Thursday, December 16, 2010

Boomer Angst

Members of a tribe can often be its biggest critics. On its Editorial & Comment page, today's Globe & Mail newspaper has a piece rather oddly categorized as 'Boomer Economics'. It's penned by a journalist, Gary Mason, who has a 24-year-old son and, for that reason and from his head shot, he looks to be a shoe-in for a boomer. Mr. Mason is outraged at his son's terrible job prospects and he blames boomers for it: "Our kids could be a lost generation, but boomers don't seem too worried about it." Instead, we are racking up debt and hanging onto our jobs after 65. And we should be deeply ashamed.

I recall my dad, born in 1910 and a pharmacist, was out of work for a year in the Dirty Thirties. It's hard to imagine his dad being ashamed or taking responsibility with other similar dads for those tough times. His dad may have thought his son should be grateful his old man survived World War One!

According to Mason: "Young people all over the world are postponing their dreams". As I lived on the outskirts of London, England at his son's age, thinking ahead for me was hoping the Russkies weren't actually going to press the start button on their ICBMs. We know now that a Soviet submarine captain disobeyed an order to fire at a US destroyer during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

So here I am continuing to run up debt while hoping someone will give me another paid gig even though I'm 65. Meanwhile I'm happy to still have a planet and to help my adult kids when I can.

Who says we boomers owe our kids the fulfillment of their 'dreams'?

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