Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Just How Did the Boomers Get So...Wealthy?

Class warfare is not my thing, but noticing trends is -
So far, today's young people aren't off to an encouraging start.

According to analysis by the Pew Research Center released Monday, younger Americans have been left behind as the oldest generation has seen wealth surge since the mid-1980s.

While it's typical for older generations to hold more wealth than younger ones who've had less time to save, the gap between the two age groups has widened rapidly.

In 1984, households headed by people age 65 and older were worth just 10 times the median net worth of households headed by people 35 and younger.

But now that gap has widened to 47-to-one, marking the largest wealth gap ever recorded between the two age groups.
The Real Effect
First thing's first. We shouldn't get too worked up about this sort of thing. After all, looking at "statistics" and trying to make things "fair" is part of how we got here. However, as we discussed in part in last year's The Prodigal Boomers, there is definitely a trend here of the Boomer generation sacrificing it's children to the fires of Molech.

Indeed, "Give it to me now!" has been the rallying cry for the last 40 years.

First, there was Free Love, a movement which sold out some of the rights of future husbands to carefree pleasure. (Result - STD explosions, AIDS and less secure nuclear families) Next we had the drug induced delirium of the 70's producing either the abortion nightmare or latch key/daycare kids of the 80s. Women abandoned child rearing in droves to 'find themselves'. (Not to mention millions of "single mothers".)

College was next as tuition became massively leveraged resulting in yearly exponential increases in college tuition.  Once out of college, good paying jobs were served up as unions demanded exponential increases of pensions, benefits and seniority. Want a job? Got to get it through us first!

As the 80s came into view, the stock market became all the rage as all this money had to go somewhere. Regulations and rules began to fall by the wayside as 'retire by 65 with my nest egg' took off. Some were even so brash as to want retirement by 55. Credit expansion ruled the day as leverage expanded massively in all sectors. (Spending their future earnings today) Corporate gifts abounded as deals are cut to 'promote growth' in all sectors. 'Corporate Crime' skyrockets.

As the 90s rolled around, Free Trade became the mantra fueling massive contracts that empowered overseas slave labor which led to the Big Box Retailers. Finally, rolling in the Millennium change, house flipping and wealth extraction via HELOCs and subprime loans allowed mass scale asset stripping to rule as Boomers took over companies, housing and all real wealth assets en mass. Gone were the days of affordable housing as now new individuals in the market had to compete with the massive power base of the Boomers continually shifting the rules to favor their class.

All of this leads to the crisis of 2008. Gen X, virtually abandoned since birth had since fended for themselves realizing that the game was long since rigged by many of their parents. Jobs had since been exported overseas. Many of their parents were now not only holding their own jobs, but many of the entry level jobs that young people would traditionally take. Housing had increased massively in cost as well as the regulations that are required to open a small business leaving the unconnected among them to scrape out an existence far below that of their predecessors. True, cheap goods had benefited them in part for a time, but now the loss of employment was far outstripping the benefits of cost reductions.

At this point, the market collapses, taking millions more jobs with it. Poor Gen Y is now hopelessly outclassed and seeks the only options it knows - college. Yet unknown to them, the leverage generated by these astronomically inflated tuition is one of the few things propping up the failing market place.

Social programs are enacted that place debt burdens via taxation on this upcoming generation. When that fails to secure the ponzi level growth needed to secure system stability, new "austerity" programs are enacted to forcibly extract all wealth from Gen X and Y. Yet the Boomers insist that they paid at one point in their lives, therefore they deserve - that our pensions be funded, our Medicare be paid for, our Social Security be paid for, etc, all on the backs of the upcoming generations who pay for it via value extraction via ZIRP and QE1 and QE2. TARP is enacted to ensure that Boomers can continue to see their "value" protected on their houses.

Left without employment and little voice at the table, Gen Y marches. #OWS begins.

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