From a ‘generational traitor’ to the ‘young guy’: an open letter to Stephen Marche

Posted: August 21, 2012 in politics, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Mr. Marche, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to respond to your article. The article so seems to serve to protect we of a slightly ‘older’ crowd than thee. May I call you Stevie, in recognition of your youth? Thanks to you, Stevie, from all of us of Generation X. Born in 1970 I’m the same age as Mr. Ryan. It is wonderful you’d help warn that I’ve an age cohort out to harm me.

As documented in your lucid, clearly well meaning, and obviously accurate assessment of the motives of VP candidate Paul Ryan, we of Gen X – the generation first to feel the ‘benefits’ of Obamacare post its raid on Medicare – must run from Mr. Ryan – or from someone.

Thank you for showing us clearly, in an intellectually honest, obviously academic, and extraordinarily developed argument, just who to look to for guidance. Thanks, Stevie, for showing us how to spot those who may seek to stand in the way of economic prosperity, security, and good health in later years.

Stevie thanks, from this ‘young fogie’ to you – one of the ‘young guys’ – for exposing in a clarity which cannot be matched what clearly are the hidden motives of a ‘generational traitor’.

As demonstrated in A post-hope Crisis , your piece on Election 2012, and in your piece on newsweek’s cover story, you are in no way prone to inconsistencies. Gen X is in your debt, as are the generations who both will benefit and are benefitting from Medicare and Social Security today.

Certainly this Gen X’er is assured of your logic and consistency when you assert that the problem with Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek piece on Paul Ryan, Ryan’s budget, and the coming Social Security and Medicare crisis “isn’t his argument” . You are correct, it is not. Ferguson demonstrates this in his response to the inevitable attacks by bloggers such as yourself.

I am assured of your logical consistency and I definitely do not wish to doubt your motives, but am nonetheless concerned. I write to ask some simple questions.

Given our obvious fiscal crisis and the risk which, in your estimation, Mr. Ryan poses, I must ask whether you checked your own beliefs and arguments. Why do you state in A Post- Hope Crisis, the article in which you let us know 61% of us are concerned about an “imminent catastrophe” that, though it seems a contradiction on your part, you also think “the idea of American decline is demonstrably nonsense”? Perhaps you will enlighten us.

Are we or are we not facing a crisis and decline, Stevie?

Now that the question of consistency and logic has come up, particularly as it relates to motive, why do you state that Mr. Ferguson’s motive is to “please corporations and high net worth individuals” if, presumably, those corporations are interested in the bottom line? Would not their bottom line depend on who would draw an audience? If as you say “he may never be taken seriously again” one must presume those corporations will not hire him if he is not taken seriously.

How can evil corporatists simultaneously be so good at protecting their checkbooks while also careless enough to hire someone who is, as you suggest, vacuous and mistaken? You are not this uninformed about how the markets work, are you Stevie? Certainly you yourself do not have motives other than enlightening your readers, do you Stevie?

This Gen X’er needs to know. Logic suggests that if the problem with the Ferguson piece isn’t ‘his argument’ than something else is afoot. Ferguson showed in his response to his critics that his thesis is sound – that it is the motives and the method of reasoning of his critics which are in question. Ferguson makes this clear. You apparently agree with at least part of this, or you’d not be so quick to state ‘the problem is not his argument’. One is prompted to ask what your motives are.

What do you really believe, Stevie? And do not jump on the fact that left out is your absurd opinion that Ferguson’s argument is ‘shallow and basically exploded already’. The statement is absurd because it is your opinion based not in fact but in a desire to obscure facts.

Speaking of this, will you now not obscure from us your opinion? Please let us know whether you agree with the 61% who say they are concerned about an “imminent” catastrophe” or if you think that “the idea of American decline is demonstrably nonsense”.

Which is it, Stevie?

Surely you cannot state or hold both positions simultaneously. Such inconsistency might make your arguments less than sound. A direct contradiction such as this might in fact place into question your motives. This Gen X’er needs to know why you also misstate (certainly not a lie or a smear, it must be ignorance on your part) Mr. Ryan’s position when you identify his motives as being those of something you call a ‘generational traitor’? As have other Republicans and sundry sorta kinda capitalists, Mr. Ryan has consistently criticized Obamacare for its disingenuous swindle of the safety net, the abrasively transparent cronyism at work in its implementation, and the debt and deficit explosions it will cause.

You state that the revenue from which Medicare, Social Security, and Obamacare are funded are the same. They are the same only in that obamacare itself moves income and social security taxes – taxes that reflect said revenue – away from Medicare and into itself. This Gen X’er and his generation know that one cannot get something from nothing. We know, since you and your ilk have made it abundantly clear (as have your ideological opponents), that Medicare is due for insolvency. We know that it will cease operating if it is insolvent, that it will become insolvent if it is not fixed, and we know that this would occur just as we in Gen X reach the age in which we may reap the benefits we have paid for.

You have argued that Mr. Ryan’s objection to the Obamacare swindle is just some game of generational war – that he merely wishes for the old to cash in at the expense of the young. Huhhh?

Don’t critics believe Ryan will push granny off a cliff? Isn’t that the crux of the argument made to seniors? Can both of these arguments be true? How? They are fundamentally opposite premises. Again, you appear to hold to a contradiction. Not very logical, Stevie. What’s your game?

Is this a game of Ryan and Romney are damned if they do and damned if they don’t?

Gen X wants to know. We are paying for it today. We do not wish to pay in a far more painful way tomorrow. We damn well do not wish to learn tomorrow that there were generational traitors in our midst or that they were out to double swindle us with a piss poor argument for a piss poor new health care ‘system’ . Especially if that system was built on a swindle from the one that exists.

Only a generational traitor would, via smears and illogic, try to shut down and shut out from our own generation those who seek to fix a system they themselves may one day reap the benefit of. Let’s be clear, however, that this Gen X’er is most assuredly not a supporter of Medicare but rather one who knows that one can certainly not get something from less than nothing. Only a generational traitor would seek to convince his own that one could.

That’s not quite accurate, so let’s clarify. Only a generational traitor, an ignorant member of the herd, or an opportunistic liar.

Which are you, Stevie?


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