In a fairy tale, Chicken Little panics when an acorn falls on her head. She yells, “Help” The sky is falling! I have to tell the King!” On her way to tell the King, she is joined by others who she also has convinced the sky is falling.
On the road, they meet Foxy Loxy and they explain to him they are on the way to the King to tell him about the falling sky. Foxy, tells them to follow him and he will show them the way to the King. Foxy Loxy led them straight to his den, and they never saw the king to tell him the sky is falling.
Today, there is a great deal of “the sky is falling” cacophony in America with a double barrel shotgun aimed directly at Baby Boomers, and the generations that follow. With much of the daily discourse coming from shameless politicians and greed-led business persons with an eye on political gain and shaking out the next piggy bank – entitlement programs.
The purpose of this disturbingly clever portend is twofold: to persuade post Boomer generations that if something drastic isn’t done immediately, their future is in peril; and, to divert attention from the real fallout of reckless finance behavior and political irresponsibility.
The consequences of this sheath campaign are seething, frightened post boomer generations with a belief their expected future is 25% worse off than their parents; a shamed boomer generation with 50 years of excess and selfish aspirations; and a political and financial machine positioned to jump on the dollar opportunity of divisiveness.
The end result, an Age war. A war for jobs and limited economic and service resources fought between the boomers and post boomer generations. And a tragedy of apathy for the other’s generations ‘well-being.
To avoid this impending Age war, we must become tone deaf to manipulatively self-serving rhetoric.
Of course, there is much to be said about who’s to blame for America’s 50 year descent from its Superpower perch, but there’s not enough room in this article for such a red herring discussion. And to focus solely on blame is dangerous anyway, when there is so much work to be done moving towards a stable future for our children, and children’s children.
However, what can be entered into the conversation is the continued importance of the Boomer as an indispensable dimension to the task of fixing America’s future. Given there are a reported 78 million boomers, with a collective net worth of over $3 Trillion dollars; boomers are the most educated generation in history, and represent a tremendously skilled workforce – which generation is in better position to do America’s heavy lifting? As a highly active force the boomer is charged with care of not only one, but three generations: our parents, our own generation, and our children’s generation. Now that average life expectancy is 78 years, the oldest boomers can be around for another 13-15 years to have a productive impact on the American cultural and economic construct.
The boomers are equipped with the armaments and experience to navigate a return to American greatness; the post-boomer generations have the youthful energy. We are going to need a generational duet to accomplish our goals.
In case you were wondering, the moral of the Chicken Little story: “Don’t be a chicken little. Don’t be afraid. The sky is not falling.”