Here at BoomerCafé, we believe we have to take the bad with the good. And that includes the bad things said about our generation. There’s a book out there, written by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, that says a lot of bad things about our boomer generation — it pretty much calls us sociopaths — but we spotted a piece on the website of the Mises Institute of Austria that takes a different view. It’s written by economist Doug French, who watches America and the boomer generation from afar.
Referring to someone as a sociopath is strong language. After all, just between 3- and 5-percent of Americans are really sociopaths, people who initially seem charming, but due to bad neurological wiring, lack a conscience and are unable to feel remorse. They are exceptional liars and cheats, and have no capacity to feel guilt.
“There is something wrong with the boomers and there has been for a long time,” writes Gibney in the forward to “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America.”
He doesn’t let any boomers off the hook, but really focuses on “generational representatives like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Dennis Hastert — a stew of philanderers, draft dodgers, tax avoiders, incompetents, hypocrites, holders of high office censured for ethics violations, a sociopathic sundae whose squalid cherry was provided in 2016 by Hastert’s admission of child molestation, itself a grotesque metaphor for boomer policies.”
Gibney’s point being, us boomers are molesting younger generations because Social Security and Medicare might remain solvent just long enough for baby boomers to collect, but no one else. And, he preaches from the environmentalist good book every chance he gets. Any skepticism about climate change is viewed as having “negative feelings about reality and science” because, for boomers, sacrifices for the environment are “incompatible with sociopathic desires.”
Boomers didn’t have a chance because our moms read Dr. Spock, were too easy on their kids, and parked us in front of the television. “TV’s essential characteristics make it the perfect education for sociopaths, facilitating deceit, acquisitiveness, intransigence, and validating a worldview only loosely tethered to reality,” Gibney opines. The current president’s obsession with TV-watching is thrown in as a prime example.
Gibney writes that boomer neoliberalism “is more free market à la carte.” Who knew that boomers had the government doing “a dead minimum, limiting itself to arbitration of disputes, national defense, and the supply of a few public works like the post.”
The author rants that boomers don’t save enough, while aborting, divorcing, and overeating too much. Boomers caused high inflation, crime, poor educational standards, the setting of corporate tax rates, the hiring of adjunct professors, not replacing the crumbling infrastructure, and they avoided doing their wartime duty.
He summarizes, “The whole idea of boomers as Good People is absurd,” and “The boomers deserve America’s displeasure and they ought to repay what they can.” What the author most wants is for baby boomers to pay higher taxes.
The illusion of democracy, he says, the illusion that the government is us, means “public resistance against government power is systematically weakened.”
So, what has caused America’s demise: Dr. Spock, TV and the boomers. Or was it democracy?