Feature

In defense of much-maligned baby boomers

If this year&rsquo;s commencement speakers are to be believed, said Stephen Moore in <em>The Wall Street Journal</em><em>,</em> baby boomers are the worst generation in history.

Stephen Moore
The Wall Street Journal

If this year’s commencement speakers are to be believed, said Stephen Moore, baby boomers are the worst generation in history. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels recently told Butler University graduates that his generation is “just plain selfish,” having partied through the ’90s and leaving a mess for younger people to clean up; at Grinnell College, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called boomers “hungry locusts” laying waste to the land. The postwar generation, said filmmaker Ken Burns at Boston College, has “squandered the legacy” left by the Greatest Generation.

As a boomer myself, I say enough already with this “guilt and grief.” Let’s look at the full record: My fellow boomers defeated communism, “delivered the world from the brink of thermonuclear war,” and spawned Microsoft, Apple, and the digital revolution. On our watch, life expectancy has risen dramatically. We’re derided as spendthrifts, but our generation is leaving behind “more wealth and assets than any other in the history of the planet.” Our biggest crime, perhaps, was spoiling our “pampered kids,” driving them to soccer games and bankrolling their six-figure educations.

So enough griping. “Let’s see what this next generation of over-educated ingrates can do.”

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