Thanks for the good writing. Joseph Campbell explained that civilizations are lost when the governing class demands the sanctification of their authority while taking no responsibility for poor governance. Too many American leaders born before 1960 must have been abused. Maybe the great depression and WWII harded their hearts creating what I call the “do as I say not as I do generation.” They call themselves excellent. The great generation did a job on their children whom are known by some as the ME generation (b1946–64). The average American born before 1960 is a delight. The leaders of these generations however appear to have forgotten that being an American is more than advantaging you neighbor financially. Those born before 1960 experienced the Eisenhower economy (1952-1980) with jobs for anyone willing to participate in the virtue of work. These folk experienced an economic policy that honored work for Americans and allowed citizens with or without college to support a family with kids, own a home, car and enjoy a vacation. With the memory of mass unemployment in the dirty 1930s, economists encouraged large public projects like the US highway system to improve commerce and create jobs in support of the virtue of work. The Eisenhower economy mobilized public and private organizations to strengthen each other and America.
After WWII the great generation insisted on sharing the joy of war with their children with the Vietnam draft traumatizing baby boomers. In addition the horrific assassinations of JFK, MLK and Bobby left the boomers cynical and interested in self preservation alone. Maybe we can not blame them too much. Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand delivered our modern American culture that has embraced the value of money, in and of itself over the virtue of work and community. Wealth is primarily based on inheritance and compounding unearned income from land and interest (something St Thomas warned Christians about as did other scholastic analysts for centuries attributing interest earning as contrary to communiative justice.) In other words some live well doing little work and many do poorly while working.
As a lower middle class gen Xer I left college with debt and could find no steady work until I grudging became a business owner. After 15 years of hard labor the banks destroyed third generation small businesses and most of my client list in 2008. Now I have a bankruptcy on my record and employers, law enforcement and bankers judge me as not useful to society through no fault of my own.
I have been contracted, temp employee, fired, out sourced, reversed mergered and lectured to by poorly educated Christians, Hebrews and atheist who took delight in my suffering.
This is why I really enjoyed the following piece of your writing.
“You’ve wasted so much breath on telling us what turds we are because you want us to improve and not just because you’re horrid?”
Many leaders born before 1960 are horrid.
There is reason for hope. America is a resilient country. We generally do what is right after trying everything else.
As a genXer my generation delivered the highest labor productivity rate in the history of America and has lived a lower standard of living and are now dieing younger than those who enjoyed the Eisenhower’s economy.
The good news is your generation has 80 million. GenX was only 30 million so our predecessors told us we were angsty, to shut up a lot and be happy we had a job. They were a real treat to work for.
With college debt most of us genXers kept our heads down hoping we might someday break through. The rise of the MBA marks a retrograde shift back to 19th century economic thinking. The ever expanding business schools on college campuses since 1980 ushered in the genius of devaluing work. Neighbors became cost centers to be whittled down. Layoffs were hailed as “creative destruction" toward better and more affluent economies that concentrated wealth into those who already have over those who need work to survive.
The Buddah says life is suffering but promoting unnecessary suffering teaches nothing and reflects poorly on the governing class in history books.
With 80 million Millennials plus 30 million generation X our combined numbers can take care of the seniors and raise the children based on reestabilising Eisenhower economics.
Better days ahead — keep the faith!
As a genXer I am very happy to see the Millennials! The future is ours.
All the best.