Gene Marks has written a provocative piece yesterday in Philadelphia Magazine, titled "Baby Boomers: Five Reasons They Are Our Worst Generation." The subtitle is "Ten thousand are retiring every day. Good riddance."
Marks, a columnist, author, and small business owner, blames boomers for all of the ills that beset our society. We are right up there with Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Nero. Life in the Boomer Lane won't spend her precious social security cash-infused time to pick apart every single thing he says. She will just limit herself to several points, so as to give herself time to plan her next lavish vacation.
Boomers are responsible for the financial crisis we can't seem to pull ourselves out of.
This is absolutely correct, as boomers have constituted the majority of the population while all this was going on. This is akin to saying that the adult population during WWII caused the War. Who else would have? School age children? People in nursing homes?
All LBL can say is that we obviously caused the debacle in order to screw ourselves. Our stock portfolios hit the crapper, our 401Ks disappeared, and those of us who retired early and took social security early, now have to go back to work and settle for lower social security payments in the future.
Baby boomers spent all of their youth smoking pot and being completely irresponsible.
Unless LBL remembers incorrectly, while we were smoking pot, we were also participating in sit ins, protest marches, political and social advocacy, and in some cases, activities that resulted in our physical harm. We did so in order to end an unjust war, and to fight for civil rights and women's rights. The Gay Rights Movement started during our generation, not during yours.
Boomers don't like to talk about fiscal responsibility or living within their means.
There has already been a ton of articles written about the spending habits of the younger generation. Without bludgeoning you to death with statistics, people born between 1980 and 1984, for instance, already have an average of $5,689 more in credit card debt than their parents did at that age. LBL is anticipating that you will say "Aha! This proves my point! These poor younger people must go into massive credit card debt in order to just survive!" I say flip through any fashion magazine geared to 20 and 30-somethings and take a look at the merchandise that is advertised. Or listen to young people talk about all the things they "must have" in their first home.
One of the major reasons our national debt is so high is because 40 percent of our government's spending goes to some type of insurance: social insurance, retirement, health benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These systems are bankrupt. But they're needed to pay for the boomers' healthcare and pension plans.
We are all living lavish lifestyles due to social security and Medicare that we don't need, living in Arizona and Florida, while our poor children are slogging away in the trenches and our grandchildren can't find jobs.
They are the source of one of the biggest problems with Obamacare. Whether you support the Affordable Care Act or not (and I think there are lots of great things about it), one undeniable fact is that the cost of this new system is being put squarely on the shoulders of the young. People in their 20s need less health care than the boomers in their 60s and 70s. This is not only because younger people today have healthier lifestyles but because many boomers spent most of their young lives smoking, drinking sugary sodas and engaging in risky, unprotected sex.
The nature of insurance, any insurance is that those who don't need it pay for those who do. People are able to collect fire and water damage on their homes only because enough other people pay each month and never make claims. People are reimbursed for auto accidents because enough other people pay their insurance each month but never sustain damage to their cars. So yes, medical insurance depends on enough people paying into the system who are healthy. And mostly, that means young people.
Marks will be happy to know that not only is Social Security not bankrupt, it can't go bankrupt. There has been so much already written about this that LBL can only conclude that Marks has been spending too much time spewing and not enough time educating himself about this.
LBL is amused that our medical problems are due to smoking, drinking sugary soda and engaging in unprotected sex. With the exception of smoking, which she stopped in 1976, it is clear that she didn't have nearly as much fun when she was younger as she should have. Her post-50 medical issues have all involved age-related issues, rather than the fallout of an irresponsible youth.
They are, thank God, the last reminders of our racist, homophobic, sexist past.
This is good news. Clearly, without boomers around, society can wallow in a new world of peace and good fellowship. For the first time in history, man will unconditionally love his fellow man. Makes LBL want to live past 100 in order to see this.
She imagines that legions of young movers and shakers who work on Wall St will all immediately quit their jobs and turn to organic farming. High school kids considering blasting into their schools with loaded 40 caliber Glocks will, instead, volunteer for Reading is Fundamental programs. Entire populations of prisons will now become day care providers for the elderly and infirm. Republicans in Congress will strongly advocate for same sex marriage. And the phrase "Guess who's coming to dinner?" will indicate unparalleled delight at the prospect of entertaining some segment of society that has, until now, been deprived of all of their deserved civil rights.
Over time, these attitudes have changed, mainly because people in their 20s and 30s are smarter, better educated and more open-minded.
While LBL's own children are in this demographic, she must admit that in spite of her wishing this were true, it simply isn't. The latest world-wide educational survey showed the continued decades-long decline in US education. We have now achieved a C in reading and a below-average grade in math. We slip further down the list of countries each year, in spite of the irrational belief many Americans have that we are the best educated population on the planet. We are far, far from it.
The good news is that the baby boomer generation is quickly getting older. Ten thousand boomers are retiring each day. We can't ship them all off to an island, unfortunately. But I'm optimistic that the next generation of leaders will not make the same mistakes. Governments will take care of people who are truly needy -- not just because they turned 65 and have a car payment -- and this will help fix our deficit problems. Racism will continue to decline as the world becomes smaller and more social. Our environment will improve because kids in elementary school are being taught to care about the planet. Ultimately, these generations will fix the problems that the boomers created. And we can soon bid farewell to that horrible generation.
LBL must immediately find something in the refrigerator to eat or she will gnash her teeth to shreds. Is this a serious statement? Where is this utopia coming from? Is the vanguard of it the brash young 30 and 40-year old Tea Partiers in Congress who consistently chip away at (or bludgeon) women's rights, gay rights, environmental regulation, health care, and educational programs? LBL hasn't noticed any movement toward equity in wages, taxes, or social welfare.
Here's the deal: Boomers aren't any smarter, any more talented, any more caring, any more creative, any more superior in any way than any generation that came before or that will come after. The worst you can accuse us of is being full of ourselves, but where music is concerned, LBL might have to agree. But to single us out and to truly believe that with us gone, the country will turn into some kind of utopia is simply not true. History has shown this over and over.
LBL is finished ranting. She will now get a sugary carbonated beverage, light a joint, sit down and review her multi-million dollar portfolio to make herself feel better.