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Baby Boomers? More Like Baby Doomers

Outgoing state Democratic Rep. says we've forgotten what real sacrifice means.

Every generation decries the next, proclaiming how it will bring down what they knew as “the greatest country in the world.” But I’m going to lament the past generation, and how their selfishness will be the end of that America we all know and love. How, unless a philosophical shift comes soon, the “Baby Boomers” are going to drive us off an economic cliff.

Sacrifice. It’s what has made this country great, but it’s something the offspring of the “Greatest Generation” have never had to go through. Sure, individually, members of my parents’ generation have made a sacrifice here or there, maybe for the betterment of their children or other meaningful entities and causes. But as a generation, they never experienced something as challenging as World War II or the Great Depression. The Baby Boomers have always had what they wanted, when they wanted it, and often times, they’ve had more.

My grandparents’ generation, the folks who endured a world war and a depression, created the freedom of which their children’s generation took advantage. The GI’s came home from Europe and the Pacific and they built modest, cookie-cutter homes. Those homes, such as the popular ranch homes, had small closets, one car garages, and they were “just enough” for a family to live comfortably.

The following generation built… McMansions. Two and three car garages. Walk-in closets bigger than their childhood bedrooms. The more junk a Boomer bought, the more space they had to acquire to hold that clutter. Vacuum packs to store extra clothes? Sure. Personal storage units and warehouses for extra “stuff”… Why not?

And today, to quote Yogi Berra, we wonder why “a nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

Our economy is in shambles, not because of one president, not because of one party, not because of one Fed chief, but because of the Baby Boomers. We hear a lot of talk about how great America used to be, and how sound our economy once was. But in all of that longing for yesterday, we never break down what happened.

Boomers made the credit card popular. They did the same to 30-year, million dollar mortgages. They complain about government debt, when most American adults now live in debt. Folks talk about the “American way.” It no longer involves Victory Gardens or personal sacrifice, instead it involves maxed out credit cards, home foreclosures and screaming about the government spending money in the same reckless manner in which we spend our own. It’s not the government’s fault—well not entirely—but it’s the fault of a Baby Boomer generation who has never felt any pain. So what’s next?

Boomers have gotten old. They have kids. Many of them have grandchildren. So not only has our population exploded in the last half century, but the cost to keep Americans safe, healthy and educated has also gone up. Over the next decade, most of the Boomers will become eligible for Social Security. At the same time, they will enroll in the world’s largest social program: Medicare. This will continue to increase government spending, as a cut to either Social Security or Medicare would cause a political uproar from the Boomer voters (the largest segment of the American electorate).

So now, instead of making sacrifices like their parents made, Boomers are now wanting to cut the programs that they have long enjoyed (education, transportation, environmental services), so they can be sure to have the services (Social Security and Medicare) that they will need until they die. We’ve seen how serious they are about this, as they were the ones on the front lines of the Tea Party movement. A movement that reminded us all, that this is a generation that has always used complaining and protests to make their voices heard.

It’s time for the Baby Boomer generation to remember the simple instructions of one of America’s greatest presidents: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” If they can muster up the courage to do just that, then they can leave this world a better place for my generation to inherit. Otherwise, those of us under 40 are doomed.

H. Boyd Brown (D) is the outgoing state representative for District 41, which covers Chester and Fairfield counties.

Nan Hahn September 01, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Stanley, I'm not going to waste anymore of my time on this, or on you. I WILL say that if armchair warriors were so great, they'd either be walking point, or they'd be running the war instead of sitting safely in their easy chairs, wrapped in their flags and spouting their know-it-all opinions for all to hear.
stanley seigler September 01, 2012 at 09:02 PM
@Nan Hahn neither you nor i should have wasted anytime on topics NOT RELATE to the topic of BB...but; your armchair warrior (ACW) despairing remarks, is another example of you not knowing or caring about facts... you have no knowledge of one's lifetime military service...time as a ACW and time on the front line...or their disabilities... you shoot from the lip... as suggested you should not make statements unless you know the facts...BTW were in the armed forces... you may want to consider your logic...original topic premise: BB did not sacrifice as did the great generation... you countered that they had and cited nam as proof/backup...when it was said nam was not WWII morally comparable to WWII...you countered with your husbands record in nam...which had nothing to do with the moraillty of the two wars...nor with the degree of society's sacrifice during those periods... then you moved another unrelated to BB attacking my service (of which you had NO knowledge)...then move on to attacking armchair warriors... etcETC, sigh... any clue as to how your [il]logic leads one to believe the BB made similar sacrifices made by the great generation appreciated...tho know there will be none as you will no longer waste your time boring us with your illogical, unnecessary, defense of the BB... BTW they need no defense...they just did what the times presented and required...as did the great generation....
GunnyHighway September 02, 2012 at 01:53 AM
After reading this drivel I fully support Rep. Brown's decision to leave the legislature and return to school. For instance, he specifically mentions home foreclosures as a sin of the boomers. But St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank economist William Emmons, in an article published last year, found that "excess foreclosures came primarily from younger, relatively affluent households". Rep. Brown also seems to suggest that I should forego Social Security and Medicare benefits, programs that I have been contributing to for almost 40 years, simply because it might be inconvenient for his generation to meet those obligations. I have to wonder what a 3rd-generation legislator knows about sacrifice, other than something he read in a school book. The "Greatest Generation" made the sacrifices they did in response to a world in crisis, not because they wanted to. They stood up and met the situation head-on. They didn't sit around and whine about how it was all their parents' fault. As a military veteran who worked my way through college I refuse to apologize for the fact that I choose to spend the fruits of my labor on a decent home and a nice car. I earned my money and I'll spend it any way I choose. Good luck in school, kid, you've got a lot to learn.
Colnzgprnts September 16, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Wow! reading these comments bring tears to my eyes. Mr Brown pitched the time-worn mantra of double talk so common to his party. He makes the pitch for every give-away known to government and then he ties it to 'Ask not what your gov't can do for you...'. How deceptive can a democrat be. The give-away mentality has resulted in two things 1) A government so deep in debt that we will not survive 2) A populace where nearly 50% do not work or produce, but demand ever increasing hand-outs. We are at a point in our history where there is open demand for higher taxes and greater 'benefits' for those that do not work or produce. That is more like Greece than it is like the America I where I was raised. Thanks Mr Brown! Your party has led this nation into an economic/ cultural abyss and the other party has watched passively. I get so sick of hearing the whimpering about serving in Viet Nam and not getting recognition. I enlisted of my own volition because I believed that having the good fortune to be born in the greatest nation on earth was reason to serve. After four years service, I went to work and neither asked for nor received benefits of any kind related to my service - that is what most veterans do when returning to civilian life.
Nan Hahn September 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Coinzgprnts - So, you're "sick of hearing the whimpering about serving in VietNam"! You "went to work and neither asked for nor received benefits of any kind related to(your) service - that is what most veterans do when returning to civilian life". I trust you receive any and all medical care from a civilian doctor, instead of the VAMC. While "most" vets may not have NEEDED benefits, those who have suffered service-related injuries/disability worked for and EARNED their benefits through their very service to this country. Your arrogance insofar as anti-veterans' rights is concerned is astounding! Since you decry receiving any benefits related to your service, I trust that if and when you are diagnosed with an Agent Orange-related disease, you will suffer in silence and take what karma dishes out to you without "whimpering"!

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