Baby-Boomers Commit Youthanasia

The first Baby Boomer filed for social security last month, the beginning of a generational coup summed up by satirist P. J. O’Rourke as “Give us all your money.”

Fellow Baby Boomer O’Rourke is gleefully talking about my ge-generation and how it will commit youthanasia. A sample from the article, which deserves to be read completely:

[After gloating about how young taxpayers will be paying the bill for all of our white water rafting excursions, world travel, and medical bills. . .] And the expense of these will be as nothing compared to the cost of our pharmacological needs. Remember, we are a generation that knows drugs. From about 1967 until John Belushi died, we created a way of life based almost entirely on drugs. And we can do it again. Except this time, instead of us trying to figure out how to pay for the fun by selling each other nickel bags of pot, you the taxpayer will be picking up the tab. . . .

So just give us all the money in the federal, state, and local budget. Forget spending on the military, education, and infrastructure. What with Iraq, falling SAT scores, and that bridge collapse in Minneapolis, it’s not like the military, education, and infrastructure are doing very well anyway. Besides, you don’t have a choice. We are 80 million strong. That’s a number equal to almost two-thirds of the registered voters in the United States. Do what we say or we will ballot you into a socio-economic condition that will make North Korea look like the clubhouse at Pebble Beach.

And that’s the good news. Beggaring government is the least of the damage that we baby boomers intend to inflict over the next 30 or 40 years. What we’re really up to is something more diabolical. Our generation is going to do what our generation has always done best. We’re going to shape the American social fabric to our will and make the entire nation conform to our ideals, judgments, and tastes. It will be like the Clinton administration but much, much worse. (An interesting little irony since in ’08 we’re probably going to get a Clinton administration that’s much, much worse.). . . .

We have rendered mere school children as dependent upon Ritalin as we are upon Lipitor and Levitra. And watch those kids go out and play. They can’t so much as hop on a bike without being swathed in helmets, knee pads, shin guards, and elbow cushions. It’s like seeing John Kerry skateboard. Then there’s the Segway, which is nothing but a device to make an able-bodied person in the prime of life look as pathetic as if he were in a walker.

He goes on.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I think O’Rourke may be a little triumphalist (in an ironic way) here. I’ve figured for a long time that our young caretakers will probably start holding pillows over our faces and “accidentally” overdosing us as we deteriorate. After all, it feels good, so it’s right to do it.

  • Bror Erickson

    well Lars,
    Us gen xer’s only learned our morals from the best.
    Bror

  • S Bauer

    O’Rourke hits the nail on the head. Of course, there were many of us Boomers who over the years have tried to raise the question of where in the * all the money for our Social Security was going to come from and maybe shouldn’t we restructure things now (like in the ’70′s or the ’80′s or the ’90s), only to be told patronizingly by the “Greatest Generation” (worried about losing their own second homes in Arizona and trips to Las Vegas), “Oh, don’t worry. Social Security will ALWAYS be there for you.”

  • fwsonnek

    As republics become democracies, they tend towards chaos and then dictatorship becomes welcomed (against the chaos of dictatorship of the ficle 51%).

    This is because dictatorships represent order, which is the primary purpose of government.

    And because even dictatorships cannot exist withhout public consent, they curry that by promoting “traditional values” like motherhood, “patriotism”, and the morality of the symbolic.

    The then begin to target the “them” who are not the “us”. and also comes the political censorship pill wrapped in a piece of the sweetness of moral censorship.

    This happened to the greeks, romans, germans, and now it is happening to us.

    A “conservative” president has laid all the constitutional groundwork to facilitate this in the event of the next imminent national threat from “them” , with the blessing of a compliant “liberal” congress.

    The “give us bread and circuses” is only to keep us, the masses, passive while our liberties are being removed and dismantled and undermined.

    Usually when someone is swindled, the swindler plays on greed. “last chance to purchase”, “offer good while supplies last”, “free!”, You TOO can have…”, you DESERVE to have..” , Its YOUR money….”, “don’t miss your chance to…”

    We are ALL complicit. The most fiscally conservative voters are from areas, Utah, south dakota, etc that are also the MOST dependent on federal subsidies to keep things going….

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Robert Perry

    Delightful on O’Rourke’s part, and well said, Frank.

  • organshoes

    I’ve heard more than once this (perhaps cynical) takedown of The Greatest Generation: that they produced the Boomers (like me), so what was so great about them in the end?
    As for fw sonnek, those comments go too far, I think. I have yet to see where ‘our liberties are being removed and dismantled and undermined,’ as is so easily and often claimed.
    And, when examples are attempted, it’s generally the rights of terror-plotters that have been curbed. And I’m all for that.
    Proof that it isn’t so is in the freedom still existent to make such claims, and worse, without any repercussion other than most Americans aren’t buying the claim or the person making it, from Hollywood to DC. People not listening to Bill Maher, not buying tickets for movie takedowns of America or its military, and calling for an apology from Pete Stark are hardly the same as systematically shutting up the opposition or denying any rights.

  • Deb

    the question I am wondering about the boomers is how everyone seems to think they will live to a ripe old age when so many did drugs. Aren’t drugs suppose to be bad for you and don’t most things bad for you cause your life span to shorten.

  • tim prussic

    The Social Security aspect of the Boomer Sunset is the least worrisome. It’s just a small piece of a much larger economic sinkhole. So, 80 million retire, sell biggest homes, start sucking off the stock market (instead of putting into it), and the next generation (’bout half the size) is going to support that… how?
    Said from a true postmillennial standpoint: there are scary times ahead. Let’s get our houses in order now, spiritually, financially, etc.

  • Joe

    The problem is that the boomers are going to live much longer than past generations but are still going to stop working when they are, on the whole, still capible of working for several more years. The combination of their own wealth and health is going to be a very large hit on the economy.

  • tim prussic

    That’s true, Joe. Add to your analysis the issue of sheer numbers. 80 million living baby boomers with the next generation about half the size.

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    I’ve enjoyed P.J. O’Rourke for many years, going back to his Rolling Stone Magazine days. If you want a spot-on evaluation of government, read his PARLIAMENT OF WHORES. Quote: “I balanced the entire United States governemt. It took me all morning, but I did it!”

    The thing about O’Rourke, who if you just didn’t happen to notice, Frank, was employing a technique known as satire, heehee: he is like the Onion magazine. They both, in the service of satire, really often hit the nail on the head. Sometimes you read something they produce and just go, “Yep. The truth”.

    Yeah, the Boomers. When a really balanced history is written, it’ll look like the best of times and the worst of times. The end of communism, great economies, but the Clintons.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bruce (@11), ah yes, the nightmare that was the Clinton era.

    Or, as The Onion put it (hitting the nail on the head, you might say), “president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that ‘our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.’” (www.theonionDOTcom/content/node/28784)

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Sorry, should have noted that Onion article was from January 17, 2001. Talk about prescient!

    “My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.”

    During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

    “We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two,” Bush said. “Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there’s much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation’s hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it.”

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    tODD, touche. Satire, my boy. That’s satire!

    The Onions writers must have looked at each other, shaken their heads, and said whew. Are we good, or what?

  • kerner

    In case anyone doesn’t know it, the Onion was started in Wisconsin. One more cultural coup for us cheeseheads.

    tODD, the Onion had plenty to say about the Clintons, as well. Don’t make me dig out all my back issues.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@15), I’m pretty sure The Onion always portrayed the Clintons in a good light, just like all media outlets did. That’s the problem with the liberal media — they never report anything bad about Democrats. I mean, can you name one bad thing you heard about Clinton in the media?


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