One author is pointing his finger at one of history’s largest generations. In his new book, “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America,” Bruce Cannon Gibney argues that “America was hijacked by the Boomers, a generation whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity.”
The Huffington Post reports that the central theme of the book is the boomers’ lack of consideration for future generations, crafting a future in favor of their own interests. In an interview with WBUR, Gibney points at their handling of social services.
“One of the key indicators for sociopathy is a lack of empathy,” he said. “So you just don’t care for people other than yourselves. So in the case of Social Security, the Social Security Administration projects the trust fund will be depleted in 2034, but by 2034 the median boomer will be dead.”
It is also predicted that by 2030, six out of 10 members of this aging generation will have a chronic condition, further complicating this issue. Broadening this generational blame, Gibney also targets baby boomer politicians and their constituents for deepening national debt.
“It is the boomers as political actors who presided over the policies that allowed the national debt to become so large,” he said. “So in the 1970s, there was actually a great deal of hand-wringing over this sort of catastrophic level of debt, 35 percent of GDP. And 40 years on, the problem is substantially worse and there’s no discussion of the debt whatsoever.”
Despite placing this responsibility on the older generation, Gibney is looking at younger generations with hope as society continues to point out their differences. For example, younger members of the population seem to be more money-conscious. More than half of Millennials and Gen Xers saying that finances are preventing them from taking leisure time, while only 45% of Boomers agree. Noticing these differing ideologies, Gibney thinks that Millennials have the potential to repair that damage that has been done.
“Young people do seem to embrace an empathetic agenda, up to and including supporting senior entitlements, I think in part because they’ve been misled about it,” he said in the interview with WBUR. “They’re certainly much more progressive about climate change and civil rights than the boomers are. So I am hopeful, but it will be some time before they’re in control.”