Multimedia: Geoffrey Canada ’74 and Stanley Druckenmiller ’75 Discuss ‘Generational Theft’

President Barry Mills '72, educator Geoffrey Canada '74 and investor Stanley Druckenmiller '75 amid their discussion, “Generational Theft: How Entitlement Spending is Stealing Opportunity from America’s Youth,” May 7, 2013, in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

President Barry Mills '72, educator Geoffrey Canada '74 and investor Stanley Druckenmiller '75 amid their discussion, “Generational Theft: How Entitlement Spending is Stealing Opportunity from America’s Youth,” May 7, 2013, in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.

President Barry Mills moderated the discussion “Generational Theft: How Entitlement Spending is Stealing Opportunity from America’s Youth,” among educator Geoffrey Canada ’74, investor Stanley Druckenmiller ’75, and members of a packed Pickard Theater audience who posed questions to the duo.

Watch the discussion in its entirety:

View the Powerpoint presentation used during the discussion:

[portfolio_slideshow exclude=”78888″]

Canada’s and Druckenmiller’s visit to campus follows a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in which they write of their shared concern that “government spending levels are unsustainable,” Canada and Druckenmiller, though from different backgrounds and with different political beliefs, have united to bring their message to the masses, appearing on CNBC’s Closing Bell and Squawk Box, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. They warn that failing to reform an entitlement culture, reaffirm long-run objectives, and re-establish a common purpose will mean diminished opportunities for America’s youth.


  1. Eric Weis '73 says:

    As always, Bowdoin is a place where ideas and arguments swirl about in the light of day (or Pickard night). There is indeed a problem, and I want to offer comments on two of the slides presented.

    One speaks of “raising taxes on the rich”. That falls into the trap of nomenclature. Most fiscal policy rationalists understand that we should merely re-set the rates to Reagan era values, or before. Deficits have largely been caused by reductions in revenue (NOT spending) due to rate reduction and to economic depression. The depression is a cycle. So must rate setting be.

    A second shows defense spending in comparison to other nations, but it can and should be couched in local language. The Bath Iron Works has just produced one destroyer worth $3 billion. One boat. Surface boats can and will be sitting ducks in the new age of UAVs and ubiquitous surveillance. What a waste. That’s how our children’s futures is being mortgaged.

  2. you are not presenting a complete picture of the medicare/health care issue if you do not address the impact of drug companies and insurance companies lobbies as well as their effect on health care pricing….
    you have put way too much emphasis on AARP as the enemy!

  3. Mark Silber says:

    What is interesting about these graphs is that there is a nary discussion of how these figures were acquired/measurements made. There is also a paucity of measurement of cost of enculturation of young people, i.e. education, at all levels – birth to adulthood, in order to bring a child into the “age of reason”. The third component that deserves measurement is the cost of the young in the context of cultural compliance, i.e. law enforcement and incarceration. It is mostly the old, who comply, while the young test the system. Consequently, what we do not measure and compare, we do not know and it is easier to discuss “the taking by the old” – entitlement, than discussing “the taking by the young”.
    Measuring “taking” is inevitably tied to “giving”. What is it that the young have given on the front end, compared to what the old are “taking”, on the far end?
    If with nothing else for an example, should we look at the student debt?

  4. R. Chapman says:

    And … could we take a look at everyone’s off-shore accounts?

  5. Kimberly MItchell says:

    United States Senator Marco Rubio is addressing this issue. He bravely articulated this notion of generational theft when he ran for the US Senate in 2010. I say “brave” because he hails from the Sunshine State. Florida has one of the largest number of seniors in the nation. Most leaders would not have touched this discussion with a ten foot pole while trying to get elected in Florida. In the primary AND the general election, Marco shouted this from the rooftops.

    And Marco has continued to beat that drum (along with finding a solution to our immigration problem). If you agree with Geoff and Stan’s assessment, which I certainly do, call Senator Rubio. He and other leaders will most certainly need an army beside them to solve this problem.

    Kimberly Mitchell
    West Palm Beach City Commissioner

  6. James A Pierce says:

    Here we go again; those of us who dutifully paid into social security and medicare and who now are able to use the benefits are somehow the enemy. As usual those with the big purse strings, such as the defense and financial lobbies, wail about “entitlement spending” while pointing the finger at those of us who don’t cozy up to the K street crowd. Geoff and Stan share the Bowdoin lime light; I and many other alumni served in the military, paid our taxes, raised families and lead far more mundane lives, only to be told we are now part of a national problem. I disagree with them and Kimberly Mitchell.
    James A Pierce ’69

  7. William T. Stewart says:

    For good or ill we are all in the needs of society together. Even those of us who have paid in some over the years must expect to pay some more in years to come. The fact that many who get or defer benefits will work longer with the greater life expectancy may help to adjust the problem over time Just as those of us without children contribute to the needs of public education most must expect that contributions- when possible- will continue- perhaps forever

    Bill Stewart 1971

  8. Tim Buchman '72 says:

    What a disappointment. I don’t know Geoff or Stan well enough to attribute motives to them, but their speeches play directly into Republican plans to cut entitlements and then keep the savings to “drown big government in the bathtub.” Remember that in today’s perverted calculus, the repeal of a welfare-capitalism subsidy counts as a “tax increase.”

    Drukenmiller presents one false statement after another as fact: The biggest lobbyist in the U.S. is the pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not the AARP. (Never mind low-tax GE or oil-depletion allowance Exxon-Mobil, both also ahead of AARP in lobbying dollars.) A lowered poverty rate does not make seniors “the richest people in America.”

    Druckenmiller’s “chart talk” proposes, for the sake of discussion, raising the income tax rate on the “rich” from 40% to 50%. That is a disingenuous smoke screen. Whatever the purely theoretical marginal “tax rate” for the rich is (I’m referring to 39.5%), we know that the average percent of taxable(!) income paid in Federal income tax by the “rich” ranges from 20% for the top 5%, to 23% for the top 1%. (Tax Foundation dot Org).

    I’m disappointed with the air of Tea Party assurance in Stan’s foaming-at-the-mouth crusade. Paul Krugman has repeatedly pointed out that “Deficit Scolds” are not looking very good at predicting the future right now.

    I was disturbed by Geoff’s support of Mayor Bloomberg’s repeal of his own term limit, and for his re-election. As the New York Times suggested at the time, my opinion has to be that fund-raising has affected his judgement. Sad to say, the money he’s trying to free up is never going to be spent on poor children!


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