My Generation | Peter Mehit


I love watching people who enjoy publicly subsidized medical care and prescription drug benefits stand on street corners with signs warning of a socialist takeover of health care.

Given how long it took the Tea Partiers to realize their first name choice, ‘Tea Baggers’, actually described a sexual practice, there is probably little hope they will grasp how ironic they are.  These individuals are the number one enemies of health care reform. The baby boomers. They’re retired (or about to be), they’ve got steady income and a great health plan. They’ve got theirs and you’re not going to mess with it.

This ‘I’ve got mine’ mentality extends even to those that are a  job loss or a misfortune away from having no insurance. If  they can take theirs, they will take mine, is the subtext beneath the anger. I know one man who, while only being covered until his divorce was final, railed against any brake on the insurance companies. This issue is so emotionally charged people don’t understand when they’re arguing against their own self interest.

The only reason people would fight to protect a future right is that they themselves expect it. Absent altruism, there is no reason to invest in it. So what is being communicated is that if you want to have this right, you have to fight for it now or you will never have it. This reasoning is why the Tea Parties appear to be multi-generational, but if younger people understood they were sacrificing their futures they would not be there.

In reality, where the non-wealthy are forced to live, nobody of any party is saying that there will never be a cut in Medicare or Social Security or if it will even exist in the future. They won’t give a number or a time, but it’s not repudiated either. On ‘Face the Nation’ recently, Tim Pawlenty said that he thinks the government should honor current social welfare commitments, but that those coming along now will have a different deal in the future.

I have a certificate for an electroshock session for Governor Pawlenty. Nobody will work to support another’s benefit, nor should they, if they have no expectation of receiving that same benefit. They didn’t make the commitment in the first place.

For a while the boomers had everyone just where they wanted them, paying for their benefits because they stole from the accounts that were supposed to keep them through their old age. It doesn’t much matter which political party did more damage because both squandered vast amounts of wealth. And now, just as they’re making their exit from the stage, their failure to keep the treasure needed to keep them hidden by the smoke of war and partisan bickering, an event happened that was so unforeseen that it threw the boomers  into terror and confusion.

The election of a Generation X president.

To be fair, they may not have seen him coming. He is after all on the cusp of the boomers and may have been able to pass as one of them. But in the end, they could have never stopped him anyway. He had too many Gen-X and Millennial votes.

His election raised the specter of change in the health care industry.  “No one should have to die for lack of health insurance,” he said. The boomers watched and disapproved. They had just sent container ships full of money to all of their boomer friends to keep them at the roulette wheel bail them out. They had pulled their grinder monkey Bernie Madoff out of the gimp cage for ridicule and deflection. The deception was working. Before long they’d be moving on, leaving debris behind for countless generations to clean up.

But this health care thing. Damn it. It’s a conundrum. The benefits racked up for most boomers through jobs, unions and government guarantees assure that they will become an ever growing burden to those who come behind. How can others be convinced to pay for benefits they can never receive, especially since a much larger amount of wealth has already been used to bailout the bad bets of the rich? By calling change socialism when, in fact, they are already the beneficiaries of socialism. By stirring up fear and anger with a sudden enlightenment that budget deficits are bad and evil.

Too bad this same anger didn’t rise before billions were given to corrupt boomers on Wall Street, the greediest group of bastards since the Robber Barons of the early twentieth century. Where were the protests of socialism when the wealthiest of us pocketed enormous tax cuts while sending jobs offshore? Somehow, those socialist acts were okay and universal health care, that could save people’s lives and ultimately save a lot of money, is a seditious plot.

This one fact is exposing the real fault line in America: Baby Boomers vs. Everyone Else. I say this because the one common thread to the looting of our treasury, the argument against health care reform, the synchronicity of two parties around earmarks and pork barrel spending are the baby boomers. All of the goodies are aimed at them because, for the most part, they still control the levers of power.

Think about it. Who was in power when the Social Security and Medicare trust funds were continually raided? Who has pushed for larger government (and don’t kid yourself, it’s both parties)?  Who was hell bent for outsourcing and privatization? Who told all of us that globalization would be good for all and bring peace through trade? Who would have their benefits changed if the system was realigned more fairly? Who would have to sacrifice?

The boomers. The generation that had everything handed to them. The group that managed to turn war into a private undertaking with a volunteer army so nobody would protest since their sons weren’t going. The group that President Eisenhower warned about a Military-Industrial-Congressional complex (look it up, that’s the original language). They took Ike’s warning as a road map.

The same generation that brought you Woodstock, free love and weed are now the same people that fight universal health care, send young poor men to fight in wars that should have never been waged and never saw a buck they didn’t like. Even if it meant screwing their own kids and grandkids.

The same generation that would not be told how to live is now telling everyone else how to live, or in the case of health care, if they can live.

There is only one political party in the United States. The party of Money. You have it, you can play. You don’t, you serve. Like a General Motors of bullshit, the Democrats and Republicans and, eventually, the Tea Party,will just be different brands of infotainment designed to make everyone zombie suckers while they are systematically robbed. Is this not obvious to everyone as foreclosures and job losses skyrocket along side the soaring profits of oil companies, health insurers and Wall Street? There is no political or economic justice for anyone but the wealthy. And who are the wealthy? For the most part, boomers. It’s dawning on me that the problem in America is not political.

Who would be hurt by making health care more affordable? Who would be hurt if Social Security or Medicare changed? That is exactly why they are chumming up the debate, buying time until they can shuffle their sorry asses off the stage of life. All the while whining and complaining that what is theirs is being taken away. Except, they’re wrong. The benefits they are receiving are paid by current workers, the same ones they want to screw out of future benefits. Their health insurance? Subsidized by the bleeding insurance companies administer to individual rate payers or the outrageous bills hospitals are forced to pay. For them to get ‘theirs’, everyone in the future gets nothing. It’s wrong and  immoral.

The boomers used to say, ‘Never trust anyone over thirty’. They must have seen themselves coming.

One response to “My Generation | Peter Mehit

  1. Interesting blog, Peter, but it’s missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones: http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

    It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978
    Generation Y/Millennials: 1979-1993

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