Come on all you Millies* and Zizzies* – admit that you don’t really want the Boomer Remover* to remove us Boomers. It’s true that, in theory, Covid-19 likes Boomers more than it likes you, but who ya gonna hate on if we’re not here? How sucky would it be to lose all the bad girls and boys just like that? Imagine the emptiness in your lives. Wouldn’t the world be a lonely ol’ place without us.
But, don’t despair, you know how theories don’t always survive the foray into the real world? Well, Covid-19 is a bit like that. There’s no guarantee that Boomers are the ones who will actually get the bug, and conveniently die, leaving all their ill-gotten gains to the much more deserving Millies and Zizzies. It might be a nice thought, but we didn’t do all that hard work of stealing your futures, just to go and conveniently pop off. Hell no, we didn’t earn our black-hearted reputations just to turn around and be that obliging.
However, you can take some reassurance from the fact that your lives wouldn’t stay empty of someone to hate on for long, should we Boomers boom-off en masse. There are plenty of unethical, greedy, and vile Millies and Zizzies, too, who would take about five minutes to fill the ‘bad’ gap left by the Boomers. Being an opportunistic arsehole is not limited to one generation.
Don’t get me wrong, being a Boomer is great. What’s not to like about being financially secure as we get older, and the good times to be had with that. It was great when we were young, too. We rode the wave of socialism that gave us security and a leg up; and then we rode that wave into neoliberalism, which told us to be mean and greedy and only care about ourselves, and to amass our fortunes. Yep, being a boomer is great. We were in the right place at the right time.
If you want some of what we Boomers have, then stop voting neoliberalism into government. Admittedly, the world was changing when we started down that track, and New Zealand had to change with it. What we changed it to, though, was an ‘all about me’ economy. As neoliberalism does, it encouraged us to only think of ourselves, and to grab whatever we could, however we could, to replace that security and leg up that socialism once gave us (socialism tends to get a bad rap, but there are varying degrees of it, which look nothing like the stifling practises of past communism).
To be fair, politicians, corporations, and marketers were smarter than the majority of us Boomers. We didn’t really get what they were doing to us, until it was entrenched. Then we started getting told that what we thought was a good thing was actually a bad thing. I always secretly wanted to be a bad girl, but never quite had the courage. Now, I find that I’ve achieved bad girl status, just by doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Who’da thought that following the rules was going to make me so bad? It’s kinda awesome.
The great neoliberal sell was, and still is, tax cuts. “More money in Kiwis pockets”, the sellers of neoliberalism cry. Oh, what a sweet sound. Who can resist? They sort of forget to list what we lose on the other hand, though, with fewer taxes to pay for public services. We get sold the line of “why should we pay for anyone else?”. How can a (cunning) appeal like that to our meanness of spirit be ignored? What is really meant, is why should those with lots of money, regardless of how it’s come by, have to spend any of it helping those with less money? Like making free University education available. What does it matter that our best and brightest may end up only being chosen from those whose parents are wealthy? Let’s cross the ditch to our Aussie cuzzies, too – bet they’re now regretting having more money in their pockets from tax cuts, at the expense of funding cuts to the rural fire service.
In Boomers defence …..argh, who am I kidding? There is no defence. We’re bad. We may not all have been directly responsible for the way the world went wrong – in fact, some of us have never stopped trying to make it right – but we all benefited from it. Including Millies and Zizzies, who are rampant consumers, too, and can expect their turn at being the baddies. So, don’t wish us Boomers to be gone – we are your role models on how not to care about successive generations’ whining and finger pointing. There’s much we can teach you about that.
Or – here’s another thought – stop voting neoliberalism into government. And many of us Boomers (those of us whom the Boomer Remover doesn’t get), will stand shoulder to shoulder with you on that.
*Millies = Millenials
*Zizzies = Gen Z
*Boomer Remover – a trending meme from Millenials and Gen Z, which refers to Covid- 19 killing more people over 60, than younger people.
Header pic by: Daniele Levis Pelusi