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Disclaimer: I'm from Generation X, between the Boomers and Millennials.

  You're starting to see a lot of ink getting spilled on the pages of magazines about the generational conflict. (see examples here and here.)
   Generally the articles are so vague they are useless. However, there is one common thread they all talk about: the economy and who has it tougher.

  So I decided to put some numbers behind this conflict.

  Let's ignore the more long-term issues of the environment and social and political structures (and let's abstain from using hot-button words like "hippies" and "lazy") and focus just on the economy.

  I believe the source of this conflict can be shown in a single graph.

Photobucket

  The job market for older workers has somewhat recovered under Obama - but only for workers over 55.
   Based on this graph you can see why Millenials might harbor some resentment.

  But there is more to this story than this one graph displays.

Older is not better

  No one is doubting that the workforce participation rate is dropping. Some of those that view the glass as half-full suggest that it is because Baby Boomers are retiring.
   The problem with that theory is that it doesn't match up with data.

 Nearly two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 45 and 60 say they plan to delay retirement, according to a report to be released Friday by the Conference Board. That was a steep jump from just two years earlier, when the group found that 42% of respondents expected to put off retirement.
    The increase was driven by the financial losses, layoffs and income stagnation sustained during the last few years of recession and recovery...
  Photobucket

   Why are older workers not retiring? Because their 401k's are a disaster. 30% of working housholds have less than $1,000 in savings, and 60% of retired households rely on Social Security for a majority of their income.
   Also, because older people are more often home owners, they have been hit harder by the housing bust. (Despite what you may have heard, the housing market hasn't come back for the average homeowner)

Photobucket

  If you look beyond the raw job numbers, the Baby Boomers have had a tough time of it.

 These Americans in their 50s and early 60s — those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security — have lost the most earnings power of any age group, with their household incomes 10 percent below what they made when the recovery began three years ago, according to Sentier Research, a data analysis company.
   Unemployment rates for Americans nearing retirement are far lower than those for young people, who are recently out of school, with fewer skills and a shorter work history. But once out of a job, older workers have a much harder time finding another one. Over the last year, the average duration of unemployment for older people was 53 weeks, compared with 19 weeks for teenagers, according to the Labor Department's jobs report released on Friday.
Those are some pretty disastrous numbers for a generation that are supposedly the bad guys. So we should probably let them off the hook, right?
   "Wait a second," say the Millenials. "We have something to say about that."

Younger is not better

    The Boomers having been forced to stay in the workforce because their houses and retirement savings have been pillaged by Wall Street has had a backlash in the job market.
   We aren't just talking about high school dropouts either.

Photobucket

  The job situation with well-educated youth is so bad that Yale is suing its former students.

   If the participation rate is falling and older people aren't retiring, then someone is getting squeezed. Those people are young people.

 So many are at home because they can’t afford to be elsewhere. And it’s getting worse. The number of young adults ages 20 to 34 living with their parents increased to 24 percent during the 2007-9 recession, from 17 percent in 1980, according to a study published last month by Zhenchao Qian, a sociology professor at Ohio State University.. The biggest increase was among millennials under 25: 43 percent in 2009 compared with 32 percent in 1980.
 While the Boomers are so screwed that they may never be able to stop working, the Millenials are so screwed that they may never be able to start working.
    Also, those that are lucky enough to find jobs might not be so lucky after all.
 Nearly a third of the nation’s working families earn salaries so low that they struggle to pay for their necessities, according to a new report.
 What does it all mean?

  When you break it all down, you quickly realize that this "generational conflict" thing is all manufactured. The fact is that both the workers of the Baby Boomer generation and the workers of the Millenial generation have been screwed (although the Millenials have been hurt a little worse) by the same people - the 1%.
   While the media manufactures "conflicts" to keep workers divided and distracted (illegal immigrants, War on Religion, racism, public vs. private employees, etc.), the elite are pillaging everything in site.

  the newest tactic to impose more austerity measures in the US comes from a group of over 80 CEOs who are starting with $60 million to spend on a campaign called "Fix the Debt". They plan to convince people in the US that not only are cuts to vital programmes necessary, but that such cuts will strengthen them when exactly the opposite is true.
    These CEOs are members of the Business Round Table, an elite corporate club that claims to create 7.3 trillion in annual revenues. That gives them a lot of political clout. The real reason for their push to cut spending on important programmes like Social Security and Medicare is so corporate tax rates can be cut further...This push for corporate tax cuts comes although corporate profits have grown by 171 percent during the Obama presidency alone, the highest growth in profits since 1900.
Medicare and Social Security were not designed to cope with America's new demographic realities. CEOs are calling for gradual changes that will modernise these programmes and preserve the safety net for future generations of retirees.
   - Gary Loveman, CEO Caesar's Entertainment Corporation

  See, the problem is generational. Right?
No, the real problem was that Social Security and Medicare weren't designed for a society in which all the wealth is funneled up to the 1%. Simply lifting the cap on Social Security tax and treating capital gains in the same way that the IRS treats wages would fix whatever modest problems our critical entitlement programs are forecast to encounter.
   But that might cut into those massive corporate profits.

  So the next time the media tries to inspire you to resent a different generation of workers for having a tiny bit more than you, remember that you don't share the interests or motives of the person giving that report.

[Update: I thought that this graph would add to the discussion. Pay particular attention to the attitudes that people have towards poverty and the people suffering from it.

Photobucket

Originally posted to gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:27 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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

    by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:27:53 AM PST

  •  This Is Going To Sound So Dumb (15+ / 0-)

    cause I am an advertising guy, but we don't use phrases like Generation X, Boomers, and Millennials. At 43 I am Gen X right (again, please don't laugh).

    I was born in 1969. My brother is 11 years younger than me. Honestly I feel like I am closer to my parents then my brother. Strange but true.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:42:54 AM PST

    •  What are the preferred labels (7+ / 0-)

      for different age demographics in advertising? Just curious.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:02:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They Tend To Be In Banded Age Ranges (16+ / 0-)

        of smaller years. Also by sex. Sex is very important.  

        Don't get me wrong, I kind of misspoke, terms like Gen X and Boomers came out of advertising. But it is a lazy way to look at things.

        Another example is "soccer mom."

        Sure that is a demographic. But a wide, wide demographic. I bet that phrase is used a lot in boardrooms, but not by people that have any clue what they are doing.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:14:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the GOP messaging, (32+ / 0-)

          which they have been especially good at given their associations with corporate advertisers, hints at these generational points of pain. They don't come right out and say exactly what they want people to think. What I think they haven't factored in is how many boomers delayed starting families.

           I have one GenX and one Millennial. Three and a half years apart, they both fit their generations to a T. They see what has happened to us, their friends and the friends' parents. The GOP is turning off both generations on many levels.

          The best thing that could be done for the situation is recognize the younger generations need to get jobs they have trained for- especially those with college degrees. Getting the boomers on 65 retirement benefits at 62 to compensate the 401 K losses would create a large bunch of volunteers that could be used for easing some of the job stress in education, health care and other areas.

           62 is also the age a recent study found was the best to retire in order to have the healthiest retirement. Big savings in Medicare over the next 10 -15 years or more. The eligibility for it should be lowered for those on early retirement.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:43:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The real problem isn't trying to decide (30+ / 0-)

            which generation has the most difficult time making ends meet, that's a vacuous argument...unless you're a member of the top 1%, then there is a very real chance that you're hurting, no matter what generation you belong to...maybe the real issue should be 'how can we stop bickering long enough to help each other?'  

            There is power in numbers, that is why the people who want to see us defeated are encouraging this argument...they're interested in keeping us divided and we're doing a damned good job of helping them succeed.

            •  The problem with pitting the Boomers (18+ / 0-)

              against the millenials, or any other generation, is that none of us have ever really had any power to overcome The Money Machine.

              It took 8 years of protests before the end of Vietnam.
              Back then, there was still a moral substrate to society- politicians could be shamed into doing the right thing.
              That moral rudder is now absent.

              Today, we boomers, at least the liberal hippie variety, are STILL involved, still trying to make a difference....and look at where we are.

              In 40 years, some other generation will be blaming the Millenials/GenX for the crap happening right now.

              Which is why we need to sidestep this obvious attempt to cause war between the only people working for any positive change.

              •  That is exactly right: (9+ / 0-)

                As a struggling mightily Gen Xer - - it is so tempting to blame the Boomers who seem so self-satisfied manner try to lecture on the merit of work, blah blah blah.

                But that is an intellectual failure on my part.  The reason that I SEE the baby boomers who appear to have gained so much from being the focus forever, is that the vast majority of Boomers, ones that both struggle or don't struggle but care deeply about the economic disparity are NEVER heard from b/c they simply are not in positions of power or influence.

                And you are correct to point out that this is simply part of the cycle.  In turn, it will be the rich of my Gen - the Xers, who will be the self-satisfied, smirking and preaching class who are held in such disdain by the younger generations.

                As one who all too often quietly blames my troubles on the Boomers as an intellectually lazy scapegoating it is beneficial to hear your message b/c it is so true.

                Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

                by 4CasandChlo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:06:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You aer exactly right about the Boomers (5+ / 0-)

                  That are decent people not being heard.

                  In fact, back in the day they were being arrested, beaten and killed for protesting and speaking out.

                  We have them to thank for the alternative energy ideas and development, all done with virtually no help from the government for decades, among other things that are good for people, the environment, and society.

                  Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                  by splashy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:22:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  added to that is the fact that there are/were (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  praenomen

                  so MANY boomers. and i also agree that though we use these broad definitions, there are differences.
                  for example i am on the younger end of the boomers, and i also felt like 'they' sucked up all the resources, all the jobs, etc...but that attitude doesn't really help at all.
                  same as when i view younger generations and younger folks..
                  i really truly  believe we need  to work  together..
                  we need younger folks to gain experience.. because they will be handling the reins quite soon..i cannot imagine how it all looks to them.

                •  Karl Rove is a boomer (0+ / 0-)

                  So is Tom Hayden

                  Which one is more likely to be interviewed on mainstream TV?

                  The problem isn't the generation - the problem is the people controlling the message

            •  My point is not how many but why. (0+ / 0-)

              When we understand the why we can get to the best solutions.. Especially in this situation when they dovetail so well. Perception is everything in messaging. Real numbers and stats rarely get into the message.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:09:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  GOP aren't the only ones using the generation gap (7+ / 0-)

            to divide age groups on issues.

            Some of the more prominent corporate sponsored Third Way/DLC groups have been pushing talking points that seek to divide generations on SS and Medicare.

            I won't link to their web sites, but its easily found out there. The message they're pushing is that SS & Medicare won't be around for younger people and they're better off cutting SS and turning it over to Wall Street.

            It's also been off-putting to see discussions here about how many seniors didn't vote for Obama.  Really offensive and destructive.  

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:17:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good points, Betty (0+ / 0-)

              Sorry I couldn't stay around for more discussion -had medical appts and then a nightmare evening.  

              The DLC and others only got into power by playing the corporate game, some as much as GOP. There are certain aging members of that group that I will work very hard to keep out of elected positions. Esp 1600 PA...

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:06:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for that info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53

          I agree, the generation labels are too broad to be useful.  Yes, breakdowns by gender, as well as age, are incredibly important in understanding social, political and economic differences.

          As for the soccer mom label, I've always found it condescending and somewhat sexist.  

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:10:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh A Story. It Was Like 1995 (12+ / 0-)

        I had a client that made the software that controlled satellites. Funny story, they told my agency they wanted a campaign in the DC metro area that targeted "rocket scientist."

        The Internet was not what it is today. But we had data that would make you sick to your stomach about media viewership even then.

        The two best radio stations we identified for them was NPR Morning Edition, and I kid you not, Howard Stern.

        Things have changed with PPC ads. AdWords. Cable TV. But even 20+ years ago we could target down to a level that is creepy.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:25:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you work with the PRIZM system at all? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding, kyril, greengemini

          IIRC, it's about pinpointing demographics by area codes. Some of the demographic clusters are disturbing in their representations: "Shotguns and Pickups" is one such label that I remember.

          Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

          by Dale on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:30:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Don't. Not Anymore (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dale, kyril

            I always worked for small, high-end ads shops. I had a media buying department. We were very specialized. I might be conversational on the topic, but the media buyers knew 100Xs more than I did. Media buying and heck media analysis is an artform.

            When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

            by webranding on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:41:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  He always does. n/t (13+ / 0-)

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:03:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (44+ / 0-)

      Whenever you hear about "conflicts" between one segment of the population and another, you can bet that the ruling class -- having stoked the conflict -- is off somewhere smiling and sipping champagne.  

      Because if we all put these "conflicts" aside and focused on the genuine conflict between the super-rich and the rest of us...

      •  Yes. How do we do this? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Marti, figbash, CharlieHipHop

        (A genuine question, not baiting).

        •  Break up, and into, the monopoly on Narratives (9+ / 0-)

          which mass-reach Media cartels push on us. We'll win battles, later and at higher cost, while we have centralized media, but we'll keep losing the war until the most powerful means of communication (by far, even today) is in the hands of ordinary citizens.

          One of the startling lessons of the last couple of decades is how quickly public opinion changes when just a modicum of reality breaks through what is presented to the mass audience.


          We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

          by Jim P on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:48:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  First by not perpetuating them (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          figbash, CharlieHipHop

          Which means listening to the other side of the conflict.  I can't tell you how often I see the younger generations shouted down when the subject of ageism comes up.  By older people who seem to think that only people getting fired for being too old matters, even though the numbers in this diary belie that fact.  

          Or when white folks tell people of color that it's all really about class.  

          Or I could go on.

          What we need to do is listen to the problems other people have and stop trying to make ours out to be the worst sort.

          Of course, as soon as you start doing this necessary work everyone claims you're irrelevant, and then a lot of people stop engaging.  That's part of what happened to occupy.

          •  I would hope... (7+ / 0-)

            that younger people would listen to older people, as well, rather than cast aspersions. At a stage of life when one supposes there should be some economic stability, there isn't, and there is no safety net waiting me for several years.

            Things are tough for everyone, but when I see my s.o.'s mother wasting away in a home, with no real advocate looking out for her interests except her 50ish daughter, it is horrifying and portends a future for the rest of us which is rather chilling, especially when there is so much expressed blame and anger based on nothing more than reckless generalizations depicting older people rather badly, and what they presumably are responsible for "creating."

            It makes me shudder to think of what my life will be like when I am in the late stages of life, with so much hate for older persons in this rather shallow society. I think of keeping a secret bottle of lethal drugs around, to use in the event I end up in some decrepit warehouse for the elderly, being harshly treated by some shallow capitalistic gen x-er who hated his or her parents.

            There is such a thing as ageism, and it works both ways.

            The world is and always has been created by generations of people, and no one generation is usually primarily at fault, and moreover, if every person below 50 would go out and protest as I have, and my parents had, we could change the world.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:38:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We do listen (5+ / 0-)

              And what we get for our troubles usually is condescension and "advice."  Ageism is a problem in both directions, I won't deny that, but I know here at least when you bring it up only the older people are allowed to talk about it and if anyone brings up the fact that the younger generation has a huge problem with some thing or another you get shouted down about something or another that older people have to deal with.  Even in this comment section there's a huge group of people screaming "Don't blame me!!!" even though no one was.

              No one ever talks about the other side of it seriously, and certainly nothing is done about it.

              •  Well, (6+ / 0-)

                I do see a lot of blame. I've always responded by saying that, in my observation of the generations older than I am, and younger than I am, I see good and bad. There have always been a minority of persons in any generation who are more progressive than the rest, and the same applies to gen x, or others.

                I think all generations are to blame, frankly, and I don't see percentages of people younger than I being more proactive than the percentages of proactive people who are boomers.

                I've participated in Occupy (founded with help by such 50ish people like Graeber, by the way, based on ideas formulated by people going back to the 1800s), and I went to protests against Vietnam when I was in my teens.

                I've seen what generations have been doing down through the years, and I can testify that a lot of the older activists have been waiting for younger people to wake up to a mass protest movement. This is why Occupy was such a breath of fresh air for me. It reminds me more than anything in decades of what it was like in the 60s and 70s when I was a teen.

                Except that in those hoary years, it was a social revolution going on that shook the very foundations of society unlike anything  seen since. Despite the fact that many boomers were conservative (just as many gen x, as well) there was a counterculture which, although a minority, took society by the scruff of the neck and shook it to its very core, and we saw throngs of kids taking over student unions, taking to the streets by enormous numbers, advancing women's equality, gay rights, anti war, peace, environment, anti-nuclear power, and on and on... and having seen that, as well as Occupy, and being a supporter of both, I observe that Occupy doesn't hold a candle to the unrest of the youth during those years. There is no way to understand unless you were there. We challenged EVERYTHING, both culturally and political, down to manner of dress, sexuality, materialist values, education, you name it. It was an enormous generational jump in a social sense, whose ramifications are still being felt.

                BUT.... we were a minority, just like Occupiers today are an even smaller minority, which leads me to think that when present day Occupiers are older, they will be blamed similarly as if somehow they, as individuals, were personally responsible for all the ills of society. Very likely the Obama supporting generations will be blamed for allowing global warming to destroy the planet. (And I don't mean you personally, because I know your politics and you and I are pretty much on the same page.)  

                The real problem is capitalism, and the history of the cold war, the red scare, and anti-socialist propaganda which equated the USSR style faux "communism" with real communism and socialism, driving the Western population further and further into capitalism and cold war militarism on steroids.

                I'm hoping to see a new generation of kids who, having grown up in post cold war era, will once again open their minds to alternatives to capitalism.  But I haven't seen that yet.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:32:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You underestimate, as do most poeple (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZhenRen, CharlieHipHop

                  support for occupy in my generation and younger. I'm 35, for reference, I don't really have a generation.  I know a lot of people both younger and older than me and I see younger people as more engaged in an actual conversation about these things on a level that wasn't there before.  Talking about things that really do matter, and these are people from all sorts of walks of life.  

                  The other part of this puzzle, and the most important, is that people really are working on the project of building bridges between communities and different groups of people.  What people don't see that came out of occupy is just that: there is a broad and deep coalition of people that are fighting now, in a lot of different ways.  We are never going to have a mass movement like the Sixties, or any time before, because we are killing mass media as a unifying force, for the better of all of us.  I know maybe three people who watch cable news to get their information.  The vast majority rely on blogs, facebook feed, friends, and other non-traditional means.

                  The biggest success of the 60s wasn't realized until now.  Look at those demographic trends and support of the youth for progressive, and even socialist, solutions to our problems.  It isn't because they were magically more moral or better, it's because they came out of a certain culture, one that was largely built on the ideals from the 60s.  This is the generation that wins the culture war, because the previous generation set it up and worked for it outside of the electoral system.  That's the project we're embarking on now for the next generation.

                  We won the culture war and now we're fighting among ourselves like the left always does.  We need to regroup and win the economic war, and that's what is going to come out of occupy.  One of the reasons occupy fell apart was because we had such a huge rhetorical victory so quickly.  Nearly everyone identified with the early rhetoric, now it's a matter of bridging those gaps and bringing people back into the project we're moving forward.

                  The Dems, and the authoritarian left in general, is shooting itself in the foot right now and people hate the right, so where does that leave them?  They want a good story about how the world works and we're telling that story.  Sure, there's resistance, there always is, but the more people know about how resistance works the more people will resist.  It won't be a mass, unified resistance by any stretch of the imagination, but it will happen and it will be deep and broad.

                  •  I don't underestimate Occupy at all (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, lostinamerica

                    I was, and have been, a dedicated part of it in my community in Portland. One of my biggest criticisms of the people in my age group and older (50s, 60s) is that some but certainly not all, of the people who were active in the 60s have not joined us. Alhtough, it would be unfiar if I didn;t mention all of the older people who are part of Occupy in Portland.

                    They have grown lazy and complacent. Most of these are older than I am. But they should know better.

                    I love Occupy, and it has been one of the few developments in the last couple of years that have uplifted me, during this time in my life when I am at the lowest ebb in terms of my economic situation, when I have lost everything. When I go to Occupy, my little secret is most there, even the younger crowd, are better off than I am, with the exception of the homeless, whom I tried to help when other occupiers ignored them.

                    My partner is holding up this sign in the picture... won't say who she is, but she's there.

                    P1010893

                    I've seen a lot happen in my 58 years, and Occupy is the best thing in all my life since the 60's that has inspired me to think that maybe, in the days to follow, change will come. The Occupy youth are my newest heroes, and they and I get along as if old friends. They are the closest thing to the 60's I've seen since, but please believe me when I tell you the 60s movement eclipsed Occupy by tenfold in terms of social revolution. I was there. I know what I'm talking about. Occupy is simply the latest reincarnation of the movement that has always been around, sometimes coming to the forefront, sometimes receding to the background. They are the legacy of the revolutionary movement that has simmered for decades and centuries.

                    One of the illusions I think a lot of "progressives" have is that each generation moves us a bit forward, beyond that of past movements. Not true. The 60s kids were more accepting of such things as gay rights, woman's equality, sexual freedom, etc, than anything I've seen today, and if you go back to the 30s, in places like Spain during the Spanish Civil War, when anarchists revolutionized society for almost three years -- with "free love" and other social changes -- they were way ahead of us in those times.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:18:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The myth of progress (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ZhenRen, CharlieHipHop
                      One of the illusions I think a lot of "progressives" have is that each generation moves us a bit forward, beyond that of past movements. Not true. The 60s kids were more accepting of such things as gay rights, woman's equality, sexual freedom, etc, than anything I've seen today, and if you go back to the 30s, in places like Spain during the Spanish Civil War, when anarchists revolutionized society for almost three years -- with "free love" and other social changes -- they were way ahead of us in those times.
                      Too many people mistake legal protections for progress.  Especially in the US after the civil rights fight.  That's what I was trying to get at in my post about winning the culture war.

                      And I think what is happening now is far broader than you would expect.  A lot of it is based around trust networks and one of the thing Occupy did was build bridges between those networks through the occupations.  It's a rhizomal/mycelial network and things like occupy and idle no more are the blooms/mushrooms that pop up.  One of the issues, and it's a big one, is how to make these networks both accessible and secure, and I haven't heard an good suggestions that are any different than what's been going on.  The government's ability to disrupt these things is such that we have to maintain a fairly malleable form if we want to survive and continue to act.

                      I'd point out the other side of this movement, Anonymous, which is rather large and well supported in and of itself.  The spontaneous aspect of Anonymous is going to be what really makes change possible.  The only way I see of doing in capitalism is spontaneous mass cooperation.  Occupy got the idea out there and it really is spreading.  Community work spaces, learning spaces, cultural spaces, etc.  The DIY movement set the stage and we really are headed toward a big change.

                      •  Occupy has to be more inclusive in its next (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT, ZhenRen

                        incarnation, imo.  Not that it was deliberately not inclusive, but that the format (camping) limited the number of people who could participate and thus the number who were counted as supporters.

                        But it did do an amazing job of reframing the way the country looks at inequality.

                        I agree, the only way to change capitalism is to get huge numbers of people demanding change.  

                        How to do this?

                        Other countries have used mass wearing of colors (orange), troops of folks banging pots & pans, major strikes, violent resistance (not gonna work here, imo), non-violent resistance.  What else?  

                        Btw, Kalle Lasn's new Meme Wars does a great job of destroying the logic behind mainstream economics, and proposing alternatives.

                      •  I sympathize to an extent, but (0+ / 0-)
                        Too many people mistake legal protections for progress.
                        You strand three people on a remote island, and you'll have politics and bullshit within days.  Rules will be established.
                        Politics is, always has been and always will be part of our culture; therefore, winning "the culture war" means winning in the political and legislative realm.  

                        Apartheid -- a brutal political system -- would never have ended were it not for people demonstrating for "legal protections."  An anarchist fantasy about work collectives, etc., really doesn't work when you're living in a shanty town surrounded by well armed cops.  If you were there when they busted up Occupy, you had a very slight, very watered down taste of what people in South Africa lived through every day.

                        The point is, we have to play the political game if we are to have any chance of progress, and, yes, "legal protections" are an excellent tangible measure of progress.  Don't you think the growing legalization of gay marriage is cool?  I do.  It speaks to a wider cultural acceptance of "alternative lifestyles."  See?

                        That being said, you've made some insightful comments, and I must say that as an old fogie GenXer, your generation gives me a ton of hope.  You guys really do know how to organize and get active.  

    •  We'll be remembered as the time when joksters (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit, figbash, splashy, lotlizard, Luhks

      were the only people who talked about reality to a mass public. Not the pundits; nor the experts.


      We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

      by Jim P on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:52:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  one more difference for you (69+ / 0-)

    There are a lot of Boomers who not only have had to accept their kids back into their home due to the economy, but they are also having to care for their own elderly parents.  Those Boomers who have fallen through the cracks in this recession (and really, you can go back to the recession before in 2000), don't usually have the fall back position of moving back home with the parents.  

    If the current trends continue, there is little likelihood that Millennials will be in any position to provide the level of assistance to their parents when they become elderly that Boomers are now providing in many cases.

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

    by Keith930 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:01:19 AM PST

  •  There should be a distinct (4+ / 0-)

    population difference between the generations as well. The numbers and education level of each group vs. the numbers employed might also adjust the view.

    •  The thing that this diary neglects is that (16+ / 0-)

      for Baby Boomers (not all, but many) this is a political economy of their own making, whereas Gen X never had strength of numbers to forge the job market or elections in a way that reflected their values and goals.  

      Millenials the same.  I was barely out of high school when the world economy depressed and almost went into a collapse.  I will never see cheap houses, gasoline cheap enough to think about a cross-country road-trip, have the lack of worry about STD's, the ability to just walk up to a manager for a major business or government agency and land a job by merely talking, cheap education, et cetera. Our entire lives could be bleak. Oh, and then there's climate change and grave overpopulation in the world. No biggies.

      There are Millenials I know who've wasted opportunities and been privileged, but they're the children of Baby Boomers who may be 'struggling' but make well above average income who can at least claim financial ignorance. I know working class Boomers. But even the majority of those that I've known grew up in a world of such possibilities that it's funny that they're usually the ones so critical of other peoples' much more limited decisions now. And many who are better off, of course, are the gatekeepers of the world, pricing and excluding the rest of us from the jobs and affordable education so that their sperm club initiates get all the resources while the rest of us bake out in the midday sun. Those same people complain in front of us about their equity and their 401ks and delaying retirement.

      We could swap stories about the insane financial decisions that I've seen people in their 60s and 50s making in the last 20 years. Decisions even an individual as unsaavy as myself see with horror.

      Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

      by Nulwee on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:13:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was intentional (14+ / 0-)
         I will never see cheap houses, gasoline cheap enough to think about a cross-country road-trip, have the lack of worry about STD's, the ability to just walk up to a manager for a major business or government agency and land a job by merely talking, cheap education, et cetera. Our entire lives could be bleak. Oh, and then there's climate change and grave overpopulation in the world. No biggies.
         First of all, if I took all that stuff into account then this diary would be enormous.
           Secondly, the comment section would literally burst into flames from all the angry flame wars.

          So yes, I left all that stuff off for someone else's diary.

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

        by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:24:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a baby boomer & I never saw that stuff (19+ / 0-)

          I struggled to find a job in 1972-73, just out of grad school. The only jobs for women were teaching, which I didn't want to do. Journalism, my preferred field, was closed to me. I had a file clerk job that paid so little I often held my breath that I was not about to run out of cheap gas in my ancient gas guzzler car that belched white smoke. Owning a house was a fantasy i never bothered to even investigate. Education was cheap, I'l grant you, but there were no jobs to be plucked off every tree. And men my age were dying by the thousands in Vietnam.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:54:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, I witnessed my parents (6+ / 0-)

            generation, fresh from the WW2, begin to churn the milk and take the cream. 'Not all, but many' thought it would go on forever. Why do you think there are so many baby boomers?The parents didn't need them to work the fields.
            And yes, by 1972 the cream that was left had started to clabber. Also remember those wer the years the greatest gen was beginning to retire...

          •  True, 70's had their own problems for boomers (4+ / 0-)

            Even into the late 70's and early '80s--inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment.  Buying a starter home was really difficult when interest rates were around 13% in the early 80s and housing prices had already run up a good bit when we were starting out.  I think "boomers" who were a few years older had an advantage in that department, but so do Gen X and Millenials (at least those with decent jobs and/or trust funds).  We look around our neighborhood and see much younger people buying houses we could not have dreamed of at that age.  Also we had to move pretty far from home to find good employment, and had to work and borrow to get through school.   But yes, education was much cheaper to start with back then, especially going to state supported universities back when states actually supported their universities.
            Personally I resent the stereotype of the greedy, privileged boomer but I also resent the stereotype of the younger slacker. Neither is true--each generation has its own challenges.

          •  Cheap education is no small thing (7+ / 0-)

            Though my parent's generation was paying cash they earned from their summer job each semester for their college tuition, we were racking up $50,000 in debt that will follow us the rest of our lives only to enter a barren wasteland consisting of little more than low-wage service sector jobs. Every generation has had its unique struggles, it's not a competition. But I think many older folks truly do not understand the situation that my generation faces right now and just think we're lazy and irresponsible. It can be very frustrating.

            "Today is who you are" - my wife

            by I Lurked For Years on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  And I am so glad you did. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit, denise b

          It gets very tiring, solves nothing and adds only conflict.

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

          by figbash on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:05:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Tipped for the early (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee

        disclaimer, not all, but many.

      •  Um, road-trips were b/c flying was expensive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        My late father-in-law had to drive from Chicago to SF in a clunker in the late 40's , wondering if he would make it to grad school.  My late father (a farm boy) had a similar journey from the Midwest a few years later.   His parents never flew, and his siblings never did unless they were in the military.  A lower-middle-class family of four like mine could not afford to fly in the 60's; road trips were all we could manage unless Uncle Sam was covering our relocation to dad's next posting.  

        After deregulation, I was able to fly coast-to-coast with some frequency, even as a pink-collar wage slave.  Our society's disinvestment in education is another diary I could write someday.

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

        by LucyandByron on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:34:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When times are tough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LucyandByron

        and you're young, its sometimes easy to blame the older generation for all the problems.  It feels good for a little while, but its not accurate, nor is it helpful.

        Don't blame me, I didn't vote for Reagan.  I was politically active helping Dems get elected all through the 70's, 80's and 90's.   The GOP has been able to periodically take control of government, not because they were popular, but through dirty tricks.  We Dems wised up a long time ago, but it took a long time for the news media to learn it.  Internet access has vastly improved the process, wish we had it back then.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:40:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Blaming the older generation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JosephK74, Nulwee, JustinBinFL

          is very different than blaming you personally.  Most of the people here did not vote for Reagan, most of the people in your generation did.  Pointing out that this is why we're at the point where we are isn't an accusation.  The same is true when we say that white people are the reason we got Bush in office.  That doesn't mean it's my fault personally, but it's true all the same.  Generalizations can be useful.

          •  "most of the people in your generation" NO (0+ / 0-)

            A significant portion were disaffected and did not vote, which was a sin of omission since rectified by many.   All our system needs is a plurality of those voting, not at all the same thing as a clear majority.  

            Even if you insist on branding older people as "Good Germans," you should bear in mind that the actual Germans had their opportunity to contribute positively to a better postwar world (the worse ones were recruited by the CIA or the space program).  Focus on the solutions, please, not assigning blame.

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

            by LucyandByron on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:48:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This, a million (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Nulwee

        times.  It's like that line in Cold Mountain where Ruby says

        Every piece of this is man's bullshit.  They call the war a cloud over the land.  But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!
        Space me the lectures on how Boomers are suffering (of course, whoever said otherwise?).  It was boomer politics that created this economy, enslaved us individually in debt, and that has destroyed the environment.  And it's boomer politics that refuses to respond to the problems or allow us to implement change.  There's a disproportionate moral and political culpability here.
    •  right? lol (0+ / 0-)

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:47:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! Thanks. Nt (7+ / 0-)

    The 'shift' is hitting the fan.

    by sydneyluv on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:24:41 AM PST

  •  Haves vs. Have-Nots (14+ / 0-)

    This has always been the main political conflict, and this will probably always be the conflict. Whether or not the GOP is consciously trying to create an inter-generational conflict (I think it's pretty obvious they are), their proposed policies pretty much do just that: tax cuts for older, wealthier Americans, paid for by increasing taxes on younger, poorer workers; raising the retirement age for non-Boomers; privatizing Medicare only for non-Boomers; refusing to invest in infrastructure and technology, which has a much bigger future impact on younger people; pushing to privatize education and ignoring the student loan crisis; increasing drilling and refusing to address global warming--if any benefit is to be had at all from any of this, it goes exclusively to older people to the explicit detriment of young people.

    "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

    by rigcath on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:27:03 AM PST

    •  Or maybe Dubya's "Have-mores" vs. everyone else. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dem Beans, figbash, asterkitty, rigcath

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:42:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Correction. (8+ / 0-)

      The last of the boomers most certainly did have their retirement age raised.  For my husband and me, the age is 66.  My younger brother has to wait until he's 67.

      I suppose it's a question of whether you consider those born in 1950 or 53 to be "boomers."

      Neither of us has a pension or anything other than ss and "defined contribution" retirements.  I wouldn't say my parents had it easy, but they did get monthly payments for life from a pension.

      •  Exactly right (4+ / 0-)

        The Social Security retirement age was raised in 1982, when I was but a lass of 22 years old.  My Social Security tax was raised then as well.

        I have a sister who is a few years older yet she'll be eligible to retire at a younger age than I will.  

        And as I remember, this was supposed to pay for the boomer generation retiring.  Now we're suddenly a burden again.

        you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

        by Dem Beans on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:53:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So did the first of the Boomers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kareylou, asterkitty, snazzzybird

        I started taking my benefits at 65 and didn't get the full amount since it was 66 plus some few months for my cohort. This often is too often forgotten.

        You can start SSI at 62 with reduced benefits but so much depends on Medicare being there. I couldn't retire until I could tap Medicare because who can afford $1,500/mo for health insurance premiums? Most folks just a little younger than me who are still working can't either. Medicare for all!

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

        by figbash on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:14:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ALL boomers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird, lostinamerica

        had their retirement ages raised. The last people to retire at 65 were born in 1937.

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

        by denise b on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:31:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They're both affected, though the younger gen (12+ / 0-)

    seems to have an even more bleak future than struggling and worried Baby Boomers (yes, due to the machinations of the 1% - mostly from decades of persistent, Republican-led efforts in the USA, I contend).

    The following quote concerns a more "socialist" country than ours, but happens to pattern the difficulties supporting non-1% members of "competing" generations in this land of downsliding opportunity, I feel:

    By Tom de Castella

    . . . there's a growing belief that the generation of baby boomers born in the two decades before 1965 were lucky to live when they did. Houses were easier to come by when young and rocketed in value. Pensions were generous. Unemployment was mostly low. Now, aged between 50 and 70, they have had it pretty good.

    . . .

    Today, for the first time, a person in their 80s has higher living standards than someone working in their 20s, the Financial Times reported in October 2012.

    . . .

    Baby boomers born in the 1940s to mid 60s bought their first home when prices were low and watched property prices shoot up as house-building slowed while the population rose. There was relatively low unemployment up to the 1980s and again in the 1990s and 2000s.

    . . .

    Gibson alludes to the unofficial redistribution of wealth of parents helping children with their mortgage. But a report for the Resolution Foundation On borrowed time? argued that while bequests like this will play a role, many elderly people may consume their wealth rather than passing it on, especially for long-term care.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:28:51 AM PST

    •  Tired of being labeled a Babybomer (17+ / 0-)

      I was born in 1964, but my Mom who was 5 when WW2 ended lived the Babyboomer life, not me. I became an adult in 1982, just in time for Regan's terrible economy, got a boost during the tail end of the Clinton years and stagnated during my prime earning years, with Bush. My parents are the ones who had it good, not me.

      I'm part of the tiny forgotten generation that has the fake label of Babyboomer, even though our parents were little kids when WW2 ended and were the ones that caught the wave while we trailed in their wake getting splashed in the face.

      •  "Generation Jones" (9+ / 0-)

        We spilled out just as the whole deal went to crap. It's still crap. We are not boomers, but we get lumped in. I'd say 56'-66' is the "Jones" era.

        •  I refer to the second half of the baby boom, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sboucher, lostinamerica, lorzie

          those of who came of age in the 1970s, as "The Blank Generation". There's a song...

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

          by asterkitty on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:17:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Never Heard of that One Before (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sboucher, dfarrah

          Not sure if it fits, but at least somebody noticed that people who came of age in the 80s had a different life experience that those who came of age in the 60s.

          •  The song was by Richard Hell and the Voidoids (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfe

            and released in 1977. In a recent interview with Hell, he explained that it should be read "the ___ generation," not as naming the generation as blank.

            This is from CBGBs (the song ends by 1:49, and you'll need to turn up the sound). BTW, I was at that show!

            I was sayin', "Let me out of here", before I was
            Even born, it's such a gamble when you get a face
            It's fascinatin' to observe what the mirror does
            But when I dine, it's for the wall that I set a place

            I belong to the blank generation and
            I can take it or leave it each time
            I belong to the [unverified] generation but
            I can take it or leave it each time

            Triangles were fallin' at the window as the doctor cursed
            He was a cartoon long forsaken by the public eye
            The nurse adjusted her garters as I breathed my first
            The doctor grabbed my throat and yelled, "God's consolation prize"

            chorus

            To hold the TV to my lips, the air so packed with cash
            Then carry it up flights of stairs and drop it in the vacant lot
            To lose my train of thought and fall into your arms' tracks
            And watch beneath the eyelids every passing dot

            chorus

            It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

            by sboucher on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:56:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  THANK YOU! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird, lostinamerica, lorzie

        Born in 1957, I was ten during the Central Park Be-in and Monterey Pop; the release of Disney's "The Jungle Book" was much more important. I was twelve during the Summer of Love and Woodstock; thirteen when the Kent State shootings took place and Jimi Hendrix died.

        My brother, who was born in 1946, was definitely a boomer. He was a college student, eligible for the draft, involved in demonstrations, student strikes and moratoriums, and working for civil rights. [The Greensboro Woolworth sit-ins took place when I was three.]

        You're absolutely right that we're not boomers. My father served in the Korean War, and was born within 1925–1942, from the Depression through WWII; they're defined as the "Silent Generation."

        My daughter, born 1989, is considered Gen Y by the numbers, but identifies as a Millennial, being the child of two Jones.

        I draw the line whether one remembers President Kennedy being assassinated. I was in first grade.

        It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

        by sboucher on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:39:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The dream of the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, lorzie, entrelac

      Boomers was to become middle class or rich.  And this was possible for them.  This dream doesn't even occur to gen exers or millineals.  Our dream is merely to escape debt.  That's where the world is today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    •  Baby boom generation (40+ / 0-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would call you a "tweener" more in tune (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        figbash

        with the values of the depression generation than the stereotypical "boomer".

        20 innocent children were slaughtered. The gun lobby and NRA bear responsibility and it is time to fight back! http://www.csgv.org/index.php

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

        [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

        [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

        [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

      [ Parent ]

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

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

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

          They might be the last generation where this is true.

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

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

        [ Parent ]

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

          difference.  All those rules are gone.

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

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

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

    •  YES! (8+ / 0-)

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

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

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

      [ Parent ]

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

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

      Jon Husted is a dick.

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

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep... that's where I am. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ricklewsive

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

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

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

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

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

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

      [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

        [ Parent ]

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

        Those dirty hippies have destroyed the country.  Sigh.

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

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

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, not all of the Boomers voted for Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JosephK74

              But we slice voters into demographics all the time, talking about the way women voted, or the way African-Americans voted, or the way people making under $35,000 voted—knowing that of course each and every member of that group didn't vote the same way, but that those groups tended to vote for one party or the other to a certain proportion.

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

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

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

              [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

                [ Parent ]

              •  We slice demographics (4+ / 0-)

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

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

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

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

                Think harder. I know you can.

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

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

                [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

            [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

        •  NB-- older jerks were still in power & voting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snazzzybird

          in 70's and 80's.  They were thinking of themselves-- cf. Alan Simpson.

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

      Fear is the Mind Killer...

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

      [ Parent ]

      •   + 4 !!!! ^^^^^^ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        Sounds very similar to my childhood, boophus.

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

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

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

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck that (3+ / 0-)

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

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

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

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

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

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, you said it better /nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostinamerica

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

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

        [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

  •  Perfect illustration of why we should LOWER the (32+ / 0-)

    retirement age & expand Social Security (let alone making Medicare for everyone): more retired Boomers means more job openings for anyone younger.  

    If we could Just. Get. The. 99%. On. The. Same. Damn. Page.  Dammit.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:32:46 AM PST

  •  Excellent. (16+ / 0-)

    The only 'entitlement' reforms needed are"
    - Strengthen SS.
    - Raise SS benefits.
    - Reduce Medicare eligibility to stop draining Americans' retirement savings into hc costs.
    - Manage out of control hc costs from one central federal control point.
    - And make a fucking budget adjusting taxes to fund Americans' priorities.

  •  Boomers voted for the present state of affairs (9+ / 0-)

    Millennials are pretty much growing up in the world the boomers made in the wake of the sacrifices of the World War II generation.

    It isn't like the present situation came up out of nowhere. A lot of votes were cast to create our current world.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:34:59 AM PST

    •  And if you hang onto that grudge (41+ / 0-)

      then you'll be playing right into the hands of the 1%.

       The fact is that working class Boomers have had very little to say about the state of world affairs.

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

      by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:44:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and no (7+ / 0-)

        Yes resistance would have been difficult. No they didn't resist crazy levels of oligarchy introduced competition much anyway because they are pathologically proud of whatever tiny contribution they make. They young are way more pulling their weight trying to stop the 1% then the boomers.

        •  Yep. Just look at all the "pragmatism!" cele- (8+ / 0-)

          -bration around here. Every tiny "victory" is touted as the next Biggest Progressive Victory since the New Deal;nay--bigger and better than the New Deal. Even things that have nil impact get this treatment.

        •  You're simply wrong, disrael (6+ / 0-)

          To this day, my newly retired sister refused to request her FBI record. To say we are 'pathologically proud" of anything we did is insulting. I might as well say that young people are "pathologically arrogant" to think they deserve to have our jobs   handed to them on silver platters, but that would be inaccurate. What about the fact that so many young people — more relative to their number than any other group — don't pull their weight at ALL when it comes to voting an activism — and yet, I know many that do. But most of the people organizing to stop the 1% here in Cleveland are 50 or older. (the young people I know tend to be more involved in issues like climate change, women's reproductive rights, and marriage equality). This is one of the least helpful comments in this thread.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:06:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So, no understanding of history, eh? (4+ / 0-)

          War stopped in Vietnam; Medicare; Medicaid; Social Security expanded; EPA; Civil Rights Act; Environmentalism in general; animal rights; acceptance of Multi-Culturalism; sexual liberation; nuclear-arms reductions; great film, theater, and music all part of an historic arts explosion... for starters.

          oh, and the course of entire lives set by deciding to feed, house, educate, protect, entertain, and raise their children, while working like a dog to make it happen, giving up one's own dreams for that purpose.

          All while living under the daily threat of instant nuclear annihilation of everything.

          As opposed to, what? tweets and likes and feelings taken as "doing something."

          The late Occupy Movement was a fraction of the anti-war, pro-justice movements in terms of numbers and percentages. A single-digit fraction.

          You really have no concept, you can't have a concept, of how deeply consumerist filters have been internalized by younger people. Because it is that pervasive. The measure can be taken by how much you think dealing with an electronic device is being "connected."

          Now the 1% tell you "have feelings of resentment and aim that at other people in your caste" and you do what they tell you.


          We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

          by Jim P on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:37:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Quit your trolling (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            limpidglass

            All of those things you listed happened before the boomers had any real power, and the fact of the matter is that a vast majority of white boomers and older are exactly what the problem is and has been.

            As opposed to, what? tweets and likes and feelings taken as "doing something."

            The late Occupy Movement was a fraction of the anti-war, pro-justice movements in terms of numbers and percentages. A single-digit fraction.

            And the boomers shit on us the whole time.  When they weren't being condescending.  You completely fail to understand that you aren't the best generation and you don't get to take credit for everything good that happened while ignoring everything bad.

            And the average twitter user is actually Generation X, not the kids you want to slander here.  Of course, I could go back to the sixties and find some vapid idiots as well.

            You really have no concept, you can't have a concept, of how deeply consumerist filters have been internalized by younger people. Because it is that pervasive. The measure can be taken by how much you think dealing with an electronic device is being "connected."
            And you really want to pretend to be an expert on "young people."  I know a lot of young people, they're my friends.  You complain about the youth just like every gad damn generation does.

            You want to take credit for all that's good and it's just fucked up.

            I suppose that's why you older people have all the money and jobs, because you're just better than us young uns.

      •  This effectively argues that votes don't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Nulwee

        matter, or matter very little. I'd agree with that, but I think it lets voters off the hook a bit too easily, because voting is the laziest and least impactful way to participate in even an ideal system.

        •  But does it serve a purpose? (19+ / 0-)

          The worst thing you could say about the Boomers is that they were tricked into voting against their own interests. The bulk of the blame still falls on the person doing the tricking rather than the person being tricked.

            What's more, who are we talking about? We are often talking about the parents of the Millenials (i.e. the people who put them through college and who have the homes that they moving back into).
             Plus, the Boomers are a very broad catagory. Some of them never voted Republican and never bought into the bullsh*t.

            Finally, even if your every criticism of the Boomers is true, what does it gain?
            For instance, its true that illegals are taking our highly prized dish-washing and lettuce-picking jobs in The States. Is the better solution to demonize them, or to organize them into unions?
             Another example: It's true that many public employees have more benefits than us. Is the better solution to take away their benefits and bring them down to our level, or to organize and bring ourselves up to their level?

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

          by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:22:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure, it serves a purpose. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee

            I could say a lot worse about boomers than that they were simply tricked into voting as they do--for reasons that parallel (but necessarily aren't identical to) those I'd use to say that poor rural whites do the same when they vote for anti-women "pro-life" Republicans. You can argue it is "blaming the victim" and I'd agree to a very small extent.

            As for the "broad brush" portion, I don't buy that simply "voting democratic" or "voting not republican" is sufficient. The former is arguably still damning with respect to voting for the situation as it stands (George Carlin's words apply here: they're (R and D) in a club, and we aren't in that club), and the latter is simply devoid of meaning without more context. Either way, it's still simply "just voting."

            Regarding organizing and getting them to do something about the way the things are, perhaps for some of them acknowledging their complicity by pointing out their past laziness  (although perhaps by using more tactful language) may be enough to motivate them to more meaningful action.

            If you want balance, I have some criticism of Millenials, too. I find they are all too eager and willing to prostitute their talents for what I call "social media skinner treats" ('likes','recommends', 'up-rates', 'hotlisting', etc.), and, whether as a result of desperation or not, also that they are all too willing to commit to unpaid work (like internships) for a scant chance at something better. I view that as being at least as lazy as substituting one's vote for actual action, and in many cases it is going to end up biting them in the ass in the long run. They aren't entirely blameless in their low-wage, or no-wage, or no-job predicament, either.

            I sympathize with the majority of each group, because a lot of their actions are, at the time, the best choice out of a bunch of bad options.

            You aren't a boomer, and I doubt many boomers or millenials that are within the realm of persuasion will read these comments, so of course I am using harsher language than I might otherwise in-person. Please don't mistake my comments here, which are offering a frank appraisal, for how I'd personally choose to attempt to motivate individuals to action in a separate context.

          •  Do you really want to go there? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            limpidglass, shaharazade, JosephK74
            The worst thing you could say about the Boomers is that they were tricked into voting against their own interests.
            Do you realize how many authoritarians and dictators skated to high power through such trickery, and the illusion of a plurality, the way Bush did, and devastated the world?

            Not much of an argument.

            The Baby Boomers' political legacy will be the Clintons' and Bush's and Gingrich's doing. Deregulation, 'Free trade,' Culture wars and a lengthy occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq that kneecapped this country financially and spiritually.  It's a lot easier to be outside of power and critique it than to use it in a functional and productive way.

            Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

            by Nulwee on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:02:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
             Finally, even if your every criticism of the Boomers is true, what does it gain?
              For instance, its true that illegals are taking our highly prized dish-washing and lettuce-picking jobs in The States. Is the better solution to demonize them, or to organize them into unions?
               Another example: It's true that many public employees have more benefits than us. Is the better solution to take away their benefits and bring them down to our level, or to organize and bring ourselves up to their level?
            You are making the assumption that there are not limited resources, that in fact it is possible at all for the middle class to somehow unionize and make things all better.

            The reality is that the top 1% make 19% of AGI. They simply do not make enough money that unionization or confiscatory taxation or whatever other scheme will make much of a difference.

            Additionally, global GDP per person is $10k. Other countries are rapidly asking why we get $45k/person and we are frequently at a loss for an answer.

            It seems that the entire thesis of the Occupy and other movements is that pretty much all our economic problems can be laid at the feet of "the 1%". For example, people who live in large houses in the middle of nowhere bitterly complain about gas prices, taxes, and heating costs. While I'm sure that rich people aren't saints, I question your basic assumption that there are limitless resources there for the taking.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:10:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How much is that again? (14+ / 0-)

              Just so we have a few numbers to go with this debate, consider this.

               The chasm separating the uber-wealthy from the rest of the world may be wider than most people think, according to a new report from left-leaning British group Tax Justice Network, which says there is at least $21 trillion -- and possibly as much as $32 trillion -- sitting in untaxable offshore accounts.
                  That’s roughly the size of the American and Japanese economies combined, according to the report from James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey & Co. And the figure only includes financial wealth, not real estate, yachts or other assets held abroad.
               So yeah, there is plenty of money out there for the 99%.

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

              by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:18:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Income is what matters (0+ / 0-)

                Not fictional "wealth" that exists as numbers in a computer somewhere. You think we can take $32 trillion or whatever out of foreign accounts (as compared to our $14 trillion GDP) and magic $20 trillion of GDP into existence?

                Jesus. GDP is what matters, not numbers scribbled on some paper somewhere.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:29:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That wealth (8+ / 0-)

                  is no more fictional than our current GDP.
                     The central banks of the world are defending the value of that wealth just as stridently as they are defending the value of our nation's production.

                    Sure, there is an element of make-believe about it, but that is true for our entire monetary system, including the GDP that you seem to trust.

                    And after a very long period of pillaging, that built up wealth becomes more important than our GDP.

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

                  by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:36:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

                    GDP is the total goods and services produced in the US at a given time.

                    It's the only measure that means anything. Even transferring "wealth" to the middle class is only transferring productivity which means transferring income. Anything else is some kind of strange obfuscation that I don't understand.

                    For example, boomers are going to need nursing home services. That requires actual bodies, humans. Where are you going to get them from?

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:46:14 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      WheninRome, cpresley

                      Are you really saying that financial instruments have no real value?
                         That would be an interesting statement considering that countries around the world periodically have their economies - their real economies - gutted and put on the auction blocks in order to pay interest on those same financial instruments. (see Greece)

                        So either those financial instruments have value, in which case going after them makes perfect sense, or they don't have value, in which case we should stop gutting our real economy to pay interest on them.
                         So which is it?

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

                      by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:00:15 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't get how you don't understand this (0+ / 0-)

                        Financial instruments, all of them, are claims on future economic productivity.

                        The reason why places like Greece crash and burn is that they become reliant on loans (external real productivity that they aren't making). Then, the lenders lose faith that their claims on future Greek productivity will not be honored, then they stop lending money, Greece's real income drops (no external sugar daddies anymore) and their economy craters.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:11:05 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's you that doesn't understand (0+ / 0-)

                          You seemed to have completely missed my point.

                           Trillions and trillions of dollars (in the form of financial instruments) are sitting in off-shore tax-havens. Much of it from organized crime and tax cheats.

                            You told me that we shouldn't bother to go after it because it is "fictional "wealth" that exists as numbers in a computer somewhere".
                             I pointed out that as long as the worlds central banks, IMF, and other international institutions defend the value of this wealth then it is as real as your GDP numbers.
                             Thus we should go after this wealth.

                            No, the money wouldn't turn into more nursing home assistants (as you pointed out), but it could turn into better pay for those assistants.

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

                          by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:37:41 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                             No, the money wouldn't turn into more nursing home assistants (as you pointed out), but it could turn into better pay for those assistants.
                            And pay them with what economic productivity?
                            Who will make the goods and services to pay these people?

                            US productivity? Oops, that's only part of real GDP, not rich people money that would only contribute to inflation were it ever unlocked.

                              I pointed out that as long as the worlds central banks, IMF, and other international institutions defend the value of this wealth then it is as real as your GDP numbers.
                               Thus we should go after this wealth
                            All wealth is GDP, pretty much. It's real physical stuff. Financial instruments are mere claims to that real physical stuff: claims that may or may not be honored. If either rich people or the government tried to spend your mythical stockpiles of wealth, it would just be a claim against existing production, and would likely not be honored.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:59:29 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Put down the Econ 101 book and walk away (0+ / 0-)
                            All wealth is GDP, pretty much. It's real physical stuff. Financial instruments are mere claims to that real physical stuff: claims that may or may not be honored.
                              Your view on wealth doesn't exist in the real world. Maybe it did a few decades ago, but Wall Street and the world's central bankers have left your book of economic theories well behind.

                              I suggest you take a closer look at what is actually going on in the world of high finance today.
                               It's not right, it's not fair, it's not sustainable, and I want it to crash and burn, but it is reality. That reality is very different from what you are talking about.

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

                            by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:35:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What part of this do you not agree with (0+ / 0-)

                            I like and respect you, but every time I make a point you just weasel around it.

                            GDP is the total value of all real goods and services produced in the US.

                            Agree or disagree.

                            What we are discussing here is how we divvy up the sum total of goods and services produced (and perhaps how to make more).

                            Agree or disagree.

                            This whole idea that Econ 101 doesn't apply is like saying physics don't apply. The US only produces so much "stuff". About $45k per person worth. That includes all of the 1% earnings, all nursing homes, hospitals, police, corporate expenditures, what have you.

                            I mean, it isn't magic here.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:28:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sparrowhawk seems to work at (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lostinamerica

                            an unsatisfying job and yet fluffs for the onepercent.

                            And a generation-gapper, too? Who'd a thunkit?

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

                            by ozsea1 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:19:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  ignore him, it's for the best. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Which is why we all need to look within ourselves (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              entrelac, srkp23, kkjohnson

              the vast majority of us Americans have a level of greed that we might not be aware of. if we had the chance to have more we would probably take it, regardless of the amount that we currently had. why are the 1% taking so much at the expense of so many? are they extraordinarily evil people? i don't think so. i think we as a society are spiritually ill and we value the wrong things. if greed is to end, we all have to end greed in ourselves, not just look at those who are obviously greedy and expect that they are the only ones who need to change.

              "Today is who you are" - my wife

              by I Lurked For Years on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:17:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  this is how I see the conflict: (5+ / 0-)

        every time politicians talk about cutting the safety net, Boomers bleat about how their ungrateful kids want to push Grandma and Grandpa onto the ice floes to let them die, that they've paid so much into SS/Medicare and now the greedy whippersnappers want to steal it and kick their own parents into the street, blah blah blah.

        But when the rubber hits road, plenty of them will be willing to beggar their own children and grandchildren in order to maintain the standard of living to which they feel themselves entitled. And don't think the Republicans don't know this.

        The next time the Republicans are in power, the Boomers will be offered a deal to save what remains of their retirement--if they sell out the younger generations and agree to thoroughly gut SS for their descendants. How will they react to such a deal? It's probably better if we never find out, let's put it that way.

        Before you accuse me of fomenting generational warfare, I support Social Security and Medicare for all generations, and I don't support cutting benefits for anyone.

        I just wish I could be sure the Boomers felt the same way. As a demographic, they certainly have never shown any evidence of such solidarity in the past.

        If the social safety net is to be saved, it will be because of the efforts of the rising voter demographic--the younger, more diverse electorate that is beginning to make itself heard. They understand that Social Security is for all generations, not only one.

        The Boomers understand that they want Social Security to be there for them. Do they understand anything more than that? Again, perhaps it's best if we never find out.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:46:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see it that way at all. (6+ / 0-)

          If you consider the sandwich generation, as in the macro, who paid into SS all of their lives and they are on the cusp of looking at a restructuring downward because of their age after having participated fully, the boomers, the jones, the Xers nor the millennials, none of us want to draw a line based on age. I certainly don't. I have children, they don't.

          The tail end of the so-called boomers or the jones will get all the responsibility and none of the benefits. Politicians are saying: "Yeah, you have been in the game for 35 years, but we decided to change the rules, so fuck off."

          If you weaken one generation, it screws all the subsequent generations. Knowledge is lost, opportunity costs are flushed down the drain, as they have been these last 30 years since we went to the "money this quarter" paradigm.

          Believe it or not, us late 40's, early 50 types have been looking at peak oil, solar, wind and hydro since we were in HS. We were not litter bugs and we recycled and upcycled and scavenged and made do. A large lot of us did, anyway and still do. We were/are still operating as ethical conservationists and trying to bring along our children the same way. I stayed home and looked after my children, I got sandwiched with both my mother and grandmother and children and now a grandchild. Somebody's got to do it. So I'm doing it.

      •  The Boomers had their votes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        averybird

        And instead of giving those votes to liberals, they gave them to Reaganites and centrist Democrats whose deregulation and rule for the 1% caused all of the problems the Boomers are experiencing today.

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

        by JamesGG on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:41:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is not a helpful argument (14+ / 0-)

      Tens of millions never "voted for the present state of affairs." My sister was an SDS Weatherman. The "present state of affairs" was crafted by a handful of powerful and ultra-wealthy insiders who conceived a plan to dupe many people who were not well off. I really get sick and tired of people who say the "baby boomers" in the aggregate voted in these horrible people. Especially women and black voters had little use for them — and the "baby boomers are so privileged" thing pretty much passed us by.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:03:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Silly. (13+ / 0-)

      And when did we have a choice beyond what was offered us by Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Cult of Mammon, who still dog us today?

      Read history. We were stuck with 1% Rule, and you can follow that situation back through generation by generation to the Year Dog.

      Your remark itself shows how easily you are played by the divide-and-conquer technique of the 1%.


      We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

      by Jim P on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:11:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  WRONG! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      figbash, lotlizard

      Go look at the exist polls like I did.

      Most boomers did vote for Reagan in 1980 but that was the only election Boomers lurched to the Right in significant numbers.

      Sorry but you need to find a better scapegoat then Boomers.

      "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:17:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am a boomer and I never ever voted for a (6+ / 0-)

      Republican in my life....So you accept the blame for the republicans taking control of so many states and gerrymandering ability. Or perhaps you take blame for the Shrub getting elected? Seems to me that you are more inclined to look for someone to blame and without approved groups like Blacks, hispanics, women, ... it is easy and convenient to blame a whole generation. Gak

      Fear is the Mind Killer...

      by boophus on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:25:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, stop this (5+ / 0-)

      I was 20 when Reagan was first elected.  I didn't vote for him and neither did any of my friends.  The boomers didn't single-handedly elect that goon - older people loved him because he was old when he got into office.

      Stop being so reverent about the 'sacrifices' of the WWII generation.  They had a hell of a lot to do with electing both Nixon and Reagan.

      you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

      by Dem Beans on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:06:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those "sacrifices" included women's rights (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, snazzzybird, dfarrah

        My aunts' career hopes and property rights for a start.   After the war, they were herded back into the kitchen and did not have the right to their own credit (or names) till the 70's.   Same deal for men of color temporarily allowed to have real jobs with almost-real paychecks during the war.  That's why these people were fired up to push back afterwards.  In the case of women, many of them inspired their daughters to demand and get more (e.g., my cousins are both doctors).  

        There's a reason I have zero nostalgia for the 50's-  I'm a woman of color.  Talk of sacrifice seems to come from the high priests, not the sacrificial lambs.  Even the "voluntary" Aztecs and ancient bog people were given heavy doses of narcotics, which has always made me question the whole informed consent thing.

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

        by LucyandByron on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:05:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is an economic and social problem that is (19+ / 0-)

    now feeding upon itself.  As the author points out, older workers are not able to leave the work force because they can't afford to.   This means that younger workers have a harder time finding work, and more importantly, that the higher paid positions are not becoming available which will prevent them from enough time to build sufficient financial stability.  

    Looking at the major economic metrics, one can't help but come to the conclusion that overall there is far more 'wealth' in the system than there used to be.  The problem is that it is all concentrated in the hands of a few.  This is not sustainable.  Nor is the answer to cut the social programs that so many are now forced to rely upon.  Look at what is happening in Greece.  I am honestly amazed that their society hasn't collapsed as their economy has.

  •  BINGO! (30+ / 0-)
    the real problem was that Social Security and Medicare weren't designed for a society in which all the wealth is funneled up to the 1%.
    Let's expand this:  The real problem is that funding for education, infrastructure, etc.  weren't designed for a society in which all the wealth is funneled up to the 1%.

    This is the GOP world.  This is the GOP creation and Democrats were complicit in creating this mess.  

    On the upside, the social values of many Millenials like my daughter are straight out of the old school liberal handbook.  From those beliefs in fairness, equality, dignity and so on will come the economic changes we need.  

  •  A fight to the death that the millenials will win, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, kyril, mallyroyal, figbash

    by default.

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:55:34 AM PST

  •  reality (12+ / 0-)

    is that as a baby boomer with a high school education you could get a good paying job with a pension and work and raise a family on a single income and retire comfortably.

    That is no longer an option.

    You also could go to college without causing huge financial strain to your parents or taking on big debt.  

    Throw in wage stagnation for 30 years.

    It is worse for the kids.  No doubt.   Especially because they are competing for jobs with all the Chinese, Indian, Russian, etc people their age.  The boomers didn't have to deal with that.

    And by the time the kids are ready for retirement, Democrats will have eliminated social security as a means of "strengthening" it.

    "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

    by onemadson on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:01:11 AM PST

    •  Dream On (20+ / 0-)

      The fact is that a Boomer with a high school education could start a good paying job with the prospect for a pension but that both adults in the household would be working.  It was during the entrance of the Boomers into the workplace that the number of two-income households started to take a moonshot.  It was also during this period that the economy took several major stumbles, which slammed Boomers hard in terms of staying employed.  Try factoring in the end of the Vietnam War, the First Oil Shock, the Second Oil Shock, the First/Second Reagan Recessions, the First Gulf War, followed by the whole Bush administration.  Finally, that job with the prospect for a pension sublimated right before your very eyes as the financial engineers sucked the life and soul out of the pension funds and dumped the obligation for the pensioners onto the government.  We can all talk about who might have it worse, but at least we should understand the facts which have existed for each cohort.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:20:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a Baby Boomer (10+ / 0-)

      I was born in 1955 -- and I chose not to have children because my ex wasn't working (1980s) and we were just barely getting by on my income. And, yes, the job DID have a pension.

      I wasn't able to buy a house until after my dissolution, and then only because my partner and I decided to buy one together.

      My partner and I would have loved to have been able to adopt a child. We looked at our financial situation and realized that even with two incomes, we still couldn't afford to do it.

      In the whole time I have been working -- it has taken two or more incomes to meet expenses -- in college it was having 2 or more roommates. Maybe the folks born in the first half of the Boom could make it on a single income -- very few of the folk I know from the latter half could.

      Not all Boomers make/made six-figure salaries. I had the largest income year in my life last year, because I took some money out of my 401(k) to pay off my outstanding debts when I retired. This year's income will be one third of last year's -- just my pension and a supplement from my 401(k).

      If I'm VERY lucky, I'll be able to wait until I'm 70 to apply for Social Security. Some Boomers are retiring early because their bodies can no longer meet the demands of holding a job.  Many of those are retiring on $25K a year, or less.

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        there are plenty of boomers who are not going to retire.  Ever.  

        The reality is there are a lot more of the current crop of youth who face that.  

        I walk out my door and see poor old people everyday.  If i live another 50 years, I expect to see a lot more.  The baby boom generation had a lot more opportunity than the current one.  Fact.  

        "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

        by onemadson on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:30:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  But we can't say... (9+ / 0-)

    ...class warfare, right?

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:11:32 AM PST

  •  I've been reading about generational (12+ / 0-)

    conflict in the work place lately (and experiencing it as a Gen Xer).  

    It seems that the line we're being sold right now is that millenials don't want to work hard and are holding out for their dream job, dream pay.  Meanwhile, I keep hearing that the boomers didn't save for retirement when they could and so they won't exit the workforce out of necessity.

    I have my own opinions about how much or how little of these statements are true, but the narrative certainly has taken hold on the worst aspects of both.  "Entitled" and "lack of forward thinking" are sort of what it gets boiled down to.

    All the while, the Xers invisibly work in the middle..

    20 innocent children were slaughtered. The gun lobby and NRA bear responsibility and it is time to fight back! http://www.csgv.org/index.php

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:17:19 AM PST

    •  Do you think the Xers share (12+ / 0-)

      in both the problems of underemployment and loss of home value along with some stunning plunges in retirement accounts?  

      From my viewpoint, the Millenials are mostly working at any job they can, while hoping for something better and trying to pay off their education.  The Boomers are trying to help their kids through college, many are assisting parents on a monthly basis and many are wondering what happened to 30+ years of retirement planning.  I know a lot of people in their 50's that put in the 401K max (if they could), watched earnings increase a bit, then lost 5-10 years of earnings - wash, rinse, repeat.  Teacher's state retirement funds look even worse - so they just keep teaching.

      The truth always matters.

      by texasmom on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:51:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  From my own Gen-X experience (12+ / 0-)

        I had a solid, IT resume and a relatively safe job. Yet I still got laid off in early 2009 and spent nearly two years on unemployment.
           The only reason my IRA's didn't get destroyed is because I taught myself how to invest beforehand.

          My best Gen-X friend in the States managed to weather the Great Recession without getting laid off, but he has nearly zero retirement savings, and he's putting his Millenial-aged kid through college.

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

        by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:56:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what I think about my generation. (8+ / 0-)

        I think we're all flying under the radar.  While the Boomers were making sweeping social change and the Millenials are helping us change the way we think of work life balance, we Xers are pretty much getting by on our own-- ignored by the media and somewhat invisible in society.  

        I feel like I'm saving the best I can, have a decent house, decent job... not looking to break the bank, just to have enough to take care of the family.  I know that when it comes to social change, I feel like my voice is never heard.  I protested Iraq and Afghanistan with futility...

        20 innocent children were slaughtered. The gun lobby and NRA bear responsibility and it is time to fight back! http://www.csgv.org/index.php

        by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:59:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We all felt futile over (10+ / 0-)

          Iraq and Afghanistan - and could see our economy (both personal and national) going into the loo between the un-budgeted cost of war and the bribery of the "Bush tax cuts."  

          [That would be $800+ billion for Iraq and $600+ billion for Afghanistan.  There is no value high enough for the loss of lives there.]

          I live in Texas and know about voices not being heard.  We worked for Ann Richards and my husband was a county chairman for Gov. Mark White.  Ditto for Bill White last election. We've been in the wilderness for a while, but seem to be finally making progress - thanks in large degree to our minority Democrats.

          We've done a few protests over the years and written a LOT of letters, but feel we make more difference politically in trying to persuade our state lawmakers (the Senators are a lost cause) and support good candidates for school board, city and county elections.  Then we lobby them when elected.  ;)

          Working for social justice for us is supporting our 2 local food banks, Meals on Wheels, an interfaith ministry that helps with utility bills & prescriptions, etc. By supporting, I mean helping to run donation drives, fundraisers & stand-by for MOW delivery.

          I hope our young adult children will do something similar.  Even enlarging a small circle changes the world.

          The truth always matters.

          by texasmom on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:47:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Pitting millenials and boomers (23+ / 0-)

    is what they are doing.  In fact, millenials have more in common with boomers than genXers.  My kids are genXers and my grandkids are millenials.  As a boomer, we took a stand against the establishment.  That's what millenials are doing today.  Look at the occupy movements around the globe.  There is more civil unrest today like there was in the late 60's early 70's.

    Let's not let the 1%ers pit us against each other.  They own the media and are pushing this message.  I reject it.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:21:01 AM PST

  •  I'm a boomer (23+ / 0-)

    and when I read the line about "hippies" I thought you were referring to us. That is what we used to hear -- dirty, lazy hippies (and sometimes we were commies, too -- see how versatile we were). I teach in a college and am acutely aware of how tough it is for young people these days. Most of my students take crap jobs after graduating, and that's after the cobbling together of multiple part-time crap jobs to get them through college. My daughter is heading to college in less than two years, and I wonder what sort of working life she can look forward to. Thanks for pointing out that, yes, we are all in this together. I'll fight for Social Security and Medicare and wage equality for me my fellow boomers, but also for you.

    "Life and death, dispensed on a dollar basis. How ridiculous and fatally stupid, in what is still the richest country on earth?" Exmearden

    by burana on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:25:17 AM PST

    •  Re: (7+ / 0-)

      Yes, I was thinking of Boomers when I wrote "hippies" and I was thinking of Millenials when I wrote "lazy".
         Not because either word has any relationship to today's reality, but because they are hot-button words that only serve to distract.

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

      by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:28:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And there is gen jones (1954-1965) (4+ / 0-)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Generation Jones is a term coined by Jonathan Pontell to describe the cohort of people born between 1954 and 1965. The term is used primarily in English-speaking countries.[1][2]

        Pontell defined Generation Jones as referring to the second half of the post–World War II baby boom [3] The term also includes first-wave Generation X. Many have children that are in Generation Y and Generation Z.

        The name "Generation Jones" has several connotations, including a large anonymous generation, a "keeping up with the Joneses" competitiveness and the slang word "jones" or "jonesing", meaning a yearning or craving.[4][5][6][7] It is said[by whom?] that Jonesers were given huge expectations as children in the 1960s, and then confronted with a different reality as they came of age in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving them with a certain unrequited, "jonesing" quality. The name additionally draws influence from the song "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows.[8]

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:43:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have to admit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanala, gjohnsit

        that I get a kick out of people my age and a little younger who ask their sons "When are you going to cut your hair?" Like their parents never said the same thing to them!

        "Life and death, dispensed on a dollar basis. How ridiculous and fatally stupid, in what is still the richest country on earth?" Exmearden

        by burana on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:32:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a running gag with my brother (0+ / 0-)

          He yammers incessantly about his son's long hair. I threaten to break out the pictures of him with heavy sideburns, fu-manchu, and wide-striped bell-bottom pants. Or I tell him it's just envy because most of his hair is long gone.

          I'm literally a different generation, though. I was born in 1966. My siblings were born in 1948, 1951 and 1956. So technically I'm Generation X, but I was raised by WWII parents with all Boomer siblings.

          Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

          by susanala on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:39:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's great! (0+ / 0-)

            Funny how those Fu Manchus seems so normal at the time.

            "Life and death, dispensed on a dollar basis. How ridiculous and fatally stupid, in what is still the richest country on earth?" Exmearden

            by burana on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:19:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Educated White Boomers (17+ / 0-)

    In the urban/suburban North and the West Coast did pretty well as a whole.

    I think this explains the whole Cokie Roberts phenomenon of pampered Boomer-era boobs who can't understand why other people are mad about the way things turned out.

    My mother and her husband are another good example. They retired early on their government pensions, Social Security and my step-father's Vietnam-era military benefits. They moved closer to the city and bought a large house in a Boomer suburb -- just McMansions for people of their generation, no kids.

    And all they can talk about is how they want to fight deficits and cut Social Security and other benefits. And how bad unions are.

    And they are Democrats.

    But remember that African-Americans of that generation did not participate in the great wealth expansion of the post-war era and there are several classes of immigrants who did not do so as well. Nor did rural folks or people in less-developed areas of the South or Appalachia.

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

    by bink on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:34:45 AM PST

  •  Interesting (23+ / 0-)

    I'm technically a boomer but mentally more Gen-X because I am a member of that awkward in between generation the demographers like to call the "Jonesers". We're "Jonesing" for stuff...well yeah. We have nothing.

    We've been screwed every which way and if we are not employed now that we are in our early 50's, we will probably never be employed again. Few of my friends have  homes or any kind or 401k (what a joke) savings that will allow us to retire...ever.

    I'm living on what little I was able to save and I am angry. I will note that there are almost as many Gen-X/Jonesers involved in the movement as there are millennial's. We are all screwed. My Mother had the nerve to tell me that she had just as much as I had when she was my age which is total bullshit. She had turned over 3 homes by the time that she was my age. She had pensions from her various positions - many of which were for Wall Street. I spent most of my adult life trying to live up to those same expectations (Jonesing) and got sold out.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    by resa on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:37:35 AM PST

  •   People <40 In Great Shape For Social Security (11+ / 0-)

    .....because nearly the entire Baby Boom (1947 to 1965) will be dead by 2050.  And in 2040 when the people now 40 retire, half the Boomers will be dead (cost down) and all Boomers (minimum age 75) will be long retired (employment very high).

    Thie idea it won't be there for young people is the GOP's  BIG LIE about Social Security, and this is the mad rush to slash it before the public figures this out.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:43:59 AM PST

  •  tipped and reccced (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, texasmom, SilentBrook

    as a 'Millennial' it's fairly bad out there I know for a fact most of my friends are already doing career changes and second degrees (which put them further in debt). Personally I'm lucky, I found a good job that in the long term likely will mean better employment down the road, help me achieve my dream of a master's  and pay down my debt but I'm lucky. I have friends that are not so lucky.

  •  Could it be (6+ / 0-)

    That part of the Boomer's debt problem is that they are still having to care for their Millennial offspring?

  •  Excellent post! You should read Henry Giroux's... (8+ / 0-)

    ...commentary on this. Here's a LINK to his website.

    I've cross-posted many of his recent online essays (mostly from Truth-Out and Counterpunch), and here are links (SEE: HERE and HERE) to a couple of my favorites that are particularly relevant to your excellent post, today.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:59:03 AM PST

  •  I'm a boomer and I can't retire. (27+ / 0-)

    The recession took everything I had including my job. I was laid off for the first time in my life at 62 years old. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a job at my age especially in a crappy economy? Most employers won't even talk to you.

    So I'm sorry if I'm keeping some young person from getting a job but I don't have a choice. I either work or I die.

  •  One Advantage that Baby Boomers Have Is (9+ / 0-)

    Because of their large numbers and aggregate consumer power is ...

    They have a clear identity in the media and in public discourse. There are zillions of movies, TV series, news programs, etc. that serve no other purpose than to spin and perpetuate the collective media myth of the Boomer identity.

    For my generation -- I'm 42 -- there is literally nothing.

    For a while, there was Friends on TV -- but this was at the end of the day a negative representation of who we were, a bunch of idle layabouts who never got their lives together.

    I'm fascinated by the TV show Parenthood. It purports to show the lives of people of my generation -- but instead it's really just describing Baby Boomers as if they were forty-something today. Everyone lives in Berkeley and there is always Credence Clearwater Revival playing in the background ...

    We never had a strong media identity and certainly not one that is positive. We are always left out of public discourse. The media doesn't know us, so politicians don't understand us and don't know what we want or need.

    We're sort of a big black hole of non-people.

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

    by bink on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:08:34 AM PST

    •  Another Hilarious Thing (6+ / 0-)

      About the show Parenthood is how everyone is always struggling to find themselves and they have these complicated internal struggles ...

      This is something that few people of my generation have the time or money to indulge in. We've always worked, worked hard, always faced diminishing prospects and always lost at the end of the day.

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

      by bink on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:10:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Boomers don't want to delay retirement... (19+ / 0-)

    ...we HAVE to.
    Instead of raising the retirement age why not LOWER it AND raise the monthy payments? That way we could retire and open up jobs for younger folks?
    Of course, some of the jobs we're doing might not be all that attractive. It's hard to find a decent job when you're over 50.
    Especially when people in charge of HR are barely out of college!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:19:30 AM PST

  •  It is all about the 1%. (12+ / 0-)

    They sure would like to gin up generational warfare, but we're not that stupid.

    This is all about income inequality and priorities; and I frankly don't give a shit about anything the 1% wants.   If I had my way, I'd make them secede right along with the Teapots.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:24:07 AM PST

  •  What age groups are boomers, millenials and gen x? (7+ / 0-)

    i generally hate generation groupings because they have ZERO baring on individual circumstances.  Although your work is very good at pointing at trends.  But one look at the comments tells me I'm right about thinking these generational groupings are stupid.  They just lead to broad statements that really have no meaning.  

    --So says a person born at the end of Gen X and at the beginning of the millenial era.

  •  It's us against them: not young vs. old, but 99% (11+ / 0-)

    against the 1%.

    Don't despair: there are more of us than there are of them.

    Thank you for this important diary.

  •  Boomers just have no answers (5+ / 0-)

    I'm Millennial (1984) while my parents are solidly Boomer (1941 and 1947).  They were raised and came of age in the closest thing this country has to a golden age: the post-war boom decades - the 50s and 60s.  Life was easy for them: lots of good jobs for their parents and for them, strong unions, high wages, pensions, cheap American-made goods, much less income inequality, a ruling class that actually felt a sense of responsibility, etc.

    They get that life has been and is going to be a lot harder, less promising, and above all less certain for me than it was for them, but they don't have a clue about what can be done about it.  Work harder, settle for less, and wait for things to get better: that's all that the most privileged demographic in the country's history has to say.

    It gets worse because I was too young and ignorant to take advantage of the tech bubble, yet I still have to live in a society that seems to think that 20-somethings who aren't billionaires are lazy and/or stupid.

    Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

    by Visceral on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:36:18 AM PST

    •  Baby Boom - 1946 to 1964 (6+ / 0-)

      The parent born in 1941 is a member of the "Silent" generation. The one born in 1947 is a Boomer.

    •  LOL (6+ / 0-)

      You can't judge millions of people simply because they are the same age as two persons you know, namely your parents, whom you think are clueless. Just wait a few years until you're older and kids relegate you to the glue factory. One of the worst things about American culture is the tendency to throw away things that have become useless to them, as well as the tendency to view people as mere things.

      We can thank the social mores of capitalism for that: If something isn't producing "profit" is has limited or no value.

      When the family is split due to economic downturns,  something is fundamentally wrong with our system.

      Time to rethink capitalism, and look at alternatives.

      Speaking of generations, I'm hoping to see a new generation arising someday that, free from cold war propaganda and the conflating of Leninism/Stalinism with real socialism, we can begin again to turn to better economic models.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:40:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oy, who looks to parents for answers? (0+ / 0-)

      We have to find our own answers now.    

      I came to that understanding when I was 22, my father had just died and I realized that my mother had no clue about anything practical whatsoever.  I was a college dropout with no job, but I stood up and became a leader that day, and the rest of the family has looked up to me ever since.   I did eventually get my degree and in my current management position I always stand up for the little guy in those damnable corporate meetings.  FWIW, I'm Gen X and my parents were Silent Generation.

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

      by LucyandByron on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:26:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's depressing (4+ / 0-)

    The problem is so freaking obvious--the vast accumulation of wealth at the very top--but even the people hurt so much by this fight so hard to preserve it.  It depresses the hell out of me.

    We really need to keep spreading the message about what the real problem is, and how it is actually relatively simple (conceptually, not politically) to fix.

  •  One of the reasons this has been happening (23+ / 0-)

    is because there's been a very effective decades-long effort by the very rich and large corporations and their RW ideologue lackeys in the GOP, think tanks and media to exploit most Americans' traditional respect and reverence for individual liberty and the pursuit of business profit to allow them to rob most Americans blind, and with their approval.

    It's a con game of the highest (or lowest) order, using Americans' deepest beliefs against them. The idea was to make rich and successful people out to be modern day heroes who celebrate freedom and make the world better, and anyone opposed to them for any reason out to be some sort of whiner or taker or socialist--i.e. an un-American hater of liberty and success.

    That many of these rich and successful people were basically thieves, providing substandard goods and services at exorbitant prices with exploitative labor and environmentally damaging practices, was kept hidden, or distorted, and anyone who dared to try to point this out was again attacked as being an un-American whining malcontent and hater of freedom and personal initiative. And even though it didn't quite feel right, Americans bought into it, afraid of challenging the prevailing ethos and themselves being called un-American. It's been one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in history.

    Rarely has consideration been given to the flip side of individual liberty and capitalist endeavor, that they must and can only be pursued in a social responsible manner and cannot harm the common good. I.e. you're free to do whatever you like and make as much money as you can, so long as it doesn't harm me or anyone else. Your freedom to do these things is conditional, not unlimited. That is a core concept in liberal society. Freedom is not free. It comes with a price, and that price is responsibility.

    We need to re-emphasize this essential component of any liberal society, that it's not just about freedom and profit, but also about responsibility and the common good. We need to rescue the US from not only the exploitative practices of the 1%, but from the propaganda that has allowed them to get away with it . We need to kill this freedom without responsibility idea.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:52:37 AM PST

  •  The Revolution (5+ / 0-)

    Often the Middle East is cited for their population of especially restless young men who need jobs and are ready to begin families.  The same is true of the US.  The military will not be recruiting them.  Revolutions come from the energy of the young before they have the responsibility of families.  Big mistake to ignore those who are so cynical in the comments sections.  They refuse to be part of the GOP/DEM obsession because they are ignored by both.  Their parents are holding on if they can under great stress both from their failing jobs and their aging parents.  Time counts.  This crazy waiting period hoping for improvement will not last much longer.  

    •  Consider (9+ / 0-)

      that we are about 4 years into the recovery.
         Now ignore for the moment the fact that the recovery has still not managed to get us back to pre-recessionary levels.

        Consider that the normal business cycle means that the recovery is rather long-in-the-tooth. So simply factoring in the normal business cycle means that we are approaching another recession, despite never fully getting out of the last one.

        What will people do once they realize that the recovery from the 2008 crash won't be coming in their lifetime?

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

      by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:04:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My parents and my stepfather were children of (0+ / 0-)

        the Depression. It made thier political stances pretty harsh. They never recovered from it and they were the parents of my boomer sisters, brother and me............Did they blame the previous generations? I never heard any such talk form them though they were perfectly willing to use anyone they could to improve thier lot.  I predict nothing because I am not clairvoyant.

        Fear is the Mind Killer...

        by boophus on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:49:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  glad to see so many gen x-ers and millenials. (4+ / 0-)

    sometimes I despair at the average age of dailykos.  it feels, sometimes, more like something for my mother than me.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:01:44 AM PST

    •  Age is arbitrary (0+ / 0-)

      as far as discussing things. Posters do not have their demos listed. Roll with it.

      •  no it's not. a person's life experiences shape (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        how they discuss things.

        generation gaps aren't imaginary.

        This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

        by mallyroyal on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:47:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I prefer to let all weigh in. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfarrah

          Stuff is ever the same, there is nothing new under the sun.

          Finding things in common and things that are stimulative rarely has to do with age I find.

          •  things do change though. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JosephK74

            my grandfather, for instance, COULDN'T have conversations like this with people miles away that he'd never met or seen.  I'm sure it would have seemed very strange to him, if not downright magical.

            I can find something in common with anyone.  but the people I have most in common with tend to be well-educated, computer literate, hip hop and reggae-loving black males from the Northeastern part of the US who were born in the 70s, like myself.

            that's just common sense.

            This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

            by mallyroyal on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:59:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My grandfather was a radio pioneer, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dfarrah

              so he had conversations like this with people he had never seen or met........

              And there were these things called letters. Slower to be sure, but same thing.

              •  LOL touche on the radio (0+ / 0-)

                but not on the snail mail lol be serious.  things change in a months time in a much different way than minute to minute.

                in the time you're talking about, depending on our distance to each other this convo would have taken half a year and gone completely differently.

                plus I'd have to know your actual name and address and vice versa.

                This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

                by mallyroyal on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:21:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Age is not arbitrary. It's very quantifiable (0+ / 0-)

        and easily measured.

        While age cohorts are arbitrarily defined age-ranges, and individuals within any given cohort can exhibit a wide range of divergence from any characteristic one chooses to examine within the cohort, the fact is that the environment people grow up in colors their future behavior, and it is therefore perfectly rational to note differences between generations, which are manifestly very real.

  •  it boggles my mind that Union Organizing (0+ / 0-)

    is decreasing instead of increasing - really sad state of affairs.

    But some blame has to go where it needs to be apportioned - to the "get going by your bootstraps" mentality held by a lot of folks.

  •  Millenial here. (6+ / 0-)

    Going to college to get a baccalaureate, and then hopeful on to grad school to get a MSW, possibly a DSW.

    Its hard not to wonder why the fuck I am sinking myself into so much debt. I worry so much about the job market. We were told all of our lives that if we work hard, get good grades, go to a good school, get our degrees we would have a good job.

    It looks grim for us now. I have contemplated dropping out and getting a job, but I can't. I have to move forward. I will never be able to pay my student loans back without a job that pays better than McD's.

  •  NO ONE has it "good" (12+ / 0-)

    It is easy to point fingers. And we all know how grass looks on other people's lawns. The reality is no one is really doing well in these times, and pointing fingers and casting blame only makes matters worse.

    It's the old "divide and conquer" game. If younger people are pointing fingers at older people and older people casting banana peels at younger people then instead of helping each other out we're too busy balming bruised body parts to be much use for making things better.

    STOP IT.

    Now.

    Do not pass go, do NOT collect $200.

    We're ALL in this together.

    It is hard enough making progress as it is, let's not Balkanize ourselves into petty ghettos in which to nurse our psychic wounds.

    Got it? Good!

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:37:32 AM PST

  •  Why can't we turn all those poor PhD and Masters' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    people into teachers??!?  Jaysus, we need more teachers everywhere.  Doesn't pay much, but it's a job that gets folks off of food stamps.  Some cities have programs to waive the certification/ME requirements, at least temporarily, and will then pay for the person getting their credentials.

    http://dcteachingfellows.ttrack.org/
    http://philadelphiateachingfellows.ttrack.org/
    http://bostonteacherresidency.org/

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:42:40 AM PST

    •  Considering how many teachers were laid off (6+ / 0-)

      thanks to tea party austerity measures (at least here in CA), that option doesn't seem to have much potential either.  Otherwise, I might consider turning my Masters degree in accounting into a credential for math teacher.

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:23:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why on earth would anybody with a Master's or PhD (0+ / 0-)

      want to risk entering a profession that is on the decline? Teachers don't teach kids anymore. They are hog-tied by corporate-driven, rigid, and absurd curriculae and, thanks to the Bush/Obama NCLB efforts an ever-increasing focus on rote standardized test taking 'skills.'

      And this assumes states and local governments are even interested in funding public schools anymore. In Florida that isn't the case. Governor Skeletor just proposed increasing spending for education and giving teachers raises (neglecting to note that he and his accomplices in our farce of a state legislature have been mismanaging or gutting the same for two years).

      Pay doesn't even factor into it for me. Even if the pay and benefits were the same as or better than my current pay and benefits I wouldn't accept a teaching position at a K-12 public school. I'd be too depressed at the misery and waste. (I have a Master's degree, to provide some context for the comment.)

      I think the efforts of those with such degrees are better spent pushing hard for policy changes to make schools places of actual learning instead of the hellholes they are now.

      (Of course this is a generalization--I'm sure there are lots and lots of just fantastic public schools out there. Noting that factoid misses the point, though.)

  •  I like gjohnsit's message of unity for the 99%. I (8+ / 0-)

    only voted against Dems once because I was fooled into thinking that there was corruption under Carter. I learned my lesson well and have been a very strong Democrat ever since.

    The media have been sowing the seeds of confusion and disunity for a long time now. We can't let them lead us to fighting among ourselves when the real problems are created by the 1%.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:51:11 AM PST

  •  This was disturbing to see (13+ / 0-)
    New research suggests that they may die sooner, because their health, income security and mental well-being were battered by recession at a crucial time in their lives. A recent study by economists at Wellesley College found that people who lost their jobs in the few years before becoming eligible for Social Security lost up to three years from their life expectancy, largely because they no longer had access to affordable health care.

    In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better—It’s Brutal

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:04:21 AM PST

  •  Clarification? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, saluda
    treating capital gains in the same way that the IRS treats wages would fix whatever modest problems our critical entitlement programs are forecast to encounter.
       But that might cut into those massive corporate profits.
     Perhaps you mean that increasing the CG tax rate would cut into the profits of the top wealthy individuals
       Corporations don't have a different tax rate on Cap Gains.   All income is taxed at the standard corporate income rate.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:17:03 AM PST

  •  Every generation (15+ / 0-)

    consists of millions of people who are not really a cohesive block. Whether your a Boomer or a Xer or a Millennium your basically screwed. Which generation is to blame requires lumping and stereotyping all the people of each era into one shoe fits all. When you talk Boomers my generation, the Me Me generation I think of the yuppies like the Clinton's or Wall Street greed is good types who ascended to power both economically and culturally.  

    These are the Boomers including some overlapping Xer's who are currently holding sway over our society. Look at Obama and Clinton (either one) they are of different generations but share the same free market screw or get screwed world view. My parents the 'greatest generation' lol, had similar values. They were successful and moved up the ladder to upper middle class suburban lives. They believed in the capitalistic American Dream. It worked for them party because my mom's parents who were ranchers left them enough money to buy a house and trade it up. They also invested in stocks made money.

    My Dad who worked for Lockheed as an aerospace mechanical engineer was able to make really good money even though he did not have any fancy degrees. Lockheed had trained and educated him during the war.  My mother in law another 'greatest' often said to me 'always remember, you can't have too much money'. She was good a making money.

    My point being that each generation has built and contributed to where we are. The greatest generation, the Boomer's, the Xer's and now the millennial's all have interpreted the American Dream the myth of greed is good, and have all been bitten in the ass. Most people of all generations just want to live a decent life, get payed decently for their work and be able to support their families.  

    Our present 'ownership society' has evolved to this point not because of bad decisions by ordinary people. Those who are the 'winners' and have managed through birth, circumstance or ambition to make it to the top are our 'leaders' our savvy businessmen, our heroes. They have twisted this American Dream into a free market capitalistic freaking nightmare. They have turned their backs on each of the generations coming of age and rejected the common good. We all need to reject this 'way forward' as it is not inevitable and it offers nothing to the majority of people who are stuck in it.

    'We do not disparage wealth creation in America.' Barack Obama.

    How have we come to the point where creating wealth for the richest greediest top globally is accepted as our only 'way forward'? What happened to the spirit that made real dreams real progress for ordinary people? Each generation before us and those that come after us have to deal with keeping the robber baron's, oligarchical collectivists, war profiteers and assorted Visigoths in check. They always seek to own the place and their dream and values regardless of which generation they come from mean us as people harm. Good luck to the millennial's and all of us prying this lot off humanities face.                

    •  As the diarist said (4+ / 0-)
      When you break it all down, you quickly realize that this "generational conflict" thing is all manufactured.
      in other words: Absoutely spot on.
      •  And well he said (5+ / 0-)

        it. It's just so easy to take the bait and start blaming each other, the voters, the cultural/regional differences, workers, unions, women, Black people, Brown people, Hispanics lefties, righties, the young un's or oldsters the middle.  At every turn we are played to against each other. I don't know how we can as a society come together as we need to in order be powerful enough to stop this nightmare.  Instead of fighting over the scraps left over from our required sacrifices that keep the top profitable and 'competitive' we really do need to develop community with each other one that works for common good and social and economic justice. Our electoral political process is broken and just won't work as the Vandals stole the handle.

  •  Statistics apply to groups, not individuals (6+ / 0-)

    I'm 63, my daughter is 25 - clearly a boomer and a millenial.

    I'm self-employed, but just barely. In 2001, my business's monthly sales (not profits) averaged about $50,000. Last year the average was close to $500. I should get my first Social Security check tomorrow. My retirement savings is somewhat more than my remaining business debt. I have no health insurance, and could get it, but can't afford it. I have too much in the way of assets (mostly fixed assets, like a house with no mortgage) to qualify for any kind of assistance. I'm not complaining - we're warm, healthy and well-fed and still don't have time to do all the things we want to do.

    My daughter, on the other hand, has a full time job with benefits. She earned more than my wife and I did last year on that job, and she has a second job that pays pretty well on a hourly basis, besides. She has no undergraduate debt - we covered her bachelor's degree - but had $40,000 in debt from her first master's (she's been paying it down aggressively) and is accumulating more debt as she's also a full time graduate student. She spent Christmas in France and Spain with her boyfriend's family.

    The last time I spoke to her was a few days ago when she called to see if I had Fleetwood Mac's Rumors on vinyl. I don't, so she bought it.

    However, if I did this exercise back in 2009, when my daughter had first graduated from college, we were still earning pretty well and she was flat broke, on food stamps, and unable to find a job with more than 10 hours a week at minimum wage.

    There isn't much point to this, other than statistics and generalizations are broadly accurate, but individuals can show a great deal of variability.

    Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

    by badger on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:33:28 AM PST

  •  Silent Gen Romney voters = Most Selfish Generation (8+ / 0-)

    Those over 65 collecting Social Security and Medicare who voted for Romney and his plan to maintain their benefit levels but then cut those benefits for younger people.  The Silents earned the title "The most Selfish Generation" IMHO by voting for Romney in droves.  

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:39:46 AM PST

    •  I recc'd this although it's somewhat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, averybird

      unfair to categorize.  For example, both my parents ("silents") would have been boiled in oil before they'd vote for any Republican. However, there's some truth to surmising that this cohort is a real problem, and a lot of the reason for that, I believe, is that social change is moving too far too fast for them.  Abortion and gay marriage are simply too foreign to them.  I kind of doubt that a majority of them would vote against social security for anyone, though.  They know its value.

    •  They voted for Norquist politicians to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, averybird

      make sure they didn't have to pay for it, and then they will continue to vote for politicians who promote cuts on others without making any sacrifices themselves.

  •  Not an encouraging picture for our... (4+ / 0-)

    ... children and grandkids.  But does reenforce in my mind that POTUS Obama must eliminate the tax cut on the nation's richest earners and increase corporate taxes...even if it costs some Ds election/reelection.  This nation will not continue as an American Democracy unless we get the middle income population healthy again...even if it means conflict between the very rich and the rest of us. IMHO it is apparent that there is a segment of the very rich that want a return to the good old days where they were defacto leaders and ruled through (means) of power which included military. just saying

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:45:50 AM PST

  •  My take: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, LucyandByron, ozsea1, averybird

    Born in 1966, too young to be old, too old to be young. My economic enemy is not someone I can relate to, or someone in an economic straight jacket like myself, so The diarist would be much more  accurate to title this diary: Old Washed Out Americans vs Young Washed Out Americans.

    A lot of the truth is people in the USA have been conditioned since birth via the airwaves to behave against their own self interest financially, nutritionally and most importantly eventually (which does in fact always occur). How does this manifest itself financially? CREDIT.

    There was more available 30-40 years ago. MOST people who were of a certain age and of modest income took advantage of it when they could back then. Quite a number of people cut their teeth on the "Columbia House Thirteen Albums For A Penny "deal", and progressed from there to credit cards, and second and third mortgages. They have only stopped now that they can no longer pull money out of their house for last years 'easy living'.

     This was the engine that drove the American economy down the road, past the guard rail, and over the cliff where we hang.

    The fact is if it were still as available, MOST young people would still be doing the same thing today. There are no shortage of young people going into debt, unfortunately nowadays student loans are the buy-now-pay-later drug of choice. And I know damned well for a lot of people, not all of that money goes for books and tuition, kids your parents did the same fucking thing, trust me.

    My theory-on-what-to-do-now-Of-The-Day (since its apparently required to have a solution when you point out a problem around here), is this:

    We as a nation have lost our ability to control our national interest, because as individuals allowed ourselves to be manipulated left and right. If there is an easier way to do things(easier as in leaving the personal responsibility and effort out of it), whether it be losing weight or steering our society back toward an equitable system for as many as possible through the political process, we will take easy every fucking time. Maybe we need to look at hard and begin with what poor people can do themselves and build up and out. You do it and show me how it works, I'm off to watch MSNBC....

  •  Nice to see that a lot of geezers remain employed, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zane, gjohnsit

    unlike me.

    I retired at 55 by a combination of having saved a lot, having social security to look forward to, and having a modest lifestyle. Actually it was more of an attempted career change as my old career was coming to an end, with a fallback position of very frugal retirement.

    I was able to work as a part-time online math and physics tutor for a couple of years, but the continual reductions in pay for work and continual ramping up of the work tempo made me eventually decide that a stressful $11 an hour part-time independent contractor job wasn't worth my time, as my net per year was around $6k.

    Nothing else has panned out. But I'll more than survive, and my volunteer work as a webmaster keeps the brain active. Perhaps I will be able to earn something that way if I manage to teach myself enough before I get too old, lol.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:56:49 PM PST

  •  The Worst Generation (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Luhks
    Hidden by:
    Lefty Coaster

    I know this is a sweeping generalization, but I consider baby boomers to be the worst generation in recent times. Coming off the sacrifices of their parents, they contributed almost nothing, helped ensure a culture of selfishness and then have the audacity to turn around and call millennials stupid or self absorbed or greedy.

    They refuse to admit to the position they have put us in due to their voting, lack of interest, bigotry and ignorance.

  •  Fantastic diary. Generational warfare is... (6+ / 0-)

    ...divide and conquer.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:24:39 PM PST

  •  Fantastic diary. Thank you. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, gjohnsit, ozsea1

    Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

    by Dracowyrm on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:31:45 PM PST

  •  What suckers we are. (7+ / 0-)

    The whole generational conflict thing is a ruse, a distraction from the real source of the problem. We are victims of a con game that has been running for over 30 years and is still going.  And the only way out requires that you understand, and admit to yourself, that you are a sucker.

    This crap about which generation has it worse is absolute horseshit.  We are all worse off.  If you are in your 50's or 60's you have it worse than than anyone else in the 50's or 60's has had it since just before and during the Great Depression.  If you are at the other end of the workforce your prospects, when compared with people of the same age in other times, are the worst they have been in the history of this country and by extrapolation their futures are the worst as well.

    The correct comparison is not between generations as our needs and futures are distinctly different. The proper comparison is what opportunities or futures does this country offer those beginning their lives in the workforce, or at the end, or at any point in between.  

    Every observation, every metric, confirms that economic and political power in the United States has largely consolidated with the richest.  Fix the Debt,  Grand Bargain, shared sacrifice, job creators - whatever the message and who is making it - the objective was, is, and will remain transferring more of the economic burden of the cost of government away from the rich and onto the rest.

    Don't be distracted.  Today, the government of the US operates to protect the wealthy and further enrich the wealthy.  The pain the rest of us experience, the diminishment of our futures compared to previous generations, is inconsequential to the policies currently being discussed.  

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    I've been saying something like this for years, but not nearly as well. Nothing like facts and figures to build a watertight case. The question is, how do we fight it?

    "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

    by northsylvania on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:57:17 PM PST

  •  Baby Boomers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luhks

    Generally speaking:

    - Screwed up the environment
    - Screwed up the economy
    - Screwed up the government
    - Screwed over their children
    - Screwed over their children's children
    - Screwing over their children's children's children

    I guess they just plain screwed up.

    Sure wish they could get off their mighty white horses and admit it.

    •  Instead, they're continuing to screw everyone over (0+ / 0-)

      by demanding harsher and harsher austerity at the time when public employment is already declining.

      They'll protect their Medicare and Social Security ... for themselves. And they'll make sure it gets cut for anyone who came behind them.

  •  The fact that Baby Boomers even consider themselve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird

    s to have faced any challenges like the millennials is just proof of how selfish and entitled they really are.

    The Baby Boomers brought us endless state of war and banking crises. The Boomers will receive better retirement benefits than Millennials, while having paid substantially lower taxes at their peak income years. They wrecked the economy for the next generation and then wrote themselves tax refund checks for the privilege of doing so.

    Here is the difference between a Boomer and a Millennial. If you're a Boomer that had a bad Recession, that means that you got screwed on your home mortgage. If you're a Millennial, you have a non-dischargeable mortgage on your education that coast you as much as the Boomer's house, but those advanced degrees you worked much harder and longer to get are now worthless assets that can't even get you an entry level job. Millennials got the worst aspects of the mortgage without any asset in return for it.

    Millennials are not only NINJAs (No Income, No Assets, No Jobs), but they are Debt Slaves who will be paying a third of their income to banks for the rest of their working lives.

    •  You really need to take a break (0+ / 0-)

      You are talking from pure emotion. You haven't brought a single verifiable fact with you. Grow up.

    •  Yes Millenials have had it harder (0+ / 0-)

      and will probably have it harder during their entire lives, BUT you are painting with your brush far too broadly.

        For instance, have you had it tougher than a Boomer-aged black person from the old South that grew up with racists laws?
         How about a Boomer-aged American indian growing up in deep poverty?
         How about a Boomer-aged hillbilly girl in the Ozarks?
       How about any Boomer growing up in the ghettos of the rust belt?

        The fact is that there are all sorts of exceptions to your broad strokes.
         And they go the other way too.
      What about Millenials that are children of the wealthy elite? Do they have it hard?

        The fact is that the dividing lines between class are far clearer than the diving lines between generations.
         If you didn't know that, then you need to learn it.

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

      by gjohnsit on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:06:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're all getting sucked back into it again... (5+ / 0-)

    I was born in 1950.  The first vote I had was in 1978.  Those were mid-terms, but I already knew I was going to be a lifelong Democrat.  Hated Nixon, and was so glad when he was forced out of office.  Then came Ronnie, and he was even worse.  
    What you all have to remember was that, while we were Boomers, there were older generations still around, and they were the ones that were sold on the Vietnam war, the "trickle down" economic theory, George Herbert Walker Bush and the whole Military Industrial Complex.  
    Do you think we were the top of the heap then?  No, WE were the bottom.  Sure, I was lucky to get a crummy job as an operator for AT&T...never thought I'd stay with that shitty company until disability (three surgeries in one year) forced me to retire, with more surgeries to come.  
    Still, I've been as active as I can be, up to, and including the OWS branch in my community.
    Call me names if you like, but I NEVER voted for your oppressors.  I never asked to be born when I was, and I never asked to take one dime or one morsel of food from any of your mouths.  Quite the opposite.
    Any of you with that sort of belief are helping the real oppressors, and they very well know it, and perpetuate it.

    No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices...Edward R. Murrow

    by maxcat06 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:22:21 PM PST

  •  What's more troubling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dburn, gjohnsit

    than this articulate, well-researched piece is the number of comments illustrating how effective the generational divide-and-conquer gambit has been.  So far, I've read a cross-section of the most common generalizations, resentments and outright alternate realities about/directed at all the generations mentioned.  You can lead some to water, but you can't make 'em think.

  •  Goddammit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    I just spent an hour and a half reading through all the comments in this diary, and some of the hostilities really leave me scratching my head. I'm one of them 'Joneses';  life's been a real bitch from adulthood in the late '70s right up through today. To say that something I did, or voted for, somehow puts me on the top with absolutely no regard for my best friends who are much younger than me really chaps my hide. I have next to nothing at this point in my life, (wow I can afford internet) and if anything, I'm more concerned about how my younger friends are ever supposed to get anywhere when the deck has been stacked so rediculously against you. I'll carry on as best that I can, but if there's anything I'd do right now to change things, I'd hope that it benefits YOU - because I want YOU to step up forward right now and scream for a little fairness, opportunity & justice in this country. I'm physically burnt out and need you to push for what is right, and I'd sacrifice what little I have to see you through this.

    Do you know what holds this country back from solving it's problems? The people who live here. --AntonBursch

    by aughtomatic on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:34:45 PM PST

  •  Let's not forget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird

    The boomers gave us such wonderful gems in American history as:

    supply-side economics/deregulation
    using home equity as a credit card
    unfunded wars
    .com bubble

    and now they refuse to boost stimulus spending and accept modest inflation to help bring down unemployment for the new generation?

    thanks, babyboomers. you've really done a great job of destroying America so we have to clean it up.

    Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

    by aguadito on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:46:59 PM PST

  •  It's always sociopathy vs community (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    In every time, place and generation.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by respectisthehub on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:49:12 PM PST

  •  We need less people (0+ / 0-)

    snarky? maybe.. but true nonetheless.

    We have reached a tipping point beyond which we cannot sustain more people without lowering the quality of life.

    The recession has accelerated automation like no other time in history.  And this happens right at the point where electronics and computer miniaturization have also seen great advances.  Whole factories and distribution centers are being run largely by robots.  Call centers are run by computers and only routed to people when absolutely necessary.

    And here we are still pushing millenials into worthless liberal arts degrees when there is a shortage of engineers and machinists to create, service and install these machines.

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