Boomers to Blame for Everything

America's most selfish generation ruined the economy, and other things

Baby Boomers wasted their peak earning years in the late 90s and 2000s buying second homes and running up enormous debt. Now that the economy has crashed, they will delay retirement and keep the generation behind them from getting promoted into the management jobs the Boomers have been hogging for the past two decades.

Of course, once we finally pry the good jobs from the Boomers' withered, liver-spotted hands, they will get to work sending the Social Security and Medicare systems into arrears. So we've got lots to look forward to!

The most irresponsible generation in history spent much of the 2009 college commencement season apologizing for their terrible behavior and exhorting new graduates to just do the opposite of whatever they did. Like typical Boomers, however, they didn't spend a lot of time talking about what they'd do to fix the chaos they created.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, 60 years old, told the graduating class of Butler University last month that boomers have been "self-absorbed, self-indulgent and all too often just plain selfish."

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, 55, told Grinnell College graduates in Iowa that his was "the grasshopper generation, eating through just about everything like hungry locusts."

And Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, at 44 barely a boomer himself, told seniors at Colorado College that the national creed of one generation standing on the shoulders of the next was at risk "because our generation has not been faithful enough to our grandparents' example."

Even when they castigate themselves, they're smug.

On the plus side, the aging population of Boomers might finally bring us the healthcare reform we've needed for decades. Because they're such a large and politically active voting bloc, they tend to get what they want when it comes to legislation. And now that they're old enough to really start needing good healthcare -- healthcare that doesn't depend on having an employer -- maybe America's most self-serving generation will have the chance to push for reforms that benefit the whole country.

The famed demographer and professional commencement speaker Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.

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