Friday, July 03, 2009

Article Of The Week

The incomparable Digby (at least according to some in the left blogosphere, exaggerating. I think.) posted on June 28 under the title "They Never Quit" a well-deserved attack on "the Fiscal Scold propaganda that says we have to dismantle the safety net because the baby boomers ruined the economy." She describes as "a building meme" what others have identified as a journalistic compulsion to convince Americans there is a crisis in Social Security.

Concerned that "younger people don't fall for" such disinformation, Digby quotes portions of two CNN interviews from the previous day and notes

what we have is the idea that the boomers were a bunch of spendthrifts who gambled all their money thus causing the recession, but now they are going into retirement and are not going to be spending as much money so they are prolonging the recession. You can't win. And the youngest boomers who are turning 45 will be spending into the fund for the next 23 years or so are chopped liver whose contributions into the system count for nothing --- as do those who paid all that extra money in over the past 25 years so the government could put it in a "lockbox" for our retirement, which they promptly spent on wars and tax cuts for rich people.

Lest you think that about says it all, Digby quotes a portion of an article, "The Granny Bashers- Different Facts, Same Policy," written by Dean Baker and appearing on his Center for Economic Policy and Research website on March 16, 2009. Baker notes the "enormous transfer of wealth from the old to the young" and explains

Finally, the recent collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting stock market plunge have reduced the wealth of older workers and retirees by close to $15 trillion. This is a transfer to the young, since they will be able to buy the housing stock and the corporate capital stock for a far lower price than they would have expected to pay just two years ago.

Inspired by Baker's analysis, Digby concludes, pointedly if humorously

Keep in mind that if these cranks (and who can forget this "crank"- not President Obama, who expects to call on his advice- ed.) actually succeed in destroying the safety net, you youngsters are going to need that big house you thought you could never afford because your aging parents are going to be living in the basement. And you'll be changing their bedpans because medicare won't be worth a damn either. It's in every American's long and short term self-interest to make sure the safety net is strong.

Happy Independence Day!

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