The Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, lived in a much different world than we live in today. It’s astounding, really, how much better off economically they were then than we are now.
What does that have to do with anything? Bear with me.
In 1975, the average household income was $13,779.05. In 2015, the average was $79,263.40. Sounds like we’re much better off today, right? Not exactly. There are many aspects regarding the cost of living to take into consideration. Let’s look at a few:
The cost of a home
In 1975, the average cost of a new home was $42,600; in 2015, it was $360,600. Take a second to think about that. A little over three years’ salary in 1975 would completely cover the cost of the average home at the time; that means it takes over 50% longer to pay for a home in 2015. That’s a significant disadvantage.
The cost of education
Attending an in-state public college in 1975 cost $8280 per year, on average. What about in 2015? $20,660, but guess what? That number ($8280) has been adjusted for inflation by the source, so now we have to do the same thing to the wages. After adjustments, $13,779.05 becomes $60,685. With that worked out, we can see that an entire year of schooling in 1975 came out to be roughly 13% of the average annual salary; in 2015, it surpasses 26%–double the cost in real dollars.
The cost of a vehicle
Let’s say you decided to go buy a car in ’75. On average, the price tag was something like $4,950; most sources give a smaller number, but in an attempt to be fair, I’ll stick with that estimate. What that means is that the entire cost of a vehicle was approximately 35% of a year’s pay. It jumped to $33,560 in 2015, eating away at another 8% of the average annual income. It may not be abysmal, but it’s certainly not ideal.
Even the cost of gasoline in 2015 is about 25% more expensive than in 1975 when adjusted for inflation. One could argue that fuel economy has improved, but that all depends on what you’re driving.
Looking at every aspect of the cost of living, Baby Boomers were at a strong advantage almost all the way across the board compared to Millennials and Generation Z, but for the sake of time, let’s move on.
Making America “Great Again”
Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016, and he was an outsider reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. Throughout his first term (there will probably be two thanks to the DNC crowning Biden king of the Democratic party), Trump has been an asset to the richest among us, leaving the poor in the dust.
As I pointed out in a previous article, he was extremely proud in his most recent State of the Union address, touting his “accomplishments” such as “lifting” seven million Americans off of food stamps. At the same time, his tax cuts almost exclusively benefited the rich, lowering the average corporate tax rate from 23.4% to about 12.1%. This could easily be compared to Reagan’s tax cuts, lowered rates that also predominantly favored the richest people in the world.
Something else to consider, also mentioned in a previous article, is that voter turnout among the elderly is much higher than in any other age group (GO VOTE).
What does any of this have to do with anything?
Baby Boomers reaped the benefits of a much stronger economy than we have today. Not only that, but they have–for many voting cycles–determined the direction in which our country goes, showing up in droves to vote. Many of th ravaged America, devouring everything it has to offer while electing people like Trump who care about nothing more than lining their own pockets and those of their associates.
Now, we face a pandemic that Trump has more or less dismissed for months. The thing is, this virus kills the elderly in far higher numbers than any other age group. It ends the lives of the very people who put him and every awful president before him in office. It ends the lives of those who lived the “American dream.” In spite of this, Trump said in a press conference that he doesn’t want “the cure to be worse than the problem,” echoing his previous tweets.
In the same press conference, he elaborates, making outlandish claims that depression and suicide would kill more Americans than the disease itself, writing off science in the name of the economy. Many other members of the GOP hopped on board with the idea, including Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Watch a clip where he declares that he is willing to die for the economy so that younger generations can have the America he had:
I think the rules should be more strict; I think the elderly are more important than the economy. Some people don’t.
No matter what happens, they made it what it is. They hang onto it for dear life, supporting the poster child of Wall Street, and now they may die in massive numbers for it… Irony.
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