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  • Boomers vs X’ers

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on September 24th, 2011 (All posts by )

    This is along the same lines as Dan’s post below about generation differences. My friend John from Colorado put it together and it pithily sums everything up.

    Cross posted at LITGM


    10 Responses to “Boomers vs X’ers”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      The Boomers (and I am among their number) are like a horde of locusts consuming everything before them and leaving a desolate landscape behind.

      “I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
      Job 42:6

    2. darleen click Says:

      while I think lots of the list is certainly giggle worthy, as a Boomer, not all the economy was great while “coming of age” … from Nixon’s price controls, Ford’s W.I.N. and Carter’s stagflation and malaise, it wasn’t all beer and skittles …

    3. Lexington Green Says:

      My only quibble: “Jacksh*t at retirement” is still way too upbeat. There is not going to be any “retirement” for most of us.

    4. Jim Bennett Says:

      There’s a lot of fairy tale here. Boomers came of age subject to conscription for an ill-run war; even if you didn’t get sent to Vietnam, anticipation of your draft status dominated all your life decisions, including school, work, and marriage. Only the most leading edge of the Boom has started to collect Social Security and I am not particularly convinced that many will collect anything near what was promised. People say that payroll tax is somehow not tax because the promised benefits nearly equal the value of what was put in, on average. That was true of the pre-Boomer generations who have been collecting their social security but until Boomers actually collect some of that money it has not been proven so. Many Boomers had middle-class careers in corporate hierarchies only to have supposed secure corporate giants in steel, auto, electric, and other industries either go bankrupt and shed their obligations, or “de-layer” the managers in their middle 50s, and whose skills had suddenly become useless. The Boomers who chose entrepreneurial paths did not for the most part get the steady corporate salaries and fat 401Ks. The ones who did, and who have lost them, didn’t get the entrepreneurial skills and mindset. As for the 401k accounts, pre-Bomers had been enjoying them but again, only the leading edge of Boomers have started to approach the age at which the 401k can be tapped, and they have taken a huge beating.

      The list above is confused in time scale — much of Boomer life was lived before de-regulation, and actually not all that much de-regulation was accomplished, and much of it has been undone since. Other things on the list were true of only a small fraction of the Boomer population at any time, and in any event these things weren’t as they are represented today in media. People take their ideas of hippies from current media portraits that in turn were copied from media products in the 60s and 70s that were not actually produced by hippies, but by Hollywood types who were substantially older and had little contact with real hippies. Not that hippies were particularly wonderful but they were a far more varied phenomenon than people realized, and also were not actually numerous. There were a lot of wannebe hippies who copied some of the style, music, and other characteristics bit mostly lives pretty normal lives.

      Also, hippies and New Leftists are often conflated. The New Left hated hippies, and for the most part, vice versa. Only toward the end of the phenomenon was there some overlap.

    5. dearieme Says:

      What does #3 matter? You don’t have the money to buy stocks when you come of age, nor the knowledge (nor probably the inclination) either. Some time soon stocks will be good value (DJ = 3500?) and that’ll be a decent time to buy.

    6. Tatyana Says:

      Carl, I pinched that table for myself. Hope you and John don’t mind.

    7. Gerry from Valpo Says:

      From another perspective.

      Boomers got: Air Supply

      Xer’s got: The Ramones

      Not to mention, as a boomer we also were stuck with a 20% down and 13% fixed 30 year mortgage on our first home in 1979.

    8. LS Says:

      I try to point out another underlying thread deeper than simple generational differences.

      Pick someone of a particular generational cohort. Now, to what cohort did their parents belong?

      As a Gen-Xer with Silent Gen parents, I find attitudes and outlooks similar to my own among those of my cohort who were raised by my parents’ cohort. (Obviously.)

      I find little in common with Gen-Xers with Boomer parents, or the Boomers themselves.

      Point: It’s not just when you were born, but who/how were you raised.

      Perhaps a succession of Venn diagrams could illustrate the various generational overlaps?

    9. Dustin Says:

      Boomers shouldn’t get a dime of benefits that we do not anticipate the next several generations can get.

      Boomer extreme deficit politics have made it impossible to afford their entitlements, which therefore means they did not really pay for their entitlements (it’s just paper) and are owed nothing.

      They say ‘we were promised’, but they promised it to themselves. The people paying for it didn’t promise anything, and are being left with a tremendous debt problem.

      It would be nice if we simply cut them off, entirely. They can get a job.

    10. Silent Gen Parents Says:

      Reply to LS:

      Yes! Excellent, excellent point. My parents are from the Silent Generation and raised us to work hard and to mind our elders (so we could learn from them). Disciplined regularly. Expected to pull our fair share. Expected to donate, to volunteer, to pick up a piece of trash on a sidewalk instead of passing it by. That sort of thing. I wonder if there’s any literature on the different cohorts, as you put it.

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