Presidential candidates down in the States need to be asking more of baby boomers, instead of pandering to them.
We summarize the argument this way:
This has upset a lot of baby boomers.
If anyone deserves to pay more to shore up the federal safety net, either through higher taxes or lower benefits, it’s boomers — the generation that was born into some of the strongest job growth in the history of America, gobbled up the best parts, and left its children and grandchildren with some bones to pick through and a big bill to pay.
In the interest of equal time, here is a representative -- but by no means exhaustive -- sample of the complaints, counter-arguments and curse words boomer readers have emailed me in response.
- "I will be the first to admit the selfishness and self-centered attitudes of my generation. But we passed those traits on to the X'ers and the Millenials in spades...your generation and what followed took greed and the desire for material things off the charts. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, in a middle class environment, we had 1 family car for 8 people. One tv, one family stereo, one vacation a year. No computers, cell phones, suv's, microwaves, big screen tvs, video games, dvd players, netflix, and the list goes on and on. I could still live without the latter list, but I wonder if your generation could...when economies go bad, you can't cope as well because you refuse any sacrifice of consumer products. Then comes your bitching and blame games."
- "I enjoy most of your articles but find this to be an offensive piece of garbage. One cannot make such broad generalizations or place blanket blame like you have. For example, the dangers of fossil fuels have been known about for a long time, but no one did anything."
- "The decisions on which resources to use and how to use them made when the Baby Boomers were young actually were made by much older people. In the 1970s, for example, the government encouraged more use of coal for energy in order to deal with the shortage of oil and gas during the two OPEC embargoes. Those decisions were not exactly great in terms of global warming, but then that was not a burning issue at the time, and, more pertinently, the folks who made those decisions were born long before the Boomers, who were not yet in positions of power. The logic of punishing them in old age for decisions made by their elders reads suspiciously like the sins of the fathers being passed on to the sons, though I assume you would not much like the Boomers' own sins passed on to you."
- "Are you effing kidding me? I'm a boomer and I am none
of the adjectives this jerk has used to describe us!... Oh! And, Yes! I
have really sucked the life out of my planet! I practically invented
recycling while living in Oregon and joined my first cooperative there.
We drove a diesel vehicle, in the mistaken belief it was less harmful to
the environment... Now, in spite of my best efforts and the best
efforts of other boomers like me, you have portrayed Boomers as the scum
of the poisoned earth!?! And we should be made to pay!
"Some of our parents on the other hand, having survived a great depression and a second war, were inclined to excesses due to the sheer abundance of the fifties and sixties when gasoline was 9 cents to 30 cents per gallon! They drove everywhere! No matter how close it was. And thought nothing of driving 50 miles for a "bargain" or a movie they wanted to see! Or lunch!
"So, go [CURSE WORD] yourself you ignorant git!"
David Whitlock, a chemical engineer in Boston, has not showered for 12 years. Whitlock isn't running an experiment in extreme water conservation. Rather, he believes that humans don't need to shower to be , and that a daily soap scrub may actually remove a beneficial type of bacteria that keeps the bacteria that contribute to B.O. in check.
AoBiome under the brand Mother Dirt. The company hopes this bacterial spritz could reduce the need for products such as soaps and deodorants and potentially even reduce or eliminate the need for showering for those so inclined.
It's true that humans don't need to shower to be healthy, one expert says. However, there's also no evidence that any particular type of bacteria is beneficial to the skin microbiome, he added. (Although people at the Perspective Research Department are willing to give Davy the benefit of the doubt, we still recommend you don't stand downwind from him. -Ed.)