We're Looking For Solutions, Not Outrage

Don't worry Boomers, Generation X has the ball.

One of my fellow bloggers here on Patch is wondering why there isn't any outrage from the younger generations about the national debt. The three short paragraphs raise good points; however, they barely scratch the surface of the larger issues of our national debt and so-called "entitlements." The large amounts of public debt added to the Federal credit card over the past decade wasn't caused by the social service benefits for those on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder; however, that wasn't my problem with his opinion.  My issue is that this isn't the time for Boomers to co-opt the younger genreations into the same old arguments and false choices.

Here is what I'm looking at as a Gen-Xer:

1.) I may only get 75% of my Social Security benefits.  This isn't an entitlement because I've been paying into it for you, and I'm expecting those behind me to pay into it for me.  How about instead of sticking us with the bill, the 55+ crowd takes half of the cut while the rest of us take the other half of the cut?  The better questions are: why do we need to take the cut, and who is forcing us to make this choice in the first place?
2.) Maybe unemployment for the younger generations would go down if those who are past retirement age retire to free up jobs?  But that isn't the problem, is it.  The questions should be, why aren't people retiring, and why aren't companies hiring?
3.) A great deal of the older generation loves to go on about how entitled the younger generation is.  Wasn't it the Boomers that parented those kids that are entitled, had their problems solved by helicopter parenting, and spared the emotions of failure because everyone gets a trophy?  Where were the values of the "Greatest Generation" that raised the Boomers? Where are the values of sacrifice, winning and losing, hard work, earning a place in society and being content with what one has?  What ever happened to "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"?

The root of our problems can't be boiled down to simple this or that, young or old, red or blue arguments.  There is outrage in my generation, but we aren't complaining because we are too busy raising our kids and entering the prime of our careers.  We are also too busy trying to figure out what to do with our school systems, underwater mortgages, our parents who are getting older, costs rising faster than our paychecks, rising health care costs, sending our kids to college with tuition prices that are skyrocketing, basic infrastructure that isn't being maintained, our jobs that are disappearing to lower cost countries, and government at all levels that is caught in paralysis by analysis at best or deadlocked in a partisan divide at worst.  I don't have time to be outraged.  Not only am I dealing with the debt that is being passed down, but all the other bucks that are being passed.

The older generation can't simply say, "We are worried about you in the younger generations."  From my point of view it feels like I am being told, "Well, we are getting ours.  We are worried about you, but here's the bill and good luck finding a job."  The Boomers need to remember what it was like on this side of the equation.  The big problems here cannot be foisted on to any one demographic in this country - the problems belong to all of us.

I'm not complaining or getting outraged because it serves no greater purpose. I, and many like me, are full of quiet determination.  We are tired of listening to the same arguments, and we are simply starting new conversations and moving on from the same old arguments.  We are finding solutions that are simpler and cheaper than ever.  We trying our best finding solutions to big problems, and we are doing it in ways that weren't even conceivable in the "Age of Aquarius."  We are also solving our own problems locally by looking back to the basic values and methods of our grandparents and great grandparents in the Greatest Generation and the generation that survived the Great Depression.  I believe that Generation X, despite our apathetic start in the 90's, has and will continue to rise to the occasion, and we will bring everyone along with us.

My Generation made the Internet what it is today, we are more focused on family, we are doing the best we can despite the hand we have been dealt, and we are having fun along the way.  Stay tuned.  We aren't even close to being done yet.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jay M. February 25, 2013 at 06:38 PM
@Jacobo. You aske ALOT of questions so I'll take them one by one. 1. Regarding driving to business, I don't see who would build and maintain an organized system of roads for me to travel on and for my customers to travel on. I was not referring to a license, registration or insurance. However, a lack of an insurance requirement would certainly be an added cost to many businesses - to self-insure against those that don't insure (which would likely go up if there were no insurance requirement) would likely increase my premiums. 2. Regarding the police, I don't see how else to have safe roads without some enforcement. Again, the more dangerous the roads are, the higher my insurance would be and the more money goes out of my pocket. 3. Regarding defense, I was talking about defense - I never referred to our role as global police man which I agree should be scrapped. Instead, I was talking about defense against international criminal groups, terrorists and the like. A country with no means to defend itself would be a sitting duck. 4. Gold and silver? Do you have any idea how hard it would be to conduct a business in gold and silver? 5. Of course my business is not essential to a community's survival - very, very few are. Are you suggesting that any such business go under? That would lead to incredible chaos! You clearly know little about business or what it takes to earn a living. 4. 2.
IRTURONG February 25, 2013 at 06:50 PM
i misunderstood jacobo on a previous post and i apologize for my comment,dont forget the anything to do with guns,a huge feel good diversion.my idea is to rip the band aid off quick right now and let the chips fall where they may,instead of a slow agonizing removal
Waterford Guy February 25, 2013 at 06:59 PM
1. In a truly free market, the most likely system would be one where the stretch of road that was privately owned would be funded by a gas station that was allowed to operate (by the owner) on that stretch of road. We’ll probably never know in my lifetime, because I don’t see the government relinquishing power of where, when , how fast and how many people can ride in your car. What would be cheaper, saving that couple hundred bucks every six months and saving and investing it in a new vehicle, or mandatorily hand it over to an insurance company “in case” you get in an accident. 2. When someone goes 100 MPH on the highway, the police chase them, effectively doubling the number of people travelling at unsafe speeds. That’s not safer. 3. Who the heck is going to invade a country with this many firearm owners? Let people with concealed carry pistols carry on a plane….lets see how many hijackings we have after that. 4. Ever heard of BitCoin? It’s a storage system of silver that you can pay for things with a “credit card” With the ability to have competing currencies, things like BitCoin would be able to spring up……..its called innovation. Same thing could happen with a free-market system of roads and transportation. 5. We are all micro-businesses in a way…..my customer happens to be a corporation that I have a contract with to work. I imagine that even without government, you and your business would survive if you had to.
Bob Fawkes February 25, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Jay, you assume that the powers that be will be able to maintain the status quo, band-aided as it may be (Federal and local government authority, military readiness and deployment, infrastructure, etc). I assume the opposite, that the cat is too far out of the bag and that the status quo cannot be maintained, at any cost. We'll have to agree to disagree. Whatever the case, I wish you and your family health and prosperity in these interesting times we live in..
Bob Fawkes February 25, 2013 at 07:10 PM
“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” ~~ Frank Zappa
bibledoctor02 February 25, 2013 at 07:45 PM
biblical illiteracy is at a all time high with all three generations, boomers, xers, yers,,,, false gods , not keeping the sabbath, and sex outside of marriage the reason why we had this blizzard .i say connecticut is condemned the prefixes say it , i am in my last hours in this state but i ll keep writing to you y;all when i get to delaware.
Bob Fawkes February 25, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Travel safely, Brother Thomas.
Steohen Haddon February 25, 2013 at 07:58 PM
saw Zappa close with "Black Napkins" at the hartford civic center he was great...........you, not so much
REVMAN February 25, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Paul ---S.S. and Medicare are NOT An entitlement it is a tax and the real name was 'Old Age, Survivors And Disability Insurance Program - OASDI' Do you know what insurance means? I paid S.S & Medicare all my working life,retired and now pay taxes on my Social security(Federal&State) also pay more for my Medicare now than when I was working so get you facts straight.First it is a tax and WAS a(mandatory) insurance policy.I'm sorry the younger GEN's woun't be able to collect but that's their fault look who they vote for.Wait until next year and a NEW tax called OBAMACARE kicks in that aught to make you tingle inside.
Bob Fawkes February 25, 2013 at 08:45 PM
'78 was it? Where does the time go?
Jim G. February 25, 2013 at 08:50 PM
You likely paid no more than 8-10% of the benefits you will receive. Arguments that you "earned" SS and Medicare are a trifle weak if you're going to argue against extending similar benefits for all.
Jay M. February 25, 2013 at 08:56 PM
@Jacobo. Thanks for the well wishes, but I was hoping for a more substantive response. @Waterford Guy. Your trust in the free market is almost as scary as some people's trust in government. Your openness to rolling the dice and seeing what happens, and assuming that what happens will be an improvement, seems a bit "pie in the sky" to me. For example: 1. Your idea about the gas station is just that - a guess. No one would know whether a transportation system would develop that would allow for the movement of goods and people. Say 50 homes are on a street - who then owns that street? who pays for upkeep? 2. Pointing out one flaw of the police is hardly evidence that the police don't make the streets safer. Without laws, rule or enforcement, I see chaos and you've yet to suggest otherwise. 3. I own firearms too, and anyone who thinks a crew of citizens with firearms is going to defend this country is out of their mind. Haven't you heard of chemical weapons, figther jets, bombs and missiles? You really think that few rifles will suffice? 4. Bitcoin could function now if there was a market for it. Competing currencies would be a huge hassle for business. How would a business efficiently sell its good with an unlimited number of currencies out there? Commerce and investment would be severely burdened.
Spiff February 25, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Dynamo Hum, Dynamo Hum, where's that Dynamo comin' from, done spent three hours and I ain't got a crumb from a Dynamo, Dynamo, Dynamo, from a Dynamo Hum...
REVMAN February 25, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Jim G --I never said I earned S.S. I said I paid into it and now I'm recieving it.Social Security is a tax now even if you will NEVER collect it and who's fault is that the younger generation that who.Why is S.S. called the 3rd rail because politicians fear our generation that's because we will vote them out of office. The younger gen have to look out for yourselves.Baby boomers are retireing in record #'s and Gen x will need more than just S.S. to retire as far as GenY all I can say save until it hurts.
Joel Mrosek February 25, 2013 at 10:47 PM
I mentioned it before. It is pointless to blame one generation or another. One reason we are getting more in benefits than was paid in is due to the expansion of the types of benefits being paid out. In the 60's money was flowing into SS, so much that survivors' benefits and disability payments were added. People who voted for the politicians in the 60's that expanded the program are culpable as well. There is enough blame to go around, which renders it pointless. What is important to recognize about all the entitlements is they were all based on an expanding population that hasn't materialized. If any individual tried to set up SS now, he would have the cell next to Bernie Madoff. SS is the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of man.
Peter T. Cianelli February 26, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Mr. Aiken.. Congratulations to the Democrats and Young People who voted for Obama's Socialism. You now own it. The next terrorist attack you own it. Can't get a job after graduation, you own it. Sky rocketing energy prices due to Obama's EPA shutting down the energy producing states, you own it. A nuclear Iran, you own it. Another severe recession, you own it. A volatile border with Mexico, you own it. Higher heath insurance costs and health care costs, you own it. No budget, you own it. Another trillion of debt, you own it. More Benghazi situations, you own it. More dependency on food stamps, you own it. Trouble finding good employment, you own it. A World Government, you own it. The UN governing the United States instead of ourselves, you own it. A Senate that will not bring any legislation to the table rather it is "Dead on Arrival", you own it. China controlling our world trade trampling all over us, you own it. Loss of our freedoms as we have known it in the past, you own it. A dictatorship instead of a democracy that follows the Constitution, you own it. More government corruption and lies, you own it. More toleration of extreme and fanatical Islamists, you own it. Terrorist attacks called work place incidents, you own it. President George Bush is out of it now, and there is not another good man for you to vilify and lie about. In a way I am relieved that another good man will not be blamed when it was impossible to clean up this mess you voted for. God bless....
Kaptainsteve February 26, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Revman, Everyone under 21 will be FORCED to pay all this debt. They never voted. This is Taxation Without Representation.
Scott Wheeler February 26, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Medicare is due to be drained by 2024, SS shortly after it at 2026 so I guess if your children are aspiring to become doctors they will have to cater to the 1% if they want to pay for those college loans. I wonder if the hippocratic oath will still apply or will "platinum cards only" be on hospital entry doors? Of course you can holiday in India and get the work done for 1/10 the price for some odd reason. The moral of this story is that you should start saving your money, stop watching the media whore egomaniacs in hollywood and start thinking about yourself 20 years from now. Get active with your state reps that have 100% medical coverage after just one term and drill them. Let's start with the congress's $220,000 per quarter bill for bottled water..................
Waterford Guy February 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Jay, I think I am a lot more optomistic about the co-operative nature of humans than others are, and that is why I trust the free market so much. I believe generally people want to co-exist peacefully and better thier lives and the lives of those around them, without government's coercive and forceful iron fist. and just as my suggestion to your number 1. was a guess.....your answers to my 2-4 are guesses on your part.
Bob Fawkes February 26, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Actually, we can start by allowing insolvent megabanks to fail (Free Market vs. Rigged Market); their corporate officers held accountable. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-20/why-should-taxpayers-give-big-banks-83-billion-a-year-.html
Jay M. February 26, 2013 at 01:58 PM
@Wateford Guy. I appreciate your optimism and positive view of humans and I think it is on that point that our views on government depart. Unlike you, I have little faith in the ability of people to individually and independently co-exist without some organization structure (i..e government). For example, I ship alot of my products and I have little faith that, in the abscence of a government, my goods would be able to efficiently ship (or ship at all) from CT to CA. I don't see how roads/airports/bridges would be built, maintained or operated and I have little faith in the kindness of people all the way from CT to CA to let my goods pass on their roads or through their property.
Scott Wheeler February 26, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Or we could talk GM... GM is proposing to pay about $82 million to its highest 25 employees in total compensation, up from the $65 million it paid them in 2012. This 20% raise increase has to be passed through the treasury department which lent the $49,000,000,000 to gm in the first place. We will lose over $12 billion from that loan. Lets talk uber egomaniac Rick Wagner, GM CEO that drove the nail in the coffin at one of the greatest companies in the world and was fired and had no charges brought against him by the shareholders. Of course Obama payed back Super Uber egomaniac Ed Whitacre for his awesome campaign donations by giving him CEO and approx $9 million in tax payer salary.
REVMAN February 26, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Kaptainsteve --Voting age was dropped to 18 so they could vote for representation also it seem their parents aren't to concerned who has to pay for it case in point is going to START Mar. 1st. and everyone will blame the republicans just because Obama says so and therefore they don't care about the budget.
Liz Lukas February 26, 2013 at 06:13 PM
That's quite a diatribe of infantile level whining there Mr. Cianelli. Too bad that much of what you want to be "owned" by one party (debatable about which party) is in actuality a product of much broader phenomena. You can't ignore that the the economic woes you mention are significantly driven by systemic changes that have resulted in the excessive influence of market forces on matters inherently not suited to market determinations. In the last 40 years, achieving the American dream required more people working because wages haven’t increased since the 1970s. The other factor is that people borrowed more and more. To get the American dream, you have to finance education and then don’t have the job, yet have the debt. You want to lump responsibility for apparently every kind of challenge onto one administration. And you do so without once acknowledging the willful malfeasance of the wealthiest few. Do you believe that politics, debate and struggle are a dead-end? Social limits of purely market forces are not recognized by the all or nothing mindset of post Reagan era Republicans. The approach of worshipping the almighty market is killing the masses without which our system can't survive. You'd prefer to rest on a blame game and not strive for action. I'd prefer to look to the democratic impulses that give our system vitality and the promise of hope. Maybe the 2012 was a step toward that. Have a nice day.
Daniella Ruiz February 26, 2013 at 06:26 PM
as in so many struggling economies, the elite have been able to foresee the dearth of funding edge steadily up to their front door before most people would bat an eye. slow and steady, it evades the notice by the commoner trying to get by daily, in the fray of real life, dealing with actualities and facts (something these educated mooks avoid like plague) so they conceive of myriad means to game the system, play the shots, even tweak the rules (interpretations) to ensure they gain advantage before their sham actually is discovered and thence find themselves with populace at their door with Rakes and Hoes demanding a fair share. so Off to some distant retirement retreat, with their socks stuffed with money carefully excised from the system as to evade detection, even with a retro-concealment method to cover their actions. down on the planet, where those 'commoners' act like errant children, emitting cries of economic pain, offending the eardrums of the elite sensitivities and 'needs', most who already know this, have become sadly beaten into submission by superior logic and application of clearly defined criminal conspiracy. not that they themselves have not either done much of the same, at least to ward away the oppressive and arrogant scent of corruption (Change?) that was triggered from 'above'. follow the leader, or be lead by your own peril, fully deceived and ungraciously discarded when worn beyond use.
Steohen Haddon February 26, 2013 at 06:30 PM
I hate whiners. The younger generation has it better than any previous generation in where it economically starts out. The older generation has more benefits coming to it than any other in history. The rich are richer, the poor are richer. The middle, as always, is under attack. Nothing new there.
Jesse Colucci February 26, 2013 at 07:34 PM
I just posted an article about how CT is adding almost half a million a year to the national budget. http://rockyhill.patch.com/blog_posts/ct-state-savings-on-the-back-of-the-us-tax-payer-437k-in-additional-care-costs
REVMAN February 26, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Peter--I agree they OWN it but they don't to admit it.
Betty Davis March 01, 2013 at 12:37 PM
WOWZA! I love this reply.
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