Good morning, Young America! And by “young,” I mean Gen X, Gen Y, and Millennials, many of whom just had the honor, or for some reason bypassed the honor, of voting in a national election. If the media is correct, you are really happy and enthusiastic about what you have seen. They told you to be happy. Yet you should be frightfully pissed off.
You see, Young Americans, you’ve been royally screwed. By your parents, no less. For the last twenty-odd years, since they gained power across the board, the Baby Boomers have sold your generations down the river — and they got you all to help seal your own fate. Ingenious? Insidious? However you wish to describe it, you’re going to need to legalize marijuana in a lot more states to dull the pain of what is yet to come.
The Boomers at MTV told you to get involved, to focus on the social issues, vote for change. But what were they really doing? With marketing far more effective than anything Don Draper ever imagined, they were selling you a massive bill of goods, making sure you look the other way while they continue to move the loot out the back door. And we can get political here — both parties were and are culpable, Republican and Democrat, acting with such brazen self-interest as could be expected of the Me generation members in control. More debt, more spending, more consumption — that was their American way.
Not only did you buy it, you continue to buy it. So one is left to conclude: either a) you are a willing accomplice, selling out your own futures to make sure that your parents — who gave you so much — can continue to enjoy more than you ever will; or b) you are bloody ignorant. It makes no sense for anybody to seek a worse life than they enjoyed as kids, so draw your own conclusion.
Since the Clinton era, the Boomers, your parents, have been in charge of industry, Washington, Hollywood, and Wall Street — which is the problem. With such absolute power, the old cliché applies: they are greedy, corrupt, and self-interested. And they won’t give up such status easily. In business, they are in their prime earning years, and are going to stay in their high-earning positions long enough to endure any downturn and to make sure they are set for their own retirement (what does that mean for you, coming up the ladder?). Politically, they are going to give huge sums of money to their peers running for office (it doesn’t matter the party — $2 billion dollars in negative advertising during a recession? Really?) so that they can hold onto the power which protects policies which benefit … them. You’ll hear rhetoric of change, and they’ll try to sell it to you as good for the future, but when it comes to tough choices you’ll hear outcries of fairness. Wait a minute: is it fair to steal from their kids to maintain their own lifestyles, as they have already bought the house, made the money, and run the country?