A Modest Proposal For preventing the Parents of Millennials of the United States from being a Burthen to Their Children or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick (with apologies to Jonathan Swift)
As you have no doubt heard Medicare is about six years away from going bust and Social Security likewise will be insolvent a decade later. Accordingly, following in a great tradition of me who dare speak truth to power, Fred as decided it is time for Baby Boomers to step up and do what is needed to remedy the situation once and for all. The solution, of course, has been there, staring us in the face, for some time now, as most simple solutions have. But before revealing it, let Fred digress to remind all exactly what the problem to be solved is.
For some time now the political class has performed the most miraculous of conjuring tricks by convincing the (admittedly gullible) electorate that Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements, but contractual rights assured by the existence of private accounts consisting of payroll deductions pooled and invested in trust funds that will assure a non-ending supply of benefits. Meanwhile, these "trust funds" have existed no where but on paper kept in a musty file cabinet in a federal office building in West Virginia. (Actually, Fred is not certain that the file cabinet is musty or even still there -- but this was where the paper was kept 20 odd years ago when a story on the mythical trust fund was reported on 60 Minutes).
In truth, the massive "surpluses" generated by the payroll taxes of Baby Boomers during the last 40 years were long ago spent on other things and masking the true extent of the federal budget deficit. Remember when Bill Clinton balanced the budget? Well, in truth, he never did -- what he did was reduce the amount of money borrowed from sources outside the federal government to just less than the amount needed to service the debt. In truth, he could not have done this but for the availability of massive surpluses because the Baby Boomers were entering their peak earning years and were not yet retiring. They were all putting their shoulders to the wheel and their noses to the grindstone (ouch) and paying lots and lots of payroll taxes.
The problem of course is that the Baby Boom generation was followed by the Baby Bust generation. So now as the last of the Boomers turn 55 and the overwhelming majority of them have entered retirement, with an average of 10,000 more doing so each day, the difference between SSI/Medicare revenues and outgoes is no longer huge -- or in some recent months even positive on the revenue side for Medicare. Meanwhile, the "trust funds" that are supposed to provide for the Baby Boomers cannot be tapped unless the gubment can fund them from current general revenues, which are already close to $1,000,000,000,000 short on meeting other expenses (you read that right -- $1 TRILLION).
So what is the simply solution to this apparently insoluble "reality of the math"? Contrary to what the title of this essay might suggest, I am NOT suggesting that Millennials kill and eat their parents. That is a barbaric and cruel suggestion. What's more, being one himself, Fred can assure you that the elderly are not at all tasty. Moreover, they are laced with all sorts of pharmaceuticals, riddled with various aliments and disorders, and generally not likely to be appropriate for the vegan/keto/locavore diets of Millennials in any case.
No, the solution is much more benevolent. The Millennials should export their parents. And by export, I mean, of course, as human chattel. I foresee many benefits from a revival of the slave trade in reverse. First, as it would be most beneficial to dispose of the more affluent who place a disproportionate burden on SSI/Medicare, the trade would be overwhelming Caucasian and, thus, would serve as a much more satisfying atonement for the Africa slave trade than reparations.
Second, a thriving trade with China, which could cease to use its own population in its factories and mass construction projects, would swiftly reverse the imbalance in imports. Furthermore, Americans could take pride in the fact they were once again leading the world in factory production (albeit under the lash of their Sino masters).
Third, Millennials are forever decrying the lack of new opportunities while bemoaning that they will be the first generation to have a worse standard of living than their parents. Both complaints would vanish as the renewed slave trade would create all sorts of business opportunities, not merely for building and securing slave pens, but for designing apps for tracking runaways, following trends in the market, etc. And as for having a lower standard of living? Fogitabodit! Millennials might not all benefit from the boom -- BUT THEY WON'T BE SLAVES.
Fourth, there is no fear of a glut in the market. Baby Boomers will likely have much lower life expectancy once deprived of their Lipitor and Plavix.
Fifth, Millennials will find affordable housing in desirable locations such as Florida and Arizona, which be rapidly emptied as the trade booms.
Sixth, should supplies become scarce, GenXers will be available as new source of raw material, as will the Millennials themselves in the 2050s.
So, there you have it. A solution to, if not all, at least a fair proportion of America's ills.