The 2014 Midterms, Old People, and Entitlement: A Manifesto

Old white people rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

Old white people rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

Well, the 2014 midterm elections are over, and, depending on where you stand politically, they were either a smashing vindication or a mega-blowout. Count me in the latter camp. That’s right, the Republican Party absolutely dominated, expanding their already swollen (and, thanks to their shady gerrymandering of districts), near incontestable dominance of the House and winning control of the Senate. And I couldn’t be more pissed off, and not just because I’m an unabashed liberal (and if you don’t agree with me, too bad, ’cause you’re wrong). No, there’s a bigger story regarding the outcome of the 2014 midterms that is both glaringly obvious and yet still underappreciated: the mind-blowing hypocrisy of old, white American voters.

Traditionally, midterm elections in the U.S. have a strong, built-in right-wing advantage, and they’re generally pretty hostile to the party that controls the White House. But in recent years, it’s become clear that there’s functionally two electorates in America: a younger, more ethnically diverse, moderately liberal coalition that votes in presidential elections (who gave Barack Obama a two-term presidency), and a much older, more lily-white, and more conservative reactionary coalition that shows up en masse to vote in midterm elections. In general, fewer Americans vote in midterm elections than in presidential ones, and the ones who do show up at midterm polls are often old, conservative, and very, very angry.

And this is exactly what happened in the last two midterms. The electorate that gave Republicans total dominance of the House in 2010 was an aged electorate: 34 percent of those midterm voters were 60 or older. This trend repeated in 2014, as seniors compromised 37 percent of the electorate that gave the GOP total dominance of the House and Senate. In modern America, midterm elections truly are a right-wing grey dawn.

Now, before I go any further, I realize that not ALL seniors are foaming-at-the-mouth Republican drones. Seniors, just like the rest of us, are individuals with individual personalities and preferences. That said, however, as a demographic group, American seniors have unquestionably made a large-scale political shift rightward. Earlier this year, Gallup noted that, “over the last seven years, seniors have become less Democratic and have shown an outright preference for the Republican Party since 2010.” Similarly, Pew Research Center observed that “well-known generational divides” characterized the 2014 midterms, as seniors overwhelmingly favored the GOP. To put it simply: not all seniors are Republicans, but these days, most Republicans are seniors.

Thus, we come to the point in this post where I get angry, because here’s the thing about many of America’s seniors: they’re entitled, self-absorbed, hypocritical, greed-driven, prejudice-prone generations, and their current voting preferences have ensured that they’ll get all the advantages of government programs for themselves even as Republican politicians work to dismantle those same programs for younger generations. Not all seniors fall into this bracket, of course, but too many of them do, and if I sound angry, it’s because I am. The generations that constitute the current crop of right-wing seniors have also played no small role in helping to build an economy and a society that is growing worse and worse for younger generations, especially Generation Y, better known as millennials (those born between the early 1980s and 2000s), among whom I count myself. So, yeah, I’m angry, and people in my age bracket have every right to be angry at the political habits of old people who have spent decades trashing the American economy, accruing mountains of debt, and generally voting to cut younger generations’ throats. This is generational warfare alright, and I’m tired of sitting in the trenches.

But before I go further, let’s define the two groups who constitute America’s senior population, shall we? First off, there’s the so-called Silent Generation. These are people born before 1946 who came of age during World War II. They faced neither the trials of the Great Depression nor the fighting of the war (though they did serve in Korea), and thanks to their small numbers, they really had it made.

According to sociologist Elwood Carlson, the Silent Generation are the “lucky few” because they grew up in the post-war boom of the late 1940s and early 1950s, a period when jobs were plentiful, economic prosperity was wide-spread, the labor movement was strong, progressive taxation was the norm, and the American Dream® consisted of an increasingly white-collar middle-class life followed by an early retirement. But this generation also lived to play by established rules: because they inherited an economic boom, they didn’t want to rock the boat or change the system, in fact, they disappeared into the system. This group’s preference for unspoken, starched-shirt conformity earned them the name “Silent Generation” in a 1951 essay in Time magazine.

The "Scumbag Baby Boomer" meme. You people had it coming.

The “Scumbag Baby Boomer” meme. You people had it coming.

After the Silent Generation came the other group that now makes up a fair number of American seniors: the Baby Boomers. They were the kids born roughly between 1946 and 1964 during the post-World-War II Baby Boom, when one of the biggest economic expansions in U.S. history spurred people to have more kids based on the notion that the good times were here to stay. As historian Doug Owram writes in his book Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation, boomers were a “fortunate generation” if ever there was one. “Few generations grew up in such prosperous times,” he writes, “the quarter-century after the Second World War brought the Western world some of the most sustained economic growth in history…a growing economy, an improving set of government social programs, and a wide dispersion of wealth meant that the average…citizen benefitted.”* (Note: Owram is a Canadian historian who largely covers Canadian Boomers, but the Canadian situation during this era so mirrored that of the U.S. that his book is the definitive history of Baby Boomers).

As a result of their great historical fortune, Baby Boomers are positively insufferable: they are the most entitled generation ever; a numerically dominant, collective pain-in-the-ass that went from the (admittedly overcooked) idealism of the 1960s to the safety-net shredding, union-busting, greed-obsessed, race-to-the-bottom conservatism that destroyed the economy in 2008 and made the world a lousier place for the generations that followed them. They’re the generation that reaped the most from government programs and progressive policies even as they came to ideologically reject those policies. Heck, Boomers are so awful that they have their own internet meme, “Scumbag Baby Boomer.”

Whether it was union membership, a wide-open job market that could turn high-school graduates into members of the middle class, a dirt-cheap college education if they wanted it, social security, medicare, or progressive taxation, the Boomers took everything and scorched the earth in their wake; they went from Woodstock to Gordon Gekko, and they rail against “entitlements” even as they spent decades benefitting from those entitlements. Indeed, it’s no coincidence that the Boomers became known as the “Me” generation: their self-absorption is so legendary that the Newseum in Washington D.C. is hosting an exhibit dedicated to Boomer narcissism.

Thus, we come full-circle to the source of my righteous anger over how America’s old people voted in the 2014 midterm election. If there is one characteristic that defines seniors today, whether they’re members of the Silent Generation or Baby Boomers, it’s that both groups came into the world amidst unbelievably fortunate economic circumstances, and before they leave the world, they’re casting votes for policies that are making America a crappier place for younger generations. The Boomers’ current conservatism reflects a blindingly narcissistic need to preserve everything they reaped at others’ expenses.

Take, for example, the way old people in America love to criticize the millennial generation as lazy, entitled, adverse to hard work, and whiney — despite the fact that millennials are entering adulthood during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. As Kate Dries notes in the New York Times, Boomers are accusing millennials of “doing everything wrong” and “destroying this great nation that was built by the Baby Boomers.” But wait, there’s more! Writing for the American Bar Association, Lauren Stiller Rikleen sums up older generations’ criticisms of millennials as such: “‘Millennials are too entitled.’ ‘They are unable to solve problems.’ ‘They want to make a lot of money without working hard for it.’ ‘They want constant feedback.'” But wait, there’s more! Another big problem that old people have with millennials is political. As Pew Research Group and other outlets have noted, millennials tend to be fairly liberal on all kinds of issues: they’re pretty tolerant of homosexuality, they support regulation of big business, they’re less attached to religious institutions, they’re more supportive of diversity, and they’re less critical of government — even though they’re fed up with both political parties.

A college graduate waits fore magical free-market job fairy to come and create jobs.

A college graduate waits for the magical free-market job fairy to come and create jobs.

Of course, like any age group, millennials aren’t monolithic: there are plenty of conservatives in this group too. But regardless of specific political preferences, something else characterizes millennials: we’re what the Atlantic calls the “Mad as Hell Generation.” At the same time that old people are telling us to just shut up and get a job, we’re enduring an apocalyptically bad job market — one worse than most of the current crop of old people ever faced — and millennials are the first generation in American history who will very likely end up worse off than their parents. There’s a reason we’re called the Lost Generation.

Millennials have every right to be angry because they’re being forced to sleep in the terrible bed that the older generations made. They face an economy in which there are far more applicants than jobs; an economy in which unpaid internships are becoming all-too-common and wages have been stagnant for decades. Millennials also have to deal with the new normal that is the Great Recession, caused by the overheated, free-market gamble-a-thon long championed by deregulating Boomers drunk on neoliberal punch. These facts, in addition to the hard truths that middle-class jobs are a vanishing luxury and a college education doesn’t guarantee a job but does guarantee crippling student debt, make it hard to NOT get mega-pissed off at the gaggle of seniors who vote to further deregulate the economy, enact race-to-the-bottom policies like corporate tax cuts that only empower employers, and deny basic human rights to same-sex couples and minorities. America’s old people truly had it made, but they’re making things harder for everyone else.

Now, obviously I don’t speak for everyone in my age group, and there’s plenty of folks who’ll disagree with me, but this isn’t their blog, it’s mine, and I’m calling out America’s olds for their hypocrisy and self-centered political stances. When seniors send full-on whackaloons like Joni Ernst and Tom Cotton to the U.S. senate, they’re not just casting a vote; they’re supporting an odious political ideology that seeks to dismantle the safety net — especially Obamacare — that is one of the few remaining defenses against a conservative culture that has enriched the top 1 percent of oligarchs who rule this country and driven the deeply undemocratic growth in income inequality over the last thirty-plus years.

This conservatism thrives on a culture of fear in which everyone who is different from old, white people — whether they be Hispanics, blacks (or “coloreds,” to the really old), “liberals,” gays, atheists, young women, workers, community organizers, city dwellers, or the President of the United States — are deemed enemies of America. And quite frankly, I’m sick of it. So I say to America’s right-wing oldsters: STFU up and let someone else run things. If you butt out, we’ll work on actually turning up at the polls to vote. End of rant.

* Note: complaints from elderly conservative readers can be sent to the following e-mail address: Idontgiveadamn@gmail.com.

* Note: to Baby Boomers who aren’t jerks; you know who you are, so I’m not talking about you, obviously.

* See Doug Owram, Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), x.

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28 Comments

  1. As a millennial drowning in debt I took out to cover law school, I would vote, volunteer, do anything for a politician that promised to make student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy again. The fact that people who rack up too many charges on their credit cards for stuff (not trying to demonize them, I know how credit cards can become a trap, but still) can get out from under it but I can’t is galling.

    • Oh man, I’m with you on that. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard the endless speech for years that “going to school will get you a job!” Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth these days, so you’re left to pay a crushing debt with either a non-existent or criminally low paycheck. Good times indeed.

  2. this is idiotic bunk. Most of the so called boomers are working class people who mostly will not be getting any pensions( Less than 1/3 have pensions and savings}. So they will be working till they die and therefor be still paying into social security till they die. The real crisis is that since most boomers have no pensions they will not be leaving to give those jobs to the young till they die. So you can blame the 1 percent of the boomers who have power.

    • Well, I’d like to think that it’s at least well-informed bunk. But seriously, I get your point, Mark: of course most Boomers are working people since working people are the majority of every population. And yes, a good many are having their pensions raided by the pirates on Wall Street or the leaches in Congress. But how many of those same people have been supporting the conservative politicos who act as the 1 percent’s lackeys? That’s my point. Think about the 2008 crash; what did many older voters do after that? Well, they formed the Tea Party and sent conservatives to Congress, conservatives who explicitly vowed to do nothing to reign in the Wall Street pension barons. In fact, these conservatives are open about their desire to FURTHER empower the 1 percent. The fact so many older voters, working or otherwise, support conservatism as an ideology is what fuels the anger in my post.

  3. Only 730 more days and we liberals regain control. Also, a certain percentage of older white assholes will have died off and not been replaced. The demographics favor us, but it will take time.

    • Yeah, but I admire conservatives’ sheer dedication to actually voting. If only liberals actually went to the polls that consistently and fought for what they believed in.

  4. I am a 69 year old Democrat who is outraged about this Republican/Koch takeover. I believe the final step toward their utopia will be completed when the Kochs purchase the 2016 Presidency. I don’t know if I can make any good points here in regards to generational responsibility, nor analyze their motives. I am more inclined to assign blame on a broader basis to the general American population.

    I am one year ahead of the baby boomer crowd. I say “crowd” because that is what they were in the halls of my small town high school. We were suddenly shoulder to shoulder with a teeming mass of humanity in a too small environment. As their ranks swelled year after year, the town was hard pressed to accommodate them.

    What were they like? Some of them were very smart and civic minded. They were the children of WWII Eisenhower supporters, many of them owing their start in life to the GI Bill entitlements. I can’t guess why so many of them, parent and child, will today vote to deny entitlements to the less fortunate. Being so many in number, they were competitive with one another. And they were selfish. They were like twenty squealing piglets on a ten teated sow. Compounding this greedy selfishness, was the culture of our educational system. The schools wanted to mold students into obedient, regimented worker drones marching out to the factories. What kind of witches brew was that? I am not a psychologist, but to this day, whenever I run into an unpleasant- me-first-get out of my way or I’ll run you over person, I’ll say they must be a baby boomer. I know that generalizing is faulty, but I’m just speculating here.

    One other thing I got a sense of from this swarm of people is their lack of respect. They did not seem to give a crap about the accomplishments of anybody older than they were. Throughout my school days, we had a way of looking at older upper classmen as someone to admire and model after. Out of this came tradition, legend and lore, and school spirit. I think these baby boomers threw all that and community pride away. Again, these are just the speculations and musings of an older guy between the baby boomers and the “Greatest Generation”.

  5. Those are interesting observations, especially the point about the Boomers’ sheer numbers possibly playing a role in their eventual right-ward political drift. Now, obviously, I’m purposefully making broad generalizations in this post to make some bigger observations, and the tone of this post is tongue-in-cheek in order to make some serious points, but the election data shows that older Americans overall seem to favor the GOP and their policies. Of course, all age groups can be selfish and narrow-minded, but there’s something about how hard-line conservatism in the age of Obama appeals to older generations that really grinds my gears, especially given the world they came into in the mid-twentieth century.

    • Maybe most of these older folks have put their gear in park, and hung up their keys (somewhere around here). The scary part is that they are civic- minded enough to still get out and vote. Absentee ballots are the greatest, by the way.

      I easily converted my 89 year old mother into a Democrat. She is still sharp as a tack, and all she needed was for me to point out to her a few things that “conservatives” were saying during the Obama election. What really sold her was their attack on women’s rights. It was like a light came on in her head. Suddenly, she could see through all the right-wing rhetoric.

      My mother grew up in the Depression and went through WWII. She voted conservative out of habit, and never really gave politics much thought – much the same as everyone else she knew. Maybe she felt (rightly or wrongly) that FDR got us into a war, and Eisenhower got the war won. She probably felt the country was in good, responsible, conservative hands after the end of the conflict, and everyone could go on about their business. I think FDR got little credit or understanding for his Depression-era benefits programs. Getting something for nothing was viewed with suspicion, and thought to be temporary anyway.

      The nation was not secure in those days. There was WWI in my grandparents’ day, followed by WWII, Korea, the Cold War, Cuban missile crisis, and so on. I grew up with the constant threat of atomic doomsday. In school, we had drills to sit in the hallway with our backs against the wall. We had classmates who were refugees from Eastern Europe. The attention was mostly focused on what the outside world was going to do to us next. We felt better under a protective, military- oriented conservative government. Social issues were not on most people’s radar.

      Social issues sprang to life starting in the sixties for my generation. It was then that liberals began to emerge. Some of us emerged as from a cocoon, but other people just could not make the transition. Vietnam. Nixon. Student protests. Folk singers. Kent State. Cops with clubs, dogs, and fire hoses. Civil rights marches. And so on. These times were a wakeup call, and many people just failed to answer that call. To this day, they obediently trudge through life like robots. Trampling their own garden.

      • I think a lot of folks in the Silent Generation and before held a special regard (even if out of sheer habit, as you say) for Eisenhower Republicanism. And to think, Eisenhower Republicanism seems downright progressive these days. I can imagine Ted Cruz railing against the socialism of interstate highways. And on this point you make: “The attention was mostly focused on what the outside world was going to do to us next.” That’s pretty much the essence of conservatism. It’s a victim mentality that fears outside threats from everything, from liberals, to non-whites, to non-Christians, to gays, to Russians, to Mexicans, to terrorists, to the IRS, and, of course, to the “Government.” Failing to answer the call indeed.

  6. I think it’s an oversimplification to talk about the Boomers’ “eventual right-ward political drift”, simply because many of them were never that left-wing to begin with. In every election between 1968 and 1992, except 1976, the Republicans won. That was because of substantial numbers of Boomers.
    The other thing to point out is that resistance to the draft during the Vietnam War WAS largely selfish, as million of Americans neither went to Vietnam nor went to jail nor fled abroad for their principles.

    • That’s a good point; the Boomers have always been varied across the political spectrum, if for no other reason than their sheer numbers. Heck, the oldest boomers flocked to the “Law and Order” campaigns of Nixon and Wallace. But as they’ve aged, their rightward tilt has become more pronounced, and American conservatism has become more extreme. That’s not a good combination.

  7. There are some interesting observations here, as well as passion! One thing that strikes me about the criticisms that baby boomers make of millenials – lazy, entitled, disrespectful, etc. – are the same complaints that every older generation makes of the younger. Indeed, the criticisms made of us millenials sound an awful lot like the criticisms made of the baby boomers in the 60s by their older generation.

    There is also the issue of voter turnout. If millenials do not turn out to vote, they have no one but themselves to blame if those who do turn out to vote support ideas that are not in the interest of millenials. Decisions are made by those who show up. There is also no law saying you have to vote for either the Democratic or Republican candidate. Don’t see your issues reflected in those candidates? Vote for independent candidates that do. If enough people did this, I would guarantee politicians would take notice. If you choose either (a) not to vote; or (b) vote Democratic or Republican, you are supporting the existing political system, regardless of what you actually think and believe.

    • Wes, you’re totally right about the generational criticism thing: every generation of old codgers seems to criticize the young as lazy, spoiled, etc. And your point is well-made about millennial voting apathy: we’re working on that, I hope. Although independent or third parties, unfortunately, ain’t gonna fly in America.

  8. Dear Devil. Yes I did get the point when I first read your article. but. the paragraph with this section: ” Millennials have every right to be angry because they’re being forced to sleep in the terrible bed that the older generations made. They face an economy in which there are far more applicants than jobs; an economy in which unpaid internships are becoming all-too-common and wages have been stagnant for decades. ” That set me off. As the point I was making was that all but the 1% of the boomers had nothing to do with making this economic bed. Yes Millenials and the rest of us have every right to be furious with the no future world we live in. The lets just eat each other morality from the top seems to be infectious. Direct this truth at the real power not other victims. Regarding the self destructive voting cycle of some senior boomers I think that part that behavior involves alienation of all parties. Maybe if activism could involve starting a positive dialog with the real working class boomers. Vilifying all seniors is doing the work of the 1%. An Occupy Wall Street movement that featured all ages would be more effective.

    • “An Occupy Wall Street movement that featured all ages would be more effective.” Generally, I agree, but the fact that the modern electorate is so clearly divided along generational lines makes it hard not to examine politics without pointing out the ways such divides affect different age groups in different ways.

  9. Thank you for your note to us Baby Boomers who are not jerks. I agree 100 percent with this blog. As a Boomer, I’m extremely distressed that so many of my generation have drunk the Kool-Aid of conservatism. It’s even become dangerous for older liberals like me to express my beliefs here in deep red Louisiana, even though I live in a suburb of New Orleans, my birthplace. You can’t imagine how many of my liberal friends warned my husband and me against putting up signs for Democratic candidates. We did anyway, and when they were stolen or knocked down, we put them up again. Letters to the editor written in support of those candidates or against the conservative jerks elicited vulgar and often threatening phone messages. How do we change this? No one seems to care. My husband and I have rabble-roused for, supported, and donated to liberal organizations and causes our entire lives. We are middle-class people who worry about the lives of those who follow us. I despair that the next generations won’t have access to the excellent public schools and colleges that gave my husband and me the ability to find decent paying jobs, own our own home, take occasional vacations, and help out those in need. We worry that the safety nets enjoyed by our grandparents and parents won’t be there for us and for future generations. We worry about whether we’ll be able to afford to stay in our home and pay for our health needs as we age. Retirement isn’t an option for us. I’ve been heartsick since Tuesday night and am not feeling any better since reading your blog. My resolve to continue fighting remains strong. I hope to see the end of jerk control of this country before I come to my end.

    • Thanks for reading, Kathy! As a liberal in the Deep Red Deep South, you seem to be witnessing the inherent authoritarianism of conservatism on a personal level. I wish I knew what could be done about it, but when it comes to the post-civil Rights Deep South, conservatism has been so ingrained into the fabric of everyday culture that it will likely take many more generations to crack it, if that ever does happen.

      When I did my dissertation research in Mississippi, I remember driving along Highway 55 and seeing more than a fair-share of graphic anti-abortion billboards and gun show announcements. Conservatism in Dixie isn’t just political, it’s culture; it’s identity, and it seems impossible to combat. But I hope you keep fighting the good fight, if only to keep your own integrity.

  10. I don’t think the older people understand how things really work. The Teabaggers do a good job of trying to separate people as in wanting to get rid of Social Security for those under 50. Just who is going to foot the bill for the over 50 crowd’s Social Security? The program is not dependent upon the tax revenues of the nation. It is a self funding program. If the younger people are no longer going to have Social Security, then who is going to pay for the older people’s checks?

    One of two things will happen. The first is the deficit increases because there is no way in hell the younger people will pay for the something they will not be getting. So that means all the checks will be from the general revenue instead of the self supporting program. The second is that if the checks have to come from general revenue and young people don’t have the program, why should the old people keep their program? Screw them will be what the younger generations think. You screwed us, so we’re going to screw you.

    The bottom line is if Social Security is ended for the young, it will also end for the old and then they won’t have crap for retirement. So when the Teabagger scum start talking their usual line, call them on the carpet about who will pay for the old people’s retirement. Call them exactly what they are, which is lying bastards who don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

    • Boy or boy! Did you ever hit a nerve with me mister! You are right! Cold water in my stupid face right! As much as I despised the ethics of this Teabagger movement against Social Security, it never dawned on me that it would affect those of us who are already on it. The same goes for Medicare, which is also a payroll deduction paid by younger workers. And employers would love to get out of paying their half of it as well. I can just see the Kochs rubbing their hands and drooling about all the money they will make now. There will be no “grandfathering in for you, you old codger”. (No soup for you either). This is like walking along and finding a little piece of debris, and then another. It soon becomes apparent that this whole country has just become unraveled, never to be mended again.

      • “It soon becomes apparent that this whole country has just become unraveled, never to be mended again.” I wish I could disagree with you on that…

    • “I don’t think the older people understand how things really work.”

      A lot of people, regardless of age, don’t really understand how things really work. Nevertheless, I always have to smile when someone collecting Social Security and Medicare, that I’m subsidizing with every paycheck, presumes to lecture me on the hazards of big-government socialism.

  11. Your “rant” against your preceding generations is fully justified. Each generation inherits the world that is left to them. Worse yet, the older generation keeps hanging around, holding the power; and keeps on gumming up the works for everybody else. The past weighs on the present like cement boots, impeding progress towards an improved future. How can that bond be broken? I wonder if that bond has ever been broken in the past? Can it be broken? The generation that breaks that bond will also need to be wise enough to chart a path of improved life for future generations. Can this country’s decline be halted and turned towards an upward trajectory? I have weighed the consequences of this mid-term election. This nation is lost. Mankind’s best future now lies elsewhere in the world.

  12. During the 80s the job market was also tight. Tuitions at state schools were still low then, but trending upward rapidly, and student loans were finally available across the board and no longer restricted to people who could prove need. Students, those whose parents could finance their kid’s education without hardship and who had family connections that would assure them of a job once they graduated, tended to abuse student loans. The loans were at much lower than going interest rates and students were not required to prove they had spent the money they borrowed on school expenses. It became a way to finance nice cars, top of the line stereo equipment and airfares to exotic places. Banks aggressively marketed credit cards to enrolled students. The school I attended had an excellent placement center for students who would need a job upon graduation, but unfortunately it was run for the benefit and convenience of corporate employers. Five hundred potential employers had recruiters on campus on a regular basis; less than a handful would knowingly interview liberal arts majors. Interviews were limited to computer science majors and MBAs with degrees in finance or accounting. This is what was known as the Reagan Revolution. Clinton’s election in 1992 opened the door to liberal arts majors capable of contributing content to what became the internet.

  13. I think a generational analysis is an oversimplification. One could make a rural — urban analysis that is equally convincing. Rural areas receive much more in government subsidies than they pay in taxes. But thew form the heart of the Tea Party.
    I got to go to collage when it was possible to pay your way through a good State University with a part time job and din’t have to barrow any money.

    I think the best thing this country could do for the country and the economy would be to cancel all student loans and fund Universities to greatly reduce the cost of going.
    The current generation with large student debt should be buying homes, cars, and other major products. It would only cost the government the interest they receive which they shouldn’t be getting anyway. The resulting boost to the economy would more than make up for any revenue loss.

    I am a senior on Social Security so this is not a self serving ides. And, by the way, Social Security is more than a transfer payment to seniors. It is survivor and disability insurance and it allows your parents to live on their own and not with you, and it preserves some of your inheritance. It is actually a pretty good deal for everyone no matter which generation you are in.

    • Hey thanks for reading! Granted, this post was meant to be partially tongue-in-cheek and dramatic, and yes, generational analysis isn’t the only factor at play here, but it is a big factor. Your points about Social Security are well-taken, but in this economy, it’s more likely that millenials will be moving back in with their parents (who told them that going to college would lead to a job…), rather than the other way around, so, yeah, it’s a good thing for Social Security.

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