From a Baby Boomer to Millennials -- an apology and some advice

Editor's note: Watch Patrick Dorinson on "Stossel" on Fox Business Network, Thursday, May 9 at 9 p.m. ET where he'll tackle the topic “What Ever Happened to GRIT?”

Dear Millennial Generation,

There is an old saying that says “make apologies not excuses.” And if anyone deserves an apology, not excuses it is your generation.

An apology from whom you might ask? From the Baby Boomers that’s who.

Let me explain.

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    I am a 60 year-old Boomer who, while looking around for someone to blame for many of our nation’s problems forgot the most obvious place to look, the mirror.

    As you get older you will find out that self-examination is one of the hardest things to do so forgive me for having put it off so long.


    You have been unfairly labeled as the entitlement generation by your elders, in particular the Baby Boomers, who seem to have forgotten that they were once labeled the entitled generation.

    So where did this sense of entitlement come from?

    Outside of British royalty or the offspring of Hollywood celebrities no one is born with a feeling of entitlement. It is modeled behavior not a genetic trait.

    And who modeled this behavior? Look no further than the Baby Boomer generation of your parents.

    Folks say you are spoiled and can’t fend for yourselves without your iPhones, GPS, Facebook and Twitter.

    I myself have been guilty of this lazy one-dimensional analysis. I was wrong on that count and I humbly apologize.

    In fact, let me be the first ever Baby Boomer to apologize for the mess we are leaving you. It will probably cause many of my friends to get mad at me and deny the obvious but deep down I think they will agree.

    I apologize we have left you debts both personal and public that will take your whole life to repay if even then.

    I apologize that you were taught self-esteem and shielded from the consequences of the real world instead of teaching you self-reliance so you could find your own way in it.

    I apologize that our “free love” sexual revolution of the 60s ended up with the too-early sexualization of your youth, robbing you of the innocence of childhood.

    I apologize to those among you who were less fortunate that we condemned you to the worst public schools and created a welfare system that has trapped you in a never-ending cycle of poverty. We gave you fish to eat rather than teaching you how to fish so you could feed yourself.

    We did you no favors.

    I apologize that Boomer politicians did nothing to prepare for the most predictable event in world history-their eventual retirement and the huge costs that you will be forced to pay to keep us seniors happy.

    And don’t let any Boomer tell you they have nothing to apologize for.

    While we were building our lives, we elected politicians of our generation of both parties who promised us goodies and then went about expanding government beyond its constitutional limits using borrowed money. And as individuals, just like the government, many ran up debts they couldn’t pay.

    But with this apology, I feel compelled to offer you the benefit of the wisdom that comes from experience. As you will find out the best wisdom comes from the worst experiences.

    So here goes.

    1. “A Government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul” -- George Bernard Shaw

    In 2012 the Obama campaign told you the fairy tale entitled “Life of Julia” where a young woman lives happily ever after from one government program to another throughout her life. But they don’t tell you who will pay for all this largesse.

    Here’s a hint. It won’t be us Baby Boomers. It will be you with ever higher and higher taxes.

    Big government by its very nature takes away your freedom under the guise of giving some benefit or security. As Ben Franklin, one of those old white guys called the Founding Fathers said, “He who trades security for freedom will have neither.”

    2. “Democracy should be more than two wolves settin’ down with a sheep to discuss what to have for dinner” -- James Bovard

    Generally political parties and pajamas are a waste of time. With the advances in technology you’ve made, and will make, in 20 years there may be no political parties.

    We can only hope.

    I say declare your independence and don’t join political parties.  You don’t need them to be heard. Make them earn your trust before you give them your vote. Besides it will mess with the party leader’s heads and drive the pollster’s nuts.

    3. “Question authority” -- Bumper sticker from the early 1970s

    Try this one on your Baby Boomer professors as they try to indoctrinate you into being good little progressive worker bees before they send you off to work in the government hive. And remember indoctrination is not education.

    4. “There is no free lunch” -- Milton Friedman

    Any grand bargain by the geniuses in Washington will bargain away your financial and the nation’s fiscal future. And there ain’t a thing you can do about it.

    Boomers marched on Washington to stop the Vietnam War. You should do the same and demand to see the nation’s books.

    If you are going to be asked to pay the bills you should see exactly what you are paying for.  And don’t let them try to buy you off with some “free” stuff. Today’s free lunch is tomorrow’s unpaid bill.

    5. “There is no native criminal class except Congress” -- Mark Twain

    Before voting for a member of Congress, ask yourself why would someone raise and spend millions to keep a job that only pays $175,000 a year. Then look and see how many Washington lobbyists hanging out on K Street are former Congressmen. Get a free education from the taxpayer for a few years in Congress and then cash-out. It’s nice work if you can get it.

    6. “Government should stay the Hell out of people’s lives” -- Barry Goldwater

    Tell the government to stay out of your lives. Democrats want to ban guns and plastic bags. Republicans want to ban abortion and gay marriage.

    Tell them both stop being busybodies and mind their own cotton pickin’ business.

    As long as you ain’t scaring the horses, it doesn’t harm others and it ain’t illegal enjoy your liberty.

    But remember your liberty comes with responsibilities.

    I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about and I hope you take some time to do so. Whether you are on the left or the right in a few years you will all be in the same boat-- paying for the spendthrift ways of your elders.

    So the next time you hear Baby Boomers castigate your generation for being spoiled or entitled, just roll your eyes and shake your head while you remind them that a few short decades ago they were in your shoes being accused of the very same thing.

    Oh, and tell them they better be nice to you because you will be the ones in power soon enough and in control of their Medicare and Social Security. -- That should get their attention!

    Good luck and I’ll check back in a few years to see how you are doing