While I agree with him, I've been wondering why they did this dipshit stuff. What influenced them to do this. What was the root cause that made them ultimately become the irresponsible Free Love generation, flower-power children, drop out and all, et-fucking-cetera.
Aaron states that the WW2 generation went through a ton of shit war-wise (50% GDP went to the war effort), had austerity out their assholes, through the depression, and still came out with a ton of stuff. They were fuckin' rich for their times. The Baby Boomers and us? Not so fuckin' much these days. We literally can't move up in the workforce because the Baby Boomers can't retire, because they have no money, etc. This has been simmering at the back of my mind for a time, a curiosity as to what caused it.
The "conventional wisdom" (different sources) is that each generation rebels against the prior generation's values. They go to opposites, extremes, etc - in an effort to be different from their parents. To rebel. I have to call bullshit on this. This cannot be a generational thing for a simple reason: when life is tough you don't collectively rebel and drop everything and go do something completely stupid. Even when it's easy you don't do it either.
In the old days families were very focused on building up wealth for themselves and their offspring. Dynasties amongst the middle and upper classes were a serious thing to develop. While families got soft after a few generations and lost or wasted their wealth, while a few people without any sense pissed things away - certainly an entire generation didn't up and do it spontaneously! There had to be something specific, or several specific social changes, that caused it.
Surprisingly I might have found an answer in my reading of The Garbage Generation. While it's going to sound like yet more female-bashing: it looks like it might have been caused by feminism. Here's how.
I'm a third of the way through and the author shows that the rise of feminism has it's roots in the upper-middle classes. A life of ease, the basics of Maslow's Heirarchy satisfied, time for leisure - and wifey starts feeling unfulfilled in her coddled lifestyle. There must be something more to life. She yearns to go and find more meaning - to Find Herself™ (sound familiar much).
Good old Betty Friedan in 1963 had a whinge about living in her pampered lifestyle, complaining about a "problem with no name", because she was filled with a sense of ennui, a lack of meaning in her existence. Being a devout materialist she couldn't see that it was a blessing rather than a curse, causing her to hate her pampered lifestyle. She even sneered at other women for their "parasitical lifestyle", which she herself also had.
So she taught women that they could have it all - sex, career, family - that it was okay to divorce the hubby and then live off him like a parasite. Amusing. There we have it, the seeds of the pissing away of wealth. Dissatisfied women reading about other fabulous women who had it all - quietly and ironically still at the expense of the ex-husband. So they went to go find themselves also, again at the expense of the ex-husband.
Upset that it didn't really work out as they'd been told, they kept pissing away money in a frivolous search for material meaning instead of in a search for spiritual meaning: ironically instead of moving up the Heirarchy of Needs they actually moved down and dragged other women down with them. More ironic is the way that they hate men for giving them the freedom to do this.
Is this all of it? Not by miles. It was most likely the very beginnings though. Leftist socialist crap became the normal thought, it's for the children (actually for women's social safety-net), I deserve X Y Z because I'm a woman, entitlement and victim mentality - pfft.
Dissatisfaction, one crazy woman at a time. Pissing her money away in a search for physical fulfilment when it's a spiritual fulfilment that she should be looking for. Sucking ex-hubby's wallet dry because two separate definitely cannot live as cheaply as two together. Especially when more is needed for the children (actually her drinking and cocaine addictions, plus keeping the bad boys she is fucking to try and feel something inside her other than a great sucking nothing).
Yeah, pissed it away all right. From this irresponsibility there is only bad examples, many damaged children who will repeat the process, and a lingering bitterness for the next few generations.
Enjoy the multi-trillion dollar decline.