Boomers have never cared about anything except instant gratification,
for the most part. Yes, I know I`m totally generalizing, but we`re old
enough that we`re starting to show some historic trend information.
Overall, the boomers split into two general categories. We began back
in the mid-60s with two premises. The one was to "do your own thing,
man." ("Man," for those of you youngsters, means the same thing as
The other half of the generation decided to continue with the
traditional values of getting a job, working until 65 to retire, buy a
house, raise a family, and have an investment portfolio.
It all worked fine for about 25 years until AOL (America OnLine) became popular. At that
point, the two halves of the generation came back together to compare
notes. Those who`d lived as "rolling stones," doing their own thing,
and focusing on personal satisfaction, had few real assets. They felt
they`d missed out on security and tradition.
Those who`d raised the families, built the assets, felt they`d missed
out on all the adventures and personal "growth" that was going on. So
the two sides looked at each other over the fence. Then came the
dot-com bust, Enron, and 9/11.
In one, fell swoop, a huge number of investment portfolios and
retirement plans were wiped out. Whole pension funds went under, and
all sorts of markets began to collapse. Outsourcing and
early-retirement pushed a whole lot of those traditionalists out into
the cold. And so there came a sort of equalizing effect.
I think that the current situation is a sort of "shock" situation. Many
boomers have followed the rules, grown up conservatively, and watched
everything collapse. The other half, tending still toward the liberal
outlook of the antiwar folks, rock `n` roll good-time adventure are
getting too old for that kind of nonsense, but have nothing to show for
Because of the way we grew up---with no problems in the real sense---I
think the general sense of the boomers is that they want some sort of
security. We remember those "silly old establisment parents" of ours,
who had a long-time job, a retirement plan, owned their home, and had
little debt. They got to old age with a spouse/companion, retired, got
to enjoy their grandkids, and died.
We laughed and pointed, and did our best to overturn that whole
"stupid" thing, claiming it was unrealistic, lost in "Leave it to
Beaver-ville." Power to the Revolution, Man....and we tore it all down.
Now it`s gone...we`re the same age...and by gosh, there`s that old Reality staring us in the face. Where`s the security? Gone.