Oh Sure, Blame the Problem!

During a recent congressional hearing, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke blamed baby boomers for a looming fiscal crisis, declaring that future generations will be forced to "bear much of the cost" of Social Security and Medicare. Frankly, it's a mystery to me why future generations shouldn't be happy to pay for my anti-aging cream, but some people just insist on seeing the colander as half-empty.

Speaking as a member in good standing of the baby boom generation—as defined by my inability to listen to the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" without sobbing uncontrollably—I take offense at the idea that people my age are "a problem." After all, we have been called the Greatest Generation, for surviving the Depression through sheer force of pluck, for beating back totalitarianism in World War II, and then returning home to forge the largest economic expansion in the 20th century.

Oops. Sorry. That was my parent's generation. MY generation pretty much just laid around and watched TV. (But it was color TV! Sweet.) And as far as pluck goes, we didn't do pluck. Wouldn't know it if it hit us upside the head. No, what we did was cute and precious—also undeserving, ungrateful, and entitled, especially entitled, since our parents were determined that their children have all the things they never did. And who were we to argue?

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Sojourners Magazine April 2007
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