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Baby Boomers

edited August 2010 in Politics
What do you think about the baby boomer generation, now that they are handing over the country to the next generation?

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, they have failed at quite a bit. A generation that started out hoping for peace and love has left a country that is still deeply divided, and is fighting a Vietnam-like war. The baby boomers are retiring with great pensions. Very few workers these days enjoy similar pensions. They will get full social security benefits. We won't. They have left the United States as a declining economic power, and not the sole economic super-power. Political systems are dysfunctional, and are not attuned to the best long term solutions for this country. We are addicted to oil and our planet is suffering the consequences. Our space shuttle program lagged, with decades old technology serving as the backbone for space exploration.

On the other hand, baby boomers have cleaned up horrible pollution. They have brought women and minorities into the workplace and positions of power. While we have had armed conflict, historically speaking, they presided over a peaceful era. They won the cold war without armed conflict. Technology has improved our lives, and we have tremendous health care to lengthen lives. Our cars are safer than ever, and we have plentiful and cheap food. Global trade is now the norm.

I would score as such:
Economics: C-
Politics: C-
Environmental: B+
Social Issues: A-
Quality of Life Enhancement: A- (subject to adjustment)

The big question... what happens with the result of the baby boomer's unsustainable legacy. (Pensions, social security, budget deficits, etc.) What will happen when they are all old, but there aren't enough younger people to sustain them? Will my grades need to be lowered when checks become due?

One of the most interesting baby boomers, IMHO, is Bill Clinton. He embraced NAFTA and substantially reduced welfare roles. And yet the core Democrats stood by him. I'd love to know how he made all if it work - even in the face of crushing opposition. Maybe the left stood by him because of this tremendous opposition from the right. If the right was tepid, would things have been different? Whatever the cause, Clinton knew how to take advantage of the situation to accomplish some surprisingly moderate, if not right-leaning goals. Just ask the unions how they feel about NAFTA. Those unions were amongst the Democratic base. Whether or not you agree with Clinton, he is one of the most amazingly adept politicians in our country's history. Think about where he came from, and where he got to. When so many presidents are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, his story is pretty amazing. To be fair, he was only elected president because nobody saw the approval numbers for Bush Sr. declining. People thought that Bush Sr. was untouchable. Had they known otherwise, Clinton would never have won the Democratic primary. Much bigger and and more powerful names would have come forward to run. But I suppose every successful person needs some luck along they way.


  • edited August 2010
    I'm passing on a question about QOL status being so high in that: As the baby boomers live so long and have grown to expect such a high standard of life, they place a strain on the following generation. Thoughts?
    Post edited by Omnutia on
  • edited August 2010
    I'd give them:

    Economics: F (Spending more than they had, both in terms of the gov't and personally)
    Thinking ahead: F (Just in terms of infrastructure, the state of our country is woeful)
    Post edited by George Patches on
  • It's interesting that the same generation that created Hippies is creating Tea parties...

    I actually have a lot to say on this issue but I'm at work ;-p
  • They made progress on social issues only until they aged enough. Age is still the primary factor in whether or not someone is anti-gay. ^_~
  • edited August 2010
    Life expectancy for males when baby boomers were born ranged from 66 to 67. It is now 75.

    Baby boomers want their increased life expectancy, no postponement of retirement, and no adjustment in benefits. They also made too few babies to support their golfing years.

    The more I think about it, the more I am upset that they did nothing to adjust benefits to reflect reality.
    Post edited by Kilarney on
  • The more I think about it, the more I am upset that they did nothing to adjust benefits to reality.
    This is the biggest point of contention, I think. SS benefits were never meant to pay out for as long as they are now.
  • They made progress on social issues only until they aged enough. Age is still the primary factor in whether or not someone is anti-gay. ^_~
    You don't think that age softens people? In my state, the baby boomers are responsible for ushering gay marriage and other such rights. Ground support may have benefited from the young, but the state court and legislature are still heavily controlled by baby boomers.
  • edited August 2010
    This is the biggest point of contention, I think. SS benefits were never meant to pay out for as long as they are now.
    I really wouldn't mind if they hadn't fucked us with an enormous national debt.
    Post edited by George Patches on
  • Arguably they're actually responsible for very little of that social progress. Most of it happened when they were will a bit too young to be responsible for it.

    I mean, basically they're a generation that fucked up everything except what was absolutely impossible, due to building historical forces, to screw up - stuff like civil rights and the fall of the USSR. They didn't really "grant" any civil rights and they sure didn't "beat" the Soviets; they just happened to be around when that stuff inevitably happened and kinda halfheartedly joined in. Same goes for technological progress, which essentially happened in spite of their defunding basic science.

    I always feel a little bad about actually admitting how much I hate the Baby Boom generation and everything they stand for, because I do love my parents, but damn... their cohort really fucked shit up something fierce. We're going to be fixing their mistakes for a long time, if we ever do.

    And as far as "quality of life" goes, I think perhaps you're forgetting the emergence of obesity as an epidemic, pursuant to the complete industrialization of our foodsystem; not to mention the current slow but catastrophic failure of our health care system. We've slipped far, far down the rankings globally in general quality of life, and especially in life expectancy and self-reported happiness.

    I'm tired and crabby right now and I don't feel like being more specific, so I'm just going to vent spleen and then go eat lunch.
  • edited August 2010
    I distinguish the civil rights movement from more recent social change. Baby boomers can't take credit for the civil rights movement. Brown v. Board of Ed was decided in 1954. The 1968 Civil Rights Act was signed into law just as the baby boomers were becoming young adults.

    If they baby boomers have a hallmark "civil rights" credit, IMHO it is gay rights. This movement had its origins in the 1969 Stonewall riots.
    Post edited by Kilarney on
  • edited August 2010
    How I feel about every generation:
    It's just a little bit of history repeating. People set out to be different than their parents, overreact, compensate, and wind up more less back at the point of origin by the time they croak.
    Post edited by Jason on
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