Sunday, April 11, 2010

Short Memories

This post actually made it onto a "best blogs compendium." It is a rant against the "lamest generation" -- the baby boomers -- for living an easy life, dismantling the legal framework that made the easy life possible, and then complaining about lazy young people who won't find jobs.
Because you were born after the “New Deal” had become a done deal, you enjoyed incredible opportunities. Thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act, you didn’t have to work yourselves into the ground for a subpar wage. You could actually live on what you made. . . .

Imagine never having had to worry about where the money for the bills was going to come from! Imagine never having had to worry about getting laid off! Imagine knowing that your company pension was going to give you a nice cushion to retire on, on top of your Social Security! Yes, that’s what you had. For minimal effort on your part, a hell of a lot of you enjoyed cradle-to-grave security.
Has everyone forgotten the 70s, the Oil Crisis, the Rust Belt, the collapse of the steel industry, and every other bad thing that people lived through between 1960 and 1982?

I suppose people have. The level of ignorance shown by a blogger who thinks nobody was laid off in the 70s is astonishing, but hardly unprecedented. When I was in college, in 1981, some of my classmates refused to believe that anyone before had faced the grim prospects they faced. It would have been laughable if they had not been so earnestly afraid.

Recessions come and go. Things change. They are never perfect, but they rarely descend to the hellish. Memo to "Joly Roger": learn some history, grow up, and quit complaining.

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