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2030
An intriguing, caustically humorous and unsettling vision of America's future
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Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Created: 03/30/12

Replies: 32

Posted Mar. 30, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

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Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

2030 features a very serious divide between the generations. Did you sympathize with your own age group as represented in 2030? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
leeb

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 6

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I am probably in between ages at this point in time - by 2030 I will definitely be an "old" if still around. However, I help care for an elderly father. He and I both agree, that health care has be universal, for basic care, but there needs to be a limit to what the country can pay for. "Pull the plug on grandma" has alot of validity if our country is to survive. A very unpopular viewpoint with my friends, but where I have always stood on this issue - even more so after reading this book.


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

On Saturday I'll celebrate my 80th birthday..my grandmother lived to 96 and fought death to the end. She said to my mother that the closer you are to death, the less you want to go. This book was truly scary..the "1984" of the 21st century..I most certanly related to the "olds"..but living forever is not the answer..yet, what is?


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jillm

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 2

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

While still working, I identify with the olds. I don't understand why they control the money. I am only half way through the book. I hope the book catches on and causes an upsurge in DNR's. I plan to locate ours and give copies to the kids. I try to get my friends to promise they will facilitate my end if I'm lingering. I believe we all should have the option to end a miserable life. Ideally, we'll be motivated to look to health eating and exercise for a productive life.


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 29

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Happy Birthday, Portiaa!!!! I will be 80 the end of May, so I relate to the "olds" in many ways. I hear younger people grumbling about the financial burdens being placed on the young. They worry about their futures and whether there will be benefits for them They are being taxed heavily for a future they may not be able to participate in...I think Brooks took so many of our current problems and projected them into a future that is not so distant.....You and I may see 2030.......


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Thank You harriettek for the Birthday wishes..and a future Happy 80 to you!. The thing is, I don't feel old. That is part of the problem. We live longer healthier lives and want to enjoy our last days..I've been helping my son who has been out of work for almost 2 years..I hope he has a plan B, because his unemployment will soon be over..but we're fortunate that I can help. I feel for the young who don't see the bright future ahead that we saw 60 or so years ago. I think part of the blame goes to our Congress who haven't done a thing to help the economy.


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Portia - talking of longer, healthier lives, I can't resist sharing this video which someone sent me yesterday of an 86-year-old gymnast. It's quite something: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CTWo9EfQ4Hc


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Thank you for the video..she is amazing. (And I thought I looked good for my age)


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

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RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I am in the age group of the olds, but I truly felt bad for the younger generations. I look at our country now and I know my grandchildren will be paying the bills for all the entitlements that people expect. I am going for surgery tomorrow and I do not want to be kept alive by extraordinary means if something untoward were to happen.


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenr

Join Date: 12/10/11

Posts: 13

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I sympathized with my own age group, the "olds". But I also sympathized with the young. They will be bearing the burden and paying the price of my generation's bad decisions. I agree with Jill above in that I also hope there is an upsurge in DNR's. My husband and I disagree on this point but I can only hope he will honor my wishes if the time comes.


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahh

Join Date: 03/05/12

Posts: 13

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I find myself empathizing with both groups but more than connecting with one group I find myself thinking about the practical application of ideas that make sense in theory. I find this book evoking those kind of responses as it can feel more like a long news article than a novel.


Posted Apr. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susann

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

It is important to remember that this is, to some extent, a satire and that there are exaggerations in the portrayals of the different generations. Of course, satire is often a very effective way to make one's points, and the author has done that well here. I think readers can understand the perspectives of both the olds and the youngs without having to identify with either group.


Posted Apr. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Lynnw, Social Security and Medicare are not "entitlements"..they are paid for by workers and businesses and, had our Congress not raided the funds, they would be solvent. I continued working until I was 74 and paid for my benefits, as did my employer. I do believe that we should have a change in retirement age, based upon our longer working lives and a raising of the cap to include more higher income earners. Also, a means test might be in order..If our "youngs" are to benefit, we "olds" will have to accomodate to the changing times.


Posted Apr. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

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RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I really agree with Portiaa and she made some very good points. Though I am just to the olds stage I really feel most deeply for the youngs. I and several friends have talked about the fact that we feel we may have lived the best of times. The ever increasing world population and destruction of our environment as well as the huge risks of mass destruction from our nuclear technologies is a very scary thing to think about and I sincerely hope that my children and grandchildren have as good a life and lifestyle as I have had.


Posted Apr. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I remember reading that when the retirement age of 65 was set, the life expectancy was about 65 as well. Our life expectancy has improved, while the SS retirement age has not changed.

It is fantastic that we are living longer (and hopefully still enjoying life while we're alive, not bed-ridden for 20 years), but I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be delaying retirement benefits coming from the gov't. We're free to retire whenever we like, obviously, but shouldn't depend on tax revenue to support us when we can still support ourselves.


Posted Apr. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Bevula, In the main, I agree with you. But please remember, our benefits are not tax money; they are funds that were paid into the system all of our working lives. The benefits are a return on investment in a way and not government handouts. I agree that the retirement age is probably too young but so many of our "young" are being burned out by long weeks and insufficient help..what ever happened to the 40 hour week?


Posted Apr. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

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RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I do sympathize with my own age group...I'm an 'old'. But, I have 5 grandchildren that will have to deal with the reality of the situation this country is in. And it won't matter if cancer is cured and we can look like 40 instead of 80. We are in deep doodoo already and not doing a thing to solve our problems. We owe more money than our country generates; we ignore the direness of a balanced budget and spending cut;, we are no longer a manufacturing society; and we seem to have given up our American Spirit and backbone. The novel epitomizes the whiners in all age groups, including the 'trust fund babies' who are so bored with their lack of productivity that they become rebels (only occassionaly with a cause).
I agree with Portiaa that social security benefits are not a true tax but I, for one, would rather have had that money to invest as I saw fit - not the government. And look what they did with that money, they 'borrowed' it! No wonder there may not be enough to go around.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Jww: I think our country has many problems, but I haven't given up on the young. Put the blame where it belongs..on the Corporations who sold our jobs to China and Mexico for the "bottom line", the Congress whose only function seems to be trying to discredit the President. As to the spirit and backbone you mentioned, much of that was from necessity. I'm sure the young boys working in the mines or the children in the weaving factories didn't really want to be there..We have, in many ways been told a history that wasn't real. Yes, there was a Whiskey Rebellion but who were the drinkers of all that booze? There were "slackers" whose heads were broken by strike-breakers, but they got us the 40 hour week and less child labor. We had prohibition, and that enabled the gangsters..history is real and denying facts don't change them. The jazz age children fought the 2 World Wars, our valient troops are young, they willingly fight for us. I have hope that if needed our children have no less the real values that we profess. Also, if you give people the chance to invest their own retirement money, what would have happened to those too profligate to save, those who had no extra due to family needs or those caught in a recession as much of us have been recently? Soup lines, perhaps..we had them before, remember?


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 29

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

After re-reading my own comments and reading the others, I find that I really am of two minds (is that the Gemini in me?) and understand what the younger generation is feeling. I have seven grandsons, two are working and 3 are graduating from University with no job in sight (yet). They worry about their futures and so do I. I think Brooks did a very accurate job of portraying both the "youngs" and the "olds". He is taking our present and projecting into the very near future.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Harriettek..I agree, and am also sympathetic to both sides of this debate..I think this book is a satire, yes..but so was "1984". And now, big brother is watching us..who thought that could happen? If the book makes us think and debate, that is a very good thing.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Izabel

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 17

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Well, Portiaa, I disagree with you that SS is not tax money. It absolutely is tax money. The money I pay every year is not sitting in some trust fund waiting for me, it is paying for my aging parents and other "olds" that I know. I am not against this because I think we should take care of our elders, but it is indeed a tax. I agree, the retirement system has to be reworked and that the age should be increased but that is a difficult thing to do. For instance, the wear and tear on the body of an office worker is drastically different than a construction worker. I would hate to raise the eligibility to 70 when a construction worker's body probably won't last that long. I think we have to look at a tiered system.

I am in the middle of both groups and my sympathies lie with the young, mostly because my young are not finding jobs or health care and seem to be getting the brunt of what's wrong in America. As there are less and less young, there will be less and less medicare money, or shall I say there will be higher and higher taxes on the young to care for the old. I understand and appreciate the sentiment Brooks has put forth here.

As for the way they sustained life, even when "life" was not what was happening (as in the case of the President's mother), I think that was driven purely by money and who owned what and who lobbied hard enough in Congress to pass that legislation. This is a frightening glimpse at the current political system in the aftermath of the Citizen's United ruling in the Supreme Court. Some say money has always ruled politics, but Brooks warning rings true - you have not seen money's influence as you will see it in the near future. Brooks' warning regarding the Right to Life movement should be heeded.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Izabel, I think the discussion of Social Security is, at this point, semantics..whether a tax or not doesn't really matter; what matters is do we want to return to the days before it..I'm old enough to remember people selling apples and funiture in the street because people couldn't meet the rent. At least now there is a safety net for the olds..certainly not enough to maintain a great lifestyle, ($1200 a month isn't lavish for sure) but at least to survive with some dignity. As to money's influence, I heartily agree..part of the blame, I think goes to the religion of prosperity..that somehow God's rewards are only due to some, and they have the right to deny all that religion has tried to teach..such as taking care of the poor, the sick and the elderly.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneg

Join Date: 03/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

This is definitely a knotty problem. I have my views, which some would call "socialist," but I won't inflict them on anybody since I'm a newbie.

Communication among the generations is clearly important. Notice in the book that the daughter and the father who was injured, at great expense, never seem to talk to each other about the problem (Sorry, I don't have the book in front of me). The father who lost his condo in the earthquake and his son only talk after the huge tragedy. The father knows all along that his son is struggling, but seems to have no desire to help him out.

We need to work on that. It's so easy for me, in my 60s now, to seek out people my own age for social interaction. It's so comfortable! Maybe we could reach out to the young a little more.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Suzanneg - please don't be shy. We welcome all opinions, that's why we have a discussion at all. I have some socialist leanings myself - using the accurate meaning of the word, not the current political-reality-twisting usage being thrown around.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Izabel

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 17

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Portiaa, I wish there was a "like" button on these posts. I am in complete agreement with you on the "religion of prosperity".

I am a believer in a social safety net, but we need to take a serious look at how SS is distributed. It wasn't meant to be icing that tops an already financially secure cake. It was meant to keep food on the table of the poor. My parents rely on SS but I know some who don't need it at all. In 2030, there is a huge disparity in the lifestyles of the olds and the youngs. This is not unlike the disparity between the rich and the poor today.


Posted Apr. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneg

Join Date: 03/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I honestly don't think the future portrayed in this book is going to happen.

We'll have two "olds," just like we have rich and poor today. There will be rich olds and poor ones, those who live on Social Security or inadequate pensions. The mergers, bankruptcies, and speculation of the past few years have destroyed many pensions, such that a lot of people who thought they were going to be fine financially are going to have to struggle to survive.

Izabel is right in that some don't need SS at all. Maybe they could cash it out to recoup their own contribution, but there is a lot of controversy about that. What if people cash out or borrow on their SS, then have nothing left to live on? There are already companies offering to buy pensions...


Posted Apr. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 82

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RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Portiaa,
I am a bit confused by your response. It is simplistic to blame our country's problems on corporations who have moved jobs to other shores. You are correct that the government does little to make anything better. It is massive government regulation and the highest corporate taxes that encouraged corporations to move to greener pastures. Spirit and backbone a necessity...absolutely. And both we need now. But I don't see how that segues into child labor and the 'Whiskey Rebellion' and the wars and prohibition and the Jazz age, etc. I do not say that everyone has to give up Social Security, I just say I would have preferred a choice - like our government leaders. If my choice led to difficulties then that is MY problem...no yours or any other tax-payer's. But my original comment was concerning Mr. Brooks' book and how it relates to the present and how realistically (or otherwise) it showed the different age groups and who I sympathized with. I think he was right on the money for most of the characters portrayed. I just didn't find it satirical. I found it prescient.


Posted Apr. 12, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 52

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RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

As we discuss SS and the old I have to say that as I read the book, what was in the back of my mind was the very young that are born into this world without a chance of a decent life. I am talking about crack babies, etc that are born to crackheads and will be learning disabled, etc. Society spends so much on their care from the time they are born. And many will not have a productive life. You wonder if the mother had not been a crackhead and had taken care of herself during pregnancy, would the child have been normal. These babies take up lots of our healthcare dollars. I am not at all saying that we should let them die. Not at all, but I don't like the "old" being blamed for using all the healthcare dollars.
If the Obamacare really goes into law, how will these healthcare dollars be spent? Who will make these decisions? How will they be made?


Posted Apr. 12, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Jww:Perhaps I was clumsy in what I was trying to convey in a previous post. What I wanted to say was that people are not always responsible for their own destinies..we have situations which sometimes overtake our best laid plans..in 1987, I lost $80,000 in one day..in 2004, $120,000..in the stock market..none of this money was given to me..it was years of hard work and savings in a 401K. And that was in the years of compound interest...not like today where there are few safe places where money can grow. We olds have to prepare the best we can for sickness and advanced age..and Social Security was meant to be a safety net; not the entire income. I believe in a means test, I believe in lifting the retirement age, I believe in having the wealthy contribute a little more, but allowing the aged to die impoverished doesn't seem to be the American way..but like Brad in the book, I might get murdered and not have to worry about my future.
I truly feel sorry for the young and the middles trying to get by with jobs so hard to find and a doubtful future. We olds have to help the best we can.


Posted Apr. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 47

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I think the message in the book is a little drastic but somewhat believable. I do feel that the younger generation has a right to be frustrated with the way the government is going in trying to spend more and more to support the "olds" through social security, health care measures and other entitlements. I am too close to being an "old" and felt disturbed by many of the comments, yet I could see the points being made. I have a 32 year old daughter finishing law school as a second graduate degree and career choice since she felt unable to support herself as a social worker. Now she has huge loans to pay back and no job. Many young people are faced with this same situation. I think we are coming closer to the reality of the book.


Posted Apr. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneg

Join Date: 03/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Your daughter is not alone. Student loans are a terrible burden.

What if we stopped offering student loans? Not everyone should go to college. I taught for a year at a private online college, and I can tell you that there were many students who were only in college because they thought it was their only hope. They weren't prepared; some of them flunked out, but still owe that money.

A student who really wants a college education can work hard for scholarships and take jobs to pay for tuition. It might take them 10-20 years to finish, but they will be debt-free when they do.

We need apprenticeship and other training programs in trades and medical fields. I can see a role of government in providing these opportunities.

Yes, our children are not getting the opportunities we had. We can work toward helping them, though.


Posted Apr. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lesg

Join Date: 09/25/11

Posts: 4

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

I'm in between the age groups portrayed in the book. I think both were described fairly accurately with heroes and villains in each age group.


Posted Jun. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 32

RE: Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?

Portia, Izabel, I agree with both of you ! I do not think anyone wants to go back to the days before SS, life was awful for a lot of people. Many people worked for wages that provided for daily living and not for long term savings. People need to remember that they paid into the system that they collect from. The disparities that Izabel comments on are so true. I feel that there is a mean spiritness growing today that the author picks up and takes to a conclusion that results in life in in 2030.


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