Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?



One Look at The Future

I’m inclined to ruminate over the past and the litter I’ve accumulated.  Why didn’t I persist at this or that?  Why did I listen to this or that person?  Why didn’t I use my youth intelligently?  Sometimes, I think my hobby is counting up all of my mistakes.

So in order to take a recess from all this mulling over the morose pages of my life, I’m going to do a take on the future of the country.  Concentrate on someone else’s failures and, maybe, successes  Therefore, these are my predictions for the future, say, 2030.

About the only thing I’m fairly confident of, is that this coming generation will decide not to make the same mistakes of the boomer generation—but of course, they’ll make new ones.  The best way I know to get an idea of the future is to find out what colleges are teaching this generation and the only way, other than returning to college is to read their current text books.  So that is what I do and this is some of the conclusions I’ve come to .   

The war on drugs will end and be nothing more than a question on a history test. I got this from reading the textbooks listing all the horrid things that happen to people on drugs.  From my experience, as we age and have physical problems, we start canvassing over our past for our misdemeanors—and drugs get a load of blame. And of course, they will be legal by then and that will make them lose their glamour.  And what fun is it to do something our parents can do. 

Excessive spending on Medicare for the  elderly will cease, especially in their last days.  Sorry, fellow retirees, but we will be on the younger generation’s hit list and   it will be our own fault, as we didn’t take care of the economy, so there’d be money left for our care. 

Social stratification, especially the stratification between rich and poor will stay with us, I’m sorry to say.  I don’t know about the other states, but my state—Washington—tried to pass an increase on taxes for the rich, and got voted down.  Read an article on this subject that stated and I quote, “some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions….Poverty  may be miserable.  But being able to feel a bit better off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable.”  From “The Economist,” Sept, 2011.  And, of course, we all know they’re not going to relinquish power and status. 

This religious idea you’ll get yours in Heaven will be out and the cultural message that you, too, can become rich will also go the way that the glamour of cigarettes went. This idea about working hard and you too, will make it, was especially strong in my youth, but less strong now. (I’m now going to make this claim with almost certainty.)

Patients will become fed up with the scientific claims that homosexuality, aggression, depression, addictions like alcoholism, gambling, and obesity, etc., are in our genes.  This theory will lose its mojo and go the way of all those past theories. 

Male and female pay ratio will even up.  Divorce will become a route of passage for everyone.  Marriages will be rare, except for “And I now pronounce you husband and husband or wife and wife.”  Few relationships will last.

As for sports, with so much secret steroid and bionics in jocks, making competition so uneven, sports may be renamed the Liars Club.

Throughout history the concentration of knowledge has been on science, technology, math, engineering, etc., rather than people.  That may change.             Editorial policy of TV, newspapers, magazines and books, which are all set by a few media moguls may go the way of “Leave it to Beaver.”  Good or bad?  I don’t know. Depends.

Excessive spending on military toys will no longer be a hot sell, even with tobacco- spitting-Nascar Groupies, (economy won’t allow it) and they may have to re-instate the draft to get recruits, which makes wars unpopular.  And wars in America are invariably popular—at least in the beginning. 

Our telling other nations to stop cutting their trees, while cutting our own and to stop trying to build atomic bombs, while stocking up on our own, will become so inconsistent it becomes embarrassing and goes the way of the gas guzzlers., although the powers will still be tempted to lecture. 

Our generation has all-knowing, much deferred to Gods, that  go by the name of Medical Doctor.  These Gods, as science progresses, prices go up, and there is more publications of their mistakes will be replaced by lesser and cheaper practitioners.  

We will probably zip up our southern border tighter than a Baywatch bikini. Than without immigrant labor, to drudge in the sun, harvest the crops, do our dirty work and do it cheaply and quietly, without fanfare, well, our only option will be to loosen up the borders again. 

The “Greed is Good” and the “Whoever dies with the most—wins,” consumerism will become, probably, because of a short-fall of resources, a thing of the past.  Companies aren’t growing because they’re selling more, but because they‘ve fired workers and have gone to countries where labor is cheaper.  So will joblessness still be around in 2030.  Yup, unless we’re dwelling in caves.

Small breasts will become fashionable again. You can tell, by looking at the photos in the latest fashion magazines.  What a relief it will be for women to get rid of all that plastic in front. Such a liberation to be free of having to carry that load of silicon around.

Heterosexuality may cease to be as fashionable as it has been.

We may try to right some of the wrongs we’ve done to the rest of the world and please don’t tell me we’re perfect and incapable of doing wrong. We could start by sharing some of the material wealth that we’ve gotten from extracting natural resources form poor countries such as tin and child labor.  But we probably won’t. There’s nothing like a Recession or Depression along with more and more taxes needed to pay our bills to humble us.

We’ll develop a philosophy that we can continue to be the “Bad Guys,” to everyone in the world, except ourselves. This whole intellectual schtick is a menace.  Look around.  We like dumb.  The Supreme Court wanted dumb Bush for President rather than smart Al Gore.  So who became our president?  The court recognizes a Fellow Dummie when they see one.  Oprah is also doing a great job for science illiteracy.  We like to see a good battle going on between science and superstition, with superstition winning hands down.

Just to show how we value dumb in this country, out of 28 countries all 8th graders tested for math and science, only Nigerian kids were dumber than the U.S.  What’s the matter kids, why did you have to be #2 dumbest?  Why couldn’t you get a gold star for being  #1 dumbest.

Now the boys on Wall Street really know what they’re doing when it comes to the prize for dumbest.  As for the intellectual crowd—what a bunch of losers.  They don’t understand it’s every man for himself.  Can’t win by looking at both sides, like those Ph.d boys, claim that they do.  Don’t they know reality?  Pretending to be smart is (not) 21st century. Dumb is 21st century. So keep up the good work boys. 

A few more words about the future.  Cars will be tiny.  We will have environmental protection.  We’ll have more communal closeness and as I see secularism on the rise, less donations to the churches.  We may have creatures running around that are half human, half ape. 

The whole world will speak the same language. Computers may take the responsibility for this. This would eliminate a lot of disagreements and wars.  We never go to war with a country that speaks English.  And it goes without saying, we’ll have more technology. 

On the other hand, a few well-placed nuclear blasts will put everything on a different burner.

WE will no longer fantasize about out abilities to make countries over into our ideal. 

It may dawn on a few people in power, that if a psychiatrist can’t change a person’s values and life style after talking and trying for years, it’s kind of conceited for us to think we can change their values and life style, by bombing the bejesus out of them. 

Of course all my predictions could resemble the prediction in a 1949 “Popular Mechanics” magazine when they wrote, “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”

And so, we tussle away in these mortal coils—wondering, always wondering about the future generation.  And we have to face it-- to screw up is to be human, but it’s even more human to lay it on our parents.





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