Friday, November 30, 2007

After the Boomers

Looking ahead from the end of 2007 seems a gloomy exercise given war, recession, global warming. John Maynard Keynes had a snappy comeback for precisely sunny prognostications of better times further into the future: "In the long run we're all dead." That thought, precisely, is my point of departure today.

When all of us Boomers are dead, sometime in 2064 or thereabouts, or indeed 20 to 40 years earlier when someone pries our cloven hooves from our work, a huge bounty will open up to those born after 1964.

In the United States, the generations that follow us are smaller, even our own children, the Echo Boomers; yet we are roughly replacing ourselves. In Europe, population can be expected to decline by as much as 25%.

Meanwhile, economic resources continue to increase or at least remain constant. Imagine the coming boon.

First of all, of course, jobs at the top will empty out just in time for Gen-Xers and Echo Boomers, as will housing units built for nuclear families. More money, ample supply, will mean lower prices for a comfortable life.

Granted, hospitals and nursing homes will become crowded -- as will cemeteries -- but only for a while. After all, in the long run we Boomers, too, will all be dead. In fact, I predict that society will either find an affordable way to support and keep us healthy -- or we will be euthanized.

Good riddance, too. Who wants millions of useless, gray, wrinkled people who cannot do anything but consume? Hell, who wants to be one?

My only regret will be not living to see how humanity will overcome our challenges, how someone will find what will seem as the obvious solution to many of our problems -- yielding, of course, a new problematic paradigm. Hey, that's not my problem.

In the meantime, I suppose, I can only hope to be as productive as possible, as engaging, as amusing to convince those around me to put off the day I am asked to step into the Eu-machine for the one-way trip to Neverland. But I am ready.

Happy future, next generations!
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