Can our generation fix what the baby boomers broke?

I think it's pretty clear at this point that most of the problems we are seeing today stem from decisions being made by the older generation in terms of legislation, voting and other political maneuvers.
1. Student loans. Thanks to the older generation, presidents and congress (whom belong to this generation) tuition has been allowed to be raised to unacceptably high prices, and standard consumer protections have been stripped from student loan borrowers, causing student loan debt to sky rocket past credit card debt. Despite efforts to make college more affordable, intense lobbying (and let's be honest, political cronyism on the part of lenders such as Sallie Mae) contributions to politicians and lobbying on the part of private colleges have made education completely unaffordable without student loan debt. The demand for skills, experience and knowledge in this digital age are at an all time high. So we stuck the millenials with student loan debt, without providing the corresponding investment in them.
2. Income inequality. There is a war against poverty in terms of legislation and what have you. Presdients pandering to the republican right by passing things predicated on expectations of personal responsibility have done nothing to combat crime, which studies will show have increased since Reagon and Bushes war on drugs (The war on drugs is possibly one of the worst ideas ever fathomed because it only leads to poor people committing violent drug related crimes. I admit they need to answer for their crimes, but why not be more proactive instead of being reactive?).
3. The allowance of large corporations like Wal-Mart to monopolize business thereby eliminating competition for small businesses which as we all know is CRUCIAL for captialism to work.
4. The Supreme court, the media and politicians distracting us by debating gay marraige and flags that resemble nothing more than symbolism instead of trying to tackle the real issues.
5. Job loss due to technology, globalizationa and outsourcing

Op owner who talked about student loans having to be privatized:

Wrong. The GI Bill was a means to encourage millions to attend school, and it incentivized it by making it more affordable. The creation of Sallie Mae brought about suspicious activity among the colleges, lenders, guarontors and government. Various presidents decided to pull the plug on funding education throughout the years; the burden of the cost of education shifted from the department of education to the students.
To follow up, the higher education act of 1965 (existing as grants and subsidies) was pecked away at during the 70's. Congress would later completely remove standard bankruptcy rights and consumer protections COMPLETELY from student loan debt. Banks, the government and the lenders historically have been getting rich off struggling students. It is clearly a case of predatory lending practices.


Most Helpful Girl

  • In the US maybe you're right, there was a sequence of bad leaders in that generation, but in other countries not always
    Which is I suppose why the US is lacking in so many areas today

    But also there are some global issues that the past generation at least failed to address, such as pollution and climate change as a result, income inequality on a global level or human trafficking, fast food...

    Anyways, I'm pretty optimistic about this generation. Did you watch 21 jump st? Where they go back to high school and all the things that used to be lame, such ass caring about gay rights or the environment is suddenly cool. Well there's some truth to it
    And we have something our parents didn't. The internet. Information travels faster, more independent and more reliable than ever. I know facebook likes won't turn themselves into food but still it's out there and people overwhelming care

    • Nalaa. Great response. You are correct. A lot of the changes taking place have in one way or another hurt us. Technology puts a lot of people out of work or brings about demand that many cannot reach. I can only hope we can find ways to use it to our advantage as well (in terms of emailing congress people, voicing our dissatisfaction publicly and uniting as a group via blogs, articles, journalism, etc...).

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    • One more note: Jobs need to start paying better wages. If you have not seen Robert Reich's "Inequality for All" documentary, I suggest you check it out. It adequately outlines why we need to empower our lower earners more in order to have a more stable economy.

    • again, not arguing against it, but it's a different point

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What Girls Said 0

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What Guys Said 3

  • I think you're dead on with everything you're saying. There is a separation in our generation today though. The people who care about these things, and those who blindly follow what their baby boomer parents told them because they don't have a need to focus on such things. I have seen plenty of proactive movement in the youth today who want to change our country for the better. Its hard to do so though when outside influences coupled with the ignorance of the media, and the older generation doing all they can to keep things the way they are now. Seeing all this support for Bernie Sanders though gives me hope that America isn't lost yet.

    • I agree. Although I think Sanders needs to better educate himself on basic economics. The only way to tackle student loans is to Restore bankruptcy protections to student loan borrowers. Not one politician has come with an acceptable solution to this. They pander to republicans by trying to pass things that essentially, while sound fancy, are predicated on blaming the victims. I hate to say it, but his ideas sound pretty haphazard. Still though, it may be a step in the right direction, given his other ideas (break up banks, get big money out of politics, etc...). Thanks for the input.

  • Baby boomers didn't break anything. All those issues you mentioned have been around since day 1 of humanity, just the variables have changed. And one variable, which the baby boomers and the current population are responsible for, is over population.

    • Wrong. Sallie Mae was not always around. See the post I mentioned below. Stripping student loan borrowers of consumer protections is not something that is standard procedure. I don't think student loan related suicides were a big thing in the 60's. Overpopulation, while a very plausible statement, is not likely to lead to much in our lifetimes ( I do agree a lot of things do stem from it though). Globalization and outsourcing are quite different than the era of industry where this country worked together and was seen as more of a community. Today, people remain isolated from one another because they are too busy pursuing their private interest (Many trying to pay off their expensive loans) to attempt to govern themselves. There have been gradual social shifts that I can spend hours talking about that support my point. So I am sorry, but NOT all these problems have been around forever. It's just the people in positions of leadership do not want to solve them

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    • This post was posted in the context of American viewpoints. Never once did I mention that this should be considered a worldwide perspective. If you look all the way back to the birth of America, and study what our forefathers said, you will see that we are living up to none of the moral, economic and political groundwork predicated upon American freedom that they laid out for us. Maybe the post is being misinterpreted here. I don't think the baby boomers CAUSED everything that went wrong in history because that is impossible.
      I do however, think that they should be ashamed for having the capacity (in the U. S.) to understand the changes we are seeing, and do nothing but continue to blame the younger generation for many of their lackluster fiscal decisions and general apathy towards investing in the future. Not all of them are to blame, but I expect better from grown adults.

    • "... the rules created long ago by man. Just like the individuals screwed everyone in the generation before them and so forth. But to answer your question, NO... our generation can't do shit and you know why? because a handful of greedy powerful gits from this generation are going to screw the next generation. Its probably the only constant thing about humanity."
      On the contrary, I think my generation is doing a fine job of understanding different perspectives, looking back at historical mistakes and adjusting so as not to repeat them, seeking out truth instead of fabricated lies, and generally making social progress. There will always be bad apples, but maybe some well-minded individuals in this age group can transform our broken society into one that cares about the public good instead of just private interest. If we continue to just accept that we are doomed, we might as well all just kill ourselves. Who would want to live like this?

  • Baby boomers were drafted for the Vietnam war. were the first victims of austerity, of Reaganomics, still pay for Bush's wars. They didn't ask all what you write about.

    • Wrong. Baby Boomers voted for other baby boomers who took office and then proceeded to bleed the common people in the country dry with their legislations. And the last time I checked, you could get out of Vietnam by attending college, something they at the time had the luxury to afford by working summer jobs.

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    • Attack your grandparents for all that.

    • It was the anticommunism of your grandparents that stopped all efforts to make things go better.
      Well, 'anticommunism' was the self serving excuse. Everything had to be privatized, student loans included. That's why they're expensive.

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