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Report Disputes 'Boomer Myths' About 'Me Generation'

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posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:53 AM
I am starting this thread in response to posts here blaming Boomers for the sorry state of affairs the US finds itself in today.

Baby boomers are not a bunch of annoying, self-absorbed, aging hippies with too much money and a penchant to call attention to themselves.


So says a report released yesterday (April 15) by AARP meant to dispel persistent "boomer myths" about the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

"The label of being self-centered is grossly exaggerated. It's very convenient to lump boomers together as a monolith, and this really misses the mark. This generation is really very diverse," said AARP spokesman Anthony DeLuise.


It is convenient for people to stereotype and denigrate others for their own difficulties, but I was really surprised at the way Boomers came under attack in the Gen X Retirement thread. "Sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child." I felt compelled to stand up, not just for Boomers, who have their failings to be sure, but for honesty and decency, as well. Boomers are getting a bad rap, undeservedly so.

"The important thing is that boomers are redefining age, making retirement obsolete, starting new careers and giving back to the world,"

The study, which surveyed more than 17,000 baby boomers, found that 70 percent said they had a "responsibility to make the world a better place." Only 9 percent qualify as truly "affluent," with incomes of more than $150,000; one-quarter of them have no savings or investments, while just one-fifth own their own homes outright.

Far from carefree, 37 percent still have children under 18 living at home, while only 11 percent plan to stop working entirely at 65. Vanity still resonates, though — 68 percent said it was important to "remain attractive to the opposite sex," the survey found.

Now, come on you Gen X and Yers, give me some Boomer Love!

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 12:47 PM
reply to post by Icarus Rising

I started the genX retirement thread. I personally don't blame the boomers as people. Statistically though, the sheer number of people who will be retiring at the same time, drawing social security and burdening the medical system all at the same time will make it impossible for the majority of genX'ers to retire.

The system is to blame, not the boomers as people. My biggest disappointment with boomers is that they weren't able to achieve their dreams. I admire the hippie movement and it is very disappointing to see that when the hippies got old enough to make changes to the political system, it didn't happen. We live in a more draconian time now than ever.

So again, my disappointment is the failure of the dream. If the boomers couldn't do it, I am doubting genX will or any generation following. At least the boomers stood against oppression back in their day, we just take it now. Perhaps we have learned from them though, that even after all of the rioting and protesting, things just continued to get worse.

The system is screwed. Evil people will always be able to be in a position of power to dominate the good people.

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 01:38 PM
The dream only fails if you give up on it.

I wasn't singling you out or anything, either.

The backlash against the activism of the Boomers was severe. Witness the '68 Democratic Convention and the shootings at Kent State. The assassinations of RFK and MLK. Many don't have the stomach for concerted effort against the status quo, and the heavy cost it can carry. Others may have thought they'd done their part and stepped back from overt displays of activism. Who knows, maybe the ptb got their mind control machines up and running just in time. Something happened to derail the march toward real reform.

Nixon, Watergate, and the debacle of the Carter Administration didn't help. The money men put the squeeze on and most people knuckled under. The radical fringe represented by the Weather Underground and groups like the Black Panthers and SLA marginalized the reform movement by resorting to guns and bombs to get their point across. The media jumped on the bandwagon and sensationalized the violence while ignoring the underlying causes, and the message got skewed. Dissent became somehow unpatriotic.

All I know is, too often we quit trying just short of realizing our goal. We get impatient and resort to extreme methods that do more to damage the movement than advance it. Our biggest enemy is disillusionment.

There comes a time when the torch must be passed to a new generation. Don't let it go out. Keep the faith.

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 03:46 PM
I have to disagree. I know many generations of people and have never watched a more self-centered generation than the Boomers, my parents.

We are not ungrateful. My parents are wonderful. They are very much unlike most of the people around us as I was growing up. So obviously any generalization cannot be applied to the individual.

However, I would hope that my generation would in this one respect be more like our grandparents than our continuously self-absorbed parents. I doubt we will make that achievement, however, as most of my generation feels even more entitled than its parents. That's bad. Yet importantly, there is a singular distinction that prevents us from descending on one axis as far as our parents have fallen: We are a minority.

The problem is generation Me has never had to operate as a minority. The things that resonated with them always just happened to show up in the media. The things that bothered them appeared in someone elses' book, published by some publisher making money. Their political beliefs just happened to find enough mass to get policy charged. Sure, they worked for it. But the 'automagical' nature of mass has never consciously appeared. They talk about it. They are sociologically aware of it. But they do not understand how deeply it has affected how little they consider the life views of other generations. Their parents have told them, but of course they didn't really understand.

This lack of perspective is beginning to tax the increasing number of generations that are noticing that our parents CANNOT effectively understand that their LIFE STAGE is not an absolute reality. Worse still, they show a lack of appreciation to LISTEN to the perspective of others. And EVEN WORSE STILL, don't even seem to notice that other positions exist!

Case in point, there is an increasing call by generation Me to redetermine who our absolute enemies are. To return to simpler, child-like times of WW2 and the early Cold War. Why? Because they are retiring. They want that return to childhood. Not because it is good for the country. They say it is, but once again they have confused their own self-interests with the larger circle of life. They cannot assess themselves properly. This lack of self reflection is a REAL DANGER.

We, on the other hand, have LIVED with minority status. Unfortunately, I think that relates to our passivity. That is the subject of another debate.

I can't help but notice that the AARP is trying to get Boomers to join it by releasing a report talking about Boomers. This is very telling. Only Boomers would fall for such a deliberate stroking of their own ego.

Hippie to Yuppie to Fundie. Its always their way or the Highway.

Its Highway time. In the end their will be a phase shift in attitudes and policy, with the Me Generation going down kicking and screaming. And sadly, that will be the only time in their life that they will actually gain wisdom from the experience of not being in the zeitgeist majority.

In the end, this is no ranting manifesto.It is merely a truth my parents do not want to acknowledge, and will use their mass to avoid acknowledging.

There is no action to take from this. This is just nature. The ebb and flow of demographics shapes the behavior of its participants. That is all.

[edit on 24-4-2008 by Ectoterrestrial]

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:23 PM
reply to post by Ectoterrestrial

I can't help but notice that the AARP is trying to get Boomers to join it by releasing a report talking about Boomers. This is very telling. Only Boomers would fall for such a deliberate stroking of their own ego.

You say it is a cycle of nature. You say you don't blame Boomers. The quote above puts the lie to both statements. This kind of shoot the messenger philosophy is exactly why we are in the state we are in. Not the egocentric excess of Boomers. When you don't have any constructive criticism, go after the source. That is a common tactic here on ATS. Its weak. A responsibility avoidance technique.

Statistics speak for themselves, unless they are falsified. I have grown tired of the childish whining of the younger generations. "Your piece of cake is bigger than mine, Waaaahh!" There is only so much cake left at this point, you'll just have to deal with it. You are blaming a whole generation of people for the circumstances and environment they grew up in, before they even knew what life was about. You will one day realize the momentum that is built up, and how difficult it is to effect change in the moment, to know about outcomes before they occur. You have the benefit of seeing the mistakes made by previous generations, and the opportunity to set things right, or at least not make the same mistakes again.

You'll have to stop crying about the way things are, and scapegoating others first, though.

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:03 PM
Man, I have to stop doing that.

I keep falling into the same old sin nature behavior when I'm stressed and something tweaks me. I feel like McFly when someone calls him chicken. Its lame, and I have no excuse. I know better in my heart. I just need to take a second and chill when I want to go off like that.

Ectoterrestrial, I just fell off my high horse and broke my attitude. Again. Sorry to jump on you like that.

My aunt sent me a great link she received for Earth Day.

A Million Hearts


[edit on 24-4-2008 by Icarus Rising]

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 12:23 AM
reply to post by Icarus Rising
Thank you for starting this thread. I am a boomer born in 1947.

I well remember how we in our twenties didn't trust anyone over 30. We felt our parents generation had made a mess of our world and we were going to fix all the wrong. My parents generation felt the same way about their parents generation.

Pure unadulterated GREED stopped both generations from accomplishing their objectives. You can bet your last dollar there are Gen EXers that have the same GREED that has infected all other generations.

I truly hope the Gen Exers will step up to the plate and do what so many other generations have tried to do. I am encouraged by the young people I have followed on ATS. They are smart, energetic and want to make our world better. Our future is in their hands.

I feel is is time to come together as a human race, young and old, learning from each other. Hopefully it isn't too late.

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by dizziedame

And thank you for taking an interest. It is true there are a lot of Boomers approaching retirement and the shear number will strain a mismanaged Social Security and Medicare system. However I don't think the answer lies in

op by Ectoterrestrial
a phase shift in attitudes and policy, with the Me Generation going down kicking and screaming.

Rather, there is a great opportunity presented by the challenge posed in this mass aging of the population. Boomers are going to need taking care of, as they have in turn cared for younger generations.

Health system unready for boomer onslaught

the U.S. health care system is "woefully unprepared," won't have enough workers to meet the impending crush and may actually discourage the best care, according to a new report.

"We face an impending crisis as the growing number of older patients, who are living longer with more complex health needs, increasingly outpaces the number of health care providers with the knowledge and skills to care for them capably,"

"It's our profound belief that immediate and substantial action is necessary."


You see, every problem presents an opportunity. There is a huge shortage of workers in the healthcare field. There are many jobs available that pay well and offer the satisfaction of helping others have greater quality of life. My ex worked in escrow and is now looking to become a CNA, then LVN, then RN. I think that is great. There is no work in real estate right now, except foreclosures, I guess. Why not go where the need is and where the most good can be done?

It may not be sexy and exciting, like say, becoming a hip-hop legend. It may not be glamorous and glitzy like being the next top model. It certainly isn't American Idol. But it is necessary and fulfilling work, it will provide a good wage and benefits, even retirement, and the growth potential is virtually limitless over the next couple decades.

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