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Old 02-04-2013, 12:11 PM   #21
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Sure, but I didn't sense anything of the kind in the Times piece. In fact, very little in the piece is really specific to any named generation.
The article doesn't need to. Like many things, even if the article's observations are measured, the reactions it gets will fan the flames.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #22
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I feel extremely fortunate to have been born in the early 50s and grown older is such interesting times.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:45 PM   #23
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The article doesn't need to. Like many things, even if the article's observations are measured, the reactions it gets will fan the flames.
Only if individuals infer some sort of insult or personal attack from a group generalization, and we've already established such a concept to be absurd.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:48 PM   #24
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Only if individuals infer some sort of insult or personal attack from a group generalization, and we've already established such a concept to be absurd.
1. Who is "we"?

2. A LOT of people do it. Read the insipid and venomous comments under a news article some time and you'll see it's not just an isolated thing.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #25
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At age 57 I have no complaints. You play the hand you are dealt, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. When the kids were small and we were broke (net worth 1982 -$88)
we all put up with an unbelievable amount of crap at work just to keep a job. That really helped cement the LBYM lifestyle around my house. Combined with a good stretch of luck and the economy we feel very fortunate.
Hopefully these opportunities will exist for our children and grandchildren.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #26
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Bloomers had good opportunities growing up. Dirt cheap college tuition, low housing prices and booming domestic economy in the 80s and 90s. Yes there is rampant age discrimination but I'm not so sure that it's any different than in the early 80s when I got hired in. And this talk about ones 401K getting hit by the stock market crash is simply an excuse to hide the fact that one failed to fund their 401k and/or kept taking out loans. The simple truth is that the average 401K was small even before the crash and most folks didn't have all their money in stocks. That said I do have sympathy for those laid off and unable to find another job. There are not too many good options if you're in that situation.
The situation is what it is. There have always been booms and busts, and every generation has enjoyed one or more of each at some point in their lives. My grandfather enjoyed the Roaring 20s as a kid, then the Great Depression, then the Post-WWII Boom, etc... Society will have to make some adjustments to care for its soon-to-be elderly, as it always has throughout history. The young support the old, no matter how spendthrifty the latter may have been at various points in their lives.

Generational warfare won't solve the problem. Trying to punish an entire generation for allegedly being fiscally irresponsible also won't solve the problem (as if this were even possible). Both "sides" must work together to find a solution; shared sacrifice and shared gain. Some of the the older generation will need to relinquish dreams of a gold-plated retirement (e.g., cruises, golf course condo, etc...), while some of the younger generation will have to relinquish dreams of a gold-plated working life (e.g., BMW and a McMansion). Balance is the key to happiness.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #27
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Some of the the older generation will need to relinquish dreams of a gold-plated retirement (e.g., cruises, golf course condo, etc...), while some of the younger generation will have to relinquish dreams of a gold-plated working life (e.g., BMW and a McMansion). Balance is the key to happiness.
Well said. And if we keep distrusting each other's motives and trying to shove all the pain on "other people," it's only going to get worse until we are forced into draconian reforms that devastate almost everyone. I for one would rather not go there.

It's much easier to take some necessary foul-tasting "medicine" if you don't feel like the entire burden of the pain is being put on your shoulders.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:38 PM   #28
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It's been said that the boomers spent their parents retirement and their children's inheritance.

I think that's a bit harsh, but not without some truth to it. Expanding on Ziggy's point, its the generation(s) after them that will bear the brunt of the fiscal excesses for which the boomers were/are the primary beneficiary.
Right, enormous benficiaries. Like fighting Viet-Nam, working our asses off, paying taxes at high rates for our whole lives.

If there truly were any benficiaries, they are the politicians that foisted all this stuff on us. Voters were no smarter then than they are today, ie. not very smart. Do you think that the Great Society did anything for Boomers who work? How about the Viet-Nam war? Boomer engineers were too young to get much out of this, and boomer infantry got to get shot at in Viet-Nam. Medicare? Boomers are just getting there, and it appears that the goodies are running out.

I had lunch with a Gen-X guy today. Super nice guy, but although he is a doctor his main interest in life is driving out to the coast and surfing. And he isn't the only one. He works so little that he often struggles to make his rent. Compared to any Boomer I ever knew, he is an essentially useless human being, except to himself.

Young middle class people today can't even manage to maintain the replacement birthrate.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #29
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<generational stereotype screed snipped>
Young middle class people today can't even manage to maintain the replacement birthrate.
I think this is going to be a huge problem over time. There have been massive disincentives put in place to have kids today and so people my age and younger have responded as rational economic actors generally do. Of myself and my 3 siblings, I have two kids, my younger sister has one and will probably have a second (and suffer dearly for it money-wise). My other two siblings and their spouses/SOs will have zero. That is half the replacement rate, not including premature deaths. DW and her sisters have done better, but between 3 sisters they only have one surplus kid in excess of the number of parents. None of us feel like we can afford more than one or two kids and the sister with 3 is stretched, to put it lightly.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:06 PM   #30
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I think this is going to be a huge problem over time. There have been massive disincentives put in place to have kids today and so people my age and younger have responded as rational economic actors generally do. Of myself and my 3 siblings, I have two kids, my younger sister has one and will probably have a second (and suffer dearly for it money-wise). My other two siblings and their spouses/SOs will have zero. That is half the replacement rate, not including premature deaths. DW and her sisters have done better, but between 3 sisters they only have one surplus kid in excess of the number of parents. None of us feel like we can afford more than one or two kids and the sister with 3 is stretched, to put it lightly.
I completely agree with what you say. We have put into place an essentially anti-natal program. And clearly young people today are no more to blame for this than boomers should be blamed for Viet-Nam or all the money wasting crap the corporate state engaged in. None of us are citizens, we are subjects of a corporatized monarchy.

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:32 PM   #31
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1. Who is "we"?

2. A LOT of people do it. Read the insipid and venomous comments under a news article some time and you'll see it's not just an isolated thing.
1. You and I, as established in posts 17-18.

2. I see your point.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:50 PM   #32
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Do you think that the Great Society did anything for Boomers who work?
Yes, yes I do.

Without the Great Society, I would have no doubt spent money on wild women, gambling, fast cars and booze leading to my demise. This way, I spent my life working in factories, nose to the grindstone, from afternoon to dawn. No time to stray. No money to waste. Pay the taxes and be glad to have left what I do...........

Thank you Great Society.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:59 PM   #33
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I completely agree with what you say. We have put into place an essentially anti-natal program.

Ha
What would a pro-natal program look like?
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:18 PM   #34
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What would a pro-natal program look like?
I don't want a million arguments with people who may consider children to be burdens placed on them as taxpayers by other people.

You can solve it yourself, just figure out why regularly employed, taxpaying Americans are not having many children today, and reverse engineer to what might make them able to have more.


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Old 02-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #35
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I don't want a million arguments with people who may consider children to be burdens placed on them as taxpayers by other people.

You can solve it yourself, just figure out why regularly employed, taxpaying Americans are not having many children today, and reverse engineer to what might make them able to have more.


Ha
Thank you for a very illuminating answer. Kind of reminds me of the answer Harry Belafonte got to his question.

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Old 02-04-2013, 06:34 PM   #36
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I don't want a million arguments with people who may consider children to be burdens placed on them as taxpayers by other people.

You can solve it yourself, just figure out why regularly employed, taxpaying Americans are not having many children today, and reverse engineer to what might make them able to have more.


Ha
Ha, I'm going to weigh in because I think your answer is pure genius and right.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #37
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I agree completely Zig. And I'd like to additionally point out the analytical mistake involved with characterizing the population into distinct groups. For example, I'm at the leading edge of the so-called "boomers." When I look at economic and social conditions over my life, they seem very different than for folks born at the trailing end of the so-called "boomer" generation. Yet we're all slapped with the same label.
Boomers are supposed to be the generation born when soldiers returned from WWII.

I always find it odd to get the boomer label applied to me. (Born in the early 60's.) My husband (almost 10 years older than me) and his siblings, sure... His dad served in WWII, came home, got hitched, and started having babies. My dad was too young for WWII - but served during the Korean conflict. And I'm the youngest of my family. How am I boomer?

But the label is there and I guess it fits.... It's that or Gen X. for a while there was a sub-label of tweeners... between Boomers and Gen X.


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I don't want a million arguments with people who may consider children to be burdens placed on them as taxpayers by other people.

You can solve it yourself, just figure out why regularly employed, taxpaying Americans are not having many children today, and reverse engineer to what might make them able to have more.


Ha
I've heard the argument that the solution to the declining birth rate is increased immigration. But that's a topic sure to bring on bacon.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:23 PM   #38
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Timely article. Good, good friend, a single mom, just got caught in a company-wide layoff at age 61 1/2. Kid about to go to college. New (refinanced to 30 year) mortgage. Planned to work until age 66 or, at most, 65. Will try to find a needed job.
I obviously don't know the specific circumstances of your friend but it seems to me that taking out a 30 yr loan when you are over 60 is not good planning for the future retirement. Who wants a mortgage during retirement?
Well, as demonstrated by the outcome, it was a risky thing to do, but perhaps not as imprudent as it may sound at first hearing. Perhaps, like me, EveryLady's friend was planning to sell her house and downsize when she retired. I refinanced to a 30 year ARM with a 5-year lock. I didn't really care what the rate did after that, because I was planning to sell the house in less than five years anyway. A smaller monthly mortgage payment meant I could put more into my retirement account. In the friend's case, she'd have more available for her child's college expenses.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:25 PM   #39
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I don't want a million arguments with people who may consider children to be burdens placed on them as taxpayers by other people.

You can solve it yourself, just figure out why regularly employed, taxpaying Americans are not having many children today, and reverse engineer to what might make them able to have more.


Ha
There was a time when "if you want to play you have to pay"...Now you pay while others play. The "great society" reverse engineered it brilliantly.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:27 PM   #40
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Boomers are supposed to be the generation born when soldiers returned from WWII.

I always find it odd to get the boomer label applied to me. (Born in the early 60's.) My husband (almost 10 years older than me) and his siblings, sure... His dad served in WWII, came home, got hitched, and started having babies. My dad was too young for WWII - but served during the Korean conflict. And I'm the youngest of my family. How am I boomer?

But the label is there and I guess it fits.... It's that or Gen X. for a while there was a sub-label of tweeners... between Boomers and Gen X.
The pop culture media definition of "Boomers" looked at a birth rate rather than a generally shared social, cultural and economic experience.

Thus, the "Boomer" definition that the media use is defined as being born between 1946 and 1964 (inclusive, as are all date ranges here). That was the period of abnormally (and mostly unsustainable) increases in birth rates beyond the norm.

But others who look at things from cultural or sociological viewpoints don't agree. A pair of prominent sociologists and cultural observers, Neil Howe and the late Bill Strauss, consider the Boomers (as a more cohesive generation) as being born between 1943 and 1960. To them, 1960 roughly marks the date when children grew up with different cultural identities and different social and economic expectations. They use that as the dividing line between Boom and X.

As for the "tweener" generation, you may be thinking of the so-called "Generation Jones", usually defined as those born from about 1955 to 1965. They include younger Boomers and older Xers as having many shared experiences and expectations. I grew up in a Joneser household, one of five children born between 1957 and 1965. We have a lot more in common with each other in many ways -- social, cultural, economic -- than we have with "core" Boomers or "core" Xers. As I recall, "Generation Jones" got the name because they were said to be "Jonesing" for the same deal their parents and older siblings got, but demographics were starting to make it harder on them. Some would say this was the first cohort which could expect to not be better off than their parents on average.
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