Editor’s Note: This one is just meant to be light reading ... not surprising, since I thought it up after watching Chris Rock do some standup on HBO a couple of weeks back.


You’re Welcome, Millennials

This past May 8th was the first Mother’s Day I didn’t need to buy a card. And, with Dad gone for more than four decades and no kids of my own, it’s been a long time since I’ve paid much attention to Father’s Day.

However, as I near 65, I’ve been thinking that guys my age deserve a holiday of their own, when the younger generation could show us their appreciation. We could call it “Baby Boomers’ Day.” Once a year, they’d send us Hallmark cards with pictures from Woodstock or Charlie’s Angels on them, take us out for the early bird dinner, scrape the wax out of our hearing aids, or buy us vinyl records of The Dave Clark 5 and The Moody Blues, and maybe a bottle of industrial-strength Cialis.

We Boomers have earned a heartfelt “thank you.” For decades, we’ve had to hear how we just don’t measure up to the “Greatest Generation” (aka our parents). Sure, they survived The Great Depression (like they had a choice), and they did whip the Nazis, Fascists and Japanese (okay, I guess you gotta give ’em some credit for World War II). Meanwhile, we’ve whined about minor recessions and screwed up wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. So maybe we aren’t quite “the Greatest.”

However, most of those people are gone now, so who can Gen X, Y, Z or Millennials (or whatever they’re calling themselves today) look up to? To our credit, we Boomers pretty much invented casual sex, discovered most of the good drugs and produced the best pop music ever. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll … You’re welcome, Millennials.

Thanks to us, gays and minorities have civil rights, women are nearly men’s equals, even animals have rights, and fewer and fewer people go to jail for ingesting harmless recreational medications. We Boomers created consumer electronics that keep millions of young people inside playing computer games, rather than outdoors risking injuries or skin cancer. Thanks to us, pasty Gen Z couch potatoes have a 20-year head start on the morbid obesity it’s taken us decades to achieve. You’re welcome again, Millennials.

Granted, we may have disappointed a little in some areas. The last disease that medical science actually cured was polio, which the Greatest eradicated for us back in the 50s. Despite all the telethons, Jerry’s Kids still can’t walk; we can treat cancer, but we can’t seem to cure it; and the same goes for AIDS and herpes. Managing diseases, rather than eliminating them, seems to be the most-profitable strategy supporting the pharmaceutical and medical stocks in our retirement portfolios.

Since 1969, I’ve heard repeatedly that, “We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t cure the common cold.” (The Greatest Generation put a man on the Moon that year, but we Boomers have pretty much dropped the ball ever since.) And we still can’t cure the common cold, although CVS has enough cough syrup on its shelves to fuel meth labs from here to Topeka.

We’ve changed the climate, then elected politicians to deny the science involved and pretend it’s a hoax. So, maybe the weather’s a little erratic, coastal cities could end up underwater and our forests are becoming firewood. On the other hand, homeowners in Vermont never thought that one day they’d own oceanfront property or pay so little for gas. And for people in Oklahoma enjoying the thrill of hundreds of minor earthquakes from all that fracking … well … you’re welcome too, Midwest Millennials.

And the Boomers’ only reward for all this will be whatever’s left in the Social Security Trust Fund. We’ve paid into it our whole lives, so it ought to be ours. After all, we’re “the sandwich generation” — caught between the Great Depression our parents suffered through and the Great Crash that’s bound to occur when the national debt ($20 trillion and counting) we’ve bequeathed to our descendants finally becomes unsustainable.

Yes, that’s right — we’re responsible for those enormous budget deficits. We twice elected Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of “Borrow and Spend,” and his gospel of “Deficits Don’t Matter.” And every politician since St. Ronald has learned a valuable lesson: We Boomers refuse to sacrifice, and will always vote for the candidate who promises us more spending and lower taxes. As The Great Depression did for our parents, that massive debt will help build character. You’re welcome, indebted Millennials.

Finally, every generation needs more than just a fiscal menace to toughen it up. We Boomers had the specter of Soviet nuclear weapons exploding over the desks we’d “ducked and covered” under, but, nowadays, Communists pose less of a threat than the Scientologists. (The Iron Curtain was actually toppled by a series of Greatest Generation cold warriors; however, if no one objects, we’ll be happy to take credit for it.)

These days, militant Muslims have replaced the Russians as the scariest global scourge. The Greatest Bush president knew how to maintain stability and the balance of power in the Middle East, but Boomer Bush wrecked the place, creating enough chaos to put terrorism on steroids and eventually give birth to ISIS. You’ll thank us later, Millennials, for this challenging state of affairs … or maybe not.

So maybe I won’t be getting that Boomer’s Day card from grateful Gen Z’ers. Perhaps, instead, President Trump (our generation’s final gift to America) will spend the last of the Social Security money rounding up and deporting us all to Florida (where so many Boomers are headed anyway).

Then you can keep us there by blockading the Florida panhandle, and making Mexico pay for the wall. In a few years, the rising sea levels (once again, you’re welcome, Millennials) will drown us all, and you can get on with your lives. No need to thank us for a job well done; just say nice things about us after we’re gone.


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