. . . problem is the awakening of the world's youth to the raw deal their parents and grandparents -- my generation, in toto -- are handing them, and the growing anger the young feel about the fetid stables of debt, scandal and corruption they are being left to clean.Hoagland writes about misplaced spending priorities. Speaking of which, I was talking with a fellow Xer the other day and he suggested the meaning of that 700 billion treasury bailout:
I don't know what to call the generations on the rise, but Generation Xcess would do just fine for the one now in charge of global affairs. We have taken the greatest financial, technological and political opportunities the world has ever offered and abused them for our own pleasures, greed and egos.
Two weeks of student riots and protests in Greece have left at least 70 people injured and hundreds of businesses and shops vandalized. . . .
But the same dry kindling of the Greek uprising is scattered around Europe, where youth unemployment rates are double or triple those of the population over 24, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and retirement benefits are politically untouchable. Similar tensions are rising in China as the global recession deepens, in oil-producing countries such as Russia and Iran that are caught in the whiplash of rising and falling prices, and most of all in developing countries with broken governments and economies that punish the educated young disproportionately.
Universal health care? Funding for higher education? Public transport? The money was there. The money was there all along.I cannot help but imagine one of the next issues to blow up in the US is not going to be the student loan fiasco. Whether young people can get a bailout will be interesting to watch. Frankly, I doubt the young will get a penny of relief until they have taken to the streets in vast numbers.
The boomers decided they would spend it on themselves, that's all.
For example, last week the government approved rules that limits the freedom of the banks and credit card companies to gouge their customers. These rules (preventing banks from suddenly jacking up interest rates, arbitrarily changing payment dates, etc.) won't take effect for 19 months! Did the big US banks have to wait 19 months? Some financial crisis rescue. MSNBC reports:
Most of the rules were first proposed in May and drew more than 65,000 public comments — the highest number ever received by the Fed.So much outrage on the part of the citizens on this one issue. And yet such delayed action. Could we have seen any more clear statement about who is first in line, and who is last?
If middle class Americans are at the back of the line, the young generation of Americans, saddled with some $10 billion in student loans -- many student-loan shark victims among them -- remain all but invisible to the powers that be.