Like Tyler Cowen, I also have an evil twin brother. My evil twin Jasper recently learned I’m a member of a blog reaching roughly a million visitors per year. He insisted I give him some space to air his callous-hearted nonsense. I of course refused, but our mother insisted that we share. (That word “share” has cost me many a G. I. Joe action figure, I tell you.) So, fine, here’s what Jasper has to say.
You all know the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper, right? The ant spends the summer working and saving for winter, while the grasshopper spends the summer singing. The ant continually warns the grasshopper that winter is coming, but still the grasshopper sings. Come winter, the ant lives in comfort, while the grasshopper is starving. The grasshopper demands food from the ant, but the ant replies that it’s the grasshopper’s fault.
This story, though at least 1800 years old, predicts our coming baby boomer retirement crisis in the U.S. The baby boomers, of course, are the worst generation of Americans who have ever lived; they’ve basically ruined the country. Anyways, unlike some past American generations, they never lived at subsistence level. They’ve known their entire lives 1) that they would at some point need to retire, and 2) that social security would have funding problems and would not likely be enough for them. Still, hardly any of them have saved for retirement. The median 55-year-old American has saved less for retirement than my good twin brother Jason, though Jason is only 34, and only started saving after he got out of grad school.
You know what will happen, of course. These baby boomers spent their entire lives buying new cars they didn’t need, buying houses that were too big, taking extra vacations, splurging on eating out, and the like. They enjoyed a higher standard of living than they could really afford. Why? Because they figured that when they retired, they could just use their voting power to force younger generations to pay for their retirement. These selfish narcissists pretty much want to steal as much as they can from their children. So, while I, Jasper, and my good twin brother Jason put tens of thousands of dollars into index funds each year, thereby forgoing fancier cars, vacations, and the like, the selfish, narcissistic baby boomers laugh gleefully, knowing that they’ll find a way to eat our nest eggs.
Jason is of course a sensitive soul and feels bad for these boomers. Not me. I say let them die. They knew what they were doing, and they spent their entire adult lives making the wrong choice over and over and over again. Does starving on the streets seem too inhumane? No problem. You’ve read Logan’s Run, right? Good idea, but wrong age limit.
Dear readers, please be aware that Jasper is practically a sociopath. Throughout our childhoods, he was always taking the bigger cupcake. And I’m sure he’s not a bleeding heart anything. So, please, don’t let him influence you. Undoubtedly he has his facts wrong, and the baby boomers are not to blame for their predicament of, for the most part, having saved nothing for their retirements.