Was there ever a generation more filled with self-doubt and self-loathing than the baby-boomers? If you had the misfortune to have been born between 1945 and 1965, you are supposed to feel guilty for trashing the economy, for the demise of the family, for endemic cynicism and selfishness, for an addiction to government handouts and for flared trousers.

We gave you this guy! You're welcome, love the baby boomers xxx

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, a baby-boomer, confessed to a graduating class recently that his had been “the grasshopper generation, eating through just about everything like hungry locusts.”

Look, everybody makes mistakes. A bit of greed here and there shouldn’t obliterate all the good that baby-boomers have done for Gen X, Gen Y and whoever else happens to come along. It’s about time for some Boomer Pride.

Here are 12 ways (contact me for the complete list) that we (yes, I’m one of them) have made the universe a better place to be in.

You’re still here, right? We thought On the Beach was a prediction, not a novel. Gen X and Gen Y didn’t live through the Cold War with its military strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction, its fallout shelters and a Doomsday Clock set at two minutes to midnight. Baby boomer statesmen in the US and the USSR found ways to defuse the mad arms race. How about a nice little thank-you?

- No more polio. No more smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella or whooping cough, either. Most members of Gen X and Gen Y never heard of infantile paralysis, never shivered at photos of vast hospital wards filled with crippled children. Granted, the boomers didn’t invent the polio vaccine, but it was boomers who spread it throughout the world, so that it has been eliminated in all but a few pockets of Africa and Asia.

- No more beehive hair-dos. The women of the Greatest Generation had their heads tortured with spiky rollers, baked under driers, and teased and lacquered into shapes that could withstand hurricane-force winds. This was more truly a liberation than the Pill, a more radical return to nature than shedding corsets, and did more to get women into the workforce than maternity leave (just think of the time saved at the mirror each morning). Despite attempts to bring back Big Hair, wash-and-wear is hair to stay, and it’s all thanks to the Boomer babes.

- Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Beegees. Popular music will never be the same after the 70s. These musicians passed on an undying legacy with their lyrics, experimentation and harmonies. Yeah, I know, Bob Dylan was born in 1941, but music is a joint venture between artist and audience. Thanks to us Robert Zimmerman morphed into Bob Dylan.

- Mobile phones. Wireless communication is not just for Gen Y to use as a texting toy. Mobile phones are making a huge difference in accelerating economic development in the Third World.

- Communism is kaput. Somebody has to take credit for dismantling an inhuman system which was responsible for the deaths of 100 million people in 50 years. Since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it’s obviously the baby boomers.

- The welfare state is almost kaput. FDR created the New Deal in the 1930s. In the UK, Sir William Beveridge declared war on Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness in 1945. Baby boomers benefited from the welfare state, but they also proved that it stifled initiative, created a culture of dependence and was unsustainable. Everywhere it is being dismantled, privatised and starved. Good riddance.

- Voyager 1. Launched in 1977, the space probe Voyager 1 is the first human-made object to leave the Solar System. This is a landmark in the history of civilisation comparable to Notre Dame de Paris, Michelangelo’s David or the complete Seinfeld.

- Tom Yam Goong. In every town in Australia, you will find a Thai restaurant. More than great meals and occasions for appalling puns, these are a sign of an increasingly cosmopolitan and culturally tolerant society. Another Thai-riffic step forward brought to you by Baby Boomers.

- The democratization of computing. The power of computers has changed the world, but if it were only accessible through mainframes, our lives would be completely different. Baby boomer innovators like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs gave us the personal computer (and smart phones and tablets).

- At least we didn’t do tattoos. Admittedly, some baby boomers have weakened (the wife of Lord Steel, former leader of the UK’s Liberal Democrats acquired a jaguar tattoo for her 70th birthday recently) but most are standing firm against this hideous habit.

-Steven Spielberg. Born in 1946, America’s most acclaimed director is the ultimate baby boomer. His stock in trade is clever cinematography and cultural candy: sentimentality, stereotypes, broken families and wistful nostalgia. But the world would be poorer without Jaws, E.T., Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Schindler’s List, The Color Purple, and Saving Private Ryan.

- We’ve screwed up social security so badly that no one will ever do it again. Because birthrates have been low and entitlements have been high, the burden of non-taxpaying dependents in Western countries is growing unsustainably.

- Social security benefits are unfunded. Governments are running deficits year after year after year. The US debt clocked up by baby-boomers is – who knows really? – about $14 trillion. That was a mistake. We’re really sorry. But at least we taught Gen X and Gen Y a lesson they’ll never forget.

Michael Cook is a baby boomer and also editor of MercatorNet.

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65 comments

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    • nihonin says:

      06:26am | 07/08/12

      ‘If you had the misfortune to have been born between 1945 and 1965, you are supposed to feel guilty for trashing the economy, for the demise of the family, for endemic cynicism and selfishness, for an addiction to government handouts and for flared trousers.’

      Only the apologists feel guilty, all weak willed and wishy washy, probably drink Shandies at parties rather than full strength beer, just the type of person who would have worn flared trousers.

    • Brando says:

      10:24am | 07/08/12

      Too true

      Between the ages of 20 and 50 I saw my fellow baby boomers change the world completely. In 2010 we did basically nothing the same way we did in 1980.

      Look at all the innovators such as Jobs and Gates. All baby boomers and gens X & Y still cue overnight for the next release of products invented by these men.

      Let’s see what the next generation does by 2040. They have a lot to do to match what my generation achieved

    • St. Michael says:

      12:19pm | 07/08/12

      “Let’s see what the next generation does by 2040. They have a lot to do to match what my generation achieved.”

      Judging by what happens to societies after a massive national debt is run up - speaking for the US, which like it or not does mean speaking for half the planet - then we’re in for a likely incident of Somalian hyperinflation, followed by a heavily right wing or left wing Parliament, followed by a world war, with a lot of suffering in between.

      The name of the generation before you, the one that did live through that and whose lessons you did not heed, was the Greatest Generation.

    • P. Walker says:

      06:57am | 07/08/12

      Baby Boomers…..... addiction to government handouts ????

      Wow, I missed that one, please explain them.

    • andye says:

      08:43am | 07/08/12

      The argument here is that the greatest generation set up many of the basic safety nets we have in our society and spent money on nation building. the boomers grew up under the advantages of those systems, but in more recent times have voted to remove those systems for younger generations while holding onto and expanding those systems that directly benefit them… like negative gearing.

      the boomers also did not go to war in great numbers (especially compared to their parents) but were quite happy to vote younger generations to war.

    • acotrel says:

      09:08am | 07/08/12

      The baby boomers were the next generation to mine, and they were superb.  Some of them went to Vietnam, a dirty political war, and when they came home were treated abysmally. When you think of the Vietnam war protests a nd the   ise of Gough Whitlam, it was all really good s tuff, and gave us much needed social change. I don’t believe our current generation will make similar advances in techology in a similar time frame, or in our political climate, even with the help of computers.

    • acotrel says:

      09:11am | 07/08/12

      Haven’t you ever heard about bashing ‘dole-bludgers’ ?  It was used to win elections when ‘reds under the beds’ didn’t work any more..

    • Fiddler says:

      09:31am | 07/08/12

      yes, maybe not so much middle class welfare, but they were the ones who often set up government jobs with pensions after working for say twenty years. Then turned around and scrapped them for following generations because they got too expensive

    • HolmCross says:

      07:46am | 07/08/12

      You forgot driving up house prices so high, most young will never be able to afford one.

    • M says:

      08:09am | 07/08/12

      It’s alright, it’s all coming down slowly but surely.

      I had to lol at the social security thing. There’s members of Gen Y who see it as their inaliable right to have a government handout to supplement their income.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      09:14am | 07/08/12

      I can buy a castle in Italy for half the price of a one bedroom apartment in Melbourne…

    • Sam says:

      02:40pm | 07/08/12

      Tim - if you hold out you may be able to pick up a Pantheon in Greece even cheaper shortly.

    • M says:

      03:18pm | 07/08/12

      Irish property is already in the doldrums.

      That said, some of the local markets are pretty average atm too. 2 Bedroom flats at Surfers Paradise are looking good value atm.

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:01am | 07/08/12

      The Boomers are the most financially selfish generation, followed by Gen X (that’d be me) and then Gen Y.

      They hold only to the traditions that they feel will benefit them (like the old-age pension) and want none of those that won’t (such as inheritance), let alone infrastructure development that people will enjoy after they’re gone (like the NBN).

      They hold to their religious “values” while using the exact opposite of most of its teachings when it comes to the welfare of others. 

      They are the generation who were never really able to walk their talk, as this article clearly demonstrates.

      When you are old, your house falling apart and your kids too busy to come see you because they’re helping the community event down the road, you’ll rethink holding onto that silver spoon.

    • sandra says:

      08:40am | 07/08/12

      I see—so thats why I am stil paying all my pre boomer parents bills so they can live in their own home—and helping our children so they can live in heirs—I have never had help from anyone including the Govt—so am a proud boomer—selfish?? I suggest you look in the mirror!!!

    • Martin says:

      09:23am | 07/08/12

      @Mahrat

      I know you’re trolling, but ok: I’ll bite.

      I’m a late boomer (early 1960’s) who - after years of struggle - is now in a financially comfortable enough position to help my (Gen Y) kids and grandkids gain independance themselves. I’m not talking fancy schools or jobs for the boys, just a leg-up into the housing market.

      I don’t expect the pension will be available when I retire, so I’m relying on super, investments and probably a part-time job to pay the bills. I’ve never relied on government handouts and have no sense of entitlement towards them.

      I’m very IT literate and fully support communication and infrastructure development such as the NBN. Should’ve happened years ago. Blame (pre-boomer) dinosaurs like Richard Alston for that.

      I was baptised CofE because of tradition. Belief systems and their origins interest me, but I’m not religious. I believe in science, evolution and accidents of nature rather than pre-determined fate. I don’t need an imaginary friend to complete me: I have a real-life family that satisfies those requirements.

      I don’t dismiss whole groups based on broad generalisations. Every generation has it’s good and bad eggs. Every generation is a product of it’s environment and the society of the day.

    • Mahhrat says:

      12:07pm | 07/08/12

      Only two?  I’m losing my touch.

    • Inky says:

      08:05am | 07/08/12

      ...

      At first I was puzzled if this was meant to be taken seriously. Then I read the authors bio, and realised it wasn’t. But in and of itself that’s not obvious. Which means this comments section is sure to be interesting.

    • Tubesteak says:

      08:07am | 07/08/12

      You scored so many own-goals in this piece I’m not sure whether to wonder if you are being facetious or you’re serious.

      You would have been better off going with Lucas instead of Spielberg. Even though Lucas wasn’t really the creative force behind some of SW’s best efforts, SW will be remebered for generations. None of Spielberg’s efforts are memorable much beyond now. Jones was more of Lucas’ creation than SP’s

      The welfare state isn’t kaput. The world is hobbled by middle-class welfare. In fact, we are still suffering from increased social welfare started by Carter through the CRA. Public debt is hovering around 100% of GDP in nearly every OECD nation except Australia (8%). The world is crippled by this and far from learning the lesson we have to carry the wounded for another 2-3 generations or decide to leave them and die.

      You’ve got us in such a conumdrum that we are constrained for at least the next 50 years before we unravel the damage this has caused.

      Oh, and thanks for the high house prices. 8-9 times average annual income for the average property. None of those average properties are anywhere near the CBD, either. Thanks for that. Even though this Gen X person managed to get on the property ladder it’s not comign without significant cost. This won’t change any time soon, either.

      Thanks for NIMBYism, too. You sit there saying it should be as it was because you don’t want your area to change. Meanwhile house prices continue to rise because we’re faced with either a 2 hour commute or purchasing a rare house in that area which is hugely expensive as a result of demand and supply.

      Yes, we’ve learned how NOT to do things. Unfortunately, undoing them will take about 2, maybe 3, generations. But it will never be undone because we’re hooked on what you’ve created.

    • craig2 says:

      08:09am | 07/08/12

      The only thing I would accuse this generation of is now being a generation of deflationer’s. C’mon you lot, start spending again!

    • KH says:

      08:11am | 07/08/12

      You’re right about the music - no decade could ever be as crap (or as hideously ugly) as the 70s…........although the current trend for slapperism and tattoos is giving it a run for its money in terms of severe ugliness.

      All the social security/welfare ones are one thing - not three.  Oh, and you didn’t invent it.  And it worked just fine when it was for pensioners and people really unemployed - it was shameful to collect welfare.  Its baby boomer filled governments desperately trying to win votes (having given up any aspirations of vision and instead only caring about winning the next election to keep their big fat pay packets coming) by throwing state money around like confetti at a wedding that has caused the problems.  And before some troll comes up with a crack at the current PM, they are ALL equally guilty.

      And you weren’t ‘culturally tolerant’ - don’t pretend the vietnamese boat people were any more wanted than the current lot.  And the waves of greek and italian immigrants of the 60s will have some bones to pick about this alleged ‘cultural tolerance’ too, I suspect. 

      And, last but not least, you forgot about how you have condemned almost an entire generation to being rental tenants through your greed and unwillingness to allow the kind of reform that would make property reasonably priced.  You seem to forget that current governments are mostly baby boomers.

    • Pete from Sydney says:

      09:12am | 07/08/12

      Led Zeppelin? Punk? Products of the 70’s

    • M says:

      09:38am | 07/08/12

      KH probably listened to ABBA.

      Don’t forget Dire Straits pete.

    • George says:

      10:44am | 07/08/12

      Black Sabbath? David Bowie? Violent Femmes? All boomers. What about all the great Oz pub rock of the late 70s and 80s?

      Boomers are by far the best at music, gen x did well with grunge and alternative in the 90s, then it all died in the arse. Gen y are absolute shockers at music, it all has the soul and conviction of elevator music no matter the genre.

    • Tubesteak says:

      10:44am | 07/08/12

      “no decade could ever be as crap (or as hideously ugly) as the 70s”

      The 80s was the most godawful decade of music that ever blighted the planet. Hair bands, plastic pop, the moog, stutter rap, new wave all of it a complete disaster.

      Thanks god for Kudt Kobain. Born 1967. Gen X!

      Although some of his contemporaries were late boomers….

    • Inky says:

      11:12am | 07/08/12

      As someone who studied music history in more depth than just “this band is awesome, this band is not” etc. I disagree wholeheartedly. The late 60s and early 70s were a breakthrough time for the music industry. It wasn’t until later when people from other areas started to go “Hey, there’s money to be made here” did the quality of artistry deteriorate as more and more coporate interests invaded the RCs and pushed things towards the hit factory and profiteering we’ve all come to know and love. Love or hate the music from that period, but it was real.

      Sure, I may not have been around in those days, by my lecturer, if you could even call him that, worked in A&R for EMI during the late 60s, he was there, he has the stories.

    • Dr Bob says:

      01:50pm | 07/08/12

      The Moog (Mini, maxi, taurus, poly etc) are all 70’s and frankly brilliant!

    • Achmed says:

      08:14am | 07/08/12

      Government handouts…I seem to have missed the boat on that one. No handouts to help me and my wife raise our kids.  I got a second job and lived a frugal lifestyle so we could afford some of the better things, you know like buying a house. Only have one car, use public transport….
      And I would bet we recycled more when i was a kid than we do now.  Milk and beer bottles went back to be recycled, cool drink bottles the same. Used less electricity only having one TV, one fridge in the house and still do. No airconditioning, we opened the windows and let the breeze blow in, if there was one…
      No plastic shopping bags, no disposable nappies.  And consider the amount of pollution created by the manufacture of all the plastics these days, just coz you gotta have the latest ipad/phone/iwhatever.  I’ve had my mobile phone for 8 years, still does what I want t to do.

    • ZSRenn says:

      08:15am | 07/08/12

      WTF! Baby Boomers was a term used for babies born at the end of the WWII as the soldiers returned from battle to their wives. Now it includes up to 1965. I born in 1959 have never felt part of this generation, will never feel part of this generation and am pissed at the bastardisation of the era to include me. I was affected by the mistakes of this horrid generation as much as anyone.

    • acotrel says:

      08:31am | 07/08/12

      I was born six days before Pearl Harbour.  I was a going away present. My sister was born two years later - a home on leave present.

    • Max Redlands says:

      10:30am | 07/08/12

      @ZSRenn

      Agreed. For mine baby boomers are people who were teenagers in the ‘60s. 

      I am ‘58 vintage and as far as i am concerned I belong to the           generation and I can take it or leave it each time.

    • DocBud says:

      01:14pm | 07/08/12

      Baby boomers were those born when the production of babies was booming in the post-war period (the clues in the name):

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Birth_Rates.svg

      1958 an 1959 are very much in that period.

      “I was affected by the mistakes of this horrid generation as much as anyone.”

      By 52/53 years old, ZSRenn, one would have hoped you’d grown up enough to take responsibility for your own stuff ups instead of trying to blame an entire generation.

      The whole notion that an entire generation shares similar characteristics (such as being horrid) is utterly ridiculous.

    • Dr Bob says:

      02:03pm | 07/08/12

      ZSRenn - agreed
      Born 1962 in the UK i’ve always considered myself GenX. We even had Billy Idol (who must have been a boomer mind you) in a band called GenerationX. As a 14yo punk i had no interest in the previous generations music or culture and like many of my age definitely considered ourselves either GenX or the blank generation (after a Richard Hell song). Only in more recent times has the cut off been considered 1965, i’d always beleived it was 1960. Still don’t feel any real affinity with boomers even though i’m pushing 50. We had different attitudes and beliefs, suffered Thatcher’s Britain and liked punk! never trust a hippy haha

    • dweezy2176 says:

      08:24am | 07/08/12

      You mssed one of the important ones .. Safety, remember when you could walk the streets 24/7, leave the house unlocked.
      I never heard the word Pedophile growing up, no counselling back then you just smacked the bullies in the mouth or got smacked. School holidays we were out at 8 in the morning and rarely back before 6 at night and no one was sending out search parties. Growing up in the 60’s is one of my best memory of an ordinary life.
      I despair for my grandkids, they prefer video games and TV to playing outdoors and when they do manage to get out, mummy has to check on her little darlings every 5 minutes, just in case!
        And I suppose holding a job will be a luxury in 20 years time, poor sods!

    • acotrel says:

      09:18am | 07/08/12

      The ‘good old days’ never were that. Remember when if you got sick, you coud lose everything you owned? When if you got out of work, you might have to take your wife and kids to live with rellies when you couldn’t pay the rent. When if you needed a divorce you had to shag someone and get photographed in the act ?
      The bay boomers changed all that.

    • Fiddler says:

      09:35am | 07/08/12

      you still can leave your house unlocked. People will either break in or they won’t. If they come to your house to break in, they are unlikely to check your house and star wars style say “oh, this one’s locked, let’s try the next one”

      Oh and break and enters have gone down as a percentage since “the old days”

    • Chris L says:

      08:24am | 07/08/12

      Defused the arms race? Well, yes, but that seems only fair since it was the baby boomers who started it.

      Thank you for Spielberg, by the way, but judging by Indy 4 I think someone may have broken him… and George Lucas.

    • Gomez12 says:

      12:56pm | 07/08/12

      Defused the arms race?

      I think that should in fact be Ended the Cold War.

      The arms race continues unimpeded (America may not be running in it at the moment, but only because they’re so far ahead they’ve cut up the oranges, made some cordial and are preparing the shade-cloth for the other participants….) but China, India, Syria, Pakistan, Israel and Iran are all have the running shoes tightly strapped on and are rounding the back straight as we speak.

    • DocBud says:

      01:28pm | 07/08/12

      The baby boomers were babies when the nuclear arms race started.

    • spanky says:

      08:49am | 07/08/12

      Well the 70,s and 80,s let me think,  best damm years of our youth, the music, the drinkin, the drugs, beautiful women who cares what else happened or what we were supposed to have done, I don,t give a shit bringon retirement I say and stuff the rest of ya, We done our best and we continue to enjoy life.

    • Anna C says:

      09:35am | 07/08/12

      I think Generation X are the most hard done generation because we had to endure: the Cold War and the whole Nuclear Winter scenario (which scarred my childhood); AIDS crisis (thanks for putting a dampener on my early sex life); High unemployment during the early 90’s during the Recession we had to have; Unaffordable house prices; Climate Change Hysteria etc.  Thanks for nothing.

    • Martin says:

      12:07pm | 07/08/12

      @Anna C

      Pitiful creature. You’ve well and truly inherited the SOE gene.

    • Inky says:

      01:21pm | 07/08/12

      Wow, someone thinks their own generation had it worst. Stop the presses.

    • mikk says:

      07:20pm | 07/08/12

      Add to that HECS, heroin, no fireworks, overcrowding, wrecked public transport, destroyed unions and I am sure there are others.
      Compared to what the boomers had in these areas we got royally shafted.
      About the only good thing to happen to gen x was the arrival of the first computers meaning that many of us got in on the ground floor of IT and have prospered because of it.

    • Inky says:

      07:59am | 08/08/12

      @mikk

      So basically, mostly problems that still persist to this day, but without the advantage of getting in on the ground floor of IT? Oops.

    • Economist says:

      09:43am | 07/08/12

      Clearly the lines have blurred here as to who falls into what generation and to some degree the argument is pointless, but if you want to go there….. would there even be the generation wars if it wasn’t for the boomers? I don’t recall the Golden Generation (GG) whinging so much about not being able to live off the pension etc?

      Firstly, you’re taking credit for vaccinations when it was governments run by the GG that helped fun it and spread it. You simply did as instructed and immunised your kids. Secondly, you’re taking credit for ending the Cold war when it was Kennedy who averted the Cuban Missile Crisis, It was Reagan who was overseeing the strategy to outspend the Communists you lived through it, you weren’t in charge. Sure you supported great music, but music has continued to evolve and you denigrate things like rap and dance music for leading to violence, ironic? Yes you gave us the most transforming technology, the humble computer which increased productivity and thank you. Voyager One was again the Golden Generation, by your definition BBs were 12.

      But here is the kicker. Post WW2 it was governments that took on debt to rebuild nations with the support of the private sector. Debt levels were a hell of a lot higher as were taxes. They expanded Australia’s immigration program. It was the GG that focused on the importance of education and health for all, delivered by government.

      Yes, your generation want to dismantle these services and privatise them, but not until you’ve taken advantage from them yourself.  You’ve argued against the role of governments to build nations, wanting to leave it to the private sector so you can make money from it, polling shows you see the NBN as a waste, it shows as a generation you don’t believe in Global Warming. You claimed to work hard and our generation is lazy, yet we work longer hours than yours, with both parents forced to work to put a humble roof over our heads.

      Yes you will more than likely be the last generation to receive the old age pension (OAP), but you’ve been clever to look after yourselves. While you haven’t benefited from a life time of Super many of you would have accumulated a considerable sum of money from the 15-20 years you put it aside. But instead of taking it as a pension so that you’d only fall back on a part OAP by the government, you’ve done one of two things, spent it, or reinvested it on a second property or a bigger dream property and then gone on the OAP. Simultaneously pushing up house prices and exploiting loop holes in OAP asset tests. You then have the gall to claim the OAP isn’t enough, stripped off in Spring St in protest, arranged for it to be indexed at a higher rate than and received two significant increases of off the worst government in history, and they’re the worst government in history because they’ve resided over a time when Gen X and Y are saving rather than continually consuming through a debt boom where we were forced to compete with you for low end properties to enter the market and then you expect house prices to continually grow at double digit figures so you can redraw on the second property mortgage to fund your lifestyle.

    • Lilly says:

      11:19am | 07/08/12

      This was beautiful. I hate this generational war crap but this made me lol. Funny how Gen X or Y can’t claim for things that occured when we were just kids but the boomers can.

    • AdamC says:

      11:20am | 07/08/12

      Economist, this is a little over-the-top, isn’t it?

      I couldn’t finish the article, but my main take-out from it was that all this generation nonsense is just that. Also, the welfare state is hardly close to death. I dunno where anyone got that from, especially in a country that is implementing a new disability ‘insurance’ entitlement. And, at least since the nineteenth century, there has been a pretty much constant debate about the extent to which governments should invest in national development. It has nothing to do with generations.

      Personally, whenever I hear a baby boomer whingeing about something, I just tell them to sell the investment property. That usually shuts ‘em up!

    • Economist says:

      12:40pm | 07/08/12

      AdamC it’s totally over the top. Hey the BBs did something right they birthed you and I!

      As for the article highlighting the generation wars as nonsense, no I think he was seriously wanting some credit with this line “It’s about time for some Boomer Pride.”. Yet they constantly pat themselves on the back.

      Also it’s as much X as well BB wanting to roll back the role of government. I totally agree that welfare in some form is here to stay. Just to what extent. Yes We’re constantly undergoing change, the argument is pointless. Yes, for BB it took a months pay for a TV rather than a weeks pay for us. That we are addicted to consumption, but we’re currently on a huge savings binge resulting in slower consumption and investment prices rises while the rest of the world goes backwards in many instances. 

      Howard, a BB, expanded middle class welfare in the name of popularism during a debt boom, something I believe you broadly support given that it strengthens the middle class.

      I suppose I take offense the accusation that it is welfare that’s breaking the back of government. It’s like Mr Creighton’s article last week we don’t have to abandon welfare or state investment in health and education, just prioritise what to subsidise and what not to. With no hope of getting rid of three tiers of government we have to reduce duplication of services but even then our constitution limits the role and who runs what. It’s about being realistic and in three of his bold points he focus on social security as a problem and want to get rid of it. Another Libertarian.

      Correction that should be 12 to 32, not just 12.

    • Jimbo says:

      10:14am | 07/08/12

      @ Tim the Toolman.  A castle in Italy?  Mate, what are you waiting for. Go for it.  I would not hesitate if I was in a position to do so..  What an opportunity to leave this slowly, “starting to smell”  country behind.
      As a boomer I remember when people had manners, respect, pride and produced athletes who did it for their country and not personal gain.
      Bring back 6 o’clock closing for it is obvious that the young generations can’t handle drink. 
      Most of us started work at 15 and were adults by 18 not still infantile school kids.  Back then only the really capable and talented matriculated and attended Uni. not the bottom 10% who attend pointless courses and achieve nothing worthwhile.
      That’s all I have to say about that.
      Now, where are my dementia pills?

    • M says:

      11:09am | 07/08/12

      Yeah, but back then you also had a blue collar industry that wasn’t being strangled to death by the unions as is nowadays. Pretty soon a degree will be a prerequisite for a decent go in life, if it isn’t already.

    • vox says:

      11:32am | 07/08/12

      I stole ‘em when I broke in. “Cos I’m a ‘Boomer’.

    • Chris L says:

      03:45pm | 07/08/12

      It’s coming right for us!!!

    • UnionsRock says:

      07:35pm | 07/08/12

      M - what a crock!!  Unions had far higher membership back then because people realised that the big business end of town just wants to screw workers over.  OHS, workers compensation 40 hr week/ 8hr days were the result of Baby Boomer unionists fighting for a fair go…

    • St. Michael says:

      11:43am | 07/08/12

      “Governments are running deficits year after year after year. The US debt clocked up by baby-boomers is – who knows really? – about $14 trillion. That was a mistake. We’re really sorry. But at least we taught Gen X and Gen Y a lesson they’ll never forget.”

      It’s actually 15 trillion now.  And rising.  http://www.usdebtclock.org/

      And it’s a mistake you’re still making, because all it would take to fix the problem is to cut US spending by 48% (and rising - the higher the debt goes, the bigger the cut is going to have to eventually be).  But there is a generation of Baby Boomers now retiring who would scream bloody murder if the US government took their Social Security cheques off them, so the band will play on.

      You bastards have not taught us a lesson we won’t forget.  You have placed a mortgage on our children and our grandchildren that we can’t pay, and which you are still spending up on.

    • Hey little sister says:

      11:55am | 07/08/12

      @ ZSRenn. You are not alone. The data timeline on the boomers used here is the American data. I was born 1963, I do not identify with the mini skirts, pill popping, Beatles and flared pants, platform shoes etc of the 70’s.Growing up we were the forefront of “Generation X”. The 80’s had great music if you cared to look past the music charts. Homegrown music, cool local bands, films and actors were excellent in Australia then.

      The image I retain from my early childhood is that of the little girl in Vietnam running down the street with her clothes burnt off. We were affected by the boomer generation but not part of it.

      Globalisation, corporate and government greed and making money for investors has more to do with the rise in prices for things than a few local boomers. Stop blaming them for everything.

    • DocBud says:

      01:41pm | 07/08/12

      Boomers fought in Vietnam but they didn’t send people there nor did they determine strategy (General Westmoreland was born in 1914).

    • Tad says:

      12:54pm | 07/08/12

      You guys (boomers) screw up with immigration though. Allow your children, and every other future generation, to become minorities in their own country is akin to abuse.

      BTW, I like the beehive.

    • Hey little sister says:

      01:12pm | 07/08/12

      Generation X is 1961 to 1981. My children are Gen Y. If we had to say who has had the better chances for education in this country regardless of the generational, divide and conquer wars, it is gen Y.

      High immigration is another reason for the costs blowout in infrastructure this country can’t afford at a local level.

    • philski says:

      07:15pm | 07/08/12

      The keyword in the 60’s was “Whatever”
      Today its “Depends”

    • Much appreciated boomers says:

      09:00pm | 07/08/12

      Oh I see. So because the boomers gave me Ipads and iphones I should be stoked that it will take me 30-35 years to payoff my morgage? I don’t need tech products to make me happy, I need affordable accomodation.

      Yeah you guys are tops. Thanks for the leg up.

    • BoomBoom says:

      09:18pm | 07/08/12

      We Boomers owe the GenY GenX a massive apology.  We let the bleeding heart namby pambies take over and go all soft on them. Dont smack them, dont tell them they are failing at school, dont let them feel the real joy of winning when playing sport, dont let things be competitive, put safety rails around everything so they never fall and fell pain or the joy of getting better, stop them playing and using their imagination.  Well for all that I’m sorry.  Because real life is about failure and learning from mistakes.  In the real worlf you will fall and get hurt.  And with imagination you may well invent or develop something that Boomers haven’t…good luck.

    • Rex says:

      12:24pm | 18/10/12

      Just about all of whatever you meotinn happens to be supprisingly legitimate and it makes me wonder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this with this light before. Your article really did switch the light on for me as far as this specific subject goes. But there is actually one particular position I am not really too comfy with and whilst I try to reconcile that with the main idea of your position, allow me observe just what all the rest of your subscribers have to point out.Very well done.

 

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