Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Alexandra Petri's Millennial Problem

Alexandra Petri is an able WaPo columnist and blogger who has produced some quality articles, but doesn’t gain many kudos or creds after recently tagging “Boomers” for her Millennial issues (‘Millennial Doesn’t Mean Miserable’ in Denver Post, July 22, p. 5D) She whines (perhaps in jest, but as we know, many a true sentiment has been expressed in jest):

“The Boomers keep leaving me with large bills –the kind that I am expected to pay after they die after receiving decades of the Most Expensive Care Available, because the Boomers have been coddled and told over and over they are the All-Singing, All-Dancing, Most World Defining Generation ever…”

Well, not quite, Alexandra!  At least try, if you make an earnest attempt at being facetious (when you lampoon my generation), to get basic facts straight. First, we Boomers are not leaving you with any large bills you will “be expected to pay” and certainly not from a necessary medical insurance program that is no freebie (it costs us thousands a year in premiums and supplemental expenses, doesn't cover dental, or eyesight). It’s actually been your half-assed, brain dead government that has amassed over $3.2 TRILLION in TAX CUTS the past eleven years that haven’t been paid for – and hence will have to be by future generations like the Millennials or their progeny.

And compounding that: initiated two prolonged and costly occupations (in Iraq and Afghanistan) at the same time as the tax cuts were in place, thereby bleeding down the national coffers another $2.8 TRILLION at a time of null revenue increases.

Oh, and one more item, babe: passing (under the gubmint of Bush II aka, Dumbya) the “Medicare Modernization Act” (that which created the donut hole) in 2003, which we never asked for - certainly in the way it was germinated, at the behest of PhRMa lobbyists like Billy Tauzin. And which added another trillion in debt with benefits mainly accruing to medical insurance corporations, including BIG PhRMA. Can you say or write: "Corporate Welfare"?

No wonder that my great niece Shayle (a savvy Milliennial) bemoans that so many of her generation are “dumb”, “politically inept”, "disconnnected" and “economically uninformed”. Do you hear or see Shayle whining and blaming other generations like Petri does? Fuck NO! Because she knows ultimately that what debts have been incurred were not the part of those past generations but of a blinkered, misguided government that hasn’t understood that unpaid for tax cuts and “wars” do not redound to the benefit of future generations!

Petri does manage to get one thing right, and that is the inconsistent level of participation of most USA Millennials in the election cycle – which also accounts for why other generations’ interests are more attended to – because they VOTE! She blabs with more truth than she reckons:

“We may be footing the cost for the generations who remain more politically active than we are, but on the bright side, keeping politically active required then to pay attention when Newt Gingrich said something.”

Yes, well….maybe because we recognized if that pig was ever elected his mammoth tax cuts and attendant cuts in domestic programs would put all of us in the poor house! Taking Petri’s logic to another level, The Third Reich may never have emerged had more people – when needed – paid more attention to the words of a howling madman named Adolf Hitler, as opposed to writing him off as a bore and refusing to vote.

In Petri’s Millennials’ case, their absence in the 2010 congressional elections allowed the Tea Party fruitcakes to gain a foothold in congress and Repugs to gain a gubernatorial stranglehold in 16 states. These states, including Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, have now passed stringent Voter ID laws which may see the voting rights of many Milliennials denied, as well as those of oldsters and African-Americans. I do hope Petri’s ilk are proud of their righteous disdain and the likely cost it will have on all Americans, especially Millennials.

The funniest trope is the one Petri saves for last:

“We have things under control. We are, as Nielson repeatedly reminds us, the only demographic that matters.”

Yes, indeed you are. So enjoy that TV and the ads directed at you and inflating a kind of virtual Nielsen import, while the Reep Tea Baggers employ austerity measures (and high student loan interest) to keep you from actually realizing the “American Dream” as opposed to watching it on the tube.

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