We need to rethink Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
On April’s fourth Thursday for the last 25 years, parents have been taking their kids to their workplaces to help kids “envision their future and begin steps toward their end goals,” according to the executive director of the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation.
Regrettably, it’s time we focus these kids on the end goals of middle-aged Americans.
Look, I’ll be 55 this week. I am at the tail end of the baby boom. There are millions of older baby boomers ahead of me, already sucking the marrow out of Social Security, Medicare and other government programs.
Since I began my professional writing career in 1984, I’ve paid thousands in FICA - Federal Insurance Contributions Act - taxes to help older Americans enjoy their golden years. In more recent years, through good fortune and incredibly hard work, I’ve paid enough in FICA taxes to cover the monthly mortgage payment on a very nice second home.
I’m glad to have done my part. But I’m worried that the generations directly behind mine have zero interest in supporting my retirement years and zero ability to do so.
I speak of the millions of 20- and 30-somethings living in Mom and Dad’s basement, eating Mom and Dad’s grub and driving Mom and Dad’s cars - cars with automatic transmissions, because manual transmissions would be too traumatic for these snowflakes.
They’re highly skilled at video games and know where the best tattoo artists are located. But working hard in the incredibly competitive private sector is not something they’re up to.
And while these generations squander their most productive years “chilling,” my generation is losing out on the massive tax revenue that is needed to fund our golden years.
We may have to write off millions of members of these generations and hope to God that the younger generations that follow can be our salvation - which brings us back to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
It’s time for some tough love, I regret. Our youngsters need to realize that older generations spent them into more than $20 trillion in debt - which they’re on the hook to pay.
There’s no time to worry about their self-esteem or self-fulfillment. They will not have the luxury of pursuing their dream jobs.
Sorry to say, they will have to do what the World War II generation did: take the first good job offered, work their tails off, put up with miserable workplace politics, and keep getting promoted into increasingly stressful and unpleasant jobs - so they can pay the massive taxes that are needed to cover the massive obligations left to them by the spendthrift generations before them.
Hey, 7- to 12-year-olds: Like it or not, you need to focus on science and engineering and learn how to create and build things in America again. You must become highly creative entrepreneurs and come up with innovative new products, employing lots of people who produce massive amounts of wealth - so that the government can keep afloat.
Not only must you provide for tail-end baby boomers like me, but you’ll be carrying the load for millions of loafers in the generations immediately ahead of you. These loafers may succeed in making a Bernie Sanders-type president, who will give them more of your money so they can “chill” in government-subsidized basements of their own.
Sorry to interrupt your childhood with such harsh realities, kiddos, but we are where we are.
Enjoy Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day with Mom and Dad. Then get home and get cracking.
The fate of our massively indebted nation depends on you.
Tom Purcell is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Send comments to Tom at Tom@TomPurcell.com.