Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?

Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs

BBHQ Boomer Essays:

Money 101: The Boomers’ Greatest Immorality

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

The worst part is that we — our generation — will never be able to pay off this enormous debt that we have created. Unlike every generation before us, we will not pay our own way. We will leave a debt that will have to be paid by our children, and our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children.

This essay is available in its entirety to all visitors. Enjoy!

January, 2014:

Boomers are often criticized for being selfish, self-centered, fat, and lazy. I would disagree with the part about being lazy. But maybe... I guess a lot of us are. Critics claim that we have dumbed down our schools and coddled and abandoned our kids. To those critics I say, "Make up your mind." But they have a point. Though one other thing trumps all those.

Other failures of our generation can be corrected by the next, or the next. Maybe there is still time for us to fix some of them. But one will go on for the rest of the century. We turned our heads, or trivialized it for too long. And now, about all we can do is work to prevent it from getting worse. But the time to ignore, or pretend that it does not matter.... is gone.

Let me show it to you on a graph. Suppose I presented this to you:

You see a bulge in the center — not a huge explosion — but a noticeable bulge. Without even knowing what the graph represents, you might reasonably assume that bulge is not a huge anomaly.

Your assumption would be correct. That is a graph of births in the United States from 1935 to 1970. The bulge in the center represents the baby boomer generation. The increase in births from 1946 through 1964 was substantial, but not dramatic.

Now, allow me to show you another graph:

In this graph, you can see considerable..... change from the start on the left to the end on the right. Section 1 is very stable. Section 2 shows a significant increase. The increase stabilizes in section 3. But in section 4, whatever it is... explodes. The increase in section 4 warrants close attention.

Just by looking at the unlabeled graph, you know that something very dramatic has occurred. Without knowing what the graph represents, you cannot tell if it is very good, or very bad, or irrelevant. But you can tell that it shows a substantial change.

Suppose I were to tell you that the graph represents the amount of rainwater that has leaked through your roof into your attic walls over a period of 20 years. You have never examined the attic walls closely, so you had no idea what might be happening. Sections 1-3, the first 15 years, might not have been cause for much concern. But the period of time represented in section 4 is a big problem. Something serious has happened that has caused a relatively huge amount of rainwater to leak. This is not good. Whatever appeared to be working in the first three sections has failed in the fourth section.

Well, I have good news, and I have bad news. The graph probably does not represent rainwater leaking into your roof. That's the good news. I have no idea how solid your roof is. The bad news is that the graph represents the federal debt over the last 115 years. It is the amount of money that the federal government — that’s you and I — owes.

To be more complete, I should have shown the debt from the founding of the country in the 18th century. But for the first 150 years that the U.S. existed, the debt was statistically insignificant. The important part is that, for the first 150 years that the U.S. existed, each generation paid off its own debt. They left no debt for their children. Even though the depression and WWI and WWII, we covered our debt — or our parents and grandparents did. They paid their own way.

But beginning in 1970, about the time the baby boomer generation reached voting age, the debt started rising. From 1990 through 2005, the debt grew at an enormous rate. And after that... “exploded” is too mild a term to describe what happened.

I could tell you that, as of January, 2014, the United States owes over 17 trillion dollars. I could tell you that the debt has doubled in the past five years, and that it will double again in the next ten years. But seeing it on a graph demonstrates it more clearly.

And there is nothing to indicate that the direction of that graph will change substantially... nothing, as far into the future as we might imagine.

Commenting on the exploding debt, economist and author Dr. Thomas Sowell wrote this:

People who thoughtlessly give money to panhandlers on the street seem not to realize that this is making installment payments on the degeneration of America.

The worst part is that we — our generation — will never be able to pay off this enormous debt that we have created. Unlike every generation before us, we will not pay our own way. We will leave a debt that will have to be paid by our children, and our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children.

And even, if by some miracle, in the future we stopped the flood — we balanced the budget... every year, the U.S. would still have a debt of over 17 trillion dollars. Our children, and our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children will still owe that money — a debt that we created.

Now, Nancy Pelosi and her ilk will say that we have “invested” in the future — that future generations will benefit from what we have done. But that’s crap! The ugly details say otherwise. Most of this gargantuan debt that we are accumulating has gone to pay for our excesses: medical payments to a health care system that has ignored costs and discouraged competition and efficiency; retirement payments far beyond the amount for which people paid; gross and unchecked inefficiency, fraud and abuse; political payoffs to unions and businesses; payments to able-bodied people who simply chose not to work; and a bloated, inefficient, and ineffective government bureaucracy that has discouraged individualism and restricted freedom. We pay farmers not to farm and teachers not to teach. We give money to foreign governments that teach their children to hate the U.S. We pay for and build weapons systems that the military says it does not want and cannot use. Our federal government has now agreed to pay healthy, capable, unemployed workers to do nothing... absolutely nothing... for three years! For nearly 10 percent of their working life, Americans can sit on the sidelines, collect taxpayer money, and contribute absolutely nothing to our society — and send the bill to the next generation. Your children, and your children’s children, and your children’s children’s children will pay for this mammoth irresponsibility.

Why, in the last year alone, we wasted what will amount to over a trillion dollars on a “stimulus plan” that stimulated virtually nothing. Mostly, what it did was to keep businesses and local and state governments going when there was no rationale to allow them to do so. A trillion dollars later, and we have virtually nothing to show for it.

When they reach our age, how will our children, and our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children look at that graph? What will they think of us -- the baby boomer generation?

That is the legacy we leave behind... intentionally, thoughtlessly, and selfishly.

That is the greatest immorality of the baby boomer generation.

So that is where we stand today — unquestionably, undeniably. The question is, what are you prepared to do about it?


BBHQ Membership -- $9 Per Year -- Here's What You'll Get:

  • Access to hundreds of boomer stories about
        boomers, growing up, growing older,
        staying young, staying smart,
        and remembering the good ol' days
  • 18 books in the BBHQ Trivia Library
  • BBHQ’s Name That Tune quizzes
  • Who Said That?
  • What’s in a Number?
  • What’s in a Number? - R&R edition
  • The Name Game
  • The Boomer Movie Quiz
  • A BBHQ Time Capsule Report
  • Unlimited access to lyrics to over 750 songs
  • Search the title and artist of over 4,000 oldies
  • Search 750 song lyrics for a word or phrase
  • Print the boomer verbal collages -
         (Home Page/60s/70s pages)
  • Access to other special features
  • The great comfort of knowing that you
        have helped save us from financial
        disaster. (We are too small to fail.)

 


$9 per year... come on!

All we need here is your name and e-mail address:

First name:     Last name:

E-mail address: Please enter this security

1 year, $9         5 years, $35   (save $10)

                 

We'll send you to PayPal.com to process your payment; then, PayPal will send you back here as a new member. Your payment will go through the secure, encrypted services of PayPal.com, the most trusted Internet payment system.









Click here for great pictures, posters & autographs

If you want a reply from us, include your name
and e-mail address:

(Your message will not get to our staff unless you include your name and e-mail address.
But we will never share your e-mail address with anyone.
Our statement on privacy is here.)

Name:
E-mail:

Hershel's kinda-like-a bio:
 Click here for a quick explanation about the philosophy behind these essays




BBHQ Boomer Stories

essays available
      to everyone

We're Not the Bad
Guys!


 Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)
"Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," 55 songs: 2 CDs and a DVD from their last concert tour.
Click here to order this great collection.




The Boomer Essays - On Being a Boomer:

The BBHQ Freedom Series

(Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

  Declaration of Independence
        What is Says; What it Means

The Boomer Health Care Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The Midlife

Crisis Series

Middle Age &

the Mazdamobile

The Teach, Preach and Nag Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)




    (Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

Hell No; We Won't Go!

    What Will We Do?

    Do Not Go Gentle

The Boomer Money Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The BBHQ Vacation Series
(Mouseover to preview each story)




Please help us by buying stuff through our link to Amazon.com:

Search:   All Products   Books   Videos   Toys   Electronics
        Popular Music   Classical Music  
Amazon.com
Amazon.com... a whole lot more than just books!
Enter keyword(s):
Please check our Library or Video selection, or use this form to buy stuff from Amazon.com. We need all the help we can get! Thanks.

The BBHQ Feature Album is "Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," by Simon & Garfunkel. If you were fortunate enough to see them in concert in 2003, I do not have to sell you. The concert was terrific! This album collection includes 55 songs, plus their new recording, "Citizen of the Planet," and one of the songs sung by the Everly Brothers during the concert. The DVD was recorded during their concert in Madison Square Garden in 2003. For any S&G fan, this is a must have! But then, you knew that already, didn't you?  Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)

The BBHQ Feature Book is “Bobby Rydell – Teen Idol on the Rocks.” This is a “behind the scenes” story of one of the boomers’ first rock n’ roll stars. Told in the first person, Bobby chronicles his short ride to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his glide through the 70s and 80s, and how he nearly lost it all. Relax; it has a happy ending. Bobby was (and is) a “normal” Philly guy... with an absolute love of music and an amazing gift. For any fan of early rock n’ roll, it’s a wonderful story. And yes, Bobby Rydell is still on tour, playing to boomer fans all over the world. Click here for a closer look at the book.

  Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?










Copyright © 1997-2017, Baby Boomer HeadQuarters - WWW.BBHQ.COM - All rights reserved._
contact the Webmaster