The more I read Mark Steyn, the more I'm convinced that he may just be this generation's Jeremiah. Not in a spiritual sense, you understand, but as a political and social observer, crying out to a nation who's not listening. It's not that we're failing to listen in the passive sense, as in distracted and concentrating on other things; we're actively, aggressively failing to listen, pushing whole bolls of cotton (yes, bolls--they're bigger than balls) in our ears at the first sound of his voice:
Just between you, me, and the old, the late middle-aged and the early middle-aged: Isn't it terrific to be able to stick it to the young? I mean, imagine how bad all this economic-type stuff would be if our kids and grandkids hadn't offered to pick up the tab.
Well, OK, they didn't exactly "offer" but they did stand around behind Barack Obama at all those campaign rallies helping him look dynamic and telegenic and earnestly chanting hopey-hopey-changey-changey. And "Yes, we can!"
Which is a pretty open-ended commitment.
Are you sure you young folks will be able to pay off this massive Mount Spendmore of multitrillion-dollar debts we've piled up on you?
"Yes, we can!"
Friends, it's getting scary. No, I don't want to have to do without all the niceties that my parents voted in. I'm used to them, and doing without them now would feel like poverty. And that's the way our kids are going to feel about the things we're voting them now...but the next generation pays the bills for the last and we have just charged more than they can EVER pay.
But hey, it's not our problem. As Lord Keynes observed, "In the long run we're all dead." Well, most of us will be. But not you youngsters, not for a while. So we've figured it out: You're the ultimate credit market, and the rest of us are all preapproved!
Pay attention, you 18-30 year olds: It may already be too late, given the fact that Obama & Co. are just beginning to get started on sucking out the dollars you're earning now to keep all of my generation in Depends and Ensure. But every penny you refuse to let them suck out now is a dollar you'll still have to pay for your own box later.
This is the biggest generational transfer of wealth in the history of the world. If you're an 18-year-old middle-class hopeychanger, look at the way your parents and grandparents live: It's not going to be like that for you. You're going to have a smaller house, and a smaller car – if not a basement flat and a bus ticket. You didn't get us into this catastrophe. But you're going to be stuck with the tab, just like the Germans got stuck with paying reparations for the catastrophe of the First World War. True, the Germans were actually in the war, whereas in the current crisis you guys were just goofing around at school, dozing through Diversity Studies and hoping to ace Anger Management class. But tough. That's the way it goes.Please read Steyn's whole column. And have ya started Atlas Shrugged yet? Don't wait for the library copy...chances are good you can't read it in the amount of time they'll let you keep it anyway. Spring for the fourteen bucks and then pass it on to someone else you know will read it.
It's an investment that will bring much heftier returns than TARP.
Welcome, kids, to the Brokest Generation