Thought Catalog

Dear Baby Boomers; All Of You Please Retire, Thanks

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Freaks & Geeks
Freaks & Geeks

I’d like to address the criticisms you have of the millennial generation in a simple, direct, and accurate manner. For years now, we’ve heard the same bullshit about how our generation is lazy, apathetic, and all about “me.”

Lazy and apathetic? No. Fed up with the status quo? Unquestionably.

Like you, we grew up witnessing a world of hate; having no say in multiple failed military engagements, growing contempt for the rich, limited progress concerning feminism, alternative energy, legalized marijuana, and homosexual equality, and discrimination towards Immigrants. It would not be fair to blame any of these issues on you, since America has had trouble progressing in these areas since its beginning.

However, you stood by as America’s educational ranking dropped from #1 in 1990 to #17 in 2012 [1]. You hindered business by strengthening the outdated concept of unions, whereby millions of American jobs were sent overseas due to inflated production costs. You saw an estimated 4 million alcohol-related deaths since 1950, while pointing the finger at marijuana as the dangerous drug. You continued to ignore the imperative separation of church and state, using your religious affiliation to dictate which human beings can publicly express love. You depleted the United States monetary surplus of 1999 and created a society in which every new born infant comes with a nervous father and a $1 million debt burden [2].

In fact, in 2011, the Urban Institute found that the average retiring baby boomer couple will reap $200,000 more in social security and Medicaid benefits than they paid over their lifetime into those programs [3]. Thanks for that, I’ll pick up the bill with my mediocre salary at my mediocre job. Oh, you wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about either, because you entered the work force during one of the most expansive economic periods in history, which would also end up watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average grow 12x from the late 70’s until 2012. You drove up salaries for the wealthiest Americans while depleting the middle class, proven by the fact that Americans aged 35 and younger are 68% less wealthy today than the same age group in 1984; which was you [4].

Regarding government policy, you showed us how not to conduct debate on sensitive issues like the ones mentioned above, which is evident in our way of thinking. Majority of studies on our generation have disclosed a mentality of indifference towards politics, which you seem to have confused for laziness. The Clinton’s, Boehner’s, Pelosi’s, Obama’s, and Bush’s have left such distaste for politics in our mouths, you seem to think this is associated with a generation who simply “doesn’t care.”

How wrong you are.

We are educated, unanimous, and soon to be ignited once majority of our generation has the experience to challenge your close-minded, separated, and childish approach to public policy. As you enter your entitlement-filled retirement, a wave of young, creative, and intelligent breed of Millennials will fill your shoes in the areas of academia, politics, activism, and business, forever changing the American culture and landscape. We will breed children of reason and independence, instilling in them values we were forced to adapt to on our own.

This correlates with the concept of a “me” generation, which you evidently think is because we are self-centered and self-righteous, mainly having to do with our use of social networks. Truth is, we’ve developed a train of thought that focuses on self-sufficiency and autonomy, further refined by witnessing an economic collapse caused mainly by Boomers who couldn’t control their spending or lending. No shit we’re about “us,” you left Millennials a job market in despair, failing wars, $17 trillion in debt, and no social security or Medicare. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s how to be independent, because obviously you couldn’t handle the responsibility of working together for the betterment of your children’s and grand children’s futures. Well we’re growing up, and we’re pissed, we’re motivated, and yet, we’re surprisingly optimistic [5].

In short, here’s my assumption as to why; We will close the gap between the left and the right, developing an America that believes a government doesn’t belong in our wallets, business decisions, or in our homes, for a truly free society should not concern themselves with social or economic barriers. Our loose affiliations with traditional institutions will allow us to create more political parties, remain more open to religious liberation, and rely less on inefficient and outdated government programs. I mean seriously, you went your whole lives not changing the retirement age of 65 when the average life expectancy rose from 68 to 77? [6] No wonder Millennials are paying into a system that will only benefit you; your generation added 9 years of leisure (without added contribution) to an already unstable social program.

Our country is heading towards an infrastructure shakedown that will likely reverse most of the policies you set in place. This will not be done with force through revolution, but by working together on installing new programs based on our common values, something you were never able to successfully accomplish.

We’d sincerely appreciate it if you all just retired already, we’ll take it from here. Grab your mops Millennials, we have a lot of work to do. TC mark

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