Next on the American Agenda: Generational debate

We’re pretty complacent right now. Everyone, all Americans. We know the country is on the wrong track, but everyone assumes the process will deliver a solution, whether that solution is named Obama or McCain. Complacent.

In fact, the United States is at a crossroads that isn’t being discussed at all: Are we ever going to begin to invest in the future, again. The Greatest Generation and their offspring, the Greying Generation, have rebelled against big government and social programs while building up a national debt inconceivable even to the greatest advocate of national spending. Basically, we have spent the future’s inheritance on a party of excess consumption while leaving virtually everyone unprepared for the changing demands of the 21st century.

So, instead of hearing about “tax relief” we should be hearing about the debt the nation owes its children, who have already shouldered $31,600 in debt per capita. How are we going to make this right? It may sound like a contradiction, but some government spending or, at least, government-facilitated spending on education and retraining would go a long way to solve the problem. We must prepare people to be successful and, in the new economy, that requires ongoing reinvestment.

But we also need to step up to the debt and pay it off. That means paying additional taxes now. Since the very rich have benefitted far more than the rest of America, it makes sense they carry more of the burden than the poor, the middle class and their children—yet it is everyone’s problem. Time to carry our burden to set the stage for our children’s opportunity.

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.