cards and running off to Canada (only to have Jimmy Carter grant you amnesty) only strengthened your generation’sfalse sense of entitlement. Your generation was able to walk away from paying back its student loans and attained a superiority complex by personally associating the civil rights movemet as a as apersonal injustice born to you,a bunch of middle class white college educated upwardly mobile (YUPPIES). Your false sense of importance, arrogance and bitter contempt for your parents and their values was fanned by the media and pop culture (Beatles et al). . Your generation has never had to be held accountable and now that you are retiring and ageing, you demand that your children and grandchildren cover the bill for your Viaga, plastic surgery, Bo-Tox, hip replacements and medical marijuana. You’ve never been held responsible and have always been able to pass the buck as you happily and unashamedly check off your bucket list. You are aptly titled “The Most Selfish Generation”.

  • Kelly Starks

    This is a moot point. The entitlements will be cut because theirs no way the totality of the US economy could pay for them (about $115 trillion at the moment http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html) . This has been known for decades. There were to many baby boomers, they had to few children to grow into taxpayers, and demanded adn expected hugely luxurious entitlments.

  • Hi Robert,

    Thanks for providing the link to your post. I’ve though about your question (or some form thereof) for a number of years, and about 15 years ago I decided: Liberals are children.

    This idea used to be verboten; that one would speak ill of, or judge, others (a liberal shibboleth). In the last decade I’ve seen a number of commentators develop this idea. The conclusion fits the facts.

    When children reach certain age (adolescence), they want to assert their independence. This is normal. Children rebel, they challenge authority (parents, teachers, cops, what have you). This is how humans in most societies find the limits of social acceptance. But what if there are no limits? What if the parents don’t ‘parent’? “Well, we lived through the Great Depression, and fought the bloodiest war in human history, if Johnny wants to ‘find himself’, why should we interfere?’ So ‘The Greatest Generation’ became enablers of ‘The Worst Generation’.

    In the normal course of events, when children find the societal limits, they conform to the expectations of that society. But if there are no limits, if it’s all ‘Do your own thing’, then there’s no reason to mature. But the world doesn’t work like that.

    So when cold reality slaps a child in the face, what do they do? They run to Mommy and Daddy. But you’re 26: Mommy and Daddy can’t kiss your boo-boos and make them better. Ah, but there is the locos parenti, institutions and government. Yes. Use the power of the State to make people stop hurting you. Having never developed a sense of responsibility, the child will turn to the nearest person that sympathizes with them and promises them a pain-free world. Thus the transformation from hippie to statist.

  • Would it be impolite to point out that from the time a person starts work, until they consider retirement, they have upwards of half a century to make plans and save money?

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