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Happy 30th to the millennial generation
From a demographer's perspective, "generations" are groups of people born within a specific time period who share something in common. Generations are shaped by extraordinary circumstances: perhaps by long wars and economic difficulties, but equally by peace and prosperity. While generations are usually felt to have specific beginnings and ends, such as the baby boomer generation that resulted from the return of our servicemen from the Second World War, people are being born all the time, which means that oftentimes, the specific beginnings and ends of generations are somewhat malleable.

With that caveat, however, the year 1982 is widely accepted as the beginning of the millennial generation. The oldest of us are just hitting our 30th birthday, like I did last month. And as we enter our fourth decade of existence, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on who we are and what we have been through. We're not monolithic; no generation is. But we do have common experiences, and those experiences have shaped our values as a generation. Eventually, we will be America's political and economic leaders; some of us already are. But when we are governors, senators and presidents, what might an America run by millennials look like?

Let's start with who we are.  We will be the first generation in some time not to idolize Ronald Reagan; not because we don't respect his political ideology (though that may be the case), but simply because only the oldest of us have any recollection whatsoever of his presidency, and a six-year-old's hazy memories aren't worth much. For us, the Cold War is a part of history that was before our time, not part of the world we grew up in as a day-to-day reality. That's not to say that our geopolitical reality has been any more pleasant; for most of us, the attacks of September 11, 2001 were childhood experiences. Our constant reality since then has been wars and occupations, terror alert codes, recessions, eight years of George W. Bush, and a faith-destroying economic catastrophe. But we'll get to that in a minute.

It has been said that our generation is lazy; that we've refused to grow up. That, the story goes, is why so many of us have returned home after college and given ourselves the moniker of the "boomerang generation." The narrative is that we're entitled: that a generation built on political correctness and praise without performance has made us expect things we don't deserve to receive. We're not content, then, to work hard like the generations that preceded us, and to work our way up the ladder of opportunity; and once we figure out how tough the world actually is, we turn tail and crawl back home to our parents, who knew the value of hard work.

It's a pleasant fiction designed to absolve the previous generation of responsibility from the simple fact that we live in the economy and society they guided and shaped. Far from not knowing the value of hard work and competition, we're a generation where law school graduates compete like mad for the opportunity to ply their trade for free in the face of six figures of unrelenting school debt. Their generation's executives continue to make more than ever off of the increasingly inexpensive labor our generation provides. So yes, our generation has delayed adulthood, but not because we're lazy, or because we don't want the responsibility of marriage and family, but because it takes us so much longer to begin to have the financial stability to consider it.

In that regard our values may be the same, if less achievable. But in others, we couldn't be more different. Generations before us were characterized by a desire to own as large a slice as possible of the isolation they considered paradise, fleeing the denser and more diverse cities to tract homes in ever more distant suburban bedroom communities. Our generation has stopped believing in the idea that we will ever be able to buy a bigger house than we actually need even in the less expensive suburbs—to say nothing of the car that we will need to commute for an hour each way or the increasingly expensive gasoline that we would need to drive it. We, instead, are far more comfortable living in closer proximity with our neighbors, no matter what color their skin is or what their religion is, and sharing a train with them on the way to work we consider ourselves lucky to have.

Older generations may take a look at us as we spend dinner hour unable to separate ourselves from our smartphones and feel that we are an isolated generation because we seem to so rarely talk face to face. But the truth is, our constant use of texting and social media is our way of interconnectedness, for better or for worse: We are used to a life lived in public. We see the experiences of everyone around us from so many different walks of life, and we understand that even could we afford it, a white picket fence in the suburbs could not isolate us, could not insulate us, could not separate us, from the successes and failures of our peers.

Previous generations, at least among the majority, were governed by fear of the other. Our generation knows the other because we see it every day. No amount of censorship can insulate our children from cultural, social and sexual mores of people who are not like us. I don't have any proof, of course, but I believe that when our generation is in charge, we will be unafraid: not just because of our interconnectedness, but because we will have been through the worst fears of terrorism and economic depression, and—we hope—will have come out clean on the other side. It will lead us to build a more collaborative world that values public services like safety nets and transportation infrastructure, rather than one that seeks to hollow them out for private profit while seeking financial isolation from the impending collapse. We'll rebuild this country together, because we know that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

And spiders.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks, Dante, but not this week (25+ / 0-)

    Not after I posted a diary on Kurt Andersen's profoundly stupidJuly 4 NY Times op ed on Thursday in which he blamed the free-for-all 60s for today's economic problems.  Especially not after the comment thread turned into a round of boomer-bashing by a number of millennials, one of whose comments were almost as stupid as Andersen's.

    Not that there's anything wrong with your piece, but here we're more alike than different regardless of generation.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:50:57 AM PDT

    •  While we are more alike than different, it is also (41+ / 0-)

      useful to be reminded of the different influences that shaped our perspectives - and the reminders work both ways.  Our frustrations (i.e., boomers) with the crappy economy are similar in general terms with Millenials', but there are differences.  Ours is still rooted in watching the destruction of what seemed to be a promising future when we came of age, and realizing that we weren't going to be able to count on certain things in our old age after all.  We weren't going to be able to count on work hard = decent life, as it seemed would be the case.

      Millenials never had that vision of a stable economic future.  They didn't see something being taken away from them, like we did - it was never there in the first place.  Many of the end results are the same, but the difference in point of view is instructive.

      •  wow you hit the nail on the head, lineatus as (20+ / 0-)

        my parents borned in the early 1930s ended up with a far better retirement and financial security than what is going to end up being my retirement years coming up soon.   And my parents were union members and they did not face union bashing like today.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:18:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mine too (10+ / 0-)

          Literally depression babies, and then WWII and shortages and . . . . they started married life with nothing but gradually built things up into a comfortable retirement (civil servants, I might add).  And now my father watches too much FOX than is good for either him or me, and bashes the people down at the capitol (they live in Madison WI).  I told him that the one thing I have in common with Rick Satorum is that we have both benefited from the largesse of our retired civil servant parents.  They've earned their comfort - they were very frugal and put our education first - but they HAVE it.

          I am a late boomer - I guess sometimes my cohort is called the "Jonesers". I graduated into the Reagan reception, and everyone was going into law or med school, or finance.  Those boomers older than me were turning into yuppies.  I never got the "goodies" that they did, and I'm certainly not assured of the Medicare etc. opportunities that older folks will - I'm kind of on the cusp.  Ryan's plan would cut me off at the knees - my older brother would qualify for traditional Medicare, but my younger brother and I wouldn't.  I am fortunate to have a fairly secure government job but no raises and more and more work every day.  Hopefully I can hold on for ten more years.  

          I know I am luckier than the generations after me, and I am happy-but-sad that you are rejecting all of the 80s excesses that, even then, appalled me (and I felt inferior because of it).  Happy because you are focused on better things, but sad because you are doing it in part because of sheer financial necessity.

          I can definitely say that young parents these days are a hell of a lot more pleasant to deal with than those of the 80s and early 90s, when I first started in my public service profession.

          •  So now we are parsing the generations? Dividing up (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kickemout, Chris Jay, TomP, talkstocoyotes

            the Boomers into good ones and bad ones. AH yes, none of our problems had anything to do with us... its those guys over there.

            Why is it when times get tough everyone starts looking for someone to blame  because they sure as hell are perfect and nothing wrong with them. Yep it is those guys over there ... you can tell by the color of thier hair ... all of them, its thier fault. Well Ok, my hair is close in color but it isn't the exact shade. Geesh. I think we should blame everyone living in Texas for all the worlds problems... Call them lazy, call them feckless, call them selfish, call them......

            Where has this cross generational bashing come from all of a sudden... everybody getting out thier sour feelings about thier parents or thier bosses or thier kids or thier neighbors or thier dissastisfaction in our lives. I see nothing useful in tarring a whole generation with responsibility for what individuals in that generation did. And I have to ask : Did you vote?

            Far more then when born it is more important to look at what was happening and what the situation was and what new products came into common use (TVs, cell phones, refrigerators, cars, etc)

            This is the last dang diary about someone of one generation blaming another generation for all thier woes. Pitiful.

            How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

            by boophus on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:51:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll tell you where the cross generational bashing (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tb92, varro, dilutedviking

              comes from.  It comes from those of us in younger generations being told constantly in movies and TV how damn great the Boomers are and were.  It comes from growing up with every damn media form directed at them.  That gets annoying and tiring and invites backlash.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 12:39:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Having everything directed at boomers is nothing (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                talkstocoyotes, AoT, dilutedviking

                personal.  It's where the money is.  Unfortunately, too much of our society is driven by money.  As the group with the biggest purchasing power, they are the apple of the media's eye.

                “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

                by ahumbleopinion on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:12:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There's plenty to hate among... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dilutedviking, sebastianguy99

                ....people of all generations - whether it's racist Silents in Arizona supporting Arpaio, Boomers who've gotten theirs, Xers who either are Alex P. Keaton grown up or self-indulgent Park Slope yuppies, or Millennial hipsters sneering at everyone in Williamsburg and playing at being poor.

                Sorry for being a curmudgeon - I'm a middle Xer (born 1970) who see too much jackassery on both the Left and Right of all generations.  If only people could be perfect like me...:P

                9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

                by varro on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 03:21:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't have a generation, really (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  My fight is with the "hipsters" right now.  I put quotes around that because it's a even stupider catch all than a generation.  But there is a fight to be had and I don't shirk from that.  As I noted in another comment, a generation is judged by how well those of us who fight to end oppression do, and how powerful the forces of oppression are.  The hippies lost during their generation.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 04:16:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry. You just lost me there. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Do you think the transformation between the repression of earlier eras and the opening up that happened in the late 60s and beyond just "happened"?  Do you understand that women finally said, damn it, you are not going to define our lives for us - we are going to do what we goddamn well choose to do.  Do you understand the gays of that era said, Fuck No you will not criminalize me for who I love and fought back?  Do you overlook the black and latino citizens who said I'm tired of having a bunch of old white guys running the show, and started to win public offices across the land.

                    Sure, a lot of them became less engaged as they got older and started families.  But if you think that the boomer generation didn't fight back, you need to study some history.

              •  And we boomers grew up hearing how great and (0+ / 0-)

                fantastic the Greatest Generation was who fought in WWII.

                Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                by wishingwell on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:30:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  for many of us "boomers" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              it was our parents' generation saying "it's all the fault of That Other Generation.  And they weren't talking about their parents.

              I can sure understand anybody not liking "being told constantly in movies and TV how damn great the Boomers are and were."  My generation paid the Social Security that our parents' generation benefited from and for the record, we weren't the ones who decided one our group's size -- it was our own parents who decided to start popping out babies like demented salad shooters after WWII.  And also for the record, the "greatest generation" was not the one that "got America  through the Depression"; that was their parents' generation, who were born in the late 1800s.

              In a lot of ways, the comments here are indicating that some of the attitudes toward other age groups, especially older ones, are age-related, not generational.  So many of them are drearily familiar.

              •  Now we are responsible for the movies made to (0+ / 0-)

                appeal to us? For pete sake I was just looking at the movies available and thinking they were all meant for younger people lol. I see now our sin  was being born and so many of us wa our fault too. Oh yeah and we are all identical didn't you know? It is scapegoating for the mess we're in... yeah that is all our fault too. After all I am responsible for the banks and poor turnout at elections and Supreme Court decisions and  just everything ...

                How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

                by boophus on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 03:04:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You must be.. (0+ / 0-)

            around my age. I'll be 50 this year. Graduated into Reagan's economy, jobs weren't easy to find, etc.

            Our parents had pensions provided by their employers. We have 401ks - if we haven't had to raid them to pay for underwater mortgages or medical bills.

            Our parents' healthcare was reasonably priced, especially if they were veterans (even decades after their service), ours started approaching 25% or more of our salaries.

            Our parents knew they could do better than their parents. We have no such assurances.

        •  Yes Wishiing well, but hopefully your generation (0+ / 0-)

          will come to realize that the seeds of the travails you are facing today are caused,  in large part, by the destruction of the "emergency triage legislation" that came in the wake of the Great Depression.  Where that generation was given various state support systems to balance out poverty and protect middle class wealth.

          If you purchased a home years ago,  pre-Reagan,  your S&L would carry your mortgage themselves until completion. Not so today,  your mortgage is traded and sold until,  if it falls into the hands of a weak institution, it gets called.  There are no caps on interest rates,  and your savings are not safe from plunder or inflation,  that is,  unless you hazard the risk of the stock market.  Union busting also plays a large role,  wasting the life and youth of low wage earners,  who make too little money to ever gain a stable foothold in life.  

          It will probably take another great depression before enough people see that history already contains a very good guide to how to fix wealth distribution problems faced today.  So,  while many of the needed answers are already a part of the historical record,  too few are looking there for the answers they seek.  Even fewer still are advocating the re-imposition of the legislative designs that got us so far over the several past decades.

    •  Oddly (7+ / 0-)

      I'm a younger Boomer who could bash older Boomers, but I didn't feel like typing something that would sound like a troll back then.

      I don't think Anderson was that far off-base if you talk about the born between Nagasaki and Sputnik end of that generation.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:20:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just did, above (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, llywrch, rosarugosa

        And I agree with you.

      •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

        I'm toward the end of the Boomer generation myself, and have always been profoundly irritated by the label, probably because it made me feel old before my time. I still remember a cover from Time or Newsweek, presumably in 1985 or 86, with the headline "The Baby Boomers turn 40"! I was still a few years away from turning 30. Maybe that's one reason I despise generational labels. The "Boomers" were hitting mid-life, and I'd barely started my adult life, or so it seemed.

        There are lessons to be learned, certainly, from past generations, but we all have to deal with the world we live in now. It's human nature to try to understand yourself and the world around you, but some go too far. Everyone likes to feel special!

        I only skimmed Anderson's article, but I don't remember him distinguishing between Boomers born early on as opposed to later. I may be mistaken, but I think to him we're all in that big dusty cardboard box labeled "Baby Boomer Generation".

        •  Would like to say (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          asterkitty, Stude Dude, rosarugosa

          That I don't particularly blame the older boomers for anything more than any other generation. I have three older sisters, all boomers of course, and they are a pretty diverse group of individuals. The oldest had to make her own way as a single mom, the next is chronically underemployed and dependent on our oldest sister, most likely due to mental illness. The one I'm closest to in age is a crazy-ass teapartier who hates liberals in general and union people/public employees in particular (such as yours truly), but even I can't bring myself to blame any of our current problems on her.

        •  It's an 18-year stretch (6+ / 0-)

          between 1946 and 1964. Somewhere along the way I read there is an almost generational difference between boomers who came of age in the 1960s, and those who came of age in the 1970s.

          And the there is "Generation X", which was a band fronted by Billy Idol, born in 1955, so that title for folks born in the post-boomer years is just silly. And in response to that, I call my cohort "the Blank Generation" (with respect to Richard Hell and the Voidoids), me being a part of the second half of the baby boom, who did not come of age in the 60s.

          curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

          by asterkitty on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:33:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You, me, and President Obama... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude

          we're intra-generational. Not quite boomers, too old to be Gen X. We don't have the same mindset as boomers, but we didn't grow up w/ cable tv and tech toys.

          (I'll be 50 in October)

    •  like so many other things, it's uneven development (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus, Candide08

      after all we all use TiVo and Wii, smartphones and FB

      Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:20:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This here (8+ / 0-)

      "but here we're more alike than different".

      Yup, as a tail end of the babyboomer's generation, I also fear spiders.

      You raise an interesting point. I believe we have far more in common with the milienial generation (and others) than perhaps previous years.

      I believe that is so because of the great and growing disparity in wealth and inome inequality that has really been evident this past decade. This class war has superceded and made many generational differences seem less the real social-economic differences and divisions have to do with the "haves more and wants even more" versus the "haves nots". The one percent versus the ninety nine percent. Of course there are differences, just that as you mentioned "we're more alike than different".

      The Plutocratic States of America, the best government the top 1% and corporations can buy. We are the 99%-OWS.

      by emal on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:31:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't disagree but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's much easier for you, as a boomer, to tell 'us' we should all just get along.  Boomers are the generation most of the others, fairly or not, feel antagonized by.  The Silents and remaining GI's think you destroyed the social fabric, Gen X felt/feels culturally suffocated, and the Millenials feel shafted by the economic devastation that many, rightly or wrongly, see as your legacy.

        Again, I don't want to argue the merits of these accusations, but to merely point out that, to many, the Boomers are operating from the position of demographic and cultural power, so it means something very, very different when you protest our similarities.

        •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

          If I fully agree...just think the overarching economic playing field is leveling out the differences culturally and socially, that one might have found even a decade ago amongst the generations.

          I think, and maybe wrongly at that, that more people are blaming the greedy gilded age 2.0 wealthy elite for their reemergence more than just one generation as a whole.
          That is really what I was getting at in this comment....and I may be wrong.

          The Plutocratic States of America, the best government the top 1% and corporations can buy. We are the 99%-OWS.

          by emal on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 11:24:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  2 different things (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I think emerging awareness of the new gilded elite can only be a good thing.  However, that's a recent phenomenon and these generational resentments, particularly X vs Boomer, go way back.

            They do intersect, in my opinion, in the particular flavor of rapaciousness we see in the current gilded elite. The 1% have lost any remaining sense of common good, common decency, or national loyalty.  This fits part and parcel with the individualist ethos brought into the mainstream by the old "Me Generation".

        •  wait a few decades (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and you'll have to find another scapegoat.  Better start looking now.

    •  I'm less positive about my generation than (9+ / 0-)

      Dante, but I might be an even more ardent defender of Millenials based on this fact:

      Growth is predicated on prospects for young Americans. Change this economy radically, or face many years of stagnation.

      Young people need jobs, they need to move up.  Temporary Medicare and lower retirement age for those who want to take advantage of it, direct federal hiring, a new CCC, double AmeriCorps/Peace Corps tuition awards, et cetera.  Young Americans are not moving out, not buying homes, not starting their careers, at a pace consistent with our level of prosperity.

      There will be no recovery in the housing market, and there will be trouble in consumer spending, if this doesn't happen.

      If you say, screw growth, be prepared for the severe consequences that spells out for millions of Americans and government.

      Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

      by Nulwee on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:49:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding (3+ / 0-)

      when it comes to the Boomer generation.  I do blame them largely for a lot of the political and economic problems we have right now.  The boomers don't want to take responsibility for anything from what I can see.  They want to claim the successes of the civil rights era when that was far larger than just the few boomers that were a part of it.  None of this is to say that specific boomers haven't done a lot, but there are even folks here at DKos who admit they were on the Reagan bus.  A majority of boomers voted for McCain and a majority of the Tea Party is boomers.  I don't like this whole generational warfare thing but I like the plaintive wails of boomers about how little blame their generation deserves to be nonsense.

      Like your comment.  Someone said something bad about the boomers so it's the wrong time to talk about other generations.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:26:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In other words, I shouldn't take this personally? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chris Jay, rosarugosa

        Maybe I'm talking about me, not the idiots who called themselves yuppies and refused to grow up.  Maybe I'm proudest of having come out in 1971.  

        All I'm saying is that it's stupid to tar all of us - in ANY generation -- with the same brush.  

        -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

        by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:40:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about you (2+ / 0-)

          There are a lot of people in the boomer generation who did amazing things, and the people who fought for gay rights are some of those people. But that's not the norm, the majority of the boomer generation supported the policies that got us where we are.

          All I'm saying is that it's stupid to tar all of us - in ANY generation -- with the same brush.
          I feel like there's a difference between saying that a generation is responsible for something and requiring that every person in that generation take the blame.  I think it's useful because we can look at the actions of people trying to push forward good changes and see how that worked and didn't.  Obviously people pushing for good changes on the economic front in the boomer generation were not successful.  We need an honest assessment of what went wrong and what went right if we want to do better in the future.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:51:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, then. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There will be a diary on how much sense it makes to look at generations as generations in a couple of days. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

            -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

            by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:55:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  right, (0+ / 0-)

          but it's also 'stupid' (your word) to refuse to ignore the overall social impact that resulted from your generation's influence.  i'm perfectly willing to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of my generation (the millenials) as a whole, but i feel a REAL reluctance for such self-examination from your comments.  i think this attitude is also reflected in much of our media, which is loath to criticize boomer culture because thay are a huge market...

        •  Dave, I am with you here. I don't want to be (0+ / 0-)

          included in this bad boomer group.

      •  This boomer (4+ / 0-)

        doesn't take credit for the civil rights movement or for anything else except what I've done myself. I reject the whole concept of generations as having the credit or the blame for anything. Other people's achievements and sins don't rub off on me because we're the same age.

        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 Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:02:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this position (0+ / 0-)

          is a good example of what drives a lot of people in other generations crazy about boomer rhetoric.  'what happens around me is my business only; i'm an individual, not reponsible for what the society i'm a part of does; everything i do is totally my own idea and not influenced by my peers; etc'  

          in my opinion, we have to take responsibility for our own communities.  i think that's a pretty widely held belief among millenials, but i think it's much less agreed upon by people who came of age when boomer ideals were in effect.

          obviously, i don't know you and you could totally disagree with this sentiment, but it provides a good example of the sort of rhetoric that other people are talking about here...

          •  I think you miss my point completely, (0+ / 0-)

            My community is not Baby Boomers. Not any more than it's White People or Single Heterosexual Women or College Graduates. My community is not a demographic category.

            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 Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:11:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Our group parented the first not so racist kids (0+ / 0-)

            ever. If you are going to look at a whole generation and judge them, look at their parents generation. Our parents had been through the Depression, World War 2, the Korean War, the Cold War. So, some of what you see with people born of those parents is a reaction to what the parents went through and the social norms at the time. The boomers also rewrote the whole male-female role thing and were the first group to have access to birth control.

            When we grew up, companies were polluting like crazy, our generation pushed for environmental changes.

      •  It's (0+ / 0-)

        The possessive of "them" is "their," not "there." I've seen it three times on this page, and it is getting annoying.

    •  that nyt piece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      blamed america's obsession with individualism, then went on to equate pot smoking and watching porn with wall street greed. pretty stunning failure of comparison.

      however, there will be no "changing of the guard"" wherein us millenials ever take over the country. those of us who are educated understand that 15-20 years from now will be a time of american decline, fossil fuel wars, and climate change's harsh reality.

      the preceding american and global generations will have left us a used condom and labeled it a "heritage". but I place very little blame for that on baby boomer liberals, given the damage wrought by the Reagans, neo-cons, and Wall Street vultures.

    •  what would the sanctimonious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Williston Barrett

      of both older and younger generations do without the Sixties to either idolize or demonize?  Maybe they'd have to take an occasional visit to Realityland.

    •  We baby boomers were also accused of failing (0+ / 0-)

      to perform our adult responsibilities, which seemed rather vicious to me at the time, since my completion of graduate school in late 1974 corresponded to what was then the worst recession since the Great Depression itself.

      I didn't have a real job and a home of my own until 1977, after taking some computer science courses.

      I got into the adult world as soon as I could make it feasible.

      "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

      by Kimball Cross on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:47:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As has the boomers (13+ / 0-)
    Our constant reality since then has been wars and occupations

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:54:04 AM PDT

  •  I am an early boomer (b. 1951). I had my (38+ / 0-)

    kids late in life, so all three of my kids are millennials (b. 1984, 1986, 1992). I am far closer to my kids than I ever was to my parents.

    I am not so sure about the fear issue. We lived with the fear of nuclear annihilation--we were the "duck and cover" generation. I still remember the "air raid" drills in school. I think that each generation has its own fears.

    What makes me happiest is that the millennials, who are far more accepting of things like same-sex marriage, will gradually replace the old racists and sexists. Thanks for the post.

    •  we are of an age but the one thing I note (31+ / 0-)

      about our kids (I was 34 when my first child was born), is that the complaints about this generation are the same complaints I remember about our generation back in the day, which were the same complaints my grandfather assured me he heard about his generation.

      For perspective, I note Plato also despaired of the younger generation so it seems some things never change

      •  I do think (0+ / 0-)

        my generation (late-ish millennial) is far more selfish and blame worthy in some ways than older/younger ones. We were raised by those 80s Reagan Democrats, cutting our teeth on Wall St movies and "Easy Money." Our parents might have put that into place (generalizing here, of course) but we were the first gen to have some of the gimme gimme attitude in my opinion. Not in MY childhood household (my parents were pretty strict/old fashioned), but in many of my friends' households, that was the case, I felt.

        We're missing from voter rolls in an astounding proportion. I also feel we're missing from the ranks of the volunteers on campaigns and in social good orgs - again, generalizing here, and I mean proportionately; there are a lot of good mid-to-late Gen X'ers who do "show up," and they are great people, but proportionately we're hugely underrepresented in my anecdotal opinion.

        We're the end result of decades of prosperity. I feel the Reagan mentality was inevitable - America was at the height of its economic might, anxieties about the Cold War wound down, we were top of the world. And of course our parents wanted to give us everything they felt they never had. But it did do something to us. Civic pride and participation lack in us; "bowling alone," as it were, became endemic in our gen...

        Our little sisters and brothers are different in that their coming of age was frightening, with 9/11 and economic woes and their struggle being so much harder IMHO. They pay so much more for college and come out disadvantaged. (That said, I am still paying off my college loans, so I feel their pain...) I was worried a little bit about my generation's ability to raise a good next generation of kids, because us having been raised in the 80s, I wondered if we'd pass on our...well...privileged and suburban upbringing onto our kids, but with things they way they are, circumstances might hone in Millennials and beyond what we as parents might not be capable (as a generation) of giving.

        At least, I hope so. I am kinda proud of the Millennials, truth be told, for how they are getting involved and deciding to take control of their own lives, even if that means the "backsliding" of moving home. Many have no choice. The younger Mil's are the backbone of economic justice movements, a la Occupy. They are THE reason we didn't follow Europe as far down the path of austerity as they went. We halted a bit, because the narrative changed, and Dems held a LITTLE bit of the line. I directly correlate our later tepid but NET POSITIVE recovery to those brave souls.

        God knows the effing 35-45 age group can't get off their sorry asses, by and large.

        Also, keep in mind that this entire commentary and thought process is informed by a very white-privileged sort of place. For heaven's sake I was raised in rural New freaking Hampshire. Though I now live in a diverse city and I still see my peers sitting on their collective fat butts.

        •  Ugh (0+ / 0-)

          SHOULD have started, "my generation (mid to late GEN X)." NOT Millennial. Born 1975. All these labels are confusing as hell.

          I just know what I am seeing from my 35-45 age peers, especially on voting habits, I've been part of orgs that work those numbers for my city for fun and profit (of mostly Dems!). It's super sad...

    •  I was born a few years after you, I am very (5+ / 0-)

      lucky as I was very close to my parents until the day they was a huge loss for me.

      My parents born in the 30s were not as close to their parents and could not confide in them.

      But our son is more independent and not as close to us as he is to his circle of friends, he was born in 1980.
      But then again, perhaps it is because he is single, not yet a parent, and has always preferred to do his own thing.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:21:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder, as a born-in-'46 boomer, if Southern- (10+ / 0-)

      tier millenials or any subsequent generation for that matter will escape the Stupid Web being spun by the Kleptocrats and their tools. I live in a fairly cosmopolitan part of FL, but we have Rick Scott, a seemingly permanent gerrymander that embeds klepto-reactionaries in all the power points, and if you go to the bars and NASCAR events and ball games, you see the kids, from a very young age on up, in the camo duds with the Stars&Bars patches, listening to the same Yakradio tripe as their "Yeeeehawww" parents. They are eddicated in institutions that are more and more dominated by the Old South Aristocratic themes and memes. It sure looks like "mobility," physical and economic and political, is increasingly meaningless and fading from any shadow of awareness. It's all about the "limited good," with an idiocracy's worth of ignorance about what makes cultures and people thrive.

      There is a sense of permanence to the themes, to the cognitive dissonance and studied ignorance and passionate embrace of an ideology that somehow suckers them into voting against, and Beeeeleeeeving against, their own seeming interest. Really, God is not going to give them prosperity, and beggaring their neighbors and finding their "faith" in the Old Testament ain't gonna keep any of their boats afloat, but try to get that message across.

      "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." If I mentally add up all the worsts, all I can see is the "worst" part. (By the way, the Wall Street Casino and the financial collapse are, far as I can tell, courtesy of Millenial-aged techno-MIT-kleptocrats -- nobody is all bad, but nobody is all good either.)

      Maybe it's just a death wish, cultural-scale. Maybe a leavening of tweet-'n'-facebookery will bring about a "Reactionary Spring." I'm on my way off the stage, but my kids and grandkids are just moving on. I hope and pray that such is the case, but do enough of the Millenials, and other rising generations, have the critical thinking and historical perspective and acuity to see their way clear to a stable and sustainable world?

      Just asking.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:43:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  jm, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigOkie, jm214

        I was born in '57 and live in the Pac NW---nevertheless I couldn't agree MORE with your salient observations

      •  i think it's important to note (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        how very (and increasingly) isolated the south is from the rest of the country in terms of political opinions.  i am a millenial who grew up in the south but haven't lived there in a long time.  i have facebook friends from all over the country, but the only time i have ever had someone post something rightwing, it has exclusively been a southerner.  even then, many young southerners are moving towards the ron paul camp rather than embracing the old-school conservative playbook.  i'm sure there are pockets of this all over the country, but i really think that the south is the only place where it is the majority culture.

        •  As a NC resident and native southern progressive, (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with you, bluedavid. Fortunately, some parts of the south are getting bluer, such as VA and NC.

          "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

          by Kimball Cross on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:56:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "the Stupid Web being spun by the Kleptocrats" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A really cogent and apt way to put it!! I hope they escape it too. We can only hope they are sneaking Wikipedia on their iPhones at night under their covers...

      •  Interesting question (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jm214, Dr Stankus

        As someone born in 1986, I sure hope we have that perspective. If we don't, we're fucked.

        Thanks for the reminder that an asshole's an asshole no matter if his hair's gray or not. While I have no great admiration for the Boomers, when it comes to it I don't have much faith in my own generation either. As you pointed out, techno-MIT-kleptocrats. That anyone can be taken in by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg is beyond me. Sure he dresses and acts like he's still in college, but there's over fourteen billion reasons why he and I have nothing in common, aside from the fact that we were born around the same time. I don't trust him any more than I trust the Walton Clan or Steve Ballmer or any other billionaire, which is about as far as I could pitch a Buick.

        I really hope this isn't a culture-wide death wish. I really hope that my generation will be able to do something. We are so deeply, deeply fucked already, and we barely can comprehend it.

    •  I am an even earlier boomer and my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom

      younger kids are also millennials, the last one born when I was 39.  We get along great and are very close.  My older kids are more conservative and we have our differences but manage to coexist.  It is interesting how the ages and life experiences play out.

      “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

      by ahumbleopinion on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:21:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every generation is a reaction against those 20 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      years older than themselves. One generation previous always looks like "the establishment" to the kids.

      The Alex P Keaton clones of the 80's rebelled against "liberalism" because to them liberalism was the Establishment.

      The Milennials are rejecting Reagan era conservatism because to them Conservatism is the Establishment. This probably explains why blue jersey mom gets along so well with her kids.

      These things go in cycles of about 20-25 years.

      "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

      by Kimball Cross on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:53:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our son is 31 so he is on the cusp but I am (20+ / 0-)

    thrilled that he is part of a union and recently elected shop steward for food workers at a state university.

    He works hard but he did not finish college. He said he could not pass up this job offer for fulltime with benefits and a union job.  He hopes to finish his degree someday. But it is more likely he will want to change his major from engineering to food services and restaurant management.  

    But makes more than his dad who works a non union job.  

    He shows no desire for settling down or buying a house and prefers to be more mobile and uncumbered.

    But he has always worked his tail off from the time he was in high school at after school jobs and also at academics receiving scholarships. But he saw more value in working than college in the end.  

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:55:49 AM PDT

    •  Having said this, he and his friends are not close (11+ / 0-)

      to their families as much as they are close to each other and friends have become their families. They are happier with friends and neighbors and coworkers on holidays than family.

      I am not sure if this is entirely generational or just pertains to a group of millenials who are very independent, refuse to live at home and prefer strong friendships over family ties.  As our son will always choose his friends over all of us and we have come to accept that.  

      Even if he often does ignore all of his family members, at least he is feeling confident, strong with his friends who are his family now.....maybe that will change but maybe not. Since birth, the kid has had a big independent streak..LOL

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:59:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not saying ALL by any means, but family can be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Dead Man

        toxic.  Maybe they've just decided not to drink the hemlock.

        Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

        by ZedMont on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:57:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dang, I wasn't thinking about YOU. LOL. Duh. (0+ / 0-)

          Where's that coffee?

          Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

          by ZedMont on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:58:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes with my best friend, that was the case as her (0+ / 0-)

          mother was abusive to her physically and emotionally and now with her inlaws treating her like crap. She and her husband often try to avoid family.

          But I would say in the case of our relationship with our son, we hope that is not true. If anything , we may have give him too much freedom and independence his entire life.  He saw the importance of close friends in our lives and we always encouraged this especially because so many of us leave home as adults and our families live so far away.  Making friends is essential especuially when living a long distance from home.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:52:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, everyone is different, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In my own case, I certainly prefer the company of my friends to that of my parents. That is partly due to my own circumstances growing up. My mother fussed over me constantly; she is what is called a "helicopter parent." She's not the worst case ever, but that's basically the sort of person she is. I was her life after she gave birth to me, and now that I am older I find that level of attention unwelcome and stifling. My father, on the other hand, was mostly absent from my life when I was young. He worked all day and got home late at night. He didn't take much of an interest in me until I was about twelve or thirteen, and even after that I still don't see much of him. I don't have much of anything in common with my parents either, except being related to them. We share practically no interests, except politics, and politics is so damnably depressing to talk about that most of the time I'd rather not. So needless to say I don't have a very strong connection with either of them.

        •  Interesting. Your mom probably thought she was (0+ / 0-)

          doing the right thing.

          I miss my parents. They died about 6 years back within 6 months of each other. I had many disagreements, mainly with my dad, who probably had PTSD from the Korean War, but we never understood and nobody ever talked about it.

          Now I miss them like crazy.

    •  my daughter is buying her first house at 25 (12+ / 0-)

      but it is from a relative who is self financing.  She could never qualify for a conventional loan in today's economic environment.  For that matter, neither can I

      •  My 27 year old son just bought a house. . . (6+ / 0-)

        . . .He is a hotel clerk and waiter.  He somehow qualified for a conventional loan with a 20% down payment.  How he managed to do it astonishes me!  I will say one thing about that particular millennial. I am proud to call him my son.  I may not be his natural father, but knowing him satisfies me deeply.

        Paging Bud Fox, paging Bud Fox! Mitt Gekko is waiting for you in Central Park!

        by waztec on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:51:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds like a combination of (0+ / 0-)

          him being real frugal and saving his tips, and finding a place priced really low--one benefit of the housing bust is that the flood of foreclosures have driven prices way down in many places.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 11:00:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here's something I'll never understand (4+ / 0-)

      the idea of a college major in "food services and restaurant management." I can see studying engineering, but wouldn't it make more sense to learn food service by simply working in a restaurant? Ditto restaurant management. Our colleges are turning into not merely trade schools, but specific-job-training schools. It's basically a corporate scam, getting prospective employees to pay for their training rather than (as in all of history up to now) serving a paid apprenticeship or paid on-the-job training.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:49:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't Forget: First African-American President (25+ / 0-)

    or Marriage for all.

    Millennials made this possible.  Couldn't have been done without you.

  •  Who's calling the Millennials lazy? (16+ / 0-)

    I have seen a lot of articles and essays describing how Millennials are living with parents in higher numbers, and having a slower and less common climb toward career success, because the doors of opportunity became fewer and harder to open -- I have seen no articles claiming the Millennials are just lazy.  But maybe you have seen some?

    I'm a Gen-Xer who just turned 45.  Adjusting to the plain fact that 45 is "middle aged"!

  •  Mils will non-help from FedGov, twentysomethings (12+ / 0-)

    develop their sense of social fairness and in the last 5 years or so the job market for them have been terrible.  And while this went on there was non-help from the Federal Government, which the FedGov bailed out large industries and Wall Street Billionaires.  

    Mils will remember this.  They'll start to get political power in a few years, and if they played their cards right, in the next decade.

    They'll remember this bought-and-paid-for Federal Government and the Corporate SCOTUS.

    They'll pay them back.

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:03:09 AM PDT

    •  From your lips to FSM's ear.... (6+ / 0-)
    •  But.... (9+ / 0-)

      The government non-help for them but goverment big help for the billionaires push them into being liberal or libertarian?

      There sure seems to be a lot of Rondroids in that age group.....

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:16:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope so, but it could go the other way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, George Hier

      Sometimes when people's lives are shaped by cruelty, the decide to pay that forward instead: Hence Teabaggers.

      •  Teabaggers weren't raised to cruelty. . . (8+ / 0-)

        . . .they were raised to entitlement.  They are motivated by selfishness and fear, not cruelty.  I say this as a boomer who was liberal back when they were too.  I don't really know what happened to them.  It might be frontal lobe shrinkage. :)

        Paging Bud Fox, paging Bud Fox! Mitt Gekko is waiting for you in Central Park!

        by waztec on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:39:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i can tell you what didn't happen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          jesus didn't come back like he was supposed to

          i swear to god.   they all believed that they were going to heaven before they got old.  they made stupid fucking short term selfish (and at time spiteful) decisions because they believed was nigh.  

          June 28th, 2012 - a good day

          by Anton Bursch on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:43:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am unsure that gross generalizations are a good (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            way to have a serious discussion about this. I can think of a lot of scenarios that play out, that cause people to go one of two ways--kind or cruel, generous or selfish.

            When people are selfish, I have learned it's because they fear not having enough for themselves or their families.

            And if the world was mean to them, and denied them reasonable assistance, and they survived in spite of all that, then they might feel that if they can make it, you can too--stop whining.

            It's not necessarily realistic or reasonable, but I have encountered that mindset/backstory often.

            Sometimes when people don't get help they need, and then it becomes available for others, they feel slighted and want to withhold it anyway. It's not nice, but it happens.

            I know that Boomers were very suspicious of the authority figures in this country, that there was a common-thought-to not trust anyone over 30. Now they are all over thirty and I suspect many of them fear being marginalized for their age, the way they marginalized others for the same thing in the past.

            Insecurity and unhappiness drove their social and other experiments. Perhaps many not only failed to find what they were looking for, but perhaps scared themselves worse in the process?

          •  Yeah... (0+ / 0-)

            TPiers are largely NOT a northern movement, I can tell you. They are a tiny tiny laughable group in MA. TPiers already existed, probably were religious/conservative already for most if not all of their lives, and they made a lot of heat and noise but not a lot of rain. Too bad the media/politicos didn't realize they didn't have the juice to water the crops, and listened to them for a time...

        •  'teabaggers weren't raised to cruelty, (0+ / 0-)

          they were raised to entitlement' --  this is EXACTLY right and people react extremely negatively when they sense their entitled classification being taken away.  i think this explains both the remnants of racism in the south (where many poor white people's only shred of dignity was being 'better' than african-americans) and the irrational reaction to obamacare

        •  waztec- there is some truth to that. Not in all (0+ / 0-)

          tea-party types, but this thing of birtherism, believing Dearborn, Michigan has Sharia law, the recall was a Communist-Nazi plot, etc., etc, I think somebody is tricking old people with dementia or heading for dementia.

  •  Happy belated birthday to you! (12+ / 0-)

    And thanks for the post.

    While I abhor the term "Millennial," I do think our generation in the United States is finally "coming of age" and beginning to make its presence felt on the national stage. Thank you for your positive post. In particular, this part:

    I believe that when our generation is in charge, we will be unafraid: not just because of our interconnectedness, but because we will have been through the worst fears of terrorism and economic depression, and—we hope—will have come out clean on the other side. It will lead us to build a more collaborative world that values public services
    I see this at my job already. (Yes, I am one of the ridiculously few from my year of law school to have a job.)  The older higher-ups can handle e-mail and Word, but simply don't even try to learn how to use file-sharing, knowledge management techniques, or any truly collaborative software/websites. It costs clients a ton of money and makes work unnecessarily harder. But on small projects staffed entirely with people age 32 or under, everyone uses collaborative tools to share information and save costs--and it makes work much more enjoyable, too.

    So I hope that your words are true, and we will come out of this all as people who are willing to share, to adapt, to take responsibility, to risk showing others they are not perfect if it means that the team as a whole can benefit, to tackle problems until they are actually solved, and to find a way to make life worth living for all.

    Don't hesitate to make a difference.

    by Jommy on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:10:36 AM PDT

    •  Two of my sons are milennials. . . (9+ / 0-)

      . . .and they and their friends are some of the finest people I know.  I am truly impressed with them.  As for me, I know a good deal about file sharing and collaborative software, because I am required to use it at work-and I am a senior manager.  I was also exposed to it when I went back to college at the U.of Washington where I studied with mostly millennials. I don't know about collaborative software being enjoyable, for me it is just a tool I am required to learn and use.  If you are serious about milennials sharing, you might offer to help those older workers learn.  I doubt that they don't care about the software.  They may be intimidated by it. I am not intimidated, but I often I  wonder about the minds who created some of it.  Then again my sister is a successful software engineer and I can't understand her either. :)

      Paging Bud Fox, paging Bud Fox! Mitt Gekko is waiting for you in Central Park!

      by waztec on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:27:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it millennials? Spelling. . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jommy, AoT

        . . .the "Bain" of my experience!

        Paging Bud Fox, paging Bud Fox! Mitt Gekko is waiting for you in Central Park!

        by waztec on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:58:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. :) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bergerc84, waztec

        I work in a rather conservative (in the sense of "slow to adapt" and "hesitant to adopt new things") industry, and I think my older colleagues' discomfort with technology has a lot to do with that. They are also under a lot of stress and the idea of taking the time to just sit down and learn how to use the technology rather than "generating revenue" is just not something most of them would do since it would feel like a waste of time to them. (Not generalizing here for the whole older generation...just thinking about the people I work with.)

        The "joy" of some of the collaborative work comes from having direct feedback whenever you contribute and feeling a bit of relief when you realize you can rely on others to do their share. Doesn't always work out quite so well, depending on the team, but I do love it when someone needs something and we can point to a commonly shared resource that has much of what they need. When you work ridiculous hours, those moments of civility and sharing really start taking on more significance.

        Don't hesitate to make a difference.

        by Jommy on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:02:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Boomer didn't guide or shape the economy (13+ / 0-)

    or society over the course of his life.  Rather, I would say the society and economy I grew up in shaped me.  I suspect that's the case with every generation.

    It's the old "nature versus nurture" argument.

    Advertising, mass media, technology, changing economic currents, current events, changing demographics and resulting social tensions, urbanization...these are the forces that shape generations.  TV shaped the Boomers, as the internet continues to shape the current generation, and the automobile shaped my parents' generation.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:11:00 AM PDT

  •  my millennial is getting married in the fall-- (13+ / 0-)

    their work and life plans formed slowly after college, as they wanted to be sure.  taking out grad school loans on their own made them really think twice about their paths.

    my millennial :  college, came home and worked to fund a trip, volunteered in So. Am. then:  americorps, environ. non-profit, now law sch. and law review.  
    met fiancee in college:  she volunteered in So. Am and Guatemala, non-profit health clinic for poor children, now med sch.

    these are great kids and i meet others all the time who are out there trying to do the right thing to make the world a better place.
    i don't believe the demographic data, b/c  i think the wrong criteria is used to determine what makes a great generation.  

    can you imagine the so-called greatest generation without government help for jobs, housing, pensions, healthcare?
    Both stagedad and i had help with CETA, the Comprehensive Employment Training Act.  How is the govt helping these kids?  oh yeah...making them pay loan interest during grad school...sigh.
    well, i love the millennials.  and i think they will surprise us with how they shape their lives.
    time will tell, eh?

    Make the RepubliCONS own it! It's their health plan, fer chrissakes!

    by stagemom on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:12:50 AM PDT

  •  oh those nasty spiders (9+ / 0-)

    I hope you are right about rebuilding this country.

    •  aaauuugh the spiders (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      It will lead us to build a more collaborative world that values public services like safety nets and transportation infrastructure, rather than one that seeks to hollow them out for private profit while seeking financial isolation from the impending collapse. We'll rebuild this country together, because we know that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      And spiders.

      Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:23:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, Good Luck (6+ / 0-)

    Us older folks have stripped this country bare of its freedoms and its prosperity. I really don't know how you're going to do it.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:14:06 AM PDT

    •  with love and compassion! (5+ / 0-)

      maybe that's the wholesale shift of the Mayan's prophecy.

      Make the RepubliCONS own it! It's their health plan, fer chrissakes!

      by stagemom on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm Betting the House (7+ / 0-)

        On the next big demographic change -- the surge of Hispanic voters that we should see in the next decade or two. It's our only hope, really. The Left needs to find and embrace these new voters -- and educate them about what they should expect from their government in terms of assistance to families, education, jobs, health care and retirement security.

        There aren't enough Millennials to change the game.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:27:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hispanic voters (and families) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bink, Chris Jay, stagemom

          OK, I'm going to make a generalization here but I agree with you. However, rather than being a one-way street, I think Americans would do well to embrace more Hispanic cultural values. The best of both worlds should be our goal.

          I began traveling in Latin America 30 years ago and realized then that we should embrace the influx of Hispanic families to the US because they could change our culture for the better. I saw that their family values and structures (communal, civic, even architectural) were more connected than most North Americans. At the time I hoped that this influence would inspire us to a more connected society.

          I realize that many Latin American countries have exploited those loyal, connective cultural traits to form criminals enterprises (unfortunately also in the US), but many people leave their home countries to find a safer environment for their families.

          My dream is that we all can grow from the merging of cultures.

          "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

          by annan on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:41:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This Is a Good Perspective (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annan, Chris Jay, TomP, stagemom, llywrch

            But I'm increasingly worried that we've got a stronger battle on our hand for the mindshare of Hispanic voters than I once believed. Evangelical groups are already making huge inroads into this demographic -- and you know that they are not just motivated by the cash that they can extract from them directly, but also by the potential of converting these folks into religious right voters.

            I also dream that we can grow from merging ...

            But we really need to work hard to make sure that the growth is on our side of the table.

            "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

            by bink on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:46:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              But we really need to work hard to make sure that the growth is on our side of the table.
              I think that part of the allure of the Evangelicals to Hispanics has to do with their experiences of inter-generational families. Where else in our culture besides church do you see inter-generational families interacting?

              We need to build stronger civic/cultural communities that are not tied to a particular belief system. And we all - no matter when you were born - need to embrace that to assure growth on our side of the table! Hmmm ... maybe we need a bigger table, too?

              "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

              by annan on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:13:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  balanced with the huge influx of koreans-- (0+ / 0-)

            conservative christian koreans...
            they are reactionary politically, here in no. cali.

            Make the RepubliCONS own it! It's their health plan, fer chrissakes!

            by stagemom on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 12:32:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Sriously?? (6+ / 0-)

    It will lead us to build a more collaborative world that values public services like safety nets and transportation infrastructure, rather than one that seeks to hollow them out for private profit while seeking financial isolation from the impending collapse. We'll rebuild this country together, because we know that the only thing....

    Is this snark?

    I just think broad generalizations about generations are weird.  Everyone complains about the 'younger' generation.

    I have to admit that I find it irritating when I see parents telling their small children, "good job!!!" for the most regular of actions.  It's just plain weird and phony.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:16:21 AM PDT

    •  Within reason, telling a small child, Good Job, (7+ / 0-)

      regular activities can be used to build confidence, via this thing called Positive Feedback.

      Granted I don't go for the "Trophies for Everyone movement" but I do believe that children should be encouraged in a positive manner whenever possible.

      •  But if they grow up to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dfarrah, Chris Jay

        sanctimonious young adults handing out mass demerits to older generations? Turds for Everyone (over 35)!

      •  Sorry, I think (0+ / 0-)

        it's way overdone.  I see it alot the time in grocery stores and restaurants--parents just practically having a party or something over their children because their child handed them a box of something or picked something up.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:02:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, I thought I qualified my statement with (0+ / 0-)

          a reasonable caveat.


          It is nice to be appreciated, even for small regular things.

          I understand about sanctimonious assholes I really do. But my experience has taught me that, *that mindset is not age specific.

          As for throwing a party--In a day and age when adults cannot even be bothered to be civil in public, sometimes one can be pleasantly surprised by the kindness of a small person.

          A moment like that, even  if it's over a pedestrian act can be a bit of balm in this mean, narcissistic world.

    •  Maybe they are not "regular" to them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ipsos, Cassandra Waites

      Maybe these children are just learning to share, or to put something in the cart, or  . . . . .

      Maybe they are teaching them to be positive and affirming members of society - you know, the way we want everyone to be.  It starts young.

    •  ok, grumpy (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:

      maybe someone should have told your generation 'good job!!!!' when you didn't say something judgmental about how other people are living their lives and you all wouldn't be such RACIST, SEXIST, RELIGIOUSLY BIGOTED FUCKING ASSHOLES!!

      June 28th, 2012 - a good day

      by Anton Bursch on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:49:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too much is made of cutesy-named cohorts. (10+ / 0-)

    One's generational cohort may have some cultural markers in common, but in general this "millenial", "greatest", "Gen X", "baby boomer" bullshit is just a lazy substitute for real thinking, by lazy pundits.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:20:48 AM PDT

  •  very well written, and spot-on (9+ / 0-)

    My memories of Reagan are only vague memories of my Texas Democrat family bitchin' about him (him and Phil Gramm).  

    I think the point about accepting responsibility for your legacy is the one that hits home the most.

    It is a pleasant fiction designed to absolve the previous generation of responsibility from the simple fact that we live in the economy and society they guided and shaped.
    I never really understood the claims that the Millennials are spoiled and lazy.  I mean, it's one thing to call the 'kids these days' spoiled, but the thing is, a kid can't be spoiled without a grown-up spoiling them.  

    And lazy?  I've known lazy people of all ages, all races, creeds, you name it.  Lazy will always be with us.  [and let's not forget that what passes for 'lazy' is often actually 'unwilling to do this because it's bs']  

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:21:43 AM PDT

  •  Thoughtful Diary and effort (10+ / 0-)

    must disagree with your assertion that the Millenials are the first generation not to idolize Ronald Reagan.  I am a very active political person.  Those who do not know the arc of history in the US political arena may be fooled by the narrative that was fabricated around the construct of Ronald Reagan who really began the downward spiral of so called "trickle down" economics and smaller and smaller government = the best government (and research the Air Traffic Controllers Strike and Reagan's shocking union busting).  Andthere are so many other deplorable acts by that president and his administration.  

    I am a Baby Boomer (born 1946).  It is my understanding that we, the first wave of Baby Boomers who benefitted immensely from government programs that created a strong middle class (I had a yr of leave with pay in the USAF to work on my Bachelor's.  I had a great education and finished that degree using generous GI Bill benefits.  Then, while working for the state of Florida, I had another yr of leave with pay to complete my Master's.) - we did not accept the later narrative that Reagan was a stron/great president.  The historical record shows he was not.  No matter how desperate the Republicans were/are for an anti John Kennedy.  Aside from my personal belief in a strong social safety net and the solid strength of social democracies and their programs to lift up everyone, I really do not think Reagan was as admired or idolized by all previous generations.  Not at all.

    •  Sorry for the incomplete sentence structure (7+ / 0-)

      I hope you still understand my reasoning and my disagreement with the Diary's author.

      My best to Dante Atkins.

      One more thing.  I just read the other assertion that previous generations were governed by "fear of the other."
      Do not tell me that.  I served in the fully and wholly integrated USAF where major and extensive training was mandatory with regard to "Race Relations" in the ranks.  Everyone attended and if racism remained in their soul and heart, they were thrown out of the Air Force.

      I also worked a lifetime, as did many, many Baby Boomers - for civil rights, equal pay and treatment of women in the workforce, GLBT full equality and the repeal of DADT (interestingly, at the end of the draft and just after  when I served, I perceived less fear of gays in the USAF - some were out to some degree - including me.

      Do not tell me that my generation (many sundown/sunset laws were ended across the US) was governed by a fear of the other.  I was at Kent State just after the murders happened - visiting friends who were grief stricken.  People all over this country were fighting to end "fear of the other."  The sexual revolution happened because of my generation.  The impact of the so-called "Hippie movement" was widespread and long lasting in the United States.

      So much change occurred because of our struggles to change the status quo - and to fight and die for that.  Yes, die.  People died - civil rights activists were murdered.  So much happened.

      I am not at all in agreement with some of your assertions.  I felt strongly enough about this to write this post.  I hope it is coherent.  It is factual as well as emotional and impassioned.

      •  One more thing (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, TiaRachel, KayCeSF, annan

        Believe me.  We were unafraid.

      •  Yes. Almost every time I see this sort of (5+ / 0-)

        'generationist' stuff, it's dealing with the Received Wisdom about at least one of the 'generations' in question.

        While there are real Generational commonalities -- things (vinyl records anyone?), events, communication methods -- there are also many real commonalities across generations, and differences within them. And a whole lot of history that isn't being told.

      •  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommyfocus2003, TomP

        Hear! Hear! well said Tommyfocus2003.

        I think the most significant thing that the Millennials bring to the world is electronic connectivity ... they are the first generation raised with personal computers and cell phones.

        Beyond that, there have always been and always will be individuals in all generations who are pushing to make the world a better place through change. And they will always be meeting resistance from others whose main objective is to preserve the status quo.

        There will be - and already are - both in the Millennial generation. Just as there are in every other generation. Plus ça change ...

        "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

        by annan on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:53:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        those are the good things.  but there is almost always some bad that comes with the good.  are you unwilling to accept that?

    •  Please let's not (0+ / 0-)

      get up here one by one to deny having supported Reagan. It should be obvious that few of us did. We don't need to do this.

      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 Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:16:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While Reagan (0+ / 0-)

        NEVER enjoyed the popularity that the revisionist historian Republicans want to attribute to him, he did get elected/reelected with the help of conservative Democratic voters. Let's face that.

        Alas, in my Reagan Democrats. Rather, just plain conservative Republicans. (And one family of Buchanon/Paulites. AAAAAIII!)

  •  My parents and granparents hated Regan (11+ / 0-)

    Most who lived under him as governor of California did not like the experience.   Regan was famous for stupid quotes (trees cause carbon monoxide, expressing a desire to shoot protestors at Berkeley, etc.) and for stupid actions.
     As President the senile old guy was responsible for James Watt, Iran Conta, Ollie North, huge budget deficits, and a concept of privitizing public services that continues to harm us today.

    The only Regan seems popular to you is that most of the hacks on CNN, Fox and even MSNBC are either old Reagan functionaries or the children of them.

    The "librul" media will make GW Bush popular in retrospect, mark my words...

  •  I wish that the millenials would embrace (5+ / 0-)

    real-time living a little more and take a break from the e-lives.

    There will come a time, when they discover that virtual friendships are not very fulfilling and that if they ever need assistance or just someone real to talk to, that virtual reality friends--as nice as they are, don't quite cut the mustard.

    Other than that, I look forward to their innovations.

    •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

      by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:52:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, AoT, bergerc84, varro, BYw

      I think it's just a cultural difference with where our respective comfort zones lie. Many formative social interactions of my adolescence took place online, and I am completely comfortable in that medium and aware of its strengths and weaknesses. I have stayed in touch with many real life friends through virtual friendships (especially since none of us has the financial freedom to travel much). I have formed many professional and personal relationships solely through online contacts, and many of those have translated into real-world connections.  The line between "real life" and "virtual" is probably much less distinct for people like me who had no problems asking out their first girlfriend in high school via ICQ, asking forum "friends" for help with job searches, or maintaining long distance relationships with far-flung family and friends solely via e-mail and Skype. And some of my "virtual" friends have known me for over a decade--much longer than random people I met in real life in high school and fell out of touch with after graduation.

      That said: I got internet access when I was in middle school but no one I knew had a cell phone until college. So I can't relate to the current phone/texting obsession I see in many people younger than me, but I adore e-mail, Skype, etc. Funny how that works. It's really all about what you're personally comfortable with.

      Don't hesitate to make a difference.

      by Jommy on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have some babies, live in a new place with no (0+ / 0-)

        friends, esp no close friends, etc.,

        There is something uniquely fulfilling about making eye contact with a real breathing person in arms reach when communicating.

        I live in a place where I have very little in common with my neighbors. I live in a red state.

        I don't go to church.

        I am an outdoors person.

        I don't smoke

        I don't drink excessively

        I am married

        I have kids/Homeschool

        Single Income Family

        That red state thing: No sidewalks, sedentary smokers and drinkers, gambling is an olympic sport here, as is divorce, Church, and child juggling.

        Getting online feels a little like relief for a little while, but like getting into a swimming pool with a sunburn, sometimes all it does is make it worse. I actually feel more lonely after the fact.

        No hiking or camping with friends, no cookouts, no birthday parties, or wedding anniversaries, no fishing trips, or going out for a coffee. No long, intellectual discussions about anything important, because if I were to bring it up here, I would be tarred and feathered and left for dead at the nearest Starbucks Drive Thru.

        The internet is 2D and it simply doesn't feel my 4D needs.

      •  I am not a millennial (0+ / 0-)

        but I agree with this. A lot of my life is online (heck, you gotta be when you make websites for a living!). Online contacts lead to in person ones. All the time. I keep up with distant friends and relatives I'd NEVER hear about or see ever, and my mom cyber stalks us to learn about our day to day lives.

        I even had a circle of "online friends" when you Mils were still in your dang diapers - an email circle who met on an online forum and who have watched each other's kids grow, helped each other cope through tough times, and we even met in meat space - once, anyway, a long time ago. Well some of us have met up since then but I've never been able to afford to...they are in Sweden, London (from Aussie though), CO, British Columbia, Alberta...

      •  very well-put (0+ / 0-)

        for younger people (and probably for some older people too), there's not such a stark divide between 'online communication' and 'real life' communication.  i have definitely texted a roommate from less than 10ft away; i have posted something on facebook about someone in the same room.  it's just a different platform for communication.

    •  "virtual friendships" can be very fulfiling (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bergerc84, mattc129, lynne1

      I have a few people that I am just friends with on Facebook and have never met in real life and we have good discussions and learn things and laugh about things.  It's not the same as real life friendships but it doesn't preclude real life relationships.  I have lots of friends in real life and the majority of what I do online is with them, it enhances our friendship, it doesn't diminish it.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really hate generalizing generation (13+ / 0-)

    It never works out in reality, the only thing they have in common is the era they were born in. The generation before mine, Larry Flynt and Anita Bryant. A generation before that Allen Ginsberg and William F. Buckley. Like I said, never really works out.

    Commonalities are there for sure, a shared cultural touchstone. But individuals are radically different in the way they come out. I'm an early boomer 1950, a hippie, a life long liberal. I have fellow travelers in my generation and also people I don't even recognize.


    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:25:58 AM PDT

    •  Right, but it's sort of the same axis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, high uintas, shaharazade

      at opposite ends of the spectrum. The technological and social experiences were shared enough to have made a sense of commonality.  I'm sure there's more breakdown now with increasing choice in some areas, but we're not at the point that generations aren't extant.

      Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

      by Nulwee on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:29:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but generations are usually judged (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, KayCeSF, Nulwee, PsychoSavannah, TomP

        based on individuals that become iconic touchstones and most time have little to do with their actual members.

        We all grew up with Bonanza and Andy Griffith, we all remember actually living in the world of B/W tee vee, but as people we are really very different because of how we continued our development.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:37:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed we are experienced enough to imagine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boriskamite, high uintas

          Mayberry SWAT chasing down meth labs and the pathetic attempt to continue the TV saga called Dallas, another imaginary world without POC

          Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

          by annieli on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:11:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  exactly right. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, high uintas, tommyfocus2003

      It 's lazy thinking and empirically wrong.

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

      by TomP on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:18:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's equally wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to discount the social forces present during one's formative years.  whether we embrace them whole-heartedly or rebel in diametric opposition (although likely most people fall in the middle), we are shaped by the world around us.  we are not islands and the shared experiences of a generation are important and valuable

  •  Great story! (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, one of the best I've read in a while.

  •  the benefits of millenials' consciousness is their (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, Jommy, Chris Jay

    sense of diversity, even if they still have a significant number of haters in their population, conditioned by wars and generation hegemony. OTOH the issues are much more complex, Bush II doing Iran's work of eliminating Saddam, yet supporting Sunni rule in the Saudi regency with the common factor colonial natural resource control

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:29:00 AM PDT

  •  I remember my granddad born in 1901 telling (12+ / 0-)

    me that every generation thinks the kids of the current generation are lazy, immoral, and clueless.

    He said he watched people saying that about kids born in the 20s and 30s...then those folks said it about their kids born in the 50s and 60s and he said...

    Trust me on this, every generation thinks the one who follows them are lazy, without morals and goals...and well they are wrong.  I watched my parents think I was not tough enough and I was born in 1901 but they were born in the 1870s.
    He said he recalls his grandfather saying everyone born after 1865 does not have a clue.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:30:10 AM PDT

  •  I think we should all be leery of "broad brushes" (14+ / 0-)

    I really detest posts like this, as I do any essay that attempts to lump individuals into groups by some characteristic, be it skin color, sexual orientation, nationality of origin, religion, or age.

    In the blogosphere, I see so many posts blaming one generation or another for all our problems.  Boomers say millennials are slackers.  Gen-X says boomers consumed everything and left nothing for them.  What's left of the World War II generation still hates their kids for the freedoms they supposedly had.

    The reality is that no generation is homogeneous.  Yes, the Woodstockers got all the press, because girls dancing in Indian dresses with no bras made good press.  But the reality is that there were as many Young Republicans as there were antiwar protesters, but since they were the Greg Marmalards and Doug Niedermeyers [/Animal House], they just weren't very interesting.

    Republicans born between 1946 and 1964 who are in Washington now aren't repentant hippies.  These are the very same guys who supported the Vietnam war but who didn't want to go themselves.  These were the young people for Nixon.  I doubt there are many people who went to Haight-Ashbury in 1966 and then voted for Reagan in 1980.  Hippies got all the press, but "the 60's" was never as homogeneous as later generations who get all their information about it from Tom Brokaw's TV series would think.

    Similarly, today's millennials aren't all attached to their cell phones constantly and unable to work.  Most people, no matter what their generation, want the same thing -- love, enough money to live a good life, friends, community.  Yes, there are the sociopaths in government who are just soulless greedy bastards, but for every Mitt Romney (boomer) I'll show you a Marco Rubio (Gen-X) or a Ben Shapiro (millennial) (or, God help us, a James O'Keefe).  For every Alan Grayson (boomer), there's a Darcy Burner (Gen-X) or an Alex Wagner (millennial).

    What grieves me about seeing progressives resorting to  stereotyping generations and finger-pointing is that it's falling into the same trap that has Republicans demonizing teachers, firemen, police, and immigrants so that people direct their wrath upon them instead upon the plutocrats.  It's simply a distraction.

    If we don't work together to see that We the People get OUR fair share, it won't matter what generation  you're from. Stomping monsters since 2004

    by hackwriter on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:32:29 AM PDT

  •  When people talk about the kids of today (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, annieli, Sychotic1, bdizz, Sarea, TomP

    and college students of today..I think of the song from Bye Bye Birdie

    Kids ! What;s the matter with Kids Today..
    Kids ! Why can;t they be like we were..perfect in every way..What;s the matter with kids today...
    And that musical was written I think in the 50s....and no one sings that song like the late great Paul Lynde.

    I laugh thinking of Great Great Granddad thinking anyone born after the Civil War was clueless and lazy...and soft..LOL

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:32:39 AM PDT

  •  Cheers! Hope springs eternal. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, high uintas, shaharazade, annan
  •  When I was a kid......... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ah, never mind.  Good luck, young whippersnappers.  Those of you that figure it out, and become successful, will have the same things in common with the Boomers who became successful.  Positive attitudes, a willingness to work hard to earn your rewards and an ability to enjoy the ride with those that you love and respect, at work and, especially at home.  Life is like a car.  You have to grab the wheel and drive.  If you sit  in the back seat and grouse, you cant complain about where you end up.

    You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:45:55 AM PDT

    •  Life is like a car? (0+ / 0-)

      That's....that's depressing.

      But it isn't an uncommon feature among boomers. Thus the success of all those "self help" books and infomercials in the 1980's. All you gotta do is practice these "highly effective habits" and you too will have a yacht and a big breasted wife!

      I don't think these millennials are buying it.

      •  Worked for me, for the most part. (0+ / 0-)

        Kayak, petite wife, decent job.  Two good kids.  They don't have to buy it, but the formula for success never changes.

        You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

        by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:59:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  heh heh.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Yeah I think they probably live in a more realistic world where luck and fate have a lot more to do with where one ends up.

          I've had a good life. Fortunately. As in, it was purely good fortune of being at the right place at the right time. Things could have easily gone the other way. But I don't for once think it was all my doing because I'm so awesome or because I have the right philosophy.

          But to each his own.

          •  One of my favorite quotes is by me: (0+ / 0-)
            "Hard work raises your apparent skill level".

            - SpamNunn

            The other is by Vince Lombardi:
            "The harder you work, the luckier you get"

            - Vince Lombardi

            You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

            by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:24:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course "fate" has some impact. (0+ / 0-)

              I lucked out when my wife's dad decided to move to our town.   It was an accident.  He thought that the house he wanted to buy was in the next town over. It was just inside the border of my town.  

              By the time he figured it out, my MOL had fallen in love with the house, so they moved to my town.  But for that.......

              True story.

              You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

              by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:27:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, yeah. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Some folks are fortunate enough to be born white and male. Or without birth defects. Or with natural abilities in math. Or musical genius.

                And some folks work hard all their lives and never amount to much. Some folks get their limbs torn off in war. Some folks have strokes.

                I don't mean to disparage hard work as if that doesn't matter. It does make a marginal difference in ones affairs. But good luck? There's nothing equivalent to that. There is nothing any one person can do can change it one way or the other the way I see it.

                Some folks get a bad hand. Some folks have ups and downs. And some guys have all the luck.

                •  Marginal? Over luck? Nah. (0+ / 0-)

                  That white male thing is overrated, too.  I know a lot of lazy white guys with nothing.  Not even luck.  

                  You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

                  by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 07:17:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  lol (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    All white men say that. "I havent got any advantages at all! Look at cousin Billy! He's a shiftless bum! He's white!"  

                    It's the equivalent of the "ive got plenty of black friends" defense.

                    The point is you had no control at all over what circumstances into which you were born...the primary predictor as to where youll end up statistically. The chances of a black girl from subsaharan africa ending up as comfortable as you, a white man from america, are damn near zero. Is that because she didnt work hard enough? Or is it because of where she was born?

                    A street peddler in typhoon ridden Bangladesh might put in 16 hours a year, day after day,  year after year. Years and years of honest hardworking toil. All to see it washed away by a typhoon in mere minutes. What was his problem? Not working hard enough?

                    Consider yourself lucky if you have health and comfort. Be thankful to some sort of something out there. Because it could all be gone in a flash, or it never could have happened in the first place.

                    But yes...nothing wrong with hard work. For the humble.

                    •  Ah, finally, something we agree on! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      The chances of a black girl from subsaharan africa ending up as comfortable as you, a white man from america, are damn near zero.
                      I thank God everyday for his blessings (or my luck).  

                      You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

                      by SpamNunn on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 05:04:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  exactly right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            i think millenials cannot afford to buy into the american dream myth that has predominated post-depression 20th century.  by that, i mean the idea that everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead if they work hard enough, and that a life of hard work and playing by the rules will guarantee a stable life and the ability to care for one's family.  that is manifestly not the case in contemporary american society and millenials are becoming adults at a time when these truths could not be more apparent.  

  •  You talkin' 'bout my generation? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, annieli, tommyfocus2003
  •  Guess I better stop telling those darn Millennials (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to get off my lawn!

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 08:47:30 AM PDT

  •  Nice post (5+ / 0-)

    I (as a GenXer who works with lots of Millennials) think the current crop of young people are a fine bunch. That's just as much a generalization as any other made here, but likely the friendliest.

    Funny how any post that mentions "generation" at all ends up being all about Boomers in the comments, though.

    •  I think they're the best. As an GenX'r myself, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, dilutedviking

      I think the current crop of young folks are possibly the best bunch we've had in a long long time. Best since those who lived through the depression.

      I'm very encouraged by the current group of young folks we have out there now. Especially their disdain for individualism and official institutions of any kind. They just sort of work with each other. I think's that's pretty cool.

      •  OWS has revealed much of that for which I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Churchill, basket

        am reassured

        Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

        by annieli on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:07:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd say their increasing disdain for college (3+ / 0-)

          is particularly hopeful in my book. I was raised in the college fascism movement that took place somewhere in the 1980's. COLLEGE!!! COLLEGE!!! COLLEGE!!! we're told. GO THERE OR YOULL STARVE!!!

          Well, these kids go serve in the military. They build their own businesses. They learn crafts. They collaborate. My own kid is going to college this fall and but since her line of clothing seems to be picking up interest in Japan, she might not even go. I don't mind.

          Her best friend is going to Germany work as an apprentice glassmaker.

          I'm one of those folks turning increasingly against the education system and encouraging more young people to just learn to do things. We can't just be a nation of suits.

        •  OWS exposed the GOP/DEM Potemkin Village (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as a total fraud.

          80 % of success is showing up

          Corporate is not the solution to our problem

          Corporate is the problem

          by Churchill on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:19:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm impressed, too, in general. (0+ / 0-)

        One thing that should be mentioned is the crime rate.  Violent and non-violent crime fell by one-third between 1992 and 2010.  This occurred despite increasing levels of poverty among Millennials.  

        Would it be cruel or fascist to note that Millennials fighting in controversial wars managed to bring about quick and astounding victories in Iraq and Afghanistan, just to get hobbled by a bunch of evil old draft-dodgers who were more interested in fighting wars, sadistic fanatasies and enriching cronies than in winning wars?  

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 01:22:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My oldest turns 30 in just over two weeks. I (0+ / 0-)

    haven't figured out how I feel about it.  I just know I feel whatever I am feeling a great deal.  I am sure he will be experiencing crossing the threshold to the next decade deeply himself because he's got a an old soul.  When you have children that are dearer to you than your life its hard to see them in a generational sense.  Its interesting to go over the things that were a part of their years growing up like paging through a scrapbook but there's no real description for the wonder that each new day brings as they develop as people.  I get lost in it.

    This isn't at all helpful as a comment on the real purpose of this diary.  Just brought all this emotion to the surface.  I know what I was doing thirty years ago this week and that was waiting for the first of the three biggest moments in my life.  Bless all the children even those that have grown so tall and strong.

  •  I am twice the milennial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I barely identify with my boomer generation.

    So look at me as two millennials in one.

    But now us millenials must step up to the plate.

    And for God's sake let's not forget how we were now, like boomers did.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:05:51 AM PDT

    •  2X (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I barely identify with my boomer generation.

      So look at me as two millennials in one.

      LOL. Me, too!!

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:02:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The young are easily fooled (9+ / 0-)

    into believing there is a generational divide. We are all actors upon the stage - the same person at 70 as at 17.

    Ask your grandmother if the girl she once was is still inside her?

    •  I would (0+ / 0-)

      but she just passed. :( My grandfather, however, was a mischievous 18 year old his whole life and I doubt being 97 is stopping that any time soon. <3

      Pep's my HERO. He's awesome. And are so lucky to still have him with us. One of the last remnants of the Greatest Generation, if we're using labels.

    •  yes (0+ / 0-)

      but the people who are all 17 at the same time are going through a similar point in their life in a similar social/historical moment which is the underpinning for the concept of a unified generation...

  •  So when will you start organizing? (0+ / 0-)

    OK millennials, when are you going to start joining/forming unions and organizing politically to change the economic landscape of your future? I'm really sorry that the GOP turds ruined your horizon, but they trashed everyone's future. Let's join across generations and defeat the greedy bastards.

    •  What unions? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      generationyasky, Dr Stankus

      Are there any even left?

      Also, most people would like to have a job first before they can worry about anything more advanced.

      And we do vote, we are politically active. But we don't have money, and it's been clear for a long time that money is the true political power. We will organize in other ways.

      I am all for this, though:

      Let's join across generations and defeat the greedy bastards.
      2012 feels like a last chance to stop (or at least slow) the decay of what was good about this country.

      Don't hesitate to make a difference.

      by Jommy on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:21:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As Boomers we have to bear some (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      generationyasky, Dr Stankus

      responsibility for allowing the unions to be trashed.

      •  And every morning every Boomer should apologize (0+ / 0-)

        for not being in the kitchen of the Ambassador to get between Sirhan's bullet and Bobby Kennedy. WTF, how many millions of Boomers and not a single one of the fuckers bothered to show up and save Bobby Kennedy? Or Martin? Lazy-ass motherfuckers never heard of the Greyhound. Couldn't even be bothered to sneak into Phil Gramm's office at midnight and secretly rewrite the amendment to the commodity futures modernization act so it saved the planet? What's wrong with them?

        The Millenials did all these things, in their video games that all together use as much energy as the city of San Diego. No one who uses that much energy is lazy.

  •  Boomers non-maintenance of Nat'l infrastructure (0+ / 0-)

    let it become the worst in the industrial world in favor of their toys like HUGE SUVs.  

    I don't consider myself a boomer. technically I am, but I didn't want those DAMN TAX CUTS of the 1980's, which was just a ruse.  

    Boomers are the tax cut generations.  They won't get their rich retirement because they're greedy and  didn't invest in the future.  The current GenX & GenY group will have to rebuild this countries infrastructure.

    Their won't be enough money to pay for huge rich retirements.  Get used to it.  It's a fact.

    In a decade the GenX/GenY will be in charge.  They'll give the retirees exactly what they got,  NOT VERY DAMN MUCH

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:16:26 AM PDT

  •  Just in time for environmental collapse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A legacy from my and other generations ignoring the obvious.

    But for consolation, you'll probably have the clearest memory of the "before-times."

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:17:26 AM PDT

  •  I am a 32 year old millenial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarea, basket

    Or rather, I am a precocious millennial.  My definition of the millennial is that they grew up in a time when computers were becoming commonplace.  Considering my earliest concrete childhood memories involved me sitting with my father in an Army base's Apple IIe lab, and instinctively helping out rather annoyed recruits with tricky fractions problems on those computers (at the age of like ...7? I think?) because I intuitively understood them, I definitely fall under that bill.

    I don't have anything really in common with Gen X.  My older sisters are all firmly Gen X, and I am nothing like them.  They shun new technologies or use them grudgingly, whereas I embrace them.

    My husband considers himself GenX/Millenial transition.  (He's 36.) He has some of the characteristics of the MTV generation, but also some of the characteristics of the Millennials.  

    Tradition says that God gave us choice. Some of His disciples act like it is up to them to remove it. ~ kjoftherock

    by catwho on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:24:25 AM PDT

    •  By the arbitrary labelists then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You are not a Millennial.  You are part of that useless older generation that worshipped Reagan.

    •  Defined by your fondness for products. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My god, how depressing.

      •  Products? (0+ / 0-)

        I grew up surrounded by technology that baffled my parents.  I was the one programming the VCR when I was in kindergarten.  I work on and fix computers for a living, I'm getting a master's degree in IT (not comp sci, not MIS, just pure IT in general).  I like putting together white box systems for friends; I hold no brand loyalty and am just as comfortable in Linux as I am all flavors of Windows and the various Apple varieties.

        Many of the millennials out in the wild have similar experiences to me. We may very well be the first generation to not disdain new technology when we're older, as so many boomers and even GenXers do.

        Tradition says that God gave us choice. Some of His disciples act like it is up to them to remove it. ~ kjoftherock

        by catwho on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 11:56:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like to believe that about new technology (0+ / 0-)

          (and I'm exactly your age, and in IT).  But then, I see myself still using email for things all the twenty-somethings are using text messages for, and I worry that the divides are going to become even more acute.

  •  I'll give you this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    your generation is smarter than mine. The internet has given you more ready access to a lot more information than we had. But, per my experience, the majority of your generation are soft around the middle, spoiled, whining pansies. Not all of you, but far too many. I don't know whether it was the pampering, or the idea that you've been brought up to believe you're special people destined for greatness, but you guys are a heavy load to carry.
    Not making excuses, you inherited a shitty government that we didn't fix. Sorry, but pull your collective heads out of your asses and toughen up!

    •  Is this snark? Except for the internet reference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this could have been my right-wing so-called "greatest generation" uncle talking to me, a boomer, forty years ago. And then him talking to his "GenX" grandson ten years later. And then him talking to his "GenY" great-grandson...

      You're not my right-wing reactionary Uncle are you?

    •  you're hilarious (0+ / 0-)

      yes-- all millenials are SOOOOOOOOOO soft around the middle after working our asses off and attaining more education than any other generation could even imagine, then emerging into a job market that basically doesn't exist, yet we take our fucking graduate degrees, buckle down at our parents and work some fucking minimum wage job to pay off our student loans because greedy banks and short-sighted politicians tanked the economy and promised us a future that was a pipe dream yet we still continue working, saving, and paying taxes even though we have no job prospects, no health insurance, and no likely way to provide for a family anytime soon.  yeah-- we're all totally 'soft around the middle'  wtf.......

  •  Millinniels turn... 36? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, TomP

    According to some measures, the so-called Millennial Generation began in 1976.  In any event, labeling people "different generations" when their birthdays are separated by just a few years makes no sense at all.

    Personally, I think Millennials should be those who were actually born close to the turn of the Millennium, so that the oldest ones would be roughly 15 years old.

    •  It is immaterial except as another sad way to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hackwriter, TomP, brn2bwild

      categorize, demonize or attack others. It reduces the group you have to deal with as equals to : us and them. Useful tool when you feel you aren't getting what you deserve from politics since you voted since the earliest date you could. Uh huh. Serves nothing and alienates people who might side with you... it weakens political unity to get things done...

      Now those pesky Republicans , the AHs get out to vote and they stick together even if the guy they are voting for smells and is a walking stick who eats children every month. Why is it that liberals or progressives as they style themself today (since the great name blackening effort by a conforming right) are always attacking ewach other, demanding something unattainable which is that everyone in the group is the same as them? The republicans are all the same... ever notice how they all dress? Dems are pretty diverse and sectioning us up and pointing the finger at each other keeps the republicans pushing us right and in office.

      I am a BB and I am sick to death of what has happened since Reagan. I have watched as people pay little attention and then go vote (usually along party lines) run things while the discerning,  the ones suffering from poutrage and the too busy... Don't vote then they bitch about how things are going to hell. Are we now once again just before the election going to piss off segments of the Dems by attacking them for things they had no part in? Looks like that is what is happening... Seems to me we are our own worst enemies ( Geesh makes me think of that Lederer book) .

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:10:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why? WHY? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Do I always miss the damn cusp!? Being born in 1975. Also a cusp in my astrological sign (not that I care).

      I am always on the edge of being cool. ;)

  •  Millenials Sound a lot like Gen-X in many ways (7+ / 0-)

    Gen-X is my generation and I hear a lot of familiarity in what you are saying.

    Graduating during a major recession and competing for "free" jobs:  CHECK.  Graduated during the early 90s and watched as myself and co-workers were tormented by mistreatment by bosses / companies and told "you're lucky to HAVE a job."  Knew many that graduated from college into "free" internships or fast food / retail jobs.  It permanently affected the salary levels and pay status of most of us who graduated into that time period.

    Came of age during a senseless war in Iraq by a Bush president:  CHECK.  Except we were slightly older and remember the arguments over the FIRST gulf war.  (The "good one," as many refer to it now.)  To be against the first Gulf War was to be an outcast in many circles.  Watching as anti-war protests were minimized and laughed at on the evening news, when they made the news at all.

    Knowing that we would be less financially stable and successful than our parents' and grandparents' generations:  CHECK.

    Living under the shadow of many of the selfish Boomers:  CHECK.  

    Far more comfortable living in closer proximity with our neighbors:  CHECK.

    While there are definitely differences, I think there are more similarities between Gen-X and millenials than you might think ;)

    Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

    by Sarea on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:44:48 AM PDT

    •  forgot a biggie: voting w/ hope for a president (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who would eventuallly let you down and disappoint you.

      Many of us voted with hope for the first time in our lives for Bill Clinton.  He was going to change things (he did).  He did things his own way (he did).  

      He also disappointed us in major ways.  He let us down.  I have very conflicted feelings about Clinton because in hindsight he is still the best president of my life.

      It's probably the same way the Millenials will eventually feel about President Obama...

      Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

      by Sarea on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Apart from communications technology, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sarea, SeekCa

      I think the real marker is Reaganism. I'm lumping a lot in there, but when you see the charts of stagnant wages since whenever-it-was -- there it is. Some of us started out life in a society where the 'good life' was a reasonable expectation, while the rest always knew that things sucked & would probably just get more sucky.

      The big money/fossil fuel/military-industrial complex took control. Or took control back, whichever. They won that one.

      It's much easier (especially for them) if we focus on tech and things and habits and whatever the consensus-media story is.

    •  Millennials Sound a lot like Boomers in many ways (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The post-WWII baby boom is my generation and I hear a lot of familiarity in what you are saying.

      Graduating during a major recession?  CHECK.  I graduated high school into one Arab oil embargo and college into another one.

      Graduated during the late 70s and watched as myself and co-workers were tormented by mistreatment by bosses / companies and told "you're lucky to HAVE a job"?  Check.

      Came of age during a senseless war in Vietnam by a DEMOCRATIC president:  CHECK.  Except we were trapped by our elders' memories of World War II (The "good one," as many refer to it now.)  To be against the Vietnam War was to be an outcast in many circles.  Yes, the protests got a lot of attention, but that was when the media felt its job was to report the news.

      Knowing that we would be less financially stable and successful than our parents' and grandparents' generations:  CHECK.  There is a Tom Toles cartoon from the 1980's that I have in my file called "The Reading of the Will".  It's a "letter" from the World War II generation to its children -- the baby boomers.  And it talks about how they used everything up and took all the Social Security and left nothing for us.  Sorry, kids -- there's nothing new under the sun.

      Living under the shadow of many of the selfish World War II generation who felt the world owed them a living because they grew up in the Depresson:  CHECK.  

      While there are definitely differences, I think there are more similarities between Baby Boomers,  Gen-X and millenials than you might think ;)

      Yes, that's a direct play on the above post, and I'm not trying to minimize what new grads today are going through.  But the entire baby boom generation isn't responsible for your problems any more than the entire World War II generation was responsible for ours.  My parents were strong liberals; my mother went to civil rights marches and even smoked a few joints in her day, and she was born in 1927 and came of age right before WWII.  

      I repeat what I said above:  You can sit around and bitch about "selfish boomers" all you want to, but there are plenty of us out here just as outraged about your plight as you are, and who have been fighting the good fight, or trying to, for nearly a half-century.  I was out there stuffing envelopes for progressives and canvassing at age 12 and still do the equivalent today.  Or you can realize that there are a lot of us out here who are with you, and have always been with you.  So you can bitch about us, or we can join together in common cause.

      It's your choice.  We're here whenever you're ready. Stomping monsters since 2004

      by hackwriter on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 11:51:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um....back off dude (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Stankus

        No need to get your hackles up.  Read my post again.  Nowhere did I lump all the Boomers together in one group.  I said "living under the shadow of many of the selfish Boomers," because that was MY personal experience.  My life experience.

        I never said "all Boomers are selfish," and I never would because I know and love many unselfish Boomers, including mentors, friends and family members.

        But I definitely lived in the shadow of selfish Boomers growing up, and many of us Gen-Xers  -- who are half the size of the Boomer generation and half the size of the Millenial generation, i.e., we are a "sandwich generation"  -- well, many of us will always exist in the shadow of selfish Boomers throughout careers because we're outnumbered, plain and simple.  

        You don't know me, and instead of getting all outrage-y and coming at me that way, you could have just asked :)

        Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

        by Sarea on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 02:48:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're onto something there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that I'm surprised no one else has mentioned -- the degree to which so much of this intergenerational warfare is motivated by economic opportunity.

          With so many Boomers working longer thanks to this current economic catastrophe, the upward mobility owed to the next two, smaller generations is stunted.  Gen-X is stuck in limbo because there's nowhere upwards to move, and "lazy" Millennials are stuck in their parents' basements because the decent entry-level jobs in anything resembling a career are filled with frustrated Gen-Xers who expected to advance years ago.

          For the Millennials, this is eventually going to have to break -- older Boomers can't work forever, and assuming the economy improves, younger ones are likely to retire roughly on time.  But when the retirement wave hits in 2015-2020, a lot of Gen-X is going to be pushing 50 and "obsolete" in the unflattering ageism of our culture.

          •  Thanks - as a Gen-Xer that makes me feel (0+ / 0-)

            so much better ;)

            But seriously - i think you are right and I've heard that expressed many times anecdotally.

            Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

            by Sarea on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 06:29:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The difference between the protests.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sarea the early 90s versus the Bush II years is in the level of tolerance and violence exercised by police.

      I covered the anti-war protests in the early 90s for the UChicago student newspaper.  Thousands of people marched through downtown Chicago at least twice in January 1991 - and even sat down on Lake Shore Drive during rush hour.

      Nobody got arrested or pepper-sprayed, except for the people doing explicit civil disobedience (sitting in at the loading dock of the Dirksen Federal Building).  

      Compare that to nearly every protest during Bush II's reign, where cops in stormtrooper outfits pepper-sprayed protesters (including babies in Portland), arrested protesters and bystanders indiscriminately, and went wilding breaking cameras to try to destroy evidence.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 05:30:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More like their grandparents than parents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The WWII/Depression era generation had far more in common with the Millennials and for the same reasons.

    or as Woody put it in Pretty Boy Floyd:

    "Yet, as through this world I've wandered
    I've seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

    And as through your life you travel,
    Yes, as through your life you roam,
    You won't never see an outlaw
    Drive a family from their home."  

    Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver

    by Amayupta yo on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:55:09 AM PDT

  •  Did any of us "Boomers" think that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we would be in our late 50's and 60's reliving the the great depression of our grandparents and recessions of our parents?  That our parents generation would be telling our kids to throw us and themselves under the bus now that we have reached retirement age?  I am ashamed that gen-x'ers are paying so much for good education and straddled with these huge student loans.  I hope they stick it to Wall
    Street who are trying to keep them from achieving middle class status.  

  •  The Gen X perspective (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, sallystrutt, ooddaa, varro

    Gotta take major issue with this:

    We will be the first generation in some time not to idolize Ronald Reagan
    As a Gen Xer, I can say that I detested Reagan with every fiber of my being, and so did almost everyone in my cohort (that I know personally). The only Xers I know who admire Reagan were the type who eventually became Teabaggers.

    It should be noted also that Reagan has been lionized for beliefs he did not hold, and for things he did not do. He's a pastiche of conservative dreams for a messiah. Many have noted that he would not have secured the current nomination for the republican candidate for president.

    They would have run him out of town for being a liberal.

    Gen X has grown in a strange world, always one step behind. The phrase that best captures our generation is, "Dude, you should have been here last week - you missed a helluva party!"

    We see the Boomers pulling up the ladders behind themselves, getting the last of the social safety net, the last of the pensions, the last of the investment gains, the last of property wealth.

    "Dude, you shoulda been here last week!"

    As a result, we tend to be somewhat cynical and disengaged from things - much less than Boomers and Millennials. We tend to feel a sense of "you're on your own - good luck."

    Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

    by The Raven on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:10:51 AM PDT

    •  We're the post punk generation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven

      First generation to come of age after punk, we are probably the most cynical generation of the bunch. Politically, we're also all over the map, so I don't know if I'd agree with a categorical position on Reagan, so much as a general punk distrust of anyone who promises anything, knowing we're being lied to. A lot of ugly "fuck you, I got mine" right wing libertarianism holds sway over Gen Xer politics.

      I am sometimes taken aback by how gullible millenials seem to be, particularly with the jubilant celebration after Obama's 2008 win, but then I remind myself of just how cynical our generation is compared to theirs. I saw Obama as a pretty slick politician when I voted for him the first time, and I'm under no delusions about what I'll get from him the second go around. It's an attitude I'm not particularly proud of, so I have to admire the idealism of millenials, but I still wish they weren't so damned trusting others.

      Eat, breed, die. Everything else is a diversion.

      by ooddaa on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 02:06:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Snakes! You young whippersnappers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You should fear snakes as well! Spiders my old fat butt.

    Had I been inclined to reproduce, my kids would have been millennials. I was enough of a cynic then and now not to think that any child of mine would have a better or easier time than I had. Thank Ronnie Raygun and his asshattery for that.

    Good luck to all of you. I think we will all need it.

  •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Cassandra Waites

    The POV from within each generation depends on where the person stands in relation to our society. As a boomer child I did not buy the Commie Red Terror fear. I also did not buy the values of my parents who were into being successful with  their truly weird version of the American dream.

    Is this because I was a boomer? Maybe partly, but each generation runs the gamut as far as values, politics and dreams go. We all react differently to the times and circumstances we live in.  While these times and their politics, technologies shape us we are after all as my granddaughter says only human.

    I find common ground throughout the generations that are alive now and even those that are long gone. Within the boomers gen. along with the hippies grew the Teabaggers, war mongers and sellout yuppies, Clinton comes to mind. The differences between the generations isn't as important as how and what they value and work for.  

    btw, my parents hated and mocked Reagan, my Mom was an FDR Democratic, my Dad was a old school Republican. I didn't want to live in a world where 'other' was the enemy be they commies or lazy losers who refused to participate in the absurd race to the top. I also found the whole white picket fence suburban dream to be a freakin nightmare. I found common ground and values with Eugene Debs Camus, Emma Goldstein or Woody Guthry, Beat's and my truly liberal grandmother.

    What I admire about the young people who came of age in the millennium is that they can and do through technology rummage through out history they are not confined to accepting the bs. offered by the society, the culture wars, and our 'leaders'. They have at their finger tips access to endless information and a way to form their own culture outside or inside the world as they find it.    

    They are not lazy that's absurd. They have the misfortune of entering the world at large at a time where there is no place for them to 'get ahead'. The race to the top is a non starter a con job, they are without a seat in the game of musical chairs in this NWO.

    My grandaughter is younger born in the 90's and she's wired. Her political values are still forming and I believe she will when she 'grows' up not be as partisan or as invested in the false Dream. She's trying hard to find a way that's not so 'cutthroat', in a system she says is rigged. Her Dad a GenXer goes on and on to her about living a productive life. Guess we all what ever generation we are, have different ideas about what productive means.

    The way forward we choose isn't ever going to be of one mind. When I marched with OWS I was impressed with the young peoples ability to sort through and get to the heart of the matter.  This boomer is impressed with this generation but I want them to stay off my damn lawn!  Actually I don't have a lawn and if I did I would be pleased to have then sit on it and text.


  •  Anything that divides us, fails to unite us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When the women blame the men, when the whites blame the blacks & latinos, when the young blame the old ... or vice versa ...

    The 0.01% laugh and take a sip of cognac. They are in the business of dividing us. It makes their job that much easier.

    “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 10:14:07 AM PDT

  •  Hold on, there! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, TomP

    "The first generation not to idolize Ronald Regan..."

    I'm pushing the Six-Oh, and although I'll admit that Reagan was popular--the clown got 2 terms out of a popularity that resembles that of the high-school jock variety--there were many, many of my peers, who could never muster up even a slight amount of respect for the buffoon.

    It's dreadful that he and that other buff', Bush 43, had 2 terms, but creepily Romney, if elected, would indicate that change, for the worse, mostly happens with 2 term Republican tools.

    But I digress.

    I'm starting to wonder if we go overboard on generation-characterizing. In my diurnal life, I deal with many generations; so much, and for so many years I am terrible at guessing anyone's age.

    What worries me about this chant of spoiled kids not really spoiled but forsaken by the previous spoiled generations, is that I think this is exactly the kind of message Republicans are determined to exploit.

    There are scarce jobs because the wealthy of the world have no interest in investing in a future for everyone.

    You talk to the over-50 crowd, especially those who have been laid off in the past decade, and they  insist that employment prospects exist only for the 30 & under. Then there is the other side-the youth of the day complaining "we" have left nothing for them.

    I saw a recent segment on MSNBC about a program designed to have students as young as 11, start focusing on an "educational" path that would land them jobs in job-possible industries. This segment dealt with a group of primarily African-American students. Since young African-Americans have a most startling unemployment figures, one might applaud such a program. But the man who realizes he could have a solid future in truck-driving--how much of the breadth of human experience is going to be available to him? In exchange for sustenance--no small thing!--does he really have an opportunity to form the future, if he (or she) is being trained to fill specific economic slots?

    It's a gut punch to read headlines like this:

    "Texas GOP Declares: "No More Teaching of 'Critical Thinking Skills' in Texas Public Schools" "

    Something called "The Enlightenment" (how much better is that than boom, x,y,z & mills?) gave birth to this country.

    So let's throw away this pointless labeling and try to imagine a future where jobs are created where there are problems to be solved. No shortage of them, btw.

  •  hey Dante, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bergerc84, HoratioGalt

    I just read through well over 100 comments in your thread and am compelled to point out that only a miniscule proportion of them appear to have been written by millennials---

  •  I am (3+ / 0-)

    an early boomer.   I am 66 and a lifelong dem, and a liberal who has become more liberal as the years go by.

    I was just at a family reunion  where my cousins and I all gathered with our families.  The bulk of the 29 of first cousins were early boomers born between 1945 (the last three months after the war) and 1955.  One was born in 1942.   Of the 29, most of us had Dads who served in WWII.   None of our parents went to college.    Five were born between 1955 and 1966.  And the last two between 1966 and 1969.  

    !6 of us are diehard liberals.   About 10 are conservative (and of those only three are diehard).   The rest seem to be independents and/or libertarian leaning.

    Of all my close friends with whom I went to high school and college, only two are to the right.  The rest tend to be center left or far left.

    So when I hear this blame game, it sounds so foreign to me.   Every generation has groups on every side.   The numbers to me are not nearly as important as the activism.  My peers and I may have been in the minority as early boomers, but we were activists, where as those that were like Rove, and W, and their ilks were few and far between in terms of activism and populism.  Granted, with the help of big money, they became activists in the 80s.   And I think they are being activists now with work on doing "divide and conquer."   Along with the class warfare that they are gaming, getting so many to vote against themselves, they are also trying to create a generational warfare.  Yes,  there are older people  using medicare and SS and yet voting republican.   But they are NOT BOOMERS.  I am in the earliest of the early boomers......(not even considered a boomer by some but since my so many  of my generation started school (first grade) at age 5 along side so many born in early 1946 we are more boomer than pre boomer as we were also born "after the war"),   and we JUST got on Medicare this last year.  Many of my peers are just retiring now.  I understand there are many of my peers who voted for Reagan but neither I nor most of my friends did.  In fact I cried the day Reagan was elected.  I still work for strong dem candidates but am hard pressed to find candidates I consider to be liberal.  

    I really hope none of the kossacks allow the right to succeed on pitting generations against each other.


  •  Please, Not Another Generation Gap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Williston Barrett

    It's just another way to divide people.  My family and friends and community does not start and stop at a particular age group, so the sooner we realize we are all in this together, the better off we will be.

  •  You're not as different as you think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, lynne1

    Every generation of young people are "lazy" good-for-nothings according to grouchy old coots, going back to whenever it was the whole concept of "generations" was invented (in primitive societies where nothing every changed, the idea of generations wouldn't have made any sense). The only possible exception might be the World War II generation, not because they were different but because they had no choice--the world was literally in a life or death struggle and everyone was sucked into the war economy in some form or other.

    Which brings me to the part about your generation experiencing "war and occupation"....while certainly your generation has grown up in an era of terror-induced paranoia, surrounded by an ever-growing national security apparatus, the wars have been very distant from the lives of young as well as old Americans, affecting only a tiny portion of the population (service members) and their families. It is the Iraqis and Afghans who have experienced war and occupation.

    And finally, regarding technology, every generation of young people has a natural affinity to the latest technology--you have smartphones and social networking, the previous generation had computers and internet access, Baby Boomers had TV. It was revolutionary at the time, considered on the one hand a window on the world and "a vast wasteland"...which are both true. Every new technology  comes out with promise of transforming humankind for the better, then people get their hands on it and you end up with The Gong Show, chain emails, cat videos, and Sarah Palin's twitterfeed.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 11:26:55 AM PDT

  •  reced (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 11:38:04 AM PDT

  •  Spiders are our friends. (0+ / 0-)

    Their cousins, the bedbugs, not so much.

  •  Hmm, do I count as Millenial? (0+ / 0-)

    I was born on December 29, 1981.

    I've always seen myself as one and most of the stuff I read on millennial counts from 1981. So I feel a bit left out...

  •  Boomers are a whiney bunch. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Boomer commentators complain about union bashing as if that is something new.   But unions were bashed from the onset, it was, however, the boomers who believed the union bashing and deserted the unions in droves during the Reagan years.  Boomers traded in defined benefit pensions for glittery defined contribution pensions that promised to leave them captains of their own economic destinies.  Boomers wanted to live in the suburbs because they wanted elbow room, not to mention a clean air escape from integration.  Now without Unions, without pensions and holding worthless paper on their under water mortgages,  the boomers are perplexed how they ended up this way.  Because except for the digital revolution and the magical transformation of self pity into political theory, boomers don't have much to boast about these days.

    •  It wasn't just boomers (0+ / 0-)

      I worked in a company in the Wall Street area in the 1980's.  I was in my late 30's, and I was surrounded by people who were 10-15 years younger -- yes, they could be said to be part of Gen-X.  Many of them were doing very well, moving out to the suburbs, disliking unions, and embracing 401(k)s.  

      However, I have to flag that one:  Because defined contribution programs were not something we "embraced."  They were forced on us by corporate management, who was at that time, still WWII generation...or Korean War generation.  To the extent that we, and our Gen-X counterparts who were just getting started in the workplace, "embraced" them it's because we had no choice -- we were not offered defined benefit pensions.

      As for unions:  I 100% support the goals of worker empowerment and collective bargaining.  The problem is that all too often, in practice, if you are in a union, you are working for two sets of management instead of one.  In my case, the company I worked for was in financial publishing, and my first job there was a Newspaper Guild administrative assistant position.  My boss wanted to promote me to a marketing manager position, and he was unable to do so because the Guild would not let me be promoted to a non-union position, even though I would be replaced with a union headcount.  In other words, I had no hope of advancement within the Guild.  I ended up having to leave the department and go to a non-union one in order to find the kind of advancement I deserved.  You want to know why people turned their back on unions?  It's not because we disagreed with their goals, it's because of situations like mine.  I wasn't a Reaganaut, blindly listening to anti-union rhetoric.  It's because I wanted to be recognized for my efforts and there was no room within the union to do so.

      But it's just so much easier, rather than listen to people's actual experiences, to watch shows about the 1960's on Discovery channel and make broad-brush accusations of the kind that would get you kicked off of this site if it were about any other group.

      When you fall into the trap of generation-blaming, you do exactly what the oligarchs want.  And isn't that what you're accusing all boomers of doing? Stomping monsters since 2004

      by hackwriter on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 03:41:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is absolutely the best (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thing i've read on the millenial generation.  and i say that as a millenial myself.  it's also a great example of why daily kos is unquestionably one of the most insightful media outlets in current operation.  this is a must-read...

  •   (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since I'm 72, I grew up without a generational label so I didn't read a criticism of any particular generation in the post.  I read it as a reflection of a person turning thirty and I was quite heartened by it and hope that it is shared  by many in her age group.  It makes me feel that the desire to move forward into a more cooperative age is part of the electronic interconnections that we now have.  There has been a sense by me of increasing negativity expressed by too many of us including myself.  This post had the opposite effect on me.  I had tears in my eyes and can only hope the future she sees comes to be.

  •  Here's my own analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, schnecke21

    For quite a while after I graduated college, I thought that there must have been something wrong with me. I still do, to an extent. I graduated with a humanities degree from a public university, after having been told by just about everyone that the important thing was to get a degree, and that it didn't much matter what it was, and that so long as I had a college degree I could find a decent job. Well, that might have worked for a lot of people, but it didn't work for me. It certainly didn't help that I graduated right into the jaws of the Recession.

    I tried to find a decent job; perhaps not as hard as I might have, but I tried. Part of the problem was that nobody had ever taught me how to find a job. Sure, it's easy enough to walk into a hamburger shack and pick up an application, but you don't find office jobs like that. You don't find jobs that pay enough to get you out of your parents' house like that. And it bothered me, the fact that I couldn't find a job. When you send out resume after resume, and people rarely if ever call you back, you begin to get discouraged, particularly if you are prone to melancholy as I am. You begin to think to yourself, why won't anyone call me back? Why won't anyone hire me, take a chance on me? Sooner or later you reach what seems to be the obvious conclusion: that you just aren't good enough, that nobody wants you because there are people better than you. This kind of thinking can take root in your mind, and if it does, it will fuck you up.

    So there I was, two years out of college, and the only job I'd had in that period was a seasonal thing with UPS which left me with the strong desire never to work in a warehouse again if I could help it. Perhaps I should have looked for a job at Subway or JC Penney or something like that, to tide me over, to have an income, and to avoid uncomfortable questions from future employers such as "what were you doing between 2010 and 2012?" But really, was it so wrong of me to want to earn a decent living? Perhaps it was arrogant of me, but I thought I had served my time in the service industry when I worked at a Wendy's during college. I thought that I would be able to move up from that; I expected to move up from it. But for whatever reason, I was unable to do so. Either nobody wanted to hire me because of my lack of experience, or I was looking for work in the wrong places, or I simply just didn't know how to find a job.

    I didn't want this for myself. It's true that when I was young I didn't aspire to any particular career or profession. I went into college having not the faintest idea of what I wanted to study, never mind what I would do with it after I graduated. I thought naively that those questions would answer themselves as time went by. How wrong I was. But I never intended to be living at home, living off my parents, two years after I graduated college. Really, who would want this kind of life? Perhaps there are slackers among my peers who don't mind living in their childhood rooms or their parents' basements, but for my own part I cannot stand it. It seems wrong. Multigenerational households might work well in some places, but in my own experience they are not so good. It seems a reversal of the proper order of things, as I was led to think of it. I graduated college, therefore I should be living on my own. But how am I supposed to live on my own on a service industry salary?

    If there is one thing that bothers me about the whole shoddy business, it is the suspicion, which is growing stronger by the day, that I and my generation were lied to and deceived. We were promised prosperity, although in retrospect that prosperity was nothing more than an illusion. We were told that all we needed to do was go to college and graduate, and that that would be enough to open doors to the middle class lifestyle that we had been raised to expect. But somewhere along the line, those jobs began to disappear; I suspect they started disappearing while I was still in high school, or perhaps even before that. Yet the refrain remained the same throughout my high school years: "study hard, get good grades, do a lot of extracurriculars so you can get into a good college, and then after you graduate you'll be able to get a good-paying job."

    Horse shit. If I were so inclined, I could get better pay working in an oil patch in Alaska or Canada. The work would be backbreaking, and I might die or ruin my health, and I'd be lonely as hell. But I would earn a lot doing it. The hilarious thing though, is that my degree would not help me in the slightest in getting such a job. Or I could work on a fishing ship, like my uncle did. A degree might help there, but certainly not the degree I got. What am I supposed to do, work in a bank? It doesn't seem like the kind of thing for me. Insurance? Even worse. I considered being an insurance agent out of desperation for a short time; the company seemed very interested in hiring me. Then it occurred to me that the work was done on a commission basis, and that the whole thing reaked of being a scam. It may have been a perfectly legal scam, but a scam is what it felt like. And so I let that opportunity pass by as well.

    I was an East Asian Studies major. At the time I graduated (and even now to an extent, though I am out of practice), I could speak German and Japanese, and my knowledge of Asian history and culture was first rate. I have no doubt that somewhere there is a company that could make use of me. But I don't know who they are, and they don't know who I am, and so I languish in unemployment, my not-inconsiderable knowledge and skills wasted.

    I will confess to feeling some resentment towards the generations that immediately preceded me, particularly that of my parents. However, it is not so much anger that I feel, as disappointment. My parents' generation inherited the wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth. And what, then, did they do with it? They neglected it. They took it for granted. They squandered it. Not all of them, obviously, but enough of them did to bring us to our current sad state of affairs. The generations before mine accuse me and my peers of selfishness, and then turn around and shout "hands off my Medicare!" I do not want to deprive my elders of the things they were promised and for which they have been paying for twenty, thirty, or forty years. My own parents certainly worked hard, yet at the same time they enjoyed advantages that I will likely never have. College tuition was less expensive back then, as was housing and gasoline. Finding a job was easier, too. Median wages were still going up.

    Mostly though, my parent's generation, the Boomers, seems to have flubbed it. They were given everything, and when it came time for them to improve this country, they fumbled it, and have kept on fumbling it for the last twenty-five years at least. They can go right on collecting Social Security and Medicare benefits. They paid for it, and for their parents and grandparents, and I won't deprive them of that. But I will ask that they kindly get out of my generation's way. They had their chance to do right by this country, and they consistently fell short, leading to what I call "the age of diminished expectations." The least they could do is have the common courtesy to bow out and let someone else try and fix this mess.

    •  I can see why you are upset, one of the reasons (0+ / 0-)

      we told young people to get an education was because for our generation that was how people got out of poverty.

      So, your teachers, not being able to predict the future, and working for much less than their friends who became lawyers for Exxon or hedge fund managers or doctors tried to steer you the way they would help you.

      I agree with you that most people are stupidly selfish, but in my experience, this happens with prosperity. Look at other countries, as they develop a middle class, you would think they would put in a water treatment system. Instead everyone runs out to buy an SUV.

      I don't know the answers, but since I was one of the people killing myself to teach kids to read in the 80's, I thought I should explain that. What were we supposed to do, say, "Drop out and work as soon as you can?"

      •  Yeah, you're right about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It didn't occur to me until just now, although it was painfully obvious, that the constant recommendation to get an education was made with honest and good intentions, and that the people who did so really believed that it would help me as much as it did them. Really, my argument is more with the "any degree is a good degree" idea, but still, it was true at the time your generation was my age.

        I think in some ways prosperity is the worst thing that can happen to a people... although a lot of that is probably a romanticization of a mythical past that never existed. Still, it definitely seems to be true that getting too rich isn't good, either for people or the greater society.

        •  Listen, those humanities degrees ARE worth (0+ / 0-)

          something. But, you have to figure out a new way to use them. For example, my cousin studied Art. He couldn't get a job, but didnt want to be a sell out. He delivered furniture for company that sold a lot of patio furniture. He kept going to wealthy people's homes and thinking, "I am smarter than they are, why I am I driving a damn truck?"

          He went back to law school, a city school and became a lawyer, which he hated. He changed law jobs several times. First he was representing companies against workers comp, he hated it. Then he tried representing abused women, and that was awful too, sometimes they would drop the charges and go back with the abuser after he had spent an incredible amount of time with them and he couldn't handle the violence, etc.

          He ended up doing a different kind of law and then he got offered a job as a partner in a company and now he is like a CEO of a mini-company.  If you had asked him at 25 what he was going to do with his life he would never have been able to dream he would run a company. He was a disgruntled artist.

          I know that happens rarely and the stars have to align, etc., etc.  but you sound smart and you will make it. Certain segments of the economy are likely to pick up or there will be a major political shift, I think, which will include an economic change. Something like what has happened to Detroit City. I mean the artists, urban farmers, etc. There was no hope, no prospects, just empty homes and vacant land. So some people decided,  "Hey, I can work with this". You only need a little and you can take off, but it is the first step that is hard.

          I know everyone says this, but try volunteering in your field if you can, that way you will feel useful, keep up your skills etc., I know it is not a permanent solution, but once people know you, you can use them as references and you will also find out about openings.

          Good luck- don't give up. Be realistic and keep trying, but also be flexible.

    •  I do agree with you that somebody sure flubbed (0+ / 0-)

      something. But this seems to be human nature when there are no regulations, there are people who figure out how to rip everyone else off. In my opinion, these are the people who are making money off the derivative trading and so forth. It is sickening.

      You are still young enough to make it and you have a good background, I hope things pick up and I hope you guys are able to "fix it".

      I just hope that you don't judge people just by their age because while it is true that some groups benefit more than others, I think there are good and bad in every group.

      •  I really hope I'm able to make it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sometimes I have doubts that I ever will, and wonder how I will live. I also hope I'm able to help fix things up. I will do my best not to judge people by their age. Just as you say, you can find bastards in every group, and your generation did produce a lot of good men and women.

        •  You'll make it. Keep up on your skills, don't be (0+ / 0-)

          afraid to do something less "important" for awhile. Your language skills should be an advantage.

          Yes, there are jerks in every group. My age group definitely has its share.

          Thanks for reading and replying to my comment.

  •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

    I just wanted to be among the Baby Boomers to apologize to you for the mess we've left you with. I especially want to apologize for leaving you with the Bush dictatorship, which will (no doubt) turn out to be a rather unpleasant legacy.

    And I'm really sorry about sticking you with the bill for the environmental cleanup. That was quite unnecessary, and really unfair.

    On the bright side, I've got some whizzy bangy technology to leave you. Just be careful with it, because even now I'm not sure whether it serves me or I serve it.

  •  I'm an Xer teaching Millenials... (0+ / 0-)

    As a college professor I've had the opportunity to work closely with 18-22 year olds since the mid-1990s. They have changed substantially during that period, but who hasn't? The world is changing around us and people adapt.

    I came of age under Reagan, was too young to vote against him but cast my first vote against Bush I while in college. The major difference between my world-- and that of the Boomers --and that of the millenials is the Cold War. The fact is that I spent a good part of my teens wondering if I would ever grow up, much less have a family. Reagan's "Evil Empire" bullshit really did feed the end times fantasies of the survivalist nutcases but it also left a cloud of anomie over young people's lives. As a college student under Reagan I recall my Poli Sci 101 course being almost entirely about nuclear weapons, detente, and brinksmanship-- not federalism, civil society, or democracy. We studied the blast radii of various Soviet warheads and knew the signs of radiation sickness for the exams. My students today have not the slightest grasp of the impact of the Cold War on the everyday lives of American and Soviet block citizens of the late 20th century.

    In any case, I see the root of today's struggles in class, rather than generation. The working class who voted for GOP presidents were fools, but many of them lacked the education to know better or to avoid easy manipulation. All others-- including the middle class who supported GOP candidates and DLC dems --have willingly chosen to create a world in which a few have it all and most have little, in hope of winning the lottery themselves. It's pure selfishness, and that's what many young people today ascribe to entire generations that came before them.

    That's painting with a broad brush and unfair to almost 50% of those who bothered to vote, but the truth is that the world is the way it is because the majority of people chose to make it that way, either by voting for conservatives or not bothering to vote at all. Many elected Dems were complicit or even drivers in this process, including Clinton the Magic Moderate Who Did Not Inhale.

    I don't blame the boomers, I blame the majority of Americans of all generations who either voted for this or simply stayed home on election days from 1968 onward.

    "Take it easy-- but take it!" --Woody Guthrie

    by Mr Green Jeans on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 11:37:09 AM PDT

  •  wealth ?? (0+ / 0-)

    It’s a class thing and always has been

    If the greatest Generation meant anything, if they even have a legacy beyond fighting a war which HAD to be fought was this single idea: the rich will screw you at every turn and the only defense a working person had back then was join a union.

    But before you get all starry eyed and tearful about the accomplishments of the Greatest Generation just remember what my Uncle a Union organizer and WWII veteran told me decades ago at a family dinner…

    (I am recalling from memory and this is just the gist of what he said to me)

    He said:

    My generation, the WWII generation, inherited the Union movement from our older brothers, sisters, Uncles and Aunts and parents.

    The vast majority of people who voted for FDR the first two times were born in the 19th century. Almost all the union leaders great and famous and not so famous were born in the 19th century.

    The most important parts of the New Deal were already in place when the majority of the “Greatest Generation” were teen agers and or pre-teen children… When we came back from the war our task was to maintain the union movement and bring forth even more reforms and try to hold back the reactionary plans of the élites…

    As you can see my Uncle was a very insightful guy and a leftists activist and a guy who understood that it has always been about wealth and what type of family you are born into and the opportunities afforded to you by previous generations meaning your parents and larger local community…

    In other words he knew in his bones the union struggles of the millions in the 1930s is what made the standard of living the Greatest Generation enjoyed when they came back from the war possible, along with the almost 4 trillion in 1940 dollars the federal Government invested in war production – which put in place a massive industrial infrastructure poised to take off when the fighting came to an end.

    The wealth American citizens enjoyed from the late 1940s onward  until the mid-1970s was trans-generational in origin and design and not the result of any one generation PERIOD.

    Take the other side of the coin, about ten years ago either Alternet or CommonDreams ran an article on this 90 year old lobbyist guy in Washington, at some very old “respectable” law firm.

    This 90 year old guy was true believer in the right-wing cause, and had quietly worked behind the scenes advising Corporate Leaders of how to stop any legislation to help unions or consumers or stop any and all pesky “regulations” on worker safety issues; and been doing so since the late 1940s.

    You can be sure, as the sky is blue, he had a hand in making sure three generations of corporate leaders contributed to the Reagan Campaign and he along with hundreds of others were there the day Reagan was inaugurated as president.

    What generation does one pigeon hole this guy in?

    I have a very clear memory, an odd memory at that, which still pisses me off today some 32 years later.

    Either Mother Jones or the Progressive magazine ran a picture of the run-way of then called Dulles airport, in the week leading up to the Reagan inauguration ceremony, the tarmac was full with about 60 or 70 private jets of the corporate elite, from all corners of the United States, they had all used to fly into Washington D.C. ,  and take in the Reagan inauguration. The tarmac was a parking lot of elite Lear Jets parked in row after row…

    I would imagine many, but not all of these corporate leaders eager to see Reagan ascendant to the most powerful position in our Republic were from the Greatest Generation also, and many were younger, from following generations.

    As for the current state of the economy here in United States for more than forty years the elites have chosen to invest overseas and destroy on purpose, almost all of our once envied industrial base, because it has meant for them higher profits and a lifestyle beyond what most of can barely conceive no matter your current age.

    The boomers I have known have all seen their savings destroyed, forced into 401k that still have not recovered from the high before the DOT.COM crash, let alone the continuous looting by Wall Street since the start of the Second Depression that has meant lost jobs to every fucking generation born after 1952 through today.  The looting is trans-generation in scope and victims.

    If there has been a failure of the larger American “left” it has been not expose the off shoring of capital which has been an uninterrupted stream of wealth moved overseas – for the last thirty five years or more.

    Ford has probably built more new factories in other countries than here. The same can be said about the top 300 corporations that dominate the economic outcomes we ALL face.

    In passing Fortune Magazine noted a few years back IBM has more employees outside the United States than in country here in the US.

    Last night I happened to catch on C-Span a panel discussion chaired by Tavis Smiley, his guest was Cornell West they talked at length about the economic misery being inflicted on all of us collectively regardless of color and generation…although it must be said people of color have been hit much harder than white folk…as a percentage of the population.

    The point was every generation of “leaders” who have taken over the beltway the last forty years really doesn’t give a shit whether you have a job or a future and that the war on us all has been trans-generational and is really about class, money and power and making sure the United States never gets another New Deal the rich might be taxed to support.

    Near the end of the discussion Tavis related a story he had been told how Obama had a conversation with Steve Jobs before he passed.

    Obama was trying to get some insight from Steve Jobs on outsourced American jobs and whether it would be possible to bring any of these production jobs back to the US… Jobs told Obama those jobs are never coming back.

    The global economy constructed over the last forty years truly has resulted in social decay across the whole old Western democracies, including Europe with oddly only Germany being the sole exception… there might be a lesson there…

    But if one had to take a true measure it has probably hit the United States the hardest and can explain the economic nightmare visited on us all - every generation here in the US today. If you have any job at all, consider your self very lucky indeed.

    What we face as a nation is a rich élite who have abandoned this nation in the truest sense. They have shipped the vast majority of good jobs overseas, and have continued to invest their profits not here but in every third world nation that makes sure there profits stream is continuous and never stops, if this results in 20-30% of the American population not having any future what so ever, and millions more hanging on for dear life it does not worry them at all, as there is always the Patriot Act . . .

    As a class they have no care for you, regardless of your age or your current plight and use every sick excuse in the book to justify this economic treason and economic looting.

    As one finally wakes up to the true nature of the “global economy” it is a reality where the real benefits only accrue to the super rich and corporations as they evade taxes in all nations and laugh all the way to their hidden billions in safe havens from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.  

    If your really believe being able to afford a flat screen because it is cheaper now than ten years ago keep drinking that Kool-Aid until you lose your job and your home…

    If you still have a job just remember this there will come a time when some boss or boardroom will deem your salary – your wages as an expense that needs to be done away with, well, because they can, and it matter little if you are genius engineer or time clock puncher sweeping the floors at a Target Store.  

    As for why, job creation in the US has lagged far behind population growth for more than two decades, when you look at the numbers without rose colored glasses of the MSM.

    Whether it be out right closure of American factories or the economic destruction  visited on hundreds of companies by the likes of Bain capital; one of hundreds of firms that deal in selling off the pieces for profit, more jobs have been destroyed than created the last forty years.

    If you really think the two million jobs at Wal-Mart created is somehow a replacement for the 15 million blue collar jobs destroyed since the 1970s you will fit in nice and real fine at a Tea Party Rally.

    All reasoning should start with this reality and then proceed from there.

  •  remember those after the baby boom were slackers (0+ / 0-)

    I know you came into the world while I was in junior high but my generation was given the moniker slacker so we also were percieved as lazy and uninvolved but that is far from true today. I went to college scott free only to have my alma matter vanish leaving like you to take out massive debts making me unable to ever retire or as those seeking to destroy social secturiy will never collect  not as commonly said it won't be there.

  •  The Warm and fuzzy. (0+ / 0-)

    After reading this statement/blog I feel some measure of hope, not all of this gen xers all are bunch of  pussey's , maybe there's hope, I survived the cold war and the Reagan years followed by Bush 1 and the broken promise of Clinton followed by Bush 2 cluster fuck followed by Obama's failed Presidency (no fault of his own) but I feel he sold us out on trade deals  and the economic  collapse (nobody went to jail) so what I'm saying is this: we're sorry things are so fucked up but we didn't have the resources and technology thats available now, you have the power and insight, use it! Dont let these pricks get away with anything,  hold them accountable,  use the instant media and social networks to build the opposition and bring down the right wing conspiracy to destroy this Democracy.

  •  the first generation in some time? (0+ / 0-)

    There was only one generation that idolized Ronnie.  Your parents.

    And speak for yourself.  My kids are your age, and we never spoke highly of that neocon tool in our house.

    What you didn't address is that despite all the electronic communication and availability of information most millennials are clueless to the real machinations of the world around them.

    If I ask a millennial to tell me about the NDAA and posse comitatus or habeas corpus, or about the TPP or even the CWA, it's just alphabet soup.

    To be fair, most of my own generation are unaware, too, but it's the youth on which a country and culture depends for its activism.

    Yes, we had Vietnam and the draft to compel us, but it connected us to environmental and economic activism, too.

    Your generation is too complacent, and so is mine now, too.  What are we to do?

  •  human animal (0+ / 0-)

    does anyone think that it is possible to eliminate greed, desire for power,...?
    If 'millennials' think they have changed human characteristics, then they haven't looked at the history of the millennia that preceded them &or they are dangerously thinking wishfully.
    born 1933

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