The cover story in the 23 July 2012 Newsweek was bannered “18-35? You Are Generation Screwed!” and, online at The Daily Beast, on July 16th, it was headlined “Are Millennials the Screwed Generation?”
This featured news report, by Joel Kotkin, opened by clearly stating its central theme: “Today’s youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents,” specifically by their parents’ supposed “fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement.” That’s what had caused the 2008 crash, and the exploding federal debt from Bush’s wars and his tax cuts and his-and-Obama’s bailout of Wall Street.
Really? Was this true?
In other words, Kotkin was saying (subtly, and without naming any names, but just the same regardless): Occupy Wall Street and other progressive groups had grossly misunderstood these things – it wasn’t Wall Street and conservatives’ federal deregulatory policies that had caused the 2008 crash, it wasn’t caused by coddling and bailing-out banksters to the tune of trillions of taxpayer dollars, and it also wasn’t caused by the Bush tax cuts, which had placed our government even more deeply into debt after Ronald Reagan had previously ballooned the debt during the 1980s. Conservative Republican deregulatory policies since 1980 weren’t at all to blame for that uncontrolled Wall Street corruption, and for the resulting crash, and for the explosion of federal debt from bailing out all these things, which today’s young will have to bear and pay for as America’s future taxpayers.
The cause was instead “their parents’ fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement.” Mom and dad had done it.
So, what must be the conclusion from this? Kotkin didn’t say, but the conclusion was obvious from his analysis of the cause and of the blame: slash the parents’ Social Security and Medicare! Perhaps “their parents” had done it while they were unemployed and looking for work after their previous jobs had been “downsized” or sent to Mexico; but, since they’re the ones who did it: Let the oldsters pay. Let the parents pay, for what the banksters actually did! This is now the conservatives’ battle-cry.
Of course, that battle-cry is all a big lie; in reality, those “parents” were instead themselves victims of conservatives, and of conservatives’ policies, and of the resultant bum mortgages and the resultant fraudulent mortgage-backed securities, which almost tanked the entire world’s economy. These parents weren’t necessarily “profligate” at all. These parents hadn’t necessarily been guilty of any “economic mismanagement” at all. They hadn’t been the people who had committed the frauds that brought everything down except the banksters’ bonuses and executive pay.
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