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Guest Post: The Brewing Generational Conflict

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Financial promises made under different conditions and assumptions are null and void, period.

Essayist Eric A. touched on a key theme of the next decade in his two-part series A Brief History of Cycles and Time, Part 1 and Part 2: the political, social and financial dominance of the Baby Boom generation, and the eventual erosion of that dominance.

The promises made to the 76 million baby Boomers cannot be met. It's really very simple: promises made when the economy was growing by 4% a year and the next generation was roughly double the size of the generation entering retirement cannot be fulfilled in an economy growing 1.5% a year (and only growing at all as the result of massive expansions of public and private debt) in which the generation after the cohort entering retirement is significantly smaller.

Just look at this chart: demographics is destiny, and the so-called Silent Generation (roughly those born 1925 - 1942) currently drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits is somewhere between half and 2/3 the size of the Baby Boom.

Meanwhile, Generation X that follows the Baby Boom is almost half the size of the enormous cohort currently entering retirement. Sorry folks, the numbers don't add up, no matter how you finesse them: a smaller working population in a low-to-zero growth economy burdened with fast-rising debt cannot fund the pay-as-you-go retirement of 76 million citizens, fully 25% of the entire U.S. population.

(Recall that Social Security, Medicare and all other entitlements are pay-as-you-go. There is no trust fund; the current benefits are paid in full by taxes paid by current workers/taxpayers or by Federal borrowing via the sale of Treasury bonds.)

(The numbers and dates of generations are inexact; the Silent Generation, for example, is assumed to have missed serving in World War II but my father was born in 1926, joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 and was on a LST preparing for the invasion of Japan in early 1945, so this is not true of all Silents. The Baby Boom is typically defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, but many of those born in 1959-64 do not feel they belong to the "earlier" Baby Boom, and so some people divide the Baby Boom into two cohorts, or start Generation X in 1961. The lack of precision does not change the basic demographics.)

Everyone takes the present trend, takes out a ruler and pencil and projects it into the future, as if current trends will continue in a straight line. But they never do; the world is dynamic and trends change and reverse.

I have been surprised by the deep emotions that arise out of our cultural Id when generational characterizations and conflicts are openly discussed. Perhaps this is why these issues and feelings are rarely aired in the mainstream media.

In the free-form blogosphere, these officially inconvenient (i.e. suppressed) emotions are expressed, and these few honest expressions garner large audiences and a great many highly charged comments.

My position on the entitlements promised to the Baby Boomers has been clear since 2005 (Boomers, Prepare to Fall on Your Swords June 2005): demographics, the changing job market and the destructive consequence of financializing the U.S. economy render the entitlements promised (Social Security and Medicare) unpayable.

The current 115 million full-time workers cannot sustainably support the 110 million people currently drawing Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid--and the number of retirees entering these entitlement program will rise by millions in the decade ahead.

This worker-beneficiary ratio (already 1-to-1) will only become more unsustainable as Baby Boomers retire and the forces of The End of Work erode full-time jobs The End of (Paying) Work (January 21, 2009).

The Promises That Cannot Be Kept (July 6, 2011)

That Which is Unsustainable Will Go Away: Medicare (May 16, 2012)

The generation in power has the biggest stake in retaining the status quo. Anything that threatens the status quo threatens their power and all that has been promised to them by the status quo.

As a result, any real reform that reduces entitlements to a sustainable level is politically dead on arrival (DOA). Reform is thus as impossible as paying the promised entitlements.

Though he is often presented as belonging to a new generation, President Obama (born 1961) is a Baby Boomer in age, outlook and politics, accepting the fantasy that 25% of the nation can draw hefty, open-ended benefits from Medicare indefinitely.

The solution is to work backwards from what the current generation of workers can afford to pay, not to work forwards from promises made when things were different. The pool of money that can be skimmed from the productive economy via taxes to pay for national defense, the care of veterans, education, welfare in all its forms, corporate and individual, all the myriad departments of government and Social Security pensions and Medicare is not unlimited. Difficult choices will have to be made, and what was promised decades ago is not the key consideration: what is foremost is the sustainability of the nation as an ongoing concern, which means focusing on the generations coming of age and those shouldering the tax burden going forward.

It is a truism of the entitlement mindset that the greater the entitlements promised and offered, the greater the resentments and self-absorption of the beneficiaries. I have often written about the state of permanent adolescence the Savior State/entitlement mindset engenders:

Our Many Layers of Entitlement (September 29, 2011)

The State, Dependency, Addiction and Reciprocity (September 28, 2010)

Opting Out and the Culture of Entitlement (March 29, 2010)

Entitlements, Taxes, Inequality and Three-Way Class Warfare (September 20, 2010)

Tyranny of the Majority, Corporate Welfare and Complicity (April 9, 2010)

Entitlements and the Federal Deficit (February 5, 2011)

We desperately need an adult discussion focused on reality rather than resentment. The solution will require dismantling open-ended, everyone-deserves-everything Medicare, which will bankrupt the nation itself. The solution is currently "impossible": The "Impossible" Healthcare Solution: Go Back to Cash (July 29, 2009)

As for pay-as-you-go Social Security, it will have to be means-tested: those drawing thousands of dollars a month in other pensions will have to let go of "what wuz promised" so other Boomers who have only Social Security can receive their full benefit. What exactly is so difficult about that?

I am a Baby Boomer, born 1953, and I hope our generation musters the courage to face reality and the need for re-assessment and adjustment and yes, the word that is tossed around in endless lip-service but avoided in the real world, sacrifice. Anything less will be a generational failure of monumental proportions.

I refuse to burden our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt so I can get the full measure of "what I wuz promised." Financial promises made under different conditions and assumptions are null and void, period. Reality trumps "what wuz promised" every time.

What nobody dares say is that if the 76 million Boomers press their claims to the point the nation is bankrupted, then the next generations (X and Y) will have to wrest political power from the retirees, not for their own sake but for the sake of the nation and for the generations behind them.


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Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:35 | 3565729 TrumpXVI
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Adult discussion?


The last time I heard an adult discussion I was talking to myself.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:41 | 3565761 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

boomers, x, y...fuck that we're going post industrial.  get used to it, bitchez

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:54 | 3565820 AlaricBalth
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Posted this awhile ago yet it seems apropos to this ZH article.

The next ten to twenty years will be defined by an enormous continuing demographic shift. As the first wave of the baby boom generation has finally hit the age of 65, most of the 77 million of us will now start to become net takers instead of net contributors. For the next 19 years, 10,000 boomers will be achieving retirement age each day. It going to take 2 workers to support each retiree. Corporate America planned for this long ago by phasing out the old traditional retirement plans and replacing them with 401K's and IRA's. Now state and local governments are facing insolvency due to under-funded pensions and poor planning. The current debates in Congress concerning deficits and debt ceilings are a short term smoke screen which does not address the true demographic problems they know exist but refuse to acknowledge. The amount of unfunded liabilities which are promised to the boomers is a staggering number. The estimates range from a low of $53 Trillion to a high of $202 Trillion over the next 20 years.  Lets see the Federal Reserve print that up!

Collectively, we boomers were lucky. We were the most healthy, educated and privileged generation ever born. Our youth was spent virtually worry free. Our college educations were inexpensive, gas was cheap, jobs were plentiful and our futures were bright. We were the "Hippies" of the late 1960's and early 70's. Love was free and drugs were cheap (or was it the other way around). Then the 1980's rolled around and we became "Yuppies". We began to believe that success was our birthright. We bought our BMW's and wore our V-neck sweaters. We turned conspicuous consumption into an art form. Hell, even Newsweek Magazine gave us our own year (1984). We were so busy clamoring to the top of the corporate ladder we forgot to develop any job or management skills which would lay a foundation for future generations to flourish.

Then as we aged, we hit our peak spending and borrowing years in the 1990's.  We went a bit middle age crazy. We splurged on second homes and McMansions. We thought fuel would be relatively cheap forever and bought gas guzzling SUV's. We also padded our financial statements and maxed out our credit cards trying to "keep up with the Jones's". Some of our brethren became bank CEO's and leading politicians, whose unethical and irresponsible behavior has been a reflection of our entire generation. We didn't want the party to end and they just tried to prolong it for us. We wanted it all and never learned nor cared for moderation.

And now in the Autumn of our lives it looks like we are going to get it all (of course in devalued dollars). We will leave those coming up behind us with nothing but debt, austerity and a lower standard of living. We will be reigning in our spending and hoping to save so we can offset future inflation. The malls, our cathedrals of consumption, will be ghosts towns compared to what they were, with "30%-70% off" signs decorating their stores windows. We will be net sellers of equities and mutual funds soon, not net buyers. Therefore, trade accordingly. It was fun while it lasted but now the piper must be paid. You know the old saying; the longer the party the bigger the hangover. Well, this hangover may last 25-30 years until the last of my generation are dead, either through natural causes, death panels or intergenerational warfare.


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:55 | 3565847 McMolotov
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This is — how you say? — too much truthiness. I need a drink.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:39 | 3566078 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Oh, not to worry. It will be quick.

The dominance is over much sooner than 20-30 years.

No money no talk !



A new cycle already begins. War, baby boom...SHTF !

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:36 | 3566347 NoDebt
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It's over when enough of the boomers have passed away to lose their grip on the nation's political machine.  And not a day sooner.

Bad timing for me (1968).  Oh well, shit happens.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:05 | 3566654 Fukushima Sam
Fukushima Sam's picture

Humans are a selfish lot, but the Boomers really take the cake.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 06:35 | 3568157 torak
torak's picture

Screw the "entitlement".  I just want my goddamn money back.  Give me the money that I've paid into the system, right now, and I'd happily forego any "entitlement payments".  Now -- How the fuck is that selfish?

What?  The government's already spent all the money I paid into the system on foreign wars and bank bailouts?  Well, that's sort of selfish? 

Humans are a selfish lot, but the government and their corporate buddies really take the cake.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 10:12 | 3568827 Dark_Horse
Dark_Horse's picture

The entitlement funding will run out during the boomer retirement.

Then, GenX will START their retirement with nothing more than what they can carry.


Thu, 05/16/2013 - 09:15 | 3568539 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Who the fuck you think's been paying for it? Involuntarily I might add.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:39 | 3566365 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Queue Amnesty.....can, kicked.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:23 | 3565991 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

This demographic trend is the reason that both rebulicrats and demipublicans are allowing illegals in- to increase the paying side of the equation. Unfortunately, they did not realize the equation is multi-dimensional, and forgot about the job creation part of it.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:11 | 3566235 Spastica Rex
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I anticipate dying from either exposure, thirst, hunger, or treatable disease, or maybe some combination thereof.

I was born in 1966. 

Might as well have been been born a century earlier.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 06:40 | 3568166 torak
torak's picture

Advice:  Move to a third-world country.  You'll be better off.

FYI, I've taken my own advice.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 07:02 | 3572193 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Or, go ahead with amnesty and 1965-style immigration, and let the Thrid World come here.


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:43 | 3566374 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

I doubt we are going to be allowed to be takers. We paid for the previous and current retirees benefits, and now that the economy has tanked, unemployment is so goddamn high, and interest rates are so fucking low what are we supposed to do? I'm sure the government will renege. The rich, who control the government, won't pay more so it will just be a big "fuck you you're on you're own suckers" to everyone who thought your payroll deductions would help you in the future.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:12 | 3565935 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I'm playing mozart to my little patch of potatoes, 'cause if they don't come through for me, I starve to death this winter.  Grow, grow like the wind my little Yukon Golds...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:24 | 3565987 Freddie
Freddie's picture

For God's sake do not play his Requeim to them.   Even though bits were finished by his student Sussmayr, because Mozart had died, it is incredibly beautiful.  The potatoes will like Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major K 453.   Potatoes like Mozart in major keys.

Poor Mozart - he never got an EBT/SNAP card or Obamacare.   Died much too young. 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:22 | 3566278 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Why the fuck is gardening so complicated?!

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 17:43 | 3566562 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Yeah, but Mozart had a lot of fun during his short life. He lived the life of a rock star.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:35 | 3566795 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Being crazy helped. Have you ever read his letters? A weird combination of sophistication and immaturity, manic ramblings, begging for money sometimes, complete with the odd smutty doodle and exaggerated outburst.

I read them through one summer when I was 17. 'Twas a pretty good summer project.

Gottliebus Theophilus Amadeus Mozartus was not a wise man, nor exactly popular. He cleared drawing rooms, to put it mildly. Some theorise that it was syphilus, others manic-depression. If it hadn't been for the Masons I wonder how he would have made it even as long as did in Vienna. His letters are heaps of fun to read today (tho' I'd recommend an abridged excerpts version).

I guess it was sort of a rock-star life, but contrary to the few exceptions we're forever hearing about, I think it would be more fun to read about than to live. :-) Kinda more of a "Sid & Nancy" sort of lifestyle, than Bono. (Well, if Nancy had been a rather dull, undereducated, housewifely sort, who turned out to be shrewd with money when she wasn't sharing it with a husband.)

Maybe life's just more fun for the insane than it is for the sane, and the best fun if you're a genius to boot, money be damned.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:57 | 3566944 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture


sophistication and immaturity, manic ramblings, begging for money sometimes, complete with the odd smutty doodle and exaggerated outburst

That is every musician, ever.

CHS sports a Les Paul in his blog photo. Surely he had his moments like that as a youngster at some point.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:16 | 3565946 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

"What nobody dares say is that if the 76 million Boomers press their claims to the point the nation is bankrupted, then the next generations (X and Y) will have to wrest political power from the retirees, not for their own sake but for the sake of the nation and for the generations behind them."

You can bet your ass on that.............

It will be by force unfortunately.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:27 | 3566017 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Oh great.  The ****ing idiototic Baby Boomer/Woodstock/TV Generation retards or the even dumber iPhone/Facebook Generation, many who voted O-Muslim.  


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:25 | 3566291 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"It will be by force unfortunately."

Uh, yeah...from BOTH sides. Puh-leeze...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 17:25 | 3566479 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

a complete crock of shit!

this guy with his loaded words - "adult discussion" - "entitlements" are all out of the playbook of his handler P Peterson - he gets paid for nonsense - just like the estimated deficit was one trillion in the romney BS election now its 300 billion - all BS all the time

10,000 go over the line every day, by the next general presidential election 12 million boomers will see that government Medicare program is well done first hand and will probably for the first time in their life appreciate government CAN do things right and VOTE accordingly and stop the Peterson machine and the various phony echo chamber providers

funding for useless war and the associated wasting implements has been the problem since WWII - Eisenhower - who knew best - said the MIC was the problem never mentioned SS and knew the demographics

this is about a permanent change in priorities - Austerity is documented empirically - it doesnt work in practice  - or in theory see: R & R phony study

the boomers can listen and those after them,  about what Peterson says they "deserve" or they can "just say NO" and create the new order.

with discretionary cash flow declining from wages for savings, interest rates with no significant income and inflation continuing unabated -  even republicans get the message, which is why national approval - all ages - is over 75% for the SS & Medicare programs

 retirement systems are all over world including china - the USA is regarded as a C program - as is:

 stop the promotion - go sell stocks in a boiler room if you need money -


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:17 | 3565954 Freddie
Freddie's picture

LOL!  Too true.  F Baby Boomers.  We never heard the end of just how important they are. How important Woodstock was even though every band at Woodstock sucked except The Who.

The most corrupt generation but the young fuxx (Gen X,Y, Z, DD) helped elect the O-muslim so they deserve what they are gonna get too. 

Hope & Change - go die oldsters.  The TV Generation.  LOL!  Well O-TV and o-Hollywood f**ked you. 

What do you think of that?!  Look at you now.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:07 | 3566215 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

I must disagree Freddie. Jimi Hendrix was awesome.
Wish I had seen him live. If you ask most baby boomers they will say they were at Woodstock, so I guess attendance must have been over 50 million.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 17:04 | 3566451 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

WTF?   Richie Havens, Ravi Shankar, Canned Heat, Mountain, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly & the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Winter, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jimi Hendrix all suck?   

Get off the crack-pipe Frddie. 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:19 | 3566733 Dyhana
Dyhana's picture


Thu, 05/16/2013 - 00:01 | 3567886 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Its amazing how cheesy and aweful a movie can look twenty years later.   That was horrible.   


Also,  why did pacino kill Kyle Bass like that?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:59 | 3566955 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

As an aging boomer, I wish to thank you all for adopting me. Thanks for the allowance, too.


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:47 | 3565794 venturen
venturen's picture

Is that like an adult phone line?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:07 | 3565900 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

"I refuse to burden our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt so I can get the full measure of "what I wuz promised.""

Hah, this guy's the only one. This is going to be UGLY, one way or another. Either via hyperinflation, soviet style shortages, but all "solutions" point to oligarchs silently killing as many old folks as possible.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:35 | 3565730 random shots
random shots's picture

If we make it to D-Day, the government will just borrower the shortfall.  IF being the imperative word. 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:37 | 3565733 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The current 115 million full-time workers cannot sustainably support the 110 million people currently drawing Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid--and the number of retirees entering these entitlement programs will rise by millions in the decade ahead."

No soup for you......25 years.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:29 | 3566039 Freddie
Freddie's picture

It is worse than that. The Dems and RINOs like Rubio/MCCain want to give endless benefits to illegals.   Go look at the data becuase over 70% of immigrants get some form of govt welfare.  The majority stay on it for LIFE. 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:37 | 3565741 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Wait!  Aren't the workers of today three to ten times more productive than the workers of forty years ago?  Factories and farms are automated.  We have too many workers. 

On the other hand ... government has swelled like a giant cancer to absorb everyone's productivity making us all poorer.


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:14 | 3565941 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Aren't the workers of today three to ten times more productive than the workers of forty years ago?


Damn right they are! But sadly, we fired 9 of the 10 since one man CAN in fact do it all. Then we fired him and moved the factory to China. 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:06 | 3566210 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

So true.  And then the government hired them all at outrageous expense to control and regulate the others.


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:24 | 3566287 malek
malek's picture

Whaddaya mean, fired 9 out of 10?
We can now produce ten times as much with the same number of workers!

We're now only looking, together with Krugman, to find the buyers for that 10x of stuff...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:37 | 3565742 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Just print the money....75 trillion or whatever the unfunded liabilities are....and give it to the boomers. promises are promises. Then, because it's only fair, print another 75 trillion and give it to me and my generation. But that's where it ends. everyone behind me has get back to basics. Otherwise we run the risk of being currency manipulators, and we can't have that.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:40 | 3565757 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

No, just print the 75 trillion for our generation.  Why waste another 75 trillion for anyone else?  LOL.  I assume you are a 40 something like me Fonz.  If not, you can go without too.  =P

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:45 | 3565781 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

LOL i'm 36. the key takeaway from this article as I see it, is, when tshtf, make sure to blame your neighbor and your somewhat rich Uncle etc. 

It's important that we act like a bunch of brainless savages who can only manage to not blame and attack each other daily, with the help of the police state.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:50 | 3565806 greyghost
greyghost's picture

well said fonz......just another writer spewing hate and fear amongst the citizens. someone is posting about "just printing the money". would that be in federal reserve notes or "UNITED STATES NOTES"? now that means everything.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:05 | 3565887 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

"We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives." —Chuck Palahniuk

It's less than comforting to read that quote and realize ol' Chuck was wrong. Not because everything is turning out peachy, but because we'll likely experience the mother of all wars while we're in the middle of the Greatest Depression.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:13 | 3565937 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

What alternative do you propose? Not blaming the people who quite happily went along with the debt money fiesta for uh, their entire lives and who continue to greedily defend it like spoiled children... in addition to the debt money, welfare, and warfare pimps?

Sorry, not doin' it. These people fucked up, big time, and a tort is a tort. The fact that everyone did it collectively does not absolve anyone of guilt.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:42 | 3565999 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Agreed. One thing that the Boomers, X, Y, and Millennial have in common is a tendency to avoid harsh truths.

"Don't blame the Boomers" because it just "divides" people is more lipsticking of the piggy. There was never any real Great Satan, and the criminals who now control our governments and corporates with an iron fist could never have made it that far without years of peasantry supporting and enabling them. The same peasantry that supports and enables those same criminals to this day. Yes there are always heaps of exceptions but, speaking GENERALLY, the fact is that Boomers ARE to blame. Other generations are too, in their own different ways, but this topic is Boomers and yes, it IS their fault, just as much and arguably more than other generations.

I would not want to be a Boomer today. Other generations knew to store up their youthful labour so as to enjoy a couple decades of retirement; they did not. They were never taught this but were told from the time they were young that for them, it wouldn't be necessary. Freddie is right about the evil effect of Hollywood/corporate/TV propaganda. They were fooled into believing that they did not have to 'grow up'; they were raised with 'when you wish upon a star' and all that Disney crap; and a huge majority of them believed it. To the point that now they are the generation that is staring straight into the abyss: no years of youthful labour left, AND no stored-up wealth. The abyss of utter government dependency.

Yes, they will certainly try to "press their claims". It is all they know to do and frankly all there is left for them, the first of those who are at the brink of the abyss now. Old age + no resources + dependency on a criminal, insolvent government.

I don't envy them, and I don't think of them as lucky. I believe they will be shown to be a singularly unfortunate generation, a tragedy to serve as an example to history, like that last 'decadent' generation of Romans. The lie that brought them down is the lie that they didn't have to grow up.

I'll be supporting my parents, and I'm prepared to do that as best I can, but as far as I can tell, any Boomers who have not made it a priority to develop some kind of family support network are in very grave trouble. The degree to which they brought it upon themselves can only make it feel worse. I think 'blame' is going to be the least of their worries and I hope they do have relationships to make up for the lack of financial planning.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:23 | 3566281 Vooter
Vooter's picture

I think if you just generalize a LITTLE more your post will be perfect!

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 19:30 | 3567085 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

"Yes, they will certainly try to 'press their claims'."

Good luck to them "pressing their claims" against a bunch of ghosts and shadows. 

People who have been awake have had years to prepare for the 76 million outstretched hands.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:25 | 3566002 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I am immersed in "these people". Cops, fireman, teachers. MTA guys....

Most of them have happily gone along for the ride. It's human nature.

There are plenty of baby boomers who worked in the private sector and busted their ass. Saved money. Helped their kids. Helped their neighbors.

But nah....let's just throw em all under the same bus. Yep, that's much easier.

It is what it is. Like lawsofphysics says "that which cannot be sustained, won't be". It's a done deal. It's just a matter of when and how at this point. Just get ready.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:21 | 3566269 malek
malek's picture

 There are plenty of baby boomers who [...] saved money.

If that were true, we would have a lot less problems today.
(And no, buying a McMansion with little down and a 30 year mortgage at age 45 is not saving.)

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:37 | 3565746 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

AH, that 'american' author.

Generation X and Y are on the same boat?

'Americans' prefer to depict the situation as generation X being sandwiched between boomers and Y.

Somehow, 'americans' when they sound the bugle for the charge to begin, sometimes, mess up their references.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:38 | 3565747 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Let us not forgot that the baby boomers already spent their retirement money during the 80s and 90s.  They paid lower taxes as the govmint dipped into the lockbox and spent the retirement money and put in iou's.  The boomers are double dipping.  It is no different than if they took their 401k and paid taxes with and then retire and say, well I put X amount in my 401k, where is my money.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:39 | 3565751 espirit
espirit's picture

Although you have me by 2 years, I as a boomer don't see a well defined future as far as entitlements go, so the Columbian steel picked up today at the local black market will suffice for someone else other than myself to fall upon.

I'm not fooling myself with false promises or profits, staying lean / mean / and mobile.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:39 | 3565752 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Save your own money.  Why let the government take it so they can "give it back" to you someday.  How on earth people support Social Security is totally beyond me.  Why give them a dollar today so they can give you .75 cents back in the future? 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:14 | 3565938 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

more like .05 cents when you add in inflation. unless of course you go by the govs numbers.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:20 | 3565970 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

So, inflation doesn't affect private investment income?

The stock promoters do this. Subtract inflation from bond return and not stock return. And most people don't get it.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:44 | 3565755 venturen
venturen's picture

I am a retired 45 year old cop making $100000 in retirement...will this affect me? 

I am a state employee 53 years old on my third retirement package of $50k...would this affect me?

I am a retired 60 year old professor from a mediocre state college on a $195000 retirement...will this affect me? 

I am on 32 years old on fake disability, with 2 kids making $55k with free housing and food stamps...will this affect me? 

I am a future terrorist from another country with food stamp, free college, free housing and a living cash stipend....will this affect me?

I am a part time lawyer in 7 towns in nj about to start collecting my $175k pension at 55..will this affect me?

I am collecting a pension from the state while working for a state college...will this affect my $85000 pension on top of my $100k salary.

I am a  college  football coach at a state school with losing program and I make $2 Million a year, plus living allowance and a shore house....will this affect me?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:47 | 3565796 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

austerity is really going to be a bitch when it finally comes.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:18 | 3565959 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Stupid cop!

You won't be affected; Property taxes will quintuple, speeding fines will increase to 1K per mile over the SL, inflation will grind at 15 percent per year, etc. etc.

Don't worry, my precious, worthless little ticks, you won't be affected. Continue being as useless a drag in your retirement as you were in your 'working' years.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:40 | 3565756 surf0766
surf0766's picture

Let the culling begin. They vote in the ones who want it.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 07:48 | 3568242 torak
torak's picture

Boomers will be declared potential domestic terrorists and mowed down by DHS when they take to the streets after Social Security is repealed.  Gotta use all those bullets for somethings.  You didn't really think they were for 'target practice'?

Long: Soylent Green; ATK

Gen Y and Z.  Pry your eyes off the iPad, wake up, learn a different language, and move somewhere where you can find a job.  Grow a backbone and quit the whining.  And get the hell out of the extra bedroom...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:42 | 3565764 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

And the trillions in surpluses? Oh, Vietnam, the cold war, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc.  We overlook that SS has always been in massive surplus. "There is no trust fund". That is a lie. There is, but it consists of treasury bills put into it as government stole the money for wars.

These simple FACTS are not covered by the 1%'er friendly article above. In fact given the low amount paid to individuals by SS, and the tax revenues coming in, small tweeks make it solvent, as long as the money congress stole and replaced with treasuries is made whole.

When old people's retirement money was being stolen every year to feed empire and the war machine, I heard no complaints. So maybe the oldsters deserve to lose their pensions. They did not act while their money was stolen. How come?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:56 | 3565851 Agent P
Agent P's picture

If I write myself a check for a million dollars, I am no richer...there is no trust fund.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:18 | 3565961 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

If you repay the government bond in income and inheritance taxes, it's real. Saying no trust fund is an act of theft, and you wouldn't want to be cheering on theft, would you?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:15 | 3566255 Vooter
Vooter's picture

Yes, I would.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 20:55 | 3567377 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

"There is, but it [trust fund] consists of treasury bills..."

Special issue bonds that are non-marketbable, have to be held to maturity, and will require more taxes or more debt to redeem.  So just the same as if the trust fund was filled with air.

Glad I could clear up your confusion on this matter.

"small tweeks make it solvent, as long as the money congress stole and replaced with treasuries is made whole."

lol.  Good one.  That money was flushed down the same hole all the rest of the taxes went.  Who doesn't want the taxes stolen from them back?  OK... maybe the LetThemEatRand troll doesn't...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:44 | 3565776 tecno242
tecno242's picture

"As for pay-as-you-go Social Security, it will have to be means-tested: those drawing thousands of dollars a month in other pensions will have to let go of "what wuz promised" so other Boomers who have only Social Security can receive their full benefit. What exactly is so difficult about that? "

Here's why that's difficult...

I have passed on things in life so that I may have a solid retirement and maybe even retire a bit early.  No Land Rovers or BWM's, only 1 trip to Vegas, I cook my food at home 6 days out of the week, etc..

When it comes down to it... why should I not recieve my benefits because I have saved?  Why should someone who was a gambling addict or bought expensive cars and took lavish vacations their whole life leading to them being broke at 65... why should that person recieve the benefits I was promised and I not recieve them?

Cause if that's going to be the case... tell me now... because I'm not saving another dime.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:51 | 3565814 tecno242
tecno242's picture

oh btw...

in my case... i can simply get around your means test by flushing my retirement accounts and buying other assets with it and locking it up in a safe...

retiree's generally don't have income... so how do you tell the difference between me with a bunch of gold in my basement to someone else?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:23 | 3565990 HobbyFarmer
HobbyFarmer's picture

brother, you best get your retirement account out of their system.  they're coming for "their share" of your bank account, 401k and IRA savings.

in a couple years, people will act like those in cyprus: complain, yell, and resign: "there is not a damn thing I can do!"

I suggest there is something you can do, if you act today.  hedge/plan accordingly.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:51 | 3565821 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

"means tested" = the best argument for holding your wealth in PM's.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:22 | 3565980 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

So your retirement's in the hands of central banks, trading houses, and commodity traders. Much, much better than governments.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:14 | 3566246 Vooter
Vooter's picture

He said "PMs"...what don't you get?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:22 | 3565976 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

When it comes down to it... why should I not recieve my benefits because I have saved?

Because you are 1 in 1000, and the mob will take from you and overrun you if you resist.  You think there is justice, anywhere? Look around, man.  Best thing you can do is hide every fin dollar you have, get it out of the system and then you cannot have it bailed-in or confiscated, and you no longer are disqualified for your pension/SS.

Oh, and do save dimes, just make them pre-65 and keep them in a hole in your yard.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:31 | 3566047 eurobug
eurobug's picture

Well, consider a major financial disaster, the dollar losing reserve status, some wars, ... and neither you or the other guy will be able to get anything, except maybe some basic living necessities, like you can come sleep here in this gigantic barack with 200 other people, and choke down some goo every day so you don't croak. Forget about all the rest. In that case, you will be able to keep on living of your savings, at least if you invested properly (own a house with a garden, some PMs, guns, etc...) and not just have a large bank account (which they will come for long before things become very bad, you know, THEY are in charge, and THEY have a helluva lot more people now too). The other guy can go beg for a living.

I honestly believe that in the not so far future, people that wasted it all will end up on the streets, broke, without pensions, healthcare, and without the least bit of compassion from the younger generations.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:13 | 3566243 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Because you allowed the tyranny of the majority, and now that majority is going to eat your savings. 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 17:01 | 3566443 Vooter
Vooter's picture

I suggest they wear boating shoes...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:44 | 3565778 orez65
orez65's picture

The whole country is in denial.

This is what is called "American Exceptionalism"

Exceptionally stupid.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:23 | 3565985 espirit
espirit's picture

Amerikan Dreamz.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:45 | 3565784 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

My favorite lines. I...

refuse to burden our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt so I can get the full measure of "what I wuz promised." Financial promises made under different conditions and assumptions are null and void, period. Reality trumps "what wuz promised" every time.

So then give me all of my money back. Oh and btw, it's too late to unburden your children with debt. That ship left the harbor about ten years ago, pal.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:46 | 3565788 venturen
venturen's picture

can't we just tax everyone more?



Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:25 | 3566006 espirit
espirit's picture

Krugman didn't have to ask that, he knew every additional dollah printed IS a tax on previous currency.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:48 | 3565797 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

"...The solution is to work backwards from what the current generation of workers can afford to pay, not to work forwards from promises made when things were different..."

Once again, Chuck-You misses the point.  The "solution" is for the baby-boomers and the progressives to stick to their positions.  Think about it Chucky.  You know they will.  For progressives, bigger government is an article of religious faith.  And the parasites (Social Security recipients, government employees and other rent-seekers) will not leave the host until there is no nourishment left to extract.

This will result in the U.S. government being bankrupted.  Like all bankrupts, the U.S. government will be forced to sell off its "assets" (drilling in ANWR!), greatly reduce its spending and size (shut down the Dept of Homeland Security, Commerice, HHS, EPA, etc., etc.) and be forced to live within its means.  The removal of the dead hand of tyranny from the throat of the American economy will cause an explosion of growth in the private sector.

And of course those retards who had faith in the progressives (bond holders, Social Security retirees, government employees, progressive voters) will take a good swift kick to the crotch and a good thing too.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:11 | 3565929 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Ah, the big tough Randist 'useless eaters' bleat.

Judging people's right to live by their usefulness to current economic structures is pretty weak. I mean, that means that two days a week, most people don't have a right to live. And then for five days, they do.

And, as to the dead hand of tyrrany thing, please tell me you're being paid to post that. The idea that anyone would promote that slogan for free is offensive. Don't work for billionaires for free.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:16 | 3566259 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Are you also going to complain that evolution is unfair? 

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:48 | 3565799 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture

It's all caused by solar flares and Kondratieff waves.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:51 | 3565815 W T F II
W T F II's picture

don't forget crystals and "dark stars"...!!

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:29 | 3566031 espirit
espirit's picture


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:48 | 3565801 venturen
venturen's picture

What if we just open the doors from Mexico...they do good yard work cheap and have lots of kids...problem solved. Wait isn't that what Obama wants?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:50 | 3565808 W T F II
W T F II's picture

"Greatest Generation" is increasingly in the ground. The post-WWII 'policing-action' generations of Korea and Nam are increasingly used to getting hosed by a government that does not fulfill promises.

So, this shouldn't be ANY problem....

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:51 | 3565812 tu-ne-cede-malis
tu-ne-cede-malis's picture

"Retirement is among the most economically wasteful and socially destructive institutions created by government. The most experienced and knowledgeable workers are bumped from productive employment to the world of golf courses, bingo parlors, and TV watching."

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:53 | 3565826 W T F II
W T F II's picture

The Dutch have a solution....'Kavorkianize" everyone over 65 1/2...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:16 | 3565945 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Ahhh, the logan's run society.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:33 | 3566055 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Are you suggesting hiring 92 year old construction workers to stroll around, 65 floors high, on a 6 inch wide beam carrying 50 pounds of tools? Because that is pure fucking Benny Hill material.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:17 | 3566262 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Why would someone with so much skill and experience need to do that, when they can be in the management office making sure shit is getting done efficiently?

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 09:27 | 3568594 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Most 92 year olds can't even hump up to go shit when they want to, let alone efficiently.

Skill and experience?  60 is the new 20, too, yes?

At some point time just catches up. That's the trouble with many vain boomers, they don't want to face their autumns. 

AND that ladies and gentlemen is why you're seeing an increase in "Trike" and Can-Am Spyders on the road.  Peter Fonda needs 3 wheels to Easy Ride now, but he's only fooling himself.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:53 | 3565829 darteaus
darteaus's picture

The real reason retirement promises can not be kept:

The promises were lies.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:03 | 3565885 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Nice slogan. Not true, but nice.

Does bleating dramatic phrases help you out, or does it help out people who want to make you poorer, and them richer? Or can you write one email to your congress critter and at least get him/it thinking it won't be a walkover?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:53 | 3565830 nobodyimportant
nobodyimportant's picture

Re:  the boomers push to bankruptcy?  US has gone bankrupt twice already -- once over gold and again over silver.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:53 | 3565831 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Until enough people get past the denial is not just a river in Egypt (assuming they can even find Egypt on a map) part shit keeps going on. Some people are just going to lose on the deal and have to accept the fact. I've come to the conclusion there is no soup for me when I get to the front of the line and am okay with it. It is not about me as a man you judge your life by how left the house once it is no longer yours, you don't leave it in worse shape than you inherited it. The baby boomers are failing spectacularly in this regard just to extend and pretend the system a little bit longer so they can cash out fucking the rest of us and their grandkids in the long run by keep up the false facade that show will keep going as is. I am okay with losing everything to get the house back in order for my kids and grandkids even if I have pay a great personal price for just out of principle as long the house is in better shape than I inherited or is moving in the right direction at that point. More people need to get the fuck over themselves and start getting back to tried and true fundamentals and then build off that.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:01 | 3565872 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Oh, happy little class warrior. You ever figure them today, you tomorrow? That helping the Right get rid of social programs makes the failure of those programs a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Or are you posturing as one of these seven figure bonus CEOs?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:32 | 3565918 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Charity begins at home and then locally then regionally then nationally in that order. The system and chain has been systematically broken down from individuals helping each other first then looking to the state and in the process also has been reversed. That is a breakdown and perversion of basic humanity by socialists twisting the idea into the state being the only god and master. It has been going on for a long time we are now dealing with the fruition of it's destructive nature as the money runs out and the promises can't be kept by the state. And no I am not some 7 figured CEO. If you really gave a fuck about helping you'd start one at time on a personal level if everyone did that it would take a big burden off your god and master the state and they might actually be able to provide better for the welfare of EVERYONE.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:46 | 3566115 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

Unfortunately the personal level has none of the scale nor uniformity that the  highest levels(national) have.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:56 | 3566150 Renfield
Renfield's picture


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:05 | 3565889 Agent P
Agent P's picture

The problem won't be that there's no soup for you, the problem will be that the guy holding the empty ladle will demand you hand over the bread you made on your own to enjoy with your soup.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:11 | 3565926 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

It won't matter anyways once the promises can't be kept, Darwnism and reality is going to kick back in with a vengeance. The guy with the soup laddle is going to get eaten alive when he can't take down a whole crowd of hungry motherfuckers with that one laddle.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:25 | 3566004 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"Some people are just going to lose on the deal and have to accept the fact."

LOL...oh, really? And what if they don't? Who's gonna stop them?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:29 | 3566316 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

There is only a finite amount of resources. Reality always does at some point. The only speculation is when not if.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:46 | 3566389 Vooter
Vooter's picture

And that reality comes in a lot of different flavors, and from a lot of different directions. I don't think you REALLY want to see what reality looks like...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:28 | 3566028 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"More people need to get the fuck over themselves and start getting back to tried and true fundamentals..."

LOL...sorry, getting over ourselves went out with "Buy Liberty Bonds!" The U.S. government has made it PERFECTLY CLEAR that we are all on our own, so I'm going to take them at their word! I don't have "countrymen" anymore...get it?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:04 | 3566160 Renfield
Renfield's picture

"The borders of my country run around the soles my feet."

- Osric

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:39 | 3566340 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

I guess you missed my point about charity begins at home........... then community which is homes grouped locally so on and so forth. If that human bond of community which has been sufficiently broken down by socialist indoctrination and replaced with the state is a once size fits all and the only solution is restored you'll have real "country" and "countrymen" again but it has to start somewhere. You build bottom up not top down.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:59 | 3566434 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"you'll have real "country" and "countrymen" again"

But I don't WANT this country (or my alleged "countrymen") back again! Get it? That would be like saying I want to survive cancer and then get it again...what don't you understand?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 17:33 | 3566540 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

You want to be an anti-social loner living in a cabin out in the backwoods well that is your prerogative. It is a big enough place to accommodate people like yourselves. As libertarian I encourage you to do so and the government to leave you alone but that goes both ways.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 19:51 | 3567199 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"As libertarian I encourage you to do so and the government to leave you alone but that goes both ways."

I have to leave the government alone? LOL...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:53 | 3565832 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Ah, divide and conquer for the educated.

The race divide doesn't work for liberal arts majors, so it has to be a reprise of 'don't trust anyone over thirty.' The boomers fell for it, no reason their kids won't.

And believing three impossible things before breakfast, too.

Calling Social Security 'entitlement' reveals we're hearing from the Far Right Alternate Universe. The money paid in over and above paygo since Reagan is not be thought of, trillions of dollars unpersoned. Not to mention that 100% of the boomers are going to live forever, at least until age 90 or so.

The payout from social insurance programs is not unaffordable, it's just offensive to anyone who's antigovernment. The money's there, or could be put there by getting the wealthy to pay for their benefits. Or for anyone who wants to distract attention from bailouts, or wants to privatize public property. Or wants to watch people lining up along unreal lines. Keep them lined up along two unreal alternatives and call it a discussion.

The most efficient class war - get the middle class to fight each other.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:21 | 3566272 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Quit the nonsense.  If you put in 100k, you can't expect to get out 300k.  That's the fucking math.  You should have realized it long ago - didn't you see Ross Perot's fucking flip charts?  You had notice and you sat around doing nothing about it.   

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:56 | 3566429 Vooter
Vooter's picture

I just want the $100k back--what's the problem?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 18:59 | 3566961 darteaus
darteaus's picture

The money's not there.  It was spent before it was ever taken out of your check.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 19:49 | 3567189 Vooter
Vooter's picture

Well, then, if I'm not going to get the money now, and I'm not going to get it at age 65, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE LITTLE SHITS COMPLAINING ABOUT? If nothing else, the whiny twentysomethings who are bitching about boomers "getting in the way" haven't had to throw cash down the drain for 40 years, like we have. What's the fucking problem?

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 17:57 | 3570906 darteaus
darteaus's picture

I believe their argument is:

"So, a bunch of seniors put money into a failed system, and now the twentysomethings must pay them?  No sir!  That money is gone, and you knew - or should have known - SS was broken.  That was your generation's folly sir, and IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM."

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:55 | 3565842 Great Depressio...
Great Depression Trader's picture

There is a very simple solution to this "crisis" of entitlements. We shall implement the "medishare" program. Each American is given shares of Medicare value which will be indexed to the S&P500. Medishares will vest according to usage and need. By the time boomers will need the medishares the SPX will be trading at 2600. In addition, we can create treasury bonds that are indexed to the S&P we will call these bondshares. So instead of using tax revenue to pay off US Gov debt we can use index shares to become debt free.

Soon no citizen will need to work as we will all be given soulshares. Putting money to work, bitches

Crisis solved

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:57 | 3565854 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

that's right chuckie, drive a wedge between children and parents. how funny, right out of 1984. the kids will be poorer than chinese peasants in less than a generation if they let the maggots trick them into giving up their social security. the grapes of wrath await you lame brains.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:27 | 3566019 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"the kids will be poorer than chinese peasants in less than a generation if they let the maggots trick them into giving up their social security."

Are you really this stupid or just caricaturing? How stupid can an argument be? The wedge was forged by the true masters, left, right, center - everyone knows this, but it was the general masses who happily spent the better part of a century hammering away at it. That's how dealing works: The user does all the heavy lifting, the pusher just unites customer with product. But now the marginal utility of that drug (debt) is getting dangerously low, yet somehow it's the messenger's fault for pointing out this indisputable fact to the hopeless addicts.

Anyone who responds with a knee-jerk cry of "victim-blaming!" lacks the mental ability to conceive of a crime during commission of which the accomplices are injured. It's not that fucking complicated.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:11 | 3566233 malek
malek's picture

Yes, yes, yes, if we just keep the ties between children and parents strong, then all promises can be met!!!

trick them into giving up their social security

So the problem is not the payments, it is the holding of enough entitlement rights!

I stand in awe of your stupidity

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:23 | 3566285 Thisson
Thisson's picture

The problem is that the Boomers think they can work 20-30 years as a blue collar professional, spending/wasting 90% of the value of their labor, and then have a 50 year retirement.  The math doesn't support that.   

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:40 | 3566369 Vooter
Vooter's picture

WHO thinks they can do that? I've been working and paying into social security now for 37 years, and I still have another 13 to go before I turn 65. So I (and millions and millions of others) will have worked FIFTY years for MAYBE a 20-year retirement...

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:57 | 3565857 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

So millions of boomers have paid taxes and SS contributions and pension contributions and 401K contributions for 40 years, now when they reach for their retirement money *poof* it's gone.

Before you start laughing.... If you let them get away with this,  what do you think the big boys have in mind for YOUR future?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:28 | 3566026 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:24 | 3566288 Thisson
Thisson's picture

We know they are theives.  Show me a person under 40 that thinks they will get 1 dime of social security!  The Boomers want to take out more than what they've contributed, in real terms.  That's not possible.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:37 | 3566358 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"The Boomers want to take out more than what they've contributed, in real terms."

Oh, really? As I and someone else mentioned in another post, I will absolutely waive ANY post-retirement social security payments RIGHT NOW if the government simply gives me back the money that I've put in over the last 35 years. They won't have to pay me a DIME after I retire. What's the problem?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 22:27 | 3567664 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

You're supposed to get back more than you contribute. That's what compound interest means you limp dicked weasel.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:26 | 3566302 YC2
YC2's picture

my what?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:00 | 3565869 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

For the last 35 years I have said that when we boomers got in our mid-70's "they will have no choice but to knock us all in the head."  The Greatest Financial Crisis has only accelerated the reckoning. Did almost no one else see that 75 million oldsters would be unsupportable? Math stands next to God, but its laws are just as immutable. I am 60 and I find these times fascinating in what they say about the intelligence levels of the masses.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:41 | 3566096 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

On your 79th birthday, a government agent will give the nurse a special ingredient to add to your strained peas.



Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:27 | 3566303 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Actually, we would be able to support 75 million boomers just fine if everything else in the economy wasn't fucked up with subsidies, protectionism for crony corporate interests, government intervention, bailouts, etc.  It's the Road to Serfdom writ large.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:02 | 3565874 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I guess it's more convenient to blame powerless people than lying governments, huh Charles?

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:02 | 3565876 Kataphraktos
Kataphraktos's picture

Simon, I agree that those with multi-thousand USD pensions should not receive their SS payments. If the system still stands when I hit 65 in 23 years, I am one of those people, with a few thousand per month from a private grnadfathered pension due to me. I will gladly give up my claim to monthly SS payments IFF:


Those who came before me, and those who inherited from them, are subject to clawbacks. Someone who would not have received SS payments under this regime got a distinct advantage over those who lost their SS payments, but more importantly, passed that advantage on to their children, by leaving a larger inheritance to them. Therefore, such reductions in benefits should be made retroactive. The cutoff could easily be set to anybody who inherits after this idea is enacted into law. Any inheritance received once this is enacted should be assessed a haircut which reduces it by the full amount after taxes of all SS benefits received by the beneficiary when they were alive. This is not about being fair to the beneficiaries, but about being fair to the younger generations. Please note this only affects the well-to-do recipeients and their descendants, it does not touch anybody with small or non-existent receipts outside of SS.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:12 | 3565932 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"This is not about being fair to the beneficiaries, but about being fair to the younger generations."

Show me the "fair" clause in the rulebook....

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:28 | 3566310 Thisson
Thisson's picture

It's not about fairness, it's about survival.  When the ship goes down, it's the women and children (not the aged) that get priority seating in the lifeboats.  That's just how it is.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:33 | 3566339 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"Women and children first" (or to a lesser extent, the Birkenhead Drill[1][2]) was a historical protocol whereby the lives of women and children were to be saved first in a life-threatening situation (typically abandoning ship, when survival resources such as lifeboats were limited). The saying is most famously associated with the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, although the first documented use concerned the 1852 wrecking of the Royal Navy troopship HMS Birkenhead. The protocol has no basis in maritime law,[3] and evidence suggests that historical survival rates have been in favor of adult males (especially crew members) rather than women or children.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 22:34 | 3567691 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

This is actually funny. Let the banksters keep their $ TRILLIONS in bailout money and $1,000,000,000 BILLIONS in bonuses but claw back Grannie's $1,000 THOUSANDS in benefits THAT SHE PAID FOR.

As for "fairness" I notice the little snot noses never start whining about "fairness" until after they grow up and  their own childhood living expenses, medical, and education expenses are paid for.

Reimburse your parents and grandparents for everything they ever did for you, and you might be justified in refusing to do anything for them, but only if you are an  economist or sociopath with an adding machine for a heart.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 07:26 | 3572229 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Ok Boomers, then before you expire...TAKE DOWN THE BANKSTERS!!!

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:06 | 3565896 Par Contre
Par Contre's picture

In order to go forward, there has to be accountability, justice must be served. Who gave politicians the right to set up Ponzi schemes that were destined to go bankrupt? Certainly not the Constitution! We need a process for putting on trial the leaders that got us into this mess, and at a minimum their assets need to be confiscated and used to pay the promised benefits to those who are most in need and are the least culpable for this disaster.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:17 | 3565955 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

"Who gave politicians the right to set up Ponzi schemes that were destined to go bankrupt?"

we, the people did, through our silence and our acquiescence.


"their assets need to be confiscated and used to pay the promised benefits to those who are most in need"

who gets to decide who is most in need? sounds like you have a bit of tyrant in yourself as well.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:37 | 3566356 bunnyswanson
Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:36 | 3566067 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

The hoot and holler of the Right is generally based on bull.

Not a Ponzi scheme, but a budget item. If the current lackeys of the rich want to steal the Trust Fund, that's theft, not the laws of Physics. There's no Constitutional prohibition of social insurance. Reagan's already dead, though you can piss on his grave. Obama's Wall Street's lickspittle, which means he likes pounding on the middle class. Which is why he's out to put a knife in it.

Obamadroids on ZH? Who'd have thought...


Wed, 05/15/2013 - 16:29 | 3566320 Thisson
Thisson's picture

#1) It's already stolen.

#2) It was a fraud the moment they promised to pay out more than the actuarial value of the contributions.

#3) The ignorant public didn't do anything to prevent the theft and fraud.

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 15:10 | 3565924 Vooter
Vooter's picture

"What nobody dares say is that if the 76 million Boomers press their claims to the point the nation is bankrupted, then the next generations (X and Y) will have to wrest political power from the retirees."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL...bring it on, bitch!

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