POWER

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

Sunday, March 4, 2012

FAITH IN THE FUTURE. DISGUST WITH THE PAST.

ARE THE TIDES TURNING?

If you begin to study the forces behind the student debt crisis- and the attitudes that allow it to persist at our own national economic peril- you inevitably find some analysis of the generational differences of the respective beneficiaries and victims of this rancid system. 

Yes, I used the word victim. A generation of young people who were encouraged to educate themselves and take on student loan debt for ever-increasing tuition, while politicians and corporations were decreasing their investment in the national infrastructure and related job market, have indeed been victims of a type of crime. 

Conning and exploiting a nation's younger generation of students for the benefit of a certain segment of the senior generations is not only unethical, but extremely shortsighted, regressive and damaging. 

But that's the kind of thing sociopathic pigs do. They take and take selfishly. They have little or no concern for others. They erroneously feel they have earned all that they have (never seeing how they have taken advantage of, or benefited from, the society they live in) and resent any actions by others who try to access even basic fairness, or success. They gloat or blame, but tend to rarely be objective and honest about the issues.

Sound like the Baby Boomer Generation- the beast that eats it's young? Yup, it is.

"I've Got Mine": Not all Boomers are greedy sociopaths, but as a whole they have really done a shitty job with things and have run the country into the ground, while constantly putting their interests first.
Of course there are exceptions, and not all people born in one era can be described by a few sweeping generalizations, but collectively this group has been exceptionally greedy, self-centered and disgusting in their approach to human existence. And the evidence is all around us, from the state of the economy, to foreign relations, and the environment. 

It has been suggested that with less emphasis on global consciousness and multi-culturalism in their youth, these folks were prime candidates for developing attitudes of false superiority, and believing nationalistic propaganda during more prosperous times in our history. One can often see this reflected in conversations with Boomers, as it is pervasive in their attitudes, and political views.

The Guinea Pig Generation: If only they knew then what they know now.

As someone in my mid-thirties, I feel I am from the "Guinea Pig Generation", although not a term used by sociologists. "The American Gravy Train" started coming off the tracks, as my generation experienced their early twenties in the 9/11 era, and later suffered greatly by the Wall Street Economic Raping of 2008, that caused so much destruction. More than three decades of failed economic policy and political terrorism against the non-elite was starting to manifest in some obvious ways.

We spent our childhoods being marketed the virtues of higher education and career fulfillment. From parents, teachers, politicians, and personal finance "experts" we were told education was the key to success and a worthy investment in our futures.

Our Boomer parents hoped to see us achieve even more than they had- as if increasing materialism were a sustainable concept. But we were actually some of the first to realize that a college degree was not quite as useful as we were told it was, and had expected it to be. This led many of us to fall for the "more is better" trap of graduate schools and advanced degrees. 

We were the first to struggle en masse with crushing debt loads from college, and to have six figure debts. We were the generation of the unpaid internship, and the "increasingly global economy" that was so often a selling point in our "versatile degree" choices. 

Our generation watched once-respected degrees like Law reduced to worthless rip-off scams, and life-long debt nightmares for people who should have been in a position to help our country grow and prosper in all ways. 

It is a despairing situation to say the least. But in the last year I have found a cause for hope. There is a younger generation that seems to be more conscious at an earlier phase of their development than mine was. They have had the unfortunate advantage of seeing the shit storm unfold in their youth, and the wise are reading the writing on the wall. 

They are engaged (with those from other generations who are paying attention) in Occupy Wall Street and related efforts. They are resurrecting student governments on campuses to be places of political change, and not resume builders. They talk about student debt at conferences, workshops and parties. They voice their concern online and in the streets.

I have been to two recent events and the students there were WAY MORE aware of the evils of corporate and political corruption that threaten them than the Guinea Pigs ever were, or the Boomers care to realize.

Check out: Default: The Student Loan Documentary and Student Labor Action Project and United States Student Association

I am proud of this young generation. I even heard a high school senior at a talk about student debt, who was worried about "investing" in college at all. The Guinea Pigs were just letting high school guidance counselors tell them to go to the best school they could get into at that age. 

Times are finally changing. I think this generation is the one who will take it back for us in this country, if it ever is to happen. And we can all work together on that.

Sure, there are the dumbasses amongst them who can't go five seconds without text messaging, or who think Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Jersey Shore are good shows- but they are young still, and every group has a variety within it. Unlike, the generation that came before me, I care about those coming after us. Waking up is the first step, and these guys woke up early. 

Keep up the good work! Here's a great article related to this subject.

Hell yeah!!
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