An Open Letter to the Baby Boomers,

Dear Boomers:

I am writing on behalf of Generation X. I may not have that right, but I will do it anyway because some important things need to be communicated. I write for those of us who have grown up in a culture dominated by the much larger group who came before. I speak for those of us who are looking toward our future and who are wondering how we can avoid catastrophe as you and your generation begin to leave the work force.

Your generation is large. Mine is small. We have sat by as your generation has elected leader after leader who have consistently neglected our futures as well as yours. You have been paying into Social Security for most of your lives. You are counting on that money when you retire. It's your entitlement. You paid in, and you deserve it. I want to see you get what you deserve.

We of Generation X have grown up and watched as your generation has consistently elected leaders in the quest of short-term profits and have held them to no standard of accountability. Social Security has been in poor shape for a long time. For twenty years, we have been warned that the system is in trouble. The system is still in trouble. For the first time in those twenty years, we have a tax surplus sufficient to save the system. It looks like we might be able to save the system now without a whole lot of trouble.

I want to explain to you what I believe will happen if we don't save Social Security now. As I have said, you are many, and we are few. You will be leaving the work force in huge numbers, providing vacancies we will be unable to fill. You have elected liars who claim to love education but refuse to do anything about our crumbling system. We of Generation X who went to college are still burdened with large debts for our educations, educations we pursued in the belief that our economy would support a large number of skilled jobs rather than the burger-flipping duties and clerking to which we have grown accustomed. Compounded with the poor economy with which we had been faced until recently, we have had few financial resources of our own upon which we can rely. Let it be known that through political neglect, our education system has crumbled. We are reaching a crisis. You are expecting that bright and talented people will arise to fill your shoes in the occupations you have held for so long. I want to tell you that you can't expect that to happen. Any public education system that has been neglected for as long as the American system has been neglected will be unable to produce enough bright and talented youngsters to fill your shoes when you all leave at roughly the same time.

A down payment must be made now into the Social Security system. You have no cause to complain that you have already paid in. You helped to electe leaders who have already spent the money. Rusting phallic symbols bearing nuclear payloads were purchased through the efforts of your labors. Our coporations and a few private individuals now hold most of the money. This was delivered into their hands through the assistance of poor leaders elected with your help. The money is gone, we aren't going to get it back, and we can't continue to wait to save Social Security. Chalk it up to poor decisions in electing con artists as leaders. The money is gone. We don't have ten more years to ignore that fact, and we don't have four. We have right now. That is is all the time that is left.

Let me tell you what I believe will happen if the Boomers fail to make the decision to save Social Security now. You won't get it. It's that simple. Generation X cannot support all of you. We are few, and you are numerous. This is not personal. We all need to get by. We have been waiitng, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for our opportunity to enjoy the general opulence afforded to your generation. We have slowly and grudgingly come to realize that such opulence will not be forthcoming. We have struggled much and enjoyed little material prosperity this far into our adult lives, and that's okay. We accept being victims of circumstance, and some of you had it very rough too. However, we will collectively refuse to be victims of neglect.

As a group, Generation X have accumulated very modest slices of the American Pie. We are saddled with significant personal and educational debts as well as an enormous national debt compuonded by twenty-five years of declining real wages that have only recently begun to climb. We will not settle for less than the little we have already enjoyed. We can't. If Social Security is not saved now, we will not be able to afford to support you. We have no desire to abandon our revered elderly, but if Social Security is not saved now, we will have no choice but to do so. If Generation X and the children of the Boomers are expected to bear the entire burder of the Boomers' retirement, the system will collapse. We won't pay it because we won't be able to pay it. Collectively, we will be forced to abandon you for our own sakes. I don't want to see this happen. Neither do you. Please save Social Security now so that it will be there for you when you retire.


Alan Wescoat

(Writing for the collective benefit of the Boomers, Generation X, and the children of the Boomers)