In the early 1990s, Mike and the Mechanics sang the maxim, “every generation blames the one before,” adding to it, “and all of their frustrations come beating on your door.”
I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years…
I always liked that song. It reminded me of my father, especially the part about the things he held so dear. There were only a few. His faith, his poetry and his family. He hoped beyond hope that we would all do better in life than he had done. And, this dream for him came true.
It’s one of the main tenets of the American dream. More fantasy now. Every generation will have greater wealth than the one before. But, really, how long could we keep that going? As it turns out, not forever. The up-escalator has ended for younger members of Generation X and older members of Generation Y.
|Graphic via Urban Institute|
We are on the down-escalator, friends. What are you going to do about it?
The authors of the study suggests spending less and saving more lest we find ourselves in grim retirement situations. We’ll have fewer personal resources not to mention slashed government programs, the same ones those over 62 now enjoy.
By the way, the second they became unaffordable and unsustainable they became known as “entitlements.” A lovely word, now a pejorative, that once merely indicated a right to benefits specified by law. It is now used to characterize programs people demand because they possess the “world owes me something” syndrome. I’m talking about Medicare and Social Security, of course. It’s become very uncool for Generation X to talk about their future reliance on the government programs we’ve been paying into since we were old enough to work.
In January, Bryan Goldberg wrote an article for PandoDaily, Young People Are Screwed…Here’s How To Survive.” He outlines four unconventional lessons for Generations Y and Z including foregoing college; making friends with successful people and learning to make something. It’s worth a read.
|Artwork via PandoDaily and Bryan Goldberg|
Finally, I always liked that Proverb, Your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. I always thought the dreams and visions were confined to the foretelling of only beautiful things, but I could not have been more wrong.