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View Diary: Boomers vs. Millennials (346 comments)

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  •  I see a different kind of anti-Boomer stance (22+ / 0-)

    Many of my Millennial and GenX patients don't mind that Boomers are not retiring.

    They mind that this is the generation that elected Reagan, Bush I and Bush II.

    They don't see people my dad's age (born in WWII) as Boomers, and think they are largely the people who marched for freedom in the 1960s (which they were).

    They see Boomers (as an aggregate) who wasted their youth on coke in the disco and then spent the rest of their 20s and 30s as "Me Me Me" Yuppies.

    They also see them as standing in the way of progress (which the aggregate data also supports in the last few elections).

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:31:11 AM PST

    •  Baby boom generation (40+ / 0-)

      encompasses anyone born between 1946 and 1964.  That is a nineteen year span.  It is difficult to aggregate into one lump sum persons born over a 19 year period.  I was born near the beginning of that era and find it difficult to characterize myself as any more the same or different as I would with someone born in 1965 or born in 1944.  I do not live in the past, so to me, this is just another arbitrary classification system. Classifying people into faceless categories is simply another way to divide us against ourselves.

      The bottom line is that younger people are losing right out of the starting gate because they cannot find  jobs.  Their lifetime income is permanently impacted as a result, even when they are finally able to find a job.  At the same time, many older workers have been horribly impacted by loss of wealth due to loss of value in their homes which is often the largest equity they have and in their retirement accounts. They have no cash to draw upon for living expenses if they were to retire. All this has happened often at the same time as they are helping their children with college expenses and/or caring for aging parents.

      What we are seeing is that unless we solve the jobs crisis, everyone but the wealthiest among us is losing ground, and they are losing it faster than it can ever be recovered.

      Outstanding diary filled with great facts and charts.  Tipped and recommended.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:09:36 AM PST

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      •  I would call you a "tweener" more in tune (1+ / 0-)
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        with the values of the depression generation than the stereotypical "boomer".

        20 innocent children were slaughtered. The gun lobby and NRA bear responsibility and it is time to fight back!

        by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:21:56 AM PST

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      •  Early retirement or partial retirement (25+ / 0-)

        Lower the age for Social Security to  55 and let the Boomers retire early--with Medicare, opening up jobs for young people. Initiate a mentoring program for elders who want to keep a toe in the workplace and continuity in the knowledge stream. Invigorate society all around!

      •  I'm supposedly a boomer, too, but as a cultural (4+ / 0-)
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        WheninRome, figbash, raboof, VaBreeze

        designation I find it worthless. The Beatles and Motown (let alone Elvis and Chuck Berry) were to me the music of a notional older brother handed down to me as from the gods by someone almost twice my age, and I'm six years older than someone on the far end of the designation. The civil rights era and the worst of the Vietnam War took place while I was in grade school. Nixon resigned just before I started high school. None of that classic boomer stuff about Woodstock and peace and love, man had a damn thing to do with my life.

        Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

        by milkbone on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:58:53 AM PST

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      •  young people & student loans (3+ / 0-)
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        entrelac, schnecke21, JosephK74

        Totally aside from the awful job market for young people, those who went to college are going to be dogged with student loan debt for the next 20 years. Students at my local public university are graduating with $20,000 in loan debt on average. Undergrads with $40K to $50K in debt are common and their debt often includes private loans with interest rates in the low teens. People who go on to graduate school often find themselves with six-figure debts when they are done – basically a mortgage worth of debt before they have even begun a career.

        At least federal loans have some payment plans that limit your payment to 15% of your gross income. (Of course, if that doesn’t even cover your monthly interest the excess is capitalized and your loan actually grows even as you make payments.) So, take all of the consumer spending that is supposed to drive our economy and cut 15% off the top to account for people with decades of debt service to make. Those people aren’t buying houses, cars, starting families… Lots of boomers are counting on equity in their homes to finance retirement. They are going to be sadly surprised when they look around them and find no one has money to buy their houses from them.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:12:37 PM PST

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    •  they used to call my demographic (14+ / 0-)

      "war babies" . . . I was born almost half a year before D-Day, and never quite felt like a "baby boomer".  Never quite figured out whether I was a trailing-edge beatnik or a leading-edge hippie either.  While we had it relatively good (white collar, lower middle class ascending) in my childhood and my early perceptions come from the booming post-war era the most fundamental formative elements of my world view come from my parents . . . ie. the (first) Great Depression.

      It somewhat bothers me that here we are, re-learning for the umteenth time what they already knew 75 years ago . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:15:30 AM PST

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      •  My parents were born just before WWII (17+ / 0-)

        So they don't have the tag of Boomer attached to them.
          They either voted Democrat, or didn't vote at all during their lives. My dad is a veteran. Neither went to college. They worked full-time jobs for labor unions and both retired with pensions.

          In other words, they played by the rules and it largely worked for them. They didn't get greedy.

          They might be the last generation where this is true.

        ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

        by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:34:31 AM PST

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        •  There WERE rules....I think that is the major (9+ / 0-)

          difference.  All those rules are gone.

          And I tend to see kids who were taught to play by those rules lose in this economy.  The rule-breakers, "trail-blazers" are the ones who are rewarded, even when their trail-blazing takes them right over other people and their well-being.....I would mention the fuckhead who wrote the computer programs for the CDS and MBS bullshit, but have blocked it from my beautiful mind :-D

          Fact is, working hard doesn't do shit anymore.....there are so many reasons for it, but it just IS now.  And, conservatives and the 1% can exploit the living hell out of that and point fingers at immigrants and food stamp recipients, because your average American knows his paycheck is smaller, but will never, ever admit it's because his corporation is greedy....and it's not taxes that are going out, but wage stagnation. ...and average American knows he works his ass off and still can't get ahead and the 30+ years of conditioning of profits uber alles keeps him from seeing who is really fucking him over.  And then, because his life is so hard, everyone has to suffer right along with him.  It's where the anger and the hate and harsh words come from.  Top it all off with the hate merchants on am radio and the tv, and you end up with what we got:  a country with PTSD that doesn't know that the fuck to do to fix it....that mountain is so big now, it looks impossible to conquer.

          But, as always, the pendulum is swinging back toward the perverted version of collectivism America has implemented in the past.  Just remind any "senior" that once their savings is gone, MEDICAID (yeah, the poor, lazy people's insurance!) picks up the tab until you die.  And do you really want someone working for PROFIT deciding how many diapers you need per day?  It gets their attention :-)

          David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

          by PsychoSavannah on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:39:19 AM PST

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    •  YES! (8+ / 0-)

      This is what made that Hillary speech at the USCoC so patently offensive.  It's the political decisions the boomers have made and continue to make as they grow old that have decimated this country's economy.  I don't feel resentment that the boomers have it well - I resent that this whole mess is pretty much their fault.  And since they grew up in the '60s, they should have fucking known better.

      "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

      by GrimReefa on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:26:29 AM PST

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    •  Anyone who sees a "generation in aggregate" (14+ / 0-)

      is an idiot. And most boomers are not the "image boomer" you see in the New York Times. They are the alcoholic Vietnam vet who never recovered from PTSD. They are the dedicated teacher retiring early because they're disgusted with the attacks on education. They are black and female or blue-collar so the media construct of the well-off boomer who controls everything never ever was real for them. By the tens of millions, they never voted for Reagan, Bush I or Bush II.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:59:43 AM PST

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    •  Yep... that's where I am. (1+ / 0-)
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      This history is incomplete, because it doesn't get into the reason all the wealth is trickling up to the 1%, pensions have been replaced with 401(k)s, the banking industry was deregulated leading to the explosion of the housing market, we didn't have a national health care system for decades, and workers of all ages aren't able to make ends meet—because of voters who checked the boxes next to people with (R) after their names.

      The Millennials weren't of voting age when Boomer resentment played a major role in putting the union-buster Ronald Reagan in office, sparked the 1994 Gingrich Revolution, and declared liberal Democrats "unelectable" in favor of DLC centrists like Bill "the era of big government is over" Clinton.

      And now that the Boomers are reaping what they've sown after 30+ years of voting for Republicans, they want to screw over the younger generation?

      I think we should take care of the Boomer generation in their elder years because it's a matter of justice and fairness, but you can't expect me (a late X-er/early Millennial) not to resent the hell out of it sometimes.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:38:46 AM PST

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      •  Yes, that's where they are at (0+ / 0-)

        They believe they have to be BETTER than their parents' generation, some because their parents played by the rules and looked out for others, and some simply because they want to behave more appropriately than their parents.

        But they mainly believe that whether their own parents were typical Boomers or not, that the whole mess wouldn't have started if most Boomers hadn't been so self-centered in their politics.

        "We didn't start the fire" is considered to be ironic BS spoken by a generation with a matchbook in their collective hands.

        For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

        by Ptolemy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:55:39 AM PST

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      •  You've bought the Republican line, haven't you? (8+ / 0-)

        Those dirty hippies have destroyed the country.  Sigh.

        •  The Republican line... (0+ / 0-)

 that Baby Boomers voting for Reagan, Gingrich, and centrist Democrats destroyed the country?

          Somehow that doesn't seem to me like something the Republicans would say.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:37:38 AM PST

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          •  Not all of us voted the Repug line (3+ / 0-)

            I saw thru their bull** during the Vietnam War. Never voted for em once, and never will.

            So please don't generalize. We are more diverse than you assume.

            The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

            by ozsea1 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:12:19 PM PST

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            •  No, not all of the Boomers voted for Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
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              But we slice voters into demographics all the time, talking about the way women voted, or the way African-Americans voted, or the way people making under $35,000 voted—knowing that of course each and every member of that group didn't vote the same way, but that those groups tended to vote for one party or the other to a certain proportion.

              Unless you're going to suggest that all talk about demographic groups' voting tendencies is invalid, you're not in much of a position to complain when we talk about how Baby Boomers voted.

              "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

              by JamesGG on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:45:12 PM PST

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              •  Who's this "we"? (0+ / 0-)

                Speak for yourself. You assume too much. That's all.

                The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

                by ozsea1 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:26:17 PM PST

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              •  We slice demographics (4+ / 0-)

                for certain limited purposes. Assigning responsibility is not a valid use of demographic groupings.

                I may be a Boomer, but you can slice and dice voter demographics so that I fall into many groups that vote Democratic - single women, Jews, atheists, San Franciscans, Blue staters, city dwellers. Why is one given more significance?

                And without knowing anything else about you I can slice you into a group - men - that votes Republican. Ergo, you're to blame, even if you never voted Republican in your life. Not to mention all the other things I could blame you for by virtue of being male.

                But I would be an idiot if I did that. We're responsible for what we ourselves do, not what demographic groups we belong to.

                Think harder. I know you can.

                We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

                by denise b on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:43:28 PM PST

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          •  Never voted for any of them. (5+ / 0-)

            Can't figure out how they were elected, because I don't know anyone who voted for them either.

            Oh, except my parents, who were definitely not boomers, and definitely not Democrats.

            Stop blaming all boomers for Reagan. Reagan fucked me over so many times in the '80s, I've lost count.

            "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

            by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:44:18 PM PST

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        •  That's pretty unfair (0+ / 0-)

          To reduce what JGG had to say to a slogan, and an inaccurate one at that, is dismissive.

          Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

          by ricklewsive on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:39:31 AM PST

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        •  NB-- older jerks were still in power & voting (1+ / 0-)
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          in 70's and 80's.  They were thinking of themselves-- cf. Alan Simpson.

          When people go on about the "greatest generation," I think of most of the people who voted against civil rights and the 2/3 polled in 1978 who thought my parents' marriage should {still} be illegal.  They held onto power longer than any group before them, exactly like Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II passing over their sons.  

          "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

          by LucyandByron on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:50:24 PM PST

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    •  They paint with a very broad brush. Since all (9+ / 0-)

      people have no choice of when to be born or what circumastances they are born into it is goofy to categorize them all into some monolithic group. I don't care if 80% did something that still leaves 20% who didn't...

      Yes I actually participated in marches against the war but I also served in the USAF during Vietnam. I was born into a family of 5 children (would have been 7 if all had lived). I shared a 10' x 12' unheated basement bedroom (in Minnesota) with 3 sisters for years. We had a a trundle bed, 4' closet and a 6 drawer dresser. That was the good days. Earlier on the various farms all the children slept in one bedroom in two twin beds... (heat came thru registers in the floor and we had an outhouse. And those were the good days after my mother remarried. We did not have TV until I was 8 years old. I went to school and then came home to work as a housekeeper and cook from the time I was 6. I took care of the younger children. I also had to collect eggs, dead turkeys and bring in the cows for milking.

      This looking to blame earlier generations in broad swaths is crazy and helpful to making it worse for all. I was born in 1952. My best memory is getting up to watch John Glen orbit the earth. My worst is the day they told us John Kennedy was shot. I had no cell phones, no Stereos, no computers, half my childhoos no running water or indoor bath (we took baths in a tin tub by the wood stove every Saturday) ...

      We all live in the time we live. I do not blame any generation but rather individuals of all generations who have ideologies or behaviors that make it harder for larger numbers. It is lazy thinking to categorize but one of the simplest games on offer. It is also falling for the manipulation of the  1% to be busy attacking each other. Stir up the ant hill and get them attacking each other.

      Fear is the Mind Killer...

      by boophus on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:11:27 AM PST

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      •   + 4 !!!! ^^^^^^ (1+ / 0-)
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        Sounds very similar to my childhood, boophus.

        I loved getting in that old tin tub which was put out on the back porch in the summer. Almost as fun as going down to the crick for a bath.

        Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

        by figbash on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:29:06 PM PST

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    •  Fuck that (3+ / 0-)

      Sorry for my temper, but one generation never elected anyone. There are always four generations of voters. Most boomers were in their 20s when Reagan was elected - at exactly what age did we become responsible for everything?

      A demographic aggregate is nothing more than a demographic aggregate. It's not the basis for assigning credit or blame. This kind of stupidity really infuriates me.

      And to those members of Generation X who like to blame Boomers for everything - you guys are middle aged now, and your generation's voting patterns pretty much match the ours, yet you still assume the role of helpless victims. How can you blame us but absolve yourselves of responsibility? How much longer are you going to play this game? Time to step up. You've been adults a long time now. If we're responsible then so are you - or you could use your heads and stop scapegoating altogether.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:27:19 PM PST

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      •  Thanks, you said it better /nt (1+ / 0-)
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        "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

        by LucyandByron on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:32:38 PM PST

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      •  I'm a GenX-er, and I actually think my (0+ / 0-)

        generational cohort is worse than both the boomers and the millennials with respect to sheer cynical greed and self-centered voting behavior.

        Regardless, I doubt anybody is scapegoating boomers who are on this site. You (specifically denise b) and you (plural--boomers on Daily Kos, and in other liberal venues) are not necessarily part of the "boomers who voted for this crap."

        Well, I will walk that back a bit--I think boomers who simply voted D share some culpability with the majority of boomer voters who elected Republicans, because "Democrat is the new Republican (of 10 years prior)" isn't a recent thing. Anybody who "just votes" is little better than a person who doesn't vote at all with respect to political action. And anybody who simply votes Democratic hoping or thinking "at least they keep the Republicans at bay" is engaged in pure sophistry. The clowns in these two parties both play for the same team; they're in the same club and 99% of the rest of us aren't in that club, and we aren't on that team.

        •  I haven't seen the numbers (0+ / 0-)

          but I have a sneaking suspicion that you are right about my fellow Gen-Xers.
             Remember that Gen-X came of age during the Go-Go-80's. Not exactly a decade for altruism.

          ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

          by gjohnsit on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:48:20 AM PST

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