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1 celticdragon  Mon, Jul 16, 2012 12:51:41pm

Gen X (which actually includes Gen Y) and the Millennials are the first generations in US history to do worse then their parents on average. We are definitely the "Screwed Generations" and it has nothing to do with our work ethics or skill sets. We had to sit by and watch a big chunk of the Boomers loot the room and run off with everything that was not bolted down.

2 Daniel Ballard  Mon, Jul 16, 2012 2:42:00pm

Really? The generation that grew up in the depression and fought WW2 was better off than their parents? Okay if the experts say so I guess. But I'm a bit doubtful.

3 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Mon, Jul 16, 2012 4:10:21pm

On the other hand, all the boomers I know have, at some point in the last ten years, had to support or pay for an adult child.

My parents have had a child living in their basement (not the same kid) for about six years now.

My aunt and uncle have one of those highly-educated unemployable young adults on their hands. In fact, they paid for two highly expensive educations that aren't being utilized.

My other aunt and uncle actually had another aunt's son-in-law and grandson with them for a bit. (Long story.)

One set of aunt and uncle is raising two grandchildren while their mother lived in the basement, only sometimes able to do anything useful.

One couple used up a fair bit of their savings paying for a custody battle (very necessary, and ultimately won.)

The only one who got out of it is the divorced aunt in bankruptcy who moved into an 800 square foot house. Surprisingly, nobody's moved in with her, although it was her kids that put her into bankruptcy.

I do think everyone would be happier if the kids could start earning an income and become real adults. All of the older of the second generation, who were launched before the economy went south, have done much better.

4 celticdragon  Mon, Jul 16, 2012 5:56:08pm

re: #2 Daniel Ballard

Really? The generation that grew up in the depression and fought WW2 was better off than their parents? Okay if the experts say so I guess. But I'm a bit doubtful.

What version of history did you learn? The WW II generation was also the generation that got the GI Bill, good union jobs with benefits, and built the stable middle class we are now squandering.

5 Joanne  Mon, Jul 16, 2012 6:03:43pm

I guess we should just off mon, dad and the remaining grandparents.

Turning one set of peeps against another serves no purpose other than to fan resentment (like non-union workers v union workers).

6 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Jul 16, 2012 7:33:30pm

re: #4 celticdragon

What version of history did you learn? The WW II generation was also the generation that got the GI Bill, good union jobs with benefits, and built the stable middle class we are now squandering.

That we'd one day have a generation that was worse off than their parents has been likely since the 1970's. The state of affairs you describe was in large part the results of WWII leaving the US, and to an extent the UK, as the workshops of the non-Communist world. With French, Italian, and German heavy industry largely wrecked by the war, the US was able to profit mightily from selling its wares abroad in the postwar decade.

But while such a state of affairs allowed great prosperity in America, it could not be maintained in the long term. Europe recovered from WWII and some other nations eventually industrialized, which left us facing competition we were not really prepared to deal with. In some ways we still aren't and that's the problem: Both right and left look back on at least some parts of the 1950's and 1960's with rose-colored glasses instead of seeing America's economic position for what it really was: A temporary peak brought about by circumstances unlike to recur.

Now, its likely too late for my generation to catch up to our parents. We don't have the same level of 'educational/productive' qualitative advantage over workers in other nations that our grandparents and parents had, and we're saddled with a mountain of debt. I'm not saying people my age should not act to better things, but I feel some level of acceptance is in order: Generations X and Y will not be sprinting ahead, we're going to be the generations that had accomplish the largely thankless job of managing America's place in a world that has grown strong faster than we have.

But we ain't doomed, not by a long shot, and it doesn't mean we still can't do decently for ourselves. Indeed, we can and should.


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