The Youth of Europe

After reading this story I couldn’t help but draw some distinctions between Europe in this situation and possibly how America will be in a few years.  The conflict between generations.  It raises good questions and brings to light the potential for conflict.

To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t really been a big, prolonged conflict between generations in America.  I think this is because the generation with the most to lose in a conflict (boomers) have the population numbers to make things happen the way they want them too.  But this will surely change in the future as younger generations start organizing and getting to the voting machines.  I get the sense from people in my generation that they are fed up with how things are going, they just have to wait for sufficient numbers of us to be fed up to politic for change.

I’m pissed that during a normal baby boomers lifespan 50% of all the oil in the world will have been used up.  And to what good?  Yeah staggering amounts of wealth have been created (at least on paper) but so what?  This has been at the expense of cultural ties that have vanished, family ties, family values not to mention the expense of all the wildlife that has been destroyed.  Ugly suburban sprawl is around, malls on every corner, a pervasive shopping culture, toys, gadgets and what not everywhere.  All these restaurants everywhere and for what?  So people can cruise around in big inefficient vehicles and live in 4,000 sq ft houses with two people?  All for a stupid lifestyle.  A valuable resource with so many uses has been squandered for so many stupid reasons.

What about the coming destruction of the social entitlement programs?  Everyone can see the train wreck coming but this generation is being so selfish that they refuse to make any changes to these programs preferring instead of foist the cost of their current lifestyle onto future generations.  People like me and my kids and their kids.  Gee, thanks Beav.  That’s swell.  Because they just have to go on cruises and travel the world and have cheap drugs with $3 co-pays my generation, and all who come after it, will have a bankrupt government and no social programs.

How about this pervasive self centered world we live in?  What is the cause of this?  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people of the boomer generation tell me they voted down a tax increase to fund schools because it would raise taxes for them and they don’t have kids in school so who cares.  Hello!!!  What about the rest of us??  We can’t not increase funding for our schools for the 40 some years you’re alive and don’t have kids.  What about your grand-kids?  Why don’t you suck it up and take one for the team?  My generation is certainly going to be taking plenty of it to clean up all the crap you’ve screwed up.

Someday the pendulum will swing.  I hope when the time comes for my generation to assume the throne we remember how we were treated and make smart choices for all citizens, not just a specific subset.

FGLB

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3 responses to “The Youth of Europe

  1. The leaders of Generation X will come into power right about the time things get really nasty, so we will be the ones who get to dole out the harsh medicine to the legions of retired boomers who want their entitlements.

    The Boomers will be a large-enough and probably self-centered-enough voting bloc that their entitlements will stay put, which just increases the odds of hyperinflation occurring sometime in the next decade or so. Yes, they’ll get their $2500/month checks, but when bread costs $200 a loaf, it won’t go that far.

    For more info, see Rep. Ron Paul’s latest article about “The Coming Entitlement Meltdown”:

    http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2007/tst030507.htm

    Politicians love fiat-based currency systems because it allows them to promise the moon to whichever special interest is dominant at the time without really having to pay for it.

    How many people realized that the amount of US Dollars in circulation have doubled in the last decade? That trend is only going to get stronger over time, and it punishes people who play by the rules and save money in bank accounts. Last time I checked, my savings account paid out around 2% interest every year, and depending on who’s numbers you trust, the real rate of inflation is somewhere between 3% and 8%, and we are increasing the money supply at a rate of around 11% per year.

    The boomers have had their party, now it’s time for them to suck it up and deal with hardship. The alternative is making our kids and grandkids debt slaves before they even get their first job.

  2. Why are we self-centered? We can get anything we want at any moment. Credit is easy to get for objects (and then just file for bankruptcy). We don’t need to save up for “things.” We need to look at ourselves so that we don’t make the same mistakes of the previous generations.

  3. We are self-centered because we believe on some level that the universe was created for us, that consuming is our birthright, and we have somehow rationalized any thoughts about how our plundering the horn of plenty right now will have deleterious effects on our children and grandchildren’s lives.

    Our modern way of life has destroyed many of our old social norms. Mixed-income and mixed-use development is an anachronism in the old cities. Everywhere else, people live in groupings based on how much they can pay for shelter, putting other groups out of their minds completely. It’s very possible for people to live their lives and hardly ever see people from the lower classes if they so choose, and such people become harder-hearted towards those less economically fortunate.

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