Friday, July 12, 2013

Sponging Boomers

The website Things Boomers Like has a great discussion of an article in The Economist called Sponging Boomers.

The bone-dry weekly news magazine The Economist -  mostly read by rich, old guys or sickly patients in doctors' waiting rooms - is not the first place you'd expect to find an article decrying the adverse economic affects of baby-boomer sponging and rent-seeking. 
But in wielding its neo-liberal blowtorch without fear or favour,  the Economist has shown that it's not afraid to speak truth to Boomer power, even when that's essentially its own readership.

Baby Boomers Will Be the Last to Get Social Security

From the Peter G Peterson Foundation: 
According to the latest government estimates, Social Security has begun a period of permanent cash-flow deficits, paying out more in annual benefits than it brings in through taxes. Absent reform, Social Security will run out of authority to pay full scheduled benefits after 2033. At that time, projections by the Social Security actuary indicate that benefits will have to be cut by about 23 percent if laws are not changed. Such large cuts could be reduced if policymakers took action in advance by phasing in modest tax increases, benefit cuts, or both.
The last Boomers will turn 65 in 2025.  The bulk of Generation X, or the 13th Generation, will be left holding the bag.  Though this is typical in the generational cycle -the Lost Generation took serious hits economically to ensure that the younger GI generation was better off through the crises of the Depression and WWII.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Two Families: Trouble for Millenial Males

The large middle class was built in the post WWII period, with returning GIs heading up families. Some used the GI bill to get college degrees, a lot didn't, but the union maufacturing jobs were enough to enter the middle class.

Then all the baby boomers were supposed to go to college and get JDs and MBAs and MDs and everyone would be upper middle class. 

Gen X kids were all supposed to go to college, program all day, and build internet companies.  Everyone would be millionaires...  there was always flipping houses!

Millenials are supposed to start social media empires and cute non-profits with 5K races and hip, ironic mustache parties as fundraising tools, thus signalling the end of history and only the need to export this cultural utopia of ennui abroad in some sort of market-opening, nation-building endeavor... 

Watch Two American Families on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

This program does not go far enough to analyze the fundamental economic problems of our usurious and exploitative crony system, nor at the fraying civic fabric that, were it still strong, would hold people together when the state-sponsored safety nets fail...  

The Millenial males in this story are in big trouble.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Intergenerational Con Game

Bill Frezza writes in Forbes:

The intergenerational con game whereby Baby Boomers stick the Millennial Generation with trillions in debt through our gorging on entitlements is about to face its greatest challenge. Will we be able to talk healthy young Americans into buying medical insurance that costs seven times what it would in a free market in order to subsidize our increasingly expensive health care? Or will we have to sic IRS enforcers on them for selfishly taking advantage of the law’s pre-existing condition protections to get care at someone else’s expense in case of serious illness?

It’s a tough sell, but take heart, fellow Boomers. We’ve been preparing our children for community servitude for years. Why else did we feed them a steady diet of social consciousness, while preaching that it takes a village from the day we dumped them in daycare? Now, it’s time for them to pay up.

 Read the rest