Baby Boomers like to blame millennials and even our parents for the mess we are in today. We perceived our parents as “The Establishment” and gave them a hard time when they were trying to keep us straight and level. We perceived them oppressive when they didn’t give in to what we wanted. That’s sure something coming from the generation that has gotten whatever it wanted.
I wonder if we’ve ever paused to thank them for their sacrifices.
Boomers have a lot to answer for. The Greatest Generation handed us a healthy stable economy—in fact the healthiest in modern history. They made it easier for us than they had it growing up. They knew how to do more with less considering The Great Depression and World War II. They handed us a debt free government. They were quick to remind us they had it rougher than we did and wanted us to have it better than they did. These were good lessons for impressionable young boomers from a responsible generation who raised us to do the same. However, I’m not always sure we put much of it to practice.
We’ve been careless with what was handed to us.
Boomers like to blame millennials for the state of the nation and the decay of society. However, not so fast. Who raised millennials? We did. What kind of example have we collectively set for millennials and what kind of a mess are we handing them? We’ve always wanted what we want when we want, which is why we have more debt than our parents had—and millennials have.
Millennials, watching us struggle under a mountain of debt, repossessions and foreclosures, do not want to travel down that path. Banks, of course, are baiting millennials with easy money. Easy to borrow. Easier to get into debt.
Smart millennials aren’t taking the bait. The banks be damned.
Baby Boomers inherited a healthy economy rich in jobs and careers. However, we’ve taken advantage of what’s been handed to us. As politicians, we’ve slashed taxes and continued to put the country deeper into debt without grasping the consequences of fiscal irresponsibility. As a result, millennials are inheriting a huge fiscal mess not to mention social unrest.
We’ve continued to put off critical infrastructure upkeep over the past five decades to where we will never catch up on what needs to be fixed. Roads and highways continue to decay. Water systems and electrical grids are falling apart. The bridge collapse in Minneapolis years back is a good example of the repair work we haven’t been mindful of. People died in that collapse. Flint, Michigan’s water system is yet another example of our recklessness. It is believed there is at least $4 trillion worth of infrastructure repair and upgrade out there to be accomplished.
President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” campaign doesn’t even begin to touch it, but it is at least a start. We have a lot of work ahead of us. The state of education in this country is disturbing when educators are grossly underpaid, must purchase their own school supplies, and even have to pay out of pocket for substitute teachers to fill in for them when they need time off. School systems don’t have the budget.
How absurd is that?
College should be easier to get for young people to get. Instead, it has become beyond reach for most. Young people are refusing to get into student loan debt. School administrators are paid outrageous sums of money while teachers and their families go hungry. We’ve left young people to fend for themselves.
And we have the audacity to be critical of millennials.
Boomer and GEN X politicians have been reckless with out-of-control spending and little accountability for where the money goes. Billions just thrown to the winds—void of any accountability. We buy our friendships around the world. I have to believe there’s a money trail in that. Those who benefit and those who don’t.
The U.S. Supreme Court took the cap off campaign contributions sending corruption to new heights. Stunning isn’t it? How do people of modest means get elected, go to Washington, and retire wealthy while expecting the rest of us to do without? They forget what they were sent to Washington to do. It isn’t about the country anymore or and element of duty, it is about their own lives and careers. It is entirely about catering to the dark money that put them in Washington.
Education, as already stated, has taken a huge hit in the past 50 years because our priorities are misplaced. Education is what makes a society. When it falls off a cliff, so does society. We’ve become Trash TV for the world to see. We’ve forgotten how to act. No wonder the world—and millennials—have little faith in us.
Despite the negatives just mentioned, Boomers have also worked tenaciously to make the world a better place. We’ve taken a long look at racism and racial injustices. We still have a long way to go when it comes to addressing our differences. Climate Control has become a paramount issue. We’ve made great strides in healthcare and disease control.
Being a baby boomer has been a lengthy learning curve of knowing what works and what doesn’t. We’re constantly evaluating our mistakes and failings – determined not to make the same mistakes again.
Boomers have one last shot at making the world a better place before we collectively file off this apple. What about that?