Sunday, May 01, 2005

Boomers: The Greediest Generation

Irving Kristol: The Greediest Generation


As a baby boomer myself, I can be blunt: We boomers won't be remembered as the "Greatest Generation." Rather, we'll be scorned as the "Greediest Generation."

Our influence has been huge. When boomer blood raged with hormones, we staged the sexual revolution and popularized the Pill. Now, with those hormones fading, we've popularized Viagra.

As we've aged, age discrimination has become a basis for lawsuits, and the most litigated right has become the right to die. The hot issue of the moment is Social Security, and the newest entitlement program is a prescription drug benefit for the elderly.

Our slogan has gone from "free love" to "free blood pressure medicine."


We boomers are also preying on children in a more insidious way: We're running up their debts, both by creating new entitlement programs and by running budget deficits today. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist and fiscal expert who with Scott Burns wrote the excellent and scary book "The Coming Generational Storm," calls this "fiscal child abuse."

The sad truth: Until we evict the "moneychangers from the temple" this is the legacy we leave for our children.

No comments: