The Political Generation Gap White-Majority Seniors VS Non-White Majority Youths

"The future of America is in this question: Will the Baby Boomers recognize that they have a responsibility and a personal stake in ensuring that this next generation of largely Latino and African-American kids are prepared to succeed?" contends Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist at Rice University in Houston, who has studied the economic and political implications of changing demographics. "This ethnic transformation could be the greatest asset this county will have, with a young multilingual, well-educated workforce. Or it could tear us apart and become a major liability."

..."You can't say our system does a very good job of educating its kids, particularly the high-need students," Ramanathan says. "And then you have massive pension and health care benefits that were given away in very sweet times to public employee unions. Where in the future are the dollars going to come from to improve the quality of the education system?" he asked. "I think you're going to see some generational issues down the line."

Similar questions loom over the federal budget debates. Largely because of Medicare and Social Security, Washington now spends $7 per senior citizen for each $1 it spends per child, according to a 2009 report by Julia Isaacs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. Even including spending by state and local governments, which fund most education costs, government at all levels still spends more than twice as much per capita on seniors (about $22,000) than on children (about $9,000). To compound the inequity, she says, young people are not only slighted for investment now, they are also likely to face a "tax burden ... much higher than current tax rates" to fund the retirement benefits promised to seniors.


These two demographics have competing needs. Seniors need social safety nets, while underprivileged youths need educational benefits. The youths bare the tax burden of having to pay for the white-seniors' social security, but the seniors have a responsibility to the future of America by providing a healthy educational start to its youth.

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 The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch
Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Brownstein, Ronald (July 24, 2010), The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch, National Journal Group Inc., Washington, DC, Retrieved on -0001-11-30
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: future shock