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The message, from Russell Brand Vol 28

November 2, 2013

If you think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, beer, and Jell-O salad with marshmallows, you must be a Boomer.

It was only a matter of time. As mentioned in my last blog, its only a matter of time before our Boomer offspring wake up politically to the damage their parents are doing to their futures. You could argue that the Occupy movement was the start of this generational discussion, but they did not offer up threats. They did draw attention ( so far ) to the disparities of our Capitalist system, but offered no solutions. To bad, but lucky for us.

Imagine if the 99% had come up with an agenda for the 1% ? They could have railed against the environmental damage the economy has unleashed on the planet, or pleaded for a solution to our growing income disparity. The point is they could have started a conversation, but did not. They could have pointed to China as an ecological disaster, but did not. They could have joined their Greek brothers and sisters to talk about debt and the broken promise of a better life, but did not.  The Occupy movement seems to have just faded away !

Then, along comes Russell Brand, the Brit actor/comedian. He went on a serious BBC news show last week and accurately outlined the younger generation’s political apathy, environmental concerns, and economic frustrations with the world at large, which Boomers control. He was cogent, articulate, and committed to the need for a revolution. Fortunately, he also did not have a plan. He realizes that he is a well rewarded victim of the current economic system, and as a citizen of the world, he is allowed to voice his opinion. Thankfully. he did not also offer us a list of solutions with his vent.

As an aside, it would be easy to see this lack of alternative policy options as a the lack of imagination in our youth. Perhaps they like all the things they get from us, from free education to basement apartments with maid service. Stop. Our problems are serious, interrelated, and worldwide. Remember, if we are so smart, how come we have not solved the middle east problem ? Boomers treat this imagined complacency at their peril. There is always a solution, and the fact that it is not apparent at the moment works in our favour. We can still be part of the solution. Weren’t the streets of New York supposed to be covered in horse shit just a few decades ago, as an increasing population needed more horses as transportation ?

Even major economists are arguing about our plight. Again, thankfully, they still use the past to explain the present and predict the future. They will soon realize that the future is changing too fast to use history as a useful tool for prognostication.  The latest projections say that 65% of the jobs that kids starting school today will enter have not yet been invented.  Guidance Counsellor sounds like a job that will need retaining soon.

Also, the consumer population, Boomers mostly in our most wealth producing and spending time, are aging. Our need for iPhones, new cars, TV’s that interact with everything, and wired toasters will diminish. Sales pitches to aging Boomers will reach deaf ears. Once we retire, and see the actual state of our pensions, we will be spending a lot less. This will curtail economic growth. Its population demographics at its worst. Boomers will want more tax dollars just as the Treasury will be hurt by our lack of spending and tax generation. Can you say Japan ? All in all, the true definition of a slow moving train wreck.

Lets start some conversations that will engage us Boomers in solution seeking. Lets discuss ideas that are individual, and need everyone to participate. Let’s look long term as well as short term, and not treat time as ever-ending. Lets make big ideas that will interest our young. Lets set goals both realistic and currently unattainable.

What about going to Mars ? Seeing the recent news articles about the Chinese plan for a space station looked surreal. China !  Really ? Maybe we are not the only ones looking outside our stratosphere. Maybe we are not the only ones who realize that our populations need outsized goals.

How about fixing our pollution, or at least reversing the trends. Putting a price on garbage sounds like a good start. Lets start small and then work up to the big industries.

How about retooling our communities so that we can save taxes if we volunteer to perform services that we currently pay for, like school maintenance, parks upkeep, street cleaning, and neighbourhood watch ? Imagine if poor retired Boomers could earn tax credits for working in the community ? Helping for our youth may be the only way to lower our police budgets, which are becoming the major part of our tax costs locally.

So, we Boomers still have some time to right the ship. Like the Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship that is undergoing an historic and original salvage operation, we will need to proceed with caution. Too hasty, and we could sink our generational hand-off. Time is too precious to delay, especially when we have real problems to solve, real opportunities to sort out, real achievements to complete. As we grow as a society, and come together under one system, perhaps our goals become bigger than one person, and now need all of us to pull together.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the appropriate analogy of our day is a slave ship where we all row together to survive ?

Next time on Boomers – wtf !, the view from our basements.

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One Comment
  1. I want to tto thank yyou for this very good read!!
    I absolutely loved every bitt of it. Ihave got you book-marked to
    check out nnew stuff you post…

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