The Real Class Warfare is Baby Boomers Vs. Younger Americans

Hey kids, Mom and Dad are screwing you.

LifeLifeHey kids, wake up! Stop playing your X-Box while listening to your Facebooks on the iPod and wearing your iPad with the cap turned backwards with the droopy pants and the bikini underwear listening to Snoopy Poopy Poop Dogg and the Enema Man and all that!

Take a break from getting yet another tattoo on your ass bone or your nipples pierced already! And STFU about the 1 Percent vs. the 99 Percent!

You're not getting screwed by billionaires and plutocrats. You're getting screwed by Mom and Dad.

Systematically and in all sorts of ways. Old people are doing everything possible to rob you of your money, your future, your dignity, and your freedom.

Here's the irony, too (in a sort of Alanis Morissette sense): You're getting hosed by the very same group that 45 years ago was bitching and moaning about "the generation gap" and how their parents just didn't understand what really mattered in life.

Hence, many of the early pop anthems of the baby boomers - technically, those born between 1946 and 1964 but or all intents and purposes folks 55 years and older - focused on how stupid old people were ("don't criticize what you can't understand") and how young people would rather croak themselves then end up like their parents ("I hope I die before I get old"). "We are stardust, we are golden," sang Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Woodstock. "We got to get ourselves back to the garden." Flash forward four or five decades, a couple of hundred pounds, the odd organ transplant, random arrests and jail stints, and the only garden David Crosby is getting back to is the Olive Garden with its unlimited pasta bowls and breadsticks. What small parts of American life and power the boomers don't yet run they will soon enough. 

Did you read that New York Times op-ed that called for a brand-spankin' new military draft and national service plan? "Let's Draft Our Kids," by veteran (read: old, born in 1955) journalist Thomas Ricks, is symptomatic of the new vibe, a kind of reverse Logan's Run scenario. In that godawful 1976 flick, when you turned 30, you were killed for the common good. Nowadays, it's more like life begins at 30. Which is confusing because 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40 and on and on. The important thing: Youth is no longer to be wasted on the young.

Ricks suggests letting high-school grads pick from either 18 months of military service or two years of civilian service, in return for free college tuition and subsidized health care and mortgages (libertarians, he notes, could opt out of service by forfeiting benefits though apparently not avoiding taxes). Beyond all the obviously great and good and wonderful things that come of forced labor, Ricks suggests that "having a draft might...make Americans think more carefully before going to war." Sure it would. Just like it did in the past when we actually had a draft.

Expect this sort of plan to get more and more respectful hearings if unemployment stays high for another few weeks. Or as former hippies and punks get up there in years. Last year, during an appearance I had on Real Time with Bill Maher, the host and other guests (all of us well north of 30) thought mandatory service was a fine notion. Back in the 1980s and '90s, national service was a pet project of folks such as Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) and right-wing icon Bill Buckley (who wrote a book, Gratitude, on the topic).

Oddly, back in the actual 1960s, one of the few things that hippies and Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan could all agree on was that conscription was a really bad thing. For god's sake, Richard Nixon created a commission to end the draft. But that was then, and this is now.

And right now, old people are not going gentle into that good night. They know they're going to need younger people to change their diapers and pay their bills for them, literally and figuratively. As Hillary Clinton put it in 1999, nobody's going to do that if they have any option not to. Speaking to a National Education Association meeting, she explained one of the great benefits of old-age entitlements was that they meant you didn't have to live with your goddamn parents.

"In a very real sense," she said, "Medicare and Social Security say to our older people: We're going to help you remain independent ... We're going to free up the resources that might otherwise have to come directly to you from your family, so that they can do what you did--raise the next generation, send their children to college, hold down the jobs that enable them to move forward."

You got that? The author of It Takes a Village, a paean to the intricate bonds across and among generations, thinks one of the great selling points of Social Security is that it means you don't have to make room for granddaddy. Goddammit, we need that room for a home office! "There would be many families who would have to choose between supporting a parent--an elderly parent--and sending a child to college." She mused, "That would cause a lot of difficult decisions in our lives, wouldn't it?" Yes, it would, so it makes sense to give old people enough of other people's money so you don't have to see them except on holidays.

As a point of fact, retirees aren't particularly "independent" if they rely on tax dollars for income, are they? But here's the real rub, kids: You're getting screwed by Social Security, a program that is now more sacrosanct to aging boomers than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. You're paying more into the system than you're ever going to get out. No wonder it's mandatory. C. Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane put out a study for the Urban Institute last summer that should have caused far more riots than anything that happened at Zuccotti Park. They document that folks making average wages who retired in 2010 will get a raw deal over the coming decades. The deal will only get worse if you retire in, say, 2030. Read it and weep, kids, and don't believe it when old people who are either already on Social Security or about to join that club tell you it's part of a generational bargain that can't be changed even if retirees are totally wealthy compared to you.

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Indeed, be wary of folks telling you that means-testing old-age entitlements is insulting and un-American. Because the fact of the matter is that between 1984 and 2009, the only households that did well are those headed by people 55 years or older. Fact is, you're coughing up 12.4 percent of your compensation for a system that will give you less money than you gave it. And that's assuming the system is still around in recognizable form when you're ready for retirement. On top of that negative return, expect to read more articles like this one by Spy co-creator Kurt Anderson (b. 1954) in which the one-time snark-meister bemoans the fact that the 1960s made us "all shamelessly selfish." Huh? Who's we, kemo sabe? Those of us either too young or too unborn to remember the '60s aren't being selfish if we call attention to a system that loots the relatively young and relatively poor to give money to the relatively old and relatively rich. We're being fair.

So kiddos, you're getting screwed by old people who expect you to maintain a system that benefits them at your expense, regardless of their needs or yours. Thanks, Mom and Dad! And we just might be in the early stages of a bring-back-the-draft-movement, where you would get to choose between painting military barracks for 18 months or sharpening a teacher's pencils for two years.

Then chew on this: One of the primary ways that President Obama (born 1961) is making the so-called Affordable Care Act affordable is by having you foot more than your share of the bill.

Think it through for a moment, especially given that younger voters seem to really dig him. The younger you are, the less likely you are to need health care, much less insurance (there is a difference). The smart move for most generally healthy younger people is to take out a catastrophic coverage plan that would cover you in the event of a big accident. Thanks to Obamacare, you've got to get covered, either by your parents' plan or otherwise. The predictable result is that plans for younger people are getting more expensive precisely at the moment they are required by law (finally, a case where correlation meets causation!). That all plans are going to have to conform to higher-than-before benefit schedules ain't helping things either. Some colleges are dropping student plans as a result.

And just wait until those price-capped government-run health-care exchanges finally get set up. By law, the exchanges can't charge their oldest beneficiaries more than three times what they charge their youngest beneficiaries. That's despite the actuarial reality that the older group costs insurers six times as much. So you're helping balance the books there, too. Welcome to community rating, kids.

Another way you're helping balance the books: It'll be your future earnings that will pay the taxes to cover the massive amount of debt that local, state, and federal governments have rung up over the past few decades. Even before the Great Recession, the feds were spending like a drunken sailor (no disrespect to drunken sailors). Nowadays, the feds are borrowing something like 40 cents of every dollar they're spending. That bill is going to come due eventually and when it does, the people who spent it will be long dead. And so will the economy, suffering from a "debt hangover" that all the Advil in the world won't help. We're getting perilously close to the debt-to-GDP ratios that economists Carmen M. Reinhart, Vincent R. Reinhart, and Kenneth Rogoff say will significantly retard economic growth for an average of 23 years.

It should go without saying that it doesn't have to be this way. And don't buy into the idea that the way things are is just part of the circle of life. You're the mark here, the chump who's believing in Bernie Madoff even after the grift has been revealed. There's not going to be a bigger idiot to come along and keep the pyramid scheme alive. You can tell yourself that this is all part of living in a society, that's it for the common good, that there's simply no way a class of people with only 45 times the amount of household income as you do can get by without you sacrificing so much. But you're kidding yourself, kiddo.

More to the point: Older generations don't need to mop up all the gravy from their kids' bowls. Those of them who can afford to should pay their own way and, in a generational exchange observed for hundreds of generations, could even leave things for their heirs (this is impossible with Social Security, of course). The days when being old universally meant being poor or sick are thankfully behind us and old-age entitlements should change to reflect that reality. We can help the truly needy among us without creating a system in which young people's already small incomes and savings are reduced further to prop up the relatively plush living standards of older Americans (read the cover story of the August-September issue of Reason, not yet online). The young shouldn't be sacrificed to the real and imagined needs of the old.

The one thing I know for damn sure as a parent and a late-era boomer (b. 1963) is that I would never want to charge my existence onto my kids' credit card. If that means we need to start living within our means as a society, that's not really a tough call, is it?

Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason.tv and the co-author with Matt Welch of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, now out in paperback with a new foreword. He is the co-author with Veronique de Rugy of the cover story, "Generational Warfare," in the August/September issue of Reason (on newsstands now).

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  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Speaking as a baby boomer myself; Oh. Gods. Yes!

    I would write a long screed about my generation, but Joe Queenan did quite a respectable job with BALSAMIC DREAMS. We are, generationally speaking, a huge demographic mass of self-absorbed nitwits. I know, I was born in 1961, so I've been trailing behind the Boom, slogging through the cultural mire it leaves in its wake, my whole life. The only hope that subsequent generations have is to break off from the moronic obsessions of the Boom, and fight for survival, NOW.

    Good luck. You'll need it.

  • JW||

    Nope. Population rates peaked in late 1959-early 1960. Boom over.

    Like me, you are a Gen-X elder, getting fucked from day 1 until you kick. I defy you to find anything you have in common with the typical Boomer.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I would LOVE to be able to claim I wasn't a Boomer, but two things prevent me;

    1) The definition (as the article mentions) stretches to 1964.

    and

    2) My parents were part of the Depression/WWII generation (they married late).

    So I think I'm stuck.

  • JW||

    I don't know who or how they came up with 1964 as the cutoff, but on my planet, peak = boom over.

    BOOM!

  • Anacreon||

    I was born in 1960, and I sure as hell like the music of the boomer generation more than that Gen X Nirvana crap, so I'll take the former, thanks.

  • JW||

    If it's too loud, you're too old.

    And Grunge is Millennial crap. Punk, Glam and New Wave was GenX.

  • Rasilio||

    BS I was born in 69, clearly an early cohort Gen Xer and I gotta say the 90's was clearly the best music decade there was.

    Not to mention that when Nirvana and the Grunge movement came out it was like 1990, the earliest millenials were something like 10 and just becoming aware of music.

    The earliest Millenial influenced music came in the mid to late 90's with the girl pop (Brittney Spears, Christina Agulera) and Boy Bands (N*Sync, Backstreet Boys).

    Similarly Punk and Glam came about in the early to mid 70's, even if you choose to shift the generation definitions such that Gen X starts in 1960 they were simply too young to have been majorly influenced or had a major influence on those genre's

  • JW||

    I guess it depends on how you classify the music age-wise: the people making it or the people popularizing it.

  • newshutz||

    born in '58.

    I like New Wave, Alternative, and Trip Hop

    I don't even know how to classify my current favorite artists: Ivy and Nouvelle Vague

  • David W Rogers||

    If it is no longer too loud, you are deaf AND too old! :-)

  • amelia||

    I was born in 1966 and have never regarded myself as a Gen-Xer. IMO, there was a lag period between the end of the baby boom generation and Gen-X. That's my demographic and we don't have a tag. Don't want one.

    Also, I think the term "Baby Boom" refers not merely to the demographic boom itself, but to the postwar economic expansion that fueled it, which ended in 1964. Well, that's what my social demography prof taught us. I have no citation.

  • Azathoth!!||

    X is routinely said to start somewhere between 60 and 65. You're in Gen X.

  • Brandybuck||

    I was born in early 60s, and culturally I fall between the boomers and the genexers. Musically I had to go back to the boomer's music, which was good, because the alternative was disco and heavy metal. Yeah there was some progressive rock, but it was really the tail of the boomer music.

    We were not hippies. We might have worn tie-dye and patched jeans and stuff, but we wore them back in elementary school. By the time we were in high school polyester and big hair was in style.

  • Orange Crayons||

    I was born in '61, and have never liked being pigeon holed into the Boomer group. I have nothing in common as far as life experiences when compared to someone born in 1946.
    Gen X doesn't seem to fit either. I believe Gen X starts after 1965.
    I like the idea of Generation Jones.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones

  • Ken Shultz||

    Bring back the Generation Gap!

  • SIV||

    technically, those born between 1946 and 1964

    It's a trap1

    Nick Gillespie (born August 8, 1963) is the editor of Reason.com and Reason.tv and was the editor in chief of Reason magazine from 2000 to 2008.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, I've seen Generation X defined as those born between 1961 and 1981, which would make Gillespie Generation X. He sure as hell reads Generation X.

    Regardless, it's definitely time to turn the old warning on its head...

    Don't trust anyone under 30.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Don't trust anyone over 65!

    That's for sure.

    But don't trust anyone under 30 either.

    They raised them all to be cooperative. Anyone who isn't part of the hive is to be feared. Facebook is their perfect metaphor--they live to be "liked".

    Their idea of rebellion is to sound like every other emo band has sounded for decades.

    Some of them have never been mad at authority figures in their lives. Angry at authority figures? How do you denounce government as paternalistic to a generation that refused to get mad at its parents?

    They are not to be trusted.

  • SIV||

    Don't trust the old liberal guy kids!

    He [Gillespie] worked for several years at Teen Machine magazine, where he interviewed celebrities and ghost-wrote an advice column for actress Alyssa Milano.[

  • SIV||

    Don't trust the old conservative guy kids!

    News website The Daily Beast named Nick Gillespie number 18 on their list of "The Right's Top 25 Journalists"

  • ||

    Don't trust anyone based on their age. Every generation is mostly filled with fuckheads.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Bristling under the authority of one's parents is the root of all libertarianism.

    If one doesn't bristle under such authority in youth, how can he be trusted to reject government authority when he grows up?

  • The Hammer||

    Your parents provide you (ideally, and usually) with food, shelter, clothing and education. The government takes your money at gunpoint and will not hesitate to kill you if you step out of line. Not the same thing. Most libertarians recognize the difference between actual authority and presumed authority.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When your born, it takes you a while to realize that the hands you see waving around in front of you--are connected to you and a part of you.

    When you get to be a little bit older, you start realizing that the woman you hate for not being there when you want her and the woman who you love for being there when you want her? That's the same woman--your mother!

    That's the basis for the Stewie character on Family Guy...

    Anyway, from that moment on, the moment you realize that your mother isn't always at your beck and call, you start to separate yourself from your parents. When it first starts, it's called "the terrible twos".

    No, I won't do what my parents say. Yes, I will do what they tell me not to do. ...and it accelerates, naturally, as you continue to separate yourself from your parents, until you hit your teens, when...

    At least, that's the way it's supposed to be. If you're Generation Y or after? You may go to college, but then you go home to live with your parents again. Your parents are your best friends. Your parents want what's best for you...

    They provide you with food and shelter--so now you owe them, right?

    Teaching children to respecting authority because authority feeds and houses you is not a recipe for defenders of freedom.

  • Taggart||

    No, you teach children to respect the authority of their parents *because they are children* and have not lived and learned. The problem with the state is that it treats *adults* like children. Most people grow up enough to realize they are no longer young enough to know everything, and they are surprised to find how smart their parents have become.

  • ||

    I dunno Ken, my parents were very liberal but non-hippy types....I grew up bristling under community SoCon authority. The real SoCons the likes of which are rarely found today.

  • ||

    You're Ren McCormack?!?

  • Ken Shultz||

    My stepfather worked for the Federal Government.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not saying that accounts for me being a libertarian, but I don't suppose I can just dismiss it entirely.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Descendents have a song about this very subject.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I dunno about that. Plenty of straight-laced church kids supporting Ron Paul today. You don't need to be a rebel to be a libertarian (though many of us were); you just need to have a good sense of boundaries and a fixed moral sense that isn't as flexible as popular sentiment.

    I'm not even sure you need that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In our society today? Sometimes being a straight-laced church kid is the most rebellious thing you can be.

    I was a straight-laced church kid.

  • The Hammer||

    Which makes you a total rebel badass. Are you just trying to make yourself seem less boring?

  • ||

    I think this you all are a little off base. Speaking as someone who is under 30 and didn't really fight a lot with his parents and is a libertarian. You don't have to be a cultural rebel to have a mistrust of top-down central controllers. Maybe I'm just the exception to the rule but i don't think that rebellion is the root of libertariansism. I'm not sure what is other than just an intellectual understanding of top-down central planning vs. free markets.

  • ShagNasty||

    While you're comment may accurately describe some trends in youth culture, I can say from experience that anti-authoriterian sentiment is alive and well in todays youth. You also might be glad to hear that I generally get much more positive responses bringing up liberterian concepts with people my age (I was born in the early 90's) than with people in their 30s and 40s.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I can say from experience that anti-authoriterian sentiment is alive and well in todays youth

    Yet pretty much everyone I know from college is gaga for Obama.

    I generally get much more positive responses bringing up liberterian concepts with people my age ... than with people in their 30s and 40s.

    I find the opposite to be true, assuming you account for parenthood. Something about having kids turns most people insane.

    I was born in the early 90's

    Grrrr, spoony and I are the young bucks here. And Naga if he ever comes back. But other than that, get off our turf.

  • ||

    Listen, whippersnapper, you can't go around telling people to fuck off.

    That's for your elders here to do.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Grandpa, if you put on your reading glasses you'll notice I never said "fuck off".

  • ||

    (puts on glasses, looks at words)

    Go to your room!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Why?

  • ||

    Because I said so, that's why!

  • Spoonman.||

    Jesus, how fucking old am I? Early 90s? Not even 1990, early 90s?

    I've become an old square. Married office worker with a house that I work on on the weekends.

    Actually it's pretty sweet, but I sure got old.

  • ||

    It's ok spoonman, even at 25 Caleb thinks I'm old. And my liver tells me he's right.

  • Pi||

    I dunno if I would say that most of my generation are Gaga for Obama anymore so much as they've been sold on the idea that Romneybot would be worse. Somehow. Don't ask me how.

  • Pi Guy||

    And get off of my grass!

  • amelia||

    Fuck that Generation X shit!

  • db||

    HAHA. Gillespie is almost exactly 10 years older that I am.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But old people can't take it with them, so when they kick it, all that scratch comes back to us, by way of massive estate taxes.

  • ||

    Now you're getting it!

    WOLVERINES

  • Rasilio||

    Lol I can see that I am not the only person for whom this (admittedly horrible) movie had a major influence on their youth.

  • Seattle Mike||

    Movies to define a generation: The Breakfast Club, Red Dawn, Wargames, Aliens and The Day After.

    Does this list make any sense? Of course it doesn't. Neither did our music. What the hell is your problem? Go Like some picture of cats damn you - because in OUR day we had acoustic modems and BBS's. None of this modern fancy 'web' nonsense.

  • Rasilio||

    Great list and definately all highly impactful movies for everyone I knew. Course you missed Lost Boys which would need to be included just for the soundtrack but also starred Keifer and both Coreys and was a great movie.

    I do note that you left off St Elmo's Fire which the Hollywood Critics usually include but I always felt was too old to be Gen X. I mean yeah, it came out in 85 but they were all College Grads and only the very earliest Gen X'ers had even reached college yet. Frankly 94's Reality Bites served as a much better generational coming of age story for Gen X.

  • Seattle Mike||

    You've answered your own question on Elmo's Fire; wrong demographic. Lost Boys? Sure. Toss it in the pile.

    As to Reality Bites, well if you're going to go there you may as well toss Clerks into the mix. But I think that's pushing it.

  • DarrenM||

    Uh, no. It goes back to the government, which will then turn around and spend it on favored political cronies and allies.

  • Sam Grove||

    Do you know how estate taxes work?

  • DarrenM||

    Roughly. An estate tax is a tax on the estate of a deceased individual, hence the name. It's sometimes confused with an inheritance tax.

  • ||

    us?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But old people can't take it with them

    I see you haven't heard of the burgeoning "Egyptian style burial" craze.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Give my regards to the British Museum."

  • Taggart||

    Or straight from your parents, by way of the $1 million exemption.

  • Harvard||

    [Think it through for a moment, especially given that younger voters seem to really dig him (Obama).]

    As did Nick the motorcycle jacket when he pulled that 2008 lever.

    Voters remorse Nicko?

  • ||

    In that infamous article he said he was voting for Barr or not voting.

  • fish||

    Roseanne?

    /snark

  • ||

    Nick didn't vote for Obama.

    1. Who are you voting for in November? I am not sure that I'll cast a ballot for president but if I do, I'll vote for Bob Barr. He's the closest to my beliefs and I think it's important to show that third parties have some support and influence in general elections.

    http://reason.com/archives/200.....singlepage

    I am pretty sure like all of us who did regret Voting for Bob Barr.

  • Paul.||

    A vote for Bob Barr was a vote for Bob Barr!

  • ||

    All too true.

    This does not change the fact that I will continue to vote for LP candidates until the day I die.

    It also does not change the fact that even if Barr somehow got an LP nod sometime in the future i would not vote for him.

    I would probably write in my own name or write in who ever got the runner up nomination from the LP or just some random son of bitch i pick out of the phone book.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Navin R. Johnson for President!

  • blackjack||

    "Elections are vastly overrated as a means for restraining government abuses. The more people who believe that the 2008 election will end the abuses of the Bush era, the easier it will be for the next president to perpetuate Bush's noxious principles and precedents." Bovard's reply to #3. My 20-20 hindsight makes this the most compelling qoute on this page.

  • ||

    Stay away from the cans!!!

  • blackjack||

    I voted for Barr/Root.

  • db||

    My vote for Bob Barr was a vote against Obama and McCain.

  • db||

    And a vote to try to get the LP's total up.

  • ||

  • ||

    I love this article...it is filled with all sorts of crazy shit:

    check out what Grover Norquist wrote for question 5

    5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Dick Cheney....poetic justice. Teddy Roosevelt for advancing statism.

  • SIV||

    Julian Sanchez

    1. Who are you voting for in November? Living in the District of Columbia, I see little reason to mar my as- yet unblemished record of nonvoting. But if I lived in Virigina or Florida, I'd be ticking the box for Obama—not because of any great affection for Hopey McChangeypants, but because I'm terrified of what happens to the Republican Party if eight years of military adventurism, unfettered executive power, and disregard for civil liberties aren't utterly repudiated at the polls.

    Has the progressive dipshit Sanchez quit Cato yet like he promised to do if the Kochs won?

  • ant1sthenes||

    I don't know if he was wrong. Obama's election may have spurred the Tea Party movement and the rejection of numerous shitty Republicans in the primaries, allowed Ron Paul to make a decent showing, etc.. The GOP as an institution is probably better off for losing, even if the country isn't.

  • The Hammer||

    Dalmia had the best answer.

  • Paul.||

    Yes, yes she did.

  • GILMORE||

    Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

    The correct answer was = ALL OF THE BASTARDS! IT SHOULD BE THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY! WHILE BLASTING THE DEAD KENNEDYS! AND IT SHOULD BE DONE WITH DONATED URINE OF ALL VOTERS!

    ahem...

  • The Hammer||

    Different question.

  • Paul.||

    2. Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Michael Badnarik in 2004. Ralph Nader (IIRC) in 2000. And that should be "whom."

    Cavanaugh, never missing the opportunity. Less grammar correction, or fewer grammar corrections?

    What I like was the love for Nader around these parts back in Aught Aught.

    I could never figure it out. Libertarians... voting for Ralph fucking Nader.

  • Bill||

    15 of 43 people said they would vote for Obama. All were at least Reason contributors and presumably have some libertarian leanings. On the other hand, as a reaction to Bush, and given Obama's presumed intentions to be better on drugs, patriot act, wars, and immigration, it kind of makes sense. He's been a terrible disappointment. I did not vote for anyone in 2008.

  • Nick Gillespie||

    Fair Harvard,

    I didn't vote for Barack Obama or either George Bush or any candidate that has ever won an election at any level outside of class president (and even then, I'm not sure).

    Re: 2008 votes, I voted for Barr or more correctly, I voted for the LP.

  • SIV||

    Is that who your inner-Alyssa Milano told you to vote for?

  • 0x90||

    From the comments: "If you were young when she was young it's grandfathered in."

  • The Hammer||

    It'll be nice to actually be able to be proud of voting LP this time.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    or more correctly, I voted for the LP

    When did you move to a place with a parliamentary system?

  • Harvard||

    I apologize Nick. But your vote for Barr did what, exactly? Like a vote for Buchanan in hopes he kicks Dole to the right?

    While both parties are infested with statists who need purging, there are far more small government, libertarian leaning office holders in the Red party than the Blue. We'll likely never get the perfect candidate, but I prefer to go with the lesser of the two evils and hope for Tea party pressure from within, than to pull a meaningless lever for someone with a whore's chance in Hell of winning anything.

    Face it, a vote for Barr WAS a vote for Obama.

  • The Hammer||

    No, a vote for Barr WAS a vote for Barr. Your bullshit apologia and TEAM RED cheerleading was a vote for the Patriot Act, the Drug War, foreign adventurism, TARP, and every other evil perpetrated by the Bush administration and continued by Obama. You don't pressure the GOP by voting for the GOP; you allow them to continue to take libertarian-leaning voters for granted while they nominate Democrat-light Mitt Romney and do everything they can to marginalize their only two decent candidates. Your abused-spouse rationalizing isn't original; it gets spouted and shot down here on a daily basis. Your condescension and sanctimony are off-putting, but not meaningful, except as a show of the transparent insecurity of your position. So you know you're full of shit, so stop it. Vote for a third party, unless you actually believe in all the crap that your vote tacitly endorsed.

    Face it, a vote for the GOP was a vote for the status quo.

  • Harvard||

    Well said purist. The kind of thinking that has kept, and will keep, any third party a footnote to history whilst accomplishing zero.

    We would be better served to attack at the state level. If it's New Hampshire, then New Hapmshire it is, but nothing on a federal level will be accomplished by a third party vote, ever. A third party vote is an incumbent vote at best, a liberal Democrat vote at worst.

  • ||

    "Now you kids with your loud music, and your Dan Fogleberg, your Zima, hula hoops and pac-man video games"

  • ||

    "Go back to your fancy cars, and your big bank accounts, and your celebrity friends, and your beautiful women, and Victoria Silvestedt, Playmate of the Year...FUCK!"

  • ||

  • SIV||

    Iaotrogenic kidney failure? Never, ever have surgery if you can avoid it. Particularly if you should already be dead.

  • Serf||

    "So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage parlours --"

    Yule Brynner!

  • amelia||

    Tee hee. Murray Head is Anthony Stewart Head's brother! (ASH was Rupert Giles on Buffy)

  • Paul.||

    "Go back to your fancy cars, and your big bank accounts, and your celebrity friends, and your beautiful women, and Victoria Silvestedt, Playmate of the Year...FUCK!"

    Who is the richer man, I ask? You with all these things... or me with... with... what I've got?

    It's you, isn't it? Richer... and happier.

  • Dylan||

    Smeghead.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    See, if everyone drops Medicare together there has to be a market for Boomers servicing Boomers.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Thanks for putting that image in my head, asshole.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's "cunt".

  • DarrenM||

    baby boomers - technically, those born between 1946 and 1964

    The cutoff year keeps getting moved up. It used to be about 1950. This was originally in reference to babies born shortly after WW2 when the troops came home. It seems the definition of 'baby boomers' keeps changing.

  • CE||

    It's always been 1946 to 1964. Trust me -- I was born in 1965 and glad I missed it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I was born in 1957. Never considered myself a baby boomer. Three years of shitty employment under Carter after high school. Three years of good pay in a steel mill until they closed down under Reagan. Four years in the military. Two years un- or under-employed. Graduated college during recession. Shitty economy, ended up driving truck and working for UPS. Said "Fuck it" and moved to Taiwan. Easy work, good pay by local standards, low taxes (not even worth cheating on), non-intrusive government, lots of beautiful women and decent people for police. Been here sixteen years. Why would I want to return to the USSA except to visit? The tail end of the baby boom is Generation X- 1.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Good medical care for everyone, a freer press, better roads and communications all with a lower tax haul (VAT and 7% income tax, US cigarettes are $1.25- 1.50 a pack)and with 50% of the economy underground and untaxed (which here, anyways, is considered better than welfare for people to do nothing). The government doesn't pull in enough revenue for a police state. No religious nut cases, so most people mind their own business. The economy is much more freewheeling than the USA.

  • gaoxiaen||

    No open container laws. I can walk around or sit on the street corner and drink. BAC for DUI is .20. 24-hour liquor at any covenience, grocery, or liquor store. Prescription laws rarely enforced. America is the land of the free... hmmm...

  • gaoxiaen||

    The ex-President, Chen Shui-Bian, is in prison for corruption. Nixon only lost his job.

  • ||

    Well that was a nice nut punch for us youngins, thanks a bunch. Unfortunately most of my brethren won't listen, they were educated by those thieving old people after all.

  • Ice Nine||

    So a 65yo household having a greater net worth than that of a 40yo and a much greater net worth than that of a 20yo is something new, shocking and lamentable? Answer: No, it's pretty much the way the world works, not the least bit surprising, though lamentable of course to the 40 and 20yos. Breathed there ever a 20yo who wouldn't have loved to have had his parents' or grandparents' net worth?

  • ||

    that certainly is true. american dream and all. i am happy i am able to "put away" 25% of my earnings. something my grandfather taught me. it tends to cause wealth to increase.

    (buying gold in 1998 helped too)

    i hope to be much wealthier at 65 than i am now.

  • Generic Stranger||

    See the point? Notice how it went right over your head?

    The point isn't that it's "lamentable" that older households have a higher net worth than younger households. It's that the younger, poorer households are being taxed to support the older, wealthier households.

  • Sevo||

    Hey, watch those quick fingers!

  • Ice Nine||

    It's that the younger, poorer households are being taxed to support the older, wealthier households.

    That would be the older, wealthier households who were the younger, poorer households being taxed to support the older, wealthier households forty years ago. Boo hoo. And yes, I saw one of the points that you designate "the point", without your able assistance. That point is bullshit so, beggin' your pardon, I dabbled with another one of them.

  • Sevo||

    Ice Nine|7.11.12 @ 7:44PM|#
    "That would be the older, wealthier households who were the younger, poorer households being taxed to support the older, wealthier households forty years ago. Boo hoo."

    Well, at least you finally got the point. And then you blow it off by claiming 'well, it doesn't matter'.
    Nice going, bozo.

  • Ice Nine||

    It matters because you and Gillespie claim that it matters? Nice going, bozo. Again, a thousand pardons for not accepting that locally popular decree. FWIW, I can readily scrape up a few score million that claim it doesn't. Guess we're at an impasse.

  • Sevo||

    Ice Nine|7.11.12 @ 7:57PM|#
    "It matters because you and Gillespie claim that it matters?"

    Sorry, I should have known reading and comprehending the comparative expenditures is far beyond your limited capabilities.

  • Ice Nine||

    Get back to me, son, when you're able to carry on a civil conversation, K?

  • Sevo||

    Ice Nine|7.11.12 @ 8:03PM|#
    "Get back to me, son, when you're able to carry on a civil conversation, K?"

    Sorry, I'm not 'getting back' to you at all.
    Post bullshit, expect to get called on bullshit.

  • Bill||

    I think the point is that the money was spent, not set aside. The amount you paid in is not related to what you get out. Demographics are completely different than when the program was set up and it can't function in the future without younger folks getting screwed. And by younger I include myself at age 51.

  • carol||

    And as a fifty-four year old I couldn't agree with you more BUT when attempts are made to have a realistic conversation about eliminating SS and Medicare it is dumb ass thirty year olds who scream "cat food commission!" I actually had a thirty year old tell me that he had "paid into social security all his life and deserved to have it waiting on him when he retired". Really? All six years since he graduated college? Bummer. I don't feel sorry for young people. Mostly spoiled brats who think that the world owes them an education, living, home, and health care. And they voted for Obama in record numbers.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I don't feel sorry for young people. Mostly spoiled brats who think that the world owes them an education, living, home, and health care. And they voted for Obama in record numbers.

    Well why should they be any different than their selfish parents? (The entire point of the goddamned article!)

  • carol||

    I never thought the world owed me anything and had I my parents would have straightenned me out PDQ. My point is that it is the younger generation that wants a handout and sadly, some of them vote. Pretty much everyone I know in my age group knows that our current system inn't sustainable. We are ready to fix it but it is young people, who have plenty of time to create their own wealth, that are squealing like little piggies.

  • Generic Stranger||

    That would be the older, wealthier households who were the younger, poorer households being taxed to support the older, wealthier households forty years ago. Boo hoo.

    Prior wrongs do not justify future wrongs. And given the demographics, it's going to be a much larger wrong this time around. It's likely that the younger generation will never actually receive any of the benefits they're supposedly paid for, because the boomers will have bankrupted the system.

  • R C Dean||

    The idea that it's OK because, after our years filling the trough, we will all get years draining the trough founders on the reality that it isn't sustainable. A generation or two or more is going to get fucked, and guess what? Those generations walk among us now.

  • Sevo||

    RC,
    Ice Nine really doesn't care; s/he's a lefty apologist. No more, no less.
    Standard issue; misdirection, strawmen, assertions, etc.

  • R C Dean||

    Sure. It never fails to amuse that lefties, who love to yammer about sustainability, don't have a single sustainable program.

  • Sevo||

    To a lefty, definitions are purely subjective.

  • Ice Nine||

    Sevo|7.11.12 @ 8:47PM|#
    RC,
    Ice Nine really doesn't care; s/he's a lefty apologist. No more, no less.

    This is hilarious. I have never voted Democratic. I have never, before 8:47PM today, been called a lefty nor remotely resembled one. Well at least your ad hominems are softening and your churlishness is abating, even if your cluelessness is boundless.

  • Sudden||

    That would be the older, wealthier households who were the younger, poorer households being taxed to support the older, wealthier households forty years ago. Boo hoo. And yes, I saw one of the points that you designate "the point", without your able assistance. That point is bullshit so, beggin' your pardon, I dabbled with another one of them.

    What you seem to be missing here is that most of that money that the current retirees paid into the system was never used for their parent's retirements, but was rather borrowed and replaced with IOUs in the form of treasuries to fund that era's govt largesse, with the promise that it would be paid back by future taxpayers.

    I've had vehement debates with my father about means-testing the entitlements (he's a standard bearer GOP guy) and every time have to remind him that all that money he claims to have paid for his father's generation, the vast majority of it actually paid for govt services throughout his own working life.

  • ||

    Because the Social Security and Medicare tax have been static since their inception...

    Not only are young people today paying a shit load more to benefit older people whose living standard is exponentially higher than their own, but they may or may not ever reach that same standard themslves given the current economic climate and the policies pursued to address it, AND to top it all off, with these programs on the verge of insolvency, they will either never see a dime of benefit from the same programs when they get old and retire or will see a penny to every dime they contributed.

  • ||

    Oh, by the way, fuck off slaver!

  • ||

    also, from a disparate impact basis, there is a big racial component

    black men have a huge disadvantage vis a vis social security. iow, due to a # of factors, they tend to pay a much greater amount INTO SS vs. what they get out of it when compared to most other demographics.

    iow, it's RACIST!
    (tongue in cheek, since i don't buy disparate IMPACT theory, but you get my point)

  • Taggart||

    Poor people don't pay income taxes.

  • Taggart||

    They do pay social security, however.

  • Sevo||

    Sorta dodged the point, didn't you?
    It's not about who has the dough; it's about who's sucking the cream off the public trough, leaving the 'yute' to refill it.
    But you knew that, didn't you? You were just hoping for that ol' sleight of hand to confuse the issue.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Don't worry, the "yute" will step right up to the trough, too. You know, "Root, hog, or die".

  • Rasilio||

    Perhaps you should do some research, starting with that Pew study mentioned in the graph. If you did you would find that actually this has not always been the way it was, in the past the elderly were the poorest segment of society and while 20 year olds were always less wealthy than 40 year olds the gap was considerably smaller.

  • Gladstone||

    Gee the Baby Boomers are consistent only in their self-absorption. What a shock.

    Unfortunately the youth of today are mad that they won't be able to get free stuff anymore. You know the OWS and anti-austerity and the leftist nature of the youth vote isn't a hopeful sign.

  • Brutus||

    If anything, today's youth are even more self-absorbed. They'll try to fuck over their kids just like we're doing.

  • Sevo||

    Brutus|7.11.12 @ 8:24PM|#
    "If anything, today's youth are even more self-absorbed. They'll try to fuck over their kids just like we're doing."

    True enough, but they seem to be dumb enough to fuck over themselves, eating the seed corn and hoping the crop grows on its own.

  • CE||

    The kids are all right. More of them voted for Ron Paul than for Romney.

  • gaoxiaen||

    + 1 (very limited) hope

  • Broseph of Invention||

    This is what's most frustrating. Instead of trying end it, they just want more for themselves. They consider education to be the young's entitlement.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    From what I understand of generational definitions, Generation Y refers to those born between (roughly speaking) 1980 and 2000. The generation is subdivided between those born between 1980 and 1990 (Micro-Boomers) and those born between 1990 and 2000 (Millenials).

    As a Millenial, let me take this opportunity to trash the Micro-Boomers. Seriously, it's a group of people who got to enjoy all the extravagances of the 80s and 90s in childhood and adolescence, but turned out to be kinda worthless in adulthood.

    Of course, the Millenials are showing some the same tendencies as their older counterparts.

    It seems the only great generation was X.

  • ||

    it would seem that TO a gen x'er , much as most people think THEIR era had the best music

  • ||

    This is a timeless song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv6dMFF_yts

    And yet it was written 15 years after I can relate to it.

    Also fuck music as a generation marker.

    Donkey Kong and Skyrim make far better contrasts.

  • ||

    what is amazing about some of the old skool games is how PLAYABLE they were, considering the primitiveness of the hardware and the small memory, etc.

    i think the old skool programmers HAD to be a lot more slick in regards to doing more with less.

    it's kind of like how punk, and many minimally TECHNICALLY proficient guitarists (the early edge beign a great example) did so much with so little vs. histrionic bloated solo wanking we see from many virtuosos.

    i was never a big donkey kong fan and i lurv skyrim fwiw.

    but i think it is amazing how many awful games and uninventive programmers there are considering the immense resources of hardware they have to work with, yet their games just don't have much PLAYABILITY.

    good song btw.

    i just think it's natural to hark back to our formative era (no matter hwo old we are) and lament that "that music was much better than we have now"

    and it's of course utter rubbish.

    there always has been, and hopefully always will be people making kick-ass music out there

    heck, when i sit down to make music, all i need is three chords, a guitar and the truth!

  • KDN||

    That song is terrible (and I'm of the age where I should relate to that song). Agree with Dunphy otherwise; I've spent more time playing NES and SNES games on my Wii than Wii games. River City Ransom is still a better way to blow an hour than San Andreas.

  • Jake Badlands||

    Reason comment thread. The TROLLS turn.

    White Indian: BARF!

  • Jake Badlands||

    Dammit, that was supposed to say "turf," not turn.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Minimalism. Still my favorite.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I love Generation X: Your Generation

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Of course, I attribute Generation X's success somewhat to their possession of the letter X, with out a doubt the coolest letter in the alphabet.

  • ||

    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I believe it is technically "Blackmail" that is an ugly word.

  • ||

    Yes, I should have been more careful where I copied that from.

    Go to your room!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm disappointed in you. The correct response would have been:

    "You are technically correct: the best kind of correct."

  • ||

    So I really am important? How I feel when I'm drunk is correct?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Yes, except Dave Matthews doesn't rock.

  • db||

    Dave Matthews can be said to never have rocked. I fucking hated that band. Sadly, most of my friends at the time were big fans.

  • gaoxiaen||

    They call it persuasion in the USA.

  • ||

    the letter X, with out a doubt the coolest letter in the alphabet.

    Like Hitler and mustaches Obama totally ruined "O".

    Note: Bush ruined "W" in the same way...but "W" never was cool to begin with.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Oprah ruined "O", dude. In my opinion, Nixon improved "N", but I don't care what anyone says, "JFK" and "FDR" are totally out of my vocabulary.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Wrong. "F" is definitely the coolest letter.

  • gaoxiaen||

    As in "F you".

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Micro-Boomers? Cause our parents were part of the Boomers?

    but turned out to be kinda worthless in adulthood.

    Dude. We finished college 2 years ago.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Maybe my perspective is too narrow. Such is the case in trying to make an analysis. But it was my thought that the 1980-1990 cohort were very passive in terms of pursuing success. They had the independence of Generation X but lacked the gumption to see their plans through.

    This undermined by examples such as Mark Zuckerberg, but even he seems to find less spotlight than previous generations placed on people like Gates and Jobs.

  • ||

    They had the independence of Generation X but lacked the gumption to see their plans through.

    As a card carrying member of Gen X I can assure you that in the 90s you could not walk down the street without getting a job.

    Your perspective is narrow...you do not understand how much Obama and his economic policies have fucked up the job market.

  • Sudden||

    Amen to that. I'm gainfully employed right now, but trying to move up the ladder and have been applying to various and sundry local REITs, Private Equities, and Hedge Funds so far without any success. FML.

  • ||

    In all fairness the last 10 years had far better internet memes then the previous decade and before that it was all usenet...which generated the worse meme in all of human history let along internet history.

    Caleb Turberville is full of shit, you kids are doing alright.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I stand corrected.

  • ||

    Yes, I just started work Caleb needs to chill. I would kinda agree about the early 80's born people, fuck those guys ;)

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Just trying to take some of the aim off of the Boomers. Kinda have a soft spot for the last cohort of men forced into Uncle Sam's jolly excursions across the Pacific.

  • Sudden||

    Fuck you too Apatheist. 1982 will forever been considered the greatest year on record.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Of course, he's referring to those who were born in 1982...and trust me, unless you considered Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water a masterpiece, 2000 wasn't the greatest year on record.

  • JW||

    All I know is that I was having metric-fucktons of sex in 1982. '83 too. Actually, nearly all of the 80's.

  • ||

    Are you trying to tell Caleb that you may be his father?

  • JW||

    He and I could rule the galaxy together, if he's not busy.

  • ||

    but turned out to be kinda worthless in adulthood.

    What the fuck are you talking about?!?!

    None of these people are adults yet!!!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Certainly not according to Obamacare!

  • ||

    It should be pointed out generations usually are ~25 years long.

    You are comparing Gen X which is a full generation with two sub generations Millennial and Micro-boomers.

  • ||

    turned out to be kinda worthless in adulthood

    FFS *face palm*

    There is plenty of worthlessness to go around.

  • Taggart||

    Apparently the age for reproduction is 10 these days?

  • Randian||

    There is no discussion more tiresome than the "what generation sucks" one. Generalizations blow and you all are morons for taking it seriously.

  • ||

    I don't know...abortion debates are probably more tiresome.

    But your point still stands.

    "What is it with you people? You're touching each other's nipples, putting your balls in each other's mouths...I just don't understand your generation."

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Aren't the discussions surrounding who is the "generation spokesperson" more tiresome.

    I, for one, cringe for the Boomers. No generation should ever have to have lived through the moronic lectures of John Lennon.

  • ||

    The other issue is that both discussions are collectivist as hell. While there is something to be said for cohort effects on similarly-aged people, it's still massively collectivist to go "everyone in Generation [insert stupid name here] is [insert insult/praise here]", or "[some jerkoff] is the voice of generation [fuck you]".

  • Caleb Turberville||

    True enough...but we're all in agreement though, right? The Jazz Age had the best literature?

  • ||

    I am pretty sure The Great Gatsby is universally reviled here at hit and run.

  • The Heresiarch||

    I thought the Archaic Age had the best literature. Menin aeide, thea, and all that.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually the discussion here is not about the people in the generations themselves but about the political and economic effects of that groups choices.

  • Sevo||

    "I, for one, cringe for the Boomers. No generation should ever have to have lived through the moronic lectures of John Lennon."

    He set the bar pretty low, but others managed to squeeze lower yet. Think of, oh, Jerry Rubin.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The baby boomers sucked.

    Think about their parents, too. Suffered through the Great Depression, fought the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese and won! Then came home to build the most prosperous society known to man...

    Did they have flaws? Absolutely.

    Now compare them to their children, The Worst Generation. How can that not be a worthy topic of discussion? Looking at how current events effect and shape entire generations of people. It's social evolution happening before our eyes and during our lifetimes...

    It's fascinating.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|7.11.12 @ 7:41PM|#
    "The baby boomers sucked.
    Think about their parents, too. Suffered through the Great Depression,"
    And elected FDR *FOUR* times! Yep, really great folks.

    "fought the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese and won!"
    The Axis never had a chance.
    Japan went on permanent defense in June of '42, Germany not much later (and it would have been sooner if that idiot Stalin hadn't been in charge of the Red Army).
    The economic disparities meant there was little chance of anything else.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    By the way, what's the leading historical perspective on whether the Soviet Union was technically an Axis Power c. 1939-1941? It's never been explained to me why they've never had to deal with the shame of assisting with the invasion of Poland.

  • R C Dean||

    Communists = lefties = free pass.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Duh. It's Poland. It's a part of international law that the first act in a declared war is to divide up Poland between the two warring countries.

  • Sevo||

    That's GOOD, A. D.!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Sounds like a Scandinavian idea. Undermine Poland, and keep the war down south.

  • Sevo||

    Caleb Turberville|7.11.12 @ 8:35PM|#
    "Sounds like a Scandinavian idea. Undermine Poland, and keep the war down south."

    Depending on the Scandinavian country. Sweden decided it was a great idea to supply the Nazis, and if everyone else got invaded, well, tough beans! I'm alright, Jack.

  • Rasilio||

    Given how thoroughly Finland kicked Russia's ass in 1939 - 1940 I'm not so sure they were worried about being invaded

  • Sevo||

    Caleb Turberville|7.11.12 @ 8:04PM|#
    "By the way, what's the leading historical perspective on whether the Soviet Union was technically an Axis Power c. 1939-1941?"
    Seems there's a lot of room under that rug. Hardly any WWII histories make much of this. Most focus on the the 'great sacrifices' made by the Red Army. It's true; Stalin's approach was to feed cannon-fodder in until the Nazis ran out of cannon ammo.

    "It's never been explained to me why they've never had to deal with the shame of assisting with the invasion of Poland."
    You're too kind. The Reds didn't 'assist', they simply came to an agreement with the Nazis to take the east half, while the Nazis got the west half. Oh, and the Reds tried to take Finland at the same time.
    At the end of the war, the Reds took the remains of Poland, with the agreement of the 'heros' Churchill and Roosevelt.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    It didn't help Germany that once you're passed the Baltic states, there's eight thousand miles left to go.

  • Sevo||

    Caleb Turberville|7.11.12 @ 8:47PM|#
    "It didn't help Germany that once you're passed the Baltic states, there's eight thousand miles left to go."

    Hitler hoped the USSR would simply disintegrate as a functioning state, and a defensible line could be held at the Urals. He didn't have any idea of the terrorism and repression available to Stalin.
    Even that was *far* beyond the abilities of the Wehrmacht, not to mention the Nazi economy; by the time they approached Moscow, they had no *clothes*, for pete's sake!

  • Randian||

    The baby boomers sucked.

    My god stop talking.

  • The Rantin Arkansan||

    So you're basically saying a multitude of the "Greatest Generation" turned out to be horrendous parents?

    I can agree with that.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually it is the so called "Greatest Generation" that has had by far the worst effect on this country.

    Their first signature achievement upon reaching the halls of power was to pass the Great Society programs of the Johnson Administration, pass drug prohibition under Nixon, explode the deficit under Reagan and then their last act before effectively turning power over to the Boomers was to start the current inflationary boom/bust cycle under Bush 1 (if you go back and review the history of Fed rates you can see a clear change in 1991)

  • blackjack||

    I was born in '66. I guess I'm on the cusp of boom and x. My parents were hippies, and all they wanted was to be left alone and not get hassled by the "man". Now, their friends ARE the "man" and they are hassling like nobody could've ever predicted!

  • ||

    hey. i never thought i'd be the man either.

    shit changes

  • The Rantin Arkansan||

    Translation: Fuck principles!

  • Xenohippus||

    Odd that an average Tea Party protest is a bunch of old fat people sitting in lawn chairs and Rascals scotters.

  • Gladstone||

    And that the youth are the ones in the streets demanding that entitlements not be cut.

  • Xenohippus||

    Look at the diabeetus case at 2:03

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....._embedded#!

    Who's paying for her hoveraround..?

  • Randian||

    baby boomers - technically, those born between 1946 and 1964

    This is (and no offense to Nick here) a prime example of why the 'generational generalizations' are so drop-dead stupid. How the Sam Fiddlyfuck are you going to call children born 20 years after the post-war boom a "boomer"? What war made all the young men horny...the Bay of Pigs?

  • Tulpa the White||

    You know the Vietnam War stretched back into the Eisenhower administration, right?

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa the White|7.11.12 @ 8:33PM|#
    "You know the Vietnam War stretched back into the Eisenhower administration, right?"

    Too late; Truman.

  • Tulpa the White||

    And what's to say the WW2 vets weren't horny for 19 years?

  • Randian||

    No, but seriously, there is no such thing as generational distinction.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I wonder if the reason sociologists have adjusted the Gen-X threshold all the way up to as far as 1965 is that people born that year were 18 in 1983, and, therefore, were listening to Murmur in college.

    Just a thought.

  • SIV||

    I was in college in 1983 and I hated Murmur. Being from GA I had the advantage of having hear REM live, for free, before they'd released so much as an EP. They might not have totally sucked if Michael Stipe never existed.

  • ||

    People like to collectivize. Generational distinction is one of the most annoyingly pernicious and tolerated collectivizings, unlike say racism or nationalism.

    Unfortunately, it seems quite a few people who are supposedly against collectivism don't mind generational collectivism.

  • nicole||

    I couldn't agree more. The "millennial" group, which as discussed above is sometimes divided up (as are boomers, into "younger" and "older" boomers), is also sometimes considered as 1980 or 05 through the present. I know this is ridiculous—my own personal experience being that I was born toward the beginning of this period and have two much younger siblings. I didn't have a cell phone until after college (and getting a job); my sister has had one since she was like...nine? But we're both supposed to be the same "internet generation" thingy. Whatever.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I'm the same way. The biggest difference between me and my younger siblings is how we access information. I still treat the internet as a supplemental authority. Their approach to information is much less hierarchical. I think they're right, and I'm learning.

  • SlowburnAZ||

    But here's the real rub, kids: You're getting screwed by Social Security, a program that is now more sacrosanct to aging boomers than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. You're paying more into the system than you're ever going to get out. No wonder it's mandatory.

    When I was discussing Ron Paul's "hypocrisy" with a buddy of mine, I stated that paying into SS was mandatory. Ever so pleased with himself that he was about to prove me wrong, he declared that it's not mandatory if you become clergy.

    So, I guess it's technically not, but what kind of fucking option is that, really? And as I told him, if the government suddenly noticed a spike in new clergy wannabes, they kill that exemption, pronto.

  • Nephilium||

    Fuck! I need to get $400 a year for being an ordained Agnostic... and fast!

  • Sudden||

    Yet they continue to allow the state of California workers to skate since they're contributing to CALPERS/CALSTER

  • Taggart||

    It's not that easy. Pastors can’t opt out just because they don’t want to pay social security taxes. They must be opposed to receiving secular/government support (retirement) for doing religious work for religious reasons. They have to agree to a very strong statement of conviction before the IRS gives an exemption. Of course, I imagine most libertarians could. And the only income that is exempt is the income that comes from your church, not from your day job as a computer programmer. Pastors are also exempt from property tax on their parsonages, I believe.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    the German town of Triberg is now designating parking spots as male and female. The spots are marked with symbols denoting the two genders (similar to handicapped spots). The women get the easy ones. The men are steered toward the tighter, less convenient spots, with pillars and tight corners, because as Mayor Gallus Strobel says, they are more challenging. “As a rule,” he told a local German paper, translated by an article in Euronews, “men are a little better at such challenges.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....le4406378/

  • Randian||

    I have no idea whether I should be offended or appreciative.

  • nicole||

    Me neither.

  • ||

    Why can't it be both?

  • Bill||

    I just saw a news blurb on Netscape homepage (the old one not the goofy one) that said women were better at parking cars. Didn't bother reading it to see why the headline said that. http://channels.isp.netscape.c.....ng/parking

  • Sevo||

    My wife's better at parallel parking than I am; she gets more practice.

  • Randian||

    You saw a news blurb on the what now?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Cool, so when are they going to give all the kids born to moms over 40 disability payments? As a rule, they're more prone to Downs.

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    San Berdo goes bankrupt:
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art.....697890.php
    CA voters don't think pub pensions matter:
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/.....694837.php
    Unicorn food ain't cheap!

  • Sevo||

    More OT:
    The resident 'I'm not a drug warrior' seems to have more plans:
    "An Oakland medical marijuana dispensary that has been billed as the largest pot shop on the planet has been targeted for closure by federal prosecutors..."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art.....699720.php

  • Archduke PantsFan||

  • ||

    While I don't like that the article seems to view Romney as the solution, I do agree with its assessment of Trudeau: he's the Sauron of Canada.

  • Gladstone||

    BIH Trudeau

  • xianz||

    flipflops sale, the worldwide fashionable, is advocated by plenty of Hollywood artists and stars in less than 3 years.

  • Sevo||

    "the worldwide fashionable, is advocated by plenty of Hollywood artists and stars in less than 3 years."

    Just guessing, but this bot didn't come from a country where English is the primary language.

  • Randian||

    More coherent than Tony, though.

  • Sevo||

    Well, at least more honest.

  • Killazontherun||

    Slop or another beer expert. I got a couple of fig trees that are producing a couple hundred more bulbs than I would ever need. They are only bulbs now, and want be ripe until late August. I got the bright idea of boiling a few out. They produced a nice bitter oil. I'm thinking of using them as a hop compliment for a double IPA. Any thoughts?

  • Killazontherun||

    Slop, lol! Sloop, sorry man, purely by accident.

  • ||

    Dude, how about you ship me some fresh figs when they come ripe, and then some of any fig beer you brew? Fig Double IPA sounds fucking awesome. Fucking figs here are $6 for a little tiny container, and most of them are bruised.

  • Killazontherun||

    I can do the first, and the second if the batch works out okay. I'm more experienced with meads than beers but I'm branching out.

    I'm starting on my Winter meads this week. Got a pound mesh pack of ginger root and lemon zest boiling on the stove as I write this.

  • ||

    God, I wish I had free time like that to do various hobbies. Like make beer.

  • Killazontherun||

    It keeps me away from the hobbies that could end in divorce ;) Mead is too easy to make to not to have around. Picked two gallons of wild growing black berries in the back woods earlier this week. They'll spoil if I don't convert them into alcohol, so also making a blackberry mead. Too sweet for most people, but you know what I'm thinking, like hops add balance to the malt in beers, these fig bulbs could do the same for mead.

  • Killazontherun||

    want be ripe? Another chuckle. Can you guess what I'm drinking at the moment?

    Hint: Dogfish 90 Minute Imperial IPA.

  • Killazontherun||

    Dogfish Head. This is gone beyond getting ugly.

  • DoubleIPA||

    I prefer the west coast style. I have a clone of Pliny The Elder that's currently dry hopped.

    No Randall Required.

  • ||

    I'm drinking yet another delicious big bottle beer from Boulevard. Can't recommend them enough.

  • Killazontherun||

    Dang, checked the finder. None available around here, unless I overlooked it.

  • Sudden||

    As a Cali resident, I'm generally spoiled with beer distro, but damned if I didn't wish we got Boulevard here. Would love to sip one of those as I watch my Chiefs games.

  • Killazontherun||

    My fave at the moment is a San Fran product called Monk's Blood.

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/735/52510/

    It's actually pretty well stocked locally here in NC.

  • Nephilium||

    That is one fantastic beer...

  • Broseph of Invention||

    This is one of the few beers I continue to buy since I started brewing regularly. When our local taphouse had it on nitro, I made a point to visit once a week. They never priced it as high as they could have, and the townies were too stupid to try it.

  • DoubleIPA||

    I can't wait!

  • ||

    Paying into social security: it's also not mandatory for certain govt. agencies that opted out. unfortunately, my current agency did not, but my prior one did and i had several years where i paid NO social security. it was awesome.

    iirc, there was a certain opt out period for govt. agencies and some took advantage of it for their employees.

    i max out my deferred comp to the tune of 15k a year, plus I do IRA's etc. don't want to pay SS

  • blackjack||

    It's also not mandatory for the underground economy. Wait, you work for a gov't agency. My first sentence is purely hypothetical!

  • ||

    true dat

  • ||

    A generation article and no one has mentioned the movie Slacker yet...

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Doesn't matter. If people were honest, The Empire Strikes Back will forever signify a divide between the young and the old.

  • Sevo||

    Why?
    I'm an old fart; the movie was OK as a fantasy.

  • ||

    Cuz everyone knows what you are talking about when you say:

    the movie was OK as a fantasy.

    It is a Cultural marker that everyone, young and old, can relate too.

  • ||

    Note: This will fade with time.

    When I was a kid I think the Wizard of Oz filled the same space.

  • ||

    By the way this means the next Oz/empire should come out in 2020....

    We should write it...call it "Empire of Oz"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The Cowardly Lion was the Jar Jar Binks of his time.

  • ||

    The Darth Vader reveal as Luke's Father is the OZ reveal as the old Man behind the curtain.

    Also Empire had no Jar Jar. The Lion was probably Lando who makes good at the end of the movie or Chewy for obvious reasons.

  • db||

    [Luke's X-wing crash lands on top of Emperor Palpatine and Vader.]

    We represent...
    the Jedi Council
    the Jedi Council
    the Jedi Council

    And in the name of
    the Jedi Council
    We wish to welcome you to Coruscant town!

    [Later, Yoda the Good Witch presents Luke with Vader's Ruby Lightsaber]

  • some guy||

    By the way this means the next Oz/empire should come out in 2020....

    That means its going to be in 3D and its going to suck. I pity the next generation.

  • SlowburnAZ||

    Well, actually...

  • ||

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I brought this issue into work so all the Boomers could look at the SS/Medicare table. There are a lot of people pissed because of the healthcare law, and this is a good time to extend the sentiment to Medicare. Social Security is a more difficult beast, especially for the guys who opposed it and still paid into it.

  • ||

    I think that somehow the baby boomers have now turned into the "Fox News Generation". It's funny since they are wholly against Obamacare but are also the ones that benefit from it. Modern day party politics just seems to become less and less understandable each and every day.

  • tee shirt pas cher||

    You're getting hosed by the very same group that 45 years ago was bitching and moaning about "the generation gap" and how their parents just didn't understand what really mattered in life.

  • ||

    Yet another great piece by Nick Gillespi! But I have to know.... Is the picture of the hippy couple Capt. Fatty Goodlander (and Carolyn)? Looks just like him if it's not!

  • Steve851||

    Why young people vote against their interests has always been puzzling, yet they still vote in favor of perpetuating unsustainable spending, meaning they are either going to have to pay tremendously increased taxes in the future or not have the same benefits as their elders have. Yet, they will continue to vote liberal. Incredible!

  • JTinNC||

    It's too late to stop the Boomer problem, and thanks to our current economy, instead of Grandpa living with them, they are still living with their parents. What they should vote for is someone who will reform Social Security so there is an individual account, and not a pay as you go system, they can thank Obama, not the Boomers for adding yet another unfunded liability called Healthcare ("free"). The really successful can plan on paying much higher taxes their whole life to fund the 48% who do not pay income tax. But they won't vote that way because they have taken out expensive loans to get an education that was really an indoctrination into they kind of BS that believes in the Utopia of the nanny state.

  • mrdon||

    The youth who would buy into this baloney are pretty much like the guy who woke up on third base and thought he hit a triple.

    It has been estimated that it costs the average family $250,000 to raise one child through high school. When I take the costs of raising my children and all of the SS and Medicare payments I have made with accrued interest, I come to a sum that I would be pleased to have in lieu of a single solitary penny from the younger generation. Yes, my generation has squandered money for which we all should have buyers remorse. But we also added substantial value.

    One of the biggest problems we are facing is a demographic problem -- caused by the combination of the "boom" and an increase in life expectancy. In hindsight, our investment in things that have increased life expectancies was probably not such a good thing.

    And in hindsight, the Boomers that Nick is excoriating arguably have made a bad investment in succeeding generations. After all, if we had the money that we squandered on our children we could take care of ourselves.

    Of course this is all ridiculous. There has always been a dependent relationship between generations that has constrained our individual options. As parents, every generation bears the cost of raising the next one. And, one way or another, their offspring have always contributed to their support as they get older. It surely is a Ponzi scheme, but it is the same scheme that has been in place for millennia.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, it costs $250k to raise a kid born TODAY. Given that the youngest boomers are in their 50's not many of them will have paid anywhere near that. In fact most Boomer kids, even those from "2nd families" would have been born in the 1990's or earlier when that number was under $150K

  • mrdon||

    If you want to pick nits, the USDA reports that today it costs $235K to raise a child to the age of 17 and that it cost $192K in 1960. Taking into consideration the added cost I paid for my children's college and the real return that I realized on my investments and savings over my lifetime and adding to that my (and my employer's) contributions to SS and Medicare, I will stand by my offer to allow my children to fully refund my "investment" in them and my government to refund my "investment" in SS and Medicare (both with interest accrued at the rate of return for my other savings) in lieu of any other support from them in the future. I have run the calculation, and rest assured the lump sum would easily pay for my insurance and retirement.

    The real point is that nobody ever wrote a handbook for people about what happens when a) they get older and b) what happens when their parents age. And certainly nobody updated it to reflect life expectancies increasing by 10 or 15 years. And nobody edited the chapter about the increased burden of having children come back home to roost.

    Stuff happens. And it will happen to the younger generations as they are left to wonder why they didn't see what was was coming. That's life.

  • mrdon||

    Put another way, if you adjusted the the current $192K that it cost in 1960 to actual 1960 dollars and invested it in the DOW, the current value of 1960 expenditures PER CHILD would be $597K.

    If that is insignificant to you, then you are likely as much a part of the problem as you are a victim.

    And realize that the USDA numbers do not include the costs that individuals pay to raise other people's children i.e. childless family's taxes to pay for schools and such.

  • Echofreak||

    Pissed off millennial here. I created this facebook page.

    www.facebook.com/pages/Baby-Bo.....9601240823

  • Rene591||

    okay-need to stop transfering wealth from young to old-reduce defense spending to 400 billion (see Scott Rammussen Peoples Money book). and start means testing all programs
    oh and only vote for anyone other than Dems and Rep

  • hacimo||

    If you want a decent chance in life you better vote republican. Sorry but the admirable concern of the young for cultural issues like gay marriage and abortion is being used by the democrats to distract them from vital concerns that will have direct impact their standard of living and their capacity to enjoy life and raise their families. The vital financial interests of the young are directly promoted by the republican party. The democrats act like friends but have sold them down the river.

  • hacimo||

    Nice article and totally true as far as it goes. However you have not presented a subtle but truly and evil aspect of the social security system. This concerns the issue of what happens to the interest earned on the money workers pay into the system during their lifetimes. In a regular retirement plan (like TAA-CREF), the interest earned on contributions is added to a savers account where it accumulates and compounds. Typically after 30 or 40 years the amount earned as interest will be larger than the total direct contributions. This should also happen in the social security system but instead the government simply pockets the money and spends it on other projects. It is total robbery and I don't understand why people put up with it.

  • some guy||

    It's all robbery. Not only was the interest stolen, but the principal was stolen as well. They simply replaced it with a note promising to pay it back out of future tax dollars. Social Security and Medicare are basically Ponzi Schemes with coercion.

  • Bud Norton||

    Baby boomers ruin everything. And I'm one of them (tail end; born early 60s).

  • Invisible Finger||

    My brother, age 57, still thinks he's gonna get screwed by Soc. Sec.

    I keep telling him he's at the precise age where he may be the LAST to get full payouts. I'm expecting, like every time Soc. Sec. has been re-jiggered to screw the latecomers, that anyone born in 1964 or beyond will be subject to means testing, anyone born before that will get full payouts.

  • Homple||

    "The one thing I know for damn sure as a parent and a late-era boomer (b. 1963) is that I would never want to charge my existence onto my kids' credit card", says Leather Jacket Nick.

    Well, if he can manage to keep himself alive and happy into a good old age, apparently without Social Security, your 57 year old brother can, and so can you. Ask Nick what his plans are.

  • Brainpimp||

    It's not mom and dad. It's grandma and grandpa.

  • Bergess Valtrouse||

    "Question the authority of the generation that told you to question authority."

    --Bergess Valtrouse, a poet who argues that the politically correct liberal fundamentalist movement emerging today in the United States resembles the early fascist movements in Italy and Germany at the beginning of the last century, and therefore constitutes a gathering threat to American democracy.

  • EdgarS||

    How long do you think it will be before roving bands of young people kill anyone with white hair on sight?

  • blackjack||

    Long after the roving bands have their own white hair, it still wont have happened. The fighting spirit has been exorcised out of Americans. People tend to forget all their principles when they suddenly occupy the seat of power they once resented. I have friends who were maximum juvenile delinquents, well into their 30's and now they freak out because their kid got caught smoking or ditching school once. Question authority only applies when some one else is the authority.

  • NeonCat||

    Better stock up on Just For Men, then.

  • Aggie||

    It ain’t the Boomers who are tooling future generations. Boomers will be the first generation to get less from the system than what they paid into it. I am so tired of this crap. We Boomers are paying exorbitant taxes to support our parents’ generation, and we will be left holding the empty bag.

    Boomers are not responsible for FDR or LBJ. You have to blame the so-called Greatest Generation for those disasters. To listen to people like Tom Brokaw, one would think everyone over the age of 80 personally landed on Omaha Beach. Give me a break! People should be judged as individuals; not as part of a herd.

    This revisionist history that claims everyone raised in the sixties was a hippie is pure BS. I resent the notion of judging people in groups anyway. The idea of people being clones just because they were born in the same decade is psychobabble.

    I am a former subscriber to Reason, and this is precisely why I quit. There was a story about Christian parents objecting to the teaching of evolution in their children's public school. Did Reason side with the parents? No, the writer made fun of them. And here in this piece a writer misses the real culprit - government that separates us into groups fighting over the spoils. Obviously, the libertarians of Reason are happy to abandon their principles for their own prejudices.

    I suppose all the Boomer critics will be thrilled when the Obamacare death panels start knocking us off.

  • NeonCat||

    Drink!

  • David W Rogers||

    "Did Reason side with the parents? No, the writer made fun of them."

    What would you expect? Try a different magazine: Belief?

    The idea that "Intelligent Design" is science is preposterous! Now the same evangelists (of all persuasions) are pushing for charter schools and vouchers, where they can peddle their pseudo-science without "persecution." We will see what psalm you sing when your tax dollars are supporting madrasah.

  • Taggart||

    How about if I just get a tax voucher equal to the property tax I actually pay each year? Then only I am paying to send my kid to madrash. Or a Christian fundamentalist school. Or whatever. No one else is paying me to do it. I'm just not paying anyone else to send their kids anywhere either.

  • David W Rogers||

    This article looks to be based on reasonable research, but I question the meme being advanced: "You're not getting screwed by billionaires and plutocrats. You're getting screwed by Mom and Dad."

    This is more "pay no attention to the man begin the smoke and mirrors," methinks. Considering the shenanigans of the Federal Reserve Bank and the corrupted marketplace called Wall Street, it would be more enlightening to assert that there is a gang-banging going on.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Yes sir. Laughable that he leaves out the plutocrats. For Nick, Mom and Dad Middle Class are the villains.
    Here is a simple fact: this country is in debt, and that debt WILL be paid back. The plutocrats just want to make sure it is not they who are doing the paying. Therefore any program that benefited the poor or middle class will be cut first. The plutocrats just want even more money put in their pockets via further tax cuts.
    But give the plutocrats credit...they get a mouthpiece like Nick to sell it.

  • Russ Davis||

    Good enough for government work. As Dostoyevsky noted: Without God, anything (evil) is possible.

  • David W Rogers||

    And as many have noted: "With God, anything (evil) is justifiable.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Another article that assumes programs like social security and medicare were only created in a vacuum. Those policies were started precisely because young people were forced to take care of old people who had no income, little savings, and no way to pay for medical bills. So instead of spending money on TV sets and cars, the younger working class were spending money on their elderly parents health care bills.
    There is nothing wrong with those programs...they just were never managed properly to fit changing times.
    Hate to tell you Nick, but the free market never took care of all problems...never lifted all boats. Hey, the free market once gave us slavery!
    You want to means test? Fine. Raise retirement age? Great. Let the free market handle the elderly? Don't make me laugh.

  • blackjack||

    Explain to me precisely how the free market "gave" us slavery? In a truly free market slavery could not exist. It's only by permission from governments (ours included) that slavery ever did exist. You are ignorant and plain wrong on this!

  • Jackand Ace||

    Wrong. The government never said "There shall be slaves." The free market dictated that the cheapest way to provide goods and services, and the way to MAXIMUM profits was to own slaves. As long as it was allowed, free market entrepreneurs partook.
    Hate to tell you this, but it was the "government" that finally put a stop to it, made it illegal.
    Free markets maximize profits. It cares little about ethics.

  • blackjack||

    So, the historical account of the slavery debate during our countries inception is false? While you have a point that they did not directly institutionalize slavery, they compromised their desire to prohibit it. Slavery is antithetical to free markets. The history of slavery in America is the history of crony-capitalism. Crooked businesses making deals with crooked government officials. None of this is free market behavior. Free=no slavery.

  • blackjack||

    BTW, ethics=maximized profits. Unethical behavior is punished in the free market, rewarded in the corporatist cronyism we call a government. Lack of ethics is almost always a result of government involvement. Free markets require cooperation and consent. Only by using force can one side gain unfair advantage.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Not buying it. Years ago the Cayhoga River was set on fire and burned outside of Cleveland. Now, why did that happen? Because it was the cheapest way to make product and get rid of waste. As long as profits were maximized, industry did it. And as long as the price was cheap, consumers bought it.
    Government had to step in as the third party that said there is a FUTURE price to pay that the free market is not showing you.
    And the pollution stopped, with less cost to society in the long run. The free market was not going to do that, certainly not quickly.

  • blackjack||

    Even IF I were to accept all of the givens needed to come to your conclusion, which I don't, I still fail to see your anectdotal tale as evidence of anything. Free markets evolve. The consumer base might, oh say, start to care about pollution, and then tailor it's buying habits based on that. So at any given time, the state of a free market is dynamic.
    At any rate, do you trust the government to determine who should be shut down and why? What if you made the gross polluter list and got kicked out of your job? What if your state got 50% of it's industry shut down and unemployment went to 60%? What if you disagreed with the government's assessment?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Government does that to some degree, but the intent is for those limitations to be of benefit to society. Yes, I think that is required. So let me get this straight...you would prefer to go back to the days where you could plop down your life savings for 5 acres, and then one day the guy in the next 5 acres decides to build a foundry next door. Zoning laws forbid that now, but I guess you believe in the righteousness of free markets, so that is OK.

  • blackjack||

    I typed before I googled and apparently so did you. The fire was accidentally set. The local gov't had issued 100 million dollars to clean up the river BEFORE the fire (which clearly didn't work, but probably made some cronys really happy!). The fire led to disclosure of pollution, which then led to environmental legislation (as a result of public outcry) This happened in 1969, btw.

    So, if the government jerks it's knee and beats the market to the punch with what may even (and has often been proven to be) ineffective laws, that's PROOF to you that the market can't be trusted and the government can? The split second the public becomes aware of it, if there's no market response, pass a law and use force to constrain these evil capitalists, right?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Of course it was "accidentally" set. I never said they did it on purpose. What they did on purpose is to dump their waste in the river, and it then caught on fire (by the way, Randy Newman has a great song about it). It has not burned since, right?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Peace, blackjack...time for dinner. I enjoyed the debate. Here is Randy Newman on the river burning.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVeNX3ZTwCc
    Have a great evening.

  • Taggart||

    Uh...the free market? Have you ever heard of mercantilism?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Huh?

  • CE||

    There is something wrong with these programs -- they are funded by theft.

  • Taggart||

    I’m all for abolishing social security, but I have a number of problems with this article. First of all, the baby boomer generation, more than any other previous generation, is helping its adult children financially – paying college tuition, helping with downpayments on their first homes, letting the kids live in the basement rent free until 26, and leaving more inheritances, etc. Net worth has declined for younger generations relative to older generations primarily because (1) younger generations are delaying full-time productive employment by 4-10 years compared to the previous generations and (2) younger generations are saving a lot less of their income than older generations did; they are very much less likely to choose to live below their means in order to accumulate net worth.

    That said, yeah, the system sucks.

  • Jackand Ace||

    You are right...the baby boomer generation is worse off then its predecessor, after health care costs and education costs.
    Get this...the previous generation had as its dictate that you needed a high school education to get a job. And who paid for that? Everyone, since property taxes paid for every child's education. You did not have any children? Too bad, you are paying for you neighbor's kids high school.
    Today, you need a college education to just to get by. And who pays for it? You do. On your own...unless your baby boomer parents step in to help.

  • Taggart||

    "Today, you need a college education to just to get by."

    Well, that's the lie we're sold today, anyway. The truth is, leass than 25% of adults today have a B.A. The other 75% aren't all starving to death. And I look at what I do for a living - I could have done it if, instead of getting a B.A., I had worked entry level for 4 years, developed experience, proved my competence and efficiency, and gotten regular promotions. Then instead of spending $50,000 on college over four years, I'd have earned about $80,000 over those four years, and I'd be in the same job at 21 as I was at 21 with a B.A., but I'd be $130,000 and four years of actual work experience ahead. But I believed the lie and went to college instead. I liked college. I love school. But it was a luxury, not a necessity. It is a necessity for SOME jobs, but not for nearly as many as people imagine. What is a necessity is competence, not college.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Please, Taggart. Have you ever looked at the unemployment rate differential between those with a college education and those without? 8% with a degree, 25% without.
    Would you encourage your children to get a college degree, or not?
    You don't need to answer. If its being sold, you are buying it.

  • Jim in Denver||

    And is it the degree itself that is the cause or is it the drive and determination of the person who chose to seek a degree that is the determining factor?

  • dehaul||

    The problem is that the Millennials are raised by these self absorbed nitwits who believe that their very existence entitles them to things they have not earned.

    The baby boomers may be robbing the young blind, but the young ones are learning from them - because it is working!!!

  • RickCaird||

    We should note the boomers did not set this stuff up. FDR started Social Security and LBJ started Medicare in 1967 when the youngest boomers were 21. The government then spent the next 40+ years telling the boomers how great it was going to be and reaching into their pockets to take out ta money. Worst of all, the government spend any surpluses rather than actually saving them.

  • mrdon||

    As I read Nick's essay, intended to foment intergenerational warfare, it occurs to me that he is missing some very important points.

    First, as a slight pre-Boomer, I am discovering in my retirement that nobody really believes that their physical capabilities will ever diminish until they finally arrive. It is easy for youth to brashly suggest that their elders that they "should have understood". To these younger people, I say "good luck with that. You have no idea."

    Secondly, having buried both of my parents, there is no burden I would rather be bearing than to play a role in supporting them in some small way, economically or emotionally. But that is not a problem. They are gone.

    The inevitable attitude that will come from a successfully fomented generational war amounts to a wish by the young that their elders would just "go away". Trust me, they will. Be careful what you wish for.

  • TycheSD||

    For someone who is pushing 50, Nick is pretty flip with the word "old."

    As a Baby Boomer, I guess I don't like to be described as "old," and I don't like to be described as greedy. But I've heard this story before - only it was written to me and others my age when we were 20 or 30-somethings, about our parents, the WWII or Greatest Generation. Not only were our parents driving around on golf carts collecting more Social Security and Medicare benefits than they paid into the system, but they also were the beneficiaries and earned their livings during a period when the USA was wildly prosperous and had competitive advantages over every nation on earth. Their generation had accumulated great wealth.

    The retirement system that's in place now has been in place almost my whole life. I was born in 1952, so Social Security existed since before I was born and Medicare passed when I was 13. Our generation has counted on it. I'm all for reforming Social Security and Medicare, but it needs to be a gradual easing out of the current system. Even Ron Paul advocates that process - and he defends his right to collect his Social Security!

    So, I guess I say to younger generations - "deal with it." Fix the system if you think it isn't working. My generation didn't have the guts or the motivation to do it - although it may not be too late for us to leave a reformed system as a legacy.

  • ||

    Tyche,

    You make a salient point here.

    Boomers (especially early ones) were raised in the fifties, one of the most conformist decades in history. The New Deal was a civic religion. Almost every waking hour children raised in the fifties were told how FDR had saved the economy and established security for all. One look at ninetyfifties television shows (written by the likes of Gene Roddenberry and Rod Serling) will confirm this.

    It's true that

    The fact is that by the time boomers came of age every facet of the American welfare state was firmly in place, including Medicare. To blame boomers for the welfare state is nonsense. The first boomer only started collecting Medicare a year ago, and the first boomer has yet to qualify to collect full SS retirement benefits.

    The fact is that every attempt to change the way SS and Medicare were practiced came from a boomer. Of course, every time any change was proposed, the "grownups" (ie the "Greatest Generation" types who were milking the system for all it was worth ) put the kids in their place.

    It's true that boomers, just because of demographics, will collectively collect huge benefits from the system, but individually they will collect a pittance compared to anything their parents, the "Greatest Generation" ever did.

  • ||

    IOW, fuck all of you. You can go fuck yourselves the same way as our "Greatest Generation" (our parents, the biggest generational suckers of the government teat that ever existed) can.

  • Jackand Ace||

    HaHa. Well said, Isaac. Someone with the guts to tell it like it is. The rose-colored glasses used to view the past generation is getting a bit old. And now Nick joins in.
    Just when they too were going to have to pay health care bills for their parents, they pass Medicare. Problem solved!
    Add education to that "teat." High school education was the requirement to get a good job, and they got everyone to pay for it through property taxes, whether you had a kid or not. For the boomers, its college education that is required and guess what? You are on your own, pal. Good luck trying to figure out how to pay for your own kids to get that necessity.
    Well said, Isaac. Someone telling it like it is.

  • ||

    forfeiting benefits though apparently not avoiding taxes). Beyond all the obviously great and good and wonderful things that come of forced labor http://www.ceinturesfr.com/cei.....-c-17.html , Ricks suggests that "having a draft might...make Americans think more carefully before going to war." Sure it would. Just like it did in the past when we actually had a draft.

  • Mr. Soul||

    On the kids side of the ledger is that their hands are in fact out. Im not defending the absolute corruption of this system, but what happens to the money the boomers get? Some of it pays for kids edumacation, kids house downpayments, kids vacations, etc. All Im saying is everyone's screwing everyone. Its time to stop all of it and take responsibility.

  • Nathanimal||

    *COU(bullshit)GH* ...while there may be legitimate funding discrepancies in SS due to factors like populuation, inflation, etc.,but your condescending delivery of the main idea that it's "our parents" giving us the financial shaft and not the fault of the "billionaire boy's club" is delusional propaganda, when cast in the light of all the mounting evidence (i.e. blatant market manipulations and Ponzi schemes) points to the contrary.

    I don't know whether to pity your primitive views or ask which wealthy business entity pays you to defend their crimes against mankind. So, who pays your salary? Moreover, how do you contribute to the GDP and the world around you besides scoffing at logic in binary and talking down to the generation that might be wiping your ass? If I had an extra hand, I would give you 3 thumbs down.

  • GPC||

    On the lower end, guess I am not a Baby Boomer since I was born in 1945. But basically this article sucks since it instills the young ones to blame others for the current economic crisis.

    Believe it or not, when I first started working I was able to exist on $5,000/year. Also, in the mid 60's bought a brand new Cougar for $3,500.

    I am not on Social Security, so I will not burden others. However, reaching the magic age of 65 I am being forced to pay for Medicare. When in reality I can pay for Private Insurance. As we speak a debate I am having with those in charge.

    So yes I suppose we can blame our parents for the current situation... But let's not forget, it was Big Business that persuaded us to use Free Money..ie Mortgage Loans, and Credit Cards.. Realizing that Debt=Profit for them, not we "We the Little People"

    So young ones, as this article started, use your creative talents, get off you duff and work, eventhough it may not be that much.

    BTW, I will probably die Poor since I am a grand pa in a multigenerational family supporting my youngest daughter and her 3 girls.

    Like I said this article SUCKS.. For in reality, there are many of us old folks who have worked all our lives and are still working.

  • johnson29||

    Interesting article. Many seniors are going to find this to learn about mortgage.

    http://www.reversemortgagelend.....gage-loan/
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