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Old 07-22-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of the Aux Arcs
19,080 posts, read 16,325,552 times
Reputation: 17069

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Are we? We've certainly been living the "American Dream" better than our children will be likely to. All too many of them are heavily burdened with educational debt that most of us didn't face. Many of them can't afford to purchase homes which most of us were able to. Grown children are returning to their parents' homes because they can't find adequate employment and prices of good are out of reach for them.

The "middle class" has shrunk rapidly leading to the 1% vs. 99% conflict. People rail against corporate greed yet many are willing to capitalize on the misfortune of others by acquiring homes lost in foreclosure and bankruptcies and flipping them for speculation and profit or turning them into rentals without a second thought of what that does to formerly stable neighborhoods. More and more have "hidden" funds in off-shore accounts while manufacturing has been outsourced to other countries with no regard to the impact on employment figures here, workplace conditions there or the flooding of our markets with shoddy goods.

Huge warehouse stores have taken over more and more of the market shares leading to the closure of many Mom & Pops and family stores leaving small town American main streets barren. And tax dodges, hiding assets and over-reliance on others taxes to receive "entitlements" originally meant for those in real need seems to be becoming mainstream. Worse, many seem to support such practices if, for no other reason, because they're "legal."

I could go on and on. But the key issue is what I increasingly see as a major change in ethics from community interest to a "Me! Me! Me! attitude that I find singularly unattractive. Is this really the legacy we wish to leave behind as a generation and are these the life lessons we really wish to pass on to our children and succeeding generations?

Counting down now for the onslought....3....2....1
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:35 AM
 
29,824 posts, read 26,713,561 times
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i disagree. many of the kids today have jobs that far exceed anything i ever had and at pay levels coming in that are higher than im exiting the work force with,..

while yes many graduated in a decade with 2 back to back recessions and have it tough finding employment.

i have to say i graduated smack in the high inflation times we had and it wasnt any easier. un-employment was just as bad.

all this too should eventually come to pass.

a lifetime later these kids may look back and not even remember the bumpy start they had.. remember they are just starting out.

remember the now famous business week issue back then that decalared equities dead because the economy was so poor for so long ?

things turned around within 3 years and turned into one of the greatest market runs in history.

the point is these kids have a generation of time to go yet spanning decades. its to early to make any judgement call.

times change ,business changes and we change. the way we did business 30 years ago is no longer how business is conducted good or bad..

we are global now and those that do things the best and most efficient win,those that dont eventually fade away and us as the consumer benefits with far superior goods at a cheaper price. we get more value for our money today than ever before.

for 80 bucks i bought the best darn pair of dress shoes ever . i had to spend 200 bucks prior and the quality wasnt even as good.

we may not like the change but that doesnt mean its bad.

Last edited by mathjak107; 07-22-2012 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: then: U.S.A., now: Europe
6,231 posts, read 5,475,920 times
Reputation: 10479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Are we? .... But the key issue is what I increasingly see as a major change in ethics from community interest to a "Me! Me! Me! attitude that I find singularly unattractive. Is this really the legacy we wish to leave behind as a generation and are these the life lessons we really wish to pass on to our children and succeeding generations?

Counting down now for the onslought....3....2....1
It has already happened, American society and culture have changed utterly. As for blaming Boomers, the following generations make them look like ascetics.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Florida
11,285 posts, read 7,995,744 times
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I do believe the situation is so complex that it does not lend itself to casual conversation.

One statement alone that you made about 'them' not being able to buy houses like 'we' did.
Look at what was purchased as a first home 50 years ago and what is demanded as a first home now.
Even on this forum a 1000 sq ft home was referred to as 'very very small'

Add in the escalation of government monies being more and more a substantial part of ones budget and it's not difficult to see why self-reliance is an antiquated ideal."Uncle Sam" has become 'Daddy Sam' and as all kids know, when it comes to parents, money grows on trees
There seems to be a total dissassociation as to who the government is.Just the way it is referred to is as if it's a separate entity and not us.
Since our electorate behaves in that manner, that is also not hard to understand....refer to the interviews with Jack Abramoff
Maybe things were never much different but with todays availaility of knowledge, kids are not as unaware as citizens were in the past and the examples set by our supposed leaders....and the ones that wield so much control over our lives.....it's hard to tell the upcoming generations that personal pride will get them very far.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:59 AM
 
29,824 posts, read 26,713,561 times
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all i know is while i was waiting in lines for hours to get my gas rationing in the 1970's so i could continue to look for work i cursed how my parents generation screwed us over.

well here i am 40 years later being blamed for the same thing lol.....
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:06 AM
 
1,445 posts, read 2,566,916 times
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Many of the issues identified by the OP are indeed problematic, and some would argue they are leading to the decline in America's economic power in the world. These issues have certainly created a very different world from generations past, but I don't think it's related to just the boomers. The issue of greed is central to many of the negative changes (IMO), such as the rise of big box stores and malls and the demise of mom and pop stores, the rise of sprawling suburbia and the demise of open land and green space, the rise of corporate agriculture and the demise of small family farms, the rise of the financial industry that now dominates the government thanks to enormous payoffs to both parties, the rise of the health insurance industry and the exploding costs of healthcare for everyone, and on and on. Greed is central to many of these developments of the last three decades, with the government's policies enabling most of them, both parties contributing to the bad decisions. It's far more complex than boomers, since government policies at all levels, federal, state and local, have contributed to these developments and the elected officials involved span several generations.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Peoples Republic of Cali
9,588 posts, read 4,808,864 times
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Unfortunatley the current generation will have it pretty tough. Jobs that we and our parents had in the trades no longer pay a good wage. Many Baby Boomers and thier parents made a good living as a Painter, Brick Mason, Laying Concrete, Welder, Pipe Fitter, Carpenter, Roofer and the list goes on. All these "Trades" jobs now pay less than they did 20 years ago.
Factory work is drying up, and things like a defined benifit pension are real hard to find.
Don't know how the Boomers are at fault, as much as the drive for the all mighty dollar is. Yes Corporate greed is real as the divide between the worker class and the corporate big wigs has grown. And as someone else mentioned, we just have to have things now, that we didin't need in back in the day. Once was a small house was just fine, as was a single car, and a stay at home Mom.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: land of ahhhs
226 posts, read 124,142 times
Reputation: 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Are we? We've certainly been living the "American Dream" better than our children will be likely to. All too many of them are heavily burdened with educational debt that most of us didn't face. Many of them can't afford to purchase homes which most of us were able to. Grown children are returning to their parents' homes because they can't find adequate employment and prices of good are out of reach for them.

I could go on and on. But the key issue is what I increasingly see as a major change in ethics from community interest to a "Me! Me! Me! attitude that I find singularly unattractive. Is this really the legacy we wish to leave behind as a generation and are these the life lessons we really wish to pass on to our children and succeeding generations?

Counting down now for the onslought....3....2....1
OK, I'll bite. The Me Me Me attitude, which I agree is becoming ever more prevalent, I don't see so much in the Boomers as in the younger generation(s). The expectation of something for nothing, every need met by "someone", no discomfort tolerable, twenty-somethings "working on my disability" for LBP (and here I could go on and on)--Unbelievable! Of course, we raised the little buggers.

I'm in accord with the tone of previous posters who don't see the younger generation necessarily all that bad off. I was well into my thirties when my educational debt was paid off, my forties before I replaced my knock down furniture. Newly divorced, I got the house, complete with 18% mortgage. Remember the gas lines and double nickel speeds to save gas? Now I'm supporting, partially of fully, several members of four generations. At 66, I hope to retire by 73. I'm not bitchin', but neither am I feeling particularly greedy.

Last edited by mastequila; 07-22-2012 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:54 AM
 
29,824 posts, read 26,713,561 times
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around our way the trades are paid more than ever. many do have mandatory furlough but thats a function of the economy as it stands right now.

see what an electrician gets paid vs a generation ago or even an auto mechanic.

im not aware of one trade at least in the northeast that earns less today per hour.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,482 posts, read 43,312,302 times
Reputation: 19871
The current economic situation didn't occur b/c of some philosophical bent of our generation.

First of all, a larger proportion of kids (in successive generations) received college degrees than preceding generations, b/c they took out loans. You couldn't GET a college loan when I was in college. It was a rarity (unless related to the GI bill). I worked 3 jobs to pay my way.

So . . . people who probably should not even have pursued a college degree . . . who would have been better off getting a trade skill or going to a junior college/community college . . . used educational loans to finance a degree. Had they been told "the only way you can AFFORD to get this degree is to be so committed to it that you are willing to work 30 hours a week while attending college," I can bet a large chunk of kids getting degrees after 1990 would have opted out, chosen a different career path, or planned differently, i.e., gotten an associate's degree or license (cosmetology, CNA, etc) started a career, then returned to college to to finish up that BS/AB.

Now, these same kids who floated thru/ school "just b/c it was the thing to do" . . . obtained fairly worthless degrees that lead nowhere as far as the job market . . . can't find jobs. Even if the economy were robust, they still wouldn't find jobs - as many of the degrees are in overcrowded fields or are more or less entry-level degrees that require a master's to get into a field. Just how many "business degrees" do we need out there? Or "communications" degrees? I dont' need to belabor this - there are all sorts of surveys and reports outlining what lousy choices so many kids made in deciding what to major in, what degree to pursue.

And then we have the economic climate . . . but those kids moving back home are doing so b/c it is the convenient thing to do. How many of us would have moved back home with our parents at 21, had we not been able to find a job? No one I know! We all were eager to get out on our own and many of my peers in college were already working several part time jobs while going to school, had our own apartments . . . and quite a few were married. We had returning Viet Nam vets . . . how many returning vets wanted to move back in with mom and dad?

So this thing about "kids moving back home" - I just didn't see that when I was in my 20s . . . folks wanted their own place. It seems mom and dad have made it very convenient to move back home (I surely did!) where kids are fine w/ a much higher standard of living than they could attain on their own (or with roommates). We were willing to live in crummy apartments, often without a tv and a phone, scavanged furniture (remember those cable spool tables? lol), toting our clothes to a laundromat, and eating ramen noodles.

I think the biggest mistake we made with raising our children was to make it too damn easy for them. It wasn't GREED at all that drove our generation - it was the desire to "make it easier" for our kids. Perhaps in doing so, we devalued what comes from genuinely striving and sacrificing in order to meet goals. Perhaps kids want it handed to them without the toil it took for our generation. Or even if our children don't think of it that way, maybe we have simply taught them to expect a safety net, whether with loans, our checkbook, providing cars, the latest electronics, healthcare, cool clothing - or with a soft spot to land in our homes when times are challenging.
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