Matt HealeySaturday,29 December 2012

The Snap:

The Watergate scandal happened in 1972. Since that time, every major scandal has been something-gate. There was travel-gate in 1993, nipple-gate happened during the Superbowl XXXVIII, and trooper-gate involved Sara Palin during her run for VP in 2008. Actually, the full list is way too long to go through here. Needless to say there were a lot of gates over the past 20 years and hopefully that is coming to an end only to be replaced with cliff.

The Download:

We are all familiar with the fiscal cliff. It has been in the news so much especially as the deadline grows near. But there are a few aspects of the cliff. There is the dividend cliff – the tax increases on dividends, the estate cliff – the tax increases on estate taxes, and the capital gains cliff – the tax increases on capital gains. All of these are subsets of the overall fiscal cliff. But that may only be the start of the cliffs. There was a recent story about the commingle container cliff. This cliff refers to the possible strike by the longshoreman union in 15 east coast ports over the proposal by management to limit the fees for unloading containers. Granted this does not get the same attention as the main fiscal cliff, but it is another cliff.

Personally I think the migration from gate to cliff would be a good development. I am a bit sick of having to refer to every scandal as a gate. It is a leftover term from the boomer generation that the media will not let go. Hopefully this will finally kill the term and we can move on to dealing with the massive problems the boomer generation has inflicted on us. Such as the fiscal cliff, which will be amplified by the selfish attitude of the boomer generation. After all, this generation is the least prepared for retirement in history. They have saved nothing — instead choosing to rely on government handouts such as Social Security and Medicare. These programs, combined with an insane level of defense spending, severely limit investment in areas that will foster growth and competitiveness. For example, the U.S. is falling far behind China in basic infrastructure spending. Solving the problems the boomers have created will be essential to keeping the U.S. globally competitive. I suspect that will require solutions that are politically difficult but that are essential — such as benefit cuts. After all, I don’t want to be bankrupted because I have to pay for the retirement of a generation that could not be bothered to save any money.

Hat tips:

Travel gateList of gatesNipple gateContainer cliffBoomer retirement savingsInfrastructure spending, Image Credit: Flickr

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