Are old people an unfair burden on society?

136 posts / 0 new
Last post
absentia

I know where i'm escaping pretty soon. The young people will have to find their own solution. After all, we've been told in another thread that we should not impose our values or opinions on them.

alien

 "Apres moi le deluge" (Fr.), after me the deluge (attributed to Louis XV) -- but that is exactly what the b.... finance capitalists say. 

I can't blame them too much -- there is some comfort in the thought that I will be gone, hopefully, before the shit really hits the fan. But that is my selfish genes speaking. The unselfish genes are still trying to help youngsters think things through and, maybe, find a solution.

George Victor

And that is like swimming upstream after the deluge.

And may I add, how very much I appreciate being able to converse without brickbats. Nothing abrasive, just a variation in insight and priorities, but fundamentally the position of humanists.  (sigh)

However, any time anyone would like to discuss recent economic history - in another thread - and its relation to our changing perception of people and society, please lead off.Smile

alien

George Victor wrote:
And may I add, how very much I appreciate being able to converse without brickbats. Nothing abrasive, just a variation in insight and priorities, but findamentally the position of humanists.  (sigh)

I enjoyed it too!

Rational thinking, guided by human decency, based on goodwill towards others and expecting the same.

Heaven!

Smile

Sean in Ottawa

absentia wrote:

I know where i'm escaping pretty soon. The young people will have to find their own solution. After all, we've been told in another thread that we should not impose our values or opinions on them.

Impose, no. Share, yes, that's even a moral obligation.

Sean in Ottawa

alien wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
We are to allocate resources based on need not ability to pay we say. I fully support this and that means not allocating based on desire alone.

Sean, I understand and agree with, what you are saying but we have to be careful here.

The bastards can pick up and redefine the word 'need' in several way. One way is to invoke Palin's infamous "death penal" to defeat a health care system based on need.

Another way is to hijack it to mean 'need for society', meaning the usefulness of the person based on their contribution, and that word is WIDE open to abuse. Do you remember the Star Trek Voyager episode when the Doctor was hijacked and put to work in a hospital, assigned to the floor of the "less useful for society" who were treated horribly. Later he was reassigned to the "blue level" where patients were needlessly pampered because they were considered highly useful for society.

We have to watch these bastards (I like absentia's language) because they are not stupid and they do not miss a trick.

There are two sides of the trap however and what I am doing is trying to suggest caution on both sides.

1) As you point out there is the lies about what needs mean -- although I was clear in defining it.

2) On the other hand there is the Trojan Horse of patient control -- remembering patients are subjected to Billions of advertising each year about what is purported to be of benefit to them of course actually benefiting the pushers of whichever therapy is being sold. This is why it is essential that medical practitioners never lose sight of their obligation to the patient recognizing that the hawkers of snake oil will go at this from both ends the patient and the practitioner. That is of course separate from the fact that people want the best for themselves but this can lead them to actually hurting themselves. There is some responsibility to evaluate that and this can only be done if the medical professionals have their priorities straight -- there is no substitute for that -- even patient's wishes which as important as they are, cannot be the only factor. Patient's rights is a more important concept and these rights include not being subjected to dangerous or unhelpful procedures. I am not denying your point but we need to keep an eye on both sides of this.

Further to that there are many companies who want to medicalise everything including the basics of aging. They have enough resources to spend to convince the public what they need knowing that if that breaks medicare only more opportunity will arise.

Caution needed all round.

Sean in Ottawa

alien wrote:

George Victor wrote:
And may I add, how very much I appreciate being able to converse without brickbats. Nothing abrasive, just a variation in insight and priorities, but findamentally the position of humanists.  (sigh)

I enjoyed it too!

Rational thinking, guided by human decency, based on goodwill towards others and expecting the same.

Heaven!

Smile

That latter part is important -- if you expect the same, I'd go so far as to say assume the same until proven different you are less likely tro be caught up in a misunderstanding.

I don't think the objectives or principles differ all that much among most people here -- the rest is means and shades of understanding and insight.

absentia

Probably different experiences, too. My encounters with medical personnel in Ontario have been largely positive. There is also a great deal of other, non-medical, help available that i didn't know about until i needed it. Much of that help is voluntary, which is why i wanted particularly to mention that role of older people: many who have had health problems, or their loved ones did, come to give back - pay forward, rather. That's one of our most important contributions, now.

I'm a little bit concerned that, once this generation is too feeble, that help will be gone. Not because the next three cohorts are less generous, but because they have less free time - already, and it will get worse. They have to spend more of their life working for money, just to support their families and pay their taxes. I don't see the current kind of government stepping in to pay someone for those services, even if the unemployment rate goes to 12%.

That is one area where we can start putting pressure on political candidates to state a position. Will you let unemployed and underemployed people put in a few hours at the local hospital, or visiting the home-bound, or any of the hundreds of non-specialized tasks that make life easier for patients and their caregivers, pay them minimum wage - and not deduct it from their UI or welfare benefits? 

Sean in Ottawa

I think your point on volunteer work is important but things are not that simple--

We can't pay volunteers a wage without them becoming workers and if we do are we going to give them work that should go to people who are qualified specifically for those jobs?

And of course these are union workplaces so minimum wage labour just is not on and should not be.

It is importnat to give people an opportunity to work but we need to be careful that they are being paid appropriately and if the place is unionized that this is respected.

Given how important your opening point is i feel bad having to go after the second half of the post but this is an important issue as well.

absentia

Of course. That's why i said non-specialized jobs - the kind of thing nobody is ever hired to do. But i'd be even happier if unemployed people were given training and proper union jobs. What d'you figure the odds?

alien

George Victor wrote:
However, any time anyone would like to discuss recent economic history - in another thread - and its relation to our changing perception of people and society, please lead off.Smile

The topic sounds interesting, I am curious where it would lead. I usually do not devote too many brain cells to economics because I usually live in the clouds where economics does not exist. My vocation is in science (Math and Physics) and, at this phase in my life I do not want to analyze various forms of irrationality of the human species. The way I imagine: economics would explain to me how we got to where we are now and how the current system keeps us there. This would be fascinating subject to a historian, a psychologist, a researcher in the field of mental aberrations.

On the other hand, if it would/could lead to a practical way out of this mess, I am all ears. I am not putting down economists but I do not consider economics a science, rather an organizational discipline in the best case, woo-doo mambo-jambo in the worst. If you think that an ignorant (in these matters) physical scientist would be interested, by all means, start a thread and I will try to follow. However, I won't promise anything.

alien

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

2) On the other hand there is the Trojan Horse of patient control -- remembering patients are subjected to Billions of advertising each year about what is purported to be of benefit to them of course actually benefiting the pushers of whichever therapy is being sold. This is why it is essential that medical practitioners never lose sight of their obligation to the patient recognizing that the hawkers of snake oil will go at this from both ends the patient and the practitioner. That is of course separate from the fact that people want the best for themselves but this can lead them to actually hurting themselves. There is some responsibility to evaluate that and this can only be done if the medical professionals have their priorities straight -- there is no substitute for that -- even patient's wishes which as important as they are, cannot be the only factor. Patient's rights is a more important concept and these rights include not being subjected to dangerous or unhelpful procedures. I am not denying your point but we need to keep an eye on both sides of this.

Further to that there are many companies who want to medicalise everything including the basics of aging. They have enough resources to spend to convince the public what they need knowing that if that breaks medicare only more opportunity will arise.

Caution needed all round.

Sean, these are all excellent points. As I said earlier: our adversaries are not stupid (at least in the short term) and they will try every trick to have their way. They also have another advantage: they are more disciplined and practical than we are. It may come from the experience of organizing and running multinational organizations (and they have to be efficient or their throats would be cut by their best friends in the business world -- they call it 'competition') while we like to have fun, argue a lot, pull in so many directions at the same time, so it has been, to date, relatively easy to neutralize us.

But, as you said: "Caution needed all round."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

absentia wrote:

Of course. That's why i said non-specialized jobs - the kind of thing nobody is ever hired to do. But i'd be even happier if unemployed people were given training and proper union jobs. What d'you figure the odds?

 

I think that will come some time after they stop laying off union health care providers of all classifications and contracting out to Sodexo.

The odds slim to none are really on the high side.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

If the baby boomer generation suffers a reduced level of healthcare, I'll be terribly surprised. OTOH, if they tax the system to the brink, leaving it tattered and broken for generations to follow, it will just be their typical behaviour once again. Time and time again, this generation has demanded the best available, and refused to pay their bills when they came due.

BTW, depending on who's definition you use, I may be a boomer myself. Makes me feel a little ashamed.

Fidel

They want us to believe we can't afford social programs anymore without allowing the private sector in on things. They want us to believe they are powerless to do anything about it while market forces dictate money issues to them. As Linda McQuaig wrote, the impotence in Ottawa is self-induced.

siamdave

alien wrote:

George Victor wrote:
However, any time anyone would like to discuss recent economic history - in another thread - and its relation to our changing perception of people and society, please lead off.Smile

The topic sounds interesting, I am curious where it would lead. I usually do not devote too many brain cells to economics because I usually live in the clouds where economics does not exist. My vocation is in science (Math and Physics) and, at this phase in my life I do not want to analyze various forms of irrationality of the human species. The way I imagine: economics would explain to me how we got to where we are now and how the current system keeps us there. This would be fascinating subject to a historian, a psychologist, a researcher in the field of mental aberrations.

On the other hand, if it would/could lead to a practical way out of this mess, I am all ears. I am not putting down economists but I do not consider economics a science, rather an organizational discipline in the best case, woo-doo mambo-jambo in the worst. If you think that an ignorant (in these matters) physical scientist would be interested, by all means, start a thread and I will try to follow. However, I won't promise anything.

- alien, sounds like a moniker for someone who considers themselves to be at least a bit out of the box - you may find this of interest, in terms of recent economic history you won't get to read about in the mainstream media - What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html .

siamdave

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

If the baby boomer generation suffers a reduced level of healthcare, I'll be terribly surprised. OTOH, if they tax the system to the brink, leaving it tattered and broken for generations to follow, it will just be their typical behaviour once again. Time and time again, this generation has demanded the best available, and refused to pay their bills when they came due.

BTW, depending on who's definition you use, I may be a boomer myself. Makes me feel a little ashamed.

- LTJ, the 'sin' of the baby boomer generation (of which I am one) was that they allowed themselves to be taken in by the biggest scam in history. I haven't worked my way through it all yet, but the outline is here - the same essay I referred alien to earlier - What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html . Later generations have a bit more of an excuse for their failure to stop this great theft, as anyone born after 1970 was subjected to (continues to be) the greatest mass indoctrination in history via the television - but that's only a half excuse, as the truth is indeed out there, and freely available, for those with the intelligence and courage to turn off the tv and turn on their brains.

alien

siamdave wrote:

- alien, sounds like a moniker for someone who considers themselves to be at least a bit out of the box

Siamdave, I am so far out of the box that you might consider me nuts! Let me try to explain. When you reach my age and know that your days are really numbered, you do not want to waste whatever you still have left. You step back and look at the whole picture. Both your own life and humanity's. What did it mean? What was it all about? What should it have been like, how would you have done it if you were in charge? What is it that you truly believe in? You don't start tinkering with the existing system and wonder how it could be fixed, tweaked, modified to make it work. You tear it down (in your head) and rebuild it, following sane basic principles. When you are finished with this exercise, you have your own Utopia, a world you believe in.

Then you become defiant and tell yourself: why should I settle for anything less, for the few more years I still have? I will proudly hold my Utopia up to the whole world, as a banner, to show people what it should be like (could is another matter), maybe someone will be inspired and make a step or two in the right direction. On some days, when I am watching the news, I tell myself: I need to do this in order to hang on to my sanity. On some other days I am content with the knowledge that, at least, I figured it out for myself. That is why I call myself an 'alien' because often I really feel as if I were from another planet. You see, I am that far out of the box!

A little joke to illustrate: Priest from the pulpit says to the congregation: "Everyone in this Parish will die". Man in back giggles. Priest: "what's so funny?" Man: "I am from another Parish!"

Wink

siamdave

alien wrote:

siamdave wrote:

- alien, sounds like a moniker for someone who considers themselves to be at least a bit out of the box

Siamdave, I am so far out of the box that you might consider me nuts! Let me try to explain. When you reach my age and know that your days are really numbered, you do not want to waste whatever you still have left. You step back and look at the whole picture. Both your own life and humanity's. What did it mean? What was it all about? What should it have been like, how would you have done it if you were in charge? What is it that you truly believe in? You don't start tinkering with the existing system and wonder how it could be fixed, tweaked, modified to make it work. You tear it down (in your head) and rebuild it, following sane basic principles. When you are finished with this exercise, you have your own Utopia, a world you believe in.

Then you become defiant and tell yourself: why should I settle for anything less, for the few more years I still have? I will proudly hold my Utopia up to the whole world, as a banner, to show people what it should be like (could is another matter), maybe someone will be inspired and make a step or two in the right direction. On some days, when I am watching the news, I tell myself: I need to do this in order to hang on to my sanity. On some other days I am content with the knowledge that, at least, I figured it out for myself. That is why I call myself an 'alien' because often I really feel as if I were from another planet. You see, I am that far out of the box!

A little joke to illustrate: Priest from the pulpit says to the congregation: "Everyone in this Parish will die". Man in back giggles. Priest: "what's so funny?" Man: "I am from another Parish!"

Wink

- alien, I grok all that very well - maybe I'll get a chance to sit and have a beer or three with you someday, if I can ever afford to come back there for a wee visit, I am sure we would have an interesting chat. My own 'utopia' is expressed in another thing I wrote - Green Island   http://www.rudemacedon.ca/greenisland.html . You take care now ...

absentia

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

If the baby boomer generation suffers a reduced level of healthcare, I'll be terribly surprised. OTOH, if they tax the system to the brink, leaving it tattered and broken for generations to follow, it will just be their typical behaviour once again. Time and time again, this generation has demanded the best available, and refused to pay their bills when they came due.

BTW, depending on who's definition you use, I may be a boomer myself. Makes me feel a little ashamed.

Not to get too much into political correctness, but who is "they"? You're not accusing the entire generation, i hope, 'cose some are non-white and many are (uh-oh!) non-male. But, okay, the 'they' who raise taxes on the middle class and poor, while cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, are mostly middle-aged - BB and Gen X, i would imagine. The people who started this process were mostly from previous generation - and indeed, mostly white and male, so it's probably okay to bad-mouth 'them'. As long as you don't include the veterans and strikers and freedom-riders.... The people who made the messes were not the majority of this, or any, generation: it was a very, very small minority of $multi-billion profiteers, and i doubt that club is age-restricted.

Yes, we did demand the best. For everyone. We - a great many of us, anyway, who were raised on a naive conception of 'modern science' - belived that a high standard of living was possible for the whole world - and that we could make it happen. Many of us gave our best, too, which was often pretty damn impressive.  

Now comes the part i have a lot of trouble with.

Quote:
refused to pay their bills when they came due

To whom is the bill owed? By what contractual obligation? Who is trying to collect? How did everything come to be measured in dollars and the dollar value inflated to unimaginable numbers? We wanted a decent standard of education, housing and health. Not robocops and fighter-planes and unlimited bank profits and international junkets. Which is more expensive?

remind remind's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:
If the baby boomer generation suffers a reduced level of healthcare, I'll be terribly surprised. OTOH, if they tax the system to the brink, leaving it tattered and broken for generations to follow, it will just be their typical behaviour once again. Time and time again, this generation has demanded the best available, and refused to pay their bills when they came due.

BTW, depending on who's definition you use, I may be a boomer myself. Makes me feel a little ashamed.

 

Okay you really need to cite some evidence of this to bolster what I consider to be a rude and defaming commentary that is blatently untrue.

alien

Here we go again about being offended. I wish there still was a rolling-eye smiley. Consider it here...

KenS

Unionist wrote:

I believe that society is an unfair burden on old people. Can you refer me to the appropriate thread, please?

Brilliant.

And there are countless paths to follow from there. Though I'm not going to do that now.

And LTJ: "we are the generation who never paid the bills." Are you ever so wrong. I'll touch against that a couple points, but when I do, that just scratches the surface of how wrong you are. I know where people get the idea- beyond the usual suspects where such ideas come from- but the reasonable part of it is that us boomers grew up in a climate of prosperity. As a rule, no matter what our class, we had it easier than our parents. And those of us who are working class, had a hell of a lot more opportunities than our parents... albeit, the chances of actually realizing those was severely overated, to say the least.

Which is kind of the story of our generation- the impression of privilege. But...

And the reason I'm here writing about this is because on this day things come to a head that I am dealing with for my elderly father, and for my daughter who is also far away. In both cases, its up to me. I get help, I MAKE sure I get help, but its up to me. And a lot of it is beyond my control. So I'm waiting for phone calls and email. A habitually calm person quite stressed right now. Looking for distractions.

Let me tell you about paying bills. Let me not actually.

I didnt know about Roszak's book. I have to get that. Muy pronto. Thanks oldgoat. Havent read Roszak for decades. Wherever hes gone must be good, and the topic is right up things I think a lot about. Which I'll get to in a follow-up post.

George Victor

The developing, inter-generational slanging match developing here is why this question must be taken out of the "moral question" category into politico-economic. 

If anyone's game, may we have a go at it under a thread titled, oh, i dunno...."How We Got Here - Unable to Pay the Bills"  ?

siamdave

George Victor wrote:

The developing, inter-generational slanging match developing here is why this question must be taken out of the "moral question" category into politico-economic. 

If anyone's game, may we have a go at it under a thread titled, oh, i dunno...."How We Got Here - Unable to Pay the Bills"  ?

- again, I can only suggest a read of my essay - it lays it all out pretty clearly. You're free to disagree - but you can't pretend ignorance ...

alien

siamdave wrote:

- again, I can only suggest a read of my essay - it lays it all out pretty clearly. You're free to disagree - but you can't pretend ignorance ...

siamdave, I read your essay and you are right: "it lays it all out pretty clearly". I found some real gems for myself.

alien

George Victor wrote:

The developing, inter-generational slanging match developing here is why this question must be taken out of the "moral question" category into politico-economic. 

If anyone's game, may we have a go at it under a thread titled, oh, i dunno...."How We Got Here - Unable to Pay the Bills"  ?

Good idea, George, why not start it?

Up till yesterday I was happy I started this thread. Now I am not so sure, the way it suddenly turned in a potentially ugly and definitely non-productive way. Maybe this could be a good place to end the thread?

absentia

How we got here? Way too big! Too many related topics and derailment opportunities. Interesting, though, if it could be broken down into components. I don't begin to know how to do that.

KenS

I'm getting to the non-moralistic political-economic. And "what is to be done?"

Barring sudden re-entry of "sandwich generation" issues I'm looking for distraction from.

remind remind's picture

...am sick of the crap that some people lay out about boomers being hedonistic, selfish lazy fucks.

It is BS.

George Victor

alien wrote:

George Victor wrote:

The developing, inter-generational slanging match developing here is why this question must be taken out of the "moral question" category into politico-economic. 

If anyone's game, may we have a go at it under a thread titled, oh, i dunno...."How We Got Here - Unable to Pay the Bills"  ?

Good idea, George, why not start it?

Up till yesterday I was happy I started this thread. Now I am not so sure, the way it suddenly turned in a potentially ugly and definitely non-productive way. Maybe this could be a good place to end the thread?

Right.  Let's start it at the end of the Depression, start of the Second World War.  Pretty nearly everyone with a granpa has heard about that period.  It's just that they often don't know how we got to "here" from "there"...in political and economic shifts.  Let's see what happens.  Any correctives are welcome at any time...any free of invective.

alien

Up to Post #64 we had intelligent, productive, rational discussion of the topic and the issues it raised. I guess it was too naive to expect it to last. I am now gone from this thread, unless it goes back on track and discusses the issues and not our fragile feelings.

absentia

See you there.

remind remind's picture

Personally, I am against the spreading of  what I consider to be hate against a specific demographic, and will challenge it each and every time it rears its ugly head.

alien

KenS

The decision to build the public pension and medicare system was taken before baby boomers were of age [or born even]. But we're the ones that paid for it.

No blame or anything, but the parents of boomers generations are the big intergenerational benificiaries. It was an excellent social decision and commitment to make. But one that was easily paid for by the fact that a very numerous generation was paying for the benefits of a small generation.

So that was easy. No sweat is good. Except for the consequence that nobody is really thinking about how this is going to work long term.

And there is a lot of BS to the long term financing issues of paying for pensions and medical care, even with the 'sweet spot' demograhics now flipped. Let alone all that crap society pays for with no complaints.

That said, there are two big elephants in the room:

(1) Medical care costs are continually escalating, per capita. And it isnt just the older generation, the steep curve up in the costs of caring for our diabetic sons and daughters for example. And while we let the mushrooming costs get away from us, we dont get around to focuing on health rather than illness and disease band aids.

(2) Continuing to pay for all this even with the flipped demographics of smaller generations paying for boomers should not be a problem.... if you assume an economy 20 and 30 years from now that is like what we have now. Did I hear the words climate change out there? And economic crises reverberating?

As well as the fact that a lot of us boomers are already very productive, "retired" or not....

I think its way too likely my kids will be facing a much more difficult world. Its already more difficult, but I mean LOTS more difficult. And on top of that, they'll have us to worry about.

I'm not just going to wait around. I'm not going to wait to be "helped". Which my parents, as hard as they worked, in the end did largely wait for help. [And it wasnt the state.... Here I am.]

I've been resourceful. I've got a lot of skills. And we'll be getting through this together.

Which is where I figure Roszak figures in: both that this is the generation that does not just wait, good for us; and what this might mean about our future.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

LTJ you are confusing two terms that refer to some of the same generation.  The boomer generation also produced the yuppie generation. A lot of the boomers never got near the BWM's and Porsches of the yuppies but all the sins of the money grabbing hedonistic MBA's have been dumped on a generation most of whom have been struggling to pay the bills for 20 years while their real disposable income drops.  Boomers have been paid less and less every year since the 1980's and it sure as hell wasn't them demanding tax cuts for businesses and rich people.  The Yuppies sure did.

 

Its like the difference between and hippie and a yippie.  Back in the day I thought being called a hippie was an insult but was happy to call myself a yippie. Now I'm way to old for the Youth International Party now.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
Boomers have been paid less and less every year since the 1980's and it sure as hell wasn't them demanding tax cuts for businesses and rich people.

They might not have made the demands for tax cuts, but they were happy to vote for the charlatans that promised they could have them and eat their cake too...

remind remind's picture

Huh? How do you presume this?

 

Again I ask you for proof of your assertations.

 

If you have these beliefs you must have the evidence to back it up one would presume.

absentia

remind wrote:

Huh? How do you presume this?

 

Again I ask you for proof of your assertations.

 

If you have these beliefs you must have the evidence to back it up one would presume.

Well, the charlatans got elected and, boomers being a considerable portion of the population, it's fair to assume that a large number of us did vote for the charlatans. The question is not so much who, as why? My taxes didn't get cut. None of the people i know had their taxes cut. And none of us approved of RBC and Conrad Black having their taxes cut - but nobody asked us about that. What did happen, that should not have happened, is that we believed a lot of propaganda. No, i didn't, but many many of my generation did. Were too easy to scare and didn't take the trouble to find out. That still holds true, of all ages.

trippie

I don't know.. What's the % of the voting public that cast their ballets for the Conservativesand Liberals? I guess you can say they're the real problem.

 

They're the ones that thought you could cut taxes and still party.

 

It's never nice when Satan comes collecting.

Sean in Ottawa

Really let's not get on the Boomer generation's case-- they made substantial social progress as well. Some of that progress is being turned back now but it was impressive nonetheless. And you can no more blame them for their governmetn than you can blame every single Canadian for the one we have now. We don't all vote the same way.

George Victor

You'll love Theodore Roszak , Sean.

Sean in Ottawa

Thanks-- I'll have to look in to him. I let google be my friend and saw references to The Making of an Elder Culture. I had heard of but not read The Making of a Counter Culture  so I wonder if I need to read that one first.

 

KenS

I want to read Elder Culture, and Roszak can be good, but I remember Making of a Counter Culture as being pap. Sort of feel good dreaming with no substance.

Even if you were charitable to it, its at best dated now. And what you might like in it, looks like the general 'thesis' about the generation is in Elder Culture anyway. And who need a whole book of that?

As it is, even reduced in time spent on it, it wont surprise me if Elder Culture has a bit much of the 'power / potential of a generation' for my tastes. And even if it doesnt bug you, how long does it take to get that across?

I think you are more liking to not read Elder Culture if you read the other one first. Gag on all the bath water... 'what baby?'

Fidel

We have Washington style lobbying in Ottawa since Mulroney. And we have rightwing think tanks lobbying senators today. 30 years ago they were just considered rightwing think tanks. Today they are bending the ears of phony majority, and now phony minority governments in Ottawa. A lot of things have changed since the 1970s. This isn't the same Canadian economic setup that Tommy Douglas and CCF dealt with. In some ways Canadians have been forced to drink stronger doses of the neoliberal kool aid than many of the former Soviet countries and developing economies were sucked into doing since the 1980s. Once the oil and gas are gone, we'll be paying a lot more to live in the Northern Puerto Rico than before. Perhaps the real Puerto Rico might even become a good place to move to at some point for millions of Canadians if foreigners continue siphoning off Canada's valuable energy and raw materials at fire sale prices.

al-Qa'bong

George Victor wrote:

You'll love Theodore Roszak , Sean.

Ahh, that brings me back to  being 3,000 ft. below the surface of the earth, reading The Making of a Counter Culture, the same depth at which I read The Idiot and Diary of a Madman.

George Victor

It's not as though Roszak doesn't understand the need to turn things around, or is ignorant of the degree to which the U.S. has failed its working class and exported a  sweatshop criminality to Asia and Latin America. As he wraps up the lead chapter, "Maturity Rules" :

"The American corporate community has used its inordinate power to configure the global economy as an extension of its own mean-sprited social ethic, a policy orient5ation that impoverishes peole throughout the developing world, starting with its homeland where, in the period 1974 to 2004, it has, according to a 2007 survey bvy the Pew Charitable Trust's Economic Mobility Project, for the first time in the nation's history driven the earnings of working people below those of their fathers. A century after the first labor laws were passed in the United States, American firms are once again setting up sweatshops, beating down unions and putting children to work where they can get away with it - mainly in Asia and Latin America. The influence of our neoconservative corporate community is now an impediment to humane reform, environmental health, and social justice everywhere. It has imposed a free-market orthodoxy and a grinding Social-Darwinist ethic on the world at large. It has vastly widened the gap between rich and poor and is ruthlessly exploiting the planetary ecology. Worst of all, the American corporate community has by example, by competitive pressure, and by investment encouraged other societies as consequential as China and India to imitate its myopic standards.

"What I propose here simply calls for extending the spirit that underliesthe seniior entitlements to our society as a whole - and above all the concept fo entitlement as a rightful claim upon the wealth wwe have all created. That may not seem like much in the way of a utopian alternative, but given the fierce and benighted ideological agenda of the corporate elite in out political life, it will be a fight to accomplish that much. If boomers can change the self-serving entrepreneurial and neoconservative values that now dominate our lives, they will have made a historic contribution not only to their own society but to the modern world at large. In their own interests, boomers have every good reason to take on the task of taming the world's most dynamic, most market-oriented economy and to bring it under the guidance of an elder culture that sets a new criterion for wealth and progress..."

And of course, having failed to even intimate how one "reforms" corporations while also demanding that they perform well or they will be left behind on the market by one's own retirement  fund manager, it turns out that there is nothing in this  beyond feel-good positivism...which seems to be where Counter Culture left off. And of course, the flower people have been involved right along in the destruction of the garden.

trippie

You know what term is driving me crazy and if I hear it one more time I'll scream? It's ZOOMER. They're not boomers anymore. They're Zoomers.

 

I just wish they would accept themselves as being old and get over it.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

This whole concept of speaking in generalities about an age cohort, be it Boomers, or GenX, or whatever, seems to me to be too foolish and pointless to even refute. It is just clearly nonsense. I was born in 1947, which, according to this classification, makes me an early Boomer. I am indeed getting old, and I have no problem accepting that. What I do have a problem accepting is fools who insist that I have more in common with members of my age cohort than I do with people both older and younger than I am who share my beliefs and values. Enough of the bullshit.

Pages