Monday, April 7, 2008

The Return of the Age Wars

First, there was Christopher Buckley's Boomsday satire, where a Gen Xer suggests Boomers commit suicide at age 65 to save Social Security and Medicare for younger generations.

Now comes Jeff Gordinier's X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking. Here's a review of it in today's USATODAY. Better yet, read this short excerpt.

We first wrote about the Age Wars about a year ago, and summed up our take on it in this op/ed piece last summer (PDF file).

Here's an excerpt from it:

The first shots came last spring in a PBS documentary, Boomer Century. We don’t think producer Ken Dychtwald meant to launch “Age Wars,” but he did. Virtually all reviews and commentaries were not about the show, but attacks on Boomers. We found it in traditional media. We found it in the blogs.

Commentary by Martin Kuz, in SF Weekly titled “Boomtastrophe” represents the best, or worst, depending on your point-of-view. “Boomers,” Kuz begins, “have largely squandered their chance to improve the world.” He then proceeds to take Boomers to the woodshed for an unmerciful beating. He gets absolutely apoplectic that Boomers haven’t fixed Social Security or Medicaid, and will bankrupt both.

This assessment is at best premature, and at worst, unfair, inaccurate and biased. Neither entitlement was by or for Boomers, nor have many, if any, Boomers collected a dime from either program. Nobody doubts that they have the potential to ruin both through the sheer force and magnitude of their numbers. But let’s be honest. It wasn’t the Boomers who failed to see their own demographic tidal wave coming — it was the previous generations of social policy makers.
We're not sure where the war goes next, but it's interesting to watch it unfold.

1 comment:

Rita said...

I write a blog for boomer consumers called The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at I, too, have noticed a lot of negative comments about boomers as I've read blogs by some of the younger set.

Valuable Insights into the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today's Baby Boomers

This blog is by the authors of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group, on sale now.

Here is where you'll find information referenced in the book, as well as updates, news and perspectives from Matt Thornhill and John Martin, founders of the Boomer Project.