The Candy Store Generation: How the Baby Boomers are Screwing Up America

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See also: this hat and this Life magazine cover. See also: this smart Rebecca Onion essay , for Aeon , about how generational thinking confirms preconceived prejudices. And that because the way people define generations shifts. Generations themselves change, which is to say, people change. Demographers call them Baby Busters, a name that deserves a prompt and final burial.

First, it's incorrect: The early-sixties birth cohorts are among the biggest in U. By the late s it will even outvote the Boom. Second, the name is insulting—"Boom" followed by "Bust," as though wonder were followed by disappointment. The novelist Doug Coupland, himself a baby, dubs his age-mates "Generation X" or "Xers," a name first used by and about British Boomer-punkers. Shann Nix, a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle, suggests "posties" as in "post yuppies" , another name that, like Coupland's, leaves the generation in the shadow of the great Boom.

We give these young people a nonlabel label that has nothing to do with Boomers. If we count back to the peers of Benjamin Franklin, "Thirteeners" are, in point of fact, the thirteenth generation to know the U. More than a name, the number thirteen is a gauntlet, an obstacle to be overcome. Maybe it's the floor where elevators don't stop, or the doughnut that bakers don't count. Then again, maybe it's a suit's thirteenth card—the ace—that wins, face-down, in a game of high-stakes blackjack.

It's an understated number for an underestimated generation. They pick their noses and soil their briefs and cry about it, expecting someone else to clean up the mess. The thing Cohen was actually lampooning, though, was the widespread obsession with generational boundaries, and the predictable narratives that this preoccupation fosters.

And given that the post-Millennial generation is only a few years away from heading off to college, and just a few more removed from entering the workforce, the cycle is poised to repeat itself. We want to hear what you think about this article.

The economic legacy left by the baby-boomers is leading to a battle between the generations

Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. A reveler in Times Square waits for the new year on Dec. Adrienne LaFrance is the executive editor of The Atlantic. Nuff said. I'm an older boomer, born in I didn't protest or drug in the 60s. I raised two kids, worked for 40 years and saved enough to retire. I'm lucky, I know.


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I also am a fairly early baby boomer, being born in I did protest heck I still protest , I did do drugs-what can I say, I went to school in New Haven Conn in the late sixties to early seventies. I'm not sure for this discussion that I consider the sixties a terrible time whatsoever. I guess it depends on your perspective.

I still got jobs, married, had kids and rely on a pension, and yes social security. As the parent of an unemployed twenty something who has returned to school for a second degree, I also feel his pain. And for what its worth, that guy has commented on my blog more than once. I just delete it. I do not hear any of my baby-boomer friends complaining about life, I do hear them worried about their children's and grandchildren's future. I agree with Friko.

Tabor stole my comment--that is exactly what I wanted to say. And I make no apologies for my life right now. Our only born in she works like hell and saves every damn dime she has ever received as gifts we are jewish she got gifts of money and checks her entire life, never spent a dime!

She has a great education and is single and travels with the job she was lucky to get in film.. She never wants to actually own a home, lives in NYC with relatives their buiding, one spoiled cat.. No mate, doesn't want to marry and have kids, she is faithful,kind and loving to us her parents.. She helps everyone out with their babies and is wise and kind.. The friends call her in times of great financial and emotional crisis she is calm and collected, she helps them out and figures out budgets and watches and dotes on their only children, she is an only and to tell the truth what a gal..

She doesn't hunger for things, rather than experiences and loves and is loved by many.. She sees no reason to screw others to get anything rather she is the aunt for the kiddos and sister they never ever had! What a terrifice daughter and human being.. We don't run her at all, we are like the 3 musqueteers all for one and one for all, peace, joy and happiness.. Most of my friends are retiring in droves this year at 66 and happy as hell, they will take what they saved and social security too, they want some time to enjoy the remaining years, life is precious indeed, caio! Life is what you make of it.

If you are years old and commenting on retirement, you are probably not making much of life. It bring to mind the words of the song, "Every generation, blames the one before.

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Yeah, I'd say the person who send you the note got it in one. I'm also, through no fault of my own, a single mom whose parents have decided they have better things to do than, say, get to know their grandchildren, let alone help out in any fashion or think ahead to college. I don't know why I'm surprised; they were so busy pleasing themselves that they abandoned their own kids.


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  5. My brother was actually homeless for months as a teen because my parents couldn't be bothered to communicate with each other, and would get tired of him and ship him off to the other one Both of them have dumped care of their own parents, in old age, on others. As soon as my mom shanghaied her own mother into a home, she sold my grandma's apartment and took off on a cruise. I thought maybe her mom would at least get decent treatment, but no.

    My daughter had been willing to give my mom, her absentee grandma, a pass, till that moment. Too much true colors for Gen Z. Wants nothing to do with her. And tonight I find out that dad and his second ex-wife just gave all the grandkids' inheritance away. It made him feel good, you know, to give it to a conservation effort. How lovely for him. I hope he's kept enough to pay for excellent long-term nursing care, because I won't be looking after him or arranging his care.

    I'll be having a nice rest at that point from having raised a child on my own, while also working to pay for all her activities and childcare, and finding scholarships for her camps, and getting her through school and through college without a debt millstone around her neck, and keeping her involved in community in the absence of grandparents, actual family, who give a damn.

    Are the Baby Boomers the Most Selfish Generation Ever? (2004)

    I wish I could say this is the only story like this I know, but it isn't. Your generation's attitude is truly a scourge. And no, don't try to pass it off as 'this happens in every generation', because you know who's still trying to make up for you? Your parents. That's right. Your aged, surviving parents are still trying to do the family work you've abandoned, reaching over you to the next generations.

    It's terrible, I listened for years to my something grandma taking a break from her nebulizer and trying to figure out ways of helping us. She already raised kids and helped with grandchildren. All this stuff you guys take credit for -- environmental whosis and so on -- you know, when I really take a look, it wasn't you. You guys went out and made a lot of noise and demanded this and that.

    But the people who actually made it go, who had the legislation waiting and put it through and made it operate The ugly stuff that was supposed to be my generation? The Alex P. That was you guys, your invention. Milton Friedman was your man. The oligarchy that exists today, wrecking the republic I was in elementary school then, but y'all were voting.

    The whittling away at children's programs, university grants, even the GI bill This GenXer: not impressed by your performance. Your folks? Hell yeah. You guys, not so much.

    I blame the new deal generation more than the baby boomers. Not only because they raised the baby boomers to be so selfish, but most of the legislation that has doomed America was passed under their watch, e. The Immigration Act of , which effectively opened America to third world colonization. The economic effects are obvious. That work primarily came from the ending of the "Silent Generation. The baby boomers have also made it exceedingly difficult for the next generation to get on the property ladder, either by being priced out of the market, or by being severely restricted by the raft of planning laws.

    For example, in a bid to find alternative cheap housing many people in their early 30's are now looking to set up tiny homes on cheap rural land they bought, only have the baby boomers in their McMansion holiday homes complaining because they think they own the view.

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    Comments on Sponging boomers | The Economist

    We baby boomers are the only generation that truly changed history and saved the world. Not since agriculture was invented 12, years ago has such a paradigm shift occurred We are truly the only generation that matters at all because we created environmentalism, civil rights, peace, free expression and a whole lot more. The majority of baby boomers I encounter seem to look upon Millenials and GenXers as some group of rascally kids that they don't want to be involved with.

    I would just like for boomers to keep in mind that we are paying for your retirement. Yes, some of you saved and scrounged, but you can hardly say that is a generational trait.