I’m fed up with the “Greatest Generation.” Okay, so they won a global war and oversaw the largest expansion of the human population and advancements in technology. But whatever. Despite all of this advancement of modern society, here we sit in 2017 and everybody is pissed off. Count me in. A wave of anger is fueling political global upheaval. And I can understand that desire. The great lie of the Greatest Generation is that the next generation will have it better than the last. This simply isn’t case anymore.
Social, political, and economic systems built on a model of perpetual growth defies all laws of natural resources and just plain physics. Can’t happen. Won’t happen, and eventually the systems (natural systems, economic systems, political systems, stock markets, etc.) see a correction. We are seeing these corrections now. For the first time, individuals who had their eye on the American dream that sold them on the idea that you can have a career of honest labor and build a prosperous future for yourself and your children is not the norm. The reaction to this is counter-productive however.
We react to this by electing a president and congress promising to return us to the halcyon days of a time in our history where the American dream was a reality. But it never was a reality. It was akin to purchasing a luxury car with a credit card. For a while you get to drive a really nice car, but eventually, the interest from the credit card and the maintenance of a high-priced automobile are beyond your means and income. The Greatest Generation didn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps and build this prosperous nation. They bought it on credit from the next generations, and the interest is coming due in the form of political unrest, terrorism, voter disengagement, economic stagnation, rising racial conflict, class warfare, and environmental distress.
The very practices we look back to lead us to today’s reality. We elect leaders that capitalize on this false ideal. They then propose policies that further borrow against the next generation further disenfranchising the poor and working class while rewarding those that were the beneficiaries of the great lie of the last 50 years political and economic systems of perpetual growth. This has created unprecedented income disparity. What is lost in this history by the greatest generation (still largely calling the shots) is that without a strong middle class our economic system will eventually collapse into a fiefdom.
It is a lie that returning to those old traditions will lead us all to prosperity and a return of the strong middle class. I think they know it and that is what has me pissed off. While saying they will lead us all to the Promised Land, they are trying to enact policies that furthers the perpetual growth for a select few. Don’t they know that the world is one of finite resources, meaning that the great majority will not only not see perpetual growth, but must experience perpetual reduction of means and resources to fund the perpetual growth of a few? It is either a case of tremendous ignorance and incompetence or downright deception and evilness.
So to this group of the Greatest Generation, I call bullshit. So while the “Greatest Generation” got to increase their wealth and have retirement funded by the anomalous growth of the 1990s stock market, the next generations get to live through the Great Correction. You led us into economic, political, and environmental distress. Either try something different than making us “great again” by repeating the same mistakes that lead to the great depression, world wars, racial and civil unrest, and impending environmental catastrophe, or enjoy your retirement and get the hell out of the way.