Letters To The Editor - Boomers have worked hard

Advertisement

The anti-boomer diatribe in Sunday's paper sparked some interesting memories for me. Despite the rosy picture Mr. Strozinsky paints about a lifetime of boomer "entitlements," my own experiences have been a bit different.

As a child I stood in my parents' kitchen listening to JFK warn the nation about Russian nukes in Cuba. One of many recurring scares that Armageddon was merely a button-push away.

As a teenager I had no car, smartphone, computer, iPad, iPod, etc. I was pushed into science studies, which held no interest for me, because we were in a "Space Race" with Russia. During my college years, a combination of race riots, civil rights marches and anti-war protests kept things interesting.

The war in Vietnam was a personal and cultural quagmire. Some of us wondered whether prison or escape to Canada were the only options other than fighting a pointless and mismanaged war. Some went into the military, did their duty and came back to a country with little sympathy for vets or their problems.

I graduated from college with the country in a deep recession. In Seattle the "Will the Last Person to Leave Seattle Turn Off the Lights?" billboard was up. Homes were foreclosed at an alarming rate, with no government bailouts to soften the blow. If you wanted any job at all you had better not have long hair or "hippie" attire.

There were other annoyances. The first oil crisis sent lines around the block for gas stations and jacked up prices overnight. About the time we were ready to buy our first house, mortgage rates reached the teens -- 13 percent was a pretty good rate if you could qualify and some went as high as 18 percent.

We lucky boomers have had to constantly deal with changes in technology. When computers first came into the workplace, our joyride into the digital age began -- 20-plus years of failed formats, ever-changing software and endless, data-losing crashes.

The stock market casino paid out just enough to keep folks gambling. That "robust economic environment" came and went unpredictably.

Sunday's paper also had a story headlined "Long-term unemployed face bleak prospects." Virtually everyone profiled was a boomer! And their prospects were and remain quite bleak.

Yes, in a few years, I will collect some Social Security. And guess who paid for it? Me -- not you -- by working hard all my life. It's my money. I earned it.

Paul Gregutt
Waitsburg

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment