Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A few Thoughts about Confidence, and the Lack Thereof

My apologies for this screed having evolved into one about generational warfare, but it's all connected, and a bit personal for many of us.

For all of his faults, I think George W. Bush gave a damn about the American people's general welfare.  While presidents have questionable control over economies, as a whole, I honestly think W would have made a deal with the Devil, and sacrificed his political legacy (which he did in other areas), in order to lessen his people's suffering.  By contrast, I believe Obama is actually worsening the people's suffering in order to make a point - that point being that he was right, despite the empirical evidence that he's anything but.  The bottom line is that while Bush oft mis-stepped, I never doubted that he was on my side.  With Obama, well, I feel less important than the political/economic theory he's using me to prove and I'm growing more resentful by the day.

I was willing to give the man a chance, look at the archives and you'll find that to be true. "A chance", however, doesn't mean investing any more time in a man from whom I've gleaned not one iota of comeraderie with, or compassion for, an entire swath of Americans of whom I am a member. Too many of those who have made the right choices, paid their bills and worked all of their lives are seemingly being cast aside in favor of people who have made their own hell. In order to deal with our current "crisis", we're being told that "we're all going to have to make sacrifices". Really? When I first bought my house, the interest rate was some 18%, do you think that required some sacrifice? I served my country, while others were establishing their careers, does that qualify as sacrifice? I didn't have the luxury of having someone pay for my college education, instead I paid for a partial college education via the GI bill. No I didn't finish, I was far too busy building my career and gaining knowledge on my own. Does that qualify as sacrifice? My wife and I didn't have children because we felt that we couldn't afford to do it right because we were both working long hours. By the time we could afford it, it was a little late, age wise. I suppose we could have been selfish, but we tried to do the right thing.

What did I get for the trouble? Downsized at 50. After being out of work for some six months, I took the first job that was offered. Believe me, there's not a lot of offers for 50-somethings. The job entailed constant air travel, excruciatingly long days fueled by enormous amounts of caffeine and airport food. After six years of this I had a stroke. That was two plus years ago, still recovering and will likely always be. Unable to work, I'm existing on SSDI and I thank God that I have a wife of 30 years and I haven't lost my home. All things considered, I could have easily ended up on the street.

Now "my kind" are wearing a target. You know, "Boomers" are taking benefits from the young, bla bla bla. We're all selfish if you listen to our critics. They seem to forget that Boomers were not only a large generation, but a very well paid one. We paid more than our share into the system and now, as we are retiring, we're being accused of bankrupting it. Where did the money go? That flush of money that was the Boomers' contribution was spent on Oore government programs that bought more votes. Are the government sugar daddies that bought votes and influence with OUR money held responsible for the current shortfall? No, the meme is that it's the selfish Boomers' fault. Maybe we should be renamed "generation scapegoat".

The generational war is one that's being brought upon me and mine. Boomers are a feisty lot, even in our advanced years, so I would would not be so cavalier about discounting us. We've brought chaos to this country before, and we're even more capable today. Screw with us at your own risk.

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