The future: What if this is as good as it gets?

It’s hard to listen to experts and people living in the real world and not hear the famous words of Jack Nicholson, “What if this is as good as it gets?”

What if my generation — Baby Boomers — are the last generation in the history of the United States to have a better standard of living than the previous one? What if the national dialogue started including that as a possibility?

The prediction that the war in Libya could last for years, a story that Minnesota is losing its young teachers, and today’s announcement that a lower unemployment rate masks the reality that the majority of the lost jobs may not return in this generation, feed the gloom.

But nothing matched this caller — James, from Bloomington — on today’s Midmorning segment on how student loan debt, heaped on students by colleges inflating the job prospects of graduates, may never disappear for our generation of the future.

He has $250,000 in debt, he makes $30,000 a year in a public-service job and he says, “every dream I’ve ever had of doing anything in my life is gone.”

The News Cut psyche can use some better individual stories. Have you got one?