Boomers II or Generation Jones
Coming of Age: 1973-1983
Age in 2004: 39 to 49
Current Population: 49 million
This first post-Watergate generation lost much of its trust in government and optimistic views the Boomers I maintained. Economic struggles including the oil embargo of 1979 reinforced a sense of “I’m out for me” and narcissism and a focus on self-help and skepticism over media and institutions is representative of attitudes of this cohort. While Boomers I had Vietnam, Boomers II had AIDS as part of their rites of passage.
The youngest members of the Boomer II generation in fact did not have the benefits of the Boomer I class as many of the best jobs, opportunities, housing etc. were taken by the larger and earlier group. Both Gen X and Boomer II s suffer from this long shadow cast by Boomers I.
Bullshit. There is no long shadow if one chooses to walk in a light of their own making. The incessant whining of the Milleniums or this Generation Z makes me sick.
At no time have generations had the opportunities that have been presented. Anyone can attain a university degree, not that “anyone” deserves or comprehends what a degree entails. Anyone can work but not everyone wants to work. They want positions. They want to start in the middle, not at the bottom.
Most of the people of my acquaintance worked minimum wage jobs for years. A good many worked on farms in the summer, picking produce. We have to hire outside the country now because Canadians refuse to submit themselves to such menial labour. My husband worked 3 jobs – one full time and 2 part-time. I worked as well but the difference in upbringing is that we were taught that nothing in life is free. If you “want”, then you must work. If what you “want” is expensive, then you must work harder. Just a fact of life, just as the sun rises and sets, if you want something, you work toward it. Nothing “wanted” comes easy.
With an upbringing like this, you quickly learn the difference between “want” and “need”. My husband and I “wanted” a house and failing that, a nice clean, comfortable rental. The costs were high. Forget the house, let’s just find that comfortable rental – not easy. We found it but it took a lot of work. It took budgeting money that we didn’t have – it meant forgetting ever seeing the inside of a restaurant or movie theater. It meant hamburger meat (on special), it mean a lot of pasta and we even saved money by mixing powdered milk with 2% and water. There was no mall shopping. There DEFINITELY weren’t any stops at a coffee shop, in fact, we didn’t buy cream for our homemade coffee – we used our homemade milk mixture.
Too many of my generation have created self-important, selfish and arrogant creatures with a sense of entitlement. Generations who were not taught the difference between “want” and “need”. Generations who feel that it is THEIR RIGHT to a job that will give them a lifestyle to which they feel entitled as opposed to a lifestyle of reality.
The schools were to blame as well – kids with learning disabilities, kids that bucked school authority and other square pegs that didn’t fit into the academic round holes were channeled to the perceived “less than respected” trade streams. The laugh, now, is quite deservedly, the misfits right to enjoy because real jobs, jobs that pay a good salary are trade jobs. A B.A. is not worth the price of the tree that died to produce it. So you have a degree in Social Sciences? Big deal. Grab a tray and take that table’s order. Society doesn’t need you or your degree. Society needs people who can fix plumbing, electrical systems. Society needs someone who can fix their heating, their air conditioning – society needs people who can weld a leaky pipe.
This is reality children. Mom and Dad did you a great disservice by listening to pop-psychology theories about your delicate self-esteem. Had someone mentioned my self-esteem to my parents? They would have been tossed out of the house on their ear. Self-esteem does not buy groceries – a job, any job, many jobs do that.
There was an article published recently centering on the Boomerang Generation and how parents were seeking second mortgages, using up their retirement funds to help support adult children who had moved back home, were not working or contributing to the financial coffers of the home. These are stupid parents who deserve exactly what is happening to them. Your kid moves back home at 28 or 32 or 38? Then they work and help pay the bills. What they do to earn the money isn’t important, “Poor Jack/Jill…a degree in Art History and all that’s available is a Wal-Mart job!!” Yeah? So? That’s more than what is available in Mexico, or Central America or Africa or even a good many parts of Europe. A Wal-Mart job can help pay the bills, groceries and necessities. Adult kid wants internet? Adult kid must contribute toward the cost.
The fantasy created by these parents is evaporating in the light of a reality that has always existed. You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.