“Baby Boomers need to also be held accountable for Moral and Economic Problems in this Country and the world”
By: Keith H. Seymour
It has often been stated that the “Baby Boomers” have affected the United United and even the world, more than any other within the past 100 years. It has also been said that the same group of people have done more to advance this country and the world, than any other generation. I have no doubt that both of these statements are true. Clearly, the Baby Boomers have done a great deal to bring their younger siblings, children and grandchildren to moral and church going ways. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, and as a generation xer, I am quite aware that Baby Boomers were the first Peace Corps Volunteers. It was the Baby Boomer, who as hippies in the 1960s and 1970’s warned us about the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, and the adverse affects of landfills on the natural and economic environments. They also protested not only against wars, but also the greed of corporations and the “keeping of with the Jones attitudes, created and endorsed by their grandparents. An example of this, would be Patricia (Pattie) Hearst and the symbonise Lebanese Army (SLA) referring to her parents (owners of Hearst Communications) as greedy “Fascist pigs) in the early 1970s.
However, it may be and should be argued that the same group of people who did so much to advance this country in the 1960s and 1970s, have done just as much to destroy it, by giving up their values. The same group of people who bought to fruition the efforts their parents stated as part of the civil rights movement by giving this country women’s rights, eighteen year olds the right to vote, and the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” also successfully fought for the right to abort an unborn child, the death penalty, and Euthanasia. These people, who are so intent on having the current generation to emphasize family values, were the same group of people who increased divorce, left the church, and made promiscuous sexual activity acceptable. Let’s face it; Woodstock has become known as one of the biggest musical drug induced sexfest, in the history of this country. As a matter of fact the big joke is “that if you remember Woodstock, you probably were not there.” A quote referring to the drug induced orgies in which many of the “hippies now known as Baby Boomers, took part.
However, it is not their actions of the 1960 and 1970s that destroyed this country, since the probably did more harm than good during those decades. It is their actions as the media labeled Yuppie (Buppies if you are African-Americans) of the 1980’s and 1990s. These same people who fought against greed and the keeping up with the Jones attitude, chose to sell out for their middle class, Upper middle class and wealthy life styles, in which they were portrayed in movie such as “Wall Street,” that gave us pithy little slogans such as “Greed is Good.” These are the same people who were being portrayed in movies such as “Dangerous Liaisons,” that glorified sexual promiscuity that they complained about, when the same attitudes were portrayed in television shows, such as “Sex in the City.”
It was these former Hippies, who became the media labeled yuppies (Buppies if you are African-American), of the 1980s and 1990s, those now referred to as Baby Boomers, who are the same people who got us into the “savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. Most of usof the generation x crowd ,were in high school, or beginning college, when that mess happened. While my generation must in part take responsibility for the current economic crises, we were not the primary power brokers. The Baby Boomers were. Yes, money and power has the ability to corrupt, and to a large degree it corrupted the people now known as Baby Boomers.
While it is true that my generation and the generations that followed, who behaved like spoiled brats if we could not have our designer clothes, computers, cell phones, so we could keep up with our friends. It is also true that we learned these materialistic values from our older siblings and parents, who belong to the“Baby Boomer” generation, rather than the less materialistic values formerly exhibited in the 1960’s and 1970s, and later abandoned in the subsequent decades, for wealth and prestigious images. Unless we obtained the money from our “Baby Boomer” siblings and/or parents, during the 1980s we could not afford $2.00 for bottled water, because it had Perrier written across a bottle. Neither could we afford to pay $5.00-$6.00 for a cup of coffee, because the cup that would inevitably end up in a landfill, had “Starbuck’s” written across the cup! It was those Yuppies (former hippies) now known as “Baby Boomers,” who could afford and did pay such outrageous prices.
I am thrilled that “Baby Boomers such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have created technology based companies that initially helped this country’s economic structure. What I do not appreciate, is that fact that these same people and other such business leaders have allowed their greed to create new computer programs (e.g. windows) that make computer hardware and software obsolete every couple of years, causing these systems to end up in a landfill, along with the “Starbuck’s” cups. Neither do I appreciate “Baby Boomer” politicians such Al Gore, George Bush, Orack Obama, or anyone else preaching to society about the jobs that are being lost to illegal immigrants or to jobs going overseas, when these problems occurred and persist, due to the fact that these same individuals created and attempt to create laws that give illegal immigrants a free ride, or allow corporations to go outside the country, by creating laws such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), so these companies may make a larger profit, Thus allowing more money to be donated to their political campaigns.
Essentially, most of the people in the “Baby Boomer generation,” are behaving in ways towards younger people, just as their parents did thirty and forty years ago. In many cases the “Baby Boomers, “have contributed less to the advancement of this country, than their predecessors. For example, while “Baby Boomers” protested against the Vietnam war, which was primarily run by their parents’ generation, unlike their grandparents and parents, “Baby Boomers” have chosen not have not taken the lead in motivating themselves or anyone else in recent economic and military conflicts, to make sacrifices. Examples of this are: instead of eating out at fast food and full service restaurant, growing their own vegetables and eating at home. Neither in the most recent economic crisis was anyone encouraged to save energy by carpooling or recycling rubber for oil, or saving money by playing board games, and spending time at home. On the contrary, the “Baby Boomers” now leading this country, have done just the opposite.
I am not saying that the generations that followed the “Baby Boomer Generation, have not royally messed up, and contributed to the lack of economic and moral discipline in our country and throughout the world. We have. On the Contrary! My point is that while we admit to preceding and subsequent generations, that we have contributed to various problems, “Baby Boomers have been allowed to rest on their laurels, and refrain from admitting to the fact that “many of them” have hurt society by selling out to the almighty dollar and prestige. The truth is that “Baby Boomers” have passed down and perpetuated many of these materialistic ideals dto subsequent generations. Yet, they have the audacity to criticize these subsequent generations for having these values. What hypocritical nerve!