Friday, January 12, 2007

Baby Bumblers

If you've ever seen those Ameritrade commercials trying to hawk investment accounts to Baby Boomers you're familiar with the stirring imagery of astronauts taking steps on the moon's surface, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing throngs on the National Mall, and so on. The commercial is ironic, though, in that what it really conveys quite subversively (or perhaps just ignorantly) is the misguided pride and arrogance of that massive generation. For not a single image in the commercial actually shows a great Baby Boomer. Instead, all of the great leaders and heroes are members of that Greatest Generation of Americans who preceded the Boomers. Dr. King? He was no Boomer. JFK? Think again -- a WWII vet. Heck, the first Boomer president was Bill Clinton, and he is comicly representative of the Boomer stereotype -- self-indulgent, slick, self-absorbed, over-sexed. But the commercial winks and nods and tells Boomers, "You've really made a difference," even while showing people who really have done great things, but are not Boomers.

To be fair, some Boomers have done important things. Al Gore, for example, invented the Internet. Oh wait, that was a bunch of officers at the Department of Defense. Some of them might have been Boomers, though. And Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and all those guys in Silicon Valley in the 80s were Boomers. Then there was, uh... oh forget it. It's just too hard thinking of any more Boomer achievements.

Wikipedia has a list of great Boomers. It's a short list:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ballooning Entitlements... No Problem!

Newsweek has an important piece on how Baby Boomers are robbing their children and grandchildren by refusing to deal with the looming crisis associated with their huge cohort's retirements, which will be financed by the tiny generations that have followed:

No surprise that the "Me" generation, so famous for its self-obsession and indulgence, is mortgaging our future. But I have a tidy solution for the problem -- one that will require no benefit cuts, no age or income threshold increases, and best of all, no new taxes.

I say we borrow the idea that inspired the 70s sci-fi movie "Logan's Run." That is, we send Baby Boomers to a real-life "carousel." Or, to dispense with the theatrics, just line them up and shoot them. Mow 'em down. Eliminate the problem at the source.

Look, political consensus building is hard. Convincing such a huge constituency to make concessions to such small (and non-voting) ones as Gen Xers and so on is hopeless. So we can either accept that proceeding generations will be locked into slavery paying for Boomers' comfy early retirements, or we can kill the bastards. Admit it. You're not really that crazy about your parents anyway, right?

OK, I admit I'm going for shock value. But our parents don't have to know this. If we at least start to make some noise about how much easier it would be to kill them than to support them, maybe that will stir them to action. God knows nothing else has worked.