A reality check

NYDailyNewsToday’s is a strange world, replete with monsters every bit as scary as the ones that lived under your bed and populated your childhood dreams. Iranian fanatics and a North Korean madman (my apologies to President Trump, but it’s true) are on the brink of possessing or already possess weapons capable of ending this little experiment of ours on Planet Earth. One meaningful revolution in Pakistan or expansion of the current dust-up with India and...I don’t want to think about it.

In the midst of an apology to GenX (and later), a Boomer wrote the above. And while apologies are certainly due for a lot of stupid decisions by his generation, let's be a little realistic.

"Iranian fanatics and a North Korean madman" aren't on the brink of possessing the capability to end life on planet Earth. Either nation would be lucky to end life in two or three major US cities if their weapons work and our defenses fail to intercept them. Worst case, either or both have an EMP device in order already -- that would be a national catastrophy, but a long way from a planetary one. Nuclear weapons have been used before, and not only did the planet recover, the human species mostly... didn't notice. Even the cities were they were used have now recovered.

More to the point, though, he writes:
NYDailyNewsI apologize that we Boomers bankrupted this great nation. We made all manner of promises to ourselves while leaving you the bill. Herbert Hoover once quipped that “blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” He was only partially right; it’s far worse than that. I’m not talking about $22 trillion in treasury debt or even the exponential rate at which it’s growing. I’m talking unfunded liabilities.

Were one to add today’s treasury debt to the unfunded Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid promises we’ve made to ourselves on your behalf — valued somewhere in the $120 to $200 trillion range depending on assumptions about discount rates, life expectancies, etc. — the total would exceed the market value of the United States of America. (I think that prior to pulling the most powerful lever in the world, every U.S. citizen should be made to write $120,000,000,000,000 in a box on his or her voter registration form.)

Now, that is something worth apologizing for. But I would be much more impressed by an actual attempt to fix it.

This entry was published Fri Mar 15 07:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2019-03-15 07:47:20.0. [Tweet]

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