In the generational clash of Baby Boomers versus the “Young Folk” and the epic showdown of ideologies, work ethic, quirks and peculiarities, let’s agree to disagree. The absurdities of our generational differences can be celebrated and laughed at. So here we go.
At odds are our generation of Woodstock, the Civil Rights Movement and cheeseburgers, and theirs of defund the police, Greta Thornberg and avocado toast. We landed a man on the moon; y’all landed in your parents’ basement.
Yes, by all historic metrics the younger generation is lazy. But we have men my age making $500K a year who cannot download a PDF. The young folks who can do a PDF also think if they push the gas pedal and the brake pedal on their car, they can take a selfie.
With the advent of Whole Foods, the younger generation probably eats healthier. I eat powdered doughnuts on the run, and always look like I got back from a White House tour. But I still look good for my age. Kids have no idea how old I am until they hear me stand up.
Just a heads up, kids: Getting old is full of interesting events. One second you are dancing and going hard, the next you are having to turn down the radio in the car so you can see better.
It is good and bad that members of the younger generation do not get married as young as we did. Sadly, they saw all the ugly, lawyer-fueled divorces of our generation and decided to wait to marry. Or not. Yet the ones society should want to breed, the smart, hardworking ones, are not having children. The ones we really do not want breeding, are. A lot.
And that may be a good thing. Many women want a wedding more than they want to be married, and many men get roped in. When people tell me that their wedding day was the best day of their lives, they clearly have not had two Almond Joy bars fall down at once, right before their eyes, from the vending machine.
As a result, the Brookings Institution reports that U.S. birthrates are falling, putting the blame on Millennial couples not having as many kids. Fathering of children has slowed so much that this younger generation single-handedly ended “The Maury Povich Show” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”
In 1999, I almost decided not to have any children, but when I told my kids, they seemed to take it personally. So we stuck it out. But I understand the concept.
Our generation was not bubble-wrapped. We did not have cell phones. If we got lost in a mall, we were just lost. Sometimes you’d just have to go live with the family that found you and start a new life.
We played in the streets at night, rode our bikes everywhere and trusted people on the playground using our best judgement. The weakest among us were weeded out when they ended up on “Dateline,” just as nature intended. It is called evolution, and we have to keep on trying to cull the herd by letting the dumber among us go. Sadly, this generation coddles the lazy and stupid, and if you point out their idiocy, you are the jerk for doing so.
Test scores keep coming down. From talking to young folks, we find that they do not seem to have a stable grasp of history. It is sad that, after all these years, kids do not know who Neil Armstrong was, or even the type of trumpet he played.
Schools, bowing to their leftist roots, do a terrible job of teaching history. The numbers of kids who favor socialism and communism are reaching all-time highs. They do not study the devastation of Stalin’s Russia, the Cold War, Castro’s Cuba and Kim Jung Un’s North Korea. If I could impress on the young today one positive thing about socialism that
ultimately leads to communism, it’s that it is a weight-loss program that really works and keeps the weight off.
Communism, in theory, provides “free” health care, jobs and housing. What has been proven is that it cannot provide breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, Ron Hart is ex-Goldman Sachs, and retired as a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. He can be contacted at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.