Friday, May 27, 2011

The Zero'ing Out of a Generation

Just finished watching "Generation Zero." I bought this well over 6 months ago, and until last night it remained in the original plastic wrap. The news this week of Sarah Palin's re-emergence into public life with a bus tour and a secretly made, feature length movie profile of the former vice presidential candidate inspired the viewing. Stephen K. Bannon is the filmmaker for both.

The first thing that struck me as the movie started, though, was the production company: Citizens United Productions. Producer? David N. Bossie. I've sat pondering the meaning of the Citizen's United ruling from the Supreme Court since it was announced. As far as I knew, it had not touched my life. And until yesterday I did not know who Mr. Bossie was... I had to look him up on Wikipedia after reading this Jonah Goldberg post on The Corner.

The movie was stunning. I'm very glad I invested the time and would recommend it to all. We have entered a stunning period of life in American history. We have overspent. We have authorized others... our politicians and our elites... to control our destinies. These are not opinions, they are simply facts. Next comes the struggle to reclaim them.

The struggle that I have progressed through for the past 10 months at work is part and parcel to the struggle that we will face in the coming years, perhaps the coming generation. A return to the basics: honesty, compassion, work, responsibility. People who behave by other principles than those are the people that should be avoided, but when necessary, battled.

The movie discussed the commitment that our government made to provide for retirees. Income. Healthcare. Free. The concept in presented, here and in general, as if we the American People must fulfill this obligation that other generations before us committed us to.

How is this construct of the obligation... that I the child must work and earn and be productive, so that my income can be taken from me and redistributed inefficiently through the government to my own parents and grandparents? I would not for a moment advocate leaving anyone out in the cold. Let us simply be clear: My parents' generation voted for politicians and policies that would guarantee them an income after they were done working and at the same time would not save a single penny to cover the cost of that commitment.

My parents' generation took an extraordinary risk with their future. They invested much of their retirement into this flim-flam scam. And now, when there is no money to fund the machine, when the ponzi scheme is revealed, when the risky investments they made fail... they come looking to my generation, and that of my future children to bail them out.

How is this any different than the primary discussion topic of "Generation Zero" where the big Wall Street institutions kept their profits by having the middle class taxes to bail out their failed investments?

I plan to address this topic with tremendous compassion. No one should be left in the cold. But I would like a truthful discussion. Truth, forgiveness, solution. Without the truth, without acceptance of the truth by the perpetrators, the victims will simply be bled dry.

Gird for difficult times.

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