Apparently I wasn't the only one wondering what happened to the baby boom generation, or as the Who described it, My Generation. Boomers helped usher in the sexual revolution, ant-war protests, civil rights, women's liberation, peace-love-and-understanding...etc.
Suddenly, this amazing generation turned bad, real bad, freeloader bad. And I've been watching this in horror, because I'm a boomer.
The Boston Globes Bruce Cannon Gibney must have been reading my mind. Check out his article "How the baby boomers destroyed everything." Nailed it. Here are some of the highlights:
The body politic rests on the slab because boomers put it there, because decades of boomerism produced the problems and disaffection of which 2016 was merely the latest expression.
Something changed, and that something was the boomers and the sociopathic agenda they emplaced. They were the first generation to be raised permissively, the first reared on television and subject to its developmental harms, and the only living group raised in an era of seemingly effortless prosperity. Can too much license, TV, and unearned wealth distort personalities? May I suggest looking south toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
UNFORTUNATELY, BOOMERS show no appetite for maintaining the assets their parents accumulated. Public higher education, nearly free for boomers, has become dauntingly expensive. Infrastructure is neither built nor maintained, and not even “responsible” boomers take this seriously.
It was then-candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton, those paragons of boomer probity, who proposed a gas-tax holiday in 2008, the year the Highway Trust Fund went bust. Federal research and development funding also suffered, with dispiriting consequences for the future. Smartphones may be fairly recent, but their core technologies were developed with government money long ago. Enjoy your iPhone now, because your iCopter and iKidney will be indefinitely delayed.
The consequences of boomer overconsumption, underinvestment, and appetite for risk reveal themselves every time a bridge or bank collapses, but can be summarized in America’s prolonged economic mediocrity. The new normal is 1.6 percent real growth, well below the 2.5 to 3.5 percent rates prevailing from the 1950s to the 1980s. For the young, the price will be incomes 30 percent to 50 percent lower than they could have been.
When problems grow large, boomers resort to deceit, and the huge degradation of truth suggests just how bad things have gotten. The dubious draft deferments of the 1960s became the off-balance-sheet obligations of the 1990s, ginned-up weapons of mass destruction of the 2000s, and today’s phantom terrorism in Bowling Green and Sweden. “Alternative facts” are just the most recent consequences of the boomers’ declaration of epistemic bankruptcy.
If Trump has given America one gift, it’s a free hand to condemn the generation of which he is the impeachable id. Henceforth, let us expect no more from people who achieved so little, who have such small interest in the future. Let us dispense with ideas that aging flower children have substantial claims on goodness, as boomers liberal and conservative alike engaged in warrantless wiretapping, extrajudicial assassinations, gratuitous assaults on the dignity of minorities, mass disenfranchisement, the erection of a vast and useless penal state, and policies of cavalier disregard. Let us turn boomers out from offices high, corner, and otherwise, and keenly assess boomers’ contributions to society against their demands for interminable subsidy, finding some reasonable settlement. And let us do it soon.