The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

A Kinder Logan’s Run?

Should older people have their vote weighted less than younger people?

The case is simple enough. The older you are, the less time you have, the less stake you have in the future and the more you are likely to make short-sighted decisions which favor yourself.

As I’ve discussed before, this is the death bet: “I’ll be dead before the bad shit happens.” It makes total sense not to care about Climate Change in 1980 when you’re 40: You aren’t going to be around to experience it. Voting for policies which increase house prices faster than wages is great for older people who own homes, and so on.

I’ve heard the suggestion that parents should have more say, because they have kids and a stake in the future world. But the way global warming and university tuition and loans have been handled teaches us that parents don’t actually give a shit what happens to their kids, or, at least, not enough to matter. Not in America, probably not in the West.

It’s worth thinking about this. I wouldn’t actually do it, but it cuts to important questions about who should be allowed to have power in general. People who don’t have a stake in a good future, or who don’t have a stake in other people having good lives, probably aren’t going to make good decisions.

To the extent businessmen think that high wages overall are to their advantage, for example, you have a good economy. Bear in mind that the entire New Deal apparatus was designed to do two main things: Increase wages and increase prices. This was the world we lived in for forty years, and twenty-five or so of them were the best economy the US and the Western world ever had.

When you start believing that your prosperity is opposed to other people’s prosperity, or you start believing, “There is no such thing as society,” well, then you get what has happened to us.


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37 Comments

  1. Gumbo

    The counter argument involves wisdom gained from experience. There are foolish oldsters as well as wise youngsters but overall there is something to it. Balance it all out and the votes should probably count the same.

  2. reslez

    There’s also the interesting fact that old people vote at a much higher rate than young people. At least this is true in the US. Is is because young people are too busy chasing after the things young people chase, or because old people are fully aware their bread is buttered by state-funded old age pensions and don’t want them meddled with? Or is something else going on?

  3. reslez

    Maybe you could impose some sort of empathy or consciousness test on potential voters, like the Bene Gesserit’s gom jabbar. Demonstrate you are fully human before you’re allowed to vote. If you lack basic human awareness of the fact the species will continue after your death, perhaps you shouldn’t be trusted to hold office or influence decisions concerning pollution, education, or the economy. Of course poll tests are always twisted by the ruling class but it’s an interesting question.

    Or maybe the people who don’t give a damn are just kept in such a desperate state by economic conditions that short-termism is a logical result. Some short termers are just incorrigible, sure, but others are influenced by propaganda, and others by necessity. We know that racism was deliberately inculcated in the New World by slave owners to keep poor whites in line. As the economy deteriorates for workers we see the old biases and -isms (sexism, homophobia, racism) reassert itself as a force in the national culture. It’s a way of keeping competitors down when one has next to nothing. If economic conditions approved we would have less short term thinking.

  4. nihil obstet

    I haven’t seen any political system that keeps people who can from advancing their own wishes at other people’s expense. The main reason that democracy is indispensable is that in the final analysis, people don’t vote to starve themselves in a famine or commit genocide of their own kind, whatever milder or temporary forms of political sadomasochism they may indulge in. So I think I’d have to stay with one person one vote out of fear of the alternatives.

  5. Anon1

    Most people under 25 are mostly obsessed with finding their place in the world. That’s why you have former Rand voters now being berniebots.

    It’s best if extra votes were based on military service and peace corps type things. No person should join congress if they haven’t served.

  6. Tom

    Well we’ll know Tuesday what trajectory our nation will take. If Bernie picks up the Blue States, he’ll take the nomination and the Super Delegates even if they decide to be dicks won’t be able to change it as they only make up 15% of the votes and Bernie has 23 of them in his pocket (He is a superdelegate himself as well) and the others might jump ship to save their own political careers from angry voters if Bernie gets the popular Democratic Vote. Also 234 Superdelegates are uncommitted and if Bernie builds momentum they may line up behind him.

  7. Dean Flemming

    Ignorance and apathy seems to span the generations: the evidence of the sinfulness of Man. I have worked with young teachers for the past fifteen years, all of whom consider themselves intelligent (they are certainly educated and able to express themselves) and progressive, and yet it means almost nothing. For example, they have absolutely no practical, personal concern for the environment. They are unwilling to sacrifice the slightest convenience for the sake of the larger picture.
    My older relatives think far more about how their actions affect others around them. Even more ironically, my older relatives are more socially liberal than I.
    On another related tangent, I see how many of the solutions to the issues in this world do not line up neatly into larger categories like progressive, moderate and traditional. Some things were better before, some are best as they are, and some need drastic change.

  8. John Breininger

    I disagree Ian. At 59 I am more concerned about climate change and humanity in general than I ever was. My struggle is waking up people 30-40 years younger cause they need to get on this stuff. You are right my horizon is shortening.

  9. The Tragically Flip

    We could start by lowering the voting age to 12 or 14. True, not many kids would actually vote, but let’s at least offer them a say in the decisions they will live with for decades.

    For the rest, you are right that some kind of systemic way to reduce the impact of older voters on democracy is needed. Making their votes worth 3/5 or something would be too fraught for the obvious reasons (and picking another fraction wouldn’t help).

    Maybe you need to guarantee a percentage of legislative seats for under 30s. Have to ponder the options more.

  10. The Tragically Flip

    John B,

    Great that you’re how you are, but statistically Ian is correct. Being older is correlated with a wide set of socially destructive policy preferences, including most critically, not acting on the climate problem.

  11. Bill Hicks

    I’m 50 years old, but I would strongly support no one being allowed to vote or hold public office past age 60 (the age at which most people’s cognitive functions begin to deteriorate). It wouldn’t be a cure-all to what ails us, but at least the system would be forced to be more responsive to the concerns of those who have the most to lose.

  12. cripes

    Ian is discussing this age thing as if:

    voting determines climate policy
    we live in a democracy
    the will of the population has an influence on policy
    age is monolithic in terms of ideology
    the population has reliable access to accurate information, not pure mind-numbing propaganda.
    voting is politics

    Demonstrably, none of this is true.

    There are much better markers for nativism, neoliberalism or radical “conservatism.”
    For example, religion, income and geography.

  13. Gaianne

    Ian–

    You rarely come up with bad ideas, but when you do, they are amazing.

    Your proposal is inherently divisive.

    It assumes wisdom decreases with age, and while, sadly, there are plenty of suggestions that it does not increase, assuming those with less experience are wiser is a bit of a stretch.

    You worry too much about the death-bet–as though this form of selfishness were special, or especially important. Any society that bases itself on selfishness has entered the process of suicide, and trying to save such a society makes no odds.

    When I go to an organic farming workshop, finding old people is easy. There are a few of the very young. All the other age groups are missing. The idea that young people in general are interested in reducing their environmental footprint is not supported by observation.

    The idea that we are going to do something about climate change–and the even more extreme notion that old people in particular are standing in the way of doing something about climate change–flies in the face of the obvious fact that using less energy is wildly unpopular with most people.

    Instead, everyone is looking for crazy schemes to keep going as usual. Solar panels are a nice example. Reduce your energy use by 90% and solar panels allow you to do some very nice things, like run some LED lights, a radio, or a laptop computer. But although solar panels look neat and clean, the environmental . . . externalities . . . of their manufacture preclude intensive use on a habitable planet. Just one example of many.

    You sometimes use the phrase β€œwhy we can’t have nice things.” Well, a sustainable life is possible, but people don’t want that. They want unsustainable lives, and of course, those will not be sustained.

    You have been making some posts on the principles of a functioning society. That is a hard problem but your thoughts are good. Usually you set the principles in a whole context, which is where they have to be set, because a society is a complex (rather than a simple) system.

    Today’s proposal is different.

    I would be remiss if I did not mention that most societies draw the opposite conclusions to yours. Whether they are right or wrong I do not know. But it does stand as a warning to think twice.

    —Gaianne

    IRONY ALERT: Yes, I am aware that I am making this post using technologies that are fated to disappear. No regret: When it is gone it is gone. I hope anything I say has served its purpose before that happens.

    –Gaianne

  14. capelin

    what cripes said.

    native cultures have often achieved much better balances of power between young/old, women/men, etc. healthier societies, not separated from nature like our cultures.

    some of the main operational core issues in our “democracies” are first-past-the-post, and voter suppression and dissenfranchising operations. cure those and then see where we are.

  15. mary margaret flynn

    I’m 74 and very much “into ecology”. I am retired middle class educated american (white) woman–great public university education, full employment, born in 1942 a great time to be born in the USA (not so much other places) worked till I was 72.(a year off at age 60 to recoup energy) Most folk I know in the boring suburb are into “decreasing our energy foot print” I see either a sixth extinction that will destroy human life or else small pockets of survival in what I would consider “primitive” conditions–eg markedly reduced sources of energy—maybe all the nuclear plants deteriorating. it will be a return to “the dark ages”—but actually we are in the dark ages right now. I just do my best to be kind, lower my energy footprint, give bits of money to charities, still camp out at national parks, read a lot, and ALWAYS vote–hopefully will vote for Bernie, walk a lot, keep healthy so I don’t need high cost dying and hopefully then slip beyond the veil during sleep. (And I voted for McGovern too!) I would like to do no harm–but just by being, I do–so I hope to be kind to those I meet in life.

    Any way Ian, if you read these, I am inspired and intrigued by your writing and so very happy you are writing the booklet. On a fixed income I just made a one small donation–but I am glad to be part of your blogging and sharing with us and feel like celebrating the fact you are writing the booklet. . thank you, wishing you all the best

  16. cripes

    Yeah, I can’t really take this as a serious proposal.
    Perhaps Ian is making a rhetorical point.
    Something about bad oldsters, as surrogates for selfish. And conservative.

    What’s funny is that, if voting really did result in a national referendum of sorts on major issues; one where the will of the populace were actually enacted, we’d have a pretty good result.

    As Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page have shown in Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, the policy preferences of the American public clearly are highly progressive-leftist on:

    Universal Health Care
    Banking and financial regulation
    Social Security and Medicare
    Employment, family leave and minimum wage laws
    Military and foreign policy (they’re against!)
    Mitigating Climate Change
    Decriminalizing Drugs

    The obstacle to these wise and humane and popular policy preference is not old people, it’s not white people, it’s not even rural people.Not Democratic voters. Not Republican voters. Because the people agree on all the really important things.

    It is completely the oligarchic, corporate/finance/MIC dominated international power elite standing in the way of a sane, human-oriented, planetary, sustainable government.

    Full stop.

    And also, that stuff is really divisive and creepily echoes Peter Peterson and his ilk.
    Next you’ll be saying Social Security is a plot to enslave the younger generations.
    (who will also need it one day)

    I hope you will think this over.

  17. res

    To be sure, it would probably be more useful to ban the rich from voting and exerting influence on elections.

  18. subgenius

    Seems to me that the whole debate here is without any real point – obviously the system cannot be changed from inside, it is entirely bought and paid for by the kleptocrats. See bailouts, gerrymandering, illegal (but unpunished) wars, etc etc….

    HOW could any radical president overcome all the vested interests within the power structure?

  19. Jeff Wegerson

    You are right that the way democracy is practiced around the world these days is often a minimalist version of possible democratic practices. Of course, the problem is that money is the most widespread medium of power exercise. Wherever that is the case then any particular practice of democracy as a medium of power is, by tautological definition, powerless.

    But your musing here assumes that money has been tamed and ponders an alternate approach to voting within a democratic governance. As such your proposal, while interesting, is a very rudimentary one within the canon of democratic ideology. Besides voting one needs to consider the actual institutions to which one becomes represented by ones vote, no matter which voting system is used.

    My own preferences, ones made increasingly possible for large groupings by electronic communication and computation and information storage, tend towards full participatory democracies. I would prefer a defacto single party system where anyone can join and expulsion is very difficult. Likely many people would not even choose to participate. These would be many of the non-voters of today but excluding the conscious non-voters who recognize the extreme futility of almost all voting.

    Then within the defacto single-party and effectively “the” government, I would propose systems of defacto real-time proxy representation. Meaning that people who know shit would get the proxies of people who trust them. I believe you refer to that as a system based on authority, or to put it negatively, a kind of authoritarianism. But since it is representationily based it could be considered democratic authoritarianism. And further since it is real time representation, meaning that ones relative authoritative power is constantly changing, it is even more democratic.

    That’s all that I mean when I suggest that your idea is rudimentary.

  20. sdf

    What Cripes said.

  21. markfromireland

    I seem to remember there’s some old saw about how civilisation is old men planting trees they know they’ll never see come to fruition.

    Not one of your better ideas Ian organising to protect your interests – the so-called “grey panther effect” is the essence of participatory democracy. The solution is to engage younger potential voters in political activity in such a way that their contribution is meaningful not to exclude the wrinkly contingent.

    I also think that you are over emphasisisng the “death bet” factor. In my experience most people are too busy coping with an increasingy fraught and distraction rich environment to plan even five years ahead let along longer. The more people twitter and jabber the more easily distracted from what is essential they become, it’s easy to send a tweet and persuade yourself you’ve done something worthwhile it’s not at all easy to build an effective political movement.

  22. Van

    Admit it Ian, you’ve got a hang-up about people older than you. It runs through your work like a stream of toxic waste through a garden.

    “…the way global warming and university tuition and loans have been handled teaches us that parents don’t actually give a shit…”. Bullshit. I refer you to your article on why public opinion doesn’t matter.

    I will be donating for you to continue your good work but seriously hope you get some help with your “problem”.

  23. S Brennan

    I agree with Mark’s gentle dissent.

    If it would stop raining long enough, I will plant 18 bare root trees on a steep hillside that I’ll never see reach maturity. Last summer I built terraces meant to last several hundred years giving the trees a chance to set deep roots and for descendants to be planted.

    I’ve been asked by the young laborer I’ve hired to help; “why, you’ll be dead before this is a productive orchard?” “Dunno” I replied; “it’s just hard wired to produce for the future, I wish I could do more, but my society has turned away from progress and science.”

    God will judge all us in our time, pious pharisees who’s hopes lie in the fooling those around them will be chagrined to be cast into the darkness with the vilest criminals…and I may be among them, but at least I’ll have planted trees throughout my life!

  24. Ian Welsh

    Nonsense. I have also said that my own generation is abominable. It’s just that being the baby BUST, we aren’t that influential. I have praised the Lost generation, who, admittedly aren’t much around, but I’m old enough to have known them.

    I treat people based on their actions. Boomers fucked up everything when they managed to get in charge of it.

    Maybe I need to put the primer on why arguing against generational character (especially in our mass media age) is intellectual garbage back to the top.

    Public opinion used to matter, by the way. The fact that it doesn’t any more is another Boomer legacy. But it’s NOT about opinion, it is about coalitions.

    The fact is simple enough. Old people are voting for candidates who won’t fix tuition. This is a FACT. Spin it as hard as you want, they don’t give a fuck /as a group/.

    Is the argument “we’re abominable people whose opinions don’t matter?”

    Remember, most of my readers are Boomers, so are most of donors.

    Consider what it means that I am biting the hand that donates to me.

  25. Ian Welsh

    A society is good when old people plan trees in whose shade they will not sit.

    That describes neither America nor most of Europe. Nor Japan.

  26. Van Man

    Discussing this idea with my 13 year-old son we hit upon a voting “window” between the ages of 30 and 60.

    The young benefit because parties will work harder to court their precious vote.

    The middle-aged value their intense thirty years of power, understanding that their actions will affect their old age. They also know that they are being scrutinised by the young who are hungry to express their point of view at the ballot box.

    The old get to kick back safe in the knowledge that their prejudices/biases/cognitive impairments do not directly distort the decision making process.

    Democracy fixed! πŸ™‚

  27. Setting generations at odds with one another is an increasingly popular Republican tactic, in their zeal to screw Social Security and quash empathy in general. It disturbs me to see anything similar on the left.

    Historically, children have often felt closer to their grandparents than their parents, due to the generational 180 caused by routine rebellion. Certainly, my grandmother was the angel in my life, until her death when I was 12. My oldest aunt and I shared a special affinity, too; in fact, we were only family members who voted for George McGovern.

    That was the first vote I was eligible to cast. My next will be for Bernie Sanders. Although I’m 60-something now, in my heart I’m still a hippie doper queen.

    We were a minority then, BTW. Plenty of young people were thoroughly nasty — “Goldwater Girls,” for instance. I submit that the same is always true and that one’s original proclivity is seldom overthrown.

    My peers who were vile in youth no doubt voted in due course for Reagan — and allowed such horrors as tiered wage and benefit structures that protected them while their younger colleagues suffered. (That stands out in my mind as a particular atrocity against the young.)

    While I have a lot of hope for today’s kids, who’ve proudly rediscovered tolerance and are eager to learn more, many in middle age really need a swift kick. Yes, they’re having a devil of a time surviving — we all are in these piratical times — but their ignorance of public affairs is just plain scary. It’s those who think they’re far too busy to ferret out any truthful information, but know everything their favorite celebrities did all day, whose votes I worry about.

    All the best to you, Ian. Thanks for using your fine brain so well and spurring others to give their own a workout.

  28. shargash

    “That describes neither America nor most of Europe. Nor Japan.”

    This is true. But are you trying to fix a broken (pseudo) democracy by jiggering with who can vote? If so, that isn’t going to work. First, one human lifetime isn’t long enough, so even if the kids “vote their interests,” you’re not going to get significantly better outcomes than if older people vote their interests. Second, the kids today are supporting Bernie, but I remember when the kids were nuts for Reagan. These things go in cycles, and you can’t base a system on a single generation that happens to have their heads screwed on right.

  29. Donna

    Wow! What a truly loathsome idea. Let’s see how that would work out, hmm?

    Women live longer than men. Women don’t make as much money as men. Since women spend more time caring for future generations (children) they don’t put enough away for retirement. (My 91 year old grandmother is a good example. She was everything society expected of her. Good wife. Great mother. SS check? $430.00 per month in year 2016.) So basically you want to take the vote away from poor elderly women. Good job curse word.

    I have a better idea.

    Since men don’t live as long (short term outlook) and since they spend way less time caring for future generations (can’t remember the kid’s birthday let alone the details of climate change), since they cause more violent crime and more of them are in prisons… or doing jihad (costing society a ton of money we could be devoting to climate change), I say it would be much smarter not to allow any man on the planet to vote. Bonus points: Take all their toys away. (Military.)

    /snark… barely.

  30. cripes

    Ian conveniently forgets the despicable history of those who imposed conditions on the franchise designed to exclude women, the propertyless, serfs, slaves, prisoners, illiterates, and non-whites. Theres a reason its called the universal franchise. By his logic, there is equal, no, greater reason to exclude Alabamians, evagelicals, cuban-americans, or african-americans who vote for hillary who is against free tuition. BTW, i dont recall a referendum where i got to vote on that issue. Voters casting ballots for tweedledee candidates who dont represent their interest or policy choices doesn’t count.

    His argument presumes a fact not in evidence: namely that voting actually results in office holders who represent the policy the voters favor.

    Of course, thats totally false.

    Just ask the young idealists who voted for Obama.

  31. theonewhoknocks

    “I treat people based on their actions. Boomers fucked up everything when they managed to get in charge of it.”

    Yeah, I remember being at the countless meetings of the entire “Boomer” generation where we all gave unanimous consent to every bad act committed by the financial, military and political elites of that era. And we were so much worse than the generations that gave us slavery, genocide of Native Americans, child labor, the Great Depression, etc., etc.

    Yours is a sophomoric analysis. Generations do not have agency. People in power are the agents of the bad shit that happens on their watch and power elites making bad, sociopathic. short-sighted decisions and their supporters can be found in all generations. Its baked into the rancid ideologies that this country worships, and always has worshiped generation , after generation after generation.

    The power elites of this nation assassinated the best leaders of the Boomer generation (JFK, RFK, MLK) who wanted to end the Cold War, the Vietnam War and make progress on social and racial justice. That those leaders enjoyed wide spread support from the generation you claim “fucked up everything they got in charge of” makes a mockery of your stance. Sure, they weren’t universally loved and they had their faults but we would be living in a very different world if those leaders had lived and their visions had been realized. Instead we got Nixon, Reagan and the like and a neutered “opposition” who redefined their vision to winning the competition for support from the reactionary elements in our society.

    And I’m not impressed by your denigration of your own generation. You can’t tar that large a group of people (even if you’re one of them) with the same brush.

  32. capelin

    well, there is a point to be made about the culpability and *generalized* character of generations.

    my observation and experience is that many of the 65+ set do not understand the issues facing the those that follow, and are often content to sit back and hold onto their power and privilege.

    they collect their pensions, complain about “how easy young folks have it” and how one “should never go into debt”, i just put 10 cents every week into a cookie jar and eventually i was able to, bla bla bla. they have been bought off by the engineered rise of their generation to the middle class, and (conveniently) haven’t noticed that the world has changed.

    those of us experiencing the engineered crushing of our generation’s middle class obviously don’t know nuthin, we’re just young, even if we are 40 or 50.

    there’s enough culpability to spread around amonst most every demographic of course, but there is an inordinate amount of power and money parked with cranky selfish old white folks. they are dying with paid for houses and money in the bank; those following will be dying with morgages and outstanding bankloans.

    every retirement planning brochure ever printed shows old folks with white slacks and perfect teeth walking in the surf and entertaining grandchildren, dependant on and intertwined with on no one, blowing their pay-off money robbed by the system from poor countries and the ravaged earth.

    perhaps this is what ian was getting at.

  33. cripes

    Errata:

    John, b. 1917, Robert, b. 1925 and Martin, b. 1929 were squarely in the “Greatest Generation” demographic, not boomers.

    Otherwise I remember it like you do, especially the part about the All-Boomer meetings, although I was only 5 years old, where my older siblings voted for everything bad that happened since 1967.

    Generation as identity is a recent invention, like fashions and celebrity fads changing periodically, promoted by public relations, advertising and media companies to sell product and control the masses. The fact that increasing numbers of non-white youngish voters vote not-republican, while their white counterparts without degrees or income prospects vote republican should surprise no one.

    That’s the plan, divide and conquer, bro. Don’t carry their goddamn water for them.

    Sadly, Ian has signed onto Pete Peterson’s fix-the-debt crew. Elites love it, they can rape and pillage with impunity as long as the oldsters get blamed for it. Then they’ll play a few rounds of blame the youth. and round and round it goes.

  34. cripes

    Capelin, what then really is the dynamic?

    I’ve also seen assisted living luxury buildings that only allow residents with $500,000 and up to live in them. That’s where the big money is.

    And I’ve seen plenty of affluent assholes in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s acting like, well, assholes. So what, this ain’t new.

    Only 30% of retirees receive income form traditional pensions or 401k accounts, averaging $12,000 annually.
    The remainder get by mainly on Social security, averaging $16,000.
    And increasingly part/full-time jobs.
    Watch them at the check out line shopping carefully and counting their pennies. At least in my neighborhood, I don’t know about yours.

    My Canadian in-laws visiting Florida were shocked to be served by 80-year-old waitresses. You can’t tell 80-year-olds to get out of the way for young people in a society that forces older persons to work til they drop.

    Maybe the problem is inequality.

    Over 65’s (retired is a misnomer for many) in America

  35. That depends on whether you think people only act selfishly. That is not what I have observed, and I continue to be astonished at how much ordinary people give to charity.

    Young people may be more idealistic, but I would attribute that mainly to the fact that they are not yet under any real economic pressure. People become aggressive and selfish when they feel insecure, whereas most older people have come to terms with their lot one way or the other and can return to their earlier idealism. In addition they have a wealth of experience to bring to the table, including an understanding of the shortcomings of confrontation and populism.

    Traditional societies revere their ‘elders and betters’. I guess there’s a good reason for that!

  36. capelin

    we aren’t a traditional society, and therein lies the core of the issue. the checks and balances and interdependencies are largely gone, age stratification is the rule. in a traditional society the young needed the older for their wisdom, persepective, childcare,etc. the old needed the younger for survival, protection, companionship. i think it was called community or something.

    now, that’s increasingly tore to ratshit.

    i’m canadian, so one doesn’t see 80 yo waitstaff, unless it’s by choice in a family buisness. old folks do ok here, garaunteed income and better healthcare, if you consider modern industrial healthcare good.

    it’s not unusual for old folks to burn through a quarter million in public money, languishing in hospital for the last couple years of their life. not fun for anyone, but that’s the status quo. unsustainable, and the generations following will have severely curtailed services as a result.

    so, old folks are entitled to $100k/year/person to over-prolong their lives, but a national childcare strategy, at, what, $8k/year, is an extravegance.

    (childcare has been long talked about, and may happen in the next 5-10 years).

    older folks had a simpler, less material-centered youth, where you could get by without credit, you could get ahead if you worked hard, etc, especially during the engineered rise of the middle class. if white male wages peaked in ’68, then for that person born in ’30, they were pushing fourty at that point, had risen with the tide, were established.

    they started poor, came through a 5 year war, life got better, and they could coast on out.

    for someone born in ’70, they were born just past the peak, life has gotten relentlessly suckier since, and the war without end is being waged on them, both abroad and at home. what’s 20 years from now going to look like? yikes.

    again, this is generalizing, it’s western-centric, etc etc. but, it’s real.

  37. capelin

    @John Poynton

    “Young people may be more idealistic, but I would attribute that mainly to the fact that they are not yet under any real economic pressure.”

    in that parallel, grey universe i was talking about, perhaps.

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