The Del Monte generation wises up

Opinion: Columns

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By William Berg

If you are 40- or 50-something like me, you are part of the Del Monte Generation. We are the ones who were raised on anything and everything that came in a metal can. We immediately follow the generation of "Baby Boomers" but largely without name, until now. 

Unwittingly, or perhaps by evil master plan, the Boomers effectively dumbed the Del Montes down to the point where we cannot govern ourselves. I am convinced that they poisoned us with metal from all those cans, and now continue to live large at our expense.

Time and again, like fools, we local Del Montes approved property tax increases that we could not afford. On a state level, we elected enough lunatics to render Illinois nearly bankrupt. California follows close behind and the city of Detroit is now officially "full goose" bankrupt. Nationally, we allowed colleges to raise tuition rates to levels that have us drawing prematurely from our retirement funds to make ends meet. Many of us do not have proper health care. 

My highly unscientific research reveals the root cause of our plight. It's not merely a problem of local political parties or the larger picture of Democrats versus Republicans. It is molybendenum, aluminum, titanium and a host of other metals. Iron and zinc are essential nutrients in trace quantities. The Boomers, however, retarded our mental development during formative years with ferrous fury. 

Think about it. You grew up eating corn, beans, peas, asparagus and even meat (Spam, ham and others) that came in a can. You never knew fresh fruit because all your peaches and pears came in a can. For lunch, Boomers fed you Spaghettio's, which came in a can. You occasionally had a glass of milk. More often, a Boomer served you a "Hi-C" chaser that came from a large can. Good Lord, the Boomers even loaded us with "Pez," wrapped in aluminum, until we put it in silly plastic dispensers. The Boomers nodded ascent when we later got into "Heavy Metal" like, well, Metallica. No wonder we don't know what we're doing. 

I'm thinking this is an evil master plan because the Boomers keep living large. They have their pensions and other retirement sources. They have Medicare. They have part-time jobs to supplement these perks so they can travel to Europe, consume copious amounts of Viagra, play golf, go to movies and eat at restaurants for reduced "senior" rates. 

Using the lyrics from someone Boomers might understand, I can only say, "No More Mr. Nice Guy." We're on to you.

If you want to keep working, put your pension or social security check back into the general welfare funds. A lot of us "lazy" Del Montes need the money and your jobs, not for cocktails on the 19th hole but to pay tuition, rent, insurance bills. Stand in line with the rest of us, and pay full fare for a meal at Red Lobster or a movie. If you want that Rick Steve's European vacation, be prepared to pay a luxury tax to help the Del Montes pay for our "Staycations." 

Viagra? Tax it heavily. Really, you ought to act your age. 

Last but not least, stop asking Del Montes to get you medical marijuana since your bunch can't even remember the '60s and '70's when you poisoned us.

Sometimes the only way to solve a problem is to think outside the can.

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Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 2:23 PM

I realize that this is partly satirical, but satire is supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Most boomer retirees do not fit your stereotype. Many of us have only Social Security to rely on, which pays very little compared to the cost of living. This is even more true for retirees of color who were often forced into low paying jobs where they could not put as much into the fund, or did not pay into the fund at all. Pensions in the private sector were targets beginning in the 1980's. Public sector pensions are being slashed today even after being promised to workers who stayed on their jobs loyally for decades. Retirees and workers from all generations need to unite to fix this broken economy and its soaring inequality. A civil war among the generations will only benefit the wealthy elite who are primarily responsible for the mess that we are in.

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