Sunday, May 27, 2007

Boomer Guilt

In The Sunday Times Magazine - your blogmeister on how the babyboomers are robbing their children.

11 comments:

  1. Ah, splendid: another Appleyard tour de force! The articles in Culture are decent potboilers, but it's the Magazine articles which provide the jewels in the crown!

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  2. yes, we're all middle-class now! heh heh.

    both the ideas of home-ownership and inheritance would have been strange to my parent's parents, all working class people. I believe the idea then was that kids would look out for their old folk and not the other way around.

    anyway, my folks didn't inherit a bean and I'm not banking on much myself.

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  3. A marvelously-written essay.

    As an elder member of Gen X, I expect the Boomers to enthusiastically volunteer for, to even demand that they be included in, all manner of medical trials which will eventually result in treatments which I expect will extend my life by several decades.

    So, while I'm currently not so happy about the prospect of supporting the Boomers' retirement at the expense of my own savings, I anticipate that, on the event of my robustly-healthy 100th birthday, I'll conclude that it was money well-spent.

    That may be a point that you've covered in your "Live Forever" book.

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  4. Susan B., sidestepper of the rat race,May 27, 2007 3:16 pm

    Very interesting essay. Tells me quite a bit about England's Boomers, too. This recurrent theme of the "housing ladder" isn't one that we have in America (except for people who insist on living in NYC or San Francisco).

    What I see, as someone born at the tail end of the Boomer generation, with two kids 18 & 13, is that parents now are closer to their kids than we were to our parents. There's less of a cultural divide. My kids are sociable and interesting participants in the regular dinner parties I give (though they usually depart the scene as soon as they've snarfed); they don't have any obvious youngies v. oldies axes to grind, like my generation did.

    And my husband and I are completely unlike the workaholics of our generation in that we decided to only work part-time, to travel with our kids as much as possible, and not to force them to do anything extracurricular unless they felt like it.

    Our kids are therefore quite relaxed (in my opinion), not stressed, and they do pretty well in school because they have high IQs and live in a household that reveres reading and knowledge. They aren't super ambitious or really high achievers, but they seem pretty happy with who and where they are.

    In my opinion, all the woes of the Boomer generation come down to its materialistic urges. Once you worry less about buying a house, making lots of money, getting ahead, life begins to feel much easier. You start to live day by day, which is -- gasp -- the only way *to* live.

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  5. I think I have ranted on this very subject before on your blog, sir.

    A fine article which gives a good overview of the some of the isses; housing, pensions environment.

    But I (age 32) see other large baby boomer issues too. With their own success they have also let rip a huge cultrual changes. In the house of Lords and the new Justice ministry; ripping up hundereds of years of tradition and balanced governement.

    Changing the social norms through control of the media to their more individualistic and anti-family viewpoint. Then protetcting themeselves from the results with Reid/Blunkett 'terror' laws.

    The baby boomers are more than economic parasites, they have structually re-built the country to suit their needs and views and we will not recover until we are rid of them in another generation.

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  6. A truly great and insightful article. One wonders if the passing of time will cast the current boomers as weak tax targets when current youth step into political power.

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  7. I have to disagree with the gist of your article. When has it ever been the expectation of any generation of parents to provide their children with homes? Echoing Ian Russell, my parents did not any financial assistance from theirs to buy a home. In fact, it was the custom for wiorking children to turn their entire paycheck over to their parents while they lived at home. I once asked my dad how his father managed to buy a house on his truck driver's salary. He said "he had four working children paying the mortgage!" in a not overly respectful tone.

    If Boomers are saddling their children with anything negative, it is their own guilt at not providing them with a king's inheritance. Anything they do provide will seem miserly by comparison.

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  8. Just thought I would let you know about a new website dedicated to baby boomers called BOOMj.com that your readers may be interested in. There are many nice sections (health, movies, finance, travel etc.) where you can meet new people as well as keep up on all the latest news, tips and goings on in the world. You guys should check it out if you feel so inclined. See ya.


    BOOMj

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