Boomers Sold Out the Millenials?

Every time I see someone post that my generation sold out the future, it makes me sad. Why do people think things were better when we were their age? College tuition quadrupled? Global warming? Housing market destroyed?
I just checked – my college costs within $1,000 now what it cost when I attended school, when adjusted for inflation. I paid for college the same way most students do now – a combination of scholarships, work study, and massive college loans that took me years to pay off. 

Global warming? Yeah, we all need to do better on that one. I tip my hat to my many friends who ride their bikes as an alternative to burning of fossil fuel, but I wonder of the people who are complaining that my generation has brought on global warming – how many of them drive? And when I was growing up, the global issue we faced was learning how to avoid catastrophic contamination of the environment by nuclear waste – or even better, fallout from a global nuclear confrontation.

And on that one, you’re welcome. When I was starting out as an adult, many people thought an all-out nuclear war was a near certainty, that it was just a matter of time. Managing to avoid having a global nuclear meltdown took decades of committed global diplomacy and a razor’s edge balance to strong national security.

We destroyed the housing market? When I got out of graduate school, I felt very fortunate to be able to get a loan for a house. The prime interest rate is currently about 3%. When I graduated from grad school, it was 20%. For those lucky enough to have money in savings, they earned a lot. But as a newly minted PhD, barely living above the poverty level, it made paying for anything on credit very costly.
I absolutely agree we all can do better – protecting the environment, making sure everyone can earn a living wage, making education accessible – but I’m probably still going to get defensive when I hear people complain that I helped sell out their future. On the other hand, I will always be happy to talk to anyone about how we can do better together. 

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