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Day 318: Have baby boomers ruined the economy and the world?


From what I understand, WWII ended, these two made out in Times Square, and suddenly the population was overcome with Baby Boomers. Or something like that.

So, my friend Amanda posted this link on Facebook the other day, and it's turned into this thread of really interesting discussion/debate.

I'll give you all a chance to read the article first: Things Baby Boomers Won't Say

So, the baby boomers were really at the forefront of so many things in the latter half of the 20th century. The way I hear it, when they started elementary school, new schools had to be built because there were so many kids all of a sudden. When they got to university, enrollment went sky-high. When they graduated, there were jobs all over the place and they each got to pick whichever one they wanted. And then... none of them retired.

- weheartit.com

*Note: I think oldsters are FABULOUS. I can't wait until I get to be one.
I will wear my grey hair and orthopedic shoes with FABULOSITY.

When I started grad school ~5 years ago, we were told that it was a great time to be starting a professional career, because the baby boomers would be retiring soon! 5 years later, they kind of aren't. Now, my amazing frugal parents and my friends' parents and heaps of lovely people I know are Baby Boomers, so I'm not making personal attacks here, just speaking in broad generalizations (and I think Baby Boomers are used to that, having grown up with their entire generation constantly being referred to in broad generalizations).

One of Baby Boomers' great contributions to modern society is the phenomenon of SCREAMING GIRLS going insane about cute, shaggy-haired boys. I'm sure someone, somewhere, has a flowchart that goes from The Beatles through The Bee Gees through Bon Jovi through The Biebs.

Anyway, it seems like now that Baby Boomers are aging that suddenly attention is being paid to the "55+" demographic (when the 'Boomers were in their 20s, people this age were called OLD PEOPLE). The argument has been made (not by me, by people who know more about stuff) that having such a huge percentage of the population going into their retirement years is going to start taxing the system all over again - just like when they had to build more schools for the 'Boomer Kindergartners (and many of those schools ended up closing b/c they ran out of students) now the 'Boomer politicians are getting pressured by their 'Boomer constituents to increase services for older people. Which is great, and stuff, but at the same time 'Boomers are not retiring which leads to unemployment, which leads to economic problems.

Baby Boomers in their early years were so cute, nobody thought about what would happen when they all turned 65. Also, did you know Winnie Cooper is now like a math genius? True story.

But, while some 'Boomers are putting off retirement because they feel young/don't know what they'd do with their free time/love their jobs, others need to keep working because they don't have pensions, etc.

There isn't a solution to this, and I don't fully understand what all the issues are. But this article certainly is a good starting point for conversations about what to do with the Baby Boomers, who are now all aged 50-80 or whatever. (I'd bet anything pot will be legal within the next 10 years because of Boomers with glaucoma). To me (the child of Baby Boomers, stuck somewhere between Generation X, Y and the Millennial generation) it's just interesting to watch unfold - Baby Boomers have trailblazed through every age demographic as they entered and left it - they invented teenagerdom, did Woodstock, power-suited their way through the corporate 80s and are now pioneering this new version of old age.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was born one year after the official boomer cut-off, so all my life I've had to follow that slightly older horde. They wore out my teachers, increased the requirements for me to get into university, and had all the good jobs by the time I graduated with my degree. They will also use up all my old age security and take all the good spots in nursing homes before I get there.
Cyndi

Lindy Mint said...

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately too. I'm curious to see how politics will change once the Boomers stop dominating it. Like, will the parties get along better as the younger generations take over?

My mom is a Boomer and is on a crusade to abolish the Senior Discount. She says people her age are financially set and don't need it.

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