Two generations (a Millennial son and his Baby Boomer dad) debate who’s really to blame for the wreckage.
The facts as I see them are clear and damning: Baby boomers took the economic equivalent of a king salmon from their parents and, before they passed it on, gobbled up everything but the bones.
Ultimately, members of my father’s generation—generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964—are reaping more than they sowed. They graduated smack into one of the strongest economic expansions in American history. They needed less education to snag a decent-salaried job than their children do, and a college education cost them a small fraction of what it did for their children or will for their grandkids. One income was sufficient to get a family ahead economically. Marginal federal income-tax rates have fallen steadily, with rare exception, since boomers entered the labor force; government retirement benefits have proliferated. At nearly every point in their lives, these Americans chose to slough the costs of those tax cuts and spending hikes onto future generations.
The comments to this article are also well worth reading.
Generational list via Wikipedia: (NOTE: for simplicity I’ve rounded the start and end years to decades. People are hard and fast on 1945 beginning the baby boom but generally speaking, it seems someone born within 4 years on either side of a generation’s beginning or end can be considered part of either generation.)
- Lost Generation: 1880 – 1899
- Greatest Generation: 1900 – 1919
- Silent Generation: 1920 – 1939
- Baby Boomers: 1940 – 1959
- Millennials / Gen X: 1960 – 1979
- Generation Y: 1980 – 1999
- Generation Z: 2000 – 2019