In the words of Gordon Gekko, my generation is “fuc***!”
A New York Times op-ed from Todd and Victoria Buchholz on March 10, reads “The Go-Nowhere Generation.” Ignoring the multiple grammatical mistakes in the opinion piece, I’m going to focus on the substance, something that’s rare from my generation according to the Buchholz’s.
Their op-ed read as satire to me because nobody who’s been paying attention to this recession, which has been going on since 2007 (that’s FIVE years and there are still no signs of a recovery), can take this to be serious—not in the least bit. It’s basically a hit piece dissing my generation calling us “risk-averse,” “sedentary,” “dangerous drivers,” Facebook slackers, “Generation Why Bother,” and apathetic.
So let me start off by asking the Buchholz’s “Who started Facebook?” You know, that social media platform that allowed users from all over the world to connect, share their stories and exchange media helping to enable the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring which brought down world dictators? Yup, that was my generation.
Sure Facebook is a time waster, an easy way to stalk glamour photos of every single girl on the platform and a place where people post useless information about their lackluster lives, but what new piece of technology hasn’t had its drawbacks? When the telephone emerged it was specifically for business calls. Businessmen complained about their wives using the phones when they left for work saying that it would pervert the business profession. Yea, the men said that until they found out they could make bank by creating these little things called cell phones, which would eventually lead to a little company called Apple and their iPhone. But hey, nobody’s keeping score…
You point at us and call us lazy and tell us to “go get a job” (a slap in the face) when we take to the streets and try to change the world for the better in the only way we know how. Then if we don’t stand up for what we believe in you call us lazy and sedentary? I know this America has turned into a place where you can have your cake and eat it too, but that’s not how the universe works. The universe rarely protects the ignorant.
And who created this problem in America that those of us sitting behind computers with safe and cushy jobs are now seeming to ignore? I know this recession took years to create (it didn’t happen overnight), but leave it up to the Buchholz’s to blame the unborn for the ignorance of their generation who elected Reagan, Clinton, HW and GW (great records those guys have). These presidents helped to ship jobs overseas, create an unsuccessful and racist War on Drugs, arm Nicaraguan Contras, deregulate Wall Street, repeal Glass-Steagle, tank an economy with undeserved tax cuts for the one percent and create a War in Iraq based on lies that had nothing to do with 9/11. They also created reality TV because they weren’t creative enough to keep shows on the air like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Family Matter” which discussed real issues, focused on family values and didn’t have a bunch of drunk, methed up, scantily-clad men and women running around in a contest to see who can survive the longest on an island you chose to be on. Meanwhile in Africa and China…
Who was the generation that decided to become involved in endless wars, create an entitlement society that will struggle to reimburse its biggest contributors (i.e., the Baby Boomers)? Without a shadow of a doubt, these factors have inevitably led to our national debt exploding to nearly $13 trillion.
Who was the generation that decided to have kids, hold 16 or more credit cards and teach us that greed is good? Nearly half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes (an all-time high), multinational corporations like General Electric built their businesses on American soil but pay zero taxes year after year and our national debt has exploded 1700% since 1971. So we have no way to bring in revenue and the people who became successful in America are now complaining about high taxes while shipping jobs overseas and raising the barriers to entry for my generation as if to say “I did it by myself (which they didn’t) so why can’t you?” Can you get anymore smug?
The Buchholz’s say that job rates are at 8.3% (not including the amount of people who have stopped looking for work) as if that’s going to make things fine. On a much more depressing note, job rates might only be going down due to the fact that the employment-population ratio stayed the same since 2010 meaning that we aren’t reproducing as much. Unemployment numbers may be decreasing because of the simple fact that our population is dwindling.
Also, marriages are at an all-time low. And who is the generation that won’t let homosexuals marry, yet complain about “family values” and the lack of parenting? Oh yea, that’s the Buccholz’s generation. One of the best ways to increase revenue and create a stable economy is through strong families and home ownership, but that’s unrealistic now.
How can anyone get a job when 23% of companies are hiring, companies are receiving tens of millions of dollars in bonuses while thousands of hard workers are laid off while those who tanked the economic system are receiving rewards in the form of bailout money and bonuses, the Fed keeps interest rates low, mortgage fraud continues to run rampant and student loan debt is expected to reach $1 trillion some time this year.
So don’t look at us when the society that you created for us didn’t pan out because you were too pumped up on your Vicodin, Oxycontin, Viagra and alcohol to even realize that it was you that should have started a revolution years ago, for the sake of your children and our children. You slept for so long under the guise of a Utopia that you thought these crooked politicians would just hand you. You slept, the politicians and corporations fed on your decaying minds and now the situation is so bleak that you’re experiencing cognitive dissonance. And instead of letting go of your ego, you hold onto it longer and blame it on the unborn. Now it’s up to my generation to figuratively clean up the mess of Buccholz’s generation. Does the BP oil spill ring a bell anyone?
You’ve lost your connection with the earth and your spirituality and you’ve taught us the same thing (though many of us have rebelled in the form of Anonymous, the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring). And because we didn’t fall in line, you pointed the finger—the same finger the media loves to use against any celebrity figure who makes the slightest mistake in their life.
I know history to the Buchholz’s may be a debatable thing, but the ancients knew a lot more than we did. And they never had Siri to rely on. They said,
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.