Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm sorry, Boomers, I've got to say it

This is something that I've been thinking about lately. Baby Boomers, that large generation of people, who overshadow those in Generation X that follow them, now, due to that financial crisis, are putting off leaving work. Which means the Gen Xers won't get their chance to move up. Until they're 60. So it seems.

And Mr. Drezner puts it very well on Marketplace on NPR tonight:

"For decades, Gen X-ers like myself have had to hear the standard declarations about the uniqueness of the baby boomers. Maybe they were not the Greatest Generation, but they were the ones who glorified the whole idea of generational identity. For decades, Gen X-ers have had to hear complaints about our political apathy, our popular culture, and our musical tastes.

We have suffered many of these critiques without complaint. Why? Because so many of us worked for so many of them. They were the bosses of the business world. And they were supposed to be retiring very soon, but the recession has changed all that."

Don't get me wrong, some of my very favorite people are Boomers and don't necessarily fit the "boomer" type of personality (hi, Mom). But still, I feel very stuck in the middle. Gen Y is bigger than the Xers, too, and sometimes I feel like we're going to just get passed by. What's crucial to us will be lost in the needs of Boomers and the needs of the Gen Yers, because they are larger groups and have more voices.

Maybe that's why we seem like we drop out and don't participate, why we have apathy. There aren't enough of us to make much of a difference, so why try so hard? Betcha we don't elect a president born in the 70s. I don't know, we'll see.

I wonder if maybe that's why I feel so family focused. If I'm going to make a difference, it will be through my children. I've heard that Gen Xers don't live to work, we work to live. Maybe we'll just float around and just make enough money to enjoy our family life together. So we may seem laid back, but we're not going to have heart attacks, nor miss out on our children's lives.*

*General disclaimer that I do not believe that all Baby Boomers are workaholics. This is only a generalization I am making, and I do know generalizations never do tell the whole story.

1 comment:

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'm a boomer. I would love to retire on time... But that won't be for awhile. At 51, I am on the tale end of boomers.