Talkin’ ‘Bout What Generation?
Yesterday I did something never done before, singling out a demographic slot—65 and older—and disparaging them in the most disrespectful terms, I’m still angry at the old codgers for crushing the legalization of marijuana here.
As the enviably good Mistermix of Balloon Juice reminded us last year generational behavior and outlooks are a very old and observed data points for sociologists and political scientists, the issue usually being how well the older generations share societal resources with the new generations arriving.
I’ve never held that my generation got the short end, for I know that all generations in American society are alarmingly neglected, be it the young with underfunded education, workers with lousy wages, about half of our elderly subsisting on Social Security alone, and all of us burdened with this odious death-by-spreadsheet outrage of a health care system. There is never more value in one generation in any era, the young and the old—plus all of us—always need government and sharing.
I could be resentful to the elder crowd, easily, I was 14 years old when those curmudgeon SoCal property-owner spawns of Satan Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann got Prop. 13 passed, California’s finances and political embrace of the commons has been wrecked ever since. Jerry Brown, at the helm when massive surpluses allowed for the awful politics of this to be possible, to this very day refuses to fight for our young people, he just couldn’t get any Senate votes without fighting or trying (have we seen this movie?), so at this moment our young and most sickly crippled are simply knifed, many to oblivion, oh well.
Jarvis died in 1986 after a series of Proposition failures, but it couldn’t be SoCal without him making it to the movies, he appeared in Airplane. Paul Gann left us in 1989 in the early days of AIDS, infected by a blood transfusion.
I’m hardly a Socialist on the Sweden or Norway models, but I do know the United States can easily afford massive increases in social spending without raising taxes. Hell the country could be spaghetti with bullet trains taking $300 billion annually from the DOD in three years alone.
“He’s a n-----!” Someone yelled out at a Sarah Palin campaign in 2008, the scandalizing audio flashing into the blogs, remember that? Of course a few minutes of careful listening revealed the outrage to be “He’s a re-distributor!” Heh. But the point being is the that re-distribution (sharing) is hardly a radical concept, we used to do it much better in those radical 50’s and 60’s. If you’re some super-wealthy mega-American being, well, I hardly want all your money in raised taxes, just a some more of it until we fix the place. You’ll survive in your remaining millions, trust me.
I can only speak for myself, but I do get an urgent sense here in California that we have neglected and abused our young people and general infrastructure to a hellishly alarming tipping point, if we haven’t reached it already we’re baking in generations of kids to a society we will not recognize a few generations out. Just last night 15-year-olds (one female) were begging in front of the Hillsdale-Ross fire station, I knew the firefighters would not tolerate her out there once they soon found out, but Jesus Christ I have not seen teenagers begging in my neighborhood before, are you this blind, Jerry Brown?
Apparently so. There seems to be this incredible faith among our leadership that someday, in some magical way, things will just work out and fall into place, everyone will get healthcare, groceries and clean air because, well, this is America. Not this time, please get is a soon as freaking possible, Jerry Brown and Barack Obama, there isn’t a business cycle to save you. Or any of us.
As for my elders, I respectfully apologize for disparaging you as a bunch of drooling codgers who need a joint more than anyone in this day and age. I am still angry at the beyond-absurd views y’all hold on marijuana, but of course I will continue the fight for your health care and Social Security. The younger generations have been screwed enough, there is a long way to go in fixing it, and when we come back to legalize pot next time give it up, at least it will be a start.