I'm going to leave it to the readers (those few, if any, I have left) to try to come up with a "rational world" solution to the problem raised by Ron Brownstein in this observant piece noting that younger workers can't get their careers started... and older ones can't get theirs ended! Obviously, I'm going to suggest my own below. Spoiler alert: it involves not taxing the rich and increasing the Pentagon budget...
The obvious usual response that
not American rational societies have come up with is a variety of things Americans have come to call "socialism" (a term which doesn't include Medicare or any other government programs that benefit White people), such as publicly paid higher education (so that younger people aren't saddled by debt), universal affordable health care (so that all people needn't fear destitution through the simple misfortune of having themselves or members of their family contracting an expensive illness), livable minimum wages and relative job security protections to ensure that the productive years are adequately compensated, and a guaranteed and secure retirement so that older workers need not fear becoming burdens on their families or otherwise becoming destitute if they don't work until they drop, thereby freeing up opportunities for younger workers.
Of that list, we Americans have self-funded higher education that has resulted in a cumulative national student debt that exceeds credit card debt, medical debt is a major factor in the overwhelming majority of personal bankruptcies, real wages have gone nowhere for decades (and most workers in the United States are subject to the law-of-the-jungle "protections" of "employment at will"... we won't even talk about some measures of unemployment that are now in Depression era range), and, of course, most people now believe Social Security is pretty much doomed (and the Democratic President insisting that Social Security, the only solvent government program we have, is nonetheless in a crisis, and engaging the affectionately named cat-food-commission led by Pete "I've Devoted My Life to Destroying Social Security" Peterson to propose destroying what's left of it... hasn't helped much).
Anyway... forget the obvious responses. They involve spending money on things that aren't the military, and collecting that money by means that include imposing taxes on our precious rich people. No... can't do either of those. (Why, that would be crazy talk, like believing that swarthy people suspected of evil-doing should get due process of law, or that people should eat well and take care of themselves rather than live any crappy lifestyle they want and expect a bloated and pharmaceutical driven "health care" system to bail them out, and other insane bat-sh** like that.)
What we can do is borrow money from China (or, failing that,
print it have the Federal Reserve engage in "quantitative easing") and of course, increase Defense spending. And so... I propose to solve everything at once, at the mere cost of... well..., we just can't worry about that, when we're talking about our precious bodily fluids national security, can we now?
Yes, obviously, I''m talking about beefing up the Pentagon. I propose an immedate implementation of a universal national two-year service requirement, starting, of course, in September the year in which kids graduate high school (or the year they turn 18, if they don't graduate high school... stay in school, kids!) For sticklers for pacifism, there would be a "civilian service" option (teach in the South Bronx, dig wells on Indian reservations, etc.), though, it being run by the Pentagon, there would be many incentives to man-up and join a uniformed service. And after two years of some kind of useful service, we would have a cadre of 20 year olds actually qualified to do something. Plus, they'd save up some money for college or technical training (just as they do now in our all-volunteer military), and they'd be eligible for lifetime free V.A.-sponsored medical treatment (knock it all you want-- did I mention it's free? I just gave you universal government paid health care while you weren't looking...). We could also have the rudiments of a military pension for those who like their service enough to stay with it a while... and of course, we'd defer the entire working population from the competitive work force for at least two years (plus whatever education was pursued).
Of course, since everyone (not physically and/or mentally disabled) would have devoted part of their lives to national service, we would have more people with a stake in what our government is up to-- including national leaders who might think about the implications of sending Goldman Sachs executives' children into potentially thorny situations should we continue the present imperial course we are on. And the best part is that there's also lots of actual useful work that can be performed-- work shoring up a collapsing infrastructure, beefing up education and health care, maybe even getting everyone in the country to start growing their own victory gardens (national security begins with food security...) with a new cadre of young, energetic uniformed and civilian personnel on the job (I've already made one such proposal), securing the borders and so forth. Heck, maybe they can help rebuild the towns that are sure to be leveled by tornadoes or hurricanes or drowned in floods and so forth, as good old global warming increases storm magnitudes (while getting to deny global warming at the very same time they're cleaning up after it!!!)
Look: I understand that this is a massive (and presumably expensive) government program... but it won't be paid for by taxing the rich, and it will increase the Defense budget. It's a winner, I tell you. This has been... "More easy answers to stupid questions."