Youth Should Be In Revolt

There are a lot of reasons for tuition increases in the UC and other systems, but one of the big ones is that the modern Republican party decided that they would change the terms of the deal. Everyone over 55 gets the package that’s been around for a few generations: an inexpensive state-sponsored University education, and Medicare and Social Security when you’re 65. The rest of us get thousands of dollars of college debt, vouchers that cover a fraction of Medicare costs, and privatized Social Security. If fucking the young is what it takes so the old don’t pay more taxes, then the young shall be fucked. The only thing surprising about the Occupy movement on college campuses is that it isn’t more widespread, and that it didn’t happen earlier.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






105 replies
  1. 1
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Well how else are the students supposed to pay for all of the administrative goodies (like pepper spray and the top salaries) they get that make their college experience something to remember?

    The American people have remained largely silent as the right, with assistance from some Democrats, has systematically dismantled and destroyed our government, financial markets and public services, all in the name of profit. I have a strong feeling that that silence is about to be broken because people are getting fed up with the shit sandwich that they are being told to bite, chew and swallow.

    Every damned day.

    Enough is enough and I think we have had it.

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    It actually all depends on how you distribute financial aid. I am in favor of tuition increases for well-off students whose families can pay, which can actually be used to subsidize things further for students with less money, so that the latter can effectively pay less money.

    I do not think that is what has happened with the UC system, but I’d have to read up a little bit to be sure what the plans are for the future.

  3. 3
    Pavonis says:

    Yikes.

    I graduated from U.C. Davis 6 years. Glad I finished when I did. I worked about 10 to 15/hrs. a week* but most of the tuition/room&board bill was covered by my parents. 22K a year is crazy talk.

    *U.C. recommends its students work 10 hrs. week to not distract from studying. The absolute maximum recommended limit was 20hrs./wk. It’s mathematically impossible to make it through without debt without mooching off parents.

    Oh yeah, many students chose to attend Davis because it’s quiet and has a small-town friendly atmosphere. The pepper-spray incident will not be good for its brand…

  4. 4
    dgc says:

    Don’t make what’s happening into old vs. young, mastermix. That’s just foolish. I’m a 52 year old middle income person, my parents are in their mid-70s, my nieces and nephews are in their teens to 30s. All three generations are fucked 99%ers. No doubt my nieces and nephews generation is being fucked harder, but that’s to keep taxes on the 1% low or non-existent. Blaming the older generations just plays into their hands.

  5. 5

    Everyone over 55 gets the package that’s been around for a few generations…

    Just because I know you like to stick it to the Boomers, mistermix, I feel I should point out that 1956 was the peak of the Boom. It just happens that those born from ’46 to ’56 happened to, on average, make a better living than the younger half of the generation.

    Only because I sense it coming, man….

  6. 6
    folkbum says:

    If fucking the young is what it takes

    I believe it’s called “Sanduskying” now. But Republicans have made it an art.

  7. 7
    foosion says:

    What’s more fun is they say they’re doing it “for the children.”

  8. 8
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @folkbum: Oh, snap.

  9. 9

    @dgc:

    Blaming the older generations just plays into their hands.

    It’s not like no one could see this coming. The economic inequities between those born in 1956 and earlier and those born afterwards have been increasingly noticeable from 1975 on. That’s 36 years of the majority of the body politic burying its head in the sand rather than addressing this convergence of economic woes and age demographics- and I can tell you that it wasn’t relatively powerless Gen Xers like me who were ignoring the problem.

    ETA: I’m a first year Gen Xer- 1965- and I see little difference between myself and someone born in 1960.

  10. 10
    RSA says:

    There are a lot of reasons for tuition increases in the UC

    Check out the chart of tuition and fees over time in the UC system. (It’s badly done, but it starts with zero in 1997-98, and then shows the percentage increase from that baseline for each succeeding year.) Tuition and fees were relatively flat, even dipping down a bit for undergrads, from 1997-98 through 2002-03. Then they start to spike, with a 35% single-year increase from 2002-03 to 2003-04. It’s risen at a much higher rate each year afterwards.

    It made me think, “What happened in CA in 2003?”

  11. 11
    PurpleGirl says:

    mistermix: I’m a Boomer from 1951. Please, don’t keep making it an age thing — young versus old/older. It’s between the 99% and the 1%.

    And I’ve been paying the higher FICA since 1984. I didn’t vote for Reagan and never would have.

  12. 12
    James says:

    This is not about old vs. young. Shame on you for buying into that divisive shit. This is about what the right — especially the GOP — has done, is doing, and plans to do. In fact, the situation in California is a perfect example of what is happening at the national level.

    Here you have a minority of ideologues — the GOP is an extremist minority in Cali — having taken control of the government and inflicting their agenda. First they push through an iniative mandating that it takes a 2/3 majority to pass the budget or raise taxes. Then they push through a Balanced Budget amendment. Then they push through term limits. So these ideologues are just barely able to maintain their 1/3 — literally only 1 or 2 congressmen in each California house — in order to obstruct any budget and to preserve tax breaks for yacht owners and millionaires. That’s exactly why there is gridlock in California, long long before the same thing happened at the federal level, and that’s exactly why they are dismantling the proud and much loved higher education system that Californians enjoyed for decades.

    Shame on you for buying into the GOP’s divisive strategy pitting young against old, white against color, nativists against immigrants. You ought to know better, Mister Mix.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ: At a luncheon with my college president during my 25th reunion this summer, she was asked why, since the school (small, private, selective, and expensive) was giving some financial aid to over 90% of its students, they didn’t just lower tuition. Her response was that there were two reasons: first, that price affects perception of quality and decreasing price would signal decreasing quality; and, second, some people could afford the high tuition with no problems and had no issue with paying it.

  14. 14
    James says:

    @RSA: I don’t know if your question was rhetorical, but it is when the GOP engineered the Davis recall and installed the governator to rule guleeeeevornyaaaaaaa.

    To add: the UC system’s dismantling by the GOP actually began in the early 1990’s when the ideologue Pete Wilson was governor. Before that, tuition for Cali residents was around 1,000 and less per year. Wilson gutted the UC system on a wholesale basis, closing whole departments, raising tuition every year, appointing rightwing ideologues into leadership positions. It’s been going on for 2 decades.

  15. 15
    Josie says:

    Making this a old vs. young thing is just lazy thinking, giving the easy answer. The generations are interlinked in their richness or poverty. I have impoverished myself educating my sons and helping them when they couldn’t get jobs. All generations are affected by the policies of the 1%. I deeply resent your petulant attempt to make me the bad guy vs. the very people I have worked so hard to help.

  16. 16
    Mark B. says:

    I graduated from the University of Texas in 1978. A semester’s tuition (in state) back then was about $300 and books were a couple hundred a semester. I remember how hard it was to scrape together that amount of money 2-3 times a year.

    Even given inflation, that’s miniscule compared to today’s rates. I grew up poor, and paid my own way by working while I went to school. I don’t even see how that would be possible now. It seems like today’s politicians are dedicated to creating a permanently undereducated underclass by making it impossible for those who aren’t from well-to-do families to attend college.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    The elderly disproportionately vote Republican. The young disproportionately do not vote. Everything else flows naturally from that fact.

  18. 18
    superdestroyer says:

    If the 18 y/o public university college freshmen of today wants to pay the same tuition (correct for inflation) that was paid in 1960, would that same college freshmen be willing to have the same percentage of 18 y/o’s in college today that attended college in 1960?

    I doubt if more than half of the freshmen in California public universities today would be willing to give up their seats in college so that the other half would have lower tuition?

  19. 19
    Suffern ACE says:

    @James: Having given us Nixon and Reagan, voting to enshine low taxes as a birthright, voting to lock-em-up (but not wanting to actually pay for any prisons), I am shocked that Californians pretends that this is something a nebulous “the right” has done. I believe in CA, this has been done rather openly, with a majority of people cheering for it.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    KyCole says:

    Another Boomer here- 1957. I’m with the others. My parents have pensions, I don’t. I have a small business, sent 3 kids to college, and will probably work until unable. Then I’ll live a much poorer life than my Republican parents (who live in State College and feel so bad for Paterno- but thats another thread).

    Also- I never voted for those damn Republicans either.

  22. 22

    @James:

    This is not about old vs. young. Shame on you for buying into that divisive shit.

    Yeah, you say that NOW. Where was the We’re-All-In-the-Same-Boat attitude 17 years ago when the younger amongst us were already going underwater or seeing it happen to others in our cohort? Didn’t you notice that the people delivering your pizzas were, on average, getting a lot older?

  23. 23
    jo6pac says:

    There more to this story on the UC system if you have time google for information that the site Counterpunch did about 2yrs ago. D. Blum and friends use the system like a personnel bank. It cost as much to go to 1 semester at a JC in Calif today as a 4yr degree did in the 60s. Education should be free to all in the US

  24. 24
    mistermix says:

    @DougJ: Here’s a fairly weasel-worded document on that topic from 2006-2007:

    http://www.universityofcalifor.....lity08.pdf

    The average grant + scholarship package at UC was $9,680. Average Pell grant around then was $2,700 or so, maximum was about $5,500. Unless there was some massive influx of scholarship money, kids who could almost have their education covered a few years ago will now be paying a major portion out of pocket.

    @Josie and everyone else who complains about the old/young issue: Isn’t it obvious that de-motivating the young and motivating the old through fear and benefits is the way that the Republican Party has been winning elections? I’m not saying that you voted Republican.

  25. 25
    Emma says:

    @Mark B.: I think I’ve said this before in one of these discussions, but I have a friend who used to be a school teacher who swears the educational system is rigged to create citizens with enough education to be able to sign their names to credit card slips and fill their lives with crap while they work themselves into an early grave while the real money goes upwards. I used to call her a cynic. Sigh.

  26. 26
    Mark B. says:

    @mistermix: Yeah, it’s clear that the Fox News target audience is 50+ when you watch the commercials. Lots of hemmorrhoid remedies and laxatives. And commemorative gold coins. Burial insurance. However, that doesn’t mean all older people are bad. Just because the righties are fanning the flames of intergenerational warfare, it doesn’t mean that people on the left should buy into it.

    Don’t trust anyone over 304050 … 60

  27. 27
    jwb says:

    @DougJ: This is generally how administrators go into tuition increases in theory. In practice, the increase in financial aid is rarely adequate to cover the increased tuition. Many private schools—perhaps some public schools—also are forced to abandon need-blind admissions, meaning that you are more likely to be accepted to the school if you can pay full-freight. That in turn changes the demographics of the student population, skewing it toward rich kids.

  28. 28
    Xboxershorts says:

    46 years ago today, the president of this nation was assassinated in broad daylight. And a cover up of immense proportions followed.

    And the path this nation was on was permanently altered.

    This marked the ascension of the American military industrial complex.

    I was 4 years old at the time, so I God Damned Guarantee you the baby boomers had nothing to do with his death.

    If you ascribe to the Blame the Boomers bullshit, then you need a fucking history lesson.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Xboxershorts: 48 years ago.

    /pedant

  30. 30
    Sly says:

    @James:

    This is not about old vs. young. Shame on you for buying into that divisive shit. This is about what the right—especially the GOP —has done, is doing, and plans to do.

    And which party do older voters tend to support?

    This isn’t about individuals within particular age cohorts. This is about the political cultures operating across cohorts that help define them as generations. The policies enshrined by voters in the 80s have created widening gap between productivity and compensation. Their kids and grandkids are going to be expected to produce more and earn the same at best and less at worst, and when they act or speak in a manner that reflects what an utterly fucked up situation they find themselves in, they’ll be called lazy and ungrateful. And it will be a steaming pile of bullshit.

    One can explain this by pointing to the invisibility of generational change. Who could have predicted, thirty years ago, that all this would happen? But that neither solves the problem nor absolves those who created it. And, yes, I will risk the cries of “AGE WARFARE!” by pointing this out. I work with kids in high school and early college. I see what is happening to them on a daily basis, and the only people more pissed off and depressed about it than me is, well, them.

  31. 31
    Napoleon says:

    @Mark B.:

    Isn’t the average age of an O’Reilly viewer something like 68 (seriously)?

  32. 32
    Mark B. says:

    @Napoleon: My mom, who is in her 70s, watches that shit 24 hours a day. I used to joke that it would rot her brain. I don’t think it’s a joke any more.

  33. 33

    @Xboxershorts:

    If you ascribe to the Blame the Boomers bullshit, then you need a fucking history lesson.

    It has about as much to do with thew MIC now as it did in 1347– that is, nothing at all.

    It’s about the labor pool and the economic power of the working class. I don’t blame the Boomers for the size of the labor pool- that fault is of the previous generation, with the exception of global free trade agreements- but the Boomers sure as hell didn’t address the problem as they should have.

  34. 34
    James says:

    @Suffern ACE: I can’t disagree with your assesssment. In fact the abuse of the initiative and the inattention of the California voter is key to the right’s success. In fact, the California voter is getting exactly the government it voted for. Thankfully, they seem to have had enough of the initiative rule of law for the time being. So that’s a good thing.

  35. 35
    Schlemizel says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Who the hell has pizzas delivered? I sure don’t. I have been working against this insanity since the reign of St. Reagan (actually 50 years, worked on my first campaign at age 6 – Joe Karth MN-4 but it didn’t get to be so obvious until 1980). I have no retirement – it was stolen in the 90’s.

    Trying to portray this as generational conflict plays into the Republicans hands. Pointing out that the Republicans are trying to set generations against each other does not. We need to do less of the former and more of the latter.

  36. 36

    Let’s not let the fear of making this old Vs. young mask telling the truth. Generally speaking, our economic and spending policies made it way easier for my parents’ generation than mine and my generation had it easier than those coming after me. Is that my parents fault? No, but it is someone’s fault.

    There are a whole bunch of older assholes (i.e. Republicans)out there who claim to be self-made men, but in reality they lived off a bunch of government investments in infrastructure, R&D, and education that powered the economy. When they made it to the top, they kicked over the ladder for the next generation.

    Their tuition was cheap. If they didn’t want/could not go to college, there were opportunities in manufacturing and even white collar jobs that are now mostly gone due to policies promoted by the so-called 1%.

    The young do have a right to be pissed off.

  37. 37
    Josie says:

    @mistermix: I’m glad you are not saying that because I have always voted Democratic and not from fear but from conviction. My children are actually somewhat more conservative than I am and tease me about my liberal stances. I just don’t think you can make judgments about people’s attitudes based on age any more than any other attribute. Sweeping generalizations are the result of lazy thinking.

  38. 38
    Dork says:

    If those numbers are true, that’s just fucking incredible.

  39. 39
    JoeShabadoo says:

    that it isn’t more widespread, and that it didn’t happen earlier.

    This is easy.

    1. Most public universities outside of California are already ridiculously priced even when in state. They may raise them a bit, but since they are already unaffordable people just roll there eyes and say “there they go again!”

    2. Most states don’t have so many good public universities like California. If you grow up in New England you are surrounded by great private schools so the public ones are barely on the radar of the good students.

  40. 40
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Really?

    A lot of boomers died trying to fight the corruption. Hundreds of thousands more were turned into criminals by the state. We’ve endured decades of demonization by the state’s mouthpieces on the right. And now the left, frustrated by our inability to achieve real progress wants to jump in get their lumps in too?

    Get real son. Our future depends on it.

  41. 41
    rageahol says:

    I thought this was an interesting sidelight on the UC discussion:

    http://crookedtimber.org/2011/.....-uc-davis/

    I believe that Aaron Bady (zunguzungu) has also done some postings about the ballooning administrative budgets at UC, which in turn “necessitate” tuition increases.

    Personally, I will have about $300k in school debt by the time i finish this round. I ran up $20k just going to community college and then my local state school. While I sympathize with the people who find the debt psychologically crushing, so long as you did your borrowing through the feds, they’re not going to put the screws to you. you go into income-based repayment and they’ll make sure that you have enough to live on, and will probably forgive a whole bunch of it after 20 (it used to be 25) years. i don’t know why this is not more widely publicized.

    Who I really feel for is all these kids who went to for-profit schools not knowing any better, or folks who took out private loans.

  42. 42
    Jennifer says:

    Don’t excoriate mistermix for noticing the none-too-subtle old v. young dynamic that the Republicans have worked, relentlessly, to set up over the past several decades.

    Noticing that it exists doesn’t mean that the olds engineered it, though to be fair, it was their voting patterns that enabled it. I’m old enough that I was among the first to enter college right after Reagan was elected on promises to “let you keep YOUR money,” which for the cohort right ahead of me, was only in their pockets thanks to the much more liberal public support for college education when they attended in the 5 – 10 years previous to me. That’s right, a lot of our older brothers and sisters decided that being able to afford pasta machines and food processors (a couple of the main yuppie accoutrements of the day) was more important than their younger siblings being able to get an affordable education.

    The older boomers may not have generated the fuck the youngs mentality, but they’ve been voting for it for 30 years now. It’s no accident that the Republicans set it up in the first place.

    And the cost of a public college back in that day was virtually nil compared to what it is now. Even so, I didn’t graduate debt-free, while if I had been only 5 years older, I would have thanks to the much more generous grants that were available pre-Reagan.

  43. 43
    Xenos says:

    Even in an intensely corrupt, abusive crony corporate state like Egypt, you do not get revolution until people are hungry. Indeed, when the government can not assure enough affordable food, that is when people will openly, persistantly rebel. That is why Saddam Hussein was able to last so long – he provided free food for his entire damn country.

    What level of deprivation does it take to allow for a popular, revolutionary movement in the US? Debt slavery, in the form of student loans, for a whole generation just might do it. If the Republicans really wanted to cement in their power for another 20 years they would be smart to have an amnesty on all outstanding student debt, paid for with entitlement cuts. Instead, they want to tighten the screws some more. Real fucking smart of them.

  44. 44
    James says:

    In fact, it was Generation X “greed is good” yuppie cohort — children of the baby boomers — that turned heavily conservative in their youth, and you still see that in trends of political ideology. It is Gen X that dominates the political scene, and political journalism, in Washington. People born in the late 60’s early 70’s who came to voting age in the Reagan era.

    Here’s a chart showing youth cohorts and their political ideology
    youth_partisan_vote-0811071140-FINAL | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

    from The Millennial Pendulum: Cohort Effects and Political Realignment | Future Majority

    You do, indeed, need a history lesson, or at least some data to back up your claims. People older than 65 are not Boomers. They are the youth of the 1950’s — much much different cohort than Boomers.

  45. 45
    Bill K says:

    I was able to game the system here in Texas. Back in the late 90’s you could prepay tuition and fees for about $10K for 4 years and I bought a 4 year plan for both my daughter and son. The state quickly realized they screwed up and closed the plan to new buyers. Tuition at UT for my daughter is about $11K a year now.

  46. 46
    pika says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    price affects perception of quality and decreasing price would signal decreasing quality

    I work at a SUNY school, and I can tell you that this is exactly one of the reasons that so many New Yorkers hate SUNY. They see it as “cheap” = “low quality” = (amazing mental contortion) = unbearable parasitic burden on taxpayers.

    For a really thorough look at why UC tuition has been rising, see Nathan Brown (he of the open letter to Katehi) break it down here: http://distributioninsensible......c-struggle

  47. 47
    JoeShabadoo says:

    @rageahol: That’s because “having enough to live on” isn’t exactly appealing to most people, particularly because it means they may have spent all that money (and still are spending) for nothing.

    The debt also causes them to miss out on all kinds of opportunities.
    Internship? Gotta pay that money.
    Want to start your own business? As long as you get somebody to back it entirely and to pay off your loans while you get it going.

  48. 48
    RalfW says:

    Was this engineered by the old to screw the young? I dunno. It’s probably more a function of the tax policies designed for the 1% also benefiting mid- and upper mid- older people.

    But older Americans have definitely benefited:

    Households headed by adults ages 35 and younger had a median net worth of $3,662 in 2009. That marks a 68% decline in wealth, compared to that same age group 25 years earlier.
    Over the same time frame, households headed by adults ages 65 years and older, have seen just the opposite. Their wealth rose 42%, to a median of $170,494.

    via CNN

    So the old:young wealth ratio used to be about 10:1, now it’s 47:1. That’s a freakin’ huge change.

  49. 49
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    When we’re being told that a program all of us who work have been paying into for years will only for certain be there for people who are 55+, I don’t know how people can complain about the old vs. young point…

  50. 50
    James says:

    @RalfW: 25 years ago a young family could still buy a house, which is the major source of “net worth” for most people. In addition to rising housing prices, people are marrying later and having children later, so putting off the buying of a family home. I’m not saying that tax policies don’t play a part, but the population dynamics in that picture are far more complex than 1%-99% divisions.

  51. 51
    RSA says:

    Thanks, @James and @TomM. I’d thought about Arnie, and the heating-up of the housing market, but I’d forgotten about Enron.

  52. 52
    James says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac: The point is, the GOP is advocating those policies and driving a divisive wedge here in order to privatize social security and destroy medicare. Historically, people under 50 haven’t paid enough attention to changes that have been made to these programs. The GOP has rightfully assessed that older Americans pay close attention to the details of these popular programs. Indeed, they have been convincing younger people starting in the 1980’s that “social security won’t be there for me.” Hogwash. At this point, it is the ONLY retirement that people can count on. Because pensions are disappearing, and if you do the math, your 401k isn’t going to be adequate.

  53. 53
    RalfW says:

    @James: I’ll agree that there is a fraction of Gen X that is quite conservative. I went to college with a lot of them at a private, religiously affiliated – but very country club – college in Texas.

    I shudder to think many of them are in line to be senior management in corporations shortly. Others are no doubt in league with Grover Norquist and his ilk.

    But this made me laugh. “They are the youth of the 1950’s—much much different cohort than Boomers.” Uhhhh, that’s the heart of the boomers. I’m a first year X-er, born late 1965.

    Xers are what, 30-46 years old? I think the boomer generation was extra-wide and it feels like Gen X is compressed in comparison. Anyway, Xers seem more disparate, more stratified and gated and disconnected, just like the culture we grew up in.

    I have some hope that those now under 30 will be wiser and perhaps more willing to look out for each other. Not sure why, maybe wishful thinking…

  54. 54
    chopper says:

    i thank god i went to college when i did. 18K in loans for 4 years in the late 90’s. i looked up my school’s current rates today and the same education would cost me 3 times as much.

  55. 55
    harlana says:

    please stop telling people over 50 they are screwing the young. not all of us have any responsibility for this (NEVER voted for a stinking republican) and are losing our jobs, most will never work again as they are being winnowed out because of they are too old. and, trust me, they cannot afford to not work and have been condemned to marginal existence until they die. many will wish that they would just go ahead and die. ask me how i know.

    i think what has happened with tuition is unconscionable, but i am not responsible for this or screwing the young or not caring about their future. may i emphasize, again that i have never voted for a stinking republican and i also did my part in trying to prevent them from destroying the future of America’s children (i failed, of course, b/c back in those days, i was a “traitor”). We are not all selfish assholes and were actually spit on for even caring enough to even say something about a war that we knew would bankrupt the nation and America’s children.

    i tried, i’m sorry it was not enough.

  56. 56
    James says:

    By the looks of this comment thread, the GOP has done it’s job well. Once again.

  57. 57
    RalfW says:

    @James: Delayed home ownership is indeed a wealth factor. But the dropping of the capital gains rate I think was one of the biggest, and rarely discussed, features of the concentration and accumulation of wealth for older Americans.

    And then it metastasized into the carried-interest loophole for our real shadowy overlords, and the gig may just be up for America.

    Anyway, trying to be less cynical, I’ve seen it very much at work in my own family. Heck, I even benefit a little bit from lower taxes on cap gains. I’d be very willing to pay 5% more, but I’m weirdly liberal.

  58. 58
    harlana says:

    i sure hope nobody here (including the author) who is blaming the “oldsters” ever voted republican because then, they actually owe ME an apology

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    @mistermix:

    Thanks. That is what I thought, but wanted to hear the whole story before judging.

  60. 60
    James says:

    @RalfW: Do your math. The first Boomers were born 1946ish. The 1950-early 1960 youth are a much different cohort than those who came of age mid-late 60’s, who turned into dirty fucking hippies and tried to claim justice for the world, albeit in a purple haze. The times, they were a-changin.

    I get that you young’uns don’t get the distinction but it is there. The cohort you are attributing to the Boomers are not boomers but pre-boomers and were quite conservative, and still are.

  61. 61
    James says:

    @RalfW:

    But the dropping of the capital gains rate I think was one of the biggest, and rarely discussed, features of the concentration and accumulation of wealth for older Americans.

    I’d very much like to see your data on this. Until then, I call bullshit.

  62. 62
    chopper says:

    @harlana:

    pointing out that the older generations of americans, on the whole, gladly supported an unsustainable system that ended up boning the younger generations of americans because it got them some nice benefits and shit is not a personal indictment of every single older person in the country. don’t take it so personally.

    i’m white, yet i don’t get all indignant when people point out all the shit white people did to minorities over the years because ‘it wasn’t me’.

  63. 63
    Jennifer says:

    @chopper: Yes. And to underline the point, see here. Shows that the age group who voted for Reagan by the greatest margin was the 30 – 49 age cohort. As I said, a lot of our older brothers and sisters.

    harlana, I don’t blame you. But the stats speak for themselves – the older to middle group of boomers voted for Reagan by a 14 point margin – a bigger margin than he got with even the 50 & over age group.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    @Jennifer:

    well, obviously it was the older generations who gave us the republican revolution and all the garbage that came along with it anyway, as even the earliest-born gen xers weren’t old enough to vote then.

    but yeah, it was that political wave that really broke the system. we’re all living in the rubble now.

  65. 65
    Jennifer says:

    @chopper: In fairness, those stats don’t give a complete picture – for instance, you can’t say for certain if the 30 – 35 age group actually tilted towards Reagan or Carter, because you’ve got statistical noise from them being grouped in with folks 35 – 49 who were not the boomer generation.

    But they had to have played a pretty significan role in that result, because if you look back the 76 results, you’ve got Ford winning the 30 – 49 group by only one point. So either those who remained in the cohort grew rabidly more conservative in the 4 years between 76 and 80, or a bunch of new people added to the cohort were much more conservative. I think you have to conclude that it’s likely a mixture of both.

  66. 66
    burnspbesq says:

    @jo6pac:

    Nothing is ever free. When you say “college should be free,” what you’re actually saying is “somebody other then students and their parents should pay.” Who? And why?

  67. 67
    Nutella says:

    If fucking the young is what it takes so the old don’t pay more taxes, then the young shall be fucked.

    mistermix, when you say things like this you’re colluding with the 1% who are trying to split their opposition into warring generations. It will work just like it worked for the 1% in the south who split their opposition by race. We need to resist this.

    Isn’t it obvious that de-motivating the young and motivating the old through fear and benefits is the way that the Republican Party has been winning elections?

    Yes, so please stop helping them to do it.

  68. 68
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    The only thing surprising about the Occupy movement on college campuses is that it isn’t more widespread, and that it didn’t happen earlier.

    EXACTLY what I’ve been saying…

  69. 69
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Jennifer: In the middle of the thread I went looking for a chart like the one you found, but without success. It’s very interesting, so thanks.

    There are baby boomers in the group that went for Ronnie — but the 30-49 year-olds in 1980 who voted for Reagan in 1980 were born in years 1931-1950. The baby boom started in 1946, so most of the people in that group were *not* boomers. These people are now 61-80; boomers are now 65-47.

    This isn’t all to say that today’s young adults aren’t getting screwed. But a lot of us boomers are too.

  70. 70
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    please stop telling people over 50 they are screwing the young. not all of us have any responsibility for this (NEVER voted for a stinking republican) and are losing our jobs, most will never work again as they are being winnowed out because of they are too old. and, trust me, they cannot afford to not work and have been condemned to marginal existence until they die. many will wish that they would just go ahead and die. ask me how i know.

    Mid-Joneser here (1957), and I don’t have to ask how you know. I don’t ever expect to retire. I’ve only lost money on real estate in my life; my 401 K’s were stolen like most everyone else’s, and if I lose the job I have now I don’t expect to work in my field ever again.

    I plan to buy a van next year, so I’ll have a place to sleep “down by the river.”

  71. 71
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    I knew a lot of those Reagan voters– sorry, but they were uniformly privileged, Rush gobbling white men, angry at giving their ‘hard earned tax dollars to THEM.’

  72. 72
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Speaking of working the refs on the generation gap…

    Here’s the latest from Fox News on the UC David pepper spray incident…

    It’s a dessert topping… no… it’s a floor wax!

  73. 73
    Ohio Mom says:

    @burnspbesq: I’m not an expert on this, but I do know that once a upon a time, there were places where we did have a commitment to free and/or very low cost college education: The City University system in NY was free, so was the Unversity of Cincinnati, until the 1970s. State systems, like California’s, were a lot cheaper because the state subsidized them (there’s a very direct correlation between diminishing state subsidies and rising tuition rates at all state schools). And then there was the GI Bill.

    Almost everyone I knew growing up in NYC had parents that benefitted from the City University system. They were first-generation Americans who were able to make the leap into the professional middle-class. I’d argue that we all benefit when as much of our populace is as educated as possible.

  74. 74

    […] Mother Jones via Balloon Juice: Six years ago, tuition at the University of California was $5,357. Now $12,192. Slated for $22,068 by 2015. […]

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    We’re mostly in agreement. I have very different public spending priorities than most of my fellow Californians. I’m also pretty clear-eyed about how California got into its current fiscal pickle. Can I get a “FUCK YOU, HOWARD JARVIS” from the congregation?

  76. 76
    chopper says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    yeah, and 4 years later reagan was reelected in a landslide. reagan beat mondale by 22 points among the 18-29 crowd which was almost entirely boomers (except for the 18-19 year olds in that cohort, which i assume as usual did not come out to vote much)

    and 4 years after that bush beat dukakis by 8 points among the 30-44 crowd, which was entirely early boomers, and by 6 points among the 18-29 crowd which was mostly joneses (you have to remember that among that cohort joneses dominated due to the dropping birth rate vs early gen x)

    of course, it was 16 points among the older generation. still, while the silents were surely more conservative, the boomers did their part in bringing in and sustaining the whole ‘republican revolution’.

  77. 77
    Jennifer says:

    @Ohio Mom: That would be convincing if not for the fact that 4 years later, when the cohort includes even more of the boomers, Reagan’s margin went up to 16 points. As well as winning the 18 – 29 groups by large margins, which covers the entire boomer cohort.

    Granted, there is the Mondale effect – Democrats ran a singularly undynamic candidate against Reagan – but still. The sad truth is, boomers loved them some Reagan, by some pretty damn big margins. Needless to say, that’s not an indictment of the 30 – 40% of boomers who didn’t support Reagan; it’s only to point out that there is a very large kernel of truth to the claims that our current policies and politics are in large part a boomer legacy.

  78. 78
    pete says:

    @burnspbesq: Yea, verily!

  79. 79
    Roy G. says:

    I’d also add that 13 of 19 members of the UC Board of Regents were Schwarzenegger appointees, and that does not include DINO Dick Blum, aka Mr. Dianne Feinstein. It is a pertinent question to ask why the UC board is a political sinecure position, and why financial interests are so overly represented on the board.

    It’s way to broad a brush to say this problem is a generational issue. But it is fair to say that the problem is due to people who achieved a high organization position, then decided to give themselves and their cronies fat perks and raises, and finally, to pull up the ladder behind them. Housing and education are two big examples. Young people, students and faculty are being cast adrift because the pie is busy being cut up on deck, with only a few crumbs thrown overboard, in the form of a few tiny grants or non-tenure track positions.

  80. 80
    chopper says:

    @Jennifer:

    exactly.

  81. 81
    PhoenixRising says:

    Geez, can we clean up the spill of bitter Boomer tears in here?

    Your cohort was the pig in the python, and the python has been cut up for parts. Explaining to us one more time how you personally didn’t vote to wreck the system, haven’t gotten your share of benefit from the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth ever anywhere, and even shared younger Americans’ hope for a diet with a bit less python grilled on a coat hanger under the freeway over a trash fire–sounds like white people complaining that they personally didn’t own slaves.

    My mom, 70, acknowledges that her generation wanted it all without paying for it, and that her advocacy for a just and inclusive society failed to move a majority of her peers when it was critical to win the argument. She informs me that being honest about those facts doesn’t hurt a bit– unlike seeing her children, nieces and nephews, and our kids try to make a future for ourselves that doesn’t involve an all-python diet.

    I’m a 70s baby, and I count myself lucky that the 25 year olds who work in my business haven’t taken hostages or set fire to the building yet. They’re angry and they are going to be a powerful force when they figure out that there is no plan to un-screw them.

  82. 82
    PhoenixRising says:

    @burnspbesq: Mais oui! Curse you, Howard Jarvis.

  83. 83
    Linnaeus says:

    @DougJ:

    It actually all depends on how you distribute financial aid. I am in favor of tuition increases for well-off students whose families can pay, which can actually be used to subsidize things further for students with less money, so that the latter can effectively pay less money.

    This is ostensibly how it’s supposed to work according to the “high-tuition, high-aid” model that a lot of public universities are shifting to. It started in the 1980s in response to shrinking state support. The idea is to let universities set their tuition rates as high as they think they need to. You do this for everyone, and those who can afford it pay it all, whereas those who can’t then get aid which comes from the tuition dollars that the wealthier students are paying. There are a couple of problems, though:

    1) Not all aid is the same, as we well know. Increasingly, aid is taking the form of loans and the debt burden on students is increasing.

    2) University education, particularly at private universities and upper-tier public universities, is a positional good. That is, degrees from certain institutions derive their value from the fact that I have one and someone else does not (since there is a limited number of admission slots available at a given university per year). So any money an institution might lose because some students will go elsewhere to pay less the institution recaptures as a rent from those who do. That means that universities can, and do, keep increasing tuition.

  84. 84
    Linnaeus says:

    2) University education, particularly at private universities and upper-tier public universities, is a positional good. That is, degrees from certain institutions derive their value from the fact that I have one and someone else does not (since there is a limited number of admission slots available at a given university per year). So any money an institution might lose because some students will go elsewhere to pay less the institution recaptures as a rent from those who do go to the institution. That means that universities can, and do, keep increasing tuition.

    Sorry, had to clarify that and the editing timer ran out.

  85. 85
    James says:

    One thing you are missing here in your puerile, numis-challenged voting analysis is the crucial element of age distribution in voter turnout. Here is a little data on the historically low voter turnout for the younger population: CIRCLE » Youth Voting 2008 was one of the highest turnouts for young people in history. And quite typically low in the Reagan years.

    You are also missing the element of the rise of the Angry White Male in the Reagan years. The Angry White Male was discovered by Nixon, but it was Reagan that really exploited that division. And now it appears that the GOP has lost so much more support that they are reduced to dividing the over-50 and the younger-50. It appears it is working very well, from all appearances. Congratulations on getting your brains washed.

  86. 86
    Jennifer says:

    @James: You can only count the people who bothered to show up to vote. Doing so is much less “numis-challenged” than making assertions about how things WOULD have been if only people who didn’t vote had voted, which requires psychic ability. As chopper points out above, in the very youngest group of voters, Reagan got a whopping 22-point advantage in 1984. It would take an awful lot of other people in the same cohort voting Mondale to buck that advantage.

    So much for “numis-challenged.”

    As for the angry white male, I don’t think anyone would dispute the huge role that has played. But if you go back again and look at actual voting statistics, women in these cohorts voted for Reagan over both Carter and Mondale, too.

  87. 87
    dadanarchist says:

    The only thing surprising about the Occupy movement on college campuses is that it isn’t more widespread, and that it didn’t happen earlier.

    It did happen earlier.

    Maybe it didn’t take the exact form of occupations, but there were widespread protests across the UC system in 2009 and 2010.

  88. 88
    Roy G. says:

    And let us not forget that the State University system has traditionally had a mandate to provide affordable college education to state citizens. The whole ‘run public institutions like a business’ is meant to corrupt commonwealth assets like the state universities.

    Greed was made such a virtue by the RePiglicans that there are a lot clueless/righteous people running around saying ‘i’m not going to college, nor are my kids, so that’s just a waste of my tax dollars’ – remaining oblivious to the negative effects on the future of our country, which depends on an educated workforce.

  89. 89
    trollhattan says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Without St. Jarvis we’d never have acquired St. Norquist et al. Lucky, lucky us. The Calif. budget process has never adequately worked since Prop 13 and we’ve survived on massive voter- and legislature-approved bond issues to get things done. Now, that doesn’t work either.

    Also, too, U.C. tuition for out-of-state students makes them rather attractive from the business side.

    The university receives an extra $23,000 in tuition from non-California residents, and the UC regents have said they want to cap out-of-state undergraduate enrollment at 10% systemwide. Now, about 6% of undergraduates, including upper classmen and transfer students, are non-Californians, according to Pamela Burnett, the UC system’s interim director of undergraduate admissions. She said it would take several years to reach the 10% cap even though freshman numbers are rising fast.

  90. 90
    Jill says:

    Another graduate of the Chris Ryan School of Broad Brushstrokes.

    So, mistermix, why not get your generation together and advocate that everyone born before 1965 be summarily shot? That would solve all your problems, wouldn’t it?

    I was born in 1955, and I’ve been fighting this goddamn fight since I was twelve years old and stuffing envelopes for a progressive Democratic Congressional candidate who ended up losing. I didn’t buy a house until I was 40, and when I did, I took a SMALLER mortgage and bought a lesser house instead of taking as big a mortgage as the banks would give me. I graduated high school into the first Arab oil embargo and college into the second, so don’t tell me the world paved my path with gold. I worked retail jobs because I wasn’t qualified for anything else and pumped gas on the weekends. Then later on, I worked secretarial jobs for people half as smart as I was, and had to make their coffee and book their hotel rooms for nooners with their mistresses — just like Don Draper’s secretaries.

    I got a lucky break in 1988 because the guy to whom I was secretary by then knew I wanted to be a programmer and put me into an entry-level position. I’m sorry if that break offends you.

    But you go ahead blaming all of us, while you call yourself a progressive and would never think of tarring any other group with the same brush. Never mind that most of US have always figured we’d never get Social Security either, and we’ve been fighting that fight for ourselves AND for you.

    And after you’ve shot us all dead and the world isn’t what you want it to be, maybe then you’ll go after the people who are the REAL cause. But then it’ll be too late, because we won’t be here to help you.

  91. 91
    Nutella says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    My mom, 70, acknowledges that her generation wanted it all without paying for it

    She’s not a boomer. Her younger brothers and sisters might be, but she’s not.

    You seem to be saying that fomenting generational conflict is OK and that it’s good to define ‘anyone older than me’ as the people to blame.

    We should be going after the 1% and their collaborators, no matter how old they are, rather pissing away all this indignation on idiotic generational battles.

  92. 92
    Nathanael says:

    Screwing the youth while protecting the aged is actively stupid, as historically 18-35 year old males are the contingent who start revolutions and overthrow governments.

    Now that birth control is available, 18-35 year old females are just as good at overthrowing governments.

    Oh, usually they need support from some people who are older. They have that, of course. :-)

    I do not understand why the kleptocratic elites are so stupid. They seem intent on creating the circumstances where they will be overthrown, imprisoned, and possibly executed. Can it really be that they simply never studied history?

  93. 93
    Nathanael says:

    @PhoenixRising: The thing is, we “progressive liberals”, and “democratic socialists” DO have a plan to unscrew them (the 25-year-olds you mention).

    We just can’t seem to figure out how to get into power to *execute* that plan, because we don’t have a functional democracy any more. We can give the Senate 60% members of the supposedly “liberal” party and elect a “liberal” President and we get right-wing bullshit policy, because so much of the political class has sold out. What next?

  94. 94
    John Weiss says:

    @Mark B.: You can trust me and my wife and our circle of friends. Not a one of us less than 60 and none of us yell at kids on the lawn either. We yell at clouds.

  95. 95

    @James:

    Uh, James, that cohort of those 18 to 29 in your first link? In 1984 that’s composed of less than the first two full years of Gen Xers. Note the trend in the next two elections- more Gen Xers, a higher percentage of Democratic votes in the cohort as the second half of Boomers ages out of the cohort, so that by ’92 the majority of the cohort- which, at that point only contains the ass end of the Boomers, born in the last two months of ’62 until the end of the Boom in 1964- was voting, in the majority, for Democrats.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jill:

    So, mistermix, why not get your generation together and advocate that everyone born before 1965 be summarily shot? That would solve all your problems, wouldn’t it?

    Um, wasn’t that the solution proposed in the 1960s and 1970s? Hope I die before I get old? Logan’s Run? Wild in the Streets? Any of that ring a bell?

    You can argue that it’s unfair for the fruits of the generational conflict to be visited on you personally, but you can’t argue that it’s somehow a brand-new thing that’s been invented by the Gen-Xers. In fact, I would argue that we’re having to deal with the bullshit leftovers of the generational conflicts between the Baby Boomers and their parents, which is why you still have people channeling the conflicts of 40 years ago and complaining about non-existent hippies.

  97. 97
    John Weiss says:

    @burnspbesq: College should be free because society benefits from educated people. That simple enough?

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @burnspbesq:
    We ALL pay forward for things we get when we are old, SS, 401K, food a roof. We pay ALL pay backwards for things we get when we are young, say, education. That is how a society is supposed to work. If you are good or lucky or both you can afford a better (and earlier!) retirement, just like you can afford a better education for your kids, a bigger/nicer house.
    We have seen this work, especially in CA, we are now seeing it not work, almost everywhere. The breaking down of this system is 100% GOP inspired. They have had help along the way but the cause is undeniable.
    So don’t be a jackass and ask who is supposed to pay for this, we all are supposed to pay our share. If you are lucky, your share is larger, if not your share is smaller. It’s not a hard concept unless one thinks that they are better than the masses and don’t have to participate in society as a whole.

  99. 99

    @RalfW:

    Xers are what, 30-46 years old? I think the boomer generation was extra-wide and it feels like Gen X is compressed in comparison.

    I hate to be that guy here, my fellow ’65er, but it isn’t the compression: The reason they’re called Baby Boomers is because they were born at rates higher than the wartime birthrates. You and I were born as birthrates dropped back below that line. There are just a fucking lot more of them than there are of us.

    Anyway, Xers seem more disparate, more stratified and gated and disconnected, just like the culture we grew up in.

    We were the first generation that was raised with malls and multiplex theaters. Only the early segment of our generation remembers when there was no cable tv and no video games. We were divided and conquered by earlier generations- though not necessarily the Boomers.

    That said, no matter what the leftie activist Boomers say, a fuckload of them were Okies from Muskogee and Young Republicans. Their leftie leadership- people like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Mario Savio, Tom Hayden, John Sinclair- were all born before the Boom.

  100. 100
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Seems to me that I was hearing about generational conflicts many, many years ago, when I first wore short pants. Seems I hear the same stories at every major generational breakpoint. Boomers/pre-boomers, gen-x/boomers, and on and on and so forth and so on. I’ll bet this has been going on for well… ever.
    The difference I see now is that life at least seemed to get a little bit better, each major generational change. Not any more. Life for most is going backwards and that rate of negative change is gathering speed at an alarming rate. When I was 18-25 yrs old I had to contend with a war/draft and not having any idea I’d live this long but not that if I worked hard I would live in poverty. If I was 18-25 today I can not imagine trying to figure out what my life might be like in 40 yrs. But my expectations would be pretty slim. And I’m still the optimistic sort. You know glass 1/8 full. What does life today look like to someone who sees a glass 3/4 empty?

  101. 101
    lol says:

    The cost of public secondary education in my state has tripled across the board over the past 10 years. It’s not just the big universities, but the smaller state schools and community colleges as well.

    Salaries for college graduates? They haven’t tripled.

    I feel fortunate that I graduated right before costs started taking off. I only worked summers and lived at home and as a result, didn’t need to take out loans. I wouldn’t be able to do that today.

  102. 102
    HyperIon says:

    @Baud wrote:

    The young disproportionately do not vote.

    I gotta agree with the folks who are saying it’s not an age thing.

    However, if realizing that they are getting screwed by the 1% makes the young get politically engaged, then OK.

  103. 103
    Steeplejack says:

    @Jennifer:

    But the stats speak for themselves–the older to middle group of boomers voted for Reagan by a 14 point margin [. . .].

    The group aged 30-49 in 1980, who voted for Reagan by a 14-point margin, would have been people born in 1950 or before. So that’s a small slice (1946-50) of the boomer cohort (1946-64), and they’re lumped in with a much larger group of older people (age 35-49). Hardly an indictment of the whole “older to middle group of boomers.”

    The chart you link to shows that boomers born after 1950 went for Carter by a 6-point margin.

  104. 104
    HyperIon says:

    @RalfW quoted CNN:

    Their wealth rose 42%, to a median of $170,494.

    I think this number is BS. (I saw it last week somewhere and your bringing it up has triggered my comment here…not criticizing you BTW.) It’s a median so shouldn’t be much affect by Warren Buffet and his ilk. It’s just too high IMO.

    How many old people do you know that are worth more than $170K? If this is mostly due to an inflated house value, I’d like to see what the number is now. My parents’ house was “worth” $340K at the peak of the bubble. Last month they got a market analysis for $175K. And my parents weren’t wealthy at the bubble’s peak. It was all about paper assets.

  105. 105
    Jennifer says:

    @Steeplejack: Go check the stats for 1984. Also, look at how that cohort voted in 76 vs 80, and see my previous comment wherein I note that in 76 Ford only had a 1 point edge, whereas in 80 Reagan had 14 points, which indicates that either the people in that age group turned wildly conservative in the space of 4 short years, or people who entered the cohort were much more conservative than those who graduated out of it, and as I said, probably it was a mix of both.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Mother Jones via Balloon Juice: Six years ago, tuition at the University of California was $5,357. Now $12,192. Slated for $22,068 by 2015. […]

Comments are closed.