Monday, November 03, 2003

Baby Boomers: Ticking Socialist Time Bombs

Here’s some brain food: I’m confused about “Starve the beast” conservatives’ plans to run government deficits in order to force a government breakdown when Baby Boomers start to draw on Social Security. Completely getting rid of the social safety net is open goal of a lot of righty policy makers. They see it as a way of promoting personal responsibility. But while it’s an interesting if risky way of enacting policies which a majority of the country doesn’t agree with, I wonder if they aren’t biting off more than they can chew? I mean, it’s all nice and good to force a showdown between low taxes and public services, but is it wise to have that showdown at the exact time that a larger percentage of the voting public is depending on social security and other public safety nets?

We’ve all heard about how the Baby Boomers are the “lump in the python” of demographics, slowly working their way to old age. But I wonder if anyone has tried to explain political power shifts in terms of this giant section of the population growing through different phases of life? Couldn’t you just connect the 60’s to the innocent exuberance of youth, the 70s with the disillusionment, the 80’s with the family man who just wants to make a buck and so on? Of course, this kind of touchy-feely analysis usually makes me sick to my stomach, but a good old fashioned statistical analysis could easily reveal if politics were being changed by increased representations of a particular age group.

Anyhow, it’s food for thought.


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