Boomers: ‘Sorry, but we spent all the money.’

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I have a daughter who finished college three years ago and, to her credit, does not live at home and does not come to her parents for money. She is making her own way in the world and I’m proud of her for it.

But as youth fades into full adulthood for my daughter, she is coming face-to-face with the frustrations of trying to improve her worldly fortune through her patient industry – a Dickensian way of saying that she doesn’t make a lot of money and can’t see a way to fix it.

I feel her pain – particularly given what her college degree cost. It is a simple fact that when I was her age, the American economy afforded much more opportunity for young, eager college grads than it does today and I feel badly about that.

Put very bluntly, we Baby Boomers have left our children a world of diminished prospects.

By the time of my coming of age, America had not yet squandered its massive post-war wealth, had not yet piled up a crippling debt and had not yet expanded the welfare and entitlement states beyond sustainability.

We had not yet inflicted all of the damage that was eventually to come to secondary and post-secondary education.

Not yet.

But the damage got done and it got done mostly on our watch.

Agenda-driven race, class and gender “studies” too often today crowd out courses in English, math, history and science on college campuses. The result emerges in the form of a giant cohort of graduates who have a badly skewed sense of world and political history, poor command of basic skills and an unrealistic understanding of economics. The culture that undergirded the American founding is at best largely unknown to a large percentage of recent graduates or at worst is openly rejected by them.

That missing fund of basic knowledge is an undeniable factor in the lackluster employment prospects that many college graduates now face. Poorly prepared is poorly prepared and prospective employers – in a persistently weak economy – are making their hiring decisions accordingly. That this academic deficit was purchased in colleges that raise tuition at a multiple of underlying inflation – financed with a trillion dollars of debt that will haunt this generation and the one to come – compounds the felony.

As serious an indictment of the boomer generation as this is, it pales in comparison to the real crime.

We boomers simply cannot be forgiven for wasting all of the money. America’s success in World War II and its resulting post-war economic dominance bequeathed to us boomers national wealth on an unprecedented scale. That wealth is now gone and in its place stands a mountain of debt that my daughter and her peers will shoulder all the way to their graves.

That nearly the entire wad was wasted on the false premise that benefits can be enjoyed in the absence of personal responsibility is simply heartbreaking. Since 1964 we’ve spent $15 trillion on welfare and food stamps and we under-funded Social Security and Medicare by close to $100 trillion. For all that, the poverty rate remains unchanged from 1964 and the average boomer has less retirement security than that of his parents. Tens of millions of Americans now don’t even try to become self-sufficient.

My daughter and her friends will get the bills for all this and try to pay them on salaries that, when adjusted for inflation, are less than what college grads made in 1970.

When I, a late Baby Boomer, came of age, America was still on the march economically and I and my cohort got to march along with it. Shame on us, then, for spending all the money and running up the credit card while making promises that cannot possibly be kept.

‘Whom the gods would destroy they make prosperous,’ goes the saying. It was America’s prosperity that enabled the fiscal recklessness that now stymies the efforts of recent grads to get ahead.

We boomers owe them an apology.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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7 Responses

  1. Mike Dallas says:

    I personally didn’t vote the way of my peers causing this. Putting me at ridicule and scorn. Sadly I was right & even today some still haven’t awaken from their stupor to realize this. I was independent & strong enough to stand alone. Too many weren’t. Too many didn’t pay attn to what was happening in our schools & just let it go. Sadly the innocent reap what’s been sown. Taking God out of society has brought these results. History shows that too. It shows BOs Socialism Marxism always fails too. US in its stupidity kept those afloat instead of letting them fail for way too long also.!

  2. Mike Dallas says:

    When you teach the Fraud of Evol & we humans are random aciddents of nature it has bad results too. Tell me when have you ever seen Randomness w/o a brain yield the exact precision we find in the laws of Nature, Science etc. We find so much Design, Engineering, Programming, Design Engineering from the very earliest & yet we’re taught it came from Randomness w/o a brain. That is not Common Sense its actually Non Sense! Even Darwin in his book chapter 6 said if ever proven the Simple Cell isn’t Simple & is Complex his theory is disproven. Ask why our Atheist Sci profs never disclose that fact! Because they are pushing Atheism not Science. The battle isn’t sci vs religion. It’s bad vs good sci & good logical sci vs their atheism. Look what it has brought forth. @ttechsan

  3. p.k. lewis says:

    Gads, your description of your view is totally foreign to mine.
    I just was immersed in classic music(Chopin, Beethoven,etc) by recording) & listened to hardly any news. I did not like nor agree with the subject of the news & knew I could not change it but I could become upset.
    Yes, in the University I ran into all sorts of opposing groups/sit-ins/stand-ins/etc but I went the other way to get where I was going. I finished my Psych. major & graduate school with zero loans.
    My parents would not help “you’re too old”.
    So I got 5 part time jobs (including McD ,etc) & paid for my own education.
    Yes, it was hard…but possible.
    I am surprised at the common “poor me” topic today.
    But now I can not complain about my loans or poor treatment.
    I thought when you grew up, you grew up.
    I guess I value my mind too much to let negative thoughts come-in.

  4. Alan Whitten says:

    Paul Gleiser,

    Put very bluntly, the intent of my words does not focus upon being critical of you. However, the intent of my words does focus upon how radically wrong your logic funtions.

    I don’t need to repeat the story of your daughter. I observe that you, as do many of us Baby Boomers, know the basic parameters well. You state that “America had not yet squandered its massive post-war wealth” by piling up debt, welfare, and the entitlement state.

    Look at Tyler. Later in the day, drive out into the country. Drive in any direction. Go as far as you have time and inclination. If you happen to reach the F.M. roads, look at human activity. Tell me, but more importantly tell yourself and others, if you see human activity. Do you see productive human activity on any of the highways and byways in any of the little towns?

    I don’t know much of economic theory, but from somewhere I remember the words, “You can’t create something out of nothing.” Another quote, “We boomers cannot be forgiven for wasting all the money.” I agree. But I do not understand the logic of blaming colleges and universities and education. I agree, that education in the U.S, at all levels, does not seem to be working. Jobs can’t come from a sterile diploma. Logic, for me, does not tie the lack of jobs, and good jobs, to an apology to recent grads. Logic, for me, ties jobs, and good, soul-satisfying, culture-edifying jobs, to movement. Logically, the movement would need to begin in the rural highways and byways of our wonderful state.

  5. C M Solomon says:

    I believe the Boomers were ruled by Pagans and were fooled into accepting the fake golden goose – or golden calf, rather. This is my own opinion and is not intended to inflame anyone – just a bit of logic from the history of human depravity in the absence of the moral foundation of natural law, God’s law. The idol worship of these Pagans has trampled on the US Constitution (15 pages) and has almost destroyed this country in the name of their Marxist Collective dogma being camouflaged by a false promise intended to deceive us all.

    Who are these Pagans? If I was an artist I would paint a scene of the altar of these Pagans while they kneel and worship their lifeless Idol. If the Pagans were honest, they would have one of these altars in each of their homes, with ceremonial candles surrounding the Idol itself. Have you guessed it yet? Yes, the Pagans worship the Idol of BIG GOVERNMENT with all its tentacles.

    I would paint a picture that included the Federal Register – all 80,000 pages, the US Code (containing the IRS Code), the Capitol Building, the Federal Reserve Building, the Supreme Court Building, the various monstrosities of Federal Department megaliths (EPA etc.), all of which taken together represent the trillions of dollars spent in the last 80 years to construct, the most expensive Idol ever conceived by mankind. It just sits there as a bureaucratic Sword of Damocles threatening the basic prosperity and survival of freedom loving Americans.

    The Sword of Damocles has separated Americans from their heritage, the Constitution, which was inspired by the Declaration of Independence fostering the promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as endowed by their Creator. The reward of prosperity by good ole’ hard work and an honest, honorable, and frugal lifestyle are now considered almost beyond reach. We have succumbed to the Priesthood of the Idol worshipers that want to control our every thought, word, and activity that must conform to their sick standards in order to be in good standing.

    Who among us can possibly be considered to be a Citizen of the Constitution with the protection of the “pursuit of happiness” if we abandon our convictions and also worship the Idol in pursuit of its false promises? Wake up, Americans, before we become slaves of the Idol worshipers, ourselves.

  6. R. Eagleman says:

    Your daughter is probably one of the informed voters, and if she did exercise her obligation and privilege to vote, she truly has a legitimate grievance. But for those in her age group who overwhelmingly voted for this president, and were in a large part responsible for the continuation of these Socialist policies, I have a hard time feeling empathy for their situation. As the old saying goes: When you are young and not a Liberal, you do not have a heart; however, when you are mature and not a Conservative, you do not have a brain.” Let us just hope and pray that this generation that we have failed will grow a brain by the next election.

  7. Jerry Cave says:

    Great Post, Paul and one that is long overdue in the national narrative.
    Our children will curse us when they realize that the diminished future we have furnished for them is permanent and not just a temporary hiccup in continued prosperity.

    The Democrats are deficit addicts and Republicans their enablers. At least when Reagan created deficits he got something for significant such as the implosion of the Soviet expansionism.

    The Democrats have gone so far to the extreme left that they desire the ultimate American economic breakdown so as to create their new world dis-order.

    The Tea Party correctly predicted with 100% accuracy the disaster of Obama-carelessness and were falsely branded as racists for the threat they posed to the Left.

    We have one shot to stop this fall into the Abyss and that is to stop Red State elections of Democrat SEnators and to find 1 man or woman who can lead us to the White House to deconstruct the Obamaclypse and destroy Socialism the way Reagan Destroyed Communism and Churchill destroyed Fascism.

    Right now I’m planing on a Victory Cruz unless the Dishonest Press Corpse-Democratic Party machine destroys him as they did to Sarah Palin and Black conservatives who defy their narrative.

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