As one of those Gen Xers who is getting stuck with the bill, I'd like to point out that it was the Baby Boomers who spent all the money, created all the entitlement programs, and now expect me to pay for them to be retired for the next 30 - 40 years.Not to pick on him in particular; I've seen perlhaqr's comments around the blogosphere for quite some time, and don't have a problem with him (disclaimer: I don't even know if perlhaqr is a "him" or "her"). It's the idea. The idea that one generation is responsible for the mess we're in is a poisonous thought, and it's the kind of easy, "let's find a scapegoat" thought that can spread, especially if the SHTF and society collapses. When people are desperate and hungry, they can whip themselves into a frenzy with ideas like that. "A riot is an ugly zink":
I give you three guesses how close I am to saying "hey, fuck you", and letting them all go hang, and the first two don't count.
During the raucous debate over the Government takeover of the health care industry, letter writer Agnieszka Marczak at Time achieved her (?) 15 minutes of fame by penning, "...step aside grandma. We want health care and we want it now". (I can find only one link to a reference for this, a video from the Glenn Beck program on Fox News, and would rather not embed a second Youtube video. So go here if you want to see this. Go to 7:45 in the link, although the whole ten minutes is worth seeing.)
Aside from disproving the notion that boomers have exclusively gotten us into this mess by demanding expensive social programs, it provides another example of the likelihood of inter-generational attacks, should widespread civil breakdown come. This writer, and I would assume many like her, believes the breakdown of the system is caused by her parents and grandparents, who made the mistake of believing the promises of politicians, much like union members who believed they could retire in their 50s and live on fat pensions paid for out of unicorn droppings.
The problem is, as I posted in reply, when the angry mob comes to "kill all the old boomers", they're not going to wait for you to show them how frugally you've lived, or that you pride yourself in not having taken handouts, or that you fought government expansion and the crippling debt with all you could. It's going to be mob rule: kill or be killed. When you're pondering a polygonal war space or Matt Bracken's CW2 cube, this adds another complication, that the people you are helping - or fighting alongside - will be firing on you as soon as it's convenient.
If, indeed, open civil war II is coming, it may be inevitable that the older people will be shot first. If there is sanity, I see that not all people in my age group will be able to join the Freedom Force. As someone who was doing biathlons a couple of years ago, I know I'm lucky to have most moving parts still moving. It's not news that older people tend to have more health issues than the young; that's one reason the armed forces have low retirement ages. Those who can't fight due to poor health, probably will be to be able to aid in other ways: shelter, finance, supply.
As I wrote in December, there are many reasons why we were due for an economic slowdown as the 21st century opened. It didn't have to be this bad, and I maintain it has been this bad because of the actions of the Federal Reserve and the Fed.gov leviathan.