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Who Destroyed the Economy? The Case Against the Baby Boomers
The Atlantic ^ | 10/08/2012 | Jim Tankersley

Posted on 10/08/2012 8:11:26 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Retirees and near-retirees are leaving behind a devastated economy for their children ... but are we doing anything to fix it? Here, two generations debate who's really to blame for the wreckage.


CRESCENT LAKE, Ore.--My father taught me how to throw a baseball and divide big numbers in my head and build a life where I'd be home in time to eat dinner with my kid most nights. He and my mother put me through college and urged me to follow my dreams. He never complained when I entered a field even less respected than his. He lives across the country and still calls just to check in and say he loves me.

His name is Tom. He is 63, tall and lean, a contracts lawyer in a small Oregon town. A few wisps of hair still reach across his scalp. The moustache I have never seen him without has faded from deep brown to silver. The puns he tormented my younger brother and me with throughout our childhood have evolved, improbably, into the funniest jokes my 6-year-old son has ever heard. I love my dad fiercely, even though he's beaten me in every argument we've ever had except two, and even though he is, statistically and generationally speaking, a parasite.

This is the charge I've leveled against him on a summer day in our Pacific Northwest vision of paradise. I have asked my favorite attorney to represent a very troublesome client, the entire baby-boom generation, in what should be a slam-dunk trial--for me. On behalf of future generations, I am accusing him and all the other parasites his age of breaking the sacred bargain that every American generation will pass a better country on to its children than the one it inherited.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: babyboomers; economy
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To: SeekAndFind
Who Destroyed the Economy? The Case Against the Baby Boomers

Oh, BS!

The federal government ensured the destruction of the economy when it decided it had the authority to regulate every nuance of a 'free' market.....while burdening the People with the cost of its bureaucracy.

IMHO, playing the blame game while totally disregarding the basic cause is pointless.

61 posted on 10/08/2012 10:12:18 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
After reading the article, I have a strong desire to take a tire iron to both these pricks.

Agreed. Pretty weak 'reasoning' on both sides.

I remember back in the 80s, that in the budgets sent to congress, there were charts and tables that pointed to a future where the children being born at the time would eventually be subject to 80%-90% taxation just to pay for what was already on the table. Clinton was the first president to stop providing these tables as a part of the budgeting process, for obvious reasons - it was plain to anyone who bothered to even briefly look at the projections that their schemes were unsustainable. The practice was never returned to. Both parties have sold us out in every way imaginable.We are so very thouroughly screwed, and yet even today, everyone is whistling past the graveyard.

The really funny thing about it all is that if Romney becomes president, he'll inherit things just about the time the wheels well and truely come off the wagon, so he'll ultimately get the blame because the educational system of this country has produced multiple generations of drones without a memory or the ability to reason for themselves.

62 posted on 10/08/2012 10:15:03 AM PDT by zeugma (Rid the world of those savages. - Dorothy Woods, widow of a Navy Seal, AMEN!)
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To: puppypusher
I,a baby boomer have worked all of my life and have gotten ZIP from the Federal Government as have a large portion of the other FReepers here.


You don't have to receive money directly from the federal government to have enjoyed the benefit of government spending.

The entire economy for the past 30 years has been juiced in part by government debt. A borrowed dollar that is spent to pay for medical care, for example, subsidizes doctors. A borrowed dollar that is spent to build an F-22 raptor subsidizes engineers and industrial workers. A borrowed dollar that is spent to build a road subsidizes construction workers.

And of course all those groups subsidize the people that serve them -- farmers that grow their food, for instance.

Now boomers are retiring -- some of them after building savings indirectly from money that was borrowed by the federal government -- and they're not going to have to pay it back. That will be done by later generations.

63 posted on 10/08/2012 10:15:14 AM PDT by conservative sympathizer
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To: Myrddin

I’m 39. I don’t blame Baby Boomers or any one generation in general.

Hell, if the fiscal conservative mentality displayed on FR governed this nation from the 50’s, this country would be begging for more highly educated immgrants to fill sought employment positions as a lack of supply is met with booming labor demands to keep up with a still growing economy.

Poor people would own houses, have big screen TVs, drive cars and use smart phones.....oh wait....Nevermind on that last part.

64 posted on 10/08/2012 10:15:34 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (The Click-&-Paste Media exists & works in Utopia, riding unicorns & sniffing pixy dust.)
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To: Lancey Howard

Well said.

65 posted on 10/08/2012 10:21:01 AM PDT by Gator113 (I would have voted for NEWT, now it's Ryan and the other guy.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Tenacious 1

We were doing well until two transmissions and a failed business. Back to the drawing board for us as well. Fortunately I have been the primary bread winner and my wife has decided to go back to work. We have a path out as long as we walk it.

66 posted on 10/08/2012 10:21:12 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: floralamiss

I resent being identified as a “Baby Boomer” because although I was born within that demographic’s range (’46-’64), I and my friends were all much younger than the people we’d see in the newspapers, magazines and TV carrying on, tripping out on LSD in the nude, “riding rainbows”, smoking dope, shooting heroin, protesting the war, burning buildings, flags and bras, coming home from Vietnam in flag-draped coffins (and to shouts of “Babykiller”), Molotov cocktail-throwing yippies...all-around self-centered assh*les, if you ask me...

I was only 10, going on 11 when the Beatles broke up. Jimi, Janis and Jim, Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Angela Davis, Tom Hayden, Bill Ayers, Ira Einhorn, (none of whom BTW, were baby boomers themselves)...I never knew anyone who went to Vietnam until I was almost 20 years old and we did not live sheltered or cloistered lives.

Then by the mid-’70’s many of them decided that in order to beat the system or Establishment, they had to join it but as it turned out, they love money and power as much as their predecessors did and became unabashed Young Upward Professionals or “yuppies” who found Disco, cocaine Valium, Quaaludes, booze and wreckless unprotected kinky and depraved sex to be the next big things as they continued to “evolve”.

I’ll admit that some of my peers adopted that mantra for themselves and became money-hungy, power-grabbing cokeheads who’d pay big bucks to leave their kids in daycare centers while they, as dual-income parents and unmarrieds, made their ways to the “big time”...and then they’d get divorced or become otherwise estranged from their families.

God, I’m so damned glad I didn’t follow them...But I am glad to still have the music to listen to after all of these years.

I’m so glad. I’m so glad. I’m glad, I’m glad, I’m glad...

67 posted on 10/08/2012 10:23:44 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: Myrddin

And you and your wife should be very proud of yourselves. You are good, generous Americans. You are a giver, never a taker.

68 posted on 10/08/2012 10:31:57 AM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: Tenacious 1

“... only 75% of the stated benefits that I have earned will be available in 2025 as a result of unfunded liabilities.”

I haven’t seen the Statement that you are talking about, but I suspect that what it means is that the missing 25%, which was an excess paid over the last twenty years or so, has not been saved as a fund to cover the baby boomer’s coming shortfall (as was the plan devised under Alan Greenspans’s supervision in the 80’s), but has been spent to cover past excesses of our government. In this sense, the Statement is correct. However, if you take into consideration the total amount paid in, I think you will find that it balances with the amount paid out for another twenty years. The problem was not social security itself, but the government’s overspending in general.

69 posted on 10/08/2012 10:38:16 AM PDT by juno67 (Gua)
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To: SeekAndFind

“kept his (dad’s) nose in his books while his University of California (Santa Barbara)”

I’m sorry, but I don’t know how any HUMAN can study at that location - it is one of the most beautiful on Earth.

70 posted on 10/08/2012 10:42:22 AM PDT by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: juno67
I haven’t seen the Statement that you are talking about,...

Apparently the statement is not on all potential beneficiary's statements. It's been on mine for several years. I have a .pdf (redacted) copy I made on the home computer.

I agree with the rest of your statement explaining why the SS department is notifying me of my future 25% reduction in benefits. :o)

I have VERY low expectations of social security in my future. Anything I get will be bonus if I retire before I die.

71 posted on 10/08/2012 10:45:42 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (The Click-&-Paste Media exists & works in Utopia, riding unicorns & sniffing pixy dust.)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

When I am 71 drop me from SS, six years, I will have a Zero percent return on the money extorted me and my employers over the years.

Give me a medical insurance policy I can afford, and it won’t affect my lifestyle, I am a first year boomer.

72 posted on 10/08/2012 10:53:16 AM PDT by Little Bill
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To: Darren McCarty
Boomers didn't give us the "Great Society." None of them could even vote for LBJ.

The youngsters never figured this out.

LBJ, another president from Texas

73 posted on 10/08/2012 10:53:19 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: SeekAndFind

Boomer-Losers bump for later...

74 posted on 10/08/2012 10:54:17 AM PDT by indthkr
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To: taxcontrol; Lurkina.n.Learnin; Henry Hnyellar; Tenacious 1; Nowhere Man

Saving was always the norm - Credit and debt for the average family is a new invention:

Credit Cards:
1959 - option of maintaining a revolving balance was introduced. Cardholders no longer had to pay off their full bills at the end of each cycle.

1966 - a national credit card system was formed when a group of credit-issuing banks joined together and created the InterBank Card Association

1987 - American Express issued a credit card allowing customers to pay over time rather than at the end of every month.

75 posted on 10/08/2012 11:18:28 AM PDT by donna (Pray for revival.)
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To: ErnBatavia

Same old, same old. Some things never change.

76 posted on 10/08/2012 11:31:28 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (If you fear Obama, you'll vote for Romney. If you fear God, you won't.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Congress destroyed the economy.

77 posted on 10/08/2012 12:17:38 PM PDT by Temujinshordes
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To: SeekAndFind

There are a number of reasons for why Americans of this writers generation are facing fewer employment choices and a different retirement. The jobs he speaks of from 45 years ago that didn’t require a college degree and were good paying were in the manufacturing sector . America no longer has a manufacturing economy.

78 posted on 10/08/2012 12:30:03 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: 9YearLurker; SeekAndFind; Pelham; Twink; dixiechick2000; Travis McGee; miss marmelstein; skeeter
Now early Baby Boomers are doing the same.

that is simply untrue...early boomers were the first to pay into Medicare from first working age

now try this one Sherlock, I'm 55 in 3 weeks and have paid FICA and Medicare all my life since I started work as a teen (summer 1969..first job on a payroll) and since mid 20s due to my industrious nature have always maxed out FICA

now look at all the reform models...I'm just months out of luck for the cutoff all gen X types like Ryan use to save the system..a lifetime of over a half million in contributions (at least) and do I get a return on my investment? went to pay entitlement for less motivated folks but since Ryan is a Generation X player can I blame him for making those 55 and under the cut off?

children blame...adults find solutions..I could play the blame game too and have paid a lot more in than kids here whining have

it's a sign of maturity and conservatism not to fall for the lure of blaming everyone else

79 posted on 10/08/2012 1:04:49 PM PDT by wardaddy (my wife prays in the tanning bed....guess what region i live in...ya'll?)
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To: wardaddy

Sorry, pal—but you’re a late Boomer, not an early one.

And I earlier in this thread said the posted argument wasn’t valid. It is however accurate to state that many old folks today are getting and will get way, way, way more out of the system than they put into it.

80 posted on 10/08/2012 1:09:46 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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