I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but this Los Angeles Times article about how a large number of Gen-X and Yers are seeing their dreams go bust reads like the handiwork of a self-satisfied Baby Boomer wagging their finger and saying, “Told ya so!”
I guess I approach articles such as these with more than a hint of skepticism because statements like, “Raised amid a long stretch of financial bounty and weaned on video games, cellphones, iPods and weekends at the mall, many Generation X and Y members have barely seen a time when they couldn’t spend freely on the latest styles and gadgets” sound as if they are coming from a douchey ‘Boomer who does not want to talk about how his generation is responsible for the current economic downturn, and would rather pat himself on the back for having survived a recession and for being financially secure at a point in US history when many are not. These navel gazing ‘boomer journalists really do love taunting those younger than them for not getting their shit together and contributing to society. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t bother delving into why more and more young people are finding themselves in debt, because to do so would be to admit that his generation raised the cost of living to such outrageous levels that almost every graduating college student arrives at his or her first job already mired in debt. So a quote such as, “This generation as a whole has not experienced any substantial kind of financial difficulty…It could be a defining moment for them,” are laughable…because what kind of “substantial financial difficulty” greeted ‘boomers upon college graduation? The oil crisis in the early ’70s occurred when the oldest members of the generation were turning thirty-years old. I’d say those seven or eight years between entering the work force and the start of the oil crisis enabled most of the Baby Boomers to handle the “crisis” without much difficulty.
By the way, it’s worth noting that during the 1973 recession, the price of oil rose from $3 a barrel to $12. In today’s dollars, that’s an increase of $10 a barrel to $40 a barrel. This week, the price of oil hit $115 a barrel. I’d say the Baby Boomers had it pretty easy in ’73. During the early ’80s recession, the oldest ‘boomers had already begun birthing the youngest Gen Xers. Again, they miraculously survived that recession, and remained viable workers straight through the Internet boom (and bust), all the while amassing great enough wealth to not have to worry about debt. Even in today’s economic downturn (if you want to call it a recession, that’s fine), they’re still spending like mad, acquiring all the useless trinkets they could ever desire, looking down laughing from their clouds made of easy cash advances! My dad even called me yesterday and asked me to buy him $300 worth of memorabilia from the store. Recession? What recession? Negligence towards future generations is one of the most deplorable traits of any Baby Boomer, and the author of this article clearly has no shame in flippantly citing things like average credit card debt, and the toll of the Iraq war on our economy from his lofty position of gainfully employed, fearlessly dedicated possible ‘boomer.
“Paradoxically…research shows that younger people have grown up in a time of great wealth but have more anxiety about their economic future than past generations.” That’s odd, maybe it stems from watching our parents buy themselves everything under the sun. This article from Forbes states that by 2015, “u-boomers” will account for 25% of US consumption. Until then, I’m sure they’ll just continue to brush off our cries that most of what’s wrong with this country is their fault, and simply stick there fingers in their ears and go, “LA LA LA LA GET A JOB I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA”.
I’m sure my friend-in-blogging “Mr. X-er”, who runs The Worst Generation Ever, would have a field day picking apart this article. I don’t really have the strength to make it through all three pages of this article. I’ve already exhausted enough words on just page one.