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Guest Post: The Folly of Misspent Optimism: Generation Neutral

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Chris Moorman, a 24 year old member of "Generation Neutral"

The Folly of Misspent Optimism: Generation Neutral

America for the past century has been nearly synonymous with progress. A model based upon constant growth, the American style system of capitalism, built upon the dual building blocks property rights and nearly unlimited economic freedom, has allowed free movement of capital, talent and vision to produce the wealthiest country that the world has ever seen. This has not been without its hiccoughs and imbalances, but on the aggregate, the American system of ever rising prosperity has brought with it a rising standard of living for all parties in the post WWII era. The American birthright has been a promise of a hold on the ladder, and a better life for each subsequent generation.

This economic juggernaut used the free movement of capital to allow risk takers to borrow at the present to take advantage of the growth of the future. This system has withstood many shocks; the unilateral pullout of the Bretton Woods gold standard by Nixon, the subsequent stagflationary environment of the late 1970s and early 80s, to  the fall of the communism leaving American style capitalism as the unrivaled economic system in the world. American exceptionalism was not so much an opinion as an accepted fact.

This was the promise that Generation Neutral predicated its approach to maturity upon. Demographic headwinds stood in our way for sure. The baby boomers and the entitlement economics they had been promised began to seem underfunded at the present which meant declining standards of living in the future. An over-levered system of government subsidized housing found that the hangover left in the wake of the Internet boom and the new diplomatic order put forth after 9/11 would squeeze those on the margins past their breaking point. Government intervention which would have been unthinkable even a generation ago now seemed like the only thing holding our system from the edge of the abyss.

We avoided the abyss after the post-Lehman collapse of 2008. Purportedly rational players in the government arena used every tool at their disposal and designed new tools on the fly to keep the system from stalling out. Business cycle boom and bust is inherent in a free movement system such as ours, and we’d dealt with it before. Once the growth engine started running near its historical averages, the economy would rebound and the train would get back on the tracks. Life would return to normal and Generation Neutral would outgrow its debts fast enough to promise our children that life would still be better for them than it was for us. At least, this is what we’d planned on.

So we continued to pile on the debt, spending today so that our future earnings would allow us the lifestyle we’d always hoped for. College tuition rose at unthinkable rates when compared to CPI and other inflation measures, aided by a system of government backstops and a “no-way out clause” which took away the mechanism of bankruptcy in order to absolve the insolvent of an impossible to pay debt. Still we borrowed. Ivy league educations cost on the order of $120-150K, while even the “affordable” state school educations hovered above 60k for 4 years. We told ourselves that this was an investment in our future, that when the growth engine restarted, we’d be on the forefront of the new boom. 

After 2008, it appeared that the growth engine was taking longer to prime than anyone had planned. Ivy League graduates, with crushing amounts of college loans, were forced to take jobs as baristas and retail workers; careers far below those promised by the glossy recruitment packets we’d gotten in high school. Some risk takers in my generation doubled down, and headed off to graduate school to “wait out” the recession as opposed to taking jobs which seemed beneath our level of expertise and education.

Increasingly, these “investments” are looking like consumption periods for which the bill will come monthly for 15-20 years. Those who doubled down on their bets with grad school, found that in addition to undergrad debt, the average 75-100k of law school debt looked nearly insurmountable when compared to starting salaries in the 50-70K range. A law school graduate with $150k (a number which errs on the conservative side if any) in combined undergrad and law school debt 6% at  is now looking at nearly $1300/month in loan repayments over a 15 year period. This is comparable to the payment on a 30 year mortgage on a $250,000 (slightly above the 2010 median home price) house at 5%. If the baby boomers are planning on my generation bailing out their underwater homes, they’d better find another plan.

Currently, a college grad making $75,000 (well above the median for the graduates of the downturn (2007-2010)) in Manhattan contributing nothing to pre-tax retirement brings home a little over $4,000 monthly. When this is stacked up against an average monthly rent of $1350, and a student loan repayment of $1300, this makes for a mere $1350 in disposable income. This makes it quite difficult to save the necessary funds for a downpayment on a house, and even makes it difficult to build a solid safety net of savings.

The real issues of my generation have unfortunately been glossed over. There have been the occasional articles chronicling how lifetime earnings are adversely affected for those who come out of school into a recession, but this downturn has already had a duration above and beyond the norm, and at present doesn’t appear to be ending any time in the near term. Meanwhile, the bills are stacking up, and even those of us who are working from Generation Neutral are starting to be concerned that the debts we signed on for at 18 will live to haunt us well longer than our worst projections. There is beginning to be a certain resigned malaise hanging over us, and as capitalism is a system predicated on growth and a healthy amount of optimism in the future, this is yet another headwind to our economic and even psychological well being.

Other than the turnout brought upon by the “Hope and Change” campaign of President Obama, Generation Neutral has found itself strangely ambivalent about the political discourse, even as the bills are continuing to migrate from our parents’ generation to our own. A conversation about the national debt usually ends with the trite phrase “I don’t really care about politics” while the political decisions of today affect our economic future at an ever increasing rate compared to our parents and grandparents.

I’ve yet to figure out what will break our apathy, as our misspent optimism still keeps us believing, however fleetingly, that this too shall pass. The day that we collectively realize that better days aren’t coming could well be too late, but the debts amassed during our optimistic youth will still continue to knock on our door. If our generation doesn’t have it better than our parents’, I wonder what the narrative we tell our children will sound like.


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Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:56 | 1686298 BORT
BORT's picture

Wow.   Very well said.   Also very sad but true

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:04 | 1686324 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

Very well said indeed.  And might I add to our young guest poster: "Welcome to the real life in America, circa 2011"  We of the older generation owe you an apology, an apology that is massive.................

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:21 | 1686370 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Previous generations always thought intergenerational debt was immoral and odious. Not so the boomers.

Thanks guys

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:25 | 1686386 wanklord
wanklord's picture

Ordinary Americans -primordially the ones of European ancestry- are the offspring failed generations. In fact, the states involved in eugenics during the first decades of the twentieth century did not strictly enforce the sterilization laws on those people (low IQs, retards, deformed individuals, disease carriers, imbeciles, etc). Their ancestors were labeled as undesirables in Europe and expelled from their native countries.

Consequently, the following generations are the best evidence that defective genes have been transmitted from one breed to the next and worst of all, the chances that their descendants’ DNA carrying a more complex sequence of these mutated genes are 100% guaranteed – they can be confirmed by performing scientific tests (i.e. bizarre mutations that will make these individuals being categorized as subhumans).

Besides that, never forget the following:
“It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:30 | 1686403 CH1
CH1's picture


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:12 | 1686739 clymer
clymer's picture

CH, I don't think he is trolling so much as pointing out the absurd postulations espoused by those above the presidents, and CEO's - this garbage is pushed by the inter-generational families at the top of the global food chain under Hegelian guise to divide and conquer.

(or at least I fucking hope so)

Beyond all that.. Chris - you're a smart kid and ahead of your time.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:53 | 1687095 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

In the 1970s TPTB employed racial and gender warfare to good effect.  It kept people divided and compliant.  So I guess it's generational warfare this time.  Which of you are paid agitators and which of you are just plain chumps?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:05 | 1688079 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

No needs of TPTB for US citizens to engage in this kind of warfare. For example, in the South, during the war for Independence, US citizens prefered to patrol the slaves huts rather than to fight the war.

That story of TPTB is ludicrous. In the US, the US People is sovereign and exercizes power.

This has not been without its hiccoughs and imbalances, but on the aggregate, the American system of ever rising prosperity has brought with it a rising standard of living for all parties in the post WWII era.
Another slice of fabled past.

The betterment was done at the expense of people who are conveniently forgotten.
Classical US accounting trick. Dont account the loss, you will only get profits.

US citizens love to pretend bankers as the sole users of that trick but no, no discontinuity between the US base and its elite.

The big trouble is that now, while of course the same method is still applied successfully, US citizens who thought only others would feature the forgotten losses, have the bitter experience of discovering they are now the non accounting for losses.

This US citizen youth should comfort himself/herself with the following thought: in 30 thirty years or more, another US citizen will be able to write once again in a very US citizen manner the very same text:

This has not been without its hiccoughs and imbalances, but on the aggregate, the American system of ever rising prosperity has brought with it a rising standard of living for all parties in the 2000s~2020.

Dont write down the losses, only the gains, you will net profits. Always works, never misses.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:00 | 1686534 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture


"In fact, the states involved in eugenics during the first decades of the..."

twenty-first century are approaching the "issue" from an earlier perspective.

“The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.”


- Ned

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:09 | 1688088 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, ah, good finding. Funny enough indeed...

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:17 | 1686770 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Ordinary Americans -primordially the ones of European ancestry- are the offspring failed generations. In fact, the states involved in eugenics during the first decades of the twentieth century did not strictly enforce the sterilization laws on those people (low IQs, retards, deformed individuals, disease carriers, imbeciles, etc). Their ancestors were labeled as undesirables in Europe and expelled from their native countries."

Sooo, ummm, should we start with inbred English royals and work our way up to John Maynard Keynes or DSK and work our way back to Robespierre?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:10 | 1688094 Are you kidding
Are you kidding's picture

You're right.  You CULL the weak to improve the population.  In our modern day societies...the only ones having kids are the imbeciles and the minorities.  We're doing exactly the opposite of what a breeder would do.  These idiots are breeding us out of our own planet!  We spend millions keeping a preemie alive only to spend additional millions throughout their lives.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:30 | 1686405 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I thought you were a boomer.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:32 | 1686413 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Not all boomers tct.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:11 | 1686747 Eeyores Enigma
Eeyores Enigma's picture

Money is a claim on the future.

Boomers, for the most part prospered better than any other generation.

Boomers (and of course the beneficiaries of the FIRE economy over the last ....years) have secured the lions share of the future.

Your future belongs to US!!!!!!

Anyone under 30... you are well and thoroughly PHUCKED. GET PISSED>>>>>>


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:51 | 1687724 Aeonios
Aeonios's picture

lol, I'm only one year older than the author, and I can assure you that my generation is far too busy posting cartoon characters as their facebook profile to 'raise awareness of child abuse' to bother with something so dull and unimportant as economics, politics, or anything else of intellectual value.


The only good thing I have to say about my generation is that (probably) fewer of them watch Jersey shore than the generation that came right after. (echo Xers?)

The psychological cancer that is eating America can only be cured through major amputations, which of course will occur when this slow motion train wreck is finally recognized as such. Sadly, I'll be laughing all the way to the bank while my classmates dig through dumpsters for food. The saddest part, though, is that their ralleying cry will be "I don't get it, I just can't understand how this happened, America is the best".

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:46 | 1686670 WSP
WSP's picture

NO,NO,NO,NO,NO.  If "we" want to blame anyone, we must go back to Christmas Eve, 1913 when we allowed the bankers to create the Federal Reserve.  There is much to discuss, and plenty of door steps to place blame, but in the end, when you borrow money you take a risk, and if it goes well, you win-----otherwise, you lose.   Why is it every time ignorant fools make bad bets in their “herd” they always want to blame someone?

Who is to blame for the debt?  Well, we can start  with our debt based system, but that was not a creation of the boomers.   The reality is when people take on debt, they have a responsibility to repay it.   Nobody ever promises anyone guarantees that a debt will pay off, and I NEVER hear anyone complain when they make a risky bet (borrowing money from the squid bankers) and it pays off.  No, when people borrow money to buy houses and educations and they pay off, they say they were smart and it was a "good investment"; yet, when the bet doesn't pay off, it is ALWAYS SOMEBODY ELSE'S FAULT.

I am not buying that.  I lost my a$$ betting against tech stocks in the late 1990's since I was in the tech industry but even if I were not, I can read a balance sheet and income statement.   Unfortunately for me, I had to not only sit back in horror as the Clinton administration including Robert Rubin (criminal) and Greenspan kept pumping and pumping, but lost huge money in the process.  Sadly,  I was right, they were wrong (well, they were not wrong, just lying criminals) and knew they were pumping and the more short sellers came in, the more they lied and pumped about the “new paradigm”.  There is no new paradigm on profit and loss and cash flow----NEVER WILL BE.   The old saying the system can stay irrational (or criminal) much longer than you can stay solvent is applicable.

I later watched in horror during the mid 2000's when even my real estate broker friends told me to "lever up" on a house and take out equity to invest in the market since I could simply "pay whatever I wanted" on a monthly mortgage payment.  I refused, and sat back and watched as my friends and neighbors took trips, drove fancy cars, and lollied around in a "Wheeeee" world where I was the bad guy for not being irresponsible like them.  Now they want me to feel sorry for them?  No way!

Now, the debts have to be paid, and what happens?  People like the young generation that bought into this debt BS and even the older generation that was too irresponsible to read a balance sheet and income statement want to blame me AGAIN?  No sir, if you made a bet and it didn't work out, suck it up ----nobody bailed me out when I was RIGHT ABOUT THE BUBBLES----why should I bail you out for being wrong and taking a risk?  That is the problem with America----you can make mistakes as long as you do it with the “herd”---if you think for yourself and don’t make the mistakes, people still want you to bail them out---ENOUGH!

If you want to fix the problem, take your country back from the bankers----BUT, PAY FOR YOUR MISTAKES AS WELL!



Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:39 | 1687058 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Whoa, did you just read my mind?  Green.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:19 | 1687578 theabyss11
theabyss11's picture

I agree with most of what you say but I do have one question.

I work construction for a living. My job is to build people's homes. I also have a responsibility to ensure that I build them correctly and to code. If I don't do my job correctly or neglect my responsibility the home could collapse and kill anyone who was living in it.

A banker seems to have very few responsibilities other than making money but one of their jobs is to ASSESS RISK. That's their job. They also have codes (or laws) that their suppose to follow. However, when they refuse to follow those laws and are derelict in their duty of assessing risk who's fault is it when the house falls down? I can ask you to lend me a million dollars as much as I want but that doesn't mean you have to lend it to me. Just google search how much of the housing boom the FBI said was due to mortgage fraud and I think you'll catch my drift.

You know, if all I was concerned about was making money I could build you a house for pretty cheap. I could just neglect to put in hurricane ties, or screw your metal roof down every six feet instead of every two and you might not notice it at first. But when the hurricane comes and your roof gets ripped off in the storm, I would be held responsible.

Maybe its your fault for hiring me.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:07 | 1687273 DoctorMad
DoctorMad's picture

The fact you call yourself "Generation Neutral" instead of the more apporpriate "Generation Screwed" shows you still have a little too much of that misspent optimisim. Your parents and my parents fucked us far worse than you could ever imaginme. Other than that a fantastic interpretation of what lies ahead. If it makes you feel better I get to hit this all at an even older age as part of Gen Y.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:54 | 1687793 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

i believe more common terminology is "the ninja generation": No Income No Job no Assets

boomer generation brought cheap manufactured goods from china and relatively cheap oil (half of other countries) but those savings are insignificant when compared to overinflated ripoff prices of what really defines a middle class: healthcare, education, housing, job security.

basically boomer politicians gave half off on the big screen tv while you get indebted for life paying off student loans

wrnog priorities as a nation for last 30 years while third world countries are doing the opposite.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:08 | 1687275 DoctorMad
DoctorMad's picture

The fact you call yourself "Generation Neutral" instead of the more accurate "Generation Screwed" shows you still have a little too much of that misspent optimisim. Your parents and my parents fucked us far worse than you could ever imaginme. Other than that a fantastic interpretation of what lies ahead. If it makes you feel better I get to hit this all at an even older age as part of Gen Y.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:56 | 1686299 fbrothers
fbrothers's picture

When you do not have enough to eat. You will change things. People with nothing to lose will turn this country upside down.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:41 | 1686656 Dugald
Dugald's picture

If you don't go to war first........

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:56 | 1686300 SaveTheGreenback
SaveTheGreenback's picture

"Damn shame what they did to that dog."

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:57 | 1686303 Yogibear101
Yogibear101's picture

...yer gonna need a second job.  I'll give ya $20 to mow & weedeat my yard.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:18 | 1686359 Fate
Fate's picture

Better take that $20 and buy a copy of Strunk & White, you ignorant fuck.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:40 | 1686869 Blackfriday
Blackfriday's picture

Well said.  Made me laugh.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:21 | 1686372 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Give it to one of your fellow Boomers to fund his retirement.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:29 | 1686396 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:30 | 1686402 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

You're offering 4x the going rate!

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:35 | 1686418 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

I'll take that $20 if I get to turn your ass into Soylent Green when you're too old to sit up.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:58 | 1686307 Iam Rich
Iam Rich's picture

Break your apathy....hope it doesn't come to some shat like beach storming in a Higgins boat.  That would be the real suck, although maybe college debt forgiveness comes with that.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:07 | 1686329 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Notice he said, "I’ve yet to figure out what will break our apathy...". If he would only lower his expectations at his ability to cure his entire generation, perhaps he might try and break his own, realizing that's the only part of the world under his power.

Otherwise, it's just another example of Generation Derp with their we the sheeple mindset.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:59 | 1686310 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

What a cunty situation. Nothing worse than some university offering the madison ave lifestyle only to find out at graduation that you are royally fucked thanks to bunch of arse heads politicians/ corrupt fat fuck bankers

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:04 | 1686545 Talleyrand
Talleyrand's picture

Don't forget about the bastard who held that gun to his head and forced him to take that 'student' loan.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:23 | 1686610 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Unfortunately, an awful lot of people in the formerly Constitutional United States have a lot of expectations built upon deception, hollow promises and flawed assumptions. Capitalism has never been broken.. what we have now is a perversion of it.

"Capitalism without responsibility or proportionality degrades into racketeering and exploitation."
-Will Hutton

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:50 | 1686683 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

Fuck you, and here's why: everyone of my generation is, yes, forced to overspend because (I'm guessing you're either a boomer or, god forbid, a Gen X'er) your prick generations' habits have been priced into every good on the market. I swear I think all the crude history of the early century was pent up in your parents loins and they shit out the most hideous generation ever as a means of catharsis. You credit junkie motherfuckers have shot so much 23% APR, 60 month BMW lease, black-tar bullshit into the markets that prices on everything now reflect your habits. You guys bought so much money that everything from our rent to our bread to our gas is more expensive than it should be because, guess what, it's all priced in now. So we take shitty jobs to save for college because our retard parents were more worried about buying Pottery Barn throws and Williams Sonoma toothpicks to save for our educations, unlike your parents who probably paid your whole way, you spoiled fuck (and who knows, maybe you worked hard as shit, but your attitude is such that I'm addressing you as I'd address the rest of your scumfuck generation). Don't you fucking shit on us because we were raised in a school/social system that always told us one overarching thing: you need to go to college. How many 18-year-olds are gonna question the red thread running through their entire lives.

I mean, think about it. Look at the mythology of college in America. Dude, you're gonna fuck so many chicks in college. College is the best time of your life. College is where you discover yourself. You can't do anything without going to college.

You were told the same thing, it's just that you lucked out. You're not smarter or better or somehow more skilled, you are just lucky. But guess what, all the Starbucks jokes really do hit home because that shit don't pay enough to buy a degree, and once again you guys have raised the educational bar so high that we need PhD's to get any sort of solid employment.

What's a barista to do? Just one hit, bro! It's fine! I do the shit all the time. Seriously, just take that one loan out, get your master's, and you'll be golden!

Sorry, you're overeducated. The position has been filled by some 40-something skatealong douchebag with a BA who blasts Pearl Jam out of his Saab speakers.

Alternatively: Sorry, you're underqualified. That BA is cute, but this is the big leagues. This position has been filled by some cock with 5 years experience. Wrong place, wrong time, buddy!

That's why fuck you.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:21 | 1686782 clymer
clymer's picture

Don't blame us x-ers, brother. We were told the same shit. Besides, a few of us dropped out of high school, framed houses when were were 16, joined the reserves and paid for tuition out of pocket using saved cash and GI benefits, while going to class from 6 to 9:30 PM (directly after leaving the bar) until we finished that BS, state-school degree (U-Mass)

grow a set and join this fight against the machine. This has been coming for close to 100 years


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:24 | 1686807 clymer
clymer's picture

BTW, I am sorry you didn't get laid in college

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:40 | 1687203 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

edit: sorry that was a little harsh

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:44 | 1686891 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

So we take shitty jobs to save for college because our retard parents were more worried about buying Pottery Barn throws and Williams Sonoma toothpicks to save for our educations, unlike your parents who probably paid your whole way

Never regarded a job that fed me a as "shitty."  Sorry about your parents--most people are indeed creatures of their time and never develop real independent perspective.  Why is that?  How do we get to be who we are?  Those questions keep you humble if you ask them enough and don't accept easy answers.

Btw, my parents did not pay my way at all: GI Bill, construction work, bartending, and savings did.  When I finished my hitch in the service I was an adult and wouldn't request or accept help from my retired folks.  On the other hand, I put my kid through 2 years of prep and 4 years undergrad, at least what was needed after scholarships.  Grad school she always knew she was on her own so she worked hard for scholarships, took on some loans but as a business decision, not blindly.




Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:00 | 1687255 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

Let me ask you a question. How do you think a GI Bill is valued? If you go to Desert Storm and shoot at a couple shadows, then get your college paid for, is it worth the same amount if you go to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once? I personally would say no. I'm glad you made good choices, and I definitely don't mean to insult your service because it could easily have become what mine did but I do think that my generation of military paid much more than yours did. Now if you were Vietnam I'll shut the fuck up right now.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:01 | 1687506 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

How do you think a GI Bill is valued?

 When I got out it was just a fixed value regardless of the nature of your service--don't know how they do it now.  I was in the Navy; it was during Vietnam but I was not in combat.  On the other hand when I debriefed on the way out they told me my outfit had the highest post-separation suicide rate in the Navy; so, you know, combat is not the only kind of stress.  The key about the GI Bill now is that it is an incentive to get people to volunteer -- you can't limit it to a certain kind of service because it wouldn't be a very compelling incentive with that unknown element.  After all, once your in they can do what they want with you.

Right after I took the oath, with about 30 others, the doors banged open and 4 Marines came in: officer and 2 gunnys and a corporal.  "This is your lucky day! Four of you ladies are gonna be US Marines: you, you, you and you."  Nobody told me the Marines could draft out of the Navy.  It took two of them to get one of the "lucky" ones out the door: he was crying like baby and his legs wouldn't hold him up.  1968 . . . Marines were dying like flies they couldn't enlist enough to replace the losses.  Likely two of those 4 never came back.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:22 | 1687589 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

Man I get that shit, I'm sorry to be a dick. I just get frustrated.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 16:34 | 1690047 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

NP, and best of luck to you in all this.  We'll all need it. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:50 | 1686909 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Boner dude, we Gen-Xers have had a rougher road to this point than the Gen-Yers. I was unemployed after earning my engineering Ph D a few years back. The author is expressing the future for Gen-yers and all young people for a while. The sooner they wake up, the quicker they can reclaim their society from the banksters.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:53 | 1687241 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

See it's not the bankers we need to change. It's the people being fucked by the bankers who need to be changed. The fact that there are people willing to accept massive debt in exchange for relatively little money fucks people who need a small amount of credit. It's not a hard concept to grasp. Stop being willing to pay so much for money. Boomers and Gen-X'ers are willing to pay a tremendous amount for money; this is because they are tremendously vain and shitty. I'd rather not buy into the prices they've set but I'm given little choice. Don't blame us for what you guys have done. This is your chance to be a fucking man instead of passing the buck once again. Why don't you take your own haircut instead of passing it on? Force your seniors to do the same. Fucking get on board in practice not just your internet posts.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:56 | 1687648 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Let me suggest this is not a thing you pin on a particular generation but on an ideology. The WW2 generation started the ponzi scheme known as Social Security followed by the stupid healthcare rules we have, followed by the Great Society. Baby Boomers were in grade school as these things started. By the late 60's Soc Sec trust fund was raided to hide the true deficits. In 71 as the oldest of the boomers could vote we ditched the gold standard.  Fast forward to today and these are all the things breaking the piggy bank.

The common thread is modern liberalism-statism-collectivism-socialism supported by keynesian economic theory. These ideologies say the freedom is the problem and therefore you need more regs, more rules, more government, more social justice, more free stuff, etc. The deficits that are being rolled from generation to generation are the differences in the actual cost of these things compared to what we are willing to pay. Your enemy...the one who has put a cloud on your future is not a particular generation. It is an ideology that keeps getting passed on. Barry Goldwater, William F. Bucklye, Friedrick Hayek and others from WW2 generation fought these ideas while others went hard left, like FDR. Boomers have their libertarians and commies, so does gen x, y, z , neutral and all the other BS artificial designations. Libertarians, true conservatives and others did not create, propogate and rescusitate any of the things that are going to break the piggy bank and nation. It is an ideology favored by those in power because it establishes, supports and even grows power. Power is a bigger aphrodesiac than sex.

Too many believe the BS that comes from these ideologies. These ideas never work, can't work and even with our geniuses won't work in the future. Meanwhile, their failure gets tallied in the national debt and future unfunded liabilities into the 100+ trillion dollar mark. It is unsustainable. There is no way out. The junior generations will be forced to default. You need to hang the right people who created it and its not a particular generation. The "strong" man will appear in the crisis and promise a way out and the weak minded will follow him/her. They will be wrong and sell us into some sort of bondage a.k.a. Hitler, Mussoline, Castro, etc. There will be another ideology articulated by the likes of R. Paul. This path will work but makes fewer promises to tickle the ear.

I like this article because it is the correct view of the future. However the source and solutions to the problems created are lacking. This has been in the making for a century. The end game is approaching. Get ready.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:46 | 1687924 clymer
clymer's picture

Well, truth be told, the boomers might have done a little more to safeguard freedom. After all, this dude claimed that NAFTA would create jobs. ("this is a good deal larry..")

What's not to believe? He invented the fucking internet

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:32 | 1687192 Payable on Death
Payable on Death's picture

Here's a big part of the problem:

Lack of productivity from the "teachers".

How do you prop up your price (tuition)? With easy financing, of course. Tidy circle there between the colleges and the pols, doncha think?

As ZH constantly reminds us, debt is bad. College debt is bad in other ways than mentioned by BJamz. Young adults today cannot take risks--they've got the high fixed cost of a college loan. Same is true of companies. Venture capital used to be the preferred source for financing growth. Now it's debt (highly leveraged private equity), as VC is over-regulated (SOX, et al). With VC cash, you hire people (create jobs). With debt you FIRE people, since fixed costs are higher.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:43 | 1687217 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Children's main purpose in life is to blame those who came before them, and think they are the first ones to ever inherit something nasty.  Every generation has done it.  You are not some unique and delicate little flower with a fresh and novel perspective on existence of which not a single one of the 25 billion human beings who walked upright before you stopped peeing your pants ever thought, though you and your ilk might think so.

The biggest mistake baby boomers made was making the next generation, which then made the next generation.

Perhaps if we could go back to that wonderful time when European and Asian manufacturing was bombed out as a result of WWII (you may have studied that "ancient history" in school), so that an unscathed US could experience robust growth and huge manufacturing margins.....

Perhaps if we could go back to that wonderful time when a billion Chinese and nearly that many Indians---and toss in a half billion Indonesians, Thais, Brazilians, Nigerians, Pakistanis---were content to be half-starved and live in abject poverty, existing merely to make children eat their peas in America ("some child in India would love to have those in front of him!"), your oh-so-entitled generation would not have to compete for finite resources with ten times the number of earlier American generations, thus keeping your costs at a minimum.....

Yes, it's a little more complex of an issue than one uncovered simply by pointing a finger.  By the way, have you spent money on an iPad?  iPhone or something similar?  Laptop or other PC?  Eating your seedcorn, are you?  Obviously you are on the internet.....I think those Baby Boomers had a hand in some of those things, though they can't be blamed for you spending your own money on them.


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:32 | 1687382 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

Yeah and how many peas have you eaten you sanctimonious prick? You're just the type I'm talking about, you'll eat your cream until you puke and then laugh at the people who get the sour milk. You're super concerned about seventy billion starving kids, but you're gonna criticize me for using the internet over the fucking internet. I drive a Volkswagen, are you gonna call me a Nazi for that? Makes zero sense. I never said I was a dainty little flower, btw really clever reference, you fucking ripoff, but I do think that I have the right to call bullshit on the people picking my petals for compost so to speak.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 03:55 | 1687761 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I believe you were the first sanctimonious prick in this thread.  Don't give up the ground once you've taken it!  Just be thankful there are others who speak sanctimonious prick and can communicate with you.

Sorry that you weren't born in Disneyland.  Must really suck to have to make a go at life.

You might want to take a look at more ancient history, like the 1930's or the late 1970's.  The first put the word Depression in the common lexicon, the second gave us "stagflation" and "misery index".  Somehow, the youth of both those eras made a go of it.  Perhaps your generation will find its way, too.

Sorry you have to compete with 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians who want everything you want and are driving up prices.  I don't hear them bemoaning their lot in life nor pointing fingers, so watch out.  They aren't going to make it any easier for you.

I haven't lived in the US for a long time, but when I go back for a little culture shock, I like to take at least one trip to a mall.  If I'm lucky enough to have a visit coincide with a new Apple product launch, I see a whole line of 16-25 year olds waiting in line, even though they all already seem to have the previous iterations of whatever Apple is selling.  I also see them in A&F or whatever is the Clothier to the Free Thinking Individuals---it's a cultural visitation for me, not a shopping destination---pulling out some credit card to pay for something that looks already used.  In the old days we bought that sort of stuff at Thrift Shops.  I don't see anybody putting off the gratification until tomorrow.

Does that last paragraph seem.....broad brush?  An unfair generalization?  Could it be that not every single member of a generation behaves exactly the same?

Maybe your rant is just making up for time lost when you had to obey Article 88 of the UCMJ (IIRC), in which case, it is understandable.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:16 | 1688113 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Sorry you have to compete with 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians who want everything you want and are driving up prices. I don't hear them bemoaning their lot in life nor pointing fingers, so watch out. They aren't going to make it any easier for you.


Made me laugh. Just knowing your contributions to China linked threads was enough for me to burst into a fit...

Aint the Chinese going to be envious of what the US has plenty, women or something like that?

It never takes long for a US citizen to state red after telling blue.
Because they are all leaned toward propaganda and turning tables to their advantages.

So funny.

Quite a lot of fun in this US world order. If you taste duplicity, cheap propaganda, the "better them than me" attitude, "It was not me", "bullies are always victims" and the rest...

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:57 | 1687235 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Hey fucker, you aren't forced to overspend. I'm a gen-xer, and joined the Marines at 17 to pay for school, among other things. You can go to community colleges like me, or voc ed, but fuck stains want to go to an out-of-state school that parties and can fit 100k people in the stands for football.  And chase pussy.  I worked in a group home for adults and changed ADULT SHITTY DIAPERS.  For 6 bucks an hour.  Know what that's like?  Think of a bowling ball bag that weighs a lot and stinks to hell.  Peanuts, corn, the whole shebang....So what did you do? And then you fuckers want to overspend to "find yourselves: with religion studies, criminal justice or psych bullshit degrees instead of taking engineering or other hard science degrees.  And are genuinely surprised when you can't find a job post graduation.  But I don't blame you for this mess. You're a kid. It was your mom (of course, dad left after the divorce).  Blame him too.  When I was your age I couldn't get a credit card, let alone a car loan.  So the banks held out the money like a drug dealer on campus, and you took a hit.  And now you're an addict.  And BTW, your school got a kickback from the banks. How nice.  And all this on top of the ritalin and adderal you're taking to "help you study".  God help all you Millinials.  He's the only one who can save you fuckers..

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:07 | 1687271 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture

Okay asshole, I joined up too and I went to fucking war. I can promise you I've done shittier things than changing diapers. That's what I did. And yes my degree in Chemistry is such a fucking sentimental, pussy degree.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:35 | 1687393 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Me too. So quit your bitching. You've seen worse. Then again, the only happy Marine was a bitching Marine from what I saw.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:42 | 1687630 Boner Jamz 03
Boner Jamz 03's picture


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:18 | 1688118 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, when I stated that US citizens want wars and the opportunities going with them...

Another hard tackle on all those US citizens who claimed it was not true.

Here are two US fine specimens who fit perfectly the bill.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 09:58 | 1688496 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Above is probably a little too nuanced for you to comprehend.

- Ned

{I almost said "inside baseball" but I wished to be unambiguous.}

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:55 | 1687794 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

I'm 28. 10 years ago I saw through all the shit and said I wasn't going to college. Total derision from my parents and peers. Now I'm debt free, speak 4 languages, have $30.000 of silver and $15.000 gold ($5000 cash).

The guy above saying no one held a gun to your head is correct. I don't feel at all sorry for people who willingly took on insane amounts of debt.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 03:46 | 1687835 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Good attitude. Kudos.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:03 | 1686319 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

geez, i told you they were waking up

hopefully they pull together.......

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:05 | 1686325 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Kind of makes you wonder who figured this out a few years ago and made sure that student loans are almost impossible to wash in Bankruptcy, doesn't it?  Just your Blue Team and Red Team political leaders coming together and fucking us all, which is the only thing they do well. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:07 | 1686327 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Remember back when a dude living in his parents basement was abnormal and pathetic?  Those were the days.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:08 | 1686330 Medea
Medea's picture

I'm depressed for the night.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:09 | 1686331 legal eagle
legal eagle's picture

One way to get out of college loans, die.  Although bankruptcy doesnt end the liability death does - so do not consolidate into a debt to which your spouse is an obligor!

I will owe student loans until I am 62.  That sounds laughable doesnt it.  But, at 3.6% interest and the "not due on death clause" I have no incentive to give the money back.

Although I simpathize with the writer, having not enterred college until 29, and finishing BS, JD, and LLM by the time I was 36, I assure you the expense is worth it.  I took my pre-college salary and multiplied it by a factor of 18 (now, ten years out), not something easily achievable without the education.  Sure, if you want to drink and snooze your way through the education it will not pay off (which is what many of the students did, which made being top of the class pretty easy).

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:09 | 1686332 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

"This is very different than the early 1980s, he says. "What we're living through and dealing with now has been building for decades. If you look at the data, you see that the pace of expansion has been stair-stepping down ever since the 1970s, on all counts — on production, how much can we produce, how many jobs can we create, how much money do we make how much do we sell? These are all trending down."

Lakshman Achuthan, chief economist ECRI

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:14 | 1686349 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

This follows what I've been saying on ZH for a while: the US economy is now like a rubber ball thrown down a staircase: there are bounces but the trend has been straight down. De-industrialization started in the 1970s with Nixon's China agreement which started Chimerica. Since that time jobs and industries have disappeared over seas. The reaction? 1980s supply-side loose monetary policy aka money printing to basically fund imports from China on credit and live the yuppie life. 

You know where that's going. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:02 | 1686543 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, we've been kidding ourselves that we can perpetually grow- it's that "positive feedback only, please" mentality (people who question this are "doomers").

Oh, rubber ball works, but I like the analogy using the slinky (slinky down the staircase).

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:20 | 1688124 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Actually, the innuendo in the previous post is that without Chimerica, well, stuff will always be growing...

When actually, Chimera was a solution to increase the standard of life of US citizens...

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:20 | 1686336 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Spent some time recruiting college-educated kids for the military recently. Despite their being academicially talented, you cannot fathom the depth of their collective financial ignorance. It's as if they never heard of compound interest (on their student loans), nor did they realize that when they make "real" money from real jobs (not tips from waiting tables), they have to pay real taxes. And don't even look to their parents for guidance. They apparently didn't like using the word "no" when junior wanted to go to private school "X" or out-of-state-but-has-a-great-football-team school "Y".  Plus, all the "study abroad" (i.e. vacation to Europe) and going to Cancun for spring break (on credit cards, of course).  Some were even able to get new car and home loans back in the good ol' days of liars loans.  From what I saw, the only solution is a debt jubilee.  As long as I don't pay for it!!!  Otherwise, these kids will not be buying your old house, your old car, etc.  They are not only broke (like we were when we graduated), but in MASSIVE DEBT. And by the time they figure out what they did, it's way too late. Absolutely no getting out of those student loans. And BTW, those loans now last for DECADES, usually the size of a large car payment, or even a mortgage. Unbelieveable.....but true. Sad but true.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:28 | 1686395 BORT
BORT's picture

It is this Depressions CCC, but you have to borrow money to pay for it.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:10 | 1686568 Seer
Seer's picture

A debt jubilee isn't going to resolve anything.  It's a zero-sum game.  Debt wipe-out will come with job wipe-outs, which will mean LESS consumption, which will place further downward pressures on private business, resulting in, you guessed it, REDUCED employment.

ALL points to contraction in consumption, and this is out of everyone's control.

Oh, and nothing like compounding the problem (well, there's nothing that can be done anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter) by sucking educated folks out of the private sector and tossing them into the world's LEAST productive sector (the military).

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:16 | 1686354 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

Only 2 choices left then.

1. Move back in with parents.

2. Fight Club.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:22 | 1686374 CH1
CH1's picture

Please, God, let them choose Fight Club.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:22 | 1686376 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

that made me laugh!!!

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:28 | 1687028 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Well, we need more rebels, but I'm not sure the homoerotic undertones of Fight Club are what this country needs.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:18 | 1686358 Absalon
Absalon's picture

When my father was young he had to become self supporting at age 12.  My parents lived through the second world war as teenagers in occupied Europe.


When I was a kid, we were taught that the world could be blown up at any moment.  We practised hiding under our school desks.


When I was a teenager, boys a few years older than me were being drafted to fight and die in Vietnam.


When I was in University I was told that the baby boom generation was overwhelming the job market and there would not be enough jobs for all of us.


I had it easy compared to my parents.


Let me re-assure you that:

1)  You are a member of one of the most fortunate generations who ever lived, anywhere any time.

2)  If you get out in the job market and work, all will be well, particularly for those with professional degrees - we baby boomers are about to start dropping like flies.

3)  The biggest complaint that I hear from fellow boomers about the twenty somethings is that:  you refuse to grow up and you refuse to work hard. 

4)  Grow up and work hard and your income will rise and all will be well.

5)  Do not expect to be driving a fancy new car or living in a big house within three years of graduation.


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:22 | 1686373 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

You are clueless.

My generation is fucked. You started your adult life right at the start of the "easy money"Bretton Woods 2.


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:26 | 1686390 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

lazy mother fucker

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:55 | 1686698 Bwahaha WAGFDSMB
Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:19 | 1686601 Seer
Seer's picture

In the US the Greatest Generation was the greatest generation, THEY had it best.  My father has a retirement, I won't: but I don't kid myself that his generation was an anomaly.  The equation was really simple, and it centers around replacement populations.  The boomer generation was large enough to sustain the Greatest Generation.  The boomers, however, have no such future, as their predecessors conditioned them to believe that they have it all in front of them (read up on Edward Bernays), and the fact that this lifestyle severely cut into the ability to support "replacements."

Everyone's just been programmed to play the game.  It was a game destined to end badly, and now that realization is coming into focus: Population overshoot is never a happy thing.  Most bought it or were fine being gleefully ignorant.  Personal responsibility.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:19 | 1686361 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

I am 27 yo, in debt on bullion @ 7%. That is my only debt.

The house is paid for. The only way to get ahead is to live a radically different lifestyle.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:32 | 1686410 CH1
CH1's picture

Right, playing by the rules is for chumps.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:31 | 1686830 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

"You are clueless.

My generation is fucked. You started your adult life right at the start of the "easy money"Bretton Woods 2."

Immediately followed by:

"I am 27 yo, in debt on bullion @ 7%. That is my only debt.

The house is paid for. The only way to get ahead is to live a radically different lifestyle."

Well, you don't sound fucked, just feeling sorry for yourself.  At 32, I'm thinking I count as being a member of your generation, and I'm not fucked.  Neither are you.  Nor are many others I know.  

You can't hop on the internet and decry the waste and abuse of your parents, and then proceed to whine about how you have to live a radically different lifestyle- or, I guess you can, if you want to be a douchebag.  You own your house outright at 27, and hold PMs- quit yer bitchin'.

If this world is not to your liking, then change it.  It's our responsibility- not your mom and dads, and not your childrens'.  We have the world we have, not the one you might have wanted- I suspect every generation has felt that.

How fucked would you have been to have been born in 1920?  Before you answer- remember that those folks are now called the greatest generation.  For all you know, your early middle-age will be a memorable adventure, followed by a new deal and a retirement in an empire during a golden age.  So buck up, and make something happen.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:23 | 1686377 tuco13
tuco13's picture

Drinkers of their parent's Kool-Aid.  A generation raised to avoid competition and confrontation, wanting only praise not criticism. Everyone is equal in your world, equally fucked.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:23 | 1686380 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

this is whiny bitchez shit. there are billions worse off than you and more born every day. go get your nuts clipped if you're so concerned about the next generation.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:29 | 1686401 wretch
wretch's picture

Nuts are clipped.  Still afraid for the next generation.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:33 | 1686415 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

you should be, a die-off is coming.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:53 | 1686694 nasa
nasa's picture

Isn't 2012 the year of the Fukushima.  Never mind TEPCO said shit is all good now.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:24 | 1686382 brokesville
brokesville's picture

like i tell my kids and grandkids stop whining a do something about it

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:39 | 1686437 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

The first thing we will do is repudiate all that debt your generation ran up for your own selfish wants. Whining young uns will be the least of your worries old man, when they do something about it.

Old people will become hated and reviled for what your generation has left us. You will get no sympathy when social security and medicare are ended as the ponzis that they are.

I suspect you will be the one whining then, but hopefully you will be dead and gone so we dont have to hear it.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:52 | 1686463 buzzsaw99
Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:55 | 1686519 djsmps
djsmps's picture

Good luck with that. I don't see much chance of that happening. You are Generation Apathy.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:02 | 1686541 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I think he is a boomer (based on stuff he has said in the past) and does not even know it. Born before 1965???

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:10 | 1686976 toady
toady's picture

I'm right on the line, '64, and I've always wondered how they come up with what constitutes a generation. Why is the 'baby boom' generation like twenty years long, and the others are roughly ten? Who comes up with these ridiculous names? Where there even 'named' generations before the boomers? Sure, they call some older folks 'the greatest', but they only came up with that a few years ago.

I'm just tired of all this generation this, that generation that... It's a bunch of bull.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:31 | 1687036 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Nope, some narcissistic Boomer invented the fucking labels!  Now we are stuck with them.  It's all bullshit designed so someone asshole could sell a book.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:02 | 1687658 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Someone just draws lines on calendars. Boomers used to end in 1960 and now it seems 64. It's a reason to group people artificially and whine or lamely affix blame. See my earlier post. The problem is not generations but ideologies. Those ideas cross generations.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:27 | 1687697 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I was born around the same year, and I think a lot of the generations talk is a kind of social engineering, where a particular narrative is presented as the explanatory framework that defines the generations and their relation to one another, but what is actually happening is a much different affair. In a sense, it's a story that pits us against one another, taking attention away from another story, a class analysis that would observe that a very small number of families and their entourage are really the ones running the show and receiving most of the benefits, they are the ones directly responsible for creating these inequalities within our society, with the intent of keeping us at each others' throats instead of theirs. Meanwhile, they steal the nations' wealth and that of all its inhabitants, to the point of putting many in their prime into virtually indefinite financial bondage. 

We can't ignore the effects of large changes in demographics associated with especially large cohorts, like the baby-boomers. This is doubly true when the SS pension scheme is not really a pension at all, but merely the transfer of payments from taxpayer to SS recipient. As the ratio of number of payers to the number of payees goes down, either the benefits will need to decrease, or the taxes will need to rise. Given the size of the baby-boomer cohort and the extravagant promises made (by today's standards) for their long-lived future, it is difficult to view current economic arrangements as anything but a massive wealth transfer mechanism from the young to the old, and so there are legitimate reasons for younger folks to be angry. I was just talking to two guys in their mid 20's and between them they hold several hundred thousand dollars in non-dischargable debt, with some of the loans at better than 11%. This is beyond criminal, this is an evil that will be paid back with bad karma.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:09 | 1686564 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Are you an orphan?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 03:05 | 1687454 chindit13
chindit13's picture

And you're a psychiatrist?

Physician, heal thyself.

Everyone is, to some extent, a product of his times.  The Boomers in the US came into existence at a time when America had the only fully operating manufacturing base, as most of the rest of the world was still cleaning up from WWII.  Boomer parents were operating within a mental construct that included a bread line-style Depression and an horrific war.  Being parents, they wanted to provide a better life for their children.  That more than a few were spoiled is not something unexpected.  At the same time, post-Boomer generations have a bar set pretty high in terms of what contribution they might make to the body of human knowledge, discovery and technological innovation.  Facebook ain't going to be enough.

Also, way back when there wasn't quite as much price pressure.  The planet still had abundant resources, and at least half the world was more worried about daily caloric intake than all the consumer goods becoming available for sale.  Toss in today's 1.35 billion Chinese, 1.2 billion Indians, and another billion from what used to be referred to as Third World nations, and suddenly Americans are not the only shoppers in the mall.  All those hungry mouths and open wallets are not the fault of your American parents or grandparents.

By the way TCT, the voting age is 18 and has been since 1972.  You, as a practicing physician, have attended university (4 years), medical school (4 years), probably did an internship (2 years?) and residency (3 years?), then set up your practice---all of which happened after you reached voting age.  Correlating that with the US Federal Deficit does not seem to absolve you of the blame you wish to thrust on others.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:24 | 1686383 MethodMan
MethodMan's picture

You are spot on. The younger generation today felt the full force of a once-in-an-epoch financial bubble and the tide of money washing through the economy. After a bubble and bust of this magnitude, it will take a while for them to realize there are no prospects ahead, and that their future was essentially stolen from them. Between them and returning troops, the 2020's will probably make the 1960's look like a picnic... this time being worse because there are no prospects for more energy to raise our standards of living.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:25 | 1686738 jdelano
jdelano's picture

-now generational warfare's in vogue? Damn. I was just getting warmed up to class warfare. Well, roll with it I guess: As a 31 year old--which I suppose makes me gen x?-- it's always been mystifying to me that boomer's are so quick to call us weak-willed and conciliatory. To me that's just spin--a way for affluent old Caucasians to justify being unapologetically rascist/isolationist in their social view and ruthlessly acquisitive/unscrupulous in their business dealings. Boomers have no moral compunction about screwing over their own brothers and neighbors for a few extra dollars--they even congratulate themselves for it, thinking they're iron-willed stoic cowboys--"hard men doing what they must to thrive in a hard world". B.S. Fighting for yourself is instinctual and therefore facile--it takes real strength and courage to resist those animal impulses and fight your own selfishness for the sake of others. Boomers persist in the bankers delusion of strength: "if you want to make an omlette youve got to break a few eggs--nice guys don't get deals done". What boomers can't understand is this: it's not that people of my generation aren't capable of breaking eggs to earn a 50 million dollar bonus--it's that we DON'T WANT to earn a 50 million dollar bonus by screwing our friends, relatives, and neighbors over, leaving them destitute while we sip champagne and eat oysters. We'd prefer to be rewarded fairly for creativity and hard work rather than our ability to unflinchingly rip someone off. no doubt I'm biased but I believe that my generation is actually far stronger than the boomer generation, strong enough to abandon the neurotic obsession with amassing fortunes in order to promote collective harmony and hold ourselves
accountable to a code of ethics more befitting a rapidly advancing society. Rampant generalizing, I'm aware, but I'm tired of being told im part of a generation thats afraid to get its hands dirty and doesnt have any backbone-that's a myth perpetuated by a generation of greedy, soulless,
insecure, narcissistic assholes. Give me a shovel and I'll out-dig any boomer. So will most of my peers. More than half of my friends in this city work 60 hour weeks for peanuts.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:35 | 1687052 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Very well said.  The problem is not that some people were so successful, it's that they went absolutely so far beyond anything rational or sane in their all-out effort to fuck everyone else that there remains no place for anyone else to go.  The completely pulled up all the ladders behind them.  There has been no "fast track" for me because I wasn't connected enough to get on the short list.  Every move I made, no matter how well planned or researched has been a constant dead-end.  It drives a man mad after awhile, but hey, fuck 'em.  I've had plenty of "backbone" and "paid a lot of dues."  Not one single promotion my entire career--not one.  No place to be promoted to, you see.  And the only the way I ever got a raise was to quit and move on.  This is the legacy of the Boomers.  Fuck every last one of them.  And my parents aren't Boomers, but to hell with them, too.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:26 | 1686387 bam_son
bam_son's picture

75k a yr is 6250/mo. Sorry but you aren't being taxed at 36% (leaving you with 4k) when making 75k.  In REALITY you will have about 5k/mo AFTER taxes. Still not a ton but I would like to know where this 36% is coming from. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:20 | 1686603 downtownshuter
downtownshuter's picture

By my math, 16.8% effective federal, 3.25% NYC, 6.3% state of NY, 7.65% payroll. That's 34%. Plus some cost for medical/optical/dental and maybe disability insurance. $4000/mo is just about right. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:23 | 1686609 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Then he should get a rebate on his education, paying taxes like that AND whining? - Ned

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 11:18 | 1688858 bam_son
bam_son's picture

Jesus living in NY is crazy expensive.  My 60k leaves me with 4.1k after all taxes (before 401k) but I also don't have to pay any money for health care... company provided.  

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:14 | 1686755 jdelano
jdelano's picture

What?!! I make exactly 100k. After taxes, health care plan, a 5% 401k contribution, social security,, yada, my check is $4600 a month...

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:41 | 1686879 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

This one's gonna make your head spin, and might even make you puke a little.

I average $41-45k.  My check after all the same shit is about $3200 a month- and I don't have student loans, and I live in an area where an average mortgage (pre-subprime bust) is about $50k.  Odds are, I have more disposable income when all is said and done.

Like I said in another topic, TPTB are cost-averaging us all to keep the majority of people at a single, consistant standard of living.  It's in their best interest.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:52 | 1686919 jdelano
jdelano's picture

Jesus. Should never have retired the bong. I could be on a couch right now collecting my 99 weeks.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:34 | 1687047 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

The bad economy is going to force my bong out of retirement! Maybe, just in time for my last 18 weeks! 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:27 | 1686391 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

The thing is, Chris and the rest of Generation Neutral, the way things are now is the way things are going to be for decades - high unemployment, high debt burdens, less and less opportunity for your generation and the one that comes after it. Sorry to be a downer, but the last 20 years was the abberration, not the norm, and your generation is going to pay for the Boomer's excesses. The debt-fueled, ponzi economy of 1 true technological innovation, the Internet, and a butt-load of debt is imploding.

Oh, and you had better shake off the political apathy, because the Boomers aren't giving up any of their "rights" as far as SS, medicare, and so on are concerned. If you don't out-vote them, you will be their tax-donkey servants forever.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:53 | 1687928 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

I don't think so. If there's no wages, no revenue, no income - where are the taxes going to come from?? They can only print money for so long my friend.

Also bear in mind most service based revenue in the economy essentially comes from the boomers savings: paying fir their kids tuition or ipads, servicing their BMWs, re-financing their homes etc etc

again thats no a bottomless well

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:29 | 1686398 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Intergenerational debt should be repudiated.

How selfish for one generation to run up bills that it wont pay

"Hey. I got an idea! Lets run up a credit card, make minimum payments, then make our kids continue paying"

When these kids wake up politically you boomers will reap the whirlwind.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:30 | 1686629 Seer
Seer's picture

"When these kids wake up politically you boomers will reap the whirlwind."

Great, lets ALL learn to use broad brushes!

Who the fuck is going to feed you?

Sorry, but I didn't rack up debts, didn't spend all my time traveling around as a tourist, buy any new cars (or any "toys").  No, I lived modestly (even riding a bicycle to work for MANY years) so that I could buy property in order to FARM: I'm doing it from scratch- back-breaking work clearing etc..   You bring a shitty attitude such as this to my farm and I'll pop a cap in your ass.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:47 | 1686901 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

That's bullshit, and you know it.

We're all victims of an unimaginable crime, and I'll be damned if I'm going to starve people in the old folk's home because they followed the rules and norms of the society they were raised, educated and lived in.  Keep your whirlwind away from my town, or you're going to be running off with an ass full of buckshot.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:54 | 1687931 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

Well if it comes to a fight over who gets to eat and who doesn't, my money's on the younger and fitter people

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:15 | 1686986 milbank
milbank's picture

You've stopped being laughable and are now just plain boring.

Why don't you run along and find a mirror to throw a rock at.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:29 | 1686400 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

Dear Chris Moorman,

Read the '4th Turning' by Strauss & Howe. Then make a plan. Those of your generation that are prepared (mostly mentally) will spend the last 1/3 of their lives in comfort. Those that are not prepared will spend their entire lives wondering why everything sucks.

You are welcome,


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:26 | 1686813 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

+1 for saying "make a plan".  It is always better with a plan--it gets you in the habit of trying to anticipate future happenings in sequence.  Even when the sequence deviates from the plan, you are better prepared to ride out the situation.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:25 | 1687014 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

Good post. I am of Chris' generation, early 30's. Some advice I would offer those of a similar age:

- Cut the shit. You DON'T need the crap "they" have conditioned you to "think" that you need. Cut back, spend your money on food and accomodation, save the rest. Ditch the I-Phone, cut your fixed expenses to a bare minimum.

- Keep life as simple and basic as possible. Eat healthy, raw, whatever. Keep it simple.

- Be flexible. Do what you have to do. Oh, your degree doesn't qualify you to shovel dirt? Bad fuckin luck, if you need to shovel dirt to get ahead, shovel dirt.

- Broaden your horizons. The USA is not the be-all and end-all of countries. Get the fuck out of here if need be. There are ways. I would highly recommend that part of your long-term strategy is to gain foreign residency/citizenship. DIversification 101.

- You don't have to go it alone. Team up with your bros or hos, share the workload and research around. Make things happen, don't wait for it.

- Fuck your parents' debt. I don't care how much they've clocked up, I simply ain't paying it. See point above on Diversification.

- Build relationships, everywhere. Our parents could not build relationships via Facebook etc. in Thailand or China or anywhere. We can, do it.

- Save a stash of cash. Handy to have, even if not needed. Give yourself a good night's sleep.


Hope this helps.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:16 | 1687749 Strike Back
Strike Back's picture

Hell. Yes. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:30 | 1686404 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"I’ve yet to figure out what will break our apathy, as our misspent optimism still keeps us believing, however fleetingly, that this too shall pass."

Hang in there kid.

The only advice I can offer, change the things within your power to change but never...ever...let the bastards beat you down.

They can only win if you quit fighting.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:17 | 1686590 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

I really can't get my mind around the "our apathy" view.  Never could.  Late '60s/early '70s stoners and acid droppers, now THERE is apathy.

- Ned

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:32 | 1686631 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Late '60s/early '70s stoners and acid droppers, now THERE is apathy."

I'd say don't knock it till ya try you now, I wouldn't put anything in my body like I did back then.

Different time, different "space"...ethics & morals were very different then, compared to now. Nobody would purposely injure for a buck. Back then the money was a side job not the prime driver. It changed when coke got popular...fucking

But, theres always Peyote ;-)

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:27 | 1687022 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

Love your comments, we are a generation apart but I feel a massive affinity with you Nmewn.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:34 | 1687048 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I'll take the cynically cool kids over the zombie yes men matter the generation ;-)

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:38 | 1686649 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Remember when someone calling you a victim was fighting words?

Now it's an industry.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:32 | 1686409 Aductor
Aductor's picture

Here comes S&P downgrading Italy. Watch Eur/USD and SPY.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:33 | 1686416 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

sucks to be on the bottom of a pyramid scam

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:35 | 1686419 johnnyblade
johnnyblade's picture



Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:36 | 1686421 CH1
CH1's picture

A message for your friends:

Stop playing the game - you're gonna get chopped up.

Or else, be a neuter and just keep complaining for the rest of your life.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:37 | 1686426 DeltaDawn
DeltaDawn's picture

Guess you didn't buy "The Secret".

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:52 | 1686692 buck4free
buck4free's picture

LMFAO -- Thanks for the laugh.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:30 | 1687034 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

Comment of the month! An ounce of gold for you sir.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:40 | 1686445 fyrebird
fyrebird's picture

We are in a holding pattern while shit gets sorted out. That makes it hard to feel optimistic. 

However that period is about over. The good news then is, we all will shortly have a lot of work to do, important work that will be meaningful for 100 years or longer. The bad news is, that work will consist of rebuilding America from scratch.

It's all gonna burn, men. Know where your hammer is. Rediscover labor. Get your game on.

-- fyre

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:41 | 1686452 hawks5999
hawks5999's picture

I've read this before but it started with "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:42 | 1686457 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

4 years is how long it took me to pay off my student lons...sometimes two jobs at once....ya know, weekends, nights, etc....not a pretty sight.

I would NEVER borrow again for school. Pay (and work) as you go is the best way even if you have to take off a semester and skip Starbucks $5.00 coffee.

Better to be frugal when you'r eyoung then when you are forced to eat beans and rice when you get dad always says.



Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:32 | 1686833 CH1
CH1's picture

Nice job... to both you and your dad. :)

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:23 | 1687908 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

you need to balance or else you will be bitter with regrets when you get old if you are too frugal.

you don't want your life to be a long boring book, but not fun book with half of its ending missing either. be a good book whatever you define it to be.

you can always rob in front of goldman sachs for extra cash.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:44 | 1686469 Timmay
Timmay's picture

If it is a non recourse loan, then simply default on it. Save your money and pay for everything in cash. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:44 | 1686472 OldSouth
OldSouth's picture

I'll say the exact words here that I've said to my own children in the same situation. 

Stop whining and fight back. Either vote realistically, publically protest or at very least do some research and boycott corporate sources of your generation's problems. If you can't figure out who's contributing the funds backing the system raping your future then college was a waste of all that money you now owe, wasn't it?  

If you honestly thought Obama was anything other than a Statist it's probably too late. One of my very own is little more than sous-vide Obama frog boil at this point. Sad sad sad. But nature insists only the strong survive. 

Oh, I've already heard the answers to the above.

1. People could get hurt.

2. Voting is useless.

3. The current government will fix it all, they just need more time. 

And no, you're going on 30 and you can't have any more of my retirement account to buy a new fixie.


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:46 | 1686480 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Chris: I think it's helpful that you and others in your generation are starting to get it. You'll develop skills and habits that will help you for the rest of your life. My grand parents lived through the Great Depression. They were frugal and wise with their money through to the end. And their kids learned that too. Keep your eyes open and don't believe whatever you hear. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:46 | 1686482 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

seeing all these young pussies on here makes me glad i didn't have kids.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 18:55 | 1686518 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

The real pussies are the Boomers. Suggest that maybe, just maybe, they could take a little less of their Ponzi payout for the good of the system and they cry like motherfucking babies.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:09 | 1686566 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

So many bitchez on here boo hoo. i'm guessing your folks lost all their money so no inheritance either. LMAO!

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 19:16 | 1686585 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

I'm not bitching so much as saying... I'm not paying taxes to your fucking Ponzi, Boomers! Go find another sucker to kiss your perfectly fit ass at 65. You want to act and look young? Then get a job! Fucking leeches!

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