Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"How My Generation Broke America": Steven Brill in Time



Steven Brill gives us a booklet-length tome in the May 28, 2018 Time Magazine, p. 32, “How My Generation Broke America”, link
  
Note the alternate titles (like “alternative facts”?), “How Baby Boomers Broke America” (online), or “My generation was supposed to level the playing field; instead, we rigged it four ourselves”. Cartoon illustrations by Ross MacDonald.

Born in 1943, I’m a little before the Baby Boomers, but not much.


We rigged it for ourselves starting in the 1980s with so much emphasis on short-term profits, which in the age of hostile takeovers, became virtue.  We wanted people to become more competitive.

But unfortunately a lot of our ingenuity turned to financial instruments, which tended to have flaws and not be sustainable (sub-prime mortgages).  A lot of us really didn’t know how to make things.

Then part of us broke of and created a salesmanship culture, which the rest of us ignored in the world of a do-it-yourself Internet.
  
Today, there was a court case where parents evicted their 30-year-old son.  It gets harder to make a living if you’re average.  But the smartest and most alert and quick-wittest kids seem to thrive. Look at David Hogg, who can turn himself into a honeypot to let the worst on the far right drown themselves.

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