Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Poor Generation Y

I have always had a soft spot for these sort of "voice of a generation" pieces. For decades Republican rule insisted that rather than try to have some control, citizens should give up control, and put control into the hands of people who know better. The professional class of Neil Bushes and Jack Abramoffs and Kenneth Lay's were not only supposed to be good at what they do. They were supposed to be professionals at undermining and gaming the system. You can't tax them cause they are just too smart. All in the name of glorious Ronald Reagan, the loving grandfather of their movement.

Now living in Mexico City - everyday confronting the city - the question to me is - what is it we have built? Mexico City has far more public infrastructure investment than cities in the US, but it is always too little. Always playing catch up with a city growing out of control. And far more than Generation Y, there is a vast segment of society here that won't recover from the beating it's received. It's not identical to the beating that Blickstein describes. But it is illustrative.

The heirs of the Reagan Movement live in a world that is devastated by ideological over-run. A world that turned its back on the Western legacy of smart government support of free markets and that opted instead for non-smart government propping up of corrupt government dependent mega-corporations. I have to laugh when I hear how Generation Y is losing it's faith. Afterall, a sullen lack of faith and even a violent renunciation of anything that smacked of faith was what marked the generation before. At least - I've always believed. Generation Y inherited a shitty world - and an Ipod. They'd do well to take a look beyond the shores of their sealed up hermetic American universe to what is actually the state of the Americas.

It's not a place where government can afford to ignore the people piled up on the sidewalks and it's not a place where a generation that had it good can afford to think that government is always best left untended, running on auto-pilot.