I'm puzzled by this comment:
I do think the Boomers benefitted unfairly by gorging on expensive entitlements, new social programs, cheap housing, and heavily subsidized education, while passing the bill on to their descendants through judicious use of debt financing (sorry, DH).
Am I supposed to feel guilty? Because I agree with you. My generation had it comparatively easy, but we were also very productive.
But I'm not so sure it was as easy as some thing.
When we bought our house in 1991 we got an awesome rate, 9.75% and were thrilled with that. The interest rates these days are a gift! We also paid higher taxes because we were still paying off Cold War debt.
I agree that the debt levels now are atrocious. And it is horrible that future generations will be paying for that. But the main reason for that is the wars we've been fighting and extra security spending. I'm not in favor of either of those but it's hard to blame those on the Boomers.
There are some basic rules for sustainable economic growth. You need population growth plus productivity growth. I think both of those are slowing down, at least in the segments that matter. The Boomers were a big growth wave and they are the ones who made the computers, cell phones, highways, internet (Al Gore is a Boomer you know), and everything else that lead to rapid productivity growth. So why shouldn't they have prospered from the growth.
As for entitlements, I'm not sure what you mean. Reagan cut most social entitlements in the 80s, at least in the US. Those have been expanded again much more recently.
The Gen X'ers are the ones who borrowed excessively to buy houses they could "flip." They took out the outrageous student loans. So how is that anyone else's fault? Is it because the Boomers failed to put in guard rails, restrictions?
I never remember if I am an X'er or a Boomer. I was born right around the year that splits the two. But it doesn't really matter.
I guess I pretty much agree with you that things were much easier 20 years ago, but I don't think there is a lot of blame to be placed on anyone and I don't think everything was a rosy as many believe. Interest rates were higher, many things cost a lot more relative to salaries, and the beer was not nearly as good before the X'ers started the microbrewery craze.