An Open Letter to Baby Boomers: A Modest Proposal
V Note: In order to better serve all five of my readers, I have approached several of my friends and lovers for some content. This piece is penned by Jack Serpentine. And, if you have something that you would like me to consider posting, please send it along to my e-mail address: butterfly_v [at] hotmail.com.
Dear Baby Boomers,
I wanted to write a note to give you a glimpse into how subsequent generations view you, and provide a little idea for fixing some of the damage you’ve wrought.
I know your generation pretty well, and I think all of us are getting to know more and more about you with each passing day. You’re the ones who got in on the sweet part of the American Century. You were taken care of by a generation who won World War II, saved democracy, and built our country into the economic and military superpower it is today. On top of this, they made sure you got to go to college for a reasonable price, own your own home, and finance gadgets they only dreamed about.
Your generation took all of these advantages and what did you do? Well, you started off well enough, I guess. You decided to steal the music of black America and turn it into a white institution. Then you threw a semi-cool party in upstate New York that you cashed-in on and overrated. Of course you had good reasons for doing this. You had to protest for your rights to do whatever you wanted and get the education and jobs you “deserved.” Nothing wrong with that, I guess.
Here’s where you went totally wrong. After having some good times in the 60’s and making everyone think the world would move away from greed and war, you sold out. And I mean
S-O-L-D O-U-T.The first chance you could really shape world events, you voted for Reagan. Then you decided to get while the gettin’ was good. You helped to drive up education costs, housing costs, and drive down real wages. You decided it would be a good idea to use all the benefits that made this country great and then, after exhausting the resources, you’d cut them all so your kids couldn’t have them. You wanted YOUR tax cuts, YOUR medical care, YOUR cheap oil. You robbed the very bank that was so good as to finance your sorry asses. Those of you on Madison Avenue have decided to place ads celebrating your individuality and spirit. What are these ads for? They’re for brokerage firms and investment banks to protect YOUR wealth. Every time I see an aging hippie who still has the gall to listen to Hendrix while driving a $45,000 Volvo, I want to puke.
We should have seen it coming. This is a generation that got stoned out of its mind, and then fought a war on drugs. A generation that chanted “Hell no, we won’t go!” and then got us into an unnecessary war in Iraq. A generation that said it was about the music, then used the music to pitch Hummers, computer programs, and light bulbs. Wow.
Now we have to deal with massive deficits, historic trade gaps, skyrocketing education and housing costs, inflation, depressed wages, lost jobs, and finance unnecessary wars your generation thought it was a good idea to fight. Thanks.
So here’s my modest proposal: We’re taking your Social Security. I know whole slugs of you are retiring soon, and I know damn well you’ll be demanding your Social Security benefits. You’ll also be demanding premium health care and affordable retirement communities. Of course, you won’t want to pay for this, so you’ll want to put it on the credit card my generation has to pay.
Well, too bad. You can’t have your Social Security. We’ll be needing it to help our kids go to college and have affordable housing. We’ll be needing it to shore up our competitive edge, cure diseases, and pay off a bunch of wars. We’ll be needing it to do the things you didn’t have the discipline and character to do. Don’t think it’s because we’re benevolent. It’s just that someone has to step up and save this Republic that you couldn’t give a damn about. We can only do that by investing in the future, and you certainly are not the future.
So here we come for the Social Security. I think it’s a pretty good deal. You had 60 years to get it together and you didn’t. All we’re taking is what you refused to actually fund anyway. Surely either your tie-dyed shirt or your brown, Reaganite power suit can shield you from the cold, harsh world you avoided for the better part of half a century.
The Generations that Don’t Suck