May 08, 2007

Baby Boomers and the Insolvency of the United States of America

So Baby Boomer leaders weren't reckless with the finances of America some would say. Uh, who was it that rang up $50 Trillion in debt and liabilities and took the US to the brink of insolvency?


Hint - it wasn't GenX/Y. We're just stuck with their tab.
I don't blame every baby boomer. Lots of fine folks in that group, and lots of boomers who are sick of their own corrupt leaders. What I blame is a generation of Baby Boomer leadership who knowingly put policies into place that raided the treasury of the US at the expense of future generations. Their day is nearly done. And GenX/Y is gonna be pissed.

From the US Comptroller's Financial Report of the United States of America that nobody bothers to read but everyone should:

Despite improvement in both the fiscal year 2006 reported net operating cost and the cash-based budget deficit, the U.S. government’s total reported liabilities, net social insurance commitments, and other fiscal exposures continue to grow and now total approximately $50 trillion, representing approximately four times the Nation’s total output (GDP) in fiscal year 2006, up from about $20 trillion, or two times GDP in fiscal year 2000.

As this long-term fiscal imbalance continues to grow, the retirement of the “baby boom” generation is closer to becoming a reality with the first wave of boomers eligible for early retirement under Social Security in 2008.

Given these and other factors, it seems clear that the nation’s current fiscal path is unsustainable and that tough choices by the President and the Congress are necessary in order to address the nation’s large and growing long-term fiscal imbalance.

Ignorance is not bliss folks. How many Americans realize that we're $50 Trillion in debt? Answer - probably 1/100,000. The media doesn't report it, the Baby Boomer congressmen don't own up to it, and nobody bothers to research and read. But there it is right there, from the Government Accounting Office itself.

We're $50 big ones in the hole, and besides revving up the printing presses, drastically slashing spending or raising taxes through the roof, there's no feasible way out of it.

Bottom Line: The Baby Boomer generation screwed America, and it's GenX/Y's time to get into power, rise up, and try to clean up their mess before it's too late. Or will GenX/Y get into power and try to pass the bill along to GenZ?

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this...but revving up the printing presses won't solve the problem. Social Security COLA is dollar-for-dollar linked to CPI. Half of the $50 trillion is Social Security and two-thirds of that is COLA.

Why is the Fed so obsessed with inflation? Because until Congress changes the COLA, every little basis point of extra CPI increases the $50 trillion by a few billion.

And guess what? The biggest battle of all is coming, which is the Baby Boomer retirement generation against Congress. Boomers will not go gentle into the good night. They will fight to keep every cent of COLA. After all, they earned it!

az_lender said...

The "Baby Boomers" did not necessarily enact the policies that have brought the US to the brink of bankruptcy. The oldest boomers are just now reaching the age of 61. Most of the damage was done by a slightly older generation. Wonder what is the median age of present US senators.

Anonymous said...

Guys, CPI is full of lies - that allows the Fed to inflate and understate inflation. It's a subtle and deceptive lie to "stealth print" our way out.

This is all going to end badly.

1955Boomer said...

Actually, its the GenX/GenY folks that are screwing America. The mortgage brokers, bankers, real estate agents are PRIMARILY genX and genY folks, NOT baby boomers. Its the GenX/GenY folks who think the world owes them a living. Now, they WERE spoiled by the baby boomers, so in that sense, its the boomers fault. But the IMPLEMENTERS of the destruction are the GenXGenY folks.

Anonymous said...

Of course printing presses and hyperinflation is the way out.

Just keep the current formulas for CPI and PPI, or better yet, make them even worse indicators of real inflation, while at the same time firing up the electrons (printing presses are so 19th century) and voila--instant prosperity.

BTW--how old are Pelosi, Reid, Bush, and Chaney?

Anonymous said...

The socialist programs of FDR and LBJ will destroy America. Liberals, like Hillary and the Magic Negro want to ADD and EXPAND to these programs...

Marky Mark

Anonymous said...

Yeah but there's a comet heading towards Earth. So it's time to party hard before we all get vaporized.

gen x said...

``Actually, its the GenX/GenY folks that are screwing America.''

I seem to recall that the great screwing of my generation's future by running up huge deficits began before I was old enough to vote. Reagan did a pretty good job in the 80s.

``But the IMPLEMENTERS of the destruction are the GenXGenY folks.''

I am not sure if you quite understand the relationship between employee and manager.

Right now, boomers are a bit more likely to be the manager, i.e. the person who actually dictates the direction that is taken.

And boomers certainly have more say in electing the government and therefore bear a larger share of the responsibility for the fiscal malfeasance that the US government has displayed over the last few decades.

Anonymous said...

The parents of the "greatest generation" (maybe they're parents) created the "greatest ponzi scheme" in human history. Of course the greatest generation cashed in and passed a bigger buck to the next suckers.

People need to wake up and realize politicians redistribution games. Steal 40% of the peoples money to pay off 60% of the voters.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that the politicians of today realized that they could sell our economic future for present-day political and economic gain.

They will long be out of office before the reckoning is in full swing.

It is also possible that they had no real understanding of what they were doing.


Let's try a correlation here:

#1 - Low interest rates create a housing bubble since you have cheap credit, and the masses hustle off to spend it for what they hope will be future gain.

#2 - To the Congress, the taxes they collect from us fells (to them) like that same cheap credit. They think little about all the things that the wage-earner cannot afford anymore due to tax burdens. All they care about is putting in place whatever program they prefer. Tax revenues are their toys.

This is the case I make for lower taxes. Politicians are flawed humans like any other, and to hand over large sums of cash to them is irresponsible. They spend it all and come back for more.

Of, by, and for the people is dead.
All of Washington is corrupt, and the few honest who go there are usually corrupted before they can do any good.

Low taxes keeps a lid on government power, and keeps it firmly in the hands of the taxpayers, who are generating the real wealth.

Anonymous said...

Explain to me why, immediately after the Tech bust, we were still granting H1-B visas for tech jobs?

Also, I agree CPI is B.S. - just another government lie.

So I wonder what field the young should enter? Law, medicine, science? Law, to further fleece to workers of America? Medicine, so we can all just provide medical services to one another? Science, so we can be layed off and replaced with someone from the far east?

I guess we can all go into business and expedite the pillaging of America. Folks, when a country moves above having a certain percent of it's GDP in the financials/real estate/banking industry, the country's income/job growth slows to a crawl. Look at Europe!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed all the “For Sale by Owner” signs on 3rd cars (Hummers, BMWs and Corvettes typically) also on expensive motorcycles (accountants ride Harleys all of a sudden?) and Jet Skis et al – a nice change from all the Real Estate for sale signs. I guess “if I sell these toys I can make a few more mortgage payments until the market turns around” has arrived to Long Island, New York.

Anonymous said...

...and just how do you think the next generation is going to react to a generation that spent all their energy whining about their predecessors(boomers) rather than pitching in and working to right the situation for future generations?

You have MANY talents and gifts, which would enable you to be laying the groundwork for the next generation to rise from the ashes. Is drama more important to you than your life's work?

Stephen said...

1955boomer,

The boomer generation and the *gag* "greatest" generation handed their children and grandchildren an economy where the REIC and FIRE economy became easy ways to make good money.

You can hardly blame the GenX and GenYs for flocking to these fields when that's where the incentives lie.

Through taxation, regulation, labor laws, inane trade policies, and and ridiculous torts, the boomers and their parents deincentivised participation in many fields that add real value to the economy (mining, manufacture, transportation, etc.), and incentivised participation in the intermediary, brokerage, banking, legal, and regulatory professions that were built up around these policies.

Blame the boomers, the greedy geezers, and the geezers' dead parents.

Anonymous said...

"Boomers will not go gentle into the good night. "

What do you call broke retirees???

Ans: Loyal demothugs (oooppps Democrats)

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is not bliss folks. How many Americans realize that we're $50 Trillion in debt?

Isn't this number gotten by adding up year after year of social security payments?

Yes, a house costs $200,000 but, over 30 years, that is $560/month.

the federal government will pay social security, but the elderly will spend it and that spending will create a "free market economy."

I understand Ron Paul's critique to be that the boomers might all want the same thing, health care, and there will be a shortage so just like people who can't sell their house, people won't be able to buy healthcare since, philosophically, the government can't "insure" that a particular supply/demand is attained.

as I see it, this isn't a budget issue but, as Bush noted: "technology will save us" and, in the UK, I saw that they are talking about legalizing Euthanasia again for the elderly so UK residents don't have to go to Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

AL-QWEEFER you need to learn some basic math my socilaist friend. Social Security was instituted in 1935 by FDR the communist who expanded government like nobodys bidness. LBJ, the other communist of the 20th century was elected in 1964. he gave us the war on poverty which so far has cost 4 trillion dollars.

Blaming boomers who were born in the 40s and 50s - and didn't start voting until the late 60s - is beyond ridiculous.

Natural Eyebrows said...

U.S. has had two boomer presidents so far. The first, Clinton, with the help of Robert Rubin, Larry Somers, and others platted a map of fiscal stability. The second, GWB, tore up that map so he could indulge in America's most expensive hobby - interventionism. A poorer America, with it's currency out of favor, will play a diminished role on the world stage.

As has been pointed out by others here, it was the "Greatest Generation" that forced the SS and Medicare into its contortions. 1955Boomer is correct. Gen X & Y have no conception of the unreality of the current times, and have the worst entitlement attitude of all.

keith said...

I blame boomers who had a generation to fix the ponzi scheme and didn't, knowing if they did it would keep them from getting theirs.

Screw future generations. It's all about me me me

tim73 said...

"Isn't this number gotten by adding up year after year of social security payments? Yes, a house costs $200,000 but, over 30 years, that is $560/month."

50 trillion divided by the number of US households (117 million) = all current and future liabilities in current dollars = 427 000 dollars!

National debt currently: 8.8 trillion = 75 000 dollars per household. Additional 41 TRILLION dollars of future liabilities still underfunded. You have to DOUBLE income taxes immediately for starters and that is not even enough.

Interest rate payments of that US national debt per household = 3500 dollars in 2006.

Conclusion: USA is bankrupt very similar than GM and Ford (dead man walking).

Anonymous said...

Yea,those 25 year olds that are buying half million dollar houses and 50K SUVs are not helping bankrupt the country. Turn on the TV(I don't own one)and look at all garbage that they glorify. They are spending just as reckless and never had to work(I mean WORK)for anything.It will be easier for them to pay it off with they'r sweet deals and no money down.Maybe if George said that only his friends could own realestate then this mess would not have happened(would this make you happy?).But then you would not have this to belly ache about,of course you would then have to Work.

Anonymous said...

We've only had TWO boomer presidents, Clinton and Bush II.

Social Secuirty was originally a minimum security net consisting of a 2 to 4% contribution of income. Now it is nearly 15% paid to old geezers that have already taken out thier fair share in the first 4 years of retirement. Yes, it is broken. GenX/Y will need to contribute nearly 35% of thier income to maintain the same services that the "Greatest Generation" has sucked from this country. This is way we have a liberal immigration policy. If the boomer bulge is not smoothed out, and quick, then the system will break down.

Markus Arelius said...

Keith, you say 1/100,000 don't realize it.

I think they do.

They just can't determine what it really means to them. Isn't debt sometimes a good, economically necessary thing?

Anonymous said...

Something needs to be clarified here.

Among the Gen X/Y are individuals that are not offspring of boomers. For example, I am offspring of parents who were born in the 30's that were raised by parents having depression era mentalities. Our parents beat us when we did something wrong.

In no way shape or form, do I have an entitlement mentality. But, I do know this type of individual from among my peers. More often than not, they are the offspring of divorced boomer parents.

In any even, as I have said in the past, the only thing worse than a boomer is their offspring.

Anonymous said...

Im a gen x/y'er. I don't see much of a rise in power.Young folks don't vote, they play video games, and are obsessed with pop culture. Gen x atleast gets some of it and are disgruntled but gen y is much larger and think they can be rich and famous by just watiching american idol. No way my generation is going to rise up to the occasion.

Joey in NH

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Comet coming?

Have you had a dream? I have, as
well as 3 other's I know.

Anonymous said...

$50 Trillion in debt? I don't think so. The US govt' is not in debt for even 1 penny. Need $50 trillion? Ok, crank up the printing presses. The days of accountability went out the window when they removed the tie between US currency and gold. Ask yourself this: If you were in debt for $100,000 and had the legal ability to print off $100,000, would you? Would you be in debt? Nope.

Daphne64 said...

Whole generations of people cannot be evil! If they are different from other generations it is because of the environment they grew up in.

Individual people can choose, however.

And so I nominate Lyndon Johnson as the main villain in this mess. His creations, medicare and expanded welfare, are what will bring us down.

FDR deserves a lot of blame, but the country could have survived with just limited welfare and social security. It's LBJ that added programs that just weren't sustainable. It also was tremendous bad luck that the LBJ's monstrosities started up the same time as the birth control pill allowed fertility rates to drop.

Anonymous said...

HP'ers, are the $30 trillion increase in 6 years (2000 -> 2006) due to Social Security spending? You all know what the most pArt of the answAr is!

You're really good as HP'ers, but you have to research better and try the intelectually honest way about subjects you dedicate little attention to think through and rant a lot.

And to achieve something meaningful... scrap the generation divide BS and start a blog dedicated to workable solutions of that problem (that is NOT a crisis).

Carpe diem!

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of HP for a while and have taken most of it's advice to heart and actually implemented it in real life and in $ issues.

I'm one of those "Conspiracy Guys" basically...I often tell my friends and family of the things that are happening and how our finacial stability is on the brink of disaster...

I don't preach and I don't do the whole "Head for Idaho and start the compound" thing but I tell them they won't see their SS/retirement and that they should PAY OFF their debts...you know what I get?

Weird looks...ignored and scoffed at.

My ex wife instead of paying off what we owe keeps buying things, my friends say sure but it won't happen till they're dead and a couple of idiots who dabble in stocks keep bragging about the economy.

Thank God I'm a 36 year old cop, healthy, semi-literate, almost debt-free and clearing a good amount off my checks and I am now in the boat that wants to see Rome burn...not out of anger or revenge just because of it's arrogance...and though I don't have gold or silver tucked away I have looked into staying afloat when the bad times come...as for my friends, family and co-workers who brag and live outside their means? Sorry but fuck you...

You know I started saying shit with RE was very wrong in summer of 2005 and people laughed at me...now when I talk to them they won't make eye contact or say they never denied it and knew all along...Whatev I'll see them in Bankruptcy court

Anonymous said...

For background, I'm an echo-boomer (born in 1970, mother born in 1946). I think it helps to be raised in an environment of scarcity to keep a level financial head on your shoulders. My mother was widowed when I was quite young, and I had to do a lot of work around the house. Since I was 10 years old I had to earn my own spending money. So, fairly early in life, I was forced to learned about money management. 10 year-olds don't have credit -- it's pretty much save and spend, and if you wanted something big, you saved for a long time. At age 21 I learned about the power of compound interest (dividends, growth, etc.) and have built a sizable nest egg at age 36.

My kids are being raised in a similar financial environment (by choice, thankfully, not by necessity) and I already see evidence that my 11 year-old son is adopting sound financial management skills. With some guidance from me, he also invests. Most kids don't know what it means to have a "negative cash-flow month", but my son does.

--Chet

Doktaire said...

"Explain to me why, immediately after the Tech bust, we were still granting H1-B visas for tech jobs?"

Ah, that one is easy, eduation in the USA is SO bad, that there are nowhere near enough highly-skilled workers to fill these posts. H1-B is not just for computers it is for any highly skilled position, think Biotech, Engineers etc. Just like everything else the USA has a "brain deficit" with the rest of the world.

Doktaire said...

Baby Boomers have had decades to sort out the Social Security mess, and chose instead to vote themselves lower taxes, and to not save for retirement. I say they have already spent whatever social security money they may have paid in, by allowing Congress to raid the trust fund and replace it with IOU's. Sorry, but in a capitalist society, you can't have your cake and eat it too. I say, let them finally deal with the consequences of their actions, and to all my fellow GenX/GenYers, lets us, unlike our parents generation, be responsible. I say we a) Abolish Social Security, on the basis that current retirees have already recieved their benefits as cash advances in the form of lower taxation. b) The money that current workers pay, instead be placed into private, individual specific accounts (I.e you only get out what you actually pay in). How can a system like this be unfair? Retireing Baby Boomers may plead poverty, and they may demand that the government keep them in their retirement. But, as far as I see young people don't get government help just because they "need" it, i.e. no education, no healthcare. This world is a jungle, and you must rely on yourself to survive, not the "Nanny" state.

Anonymous said...

Anon writ:
Something needs to be clarified here.

Among the Gen X/Y are individuals that are not offspring of boomers. For example, I am offspring of parents who were born in the 30's that were raised by parents having depression era mentalities. Our parents beat us when we did something wrong.
=================================
I was born to two parents born during the 1930's (1934 and 1936) and I've been classified as a "boomer" circa 1957.

But I never saw my identity tied to the hard core baby boomers of WWII generation parents. In fact that group has been a pain in my side for as long as I can remember.

Get your hands on some of those old Leave it to Beaver episodes and see these guys depicted in their formative years living in suburbia. They were sheltered and told that they were special. They were also taught by their white collar parents to "lie". Above all else to lie.

For you younger guys and girls, the job market has stunk since the late 1970's and early 1980's. And the composition of employment in the US was shifted radically from high wage, productive work to low wage "service jobs" during exactly this period of 1970-1985.

The priviledged boomers (read: escaped Vietnam and took drugs) swarmed to the service economy like bee's to honey. Over the last 25-30 years this group did as much as any in history to destroy the FDR legacy and usher in all kinds of new age kookery. From environmentalism, wall street, gambling, porn, stock speculation,drugs, you name it. If it was damaging to the economy and country then they backed it to the hilt. And they hated blue collar productive workers, farmers, etc. Believe me I saw it and they hated the industrial economy of the United States.

My theory is that after President Kennedy was murdered, and the Vietnam war started in earnest. These hard core boomers from suburbia fantasy life suffered a "collective nervous breakdown" resulting from all the shock trauma of the mid-late 1960's that they experienced.

This made them as a generation highly suggestable and easily manipulated toward the "new economy" that was being implemented, as we were put through the post industrial paradigm shift.

As the years passed they also became very fascist in their outlook. The 1960's counter culture was a virtual breeding ground for future nazi's. It was always intended that way too.

And now the economy of the United States is collapsing and those same baby boomers the so called "Golden Generation" do not want to face reality. This is the same group that when faced with the prospect of combat scurried off to the safe haven of drugs, sex and rock so they could numb their fears.

They just cannot face reality and they never could. They were never equipped to lead a nation.

It is long overdue for a change in this country. We have to rid ourself of the post industrial society (which is really the problem behind SS), along with all the rest of the garbage that was introduced into our culture after the murder of JFK.

Anyone with a tiny bit of intelligence can go back and clearly see that the decline of this country started for real with the assassination of President Kennedy.

The nazi shock troops for the post Kennedy era 1964-2007 was the scared sniveling boomers who took the bait and went forward to destroy society.

They either shape up now and act like adults and leaders or they get replaced and put in nursing homes by the younger 18-35 year olds who will be running this country long after the booms have departed.

Doktaire said...

http://www.freecolorado.com/2004/12/qass.html

This is a great article that bascially sums up the entire social security debacle.

Sold at the Top said...

Not to defend Boomers in general, but perhaps if folks take a huff break they will remember that the U.S. Treasury ran surpluses before GWB became president. There was concern that we were paying off debt too rapidly. The idea was to get rid of most other debt, so that we would be easily able to handle the retirement of the Boomers through borrowing while still carrying a much smaller debt load than we have for the last 25 years.

Sadly, Bush took the money, and gave it to his billionaire "base."

Anonymous said...

But you cant diddle those 74 virgins unless you pay those insane house prices!!!!!!

Minimum Wage said...

Dear doktaire:

I am a baby boomer. I earn minimum wage and have outstanding student loan debt. I have not saved for retirement. How exactly did I "choose" to not save for retirement? I don't think I had a choice. Landlords and student loan collectors are funny that way.

Anonymous said...

Rise up and clean up? Not a chance. You Republican Baby Boomers clean your mess. Like I said many times on this blog before, I'm already set overseas in a nice place, rich in natural resources, good medical, growing and stable economy. You guys keep this lie. I also said that Gen Xs are not that easy to fool.

Anonymous said...

"The mortgage brokers, bankers, real estate agents are PRIMARILY genX and genY folks, NOT baby boomers."

I don't think so. All the hot zones for flipping are Baby Boomer central: Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, Naples, Sarasota, Las Vegas, etc. Baby Boomers were flipping properties all over the place. Now they want bail out from the government at the expense of future generations, as usual.

Anonymous said...

"...and just how do you think the next generation is going to react to a generation that spent all their energy whining about their predecessors(boomers)rather than pitching in and working to right the situation for future generations?"

They should do like I did. Take all the money overseas, become citizen of a tax haven country, and give the finger to Baby Boomers.

Oh man, I will watch these disgusting Baby Boomers going down in flames from far away. Good luck with that Medicare thing colliding with a humongous deficit, hyperinflation, Peak Oil, millions of Mexican immigrants who will continue to work under the table and send all the money back to Mexico instead of supporting the system. Burn baby burn!

Anonymous said...

"Ah, that one is easy, eduation in the USA is SO bad, that there are nowhere near enough highly-skilled workers to fill these posts."

Not really. Corporations have been keeping downward pressure on salaries. They are succeeding thanks to a corrupt government.

To give you an idea, the government set up a program that allows companies to bring foreign college students to work for 3 months at the time, for minimum wage.

Private agencies were set up all over the world, charging these foreign students up to US$4k to come learn English in America, while doing odd jobs for American corporations.

Do you guys ever ski in Colorado, Lake Tahoe, Utah, etc? Those kids you see working on restaurants, lifts, resorts, gift shops, etc, are all foreigners replacing American jobs. You are not going to tell me that working in a ski resort like Heavenly in Lake Tahoe is a job that Americans won't do, are you?

There is a national campaign to depress American wages. You can call it a conspiracy. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that education is not a priority in the the US.

After all, low education = sheeple = believers on the bogeyman terrorist = depressed wages = importing of good professionals for low wages with the excuse there no good American professionals.

China and India are in the copying business. They copy everything America does. We don't need those people for crap. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart, Target (and now Boeing) forces all the American manufacturers to set shop in those countries, thus giving our knowledge base to them in a plate. Hell, Bush even trades nuclear technology for mangoes with them.

Anonymous said...

"Explain to me why, immediately after the Tech bust, we were still granting H1-B visas for tech jobs?"

Doktaire said...
Ah, that one is easy, eduation in the USA is SO bad, that there are nowhere near enough highly-skilled workers to fill these posts. H1-B is not just for computers it is for any highly skilled position, think Biotech, Engineers etc. Just like everything else the USA has a "brain deficit" with the rest of the world.

Don't believe it.

The H1-B guy I know studied PolySci and is working in IT. Is this some special qualification? The real reason is that H1B's can be coerced to work harder because they are indentured to their employer. I thought we had the best educational system in the world? What up? Anyhow, I am sure if you look at the details the US was granting LOTS of H1Bs to IT folks in 2001-2005. And the average length of time ITers have been looking for work is up up up and pay is down down down. Hmmm, coincidence?

Anonymous said...

To the posters that talk about the history of boomers .

I hate to tell you but as a boomer there were times when I paid a 50% to 70% income tax rate for many years . The poster that states that boomers have already gotten their retirement benefits in the form of tax breaks is forgetting that GenX&Y got those same tax breaks and you don't realize how much boomers paid in taxes until they started lowering tax rates in recent times .

Part of the problem with SSI is that it was never designed for long life in retirement . When they enacted these benefits they expected people to collect for maybe 5 years .Is that the boomers fault that medical science advanced ?

Now because people live longer (and genX&Y will live even longer ),the set up for SSI has some serious problems .

If we didn't have any form of SSI than the old people would need to be taken care of by their children,(like they use to do in history or Asian cultures do) . In fact we would live in a society where it would be likely mandated .

Many boomers are aware that they might not get all their SSI benefits in spite of paying into the system for 45 to 50 years .Keep in mind that the boomers have not even started collecting SSI and medicare benefits yet but they have put in a massive amount of money in the course of working .

What I think America needs to work on is bringing back good jobs to the America people and the youth .
I don't like what the coporations have done to America in the name of profits .

The roots of the current problems in America go way back . We boomers were talking 35 years ago about SSI running out as well as oil while we still paid into SSI.

It seems to me that the elected officals don't do anything about situations unless they become a emergency .People seems to like short term thinking instead of long term thinking when it comes to policies . This is a human trait, not just a boomer thing .

When I hear the younger people talk on this blog it reminds me of my youth when my peers and myself would talk about these very issues about paying into SSI and never getting it .The boomers were very anti-war and we witnessed our elders buying bomb shelters because we all thought we were going to be nuked by the Russians .

Boomers were raised in a environment in which human social issues like civil rights and women rights were projects high on the list,along with a anti-war stance because we were all afraid of getting nuked or the earth being destroyed by bombs .Boomers also got hit by Viet Nam ,which really messed up alot of boomers . Every generation gets hits with what the problems of the day are .Sometimes generations just rebel rather than come up with viable answers to problems .

So, Im ranting on and on but I'm just trying to make the current problems in the United States a issue to be worked on by all rather than a issue of getting rid of those no-good baby boomers.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago a guy named Eric Hopper wrote a book called "The True Believer".

The jest of the book was pointing out how in order to control people you had to create a enemy. Hilter was very effective in convincing the German people that the Jews were their enemy .

I'm not saying that there isn't times where true enemies exist ,but sometimes they are created to control people so they won't discover what the true problems are and rebel.

When I see generations having such hate toward other generations, I start to question if the party that hates so much isn't trying to avoid what the real problems are .

The battle between the have and the have nots , the young and the old ,one ethnic group against another group, or one religion against another,the Russians against the Americans , etc, have all served to misdirect the creative energy of humans .

Anonymous said...

Generation x&Y acts like they have not benefited in the last 25 to 40 years from some of the benefits that came from the American debt .

Whatever funds have gone to the military have kept you Gen X&Y protected also . Whatever debt was the result of money spent toward civil rights or college grants was for the benefit of all Americans ,not just baby boomers . You GENX&Y seem to think that baby boomers got all the benefits from the money that was spent .
I could go on and on about how much the younger generations benefited by money that was spend that put America into debt . I don't always agree on where the taxes get directed toward but that is a issue that is always debated.

Should I complain about all the money America spent on World War II or the soup lines during the Great Depression .Maybe I should get pissed over the fact that the generation before me ran up debt building a bunch of roads in America .Maybe I should be mad that the generations before me created a stock market crash in 1929 that created alot of trends and policies and debt that are still having a effect today .Maybe I shold be pissed that the Depression generation got SSI and medicare that the baby boomers have paid a large part of . .How dare that prior generation from mine spend any money that we Boomers ended up paying for .

Anonymous said...

I think the Ancient Romans are to blame .

Anonymous said...

"Ah, that one is easy, eduation in the USA is SO bad, that there are nowhere near enough highly-skilled workers to fill these posts. H1-B is not just for computers it is for any highly skilled position, think Biotech, Engineers etc. Just like everything else the USA has a "brain deficit" with the rest of the world. "

I'm sorry, but you're a complete fool if you believe that is the reason. There is NO SHORTAGE OF IT PEOPLE in the U.S. If there were, salaries would have skyrocketed the last several years, but, in fact, they have stayed flat. I work in the field and believe me that the IT people from India are no more qualified than any of the out-of-work engineers in the U.S. The reason for importing them is simply to supress salaries. You simply fell for the lie!

Stephen said...

What happened to the days where old people had the decency to die at a reasonable age?

Anonymous said...

Do you guys ever ski in Colorado, Lake Tahoe, Utah, etc? Those kids you see working on restaurants, lifts, resorts, gift shops, etc, are all foreigners replacing American jobs. You are not going to tell me that working in a ski resort like Heavenly in Lake Tahoe is a job that Americans won't do, are you?

So? As long as the ski lifts run who cares?

Anonymous said...

H1Bs for the most part are cheap. But as always you get what you pay for and in many cases the $30 an hour Indian "specialist" barely knows how to turn on a computer. I've seen it often and for some reason CIOs still don't get it.

The-Other said...

Wow. The only thing more useless than baby boomers are their kids (and grand kids). They sound like they are scheming to lay their hands on their parents money. I thought all they did way lay around all day sipping $5 lattes and playing World of Warquest.

Anonymous said...

I think $50 trillion in debts and unfunded liabilities is actually an understatement. I’ve seen actuarial estimates as high as $70 trillion dollars. Turning up the printing press to pay these debts and unfunded liabilities is just FOOLISH. There are many examples in world history affirming the foolishness of printing money to pay debts, resulting in hyperinflation, as in Germany in the 1920’s, to Argentina more recently. This is not a sound economic strategy to truly deal with our massive debts and unfunded liabilities.

Politicians understand that raising taxes is tantamount to political suicide. Instead, they prefer to print more money (as USA has done, and continue to do) to pay the bills, which brings on inflation. If this strategy is abused (as countries in the past have done) it brings on hyperinflation. One reason we don't already have hyperinflation is because we have central bankers around the world still willing to buy US dollars and dollar denominated assets. But it is foolish to assume these world central bankers will continue to do this indefinitely.

Inflation is an indirect tax on the economy, since it makes many things just more costly to buy, reducing real purchasing power. But leave it to our clueless politicians to deliver a politically popular message, appeasing its political supporters, without truly fixing the root problems, by running a surplus budget, practicing sound fiscal and monetary policies, encouraging Americans to save more money, and discouraging this gratification now society for foolish spending. After all, if you look at our GDP (about $13 trillion dollars), it look good, but upon closer scrutiny, it’s not a true reflection of expanding productivity, but just spending more borrowed money. Our GDP growth is really growth in spending borrowed money, as we owe the rest of the world more and more money. But how long is the rest of the world going to be our creditor? Answer: Not indefinitely, as we are already see central bankers around the world rebalancing some of their reserves into Euros, and other strategic reserves, as they also see USA is insolvent.


Who is to blame? We are all to blame – Boomers, Gen X, and Y, etc. because we all allowed this to happen. We empower our politicians by voting them into power, and they presumably implement plans for the economic good of America. Unfortunately, politicians are not usually people with a great understand of economics, or have great business acumen. They may excel at diplomacy, double talk, and appeasing their political contributors, and special interest groups, but they don’t necessarily do the right things for the greater good of America. Only foolish politicians think that printing money to pay the massive debts and unfunded liabilities is a viable long-term strategy. This only reinforce a well-known truism -Those who fail to understand and learn from the economic mistakes from world history are sadly, condemned to repeat those mistakes. We are currently seeing USA make the same mistakes, and repeating economic failures.

Anonymous said...

I want good jobs for the youth of America ,or at least the opportunity for good jobs .I want the big coporations to be willing to take less profit and give the jobs to Americans (forget giving CEO's such a big chunk ) I want the Coporations to provide better benefits for the citizens of the United States .

I want the Americans to start working on getting the medical costs down . I can't help but think that there is a lot of waste in the medical fields that could be trimmed.

I want to cut government spending and make government accountable for waste and dead weight employment and stupid spending .

I think SSI could start at a later age since people are living longer .Maybe SSI should be taxed even more if a retired person has ample resourses or income aside from SSI.

The tax levels will need to be raised on the upper income tax bracket but only charge the higher tax rate amounts over a certain amount like 1 million or more .

Change the mortgage interest deduction cap from I million down to allowance to up to 600k .Only allow a one -time exclusion for capital gains on real estate and make it allowable for only people over 55 at a max. of 250k That way the churning of real estate will stop .

Do not allow the equity extraction loan amount money from real estate to be tax deductible unless the money is spend on the actual house .

Charge a additional capital gains tax for short term real estate speculation of under one year of 5%of the sales price .

Require illegals to have medical Insurance just like the industry required all autos to be insured .

Start enacting luxury taxes on high priced items usually purchased by the rich and famous .

Charge sur-charges for excess energy use .

Maybe spend gov.money on building new roads in America or repairing ones that need it rather than a tax-payers bail out for sub-prime borrowers .

Create jobs and training to get long term welfare families out of the welfare cycle .

Create more public transportation systems .
Encourage and gov. fund projects that work on future energy sourses that are not dependant on oil .

Anonymous said...

Funny, you Baby Boomers come with sweet tales of how you were poor, how you were against the war, you lived in fear of Russians, how is bad that generations hate each other, how you paid into SS for a gazillion years, etc.

However, you fail to recognize that you voted two freaks into office, twice, who are spending like a Baby Boomer in a Thailand brothel. Also that your irresponsible behavior of insatiable consumerism is leading us to hyperinflation, weak dollar, huge deficits, global warming, higher taxes, etc.

Then you guys use the equity in your home, which you bought when the mortgage/gross income ratio was only 14%, to flip properties or buy second homes you don't even need, thus creating one of the biggest housing bubble in history. That ratio I mentioned is now 49% to us, Gen X/Ys. So forget it about our generation ever buying a home, unless we sink deep into debt.

But you guys didn't stop there, you started consuming crap from China that you also didn't need, to the point that we are all China's bitches now.

On top of that, you guys keep saying that you won't retire, holding the good paying jobs from us, who are getting hammered in the job market with all the outsourcing and immigration that have been going on under your noses.

Very touchy your Baby Boomer stories, but the Gen X/Ys are the really ones getting screwed here.

And by the way, I'm a Gen X who has been working my ass off since I was 15 years old, including gigs as dishwasher, construction, valet parking, pizza deliver, messenger, etc, while juggling high living costs and much higher college tuitions than you ever paid.

So don't come saying that we are lazy...and save you touchy Baby Boomer stories to your crook senators.

kitchenstove said...

Boomers are hands down the worse generation ever, and the main reason for this is that there are so damn many of them, more than enough of them to cause eons worth of damage to the entire planet. Because I'm sure there have been horrible generations all through time, but I'm willing to bet that none before had the sheer numbers or technology to actully overpower the entire human race with their mindset of selfishness, hypocrisy, and greed.

A lot of them like to brag about all the things they've done, but most of what they did was half - assed or just for show. Take Civil Rights for example. They like to brag about how they achieved civil rights for people of color, women, and other minority groups...but these are still all second class citizens. These groups still get treated pretty poorly in general. There are other things they failed at too, but there's no time to mention it all here.

All a person can do is ask: Is the world a better place because of the Boomers? Maybe it's the same when it comes to a lot of things, and even worse when it comes to a lot of others. And no I don't believe all Boomers should be seen in a negative light. There are probably many cool ones, but the cool ones aren't the ones we have to worry about because they're a small part of that gigantic population.

Long live X...and Y, and Z.

Anonymous said...

Kitchenstove .

After 50 years of working you will build up more wealth than you have right now ,(especially if your smart) I was pissed off also when I was younger that it was taking so long to get ahead .

Alot of baby boomers are going to eat it because real estate is going down .At least the younger generations have more time to build retirement that is not dependant on SSI.

The Coporations are who you should direct your anger at . I know baby boomers that got their retirements slashed after the fact by companies they worked for 25 years for .Bring back good jobs for the American youth . We need to start cracking down on the laws that make it favorable for corporations to screw American citizens . I think the baby boomers would be behind that along with the GEN X&Y .I think the boomers in large part would be behind measures to trim fat in government and medical costs . The only thing that boomers might be pissed about giving up is the SSI they paid into for 40 to 50 years . Some boomers will starve without that .

It does not benefit boomers to have the youth of America screwed . Part of the problem is the lack of truth that comes out because the powers that be want to keep everyone in the dark ,including boomers .

Your crazy if you think boomers think in terms of screwing the next generation . I have three children that are struggling with trying to get ahead in life . Don't you think this inflation game is part of the problem with it becoming harder and harder to get ahead . I know people in their 80's that are on fixed incomes that are eating it by inflation .

My parents could get by on one income after the War . Now its pretty certain that it takes two working to make ends meet .

I think alot of people from all generations are building up toward wanted to enact new laws that will benefit the younger generations . Some of what is wrong in America lie in long term policies that need to be revamped .

Every generation is feeling the stress of outdated policies and a need for creative thinking to solve real problems .

Anonymous said...

Vote for Ron Paul to change things. Spread the word. Let's change this crap. I'm a Gen X and never voted Republican before. Ron Paul is our man.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:
Every generation is feeling the stress of outdated policies and a need for creative thinking to solve real problems .

May 11, 2007 12:38 AM

===================================
I think it's a paradox but the policies which are killing us are not the "outdated" policies of the FDR to JFK era. The policies which are killing us are the policies which rejected those earlier FDR laws. We were doing fine until the end of JFK.

One thing that must be done is a return to a regulated economy. The Wall Street boom, bust cycles, the post industrial economy, and now the real estate bust were all possible because we went with the "un regulated" market approach.

And yes by all means lets do something right for Generation X, Y and Z. Lets make sure that their futures are not wasted like the Boomers.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think the main solution to this problem is political – as in which politician can change things for America. I feel the problem is cultural – as in Americans, regardless of whether you are a Boomer, Gen. Xers or Ys, etc. need to stop this culture for gratification now. Gen Xers or Ys trying to blame the Boomers are really missing the point, since they are a part of this gratification now society. As a society, we don’t save enough, and depend too much on foreign savings to finance too many things. We consume and buy things we don’t really need, spending borrowed money, instead of spending within our means or budget. Our government does the same, incurring a deficit budget, unable to control spending, and obscenely incurring more and more debts. This is a multi-generational problem, and not only the Boomers’ problem.

The person who wrote right after me on May 10 gave many good suggestions. But I think the most effective solution, and perhaps the most unpopular solution given our gratification now culture, is Americans need to save more money, and only spend within our means, using credit as a convenience, instead of using credit to expand our spending beyond our means (which is easier said, than done).

As our debts and unfunded liabilities increase, our leverage around the world decreases. Our current dependence on foreign financing is just as debilitating as our current dependence on foreign oil. Just for some sobering perspective. We currently pay more in annual interest to service our massive debts, than we do to fund our entire educational system. This educational gap will further erode American competitiveness around the world, since other countries make a much higher commitment both culturally and financially, to educate and prepare their children to compete in a global economy (insular competitiveness is exposed in a global economy).

Many Americans live life on this financial treadmill, staying a paycheck or two ahead of their debts, because they don’t truly save enough. On a macro scale, our government’s lack of savings also means making many fiscal and monetary decisions that truly hurt our economy. If we had savings, we would not need foreign financing, and would not need to print more money, incurring this indirect tax of inflation. Some many be tempted to say, “But inflation is not that high”. Yeah right! That’s what our government wants you to believe (notice how some pretty important sectors of the economy is left out of the inflation calculations). Inflation is kept somewhat in check because we still attract foreign savings to buy our US dollars and dollar denominated assets. But that isn't going to last indefinitely as world central bankers aren't stupid to deepen our insolvency.

Forget inflation numbers for a moment and honestly look at real life. I remember when one parent could support an entire household. I grew up in a household of 5 children as only my father worked. Today, that is less probable as more likely, both parents need to work just to stay ahead of their debts. Why? Inflation! As almost everything cost more today, and takes a larger portion of our income than it uses to. Printing money is not the answer. It never was, as history has shown time and again. If America wants to stop the economic decline, it needs to fix the root problem – lack of savings. But given our culture, I’m not optimistic we will make this unpopular change, since it is easier to blame others and look for scapegoats, rather than honestly look at how we got to this horrible predicament.
JR

kitchenstove said...

Anon 12:38AM,

I think we are in agreement about a lot of what's wrong with America today, but while you don't blame anyone specifically, I blame Boomers for a lot of the mess we find ourselves in. The Boomers are the powers that be and they have been for awhile now. The Boomers (in most cases) are the government, the corporations, their supporters and what have you and the Boomer mindset of "Me First" continues to overshadow everything these guys do.

The only reason the Boomers are worried now is because the party is finally over. They've wrecked the house and the police have been called and there is no more time to do "The Hustle". There is only an increasingly ugly mess to clean up and not much time left with which to clean it. As they look around at this mess (a social, political, economical, spiritual, and environmental mess), more and more Boomers are realizing they ultimately got nothing out of this great, big party anyway. You said many similar things in your assertions, but who can be blamed for most of that if not the Boomers?

And Anon 2:46 PM,

We do live in a culture of "Gratification Now", but who started that whole cultural movement in this age? It was the Boomers! That's the mindset they spread around. Most Gen Xers wanted no part of that in the 90's. Our parents were more successful than we could ever be, left us nothing to discover, and took the charm out of everything so why bother was the attitude. Unfortunately, a number of Gen Xers have since tried to live by the "Me First" dogma too, but I think they'll soon be remined why that way leads to trouble (if they haven't been enough times already). Especially when this economic crash is fully underway.

Anonymous said...

kitchenstove:

I was born in 64, so that makes me a Boomer. But, I would have been a Gen Xers if I were born a few months later. My point is that I understand the concerns of both generations. I acknowledge the “Gratification Now” culture most likely started with the Boomers (since I do remember my parent’s generation were generally much better savers). But so what as to who started this cultural programming, since ensuing generations have free will not to follow, and chart their own future, free of this cultural baggage.

Some Gen Xers look for a scapegoat to blame, instead of accepting some responsibility for participating in the “Gratification Now” culture. You asserted that most Gen Xers want no part of that mindset. Yet that assertion is not supported by facts. Gen Xers save even less than their parents. The Boomers may have started this culture, but Gen Xers were and are willing participants, as their horrible savings rates affirmed.

You blame the Boomers for America’s current state. Then you wrote it was your parent’s (Boomers) success, that left your generation with nothing to discover, and took the charm out of everything so why bother was the attitude. If that is the attitude of a typical Gen Xers, unwilling to take any responsibility for America’s current state, then the future is very bleak indeed, since to effectively fix a problem, one needs to see and acknowledge there is a problem, be willing to accept some responsibility in order to sustain the necessary changes to fix it. When one doesn’t even accept any responsibility, then there is no mandate for sustainable changes, and therefore, no fix.

JR

Anonymous said...

I guess I just never expected my parents to give me anything .I wanted my parents to enjoy retirement and spend all their money on themselves. After I reached a certain age I didn't look at the parents like a money tree that I was entitled to .

kitchenstove said...

JR,

The Boomers HAVE left the greatest mess to clean up for anyone coming after them. This is a fact. It has nothing to do with whether a Gen Xer has issues with their parents or not, and I don't see it as trying to pass off blame when it's a plain fact. We as Gen X have a ticking time - bomb on our hands and we have Boomers to thank for it.

Whatever anger most Gen Xers direct at the Boomers has nothing to do with entitlement the way you are thinking of it either. Who cares about all the materialistic crap we can buy if we can't even afford a place to put it in? Or if the Earth fries into a crisp? Who cares about a savings if there is nothing left to save? Sure it feels good to buy and own nice things, but those Gen Xers who see worth only as how much stuff they own have chosen to follow the path perfected by the Boomers. If they continue on that path they will regret it. The rest of us only feel entitled to finding something in life that is hopefully still sacred after the Boomers get their hands on it. As you know, we can't even find any decent jobs to survive on for goodness sakes. Forget the big house with the white picket fence or the huge flat screen TV.

And as for standing up to the Boomers and changing the world if we disagree with the way it's going...my only answer is that we just aren't ready to take the Boomers on yet. I don't even think most Gen Xers believe we can really take the Boomers on. Obviously, Gen X has a love/hate relationship with the Boomers and we are at once in awe of Boomers and mistrustful of them. Boomers scare the pants off Gen Xers. Many of you guys are our parents after all and you've made sure to always remind us that we could never be as hip, cool, or smart as you were. We have always generally been a generation more prone to self - chastisment and low self - confidence, whereas Boomers think they can do no wrong and have all the answers. To be able to stand up to whatever wrongs we see so that massive changes are made we Gen Xers are going to have to do a lot more living and learning. We're also going to have to get over the idea that the Boomers are perfect. Sometimes our elders can be wrong.

There are Gen Xers who fight everyday for what they believe. I do whenever I can, even if it's just being part of a small protest. But many more Gen Xers will have to find some reason to believe this world still has true value (after the Boomers have all but trashed it) for us to really come together and for any real changes to take place. We will get it together eventually though, and watch out when we do.

Anonymous said...

kitchenstove:

I caution you to write for yourself, instead of attempting to write for all Gen Xers, using sweeping generalizations. I don’t know any Boomers who feel they are perfect. When you look at the statistics, there are many Gen Xers who are willing participants in this economic mess, with massive debts and unfunded liabilities. There is enough blame to go around. But blaming doesn’t fix this problem. I don’t know what the future holds. But I find it much more productive to accept some responsibility to sustain changes, than to look for scapegoats, which gets nowhere.

JR

Anonymous said...

Time to put every narcistic baby boomer on a SS retirement of $50 a month and tins of cat food for the rest of their self absorbed lifetime.

They clear dont give a f*ck about anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I am posting this comment to take the comments list off #66, which is the sign of the beast, aka George Bush Jr. The entire economy is all smoke and mirrors anyway. Spending, which accounts for two thirds of the US GDP,and is the engine of the economoy is coming to a screeching halt with the collapse of the housing market. Better get used to eating out less and driving an old clunker. You wont be able to afford anything else. I guess moving to a third world country is an option, as opposed to living in a 4th world country like this one will turn into shortly.