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Old 04-08-2012, 01:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The War Against Youth

http://www.esquire.com/features/youn...recession-0412

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The gerontocracy begins at the top. The 111th Congress was the oldest since the end of the Second World War, and the average age of its members has been rising steadily since 1981. The graying of Congress has obvious political ramifications, although generalizations can be deceiving. The Republican representatives tend to be younger than the Democrats, but that doesn't mean they represent the interests of the young. The youngest senators are Tea Party members, Mike Lee from Utah and Marco Rubio from Florida (both forty). Here's Rubio: "Americans chose a free-enterprise system designed to provide a quality of opportunity, not compel a quality of results. And that is why this is the only place in the world where you can open up a business in the spare bedroom of your home." He is speaking to people who own homes that have empty spare bedrooms. He will not or cannot understand that the spare bedrooms of America are filling up with returning adult children, like the estimated 85 percent of college graduates who returned to their childhood beds in 2010, toting along $25,250 of debt.

David Frum, former George W. Bush speechwriter, had the guts to acknowledge that the Tea Party's combination of expensive entitlement programs and tax cuts is something entirely different from a traditional political program: "This isn't conservatism: It's a going-out-of-business sale for the Baby Boom generation." The economic motive is growing ever more naked, and has nothing to do with any principle that could be articulated by Goldwater or Reagan, or indeed with any principle at all. The political imperative is to preserve the economic cloak of unreality that the Boomers have wrapped themselves in.
To be honest, I think this is the most important thing I have read in 5 years. I'm cynical and disenfranchised and pissed off for ways in which I only partially understood or did not understand. The generational conflict as articulated in this article is the major problem here.

Just a few highlights:

1) Wages for the young are super low and exploitative. As in, you need to work before getting paid for most jobs, to a non existent blue collar workforce that gets paid at "globally competitive" rates. Many of the college grads moving back home are working full time.

2) Disenfranchising young voters who frequently don't have IDs and when they are away at college will often have out of state IDs.

3) Slashing of essentially all government programs while simultaneously lowering taxes. The taxes being lowered aren't helping young people, they are helping the boomers who actually have high incomes.

4) The fact that we are going to support the boomer generation until they die at which point social security will be gone.

5) Far be it from the "laziness" narrative the older generation is selling, the entire point of all this youthful protest is that we want to work. That's pretty much it. It didn't just HAPPEN that a college education (of pathetic value now, BTW) is no longer a ticket to a middle class lifestyle or even a job, it was changed into that.

And a whole host of other issues. The thing that clarified for me the most after reading this article was figuring out what the tea party actually was. They aren't right wing reactionaries, they are old reactionaries. All they want are 1) tax cuts to help save for their retirement or to just splurge in the moment, and 2) fully funded socialism when they retire. To obtain it they are going to have to screw an entire generation and they are willing to do it. They are doing it. Obama wasn't scary because he was a "socialist" or black, it was because of his appeal to the youth. The boomers, with their square conservative parents, actually had it pretty good with rock bottom educational costs and all kinds of other help. And this liberal generation has led the nation with unparallelled greed.

On part of the article looks at a survey of high school seniors I think in 2003, a year after I graduated about values, and basically we should have been a conservative Republican's wet dream. We all want to get married and have kids and live in suburbs. That dream has been denied to us by the greed of our parents, the hackery of the Republican party, and the spinelessness of the Democratic party.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The War Against Youth

I'd give the writer more credit if he were capable of being honest about the problem. When Paulk Ryan suggested minuscule reductions in medicare spending (which would have done next to nothing to clean up the disastrous 75 year deficit the program faces) the democrats took up the "Ryan wants to murder the elderly!!!!!" campaign. They aren't "sympathetic with young voters but afraid to do the right thing". They're part of the problem.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: The War Against Youth

I agree with EH Monro and Dwight Eisenhower, we need to be honest about the problem

EH remind me how much Ryan's plan cut defense spending....? and again what % of our budget goes to defense...?


oh and more tax breaks for the wealthy was fiscally responsible how...?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: The War Against Youth

In that thread on the budget I was highly critical of both parties' "deficit reduction" plans because they both assumed baseline spending higher than the post-war tax revenues. Since WWII tax revenues have averaged 19% of GDP and both parties ten year "reduction plans" feature federal spending greater than 20% of GDP. That was, in fact, the funniest part of the contretemps over the Ryan plan. His budget plan featured microscopically less spending than the Obama plan and the democrats acted like it was the harbinger of the apocalypse.

And you're barking up the wrong tree if you think I support the military spending. I want it slashed to the bone as soon as humanly possible. Western Europe should be bearing the brunt of its own defense. In fact I'll laugh my ass off after Europe has to pay its own way and suddenly their national health care systems face the increased strain that America's does.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: The War Against Youth

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