I’ve often heard the 1980s referred to collectively as the “me” generation. Maybe it was. Big houses. Big cars. Big hair. And big ratings for TV shows (Dallas, Dynasty) that showed us the Hollywood version of how the “other half” lived.
Somehow, though, I think it may have been only the birth of that generation.
Today, I think it’s a full-fledged adult – and one that’s bred an even more egocentric and arrogant generation, the “I’ve got mine, screw you,” generation. I see it every day. You do, too. You need look no farther than your TV.
One of the latest examples comes courtesy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Gingrich who, like many on the right, lambastes people on unemployment by likening unemployment insurance benefits to welfare. No, Newt. If you’ve ever had a job, or are lucky enough to still have one now, you and your employer pay into unemployment. That’s why they call it unemployment insurance. (Even current House Minority Leader John Boehner, whom I’d generally be hard-pressed to say something nice about, backed away from that one.)
And please, while we’re on Boehner, spare me more of this “trickle down” economics BS. I lived through the ‘80s. Barely. The only thing that ever trickled down to the masses from the people who proposed this idiocy was the utter disdain for the people they were supposed to be representing. I shook my head with the reverence at which people spoke of Reagan when he died a few years back. Clearly, they weren’t affected by unemployment, interest rates run amok and the massive slashes to educational assistance. But now I’m even forced to admit that, compared to today’s “right,” Reagan looks awful d*mn good.
The money from the Bush tax cuts isn’t going to hire any more people. It’s going into bonds and trust funds and under mattresses. (Or whatever people who have millions do with their spare change.) The only people that will benefit from those cuts are the people getting them. End of story.
Let’s pause and write a reality check, courtesy of Jon Stewart. (While I find this amusing, I’d find it a whole lot funnier if it didn’t make so much sense! And this is comedy.)
Is the current administration doing everything right? Hell no. But they’ve had just a few things to contend with in the wasteland they inherited. Yes, that’s right, I said inherited. Everyone seems to be forgetting about 2000-2008. It’s like it never happened. (It’s like that season of Dallas where Bobby Ewing was supposed to be dead, but wait, he was only taking a shower!) Even the RNC chairman needs a reminder of just who did what in setting us on the path to ruin.
Unfortunately, the voting public has a very short memory. But, I remember the first eight years of this decade. And I remember the 1980s all too well. (The only thing from that era that I want to see a revival of is the music.) Tell me I’m not the only person who remembers the economy of the ‘80s, please.
I think the results of the mid-term elections will answer that question for me. I only hope the “me” generation isn’t looking on proudly at its offspring when it’s all said and done.
But hey, you’ve got yours, right?