Digby over at Hullabaloo wrote a great post on Baby Boomers called “Uptight, Crazy and Reactionary.”
I was struck by something he said:
“The younger cohort, like me, looks at greatly reduced opportunity in a
shrinking job market that is unkind to older workers. Many cling to their
pathetic jobs with their brittle fingernails for fear of having to pony up many
thousands of dollars in health care premiums if they lose it (and having to take
a shit job at Walmart when nobody will hire them at their formerly decent wage.)
Health is becoming a big issue for us — the system is quite inconveniently
breaking down just as we enter our unhealthy years. This economy feels very
unstable and if you are over 50 you know you will not be able to make it all
back if it goes.
“We are feeling a little bit stressed.”
I haven’t reached the big 5-0 yet, but I will before the year is out. Retirement at 65 always seemed a long, long way out there to me — forever, really — but as forever dwindles down to about 15 years away and counting, retiring when I’m 65 doesn’t seem likely. In fact, to make ends meet, I’m sure I’ll have to keep working, somehow, probably until the day I die.
That’s assuming, of course, that my fellow “boomer” Dubya doesn’t live up to the name and “boom” us all off the face of the earth, first.
As Digby says, we’re the dominant generation at the moment. Our parents were the dominant generation before us, when they hit this age. But now, one of us — one of the nutcases, unfortunately — is president.
We must draw on the idealism that rocked the country in the 60s and early 70s and use it again, or “boomer” is going to take on a new and ominous meaning to our kids, theirs, and future generations — if they survive us.