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Boomergeddon How Runaway Deficits and the Age Wave Will Bankrupt the Federal Government and Devastate Retirement for Baby Boomers Unless We Act Now Paperback – August 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Boomergeddon's analysis of what's gone haywire is lucid, appropriately gloomy, but leavened with humor and good sense. That's a rare gift for readers -- it makes what could be a numbing diatribe an easy and highly informative read. Check out the section titled "Sex, drugs and rocky road ice cream."
As for the author's proposed remedies...that's the beginning of an excellent conversation! One especially insightful chapter offers advice at the individual level, including the revolutionary but inarguable: stop buying so much stuff.
For fixes at the macro level -- government policy -- my long-time friend Jim has pulled together a truckload of solid research, and interpreted it compellingly. Buy this book, read it, take it seriously. Listen well to its critics. Then "give yourself a slap on your big, fat Boomer booty," as the author advises, and make some careful plans.
The author, Jim Bacon, is a journalist with a libertarian point of view who has little use for government, swears by balanced budgets and has a bit of a Calvinist streak regarding personal responsibility. His book seems not at all intended to be the final verdict on the enormously negative scenarios that Bacon sees, but rather as an introduction to some difficult issues that people born right after World War II through the early 1960s will likely face as they become elderly.
In this role, the book is a benefit. Bacon is an excellent writer and breezes through coming demographic shifts and complex economic problems such as an overload of sovereign debt, an unworkable managed care health system, far too much government spending, and so on. In this sense, Bacon is performing a real service for the student of introductory current events since he lays out a number of issues in an easy-to-comprehend manner.
The book falls short for the same reasons. It appears to be hastily written with an eye to looming November elections (Republicans have suddenly discovered deficit spending after eight years of George W. Bush). Rather than going out and interviewing real people, Bacon instead relies too much on cut and paste articles. He does use an impressively wide variety of sources, but his discussion seems dominated by the viewpoints of conservative or libertarian outfits such as the Cato Institute.
More sophisticated readers will find some of his points obvious.Read more ›
This is not a book to enjoy. But it is an extremely valuable read and resource for anyone who wants to have an informed conversation about viable economic and socio-economic policy. For example, if the reader is passionate about making health care available to all Americans, he or she must understand that there is cost, that it must be paid and have a credible strategy to do so. Or, if we consider ourselves rational and think that increased taxes is the answer or some form of austerity is the answer, we need to know what it is we are answering and the basis of that conviction. This book provides the data and resources to formulate or defend those positions.
Jim writes in a chatty, bloglike easy-to-read manner. The pain in reading the book is the enormity and complexity of the topic and the myriad issues to be incorporated into one's analysis but, like chemo-therapy must be endured to combat cancer, understanding the patterns of this informational quilt is essential to tackling the issues. Read it. It's worth it.
This is not some tedious, wonkish lecture. It is not a rehash of party lines. Bacon is fiercely independent and is unafraid to let all sides have it if they deserve it. Tapping his deep experience with the political classes and their machinations, and fortified by a bolus of skepticism, Bacon has poured over primary sources--the budget, OMB's statements and a trove of other documents--and made the case that government is completely out of control, is indisposed toward self-control, and that Boomergeddon is coming unless we act now.
It's chilling. It's delightfully written. It's absolutely fascinating. It will change the way you think about policy and politicians.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a baby boomer, I definitely related to this book. A must read especially for those of us in government work who are closing in on retirement.Published 15 months ago by Lisa Anderson
I like this book; the problem is that it is depressing in large doses. I find that while it does NOT put me to sleep, I can take only small amounts without becoming depressed. Read morePublished on August 19, 2013 by T. Ballou
Haven't read it yet. Only just started, then put it down and couldn't keep reading it.
We may fall into a bottomless economic abyss before I do.
Great book...gives a perspective of reality that everyone should understand and plan for. The world is changing fast, and this book gives the reader one perspective that needs to... Read morePublished on December 7, 2010 by R. Macauley
A very informative and well written screed. I am glad I am from the earlier generation.They wouldn't dare run out of money for me.Published on November 26, 2010 by Pico
This book is a must read for anyone concerned with their retirement future. Moreover, It is a compelling and scholarly work that puts into perspective for the layman the critical... Read morePublished on November 20, 2010 by james grey
A little over sixty years ago, one of the biggest surges of births in history struck the United States as Americans returned home after World War II. Read morePublished on November 11, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
Boomergeddon is a delightful read. The first chapter gives you a sense of what is to come. In a witty and biting writing style, Bacon unravels the lies and deceptions that... Read morePublished on September 23, 2010 by J. B. Wight