Growing up, my mom always said, “No one ever actually grows up. Adults are just kids with the power and money to do whatever they want.” She usually said this after I came up to her complaining about how some adult in the world somewhere had done something stupid, again, and I always left her determined not to grow up to be a dumb adult like everyone else. I would be like my mom, who clearly had things figured out. (Amazing how big a 10-year old’s ego can be.)
Of course, my mom’s explanation was somewhat simplistic. Many adults do not have the resources to do whatever they want. Apparently, their answer to this is not to live within their means, but to resort to violence.
“Baby boomers, who drove the American crime explosion in their youth, are continuing to outdo prior generations in their late-life criminality.”
Overall, crime in America has been decreasing for the last twenty-ish years, with the arrest rate down by a third. Since the majority of criminal activity is done by young people, the logic would seem to say that, because baby boomers outnumber millennials, the sheer number of older people is averaging out the violence of those crazy kids.
Instead, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (which apparently is a thing that exists) has just found that the crime rate among young people is decreasing, while the rate of crime among older people is increasing.
As the Washington Post says, “The baby boomers, who drove the American crime explosion in their youth, are apparently continuing to outdo prior generations in their late-life criminality.”
Yes. Those same adults I bemoaned as a child are entering old age kicking and screaming and dragging their criminals pasts with them to retain some sense of youth. The mental image of the previous generation saying, “If I could make a fuss as a kiddo, I still can,” and, “I’ve earned the right to do what I want because I’m still alive,” while dressed in elastic-waist jeans, would be amusing if I and the rest of my generation didn’t have to literally pay for it.
#HowToConfuseAMillennial was trending on Twitter the other day, and most of the top tweets were along the lines of, “Tell them education is important, increase the cost of tuition, then get mad at them for being in debt,” “Destroy the housing market, replace entry-level jobs with unpaid internships, then tell them to buy a house,” and “Give them participation awards, then call them lazy for expecting things to be given to them.” In other words, create a problem and then blame millennials for it.
Another response could have been, “Commit crimes, raise the criminal rate, then tell them to stop being violent.”
Cross-posted from FEE.
FEE has been a leading non-profit organization in teaching the principles of a free society since its founding in 1946, by Leonard E. Read. Today, Fee focuses on introducing freedom as a life philosophy to newcomers in the youth audience, striving to bring about a world in which the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society are familiar and credible to the rising generation.