Submitted by Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management. As excerpted from his Weekend Notes letter to investors.
"We have heard you. The nation has heard you,” announced old Eddie Stack. “We’ve just decided that based on what’s happened with these guns, we don’t want to be a part of this story,” continued Dick’s CEO, banning assault rifle sales, refusing anyone under 21. Hours later Walmart climbed aboard.
A nationwide student walkout is planned for March 14th. America’s children are protesting parental neglect – a world of cowardly politicians and special interests unwilling to deliver even the most basic protections for their welfare. The protest will last 17 minutes, one for each Parkland school victim. America has 77mm students from kindergarten through college (16mm high-schoolers). They’re connected, networked, more politically aware than at any time in history, and learning to mobilize.
Baby Boomers mobilized too, in opposition to Vietnam. And intoxicated by the power of protest, they turned to the cause they most desperately love – themselves. The Most Selfish Generation has shown utter disregard for its progeny. The federal government invests $1 in our children for every $4 spent on the elderly (50yrs ago The Greatest Generation spent $1-for-$1). Back then America led global educational rankings, but no longer.
Someone had to pay for Medicare. So Boomers clipped those without a voice, their children, grandchildren, our future. They granted themselves unaffordable entitlements, now our kids face an outrageous $49trln in underfunded liabilities and $20trln in government debt (100% of GDP).
Boomers borrowed $2.4trln to send their kids to Afghanistan and Iraq. They buried the rest under $1.2trln in college loans, then made it the one form of debt inextinguishable by bankruptcy.
With their net worth at all-time highs, Boomers borrowed another $1.5trln, gave themselves a tax cut.
Just wait until our kids finally force us to confront mass school shootings, and get a taste for their power. Then turn their attention onto our economic neglect.
* * *
“Wanna hear a joke?” asked Charlie, my 3rd grader. I nodded. “Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump all get into a boat.” I smiled. “They row into the middle of the ocean.” Okay. “And it sinks.” Whoa, sounds awful. “So who survives?” asked my 8-year old. I shrugged, certain I hadn’t told a political joke until my mid-twenties. “America!” he howled, doing a little dance, shaking his booty. “Where’d you hear that one little man?” I asked, laughing, marveling at our ever-advancing children. “School.”