Skip to comments.The Great Boomer Comeuppance
Posted on 10/05/2008 6:21:45 AM PDT by vietvet67
My cohort, the sainted Boomer generation, now rules this country and its institutions. The elite of this generation, graduates of the finest schools, cosmopolitan in taste and sensibility, and left-liberal in political and cultural allegiance -- have always been counted the smartest people in the room (just ask them).
Now these new Masters of the Universe have made a shambles of the US and world financial system. This is, to be sure, not the construction put upon things by the main stream media, but it is plainly the case. The current market turmoil is a product of every bad trait the Boomer Elite has long exhibited in other social and political contexts: unbridled greed and hubris, exorbitant self-regard, breathtaking recklessness, insatiable appetite for immediate gratification, and a rollicking sense of entitlement.
We are seeing in the Wall Street implosion the inevitable result of the Boomer Elite outlook and the behavior it spawned. Storied investment banks were being run on 40 to 1 leverage. Fancy new securities were designed and widely disseminated whose terms are opaque even to highly knowledgeable and experienced hands. Mortgage securitization techniques were developed which, our bettors assured us, would magically spread risk and thus stabilize the financial system. However, simultaneously with these brilliant innovations, lenders were being forced -- by Boomer Elite congressmen with an aching love of the poor and oppressed unique to themselves -- to loan to uncreditworthy borrowers at subprime rates and without adequate documentation. These loans, packaged into securities together with standard, performing loans, rendered unknowable the value of the securities, leading to mandatory write downs and drastic capital impairment or outright insolvency for many very large firms. Given the high degree of integration of the international financial system, critical destabilization was the real result of this confluence of Master of the Universe genius and Boomer Elite turpitude.
The unwillingness of the rest of us to underwrite the moral excesses of the Boomer Elite perfectly enrages them. So, today, the rest of us are being screamed at. In fact, the barrel of a gun is being pressed to our temple. It is demanded that we play our accustomed role of sheep to the slaughter. We are told we must funnel the better part of a trillion dollars to the fantastically imprudent, self-dealing Wall Streeters that gave us the mess, and that we must also chip in the odd tens of billions more on pet lefty projects with which the Boomer Elite, with characteristic cynicism, lard up the package.
Our efforts to be responsible citizens in this crisis are ridiculed and shouted down: exclude from the bail-out the pork and the payoffs to interest groups? How dare we! Include measures that might actually spur badly needed growth in the tough times now surely coming, like cuts in capital gains and corporate taxes? Leave the room!
This is all merely typical of the smug, cocksure Boomer Elite. This is a group that breaks things. It has set the wrecking ball to institutions that are the essential glue of our society (marriage and the family), the basis of our political system (federalism and the separation of powers), the engine of our prosperity (the free market), the guarantor of our freedom (the military), and the glory of our history (the Constitution, participatory democracy).
Although our Masters of the Universe insist we credit them as moral paragons, they are among the most luxury loving, wealth flaunting population ever seen in the world. Whenever a Hollywood celebutard mouths some perfect imbecility in front of a camera, it is sure to be done from a five star resort hotel or on the red carpet of one of those absurdly frequent self-congratulation festivals. The silk tie, moussed hair crowd on Wall Street is no better. If the extent of the naked short selling, self dealing and market manipulation that has actually gone on these last few years were ever to become generally known, it would indict this crew all by itself. And it cannot be said enough: this crowd is heavily on the left and mostly in the Democratic Party. The cigar chomping, pin-striped caricature of a GOP money man has been false to the Wall Street facts for some time, though the left continues to furiously peddle that image.
The Boomer Elite's tired liberal nostrums are continually falsified by reality but, more and more embittered by the refusal of the world to conform to their dictates, they double down, trying to impose more lefty palliatives upon us, measures sure to be flatly unconstitutional, un-American, and disastrously counterproductive all at once. This is a blindly and viciously destructive cohort. They have degraded our common culture, warped our constitution to suit their purposes, and stand ready to subvert our very nationhood to the pipe dream of the Euro-left. Now they have brought our economy to the brink.
This crisis is, at bottom, about self government in two senses and the Boomer Elite is against both. On the macro level, they don't want the American people to govern themselves under the terms of the Constitution of 1789, preferring to rule over us by anti-democratic means wherever possible, and to the full extent possible. On the micro level, being Rousseau's children, they abjure governing their own appetites, and bid everyone act likewise. The Boomer Elite ideal is a sort of Directorate in the political system and economy, moral anarchy in personal conduct, and a quasi-totalitarian PC regime in societal relations. It is bad character as a manifesto, and tsarism as a mode of governance.
Some of the sane knew it all along, but for many others a stunning realization is only now dawning. Much of the vaunted wealth creation of the last 20 years was a mirage, and the ballyhooed processes of wealth creation were themselves largely a scam, no more than the discounted cash flow of the borrowed future.
We must shudder to think how little of our civilization may remain standing when the Boomer Elite finally, mercifully, passes from the scene.
Spot on! Well said.
They identify with the Hopper character in Easy Rider.
Too bad they didn’t learn the overall lesson of the movie.
My 15-year-old son came home from school the other day and said “thanks, mom, your generation has screwed up this country so bad that mine is going to have to spend decades fixing it.” I had to tell him he was right. I also told him it was no accident that our two candidates for president are a pre-Boomer and a post-Boomer. We had Boomer presidents for the last 16 years and they messed up everything that Reagan and Bush had fixed. My son said he wants McCain to be elected because the generation before the Baby Boom knew what it was doing. I guess his school has done a lousy job of indoctrinating him!
This generational crap is just another bigotry; another way to avoid addressing reality.
Boomer = Jew = Black = Irish = Italian...
All boomers think alike. That’s the intellectually lazy position of this would-be pundit.
Three words: “We blew it.”
“Boomer = Jew = Black = Irish = Italian...”
.....thanks, mom, your generation has screwed up this country so bad that mine is going to have to spend decades fixing it......
Is your son named Calvin? Did he have a pal, a tiger called Hobbes?
His statement is pure Calvin and Hobbes.
Alas, they are gone from the comics, but perhaps they are alive and well
Which part didn’t you get?
Bookmark. Of course, this is not true of all Boomers (as I am one), but it true of the ones that control the machinery of state and finance. We are the generation that had all the advantages and should have known better.
None of it.
Note to boomers from the generation coming right after you: Payback’s a...well, you know.
i noticed that the boomers sucked when i was in college.
my friends and roommates grew up on green leafy streets with doting moms.
their parents’ money paid for their educations and constant travel.
i grew up with nothing.
i noticed they hated working people. visiting our family farm they laughed at the manure and the hard work. they were above that.
The author, Berry, displays a collectivist mentality, groupthink. If there is a problem then there is some group to blame for it. In Germany they blamed the Jews. In the US many have blamed some ethnic group. Or the rich. Or the white people. Or the men. Or the Boomers.
The generation before that gave us Lyndon Johnson ,Water Cronkite,Mao,Stalin Hitler to name a few.
Note to your generation: ditto the next generation. So you'd better leave this a perfect world.
BTW - you enjoying that personal computer?
"We must shudder to think how little of our civilization may remain standing when the Boomer Elite finally, mercifully, passes from the scene."
Most of us boomers are just hard working JSpacks.
And we can take care of ourselves.
Not to mention this country has been going into the toilet before the boomers were born.
So all the crybaby gen xers can kiss my skinny, hard working, boomer arse.
All I’m saying is that folks tend to reap what they sow. And considering that in this country the youngers support the elders through a transfer of wealth, the folks sticking us with all this debt just might want to keep that in mind.
People didn’t loathe the Brady Bunch without reason. My family (siblings) were all raised in the 50’s thru the 70’s. We were supportive of each other and disciplined. This attack on my generation is BS. Gen x I would doubt ever bailed hay for a living at 14 years old.
Ah, but how are they voting? For self-sufficiency or the nanny state?
And we can take care of ourselves.
Not gonna accept any Social Security, huh? Providing it's there, of course :)
If the boomer generation were made up of FReepers, we wouldn't have this problem :)
I'm 63 and was born in 1945 so I'm not actually a Boomer. I grew up with the Greatest Generation. The thieves, drunks, spousal abusers, gamblers, hustlers and big-government devotees, liberal and conservative. And a whole bunch of good, nice people.
Sums it up well. Bump
Good thing I’m an X’er
The Great Depression?
I was born in 1945 (good vintage year). I do not think that it was our generation that did the economy in. Somewhere along the way, we raised a bunch of greedy folks and those who take no responsibility for trashing institutions.
the democrats come to my mind!
This is a mischaracterization of BB’s who were too young to have served in the Vietnam war. If you were too young to serve or unless you had a family member or friend over there you were probably too young to have an authentic dog in the anti-war protest/hippie fight to end the war. If you were 12 or 13 years old in 1971...what the hell did you know about any of it except for the music, after-dinner wine bottle discussions between moms and dads and what evening news reports you could re-enact on the playgrounds of your schools or in the back yard at home? Heck if you were 14 or 15 back in ‘71, you didn’t even have a driver’s license. Sure, you can call yourself a Baby Boomer and maybe you thought you were a Yuppie but when you get further along the Baby Boomers’ year-of-birth timeline, the more of a wannabe you probably were. If you were one of those wannabes, what was it about the first phase of Baby Boomers that so turned you on except for the music? Even the nostalgia-kick of the ‘70’s was being aped by the little brothers and sisters. There you were, all “nostalgic” for the music and dress of the 50’s and early ‘60’s when you were barely into puberty! Today, there are subsequent generations who seem to be “nostalgic” for just about every decade’s pop culture between 9/11/01 and M*A*S*H...Get an identity, for crying out loud! By the end of 1990, I finally said to myself, “Self, everybody knows this is nowhere...” and that was the end of MY nostalgia trip. The end of my little rebellion. But if anyone thinks they can take away my music, they’ve got another thing coming...and BTW, I’m not nostalgic for the meaning of the songs...just for the music. For the most part, anyway. I mean, ho can you argue with “Because” by The Beatles or “Pure And Easy” by The Who?
all cop-out scapegoats, is his point.
Well, what we’ve got now is the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme. And it won’t be pretty when it collapses.
OK, I didn’t vote for SS. Roosevelts clan did. The Boomers shouldn’t get blamed for the New Deal. Now Social Security is just a fart in the wind. The way this Country raises heck about a billion here and there then passes nearly a trillion dollar influx has still got my head spinning. The children will have alot to pay for.
The author’s focus was on the elite of the boomer generation. While some might think that still paints too broad a picture it seems that some here are confusing it with all members of the boomer generation.
Good to see the unity and singleness of purpose on this thread. With this kind of in-fighting, all efforts to take back our country from the Left will be near to impossible.
Dennis Hopper, by the way, has cut his hair and is a strong conservative. SOME folks grow up.
We are seeing in the Wall Street implosion the inevitable result of the Boomer Elite outlook and the behavior it spawned. ......We are seeing in the Wall Street implosion the inevitable result of Socialism and the behavior it spawned.There. Fixed it.
Yup, anything to prop-up the Marxist paradigms. Since capitalism and the West have opportunity and wealth they go for ethnicity, race, sex, age, etc. "I'm poor and hungry because you're wealthy and fat." Ergo, "to not be poor and hungry I have to make sure you're no longer wealthy and fat." It's the populist reasoning behind tyranny.
Whatever bad traits my generation brought to American leadership, the FNGs are worse. For every Sarah Palin, there are many. many Barack Obamas. Chicago had William “Big Bill” Coughlin, and now they gave us Barack “The Organizer” Obama.
Last shot: I was not my generation who turned on the fire hoses and let the dogs loose in Selma, Alabama. It wasn’t my generation that created the “Great Society” so that they could buy their way into heaven after all those years of racial injustice, bought the Democrat way, with someone else’s money.
Talkin’ ‘bout my g-g-generation! Right on, brother!
BTW, for all the Boomers here that feel slighted, get a life. This article isn’t about you personally; it’s about the pervasive, self-absorbed character of our cohort (meaning our collective selves). Now go have a good cry and buck-up.
I'd focus more on that than on Marxism. Tyranny can grow from many seeds, most predating Marx.
IMO, conservatives focus far too much on what they are against and far too little on what they should be for. That's why they keep losing.
Most of those you list were born at least 2 generations before the boomers. The generation before the boomers was their parents who went through the Depression and fought WWII then decided they're kids wouldn't go through that and spoiled the little boomer tykes into the monsters they became. When they grew up the self-centered boomers believed the spoiling to be their national entitlement.
As a Boomer, I’d agree that enough bad things can’t be said about the leftist wing of the Boomer generation. But they were never anymore than half, and likely significantly less than half of the generation.
Before I’ve made the statement that, during the ‘60s, it was the Greatest Generation ‘journalists’ holding a microphone in front of a zonked out hippie, or some raging anti-war nutcase, and pretending those maladjusted characters had some great wisdom to impart to the world. The GG put the hippies and anti-war protesters and underminers on the evening news and treated them like great pillars of knowledge and wisdom.
And, many of the changes in laws, and in education and school curriculums, and the tearing down of traditional values, all this started when the GG held most all the power and influence in American society. The Boomers never really came to power until 1992 with the election of Slick Willie. Of course, they’d been steadily entering more positions of power and influence before then, but the GG held the reigns of power well into the 1980s, and vast changes in traditional values and institutions had taken place by that time.
So, this deconstruction of America didn’t start with the Boomers and it won’t end with them. Lots of shortsighted, wishful thinking going on if anyone believes the end of Boomer dominance in society will really change much. It’s also Boomers who fought and held back many of these trends. The Boomers were something near a 50/50 generation when it came to supporting or going against the trends discussed in the article, just as the entire country seems to be on most issues today.
Sing it with me: One of these things isn't like the others!
Jew? Race (and a religion and a culture).
Boomer? Not a race!
"Boomer" refers to a generation of American's that were born and came of age in a very unique period of American history. That uniqueness allowed them to grow up without being tested and trained for life's grim reality.
You can think of the Boomers as trust fund babies that suddenly got their money taken away from them.
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