Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Grasshopper Generation Revisited

Feel bad for the poor, poor snowflakes because they won't get to 'live their dreams' -
Like 78 million other U.S. Baby Boomers, Symons and her husband had the misfortune of approaching retirement age at a time when stock market crashes diminished their 401 (k) nest eggs, companies began eliminating defined benefit pensions in record numbers and previously unimagined technical advances all but eliminated entire job descriptions from travel agent to telephone operator.

At the same time, companies began moving other jobs overseas, to be filled by people willing to work for far less and still able to connect to the U.S. market in real time.
The Real Effect
I love the Boomer topic because to me, it illustrates the sheer insanity of the world we live in. (Yes, yes, I know snowflake, you're different.) Here are just a few of the more outrageous snippets of this:

"I always have the feeling that I have to prove my value all the time."
Yes, that is called competition or business.
The oldest ones, Lawler says, aren't retiring, and more and more the youngest members of the generation ahead of them aren't either. It's no longer uncommon, he says, for people to work until 70. 
Poor, poor you. What do you mean you can't just become a consumer at 55 and live HALF of your life without producing?
"People who would have normally been out of the workforce are still there, taking jobs that would have gone to what we now call the unemployed," he said.
And now we begin to see the type of poisonous thinking that's thoroughly infiltrated this generation. You see, according to them, the pie is only  X big and the 'elderly' need to retire so that they can 'get theirs'. It's those selfish, greedy 'over 30' somethings that took it from them. But them?

With unions no longer in a strong position to fight for benefits like pensions, with jobs disappearing or going overseas, and with Gen. Xers and even younger Millennial Generation members coveting their jobs, Lawler warns this is no time for boomers to quit and allow the skills they've spent a lifetime building to atrophy.
"My advice is above all don't retire," he says. "If you like your job at all, hold onto it. Because getting back in in this era is essentially impossible."
 Here's a hint, offer something that people need or want and not what you think you should be doing and you will be gainfully employed. Yes, it's not going to be a professional poker player or something else like that, but garbage collector is a respectable and decent paying position.
Like many boomers, the 60-year-old acknowledges he didn't put enough aside when he was younger.

"There were times when the money was really rolling in," he says of his old business. "But somehow retirement wasn't really in the forefront of my thinking then, so saving for it wasn't an automatic thing."
Exactly. Most Boomers had this idea of how the world was supposed to work that ran completely contrary to the laws of physics.
  • Work? They should be guaranteed massive incomes and pensions. 
  • Stuff? That should be provided via trade agreements and produced by slave labor in foreign countries.
  • Money? That should be available via ever-increasing loan agreements that can be repaid with new ones.
  • Family? That's built for you. Your job is to make them, their job is to take care of you. 
  • Houses?  One? Noooo, we need 2, 3 heck 10 investment properties.
  • Value? If those houses ever decline in value, it's not their fault, it's the markets fault. Or Obummers. Or that dude Buuuuush.
  • Rights? You got no right to tell me to do anything, including fraud. However, I have a right via democracy to collude with my neighbors to paint your house pink if I feel it will enhance my property values.
  • War? We got the right to kill anyone, because we're better.
What absolutely gets me is that these positions are becoming absolutely indefensible aside from claiming some sort of divine right. For instance, we have a right to bomb Iran because they might attack us. However if they were to attack us, we would claim self-defense. Which is it? Is a country sovereign and entitled to self-defense in the vein of 9/11 or is Pakistan all wet when they insist that we have to stop targeting their weddings with soulless drones?

You see all of these things once again gets back to our theme for the year -
Are we responsible for our own actions?
This question becomes the fundamental litmus test for most every action and decision in the future.
Now this is not to say that Boomers alone are responsible for every injustice that has visited this world in the last 30 years. Rather it is to say that they have a predilection to  engage in some of the most absurd pie-in-the-sky, rainbow spouting unicorn, head-in-the-sand nonsense that has ever existed. It is as if they never graduated from preschool.

For instance, let's pretend we have a cake. The question is, should we eat it now or later? A typical sane person would say the following -

    If I eat half now, I can eat the other half later.
    I'll save it all when I'm really hungry.
    I ate all my cake, I am now hungry and sad.

Many Boomers, if applying this to cake, would come to the same level of thinking. But if you were to apply this same line of thinking to anything above this, suddenly this hideous phrase "ought to" starts to enter the equation.

     I used all my money when I was young, but I ought to be able to live, so democracy will 'fix' it.
    I don't like the way that country operates, they ought to be like us, so we'll bomb them.

The real boot to the head comes later when this same line of thinking is used against them using the exact same criteria. There is literally some absurd disconnect that occurs at this point as the elderly tantrum kicks in.

   You can't take my house! I pay taxes.
   You can't lay me off! I worked here 30 years!

In these situation you literally end up in situations where these people genuinely think you can have your cake and eat it too. We saw this in the hysterical screaming that the group engaged in when 'The 2008 Crisis' hit. 'We must bail out the banks or we're doomed!' became the cry. Iceland proved otherwise. Yet here we stand just 4 years later with most adopting the position that while bailing out the banks was the wrong thing to do, we just had to do it. We see this same thinking lining up for the 2012 elections with people consistently jettisoning good policy just to 'get rid of Obama'. Funny, I thought the name carried a lot less weight then the policies.

At this point, one is left with only one supportable conclusion -
....they're out of their collective minds!

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