Disturbing story (click!) this morning on NPR (yeah yeah, I know, it’s that damn liberal radio show) with Census Data showing the younger generation has taken it in the shorts in the economy.
Essentially, the last 10 years — yes, including W’s administration — have been a non-starter for the younger generations, and they’re going to pay for it for the rest of their lives, which means this whole mess will ripple down for the next 60 years or so as a bubble of underpaid, underemployed workers pass through.
They have had a lousy start in life. Wages have been stagnant, massive debt run up during the housing boom has left us paying off the past instead of building the future, and on top of that the Baby Boom generation isn’t retiring fast enough to make way for them to find jobs even though there are fewer of them than us (I’m a BB’r).
What really sucks is that, in light of this, I have to admit that doom-and-gloom prophet Ron Paul, (click!) perennial presidential candidate, may be right in at least one sense: We really have blown our wad and now we have to pay — not ourselves, of course, but those who follow. During the 90s and 2000s the nation essentially took out a massive mortgage on our future and threw a giant party. The party’s over and now the tab is due.
This is what happens when you believe housing speculators and guys named Alan Greenspan who tell you that housing prices will never go down because they haven’t yet (although they had). I can almost forgive the speculators — it’s their job to sell houses — but Greenspan has seen the phrase “past performance does not guarantee future performance” about a zillion times on stock prospectuses and knew better.
But of course the people who actually took out all the millions of loans also knew, really, that it had to end.
And it has.