Short Class Warfare; Long Age Warfare

by Johnny Debacle

But here’s my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can’t buy backbone. Don’t let them forget it. Thank you.
Herman Blume in Rushmore

Obama’s total budget is $3.6 trillion, which works out at $34,000 per household; median household income is about $50,000. Which basically means that for every dollar that a US household earns, the US government plans to spend 68 cents next year. And the ten-year T-bond still yields less than 3%. Extraordinary.
-Excerpt from Market Movers

So far, Obama has taken aim at the rich boys. He has taken them to task for their profligate greed. His party has introduced their corporate masters to the Frankonian Inquisition, flailing on them until they have confessed their sins and repented their evil ways. His budget punished their success, reined in their charity, all while giving each of their serfs their very own kingdom. More or less.

While this seems to indicate the rise of a new age of internecine class warfare in America, we’d argue instead that these moves will lead to a new age of productive age warfare in America. What the second quote demonstrates is that this country is not going to be Rich vs Poor. No, the war being fought is Now vs the Future, or more aptly, Baby Boomers vs Everyone Younger.

Baby Boomer Bob will be fishing while the US burns

The effective tax rate for a Baby Boomer is still likely ~30-35%, so say $17,000 out of the $50,000 median income figure. But for younger tax-payers? If there is a deficit, or if what you pay directly in taxes as a national aggregate is lower than what the government plans to spend on whatever the hell they plan to spend it on, rest assured, they are taxing you further in some way. It’s just that instead of current year taxes, the other 30-35% of income that we owe is going to come in the form of debt, and currency depreciation (at some point in the future), and it won’t be a pro-rata distribution based on who benefits from the spending now…it will be based on who happens to be alive when the bill comes due. More or less. That point in the future will likely be well after the Baby Boomers have ensured that their generation has soaked up a higher quality of living — at the expense of younger generations — than any other generation in world history. All the while, they’ll continue assailing the younger generations about how much harder they worked and how kids today blah blah blah…

You know what kids today aren’t responsible for? This mess. This is all you, Baby Boomer Bob and Baby Boomer Betty. You put US here with your wanton spending on cars, houses and erections, with your hubristic manipulation of interest rates and free markets, your sense of entitlement, the way in which you transformed politics and Government into a galvanized arena of Us vs Them. Your cohort’s giant ego has consumed the future.

Rich and poor have more in common than young and old, because in 40 years, rich and poor will still be on this Earth, in this country, having to work together to fix everything the Baby Boomers did. This could mean the inability of the US to get financing because the debt burden has become too onerous, a crashing dollar, entitlement spending that requires more than taxes generate, a change in climate change change (sometimes known as Second Derivative Climate Change Panic Syndrome, or SDCCPC) or any number of structural disasters that lurk in the future and have been put off so that we, the young, are stuck with the buck.

Recommendation: Here’s my advice for the rest of my cohort. Take dead aim on the boomers. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they may be buying everything with your money, but they can’t buy backbone. The sooner we, rich, poor and everyone in-between, come together and shake the Baby Boom death grip off both power and purse, the better.

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  1. ab
    March 3rd, 2009 | 10:15 am

    I’m in. So what’s the plan? Hoping it involves internet scams and AR-15s…

  2. Cal Wells
    March 3rd, 2009 | 11:04 am

    We’ve got to close the Country Kitchen Buffet:

  3. Treat Me Subject
    March 3rd, 2009 | 11:53 am


    Thank you for putting into print what those of us still this side of 30 are thinking.

    But what’s worse is that you overlooked yet ANOTHER tax on us Gen-X/Millenials. With the Boomers set to live well into their 80’s and beyond, who do you think will have to change their diapers after they hang up their golf clubs? That’s right.

    All thanks to the “Me Generation” that broke the world.

  4. Bootsy Call
    March 3rd, 2009 | 12:15 pm

    well, it’s only fair that the liberal elite should finally have a chance to brush off the old school culture wars & the boring old geopolitical wars and rev up their very own brand new civil war

  5. Dave
    March 3rd, 2009 | 1:20 pm

    Lets all pitch in and buy a 3rd world country. Then we can kick everyone out and start fresh.

    The Obamunist and everyone else obviously want all of the producers to leave anyways. Why else would they be trying to raise taxes and redistributing wealth?

  6. March 3rd, 2009 | 1:27 pm

    The liberal elite and Obamunists remarks are off the mark. The whole point is there shouldn’t be class struggle or a partisan struggle. There should be an age struggle. Inter-party squabbling has been the definition of self-destructive, and class struggle is the path to everyone losing at everyone’s expense (see Communist Russia, Communist China, or anywhere else where the class struggle has escalated to war). We’re in this together, we being the ones who will be alive in 40 years (God willing), and not being our elders.

  7. BallStock
    March 3rd, 2009 | 1:34 pm

    Is this a call to social revolt/anarchy?

    I agree with the general idea but how are we going to put this into action?

  8. bftd
    March 3rd, 2009 | 2:17 pm

    just curious, are you forgetting all the other sources of tax revenue that are NOT just based on personal income tax? corporate tax, estate tax, various tariffs, all take a bite out of that last 30-35% nut that needs to be covered

  9. March 3rd, 2009 | 3:15 pm

    Is that point relevant? The only thing that matters is that there is a tremendously large deficit. That is the tax that is being levied against the future US, namely the young people, for the disproportionate sake of the current old people.

  10. MGW
    March 3rd, 2009 | 3:33 pm

    Notice that it is the old who are wanting to “fix healthcare.” I think the solution is to not fix healthcare and to perhaps “break healthcare” to hurry them along and prevent them from spending to much time at the national trough.

  11. Sir Equity Go
    March 3rd, 2009 | 5:07 pm

    Milton Friedman always pointed out that to measure the cost of government, you just have to look at the spending number. Everything else just a question of how you finance it.

    And 65-68 cents on the dollar is unsustainably high.

  12. March 4th, 2009 | 12:12 am

    Have you never read Sun Tzu? This is not rocket science, sheesh, must I point out EVERYTHING?

    TO (poorly) paraphrase, we must let our Enemy destroy themselves. All we have to do is convince them that somewhere in mid-bumblefuck USA we’ve set up a massive free, top-quality healthcare facility the likes of which are a miracle of modern science (or some such bullshit).

    The rest, well, it gets a little messy and probably isn’t exactly “ethical,” but wtf, neither is saddling your children with 10x the obligations that whatever’s left from your estate could ever cover?

  13. TB
    March 4th, 2009 | 5:45 am

    The important thing is to let the banks fail. Our money is propping up the banks, if we let them fail then the awful insurance companies which loaded up on their sub debt will get wiped out and it’s goodbye pension annuities for the over 40’s.
    If future us’s money stopped propping up the banks, it would also mean that the depositors would have to take a haircut on their savings. In the best case scenario, the collapse of the banks would lead to a window of social anarchy when we could destroy the banks’ records of debtors (us).

  14. Treat Me Subject
    March 4th, 2009 | 6:45 am

    TB – Great movie, but you just broke both the first and second rules of Fight Club. Better watch the ol’ jewels…

  15. fred
    March 4th, 2009 | 9:19 am

    Ahh, the exuberance of youthful certainty. Go ahead, follow your young savior Obama and tear down the status quo. You’re such an accomplished and vigorous generation, it’ll be a snap for you young pups to rebuild it all to your liking. Might even be fun, like learning how to operate a new cell phone.

    As for cost, don’t worry about. Dismantle the military, there’s hundreds of billions right there. Let the goverment fix health care, trillions more in savings and efficiency. Then once government tunes up the auto industry, gives everyone a low interest mortgage, you kids will be sipping Merlot on the deck before you know it. Enjoy.

  16. TB
    March 4th, 2009 | 9:32 am

    Fred, please see MGW’s post: we aren’t planning on fixing healthcare, we’re planning on breaking healthcare. Remember, Obama is 48 years old ie he is one of you guys.

    We also want the auto industry tuned down, so we aren’t on the hook for all their pensions. The point is, there is no cost for us, as we aren’t planning on paying for lots of things. Refer to the first 80% of Goodfellas if you want more detail on how we plan to pay for things.

  17. metoo
    March 4th, 2009 | 10:05 am

    Two words: Soylent Green.

  18. MGW
    March 4th, 2009 | 10:26 am

    I agree with TB. You’ll notice that the healthcare debate is about forcing young, healthy people who forgo insurance to join risk pools so that they can subsidize the older, sicker members of our society. This again is about taking from the younger generation and giving to the older generation.

    Obama is just a member of the older generation in disguise. A devious plot to get the younger generation to sing his praises, vote for him, and blindly follow him into the gingerbread and candy house so that he can fatten them and cook them for dinner.

  19. March 4th, 2009 | 2:57 pm

    Ignorance is a terrible thing…but any that subscribe to the POV expressed here (old vs young) is displaying a scary amount of stupid!

    Did any of your parents ‘enslave’ you? DId they make you stay home and hand over your paycheck?

    Nah. It’s far more likely you’ve spent your formative years resenting them because they were ‘too stupid’ to be rich.

    Which means you aren’t mature enough to understand that intelligence and wealth are totally unrelated…and evidenced by today’s economic climate, diametrically opposed!

    You don’t need to be ‘smart’ to be rich, you need to be connected!

    This old vs young crap is an example of some people lacking the maturity to know there is no such thing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny!

    It is and always has been a case of rich vs poor! Age has nothing to do with it!

    You have to come down from that ivory tower and realize that not all old people are rich!

    Stupid is permanent, ignorance can be fixed.

  20. Ted
    March 4th, 2009 | 3:33 pm

    Gegner is old, and probably poor… one of the first that should go

  21. March 4th, 2009 | 3:37 pm

    Gegner had 12 sentences, 7 of which ended in exclamation points. Fail.

    No evidence to support arguments. Fail.

  22. Anaxagoras
    March 4th, 2009 | 5:10 pm

    So, speaking as a Baby Boomer who spent too much money on cars and houses and erections, here’s what I tell my 20-something kid:

    “OK I shouldn’t have bought a house with a yard you could play in, or paid for endless lessons for music and sports which you now don’t give a crap about but couldn’t live without. I shouldn’t have taken you to Disney World or the beach or skiing in Colorado, or put a TV, phone, stereo, CD player, iPod, etc. in your room or paid for every dime of your now worthless college education, including graduate school. Had I known what was coming, I would have made us live as paupers and ruined your teenage years completely. But the good news is we still are a family, and we may wind up living in the same household again, and I may be your live-in baby sitter and housemaid, but won’t it be fun? For that I gladly will give up my claim to non-existant Social Security.”

  23. Hans Moleman
    March 4th, 2009 | 9:13 pm

    The Japanese are the worst when it comes to an aging population. However, they are the best when it comes to robotics. When they finally perfect AgedCareBot 3000, this will provide a low cost way of caring for the elderly and a reason for another Nikkei bubble, which I think we can all agree, is well overdue. It’s either that, or Logan’s Run.

  24. AKAL
    March 5th, 2009 | 12:54 am

    Leave them Country Kitchen Buffet and even leave them the health care. Hell, even leave them social insecurity and just leave. For the ‘don’t trust anyone over 30’ generation, lets see what happens when the giant pyramid skeme comes crashing down when not enough younger people are there to prop it up.

    Everyone born after 1970ish or so that actually is willing to work and has a marketable skill can start Galt’s Gulch. We just need to find a suitable place.

    How hard would it be to buy out Idaho or Montana? Good resources, just short on coastline. For the last one left behind, don’t turn off the lights, let them think we still care.

    When the US turns into a senior citizen banana republic we sweep in and buy on the cheap, give them the under 40 version of a ‘bailout’. Should make a bank balance today look solid in comparison.

    For all of the boomers worried about the environment do the earth a favor as well as your country, kill yourself. It really will make the world a better place and your great grandkids will thank you for not having diaper duty. Die boomer Die.

  25. Doly
    March 5th, 2009 | 10:33 am

    I had been expecting this kind of thing for a while. Probably haven’t come across it before because I wasn’t looking for it that hard, I’m pretty sure people have been saying this in other sites. It’s just a logical result of what’s been happening.

    To give the Baby Boomers some idea of what kind of mess they are into, I’ll reply to Anaxagoras (my personal family circumstances are slightly different, but similar enough that I can translate): “You never asked me what kind of house I wanted to live in, you made all those decisions by yourself. You never asked me what lessons I wanted to be in, you just put me in the ones that you would have loved to go to as a kid, but my choice would have been dancing instead of music. You picked the holiday resorts, and decided which gadgets you were willing to buy for me. When I said I had doubts about the worth of going to college, you made it abundantly clear that not going to college was not an option. And now that you discover that all that you thought were right decisions weren’t so right after all, you won’t even apologize. No, you will patronize me and still claim that you are babysitting me, when it’s clearly you who never grew up.”

    I wish things didn’t have to come to the point of having to dig a trench and make another generational gap, but it’s inevitable now. It wasn’t so much the mistakes of their elders what created the gap in the sixties, but their unwillingness to adapt and learn that circumstances had changed. We are seeing it all over again.

  26. nonplused
    March 5th, 2009 | 3:12 pm

    The secret to how to implement a 100% successful rebellion of the young against the old is to be found in the lyrics to Green Day’s hit “Holiday”.

    Once they repossess your house and lay you off, you know what to do. The money isn’t going to be worth anything soon enough anyway.

    Wikipedia defines generation X as birth dates 1961- 1982 which would make Obama either the youngest boomer they could find or the oldest generation X. He acts more like a boomer so I say put him in there. Also, I’ve seen other references to Generation X starting closer to 1967.

    There is an easy way to tell. If you don’t own even one single U2 album, even if you don’t like the band, you are not generation X. They are boomers but it’s what was on the radio when gen X grew up.

  27. Sherm
    March 6th, 2009 | 2:24 pm

    Man, why does Gen X get to skate? Far as I can tell, they’ve been perfectly happy to soak up the Baby Boom’s crumbs while inventing buzzword heavy but content-free internet companies and buying stupid mortgages to own poorly made houses. What, you were too busy whining about being latchkey kids and listening to Beck to get off your ass and fight the system? And now you want Millenials to fight for you? Forget that.

  28. August 31st, 2013 | 11:23 pm

    This theme is the core of the story that I depict in this book.

    The way that BB have molded the current power structure; a structure that favors them to the detriment of every generation coming after them will be the basis of our future implosion. But don’t demonize BB. They are humans, just like you, with the only difference that THEY were born in a time when they could squander resources with the foolish perception that the future would always be better than the past. This need we all have to always want more, more, more, is going to be the end of us.