Tired of reading/hearing how baby boomers are ruining the economy, sucking up resources, and hoarding houses and wealth? It’s almost like people have forgotten all the positive things our generation contributed: the peace movement, civil rights, gay rights, feminism, environmentalism. Instead, the storyline seems to be that we’re greedy bastards just taking everything we can get.
The problem with blaming boomers for being greedy is that it’s complete bullshit. In fact – this is the key takeaway here – baby boomers put in more than they take out. How do we know this? Because the facts tell the story.
Boomers are working longer, well past what used to be considered the conventional retirement age. Remember when your parents and their friends retired at 65? Not many boomers fit that stereotype. Yes, the pandemic pushed some to take retirement early, but it also encouraged many more to stay on the job. That means that we are paying payroll taxes for more years. We might not ever see any of that money via social security, but nonetheless, we’re still paying into the system.
Even boomers who are drawing social security are not sucking the system dry. We still pay taxes on our income (including social security). We pay for supplemental medical benefits. We pay sales, property, state and local taxes. There’s no escape!
Bear in mind also that retirement is essentially self-funded. Vacation and holiday costs are out-of-pocket expenses, and they help stimulate the economy to boot. AARP discounts? Big deal. You get a little off on your rental car or dinner, and those discounts are coming from the private sector that is trying to earn your business, not your government.
Last but not least in the argument that boomers put in more than they take out, here’s the bottom line. When we die, our offspring and/or our designated charities are going to get whatever cash is left, which will most likely be substantial sums. We really can’t, as the saying goes, take it with us.
The next time you read an op-ed that blames greedy baby boomers, be sure to go to the comments section and set them straight with the simple fact: we put in more than we take out! You’ll feel better when you do.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon. But that’s not all. You can also purchase the Best of BoomSpeak on Amazon.