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:
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.