The Great Boomer Comeuppance
My cohort, the sainted Boomer generation, now rules this country and its institutions. The elite of this generation, graduates of the finest schools, cosmopolitan in taste and sensibility, and left-liberal in political and cultural allegiance -- have always been counted the smartest people in the room (just ask them).
Now these new Masters of the Universe have made a shambles of the US and world financial system. This is, to be sure, not the construction put upon things by the main stream media, but it is plainly the case. The current market turmoil is a product of every bad trait the Boomer Elite has long exhibited in other social and political contexts: unbridled greed and hubris, exorbitant self-regard, breathtaking recklessness, insatiable appetite for immediate gratification, and a rollicking sense of entitlement.
We are seeing in the Wall Street implosion the inevitable result of the Boomer Elite outlook and the behavior it spawned. Storied investment banks were being run on 40 to 1 leverage. Fancy new securities were designed and widely disseminated whose terms are opaque even to highly knowledgeable and experienced hands. Mortgage securitization techniques were developed which, our betters assured us, would magically spread risk and thus stabilize the financial system. However, simultaneously with these brilliant innovations, lenders were being forced -- by Boomer Elite congressmen with an aching love of the poor and oppressed unique to themselves -- to loan to uncreditworthy borrowers at subprime rates and without adequate documentation. These loans, packaged into securities together with standard, performing loans, rendered unknowable the value of the securities, leading to mandatory write downs and drastic capital impairment or outright insolvency for many very large firms. Given the high degree of integration of the international financial system, critical destabilization was the real result of this confluence of Master of the Universe genius and Boomer Elite turpitude.
The unwillingness of the rest of us to underwrite the moral excesses of the Boomer Elite perfectly enrages them. So, today, the rest of us are being screamed at. In fact, the barrel of a gun is being pressed to our temple. It is demanded that we play our accustomed role of sheep to the slaughter. We are told we must funnel the better part of a trillion dollars to the fantastically imprudent, self-dealing Wall Streeters that gave us the mess, and that we must also chip in the odd tens of billions more on pet lefty projects with which the Boomer Elite, with characteristic cynicism, lard up the package.
Our efforts to be responsible citizens in this crisis are ridiculed and shouted down: exclude from the bail-out the pork and the payoffs to interest groups? How dare we! Include measures that might actually spur badly needed growth in the tough times now surely coming, like cuts in capital gains and corporate taxes? Leave the room!
This is all merely typical of the smug, cocksure Boomer Elite. This is a group that breaks things. It has set the wrecking ball to institutions that are the essential glue of our society (marriage and the family), the basis of our political system (federalism and the separation of powers), the engine of our prosperity (the free market), the guarantor of our freedom (the military), and the glory of our history (the Constitution, participatory democracy).
Although our Masters of the Universe insist we credit them as moral paragons, they are among the most luxury loving, wealth flaunting population ever seen in the world. Whenever a Hollywood celebutard mouths some perfect imbecility in front of a camera, it is sure to be done from a five star resort hotel or on the red carpet of one of those absurdly frequent self-congratulation festivals. The silk tie, moussed hair crowd on Wall Street is no better. If the extent of the naked short selling, self dealing and market manipulation that has actually gone on these last few years were ever to become generally known, it would indict this crew all by itself. And it cannot be said enough: this crowd is heavily on the left and mostly in the Democratic Party. The cigar chomping, pin-striped caricature of a GOP money man has been false to the Wall Street facts for some time, though the left continues to furiously peddle that image.
The Boomer Elite's tired liberal nostrums are continually falsified by reality but, more and more embittered by the refusal of the world to conform to their dictates, they double down, trying to impose more lefty palliatives upon us, measures sure to be flatly unconstitutional, un-American, and disastrously counterproductive all at once. This is a blindly and viciously destructive cohort. They have degraded our common culture, warped our constitution to suit their purposes, and stand ready to subvert our very nationhood to the pipe dream of the Euro-left. Now they have brought our economy to the brink.
This crisis is, at bottom, about self government in two senses and the Boomer Elite is against both. On the macro level, they don't want the American people to govern themselves under the terms of the Constitution of 1789, preferring to rule over us by anti-democratic means wherever possible, and to the full extent possible. On the micro level, being Rousseau's children, they abjure governing their own appetites, and bid everyone act likewise. The Boomer Elite ideal is a sort of Directorate in the political system and economy, moral anarchy in personal conduct, and a quasi-totalitarian PC regime in societal relations. It is bad character as a manifesto, and tsarism as a mode of governance.
Some of the sane knew it all along, but for many others a stunning realization is only now dawning. Much of the vaunted wealth creation of the last 20 years was a mirage, and the ballyhooed processes of wealth creation were themselves largely a scam, no more than the discounted cash flow of the borrowed future.
We must shudder to think how little of our civilization may remain standing when the Boomer Elite finally, mercifully, passes from the scene.