Jim Tankersley's coverup of reality

Baby boomers pillaged our economy. They should help fix it.
An alternate link to the above
by Jim Tankersley

Here the Washington Post's Jim Tankersley recites a list of America's problems:
a rising sea of red ink in the federal budget,
a sluggish economy,
and so forth.
And who does he blame for these problems?
The baby boomers, featuring repeated images of elderly couples clinking wine glasses.
Among other things, he blames them for keeping benefits to the elderly high.

What a lying bastard.
The reason those benefits for the elderly are so high is because
year after year,
the elderly vote out anyone who threatens those benefits,
or in years past, did not raise them to the current level.
Baby boomers only started retiring in 1945+65 = 2010.
In all the previous years,
it was the people who were then over 65
who voted overwhelmingly for those high benefits.
Indeed, as Tankersley should know, Social Security and Medicare have long been known as "The third rail" of the American political system.
Are the newly over-65 baby boomers voting any more strongly for those high benefits
than the older generations have done in their over-65 years?
I haven't seen any evidence of that.
So why single out the baby boomers as being the cause of those unsustainably over-generous benefits?

On the issue of "Who broke the 1950s economy",
the best answer is in the 2010 book
The Betrayal of American Prosperity by Clyde Prestowitz,
which ever since it was published has been featured on my principal web site.
And you know what?
That book wasn't even reviewed by the Washington Post.

A short summary of the decline of the 1950s economy would include the following points:
  • The mania for free trade, which benefits, at least in the short term, consumers
    at the expense of American producers.
    For a sample of media opinion-leaders favoring consumers over producers,
    see "John Edwards and the Shrimp" by Gail Collins,
    or the stories in Tankersley's Washington Post
    which describe free trade as "smart".
    I certainly don't believe that trading off American jobs and industrial capability
    for cheaper consumer goods is necessarily a "smart" tradeoff.
  • Labor unions, which pushed American wages and benefits up to the point where
    the competitive disadvantage for production in America became overly large.
  • The constant push to raise the cost of doing business in the United States.
    When you buy something from China,
    how much of the price you pay goes for, say,
    parental-leave benefits for the Chinese workers who made that product?
    On the other hand, when you buy something made in the "progressive" USA,
    the labor cost has been jacked up by the full panoply of "progressive" regulations.
    The point is:
    Those "progressive" regulations have an impact on moving jobs to
    not-so-progressive countries.
    But do you think the Washington Post is going to make that connection?
    Evidently not, when they can just blame the baby-boomers for the flagging economy.
  • Finally, the shift from "stakeholder values" to "shareholder values"
    which was advocated in the 1980s by Milton Friedman,
    and has been described both in the Prestowitz book cited above
    and in my web page derived from that book,
    "From stakeholder values to shareholder values".

American jobs have been killed by a variety of factors.
To blame baby boomers rather than, say,
those people of a variety of ages who have pushed for free trade
without regard to its effect on American jobs
is only distracting from what the real causes of America's problems are.

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