Baby boomers' entitlement and their "No" generation children

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by puma1552, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

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    #1
    Downvote this all you like, but it's a different perspective.

    We are the "No" generation. The no jobs, no pensions, no lifetime employment, no upward mobility, no houses, no middle class generation. Gone are the days of annual merit raises that would outpace inflation or at the very least be complement to a cost of living increase that would keep pace with it. Gone are the days when you could get a decent job outside of something blue collar with less than a college degree, for which the No generation has had to bury themselves in student loans that don't necessarily provide much of a return on investment. Today many receptionist jobs require 4 year degrees.

    The grandparents of the "No" generation had to live through the great depression, lost trust in banks and saved every dime they could in the most rudimentary way so that their kids--the baby boomers--would have a better standard of living. And they did.

    In contrast, the baby boomers were born into a booming economy, gas was cheap, cars were cheap, they had lifetime employment, pensions, buying a house was a very realistic proposition for most of them. Good jobs could be had without a college degree, and college was a lot more affordable for those who went. The middle class was intact, and upward mobility and annual raises and COL increases were the norm, which facilitated many of the aforementioned things. The baby boomers were a generation of liberated people, set up well by their parents' hard work, and later the advent of excellent investments such as Roth IRAs, etc. to couple with their pensions. Many a young 20-something could comfortably afford a new car back in the 60s, and it didn't have to be the lowliest econobox there was; many a young guy could afford a mid-sized muscle car.

    In many ways, the parents of the baby boomers did what parents should--set up their kids to have a better life than they themselves did. The baby boomers had tremendous advantages, some givens (lifetime employment/pensions), some new ones (new investments in the '80s such as Roth IRAs), and some luck in terms of living in an era largely of prosperity.

    But I can't say that the baby boomers--by and large--have set up their kids to have a higher standard of living than they did. The baby boomers have left us one hell of a mess to clean up, a lot of debt, and little hope for the future. White collar greed in the financial sector by the baby boomers who just didn't have enough have left us with a mess that will have ramifications for years to come. Social security will be gone by the time we can collect on everything we'll have paid into it. The '80s was a decade of "me first," and the divorce rate is around 50%.

    Most of the earmarks that the baby boomers had are absent or will be absent from our generation. Pensions are virtually non-existent. Aging baby boomers nearing retirement--particularly those on the right--can't seem to figure out why we are disenchanted, from their sheltered pension bubbles collected after 35 years of continuous employment in which many didn't need a degree and never having had to worry about what it would've been like to be a displaced worker at 45-50 years old. They couldn't possibly wrap their heads around the reality that we will have an average of 7 jobs in our careers, meaning many of us will have to be out there at 50+ interviewing for jobs in an increasingly cutthroat environment. Instead, we surely just feel entitled to everything when the reality is that the baby boomers have been the most entitled generation to date, many of whom ran out on their kids.

    We are a generation sunk deep into debt just to get dead-end $12/hr jobs, a generation of which many will never be able to afford a new car, let alone a house. Tuition rises annually, but the starting salaries don't.

    In a lot of ways, the baby boomers seem to be a very entitled and selfish generation. They are the first generation whose kids are poised to do significantly worse in life. Selfishness, entitlement, and greed have left millions of their kids displaced early on in life, and spending their whole lives treading water. Many 20-30 somethings are a paycheck away from bankruptcy. Many of us will never collect a pension or social security. Many of us will be paying student loans into our 40s.

    Our upward mobility is gone, and that's the core problem with all of the problems our generation faces. Simply put, hard work isn't a guarantee out of a hard spot like it was in past generations. Today hard work might be just enough for you keep your dead-end job without a raise or a promotion.

    Where in the transition from baby boomer to our generation did that get lost?
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    You answered your question already. If you complain or ask for a raise, your job gets sent to India.
     
  3. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    #3
    It's funny you mention that; even engineering, a lucrative, "safe" industry isn't unaffected by these problems. A friend of mine was hired by Honeywell/UOP as an engineer after having worked for them on and off for 3 years during college. They spent a year training him, then him and one other guy set up a small pilot project for them over a period of six months. A couple days after it was finished, the two of them got laid off, and 9 new engineers in India were hired to take their place. What an idiotic waste of investment on UOP's part to spend a year training two people just to boot them out as soon as they finished their first small project.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    Yep- the US is being outsourced. Welcome to 2012.
     
  5. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    #5
    Therein lies the fallacy that tax cuts for the rich create jobs. CEOs don't give a rat's ass about American jobs. They care about the bottom dollar, and that's overseas. Sure, maybe jobs would be created if taxes were cut--but not on this side of the pond. Then again, 2004 showed that cutting taxes for the rich doesn't create jobs anyway.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Bingo- we have a winner. Tax cuts for the rich just let them send more money overseas.
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #7
    No down-votes, yet.

    Let's wait for those with a vested interest to show up. ;)

    Pre-Baby Boomer
     
  8. samiwas macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Very well written and spot on, in my opinion. I up-voted. :)

    But I have no doubt that you are about to be torn apart by some of our friends from the other side of the fence.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #9
    Update: Someone provided some downs, but didn't leave a calling card. ;)
     
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #10
    While I don't disagree with many of the OP's assessments, his whole post rings of entitlement. In a market economy, how do we *guaranty* a pension, lifetime employment, a house, or upward mobility?

    I think that the key is that you have to provide some type of value to society to achieve these things. You do not get them automatically because you spent a lot of loan money on a college education.

    It's hard out there without a doubt -- and I don't mean to seem unsympathetic. However, the post seems to only reinforce how its absolutely hopeless out there for everyone and then blames "Boomers" and "greedy" people. Well, what should we do now? Lay down and die?
     
  11. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #11
    Well, I'm among the first to (justifiably) criticize Reagan and all the Reaganauts that followed. But really, in the end, it's our fault. We put those jokers in charge. Maybe not you or me personally, but the majority did.

    The boomers morphed from '60s radicals to complacent sheep who kept on voting for people who told them things like, "Don't worry about your job being shipped overseas; newer, and better-paying ones will replace them" and "Make me rich and you'll get rich too." They bought into the crapola that said that post-Depression rules and regulations were antiquated and not needed anymore.

    I think what went wrong was, as part of that, we lost access to good information. When Reagan's FCC removed a lot of media regulations, it opened the doors to 24-hour wall-to-wall conservative disinformation radio, owned by stations which themselves were consolidated into a few media goliaths. And then Rupert came along and introduced twisted TV news, and we were off and running.

    With the barriers broken down between entertainment and news, fact and opinion, the truth became whatever a particular network or pundit wanted it to be. Traditional (read: principled) journalists were no longer the gatekeepers, the sorters of fact from fiction. It seemed as if almost overnight everybody was creating their own reality, the vast majority of it cleaving to the conservative version, and too many people (boomers among them) went along with it.

    Usually it's the younger generations that can recognize bullcrap when they smell it; and the previous generation, between the boomers and young people today, was pretty lax at doing that. And so it went on and on.

    From what we've seen of Occupy, this generation is obviously not lax. If anybody is going to change things, this is the generation that's going to do it...assisted by those '60s boomers who remember where they came from and did not fall for the okey-doke of the conservative party.
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #12
    Even with all the benefits they received it was mostly squandered. Which is why baby boomers are also like a dead log blocking up employment both in low skill jobs that teenagers need and executive positions that should be going to middle aged people.
     
  13. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #13
    I'm in my late 20's. Degree, career, house, late model Acura and a Toyota 4x4, and other nerdy toys. Mortgage is only debt. Money in the bank. RothIRA maxed out each year + 401K contributions.

    Raised by mother who works a 20k-ish state office job. Went to university on mixture of 4 academic and income based scholarships and grants plus worked part time during year and full-time during summer.

    The story is similar for most of the engineers I went to school with, and peers around the labs at my job. Not saddled with debt, have home or condo, doing well.

    Smart choices and hard work can lead to a rewarding life.

    Ours is the entitlement generation, I see it all around, people who are racking up debt for useless degrees, not working to put themselves through. Angry with mom and dad for not helping more. No saving to pay down the debt, instead buying fancy electronics and burdened by monthly bills.

    They want the easy life they perceive our parents got, but aren't willing to go out and work for it.
     
  14. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #14
    You guys want to know something I am sick of ?

    The word "entitlement"

    Entitlements are NOT a bad thing.

    If a person puts money into social security all their lives they are "entitled" to SSA benefits. Period.

    If a veteran puts his life on the line for the freedom of citizens of this country they are "entitled" to benefits for doing so.

    The middle class and poor pay a much bigger percentage of their meager income in taxes. They are "entitled" to benefits when the economy run by the ultra rich goes down.

    I am sick and tired of these right-wing rich self-centered "me,me,me" jerks trying to take away basic rights and entitlements from the citizens that deserve them.

    And that includes jobs the large corporations ( including Apple,Inc. ) send overseas to save money so they can pay their executives their "entitlements".


    /rant
     
  15. TPadden, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012

    TPadden macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Of my 2 adult sons, the one who didn't go to college is making almost double the one who did. Both have houses, nice vehicles, nice toys, time off, wives and kids, one living on the left coast one on the right ....... both are making relatively more than I made at their age and enjoy a higher standard of living.

    The only thing they were (and are) entitled to is opportunity and it's still available (including the opportunity to move overseas if they want).
     
  16. samiwas macrumors 68000

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    #16
    But herein lies the problem: while each individual can work very hard and move into a position of high pay, it is impossible for everyone to do that at the same time. You can't have 100% of the country as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and corporate executives. You will always have trash collectors, janitors, retail clerks, food servers, bank tellers, supermarket stockers, construction people, security, etc, etc etc. All of those people are necessary to the functioning of the economy. It's not all about executives and business owners.

    All of those positions are doing their part in the general economy as well. But they have seen their wages fall, and benefits removed concurrent with increased profits and executive compensation. It's not entitlement thinking to say that you shouldn't have stuff taken away. Not everyone is cut out for high-level managerial or executive work. I, for one, while highly skilled in my area, have NO desire whatsoever to run a business and have employees. That does NOT mean that they don't deserve at least a cost-of-living pay increase each year or a wage which does not allow them to pay for an average life (I'm not talking about me anymore). One poster on this forum has mentioned that he hasn't received a pay increase in seven years. That amounts to a drop of approximately 18% in wages. I guarantee you that his bosses have not seen a drop in their wages.

    I'm all with you if you want to say that part-time workers, or people who don't want to work at all shouldn't hold entitlement attitudes. But if someone is working and doing their job, they have every right to feel entitled to pay that increases with the cost of living or for years of dedication to a company. And it's kind of insulting to have someone who grew up with all those things (raises, pensions, benefits, etc) as a given tell you that you're entitled for wanting them.

    And I know, it's all about "the market". I'm so sick of hearing about "the market" that I want to take a big steamy dump on it.

    Edit: Oh, and if you pull that stuff about "oh, well, then why don't we just raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour" or "those whining janitors just want a million dollars a year like the executives", I will effectively ignore you.
     
  17. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #17
    Was the system built to be able to handle the baby boomer generation. Arn't they the ones that are stretching the system thin for then next generation. They built the ground that we walk on today, and all of it is falling apart. Now my generation has to deal with the lavish lifestyles they lived and the superhighways that are in disrepair.
     
  18. GfPQqmcRKUvP, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012

    GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #18
    It's not an idiotic decision, it just represents them changing their mind. The year of training was a sunk cost. Does the wage benefit of outsourcing make up for perhaps worse communication channels and quality from the outsourced team? Maybe, maybe not. Their decision to make. I'll tell you what doesn't help: the government capitulating the whims of every special interest group (read: AARP) that essentially guarantees our cost of labor to be inflated.

    Yes, heaven forbid access to information becomes more open through deregulation. Republicans and the current time period don't have a monopoly on sensationalism or fact-twisting. If you don't like Fox News (and I don't, either), campaign against it by trying to reveal its stupidity. Don't fall back to..."it shouldn't be allowed!"

    Saying that the media should only be open to principled journalists is a nice talking point, but how do you propose this? You want a government entity to say "oh, we don't agree with your analysis and think you're being intellectually dishonest, you're no longer allowed a television program". I can't see that going badly...

    You're not being serious, right? These protests are a joke and an absolute insult to every principled demonstration that came before them. The worst kind of economic over-simplification, blatant classism, and no realistic solutions are what marks this "movement". People should be occupying Washington D.C., not the lobby of my office building.


    OK, so how do you feel for all the wealthy people who put into SS their whole lives only to have their benefits limited due to income restrictions? Does this seem fair to you? The social security system is insolvent. Someone's benefits have to be cut. Either baby boomers now or my generation in the future after I've paid into SS my whole life. Austerity or extremely rapid growth have to happen. What do you think is more realistic? I'm not really excited about the prospect of becoming a Greece or Spain.

    Agreed. I'm all for cutting benefits now and in the future with an exemption for military service.

    This is simply not true. Sensationalistic reporting by the media in making Buffett's situation seem typical has completely clouded the masses to the real truth. The rich pay more taxes at a higher percentage than any other group by nearly every metric and income range you care to look at.

    Monetary incentives run the world, so why don't you rail against the government for allowing third world countries to dictate our labor situation? Rail against consumers for replacing their purchases of U.S. manufactured products with cheaper foreign ones. Rail against the government, again, for not making it more attractive for companies to keep their labor force in the USA. You know why? Because if you keep blaming the companies for making fiscally prudent decisions instead of the curator of the business environment, they'll leave.
     
  19. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #19
    I would suggest "your" generation get it's act together and do some things like my generation did for your future generations.
     
  20. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #20
    My generation is still paying for your generations mistakes. We can't even think about looking forward.
     
  21. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #21
    Everybody makes mistakes. My generation paid for the previous generations mistakes yet built the highway system,satellites, the internet etc.

    Come on now. Get moving !!

    Spit Spot !! :D
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #22
    Yes and when they built these things they didn't think of the long term effects, not that my generation won't think of those things either and just say ok it's the kids problem.

    The problem as I see it is the last generation refuses to let go and let the younger kids take over. Just look at Congress, they refuse to leave. Until the 30 somethings who will be taking over can push the older crowd out we won't see change.
     
  23. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #23
    Hey ! I'm retired and a disabled vet.

    I'm out of your way. Have at it.

    Take away our "deserved entitlements" and you'll hear from us again. ;)
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #24
    You can keep your entitlements as long as there is enough to go around when I get to your age.;)
     
  25. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #25
    I guess we have to separate "entitlement" and "self-entitlement". The former is when a worker is entitled to a paycheck at the end of the month, meaning he should get it without having to ask or claim it. But "self-entitlement", however, is when you get something for free or even take it away from someone, then claim to have "worked hard for it" so as to deny others the same opportunity.
     

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