Did the baby boomers ruin America? | The Tylt

Did the baby boomers ruin America?

Kvetching about millennials has practically become America's national pastime—but are the baby boomers really to blame for our problems? In his book “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Boomers Betrayed America,” Bruce Cannon Gibney argues the boomers used their immense political power to accrue government benefits while cutting their own taxes, setting up future generations for economic failure. But others say it's too easy to blame previous generations for your problems. Are boomers to blame?

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Economist Jim Tankersley says the baby boomers are a generation of takers. They got cheap gas, decent public education, 9-to-5 jobs, and affordable homes, so they don't get to kvetch that millennials or Gen Xers are lazy.

Boomers soaked up a lot of economic opportunity without bothering to preserve much for the generations to come. They burned a lot of cheap fossil fuels, filled the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases, and will probably never pay the costs of averting catastrophic climate change or helping their grandchildren adapt to a warmer world. They took control of Washington at the turn of the millennium, and they used it to rack up a lot of federal debt, even before the Great Recession hit.
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But Linda Bernstein says America's woes are not the boomers' fault.

In 2014, 32% of Millennials were living with their parents, according to a Pew study. Almost every boomer I know has had an adult child coming home to the nest until the kid could afford to live on his or her own. And almost all the boomer parents I know made significant financial contributions to their kids’ college education. Yes, it’s true that 70% of the class of 2014 had a burden of student debt upon graduation (an average of $29,000). However, boomer parents provided as much financial support as we were able — because we know these young adults have it harder in some areas than we did.
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Gene Marks  argues the boomers have no idea how easy they've had it.
You’ve got a defined benefit pension plan from a large company or government....And your social security check. And your Medicare reimbursement check. The boomers love their safety nets. One of the major reasons our national debt is so high is because 40 percent of our government’s spending goes to some type of insurance: social insurance, retirement, health benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These systems are bankrupt. But they’re needed to pay for the boomers’ healthcare and pension plans.
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But others say America's problem is not the boomersit's those damn millennials. Of course, they're sitting around tweeting about how previous generations caused all their problems.

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The boomers were able to buy property for nothing and then watch its value explode. Education was available and cheap, and jobs were plentiful. Gen Xers and millennials say the boomers have no concept of what it's like to grow up in this era.

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Did the baby boomers ruin America?
A festive crown for the winner
#BlameTheBoomers
#DontBlameTheBoomers