Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Baby Boom Generation......"The Me Generation"

One of my favorite columnist is Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.Today he has a column about we baby boomer that should be read. Among other things he writes this about the "housing bust:"

For the past five years, we fretted over a "housing boom" that had priced an entire generation out of the market. In response, government and lending agencies got "creative" by relaxing standards to allow shaky "first-time" buyers into the red-hot market of high-priced homes. Home-improvement TV shows proliferated on how to "flip" houses and buy "no-down-payment" properties.

When the bubble inevitably burst, cries of outrage followed about how "they" (never "we") caused a "depression" in housing. Our leaders shrieked about greedy lenders and incompetent regulators who foreclosed on us -- never that the American people themselves caused much of the speculation problem, or that housing prices are finally becoming affordable again for new couples

He ends his column by writing:

Sociologists have correctly diagnosed the perfect storm that created the "me" generation -- sudden postwar affluence, sacrificing parents who did not wish us to suffer as they had in the Great Depression and World War II, and the rise of therapeutic education that encouraged self-indulgence.

Perhaps the greatest trademark of the 1960s cohort was self-congratulation. Baby boomers alone claimed to have brought about changes in civil rights, women's liberation and environmental awareness -- as if these were not prior concerns of earlier generations.

We apparently created all of our wealth rather than having inherited our roads, schools and bountiful infrastructure from someone else. And in our self-absorption, no one accepted that our notorious appetites created more problems than our supposed "caring" solved.

Our present problems were not really caused by an unpopular president, a spendthrift Congress, the neocon bogeymen, the greedy Saudis, shifty bankers or corporate oilmen in black hats and handlebar moustaches -- much less the anonymous "they."

The fault of this age, dear baby boomers, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

(To read the entire column click on the title for a link)

BTY the cost of a first class stamp when many early baby boomers were born was 3 cents! (see picture above which is a current stamp)