Friday, October 17, 2008

Hank Paulson May Be a Baby Boomer, but Boomers Aren't Hank Paulson

Yesterday I commented upon the Boomer-bashing screed of Becky C. over at the "Just a Girl in Short Shorts" blog, who regards Baby Boomers' sense of entitlement as a driving force behind the government bail out of Wall Street. This morning, new polling data has fallen into my lap to contradict her blame-Boomers-first polemic.

In an early October survey of 800 Baby Boomers (ages 40 to 59), TV Land found that half of all Boomers "feel that the government is doing too much to solve Wall Street's problems," while only one quarter believe the government is not doing enough. (The TV Land network provides programming targeting the 40 to 59-year-old demographic.)

If this poll can be believed, it certainly wasn't Baby Boomers who were pressuring Congressmen to bail out the big New York financial firms. More likely, Boomers were behind the barrage of e-mails and phone calls to Congress that opposed the easy terms favored by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (born 1946) and other panicky politicians early on. Indeed, younger generations may have Baby Boomers to thank that the raid on taxpayer wallets wasn't worse!

1 comment:

Michael said...

Matt, John and Jim...

The Boomer bashing pastime is a bit out of hand and, generally, I believe it reflects a:

=> lack of information combined with an abundance of bad information

Part of this is a direct effort by the agenda driven mainstream media to portray Boomers as

"gray, tired, dependent and sitting in wheel chairs waiting to receive government entitlements"

This is simply not what's going on in the world of Boomers and is a pretty good example of how far removed the media and politicians are from the reality of most Americans - particularly Boomers.

In addition, the Baby Boomers are the ones who stand to loose the most from all this miscreant behavior in Washington because they have the most invested in the markets and hold the largest chunk of equity.

Not the 20 and 30 somethings - a higher percentage of whom still live at home than many prior generations.

You mentioned that:

25% of the Boomers supported the "Bail Out" and 50% didn't. That still leaves another 25%. I'm willing to bet that most of that 25% does not like the Bail Out either.

Bad business, bad politics and REALLY BAD ECONOMICS...

The younger people, BTW, avidly supporting the government intervention are the ones actively creating a huge long range financial repercussion - namely, how the hell are we going to pay for all this?

The very thing they complain about the most is exactly what they are perpetrating for the economy of 20 years from now - with implications far more severe than what we have today.

The market will correct itself if we leave it alone.

The Social Security system is an excellent example of government management and fiscal skills and now the government is going to buy "stock in the banks"...

Please. What Brainiac truly believes that the Congressional oversight committee who allowed this mess in the first place is going to do a better job with the managing banking system and the securities than they did with Social Security?

It's pretty clear that they had no idea what they were doing in the first place.

Government is the root cause of this and definitely not the cure - particularly the legislative branch.

In the event that the Boomer bashers don't know what that means, repeat after me class:

"The legislative branch of our government is called "CONGRESS".

I have been against government bail outs beginning with the Chrysler, way back when...

I wrote a blog recently about the bail out on Newsvine:

There is also a link in there to a blog about spanking any Congressional member who voted for the Bail Out by voting those who are up for re-election out of office this November.

Most Boomers are not only against the Bail Out - they are angry about it.

I agree with your post and I'm going to read your book.

Michael Barrett

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.