Jake DiMare throws down harsh criticisms and strong recommendations to those Americans born between 1945 and 1964.
It seems like it started shortly after I left high school, though it may have been going on long before. I’ll be the first to admit my self-centered perspective on the world is completely skewed. Nevertheless, there are public records of the heated political battle ground my hometown turned into in the 90′s. The party lines were all blurred…This was a battle of the generations–not political ideology. Older people refused to pay higher taxes even though schools for younger people needed more funding. The retirees won and my high school lost its art and music programs, sports funding and scholastic accreditation.
Since then, this battle has repeated itself again and again, in cities and towns across the country. Now it has risen to the state and federal levels. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our energy situation is a disaster, education is a joke, there are no jobs and it’s never been more difficult to start a business. Still, older folks don’t want to pay more taxes. Wealthy CEO’s and shareholders would rather manufacture things in foreign lands where laborers will work their fingers to the bone for $0.20 a day and no bathroom breaks, and then rape the environment shipping products around the globe.
To sum this up in a sentiment which might be pulled directly from your grandfather’s hand book, if this generation of grandfathers wasn’t too busy popping Viagra, driving sports cars and finding more, maddening ways to extend the careers of geriatric rock stars like Steve Tyler and Madonna: Our world is going straight to hell in a hand-basket. This is one fact few people will dispute.
The decline of America definitely didn’t happen on the the younger generation’s watch. Those kids down on Wall Street, currently drawing so much ire from the Tea Party…They are not to blame for the situation that has driven them to abandon their parents’ dim, quiet basements, X-Boxes and Playstations so they can risk exposure to sickness and injury in the face of the elements, hateful 1%’s and over-zealous, under-professional officers of the law. They are there because our country is a disaster. They are there because there are no jobs and opportunity for upward mobility is at an all time low. For the first time in the history of history, a generation is not expected to do better than the one that came before.
Naturally, people want answers…They want to know who to blame. Not so we can stick our tongue out at them and make them cry. We want to know who is to blame for the current situation so we can ask them to change course. Politely. With the utmost respect and consideration. Change course…Because the path we are on doesn’t end well, if history is any indication.
Unfortunately, looking for someone, or even a group of people, to blame–is pretty complex. Bush Jr? Sure. He started an unjustified war and then broke with tradition by lowering taxes instead of raising them to cover the cost. Obama? Absolutely. Our current president can’t hide behind the sins of his predecessor any longer. The ‘do nothing’ Congress? Yes. The ‘activist’ Supreme Court? Yes, again. Greedy corporate CEO’s and shareholders? Yes! Yes! Yes! The problem can be easily summed up as a lack of good leadership.
Lately I’ve found myself thinking more and more about the older folks who tanked the High School in my home town. Considering the average age of leaders in the American government and corporations, one thought keeps coming to mind. Just how do Baby Boomers want to be remembered when they perish en masse? Never before has there been a generation blessed with such abundant opportunity, who demanded so much more, and been seemingly more unwilling to share with future generations.
The world these people entered was so ripe with opportunity they almost couldn’t fail (back when grown-ups raised taxes on top earners to >75% to pay for justified wars and invested in research, education and infrastructure). The generation before the Boomers went down in history as ‘The Greatest Generation’, for their sacrifice and the opportunities they laid at their children’s feet.
What will the Boomers be known as in twenty years?
Photo by: david_shankbone