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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Generation Screwed" to the Baby Boomers: Go to Hell

Peter Smith, over at the Huffington Post, wrote a post today which argued that the money being spent on the Iraq war is coming from my generation, which he dubbed "Generation Screwed", and he says we need to step up and do something about it. He concludes:

To date, Generation Screwed has been fairly passive. It's only natural. They are young, and getting established in life.

But from protests to caucuses and polling places, the time has come for them to join politically active Gen Y, X, and Baby Boomers in opposing the policies that will leave them (and the generations of Americans who will follow them) poorer and less competitive in a global economy.

Hey, Generation Screwed. Let's go.

Another self-righteous Baby Boomer. I'm so tired of this line. I am a member of "Generation Screwed", and I can tell you that we are well aware and plenty pissed that our future is being squandered right now. And the thing that really gets me is that articles like this have the audacity to tell us to get off our asses and join the Baby Boomers in fighting.

Hey, Baby Boomers - Go to hell!

I don't know how this has escaped your attention, but YOU are the one's in power right now. George W. Bush- Baby Boomer. This pathetic excuse for a Congress overwhelmingly consists of Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers, not the young, have enough money to donate to campaigns to influence elections. The media - Limbaugh, Scarborough, Dobbs, Abrams, Huffington, Olbermann, O'Reilly - Boomers, Boomers, Boomers.

And what are you doing to stop the madness? Damn near nothing! In Congress, on TV, in newspapers are Baby Boomers fighting with each other. Democrats and Republicans - bickering like school children. My generation doesn't have the power yet to stop the madness - and you do. But you continue the cycle, and look to us for someone to blame.

Instead of bitching about the young, how about you guys use the power and influence you have in this world and get your peers to knock it off? Peer pressure is a powerful thing and if warmongers and greedy CEOs felt like social pariahs, they might behave differently.

But I, for one, am angry. Very, very angry. And it is very clear to me, and my peers, that much of this is the Baby Boomer's fault. And guess what- if you want your social security checks, I suggest you stop screwing us. Right now. Because if you think for one second we are going to let you retire like Kings reigning on golf courses while we pay off Baby Boomer George W. Bush's wars (which we're dying in, by the way) you've got a serious shock coming. "Generation Screwed" may not have power right now... but we will. And payback is a bitch.


Brian's Uncle in T.O. said...

As a tail-end (1962) baby-boomer who has seen so many of my other boomers become incredibly self-interested and self-serving as they age, I completely agree with you Jen. I'm not even sure where Mr. Smith is coming from with his blame cannon. HUMAN capital IS being spent in Iraq by Generation Screwed in the form of casualties and the physically and emotionally wounded, but the tax base paying for it is predominantly coming from the Boomers (who are also the ones who voted in King George).

That being said, I can only hope that Generation Screwed doesn't fall into the same pattern of the boomers. That is--idealistic, open-minded and thinking of ways to make a difference in their 20's; starting to save money and focus on their homes, kids and "stuff" in their 30's; and trying to find a way to preserve and increase their individual wealth in their 40's and beyond.

Here's one boomer hoping Generation Screwed really IS different.

And, by the way, I'd be glad to go to hell if I thought it would end this mess in Iraq.

Jen Clark said...

I have a lot of faith in my generation. I just hope we get our shot to govern before things are screwed up past the point of no return.

Keep your fingers crossed...

William H. White said...

I can understand your anger but I do not think it’s one generation versus another. Rather, its an ongoing conflict between two basic camps within all generations: a progressive, life affirming faction and a repressive, authoritarian faction.

You should find allies and foes in every generation because the generation gap is a cultural phenomena but a political red herring. I’m a baby boomer deeply worried about the kind of world my generation is passing on to you, especially for the survival of our democracy. See link below for my own thoughts about the danger Bush presents to us all.

Jen Clark said...

William- you're right. This cannot be a fight between generations, nor should it be. But I wrote this post in response to a writer that has repeatedly accused the group of people around my age of failing to do our job, and I take offense to those type of statements for the reasons that I listed.

In a perfect world, this post wouldn't have been necessary. But my generation is being blamed unfairly for a situation that has been almost entirely out of our control.

But don't worry - your point has been accepted. This blog is not about to turn into a "blame the boomers" website because we've got bigger fish to fry.

Scott Mac said...

"Rather, its an ongoing conflict between two basic camps within all generations: a progressive, life affirming faction and a repressive, authoritarian faction."

Are you kidding me? Do you really think that the progressives in this country are "life-affirming" while the other side of your arguement is "repressive"?

This is EXACTLY the kind of self-serving, self-centered crap which is putting the ol' cosmic screw on my peers (Gen X) as we approach middle-age and have to deal with your group getting old and needing our help in every way imaginiable after the disaster of a country you've left us.

Life-affirming? Hmm. Abortions have sky-rocketed under your watch, regardless of which side of that particular minefield you fall. At the same time, you took YOUR parents and dumped them into retirement homes. Life-affirming indeed. Actually, it's just more of the "if it feels good, do it" mentality you sold yourselves on back in the sixties.

Repressive? Maybe, but that's a different argument. What's at stake in THIS argument, however, is that your precious progressives don't seem to be lumped in to the repressive group, but rather diametrically apposed to them. What utter crap. I could sit here for hours and list off left-leaning, progressive sponsered public education policies that repress constantly. How about the "war on drugs" which your generation has presided over? Sure, you got whacked out to legendary proportions when YOU were young, but when you finally came to your senses in the 80's, you decided it was time to get clean and now a TON of my peers are in jail for doing the EXACT same thing that YOU did.

Your basic premise that it's not generation versus generation, but rather ideology versus ideology is a non-sequitor. It's not one or the other, but both and much more. That being said, however, there is ALWAYS generational tension and there ALWAYS will be. The baby-boomers, though, have taken this to unbelievable heights as they prepare to shuffle off this mortal coil and leave US with a national debt that will take US decades to get rid of and US with having to get unbelievably overtaxed to pay YOUR social security checks.

Political red-herring, indeed. You people, collectively, have done far more aggregate bad for this country than you have aggregate good.

Saying that it's the rightwing baby-boomer's fault and not the leftwing baby boomer's fault is just more of your gen's pathetic moral relativism and your absolutely incredible capacity for fundamental attribute error mistakes.

Jen Clark said...

The entire idea of the "progessive" community seems off to me. It's like they are saying that they are moving on from having two political parties - as in the progressives are the more mature or something - but they are basically just renaming the Democratic/Left/Liberal side one more thing.

Now we can add progressive vs neo-conservatives to the list. That makes 4 ways to classify the same exact division:

Left vs Right
Democrats vs Republicans
Liberals vs Conservatives
Progressive vs Neo-conservatives

I listen to Air American often and I get great news and hear conversation from both Thom Hartman's show and Randi Rhodes' shows, but when they talk about "us progressives", it always makes my skin crawl. It's when they label a whole group of people like that (the boundaries of which are only in their heads) that I am reminded that both of those people is boomer age.

I'm so done with their sides, their teams, and their labels.

Here's what I find to be the problem: the boomers are so entrenched in their teams that they haven't realized that they have changed. Their categories don't mean anything anymore. If I were to label now, I would say its

The Club vs. Everyone else

The Club = the people who have control of our country

Everyone else = the people being controlled

This is the battle being waged now. I mean, the Republicans are supposedly the dirty "repressive" ones, right? But then what do you say about the dirty "repressive" Democrats? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney - scary and horrible. But so is Diane Feinstein, one of the biggest democrats. She funneled 1.5 billion to her husband's companies via the "war on terror". She also was the reason Micheal "what is waterboarding?" Mukasy is now our Attorney General.

Porter Goss and Bob Graham - One D, one R... One House, one Senate... known as "fric and frac".

Isn't it obvious that these pairs, for the most important purposes, play for the same team?

For God's sake people, if we're going to be a country divided, we might as well get to know the teams.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jen Clark for saying exactly what was on my mind. Well done and said.

Anonymous said...

I'm a young boomer. I am so happy that the US economy is down. I have waited a long time for commercial real estate to come down in price. The big boys have locked me out for years. If you have any money right now its a great time to buy. If you were one of the sheep who bought in 2005-2007, hope you learned your lesson. I wish I could have waited to buy a house but the wife wouldn't accept living in an apartment. Anyway its all up to the idividual, you, as it should be, forget about the goverment, so many people are on full military disability and working full time getting 2 salaries, I rent to a guy that hurt his back and dosen't work yet he can out work me when he wants to. Really sad stuff, as all the gen X sense the funds will all be gone by the time its thier turn.
It will run out for the boomers too. I don't want to burden some kid cause I can't work, or make it, anymore than I would do it to my kids. So I just buy food, shelter and medical insurance. Anything more and I work extra for it. I haven't been to a Mall for 20 years. If you shop at a Mall even if its your wife or girlfriend your an idiot and deserve to go broke.
American Consumerism will take the nation down. Read some depression era (1930s) biographies online, it will tell you exactly what the future holds. Lots of hard work and little or no pay. Good Luck and good times.

wbw said...
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wbw said...
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regeya said...

I've come to this four years after this was posted, and I have to agree wholeheartedly.

You know, there are awesome people in the Boomer generation, but it's amazing how many people from that generation seem to beat this "conservative" drum when they really mean "old and cranky".

I mean, for Pete's sake, you have a generation that had a chip on its shoulder because 3 million of its number fought in an unpopular war, and I hope its a vanity the 20-somethings can avoid.

Now, we have a generation which collectively demands that the government keep its nose out of their business, but has very vocal members who demand that the government make English the only legal language to use on American soil (oh, but keep bringing those tourist dollars, foreigners, keep buying our products, and don't you dare demand that we speak your language on your soil!)

They've demanded and received laws which do everything from protect the value of their home to governing what color their neighbors' mailboxes, but have the audacity to migrate to low-tax areas when their property taxes go up 0.5%--then bitch when there's corn and dirt roads around them, but don't you dare ask them to pay one red cent toward paving that road. Just get it paved already, but you better let me keep my tax shelter because otherwise I'll move again (GOOD RIDDANCE!)

Oh, and don't get me started on the throngs of these people who demanded that their streets be freshly paved and that their neighbors never use their driveways for parking cars, and only have a particular shade of brown mailbox, oh, no, now that they're older and on a fixed income, the nice ritzy neighborhoods are too expensive, and they've suddenly turned against "the liberals" and "socialism" as the reasons they're abandoning the affluent-friendly utopias they've built. Ah, and of course, when they move to someplace like the Mexican coast and renounce their U.S. citizenship, you damn well better keep those U.S. Social Security checks coming. Oh, and raise the retirement age for Generation Screwed, because these kids will live forever of course.

I could go on, but I'll end with a tl;dr that we're seeing the most selfish generation of Americans ever completing their job of looting America, and have the audacity to turn on their former ideals and claim that it's all "the liberals" who ruined California, Michigan, and other places which used to be great. Let's stop blaming politics and just chalk it up to pure human greed.