On @FrankBruni: Dear Millennials, We’re Sorry

Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni

AMONG Americans age 40 and older, there’s a pastime more popular than football, Candy Crush or HBO.

It’s bashing millennials.

Oh, the hours of fun we have, marveling at their self-fascination and gaping at their sense of entitlement! It’s been an especially spirited romp lately, as a new batch of them graduate from college and gambol toward our cubicles, prompting us to wonder afresh about the havoc they’ll wreak on our world.

For decades they’ll be saddled with our effluvium: a monstrous debt, an epidemic of obesity, Adam Sandler movies. In their lifetimes the Atlantic will possibly swallow Miami Beach (I foresee a “Golden Girls” sequel with dinghies and life preservers) and the footwear for Anchorage in February may be flip-flops. At least everyone will be saving on heating bills.

The Obama administration did unveil a bold climate-change measure last week. Or, rather, it signaled its intent to act: We’ll have to wait and see whether Congress figures out a way to foil the president or the courts gum things up. The plan as it stands would cut carbon pollution from American power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Karen Garcia’s comment:

The zombie lie of generational theft just keeps shuffling along. This column is nothing but warmed-over Bowles/Simpson cat food.

It’s not the Boomers who are stealing from the Millennials, and ruining their future. It’s the super-rich and the polluting corporate welfare queens who are robbing all of us, from the cradle to the grave.

Fact check: Social Security is not part of the budget– it’s a self-funded insurance program. And since the 900 richest Americans already reach the taxable maximum of $117,000 by Jan. 2, why not just scrap the cap altogether? Solvency problem disappears.

Plus, raising the benefit and lowering the eligibility age to 55 would both ease the burden on tired older workers and open up the shrinking job market to millennials.

But as polls show, the super-rich are strongly opposed to social spending. To avoid looking like callous misanthropes, therefore, they and their media/political enablers spread the lie that the older people are leeching off younger people.

Despite what austerian billionaire Pete Peterson (a proud sponsor of that “Millennial Week” marketing confab) says, the country is not broke.
The Federal Reserve Board now reports that total US net worth rose to a record $81.8 trillion, up $1.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2014 and up nearly $13 trillion from the previous peak, pre-2008 crash.

Of course, those gains are clenched tightly in the fists of the real culprits, who think the rest of us have not suffered enough.


My reply to Karen’s comment:

“This column is nothing but warmed-over Bowles/Simpson cat food.”

Amen, Sistah!

What’s more, poll after poll of millenials show that they don’t want Mr. Bruni’s “entitlements” to be taken away from their elders, even when they are told that they will likely not benefit from them as much when it’s their turn.

The gold standard, when it comes to writing and visualizing current sentiment among millenials is Charles Blow’s column entitled ‘The Self(ie) Generation.”

Where our kids lose out, big time, is in loss of opportunity, cost vs. return on education from K through college (degradation of quality), degradation of wages (especially since 2008), and the lack of jobs. Losing so much on all of those fronts is terrible enough, but to that we also have to add living at home many years longer than we did, and delaying starting their families.


Curated from www.nytimes.com

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