“Generation Squeeze”

elderly are people doonesbury
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No real surprises — most of us here have been in this situation, are in this situation, or have people close to us currently suffering. But now we have a media-friendly moniker, per Catherine Rampell at the NYTImes, when “Older Isn’t Better, It’s Brutal“:

… In the current listless economy, every generation has a claim to having been most injured. But the Labor Department’s latest jobs snapshot and other recent data reports present a strong case for crowning baby boomers as the greatest victims of the recession and its grim aftermath.

These Americans in their 50s and early 60s — those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security — have lost the most earnings power of any age group, with their household incomes 10 percent below what they made when the recovery began three years ago, according to Sentier Research, a data analysis company.

Their retirement savings and home values fell sharply at the worst possible time: just before they needed to cash out. They are supporting both aged parents and unemployed young-adult children, earning them the inauspicious nickname “Generation Squeeze.”

New research suggests that they may die sooner, because their health, income security and mental well-being were battered by recession at a crucial time in their lives. A recent study by economists at Wellesley College found that people who lost their jobs in the few years before becoming eligible for Social Security lost up to three years from their life expectancy, largely because they no longer had access to affordable health care. …

In a survey by the center of older workers who were laid off during the recession, just one in six had found another job, and half of that group had accepted pay cuts. Fourteen percent of the re-employed said the pay in their new job was less than half what they earned in their previous job. …

“It just doesn’t make sense to offer retraining for people 55 and older,” said Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas in Austin. “Discrimination by age, long-term unemployment, the fact that they’re now at the end of the hiring queue, the lack of time horizon just does not make it sensible to invest in them.” …

Or, as Matt Yglesias cheerfully parses it:

It really can’t be emphasized enough that this is the precise inverse of the entitlements problem. Failure to provide adequate social services to unemployed 61-year-olds not only saves money because you don’t need to pay for the benefits, it saves even more money when it leads to that guy dying at 71 rather than 74. To some, those are three extra years to spend with your grandkids. But to the Congressional Budget Office, that’s just more Social Security checks and more Medicare bills.

151 replies
  1. 1
    Anonymous37 says:

    Listening to folks in the national press, it’s often hard to believe that anything could be more alarming than the long-term fiscal sustainability of America’s retirement programs. But it turns out that some things are even worse than the budget deficit.

    The opening lines of Yglesias’s post. There’s no “cheer” there at all, no attempt to spin this as a positive.

  2. 2
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    These Americans in their 50s and early 60s — those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security — have lost the most earnings power of any age group

    They also contain the largest cohort of people who both voted for the Reagan Revolution and who, mysteriously, blame Generation X for being a bunch of Alex Keatons that caused all the trouble even though they were too young to vote in the 80s.

  3. 3
    g says:

    Tell me about it. I’m a 58 year old woman who learned in August that I’d be laid off in a year. I’ve been job searching since then, and, man, it’s brutal. I just got turned down for the kind of job I used to do 15 years ago.

    I’m hoping for a transfer in my own company so I can keep my retirement benefits going (I’m grandfathered into the older, more generous contribution) but it would require leaving the field I made my career in. And it looks like it would also be a demotion, since the only open opportunities so far are below my pay grade.

    Even so, searching internally is more friendly than externally, where I’m totally getting the cold shoulder.

  4. 4
    japa21 says:

    I was one of the very lucky ones. I got let go 6 months before my 65th birthday. Six weeks later I was hired at 10% more than I had been making at the old company. Like I said, I was one of the very lucky ones.

    Unfortunately, I know far too many who have gone the exact opposite direction and not due to shortcomings of their own.

    I also know many that were all set to retire when everything went downhill. Because of what happened to their retirement accounts they just couldn’t afford to. Many of them are still working at very physically demanding jobs, so even though they have insurance and an income, I am sure their lives are probably being shortened anyway.

  5. 5
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    They also contain the largest cohort of people who both voted for the Reagan Revolution and who, mysteriously, blame Generation X for being a bunch of Alex Keatons that caused all the trouble even though they were too young to vote in the 80s.

    True. I’m one of the older Xers. I also gotta say that I’ve been working with a lot of people this age, and that nobody deserves the pummeling they’ve been getting, fiscally. I also must point out that they are both the victims of, and yes, enablers of propagandists who sold them a bullshit dream where they could get RICH via paying lower taxes and starving a government that employed layabout minorities, rather than getting a decent lifestyle by their employers paying them decent wages.

    They were sold a dream of greed that played on their perception of their own superiority. It totally worked. Doesn’t mean that in a country that has as much wealth as we have, that they should starve and die for it.

  6. 6
    Cacti says:

    My old man falls into this group.

    63 now, forced early retirement from his job of 35 years when he was 59. Height of the recession, too old to get another good job, too young for Social Security. Lost his house.

    Yet he still happily votes R in every election.

    I just don’t get it.

  7. 7
    smintheus says:

    Those who are in their early to mid 50s also got creamed right at the start of their careers by the other great post WWII depression in the first Reagan term. Job market was so bad in the US I decided to go overseas to work in ’83.

  8. 8
    donnah says:

    My husband and I, both in our mid-fifties, are the exact model of this giant pothole. We have no decent health care and have not had medical treatment for anything serious because we can’t afford it. My husband works two part-time jobs and the last two full time jobs he applied for were given to younger men, promoted from inside. One interviewer told my husband that he had a remarkably good resume and said he would show it around, but they wanted another guy from the company.

    I am a freelance artist and teacher, so my work is sporadic. If I get sick, I’m out of work. We aren’t slackers and we’re not dumb. We just don’t have good jobs.

    What makes it more difficult for us as members of the sandwich generaton is that we are the two adult offspring on both sides of the family, so now we are caring for our widowed mothers and a teenager at home who’s going to a local college.

    We will never be able to retire. I don’t ever even think about our future anymore. I just hope we stay healthy enough to work.

  9. 9
    Cacti says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    They also contain the largest cohort of people who both voted for the Reagan Revolution and who, mysteriously, blame Generation X for being a bunch of Alex Keatons that caused all the trouble even though they were too young to vote in the 80s.

    Or Aaron Sorkin using Newsroom to have fellow Boomer Jeff Daniels call the Millennials the worst generation ever.

    Because FSM knows, all of the problems of the last decade were caused by people under 30.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    @Anonymous37:

    Watching the odious Michelle Rhee on TDS last night (and what a dull, dull woman she is) I kept thinking about how all her “concern for the kids” is really about busting the teachers unions and destroying their pensions. The war on the middle class is a war on the boomer generation, because that may be America’s last generation with pensions (presuming they last that long).

  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    @Cacti:

    I don’t get it, either. That’s doubling down when you don’t have a nickel left in your pocket. You cannot fail, this time!

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    @trollhattan:

    The war on the middle class is a war on the boomer generation, because that may be America’s last generation with pensions (presuming they last that long).

    If it’s a war on the boomer generation, it’s a war of fratricide.

  13. 13
    drkrick says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    They also contain the largest cohort of people who both voted for the Reagan Revolution and who, mysteriously, blame Generation X for being a bunch of Alex Keatons that caused all the trouble even though they were too young to vote in the 80s.

    From a Pew study:

    Older Boomers tilt Democratic while younger Boomers tilt Republican. When asked to name the best President during their lifetime, Boomers were evenly divided between Clinton and Reagan.

    Younger Boomers and Generation Xers have been one of the most reliable Republican voting groups.

    As often happens, you have the “Silent Generation” confused with their children the Boomers. That was where most of the “Reagan Democrats” and the Tea Partiers came from. When people were screaming “Keep the Government out of my Medicare,” only the very oldest Boomers were getting close to Medicare eligibility.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    What does MY think he is accomplishing by this flip, numberless non-analysis

    “it can’t be emphasized enough” he says.

    Is it true?

    Older adults are expensive sick people, since they are tough enough to withstand lots of treatment, which many of them will get if they can get to an ER. They aren’t paying into social security or Medicare and they aren’t paying income taxes, so short term (where the big policy and budget crunches will be coming over the next two years), so over that horizon I do not see how it can help, but only hurt. Those that survive, the majority, will be more expensive Medicare cases due to poor care just before they are eligible.

    Why read such nonsense? He gets paid real good to spout unsupported vague opinions, and slap “it can’t be emphasized enough” on the front, don’t he?

    I wonder whether Yglesias has one piece of evidence to back that up, or can explain what precisely he means by it.

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    @trollhattan:

    I don’t get it, either. That’s doubling down when you don’t have a nickel left in your pocket. You cannot fail, this time!

    My Boomer parents were raised by Roosevelt/Truman Democrat mothers, and both grew up poor.

    I’ll never understand why they fell in love with Ronald Reagan.

  16. 16
    Monkey Business says:

    It’s worth noting that the Boomers also gave us Reagan and two terms of Bush II.

    Hoisted by their own petards, they are.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cacti:

    Because FSM knows, all of the problems of the last decade were caused by people under 30.

    Of course they were. Haven’t you heard the old saying, “Never trust anyone over under 30″?

  18. 18
    Tokyokie says:

    I’m 58, and was laid off back in July. Because my (former) industry (newspapers) is dying, I’ll never work in it again, and even though my skills (copy editing) would seem to be transferable to another line of work, as near as I can tell, those jobs, to the extent that they don’t require a marketing or computing background, seem to be going to people 30 years younger than me who’ll work for 60% of what I was earning. I saw this coming and took the prerequisite courses that have helped me become a full-time student in a nursing program, but it’s going to be grim for a couple of years, and I no longer have health insurance.

    And frankly, I don’t think it makes legal sense for the state of Texas to have in its employ economics professor Daniel Hamermesh, who apparently is using his position to enable illegal age discrimination.

  19. 19
    Scotius says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I also must point out that they are both the victims of, and enablers of, propagandists who sold them a dream where they could get rich via lower taxes and starving a government that employed layabout minorities, rather than getting a decent lifestyle by their employers paying them decent wages.

    I feel bad for what they’re going through, but a lot of it is because of electoral choices many of them made in the last 40 years. I think weshould do everything possible to help, but I just wish to fuck people would learn to vote their own self interests.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    We really do need to start up tumbrel production to deal with most of the 1%. We really really do.

  21. 21
    PeakVT says:

    @Tokyokie: Hamermesh received his Bachelors degree from the University of Chicago…

    He’s also a Freakotwerps contributor.

  22. 22
    AliceBlue says:

    Don’t blame it all on us boomers. My two nieces (ages 38 and 40) have been reliable Republican voters ever since they were old enough to vote.

  23. 23
    Linda Featheringill says:

    It is a bitch to face unemployment in your late fifties.

    I lost my job [outsourced to South Africa!] when I was 59. I registered with every temp agency and every employment agency in town. And I cashed in my 401K.

    About a year and a half later, I finally got a job that paid about 75% of what I used to make.

    Then I lost that job when I was 66 years old and wound up with this one that pays about half of what I was making just before. But that little income is absolutely essential. I could bump up that meager income if I had the physical stamina to work more hours but as it is . . . .

    Retirement? I don’t know. I have no plans.

  24. 24

    @jl: He is a joke. Remember when EDK used to post here, how he had linked to an MY post about licensing requirements for barbers, and how they were redundant.

  25. 25
    J. Michael Neal says:

    You don’t have to be in your fifties. I’m in my mid 40s and can’t beg a job, either.

  26. 26
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @jl: You really need to have your snark meter adjusted.

  27. 27
    Tokyokie says:

    @PeakVT: Well, I wouldn’t expect ewe tee to hire somebody like Paul Krugman. But for this cocksucker to reduce the economic security of millions of people to a coldblooded bookkeeping calculation without regard to the human cost strikes me as not appreciably different from Adolf Eichmann at the Wannsee Conference discussing the extermination of the European Jewery in terms of how much rolling stock the German rail system could expect to lose per trip.

  28. 28
    bin Lurkin' says:

    Delurk to say that I’m in that sixtysomething range between getting SS and getting Medicare, if I wasn’t basically pretty healthy and living in a paid for camper in a campground I’d be homeless. There are for most practical purposes no jobs for someone my age.

    And no, I never voted for a Republican in my life, loathed them ever since Tricky Dicky.

    Now I’m heartbroken to find three days ago that one of my mini doxies has a probable tumor on her teat and me with no money for a vet for my friend.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Yeah, maybe I do. Yglesias irritates me so, sometimes it is hard for me to tell what he is up to.

  30. 30
    Poopyman says:

    Fifty eight here, too, and it looks like sequestration may shake another couple ton of 50-somethings out of the ranks of the employed.

  31. 31
    JoyfulA says:

    @Tokyokie: There is still work in book copyediting at $20/hour and up, and some of my clients complain they can’t find people. The work is different from newspaper copyediting, but it uses many of the same skills.

  32. 32
    Chat Noir says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Same here. Laid off end of 2009 after nearly 20 years with the same company, 16 in my former job. I found out later my old department hired a bunch of people from India to replace the folks that were laid off at the same time as me.

    I want to do something different than what I was doing but it’s difficult to get anyone to look at your resume if you don’t meet every bullet point in their horribly written job descriptions or if you’ve been out of work for awhile.

    And that’s the other thing that gets me: who writes those job descriptions? The hiring manager? An HR person? I honestly can’t tell what a job entails because the job request is unclear and filled with business jargon.

  33. 33
    DFH no.6 says:

    Like just about anything you’d care to mention, of course it’s all the Boomers’ fault (while these same Boomers have the unmitigated gall to blame Gen X-ers. Or Millenials. Or both).

    Why, Cacti’s own Boomer parents voted for Reagan!

    And then there’s Aaron Sorkin and Jeff Daniels.

    It’s so obvious – what more proof do you need?

    This certainly isn’t a tiresome, bullshit meme.

    No, not at all.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    @Tokyokie:

    Well, I wouldn’t expect ewe tee to hire somebody like Paul Krugman. But for this cocksucker to reduce the economic security of millions of people to a coldblooded bookkeeping calculation without regard to the human cost strikes me as not appreciably different from Adolf Eichmann at the Wannsee Conference discussing the extermination of the European Jewery in terms of how much rolling stock the German rail system could expect to lose per trip.

    It’s the myopic view of Ebenezer Scrooge, who just expected that the “surplus” poor should quietly get on with dying, so as not to inconvenience “job creators” like himself.

    In the real world, it ignores the fact that if you reach a critical mass of people wanting for basic necessities, you end up with a Robespierre or a Red October.

  35. 35

    @Cacti: I am so tired about this job creator BS. How many of the richest 0.1%, got that way by inheriting substantial wealth?

  36. 36
    jheartney says:

    The squeeze on the fifty-somethings (like me) is a byproduct of the unnecessarily protracted downturn that started even before the 2008 crash. (Things went into decline during the 2000 tech crash and never really recovered during the Bush II years; 2008 was more of an exclamation point than anything.)

    If there were real demand in the economy, there’d be plenty of work slots for older workers. As it stands, age is a convenient proxy to use to slice out a whole section of job-seekers, with the added bonus that the younger ones are cheaper and less likely to have health expenses. None of that would mean anything, though, if they really needed bodies to get meet demand. I remember the late nineties – that was a time (the only time in my working career) when just about anybody could get a job right away.

  37. 37
    Cacti says:

    @DFH no.6:

    This certainly isn’t a tiresome, bullshit meme.

    Poor, put upon, Boomers.

    It’s not like they’ve been holding the reins of political power or occupying the majority of executive positions and corporate board rooms for multiple decades.

  38. 38
    Aet says:

    They lost the most earning power because they actually had it to begin with.

    I really wish I could feel sympathy, I do. But its hard to feel sympathy for aging near-retirees who lost their 3-bedroom when you know people who have crash in their friend’s closet.

  39. 39
    Cacti says:

    @Aet:

    I really wish I could feel sympathy, I do. But its hard to feel sympathy for aging near-retirees who lost their 3-bedroom when you know people who have crash in their friend’s closet.

    That’s a bullshit meme.

    Boomer fondness for conspicuous consumption is a myth made up by Generation Y.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    So the followup to the “It Gets Better” campaign is:
    “And Then It Gets Worse”

  41. 41
    trollhattan says:

    @catclub:

    But importantly, it gets worse for everybody. Equality, baby.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Excellent, we haven’t had an intergenerational flame war for a while.

  43. 43
    Set says:

    @Cacti:
    They would have me drop them off outside the small house. They never invited me in. I never asked.

  44. 44
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Cacti:
    Fuck yourself, bigot.

  45. 45
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Cacti: Only sort of. The generation born just at the start of WW2, the people who are 10 years or so older than the boomers are the ones really driving the war on the Middle Class and boomers. I know, I’m a boomer and my sister is 10 years older than I am.

    Many people in that war years group had the nice pensions and then even nicer buy-outs when companies began to shrink staff in the late 70s. I never worked for a large company with a pension plan, or I had to work someplace for 10 years to vest in a retirement plan. And no one offered me a nice buy-out when they cut my job either.

    In my last job I was finally making decent money, was finally able to save and put something in the 403(B). Of course losing the job in 2008 (my last day employed was my 57th birthday) ended a number of things. Because of NYS statewide UI numbers I only had benefits for a year. I used up my savings and most of the 403(B) money. The only thing that “saved” me was that my siblings decided to sell some family property and I’m living on those proceeds.

    ETA: Graduating college in the early 1970s, I was caught in a small crunch, in the 1980s there was a stock market correction, in the early 1990s there was another one. In all of the these economic crises, of course, salaries stayed or became lower.

  46. 46
    Aet says:

    It is also hard to find sympathy for people who call you personal experience a bullshit meme.

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    @DFH no.6:

    Fuck yourself, bigot.

    Shouldn’t you be out filling your Viagra scrip or getting hair plugs, gramps?

  48. 48
    General Stuck says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    They also contain the largest cohort of people who both voted for the Reagan Revolution and who, mysteriously, blame Generation X for being a bunch of Alex Keatons that caused all the trouble even though they were too young to vote in the 80s.

    This is bullshit. GenXers are the only age group, along with the Silent Generation that consistently votes GOP in national elections. And currently, the so called Boomer gen is really two generations. The first half, that came of age in the 60’s are the most loyal liberal dem voters out there. The second half transitioning into the Gen X crowd, much less so, b ut still mostly vote dem. So it is the original hippies that are the most liberal of all voters as a generation group. And of course, that would include yours truly.

  49. 49
    different-church-lady says:

    Victims of the GW Bush “Potemkin Economy”. Everyone makes money flipping houses and investments, and in the meantime the real economy is rotting out.

    POP, and suddenly there’s no jobs, but everything’s still just as expensive as it was when demand was high (funny that…)

  50. 50
    Maude says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    College grads are having a hard time as well finding jobs. It’s not you. You have a lot of skills and normally, you’d be offered good jobs.

  51. 51
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Cacti: @Cacti:

    Boomer fondness for conspicuous consumption is a myth made up by Generation Y.

    So, similar to this, then:

    Black fondness for fried chicken and watermelon is a myth made up by white racists.

    Get it, asshole?

    No, I would expect not. Bigots rarely do.

  52. 52
    General Stuck says:

    @drkrick:

    or as you say, beat me to it.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @DFH no.6: As an impartial observer, I gotta say Cacti is making considerably more sense than you are. And Cacti ain’t making much sense.

  54. 54
    Cacti says:

    @General Stuck:

    This is bullshit. GenXers are the only age group, along with the Silent Generation that consistently votes GOP in national elections.

    The Boomers were +1 Obama in 2008, to the X’ers +6.

    They were +4 Romney in 2012, to the X’ers +7 Obama.

  55. 55
    Cacti says:

    @DFH no.6:

    Get it, asshole?

    Boomers are an oppressed minority.

    Got it.

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    I don’t give a fuck who “my generation” votes for. I started out three years in thew hole right off the bat with my Army stint. I took me nine years to finish my undergrad, I was 40 when I got my masters and 50 when I completed my doctorate. If I work until I’m 67 I’ll have 20 years in the system and that’s after spending $27000 to buy my three Army years. All that and I consider myself lucky.

  57. 57
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    Let us have your links. Somebody already gave you the Pew study above. I think your numbers are wrong, dude. Maybe Fox numbers ?

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: I think the boomer generation is more than that. I have cousins that were born during WWII, early 60’s high school classes, and they couldn’t be more different from the classes of 66-69.

  59. 59
    PeakVT says:

    Anyone who thinks this is a generational war rather than a class war is an idiot.

    Marky Mark Zuckerblerg hates all of you as much as Foster “Asprin” Friess.

  60. 60
    OmerosPeanut says:

    Well, that escalated quickly. This reminds me a bit too well of Jay Gould’s comment about strikebreakers: “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.”

    So, carry on trollish representatives of the Boomer and Gen X generations. I’m sure your argument about who got fucked harder by Wall Street over the past 20 years will be a productive one.

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    To whit

    Older Boomers tilt Democratic while younger Boomers tilt Republican.

    Younger Boomers and Generation Xers have been one of the most reliable Republican voting groups.

  62. 62
    AnotherBruce says:

    @PeakVT: I’m sure the greedheads that ruined our economy would be pleased by this thread. A generational war is much more comforting to them than a class war. Good work, Cacti.

  63. 63
    DFH no.6 says:

    @PeakVT:

    Anyone who thinks this is a generational war rather than a class war is an idiot.

    So, you’ve been reading Cacti, I see.

  64. 64
    jheartney says:

    Never voted for Reagan, or either Bush. Yet all the years of their misrule are my personal fault.

    Guess you really do learn stuff from these newfangled “blog” things.

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @jheartney: Shine it on, it’s all bullshit.

  66. 66
    General Stuck says:

    @OmerosPeanut:

    It is not trollish to accurately portray demographic voting patterns by generation and other parameters. It is part of the science of politics, and important to understand what is happening now politically, in the country. If that bores you, then suck an egg.

  67. 67
    bemused says:

    @Raven:

    I agree with that. I’m in the latter group and feel like we were a very different generation from the earlier group ranging from music to clothing styles to most cultural aspects. So much changed with the British music scene, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Vietnam, hippies….I feel like the two groups had totally different high school experiences.

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:

    God awful discussing generational politics on a goddam generational politics thread. If it’s all bullshit, there is the fucking door.

  69. 69
    Raven says:

    @bemused: Yep, they did the Nam too but they were all for it till the end. My cousin the Jar Head calls me “Weather Underground”, respectfully of course!

  70. 70
    danielx says:

    That would be me.

    I wrote a much more extended rant on this post, but read it over and decided it smacked all too much of pissing and moaning, which this does also to an extent. Suffice it to say that I’m where so many boomers hereunto described are, and if it wasn’t for the income brought in by my long-suffering wife, along with family help, we’d have long since lost our home and been on the street – the ‘we’ in this instance including our 19 year old learning disabled daughter.

    I work now on a part time basis painting – I enjoy working with my hands and I’m painstaking and detail oriented; it’s honorable work. But when I was laid off over three years ago (in an admittedly narrow field) we lost over 60% of our income, and my work doesn’t come anywhere close to making up that loss. Not to mention the loss of benefits – we have good insurance coverage through my wife’s employer, which has been almost literally a lifesaver.

    I thought my skills were transferable and have extensive experience, but along about the third or fourth time you go in for an interview and find out the interviewer could be one of your kids, well…let’s just say you know the outcome of the interview is preordained, and you know that it’s going to be that you don’t fit in with the corporate culture or some such similar bullshit. I would happily accept a 50% pay cut over what I was making previously, but it hasn’t happened and isn’t going to.

    When you can’t provide for your family the way you should and know you’re dependent on other for you very survival, it wears you down and breaks your heart.

  71. 71
    Xenos says:

    @General Stuck:

    GenXers are the only age group, along with the Silent Generation that consistently votes GOP in national elections

    This is a very good observation. Boomers get confused by us X-ers because we did not have much of a generation gap. We got along just fine with our silent generation parents, even if we never had the opportunities they had. A few of us caught the tech boom and did pretty well, for a while at least.

    Don’t trust anyone under the age of 50!

  72. 72
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: Fuck you asshole, I’m getting tired of your sanctimonious crap. And I’ll take a goddamn walk just when I’m ready to and your sorry ass won’t have shit do do with it. How ya like me now numbnuts?

  73. 73
    Ben Franklin says:

    @PeakVT:

    Anyone who thinks this is a generational war rather than a class war is an idiot

    It’s just our exceptional culture. We fix the blame, instead of fixing the problem..

  74. 74
    Cacti says:

    @General Stuck:

    Pew.

    Age and the Vote 2008

    30-44 (X’ers) Obama 52, McCain 46

    45-64 (Boomers + youngest Silents from 1944-45) Obama 50, McCain 49

    2012 is a little murkier with the generational overlap, but still you have

    30-44 (X’ers + oldest Millenials, depending on when you start counting Generation Y) Obama 52, Romney 45

    45-64 (Mostly Boomers + X’ers from 1965-1967) Obama 47, Romney 51

    65+ (Mostly Silents + Boomers from 1946-1947) Obama 44, Romney 56

  75. 75
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

    I’m tired of your sanctimonious crap. flitting from thread to the next telling people they shouldn’t be talking about what you think they shouldn’t be talking about. You belong on a sports blog, or a gadfly blog, or to just stfu if you have nothing to offer.

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    Do you know how to make links?

  77. 77
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: I don’t give a fuck what you talk about.

  78. 78
    Cacti says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’m sorry your old ass is too lazy to use google.

  79. 79
    Ben Franklin says:

    Is this the ADHD thread?

    More ritalin, please…..

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

    LOL, you sound like your BFF corner stone. I don’t care what you do, stay go, eat shit or diaf. But you don’t regulate my topics of speech, ever.

  81. 81
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: I’ll dog your ass all fucking day punk.

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    So you have nothing. What I figured. Would you like my old ass to teach you how to link your bullshit?

  83. 83
    Cacti says:

    @General Stuck:

    Google being a GenX invention, I’m not surprised at your lack of proficiency.

    But since those newfangled intertywebs confound you so, here you go gramps.

    Don’t forget your bifocals.

  84. 84
    General Stuck says:

    @Raven:

    Go for it, toughguy.

  85. 85
    Ben Franklin says:

    Commenting on BJ is like bottled courage.

  86. 86
    danielx says:

    Also, too – be it noted that aside from Richard Lugar, I’ve never voted for a Republican for office, and in these parts that’s damned difficult. (Yes, I had to hold my nose to vote for him, too.) I knew what they were all about when I was 16 and they’ve only gotten way more crazy since then. My parents were first New Deal Democrats and then Eisenhower Republicans, but he was the last Republican president they ever voted for. My dearly beloved auntie is 88 years old, sharp as a tack and still an unrepentant New Deal-type Democrat – it was a joy to listen to her during the Republican primary debates and hear her describe Mittens as “that slimy plutocrat” and Newt Gingrich as “that miserable sonofabitch”. Wonderful.

  87. 87
    jenn says:

    @bin Lurkin’: Oh, what a patootie, I’m sorry to hear that. Where are you located? There are some groups that may be able to help out, but it kind of depends where you are.

    I have a bunch of friends who live full time in travel trailers, who work the circuit of wildlife/land management agencies, working as campground hosts, or maintenance/wildlife/outreach volunteers – it’s not like they make much money, but they get to live in some awfully beautiful areas, get a per diem stipend, and have their hookup costs paid for.

  88. 88
    bemused says:

    @Raven:

    Ha.

    There really is a stark difference between the two boomer generations with only 5 to as little as 3 years difference in age, not just then but now. I still am astonished at times. It’s as if so many of them just got left behind and liked it that way when the whole culture shifted so rapidly.

  89. 89
    Raven says:

    @bemused: Yea, it’s almost like the are STUCK!

  90. 90
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    My entire argument has been to split the generations of boomer and genx, into coming of age periods that don’t overlap easily with our political ebbs and flows. Or, that the first half of Boomers came of age in the 6o’s and are more dem voting. And late, or younger boomers and early Genxers that came of age during the 80’s are the most reliable republican voters, next to the Silent Gen. Younger genxers and genyers are very much voting left of center. Let’s hope it continues, but won’t at current levels.

  91. 91
    Cacti says:

    @General Stuck:

    My entire argument has been to split the generations of boomer and genx, into coming of age periods that don’t overlap easily with our political ebbs and flows. Or, that the first half of Boomers came of age in the 6o’s and are more dem voting. And late, or younger boomers and early Genxers that came of age during the 80′s are the most reliable republican voters, next to the Silent Gen. Younger genxers and genyers are very much voting left of center. Let’s hope it continues, but won’t at current levels.

    Boomers are not my cohort, so I can’t speak to their voting patterns. Your observations about GenX are fairly accurate. Older X’ers are the Reagan youth and tend to support the GOP. Younger X’ers are the Clinton kids, and tend to be left of center.

  92. 92
    Older_Wiser says:

    This started for me way before the current wave and I knew others in my age group going through it. In the ’90s, I was let go from a paralegal job making pretty good money (in my mid-50s) and took a $10-15K hit; never made it back to a decent wage, either. Lost my house as a single grandmother in ’99 and was forced to move in w/my son, and to take a variety of retail jobs. Had no medical insurance for 10 yrs. Finally, went ahead and took the SS early, and w/a PT retail job made just enough not to cut into my SS, and was able to keep my head above water, even though I had to pay cash for medical until Medicare kicked in.

    So some of us post-Depression, WWII babies were the dress rehearsal for the boomers and what’s happening today. Age discrimination laws mean nothing–they’ll find a way to get rid of you if it means hiring someone else younger and cheaper even if they have to cook up something against a superior employee.

    BTW, I tend to be a “Kennedy” Democrat but w/some fairly radical views.

  93. 93
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    Boomers are not my cohort, so I can’t speak to their voting patterns

    You don’t have to, Pew did.@General Stuck:

  94. 94
    eemom says:

    I guess I’m technically a boomer since I was born before the cutoff (1962), but it never made sense to me to lump so many disparate years into one “generation.”

    I’z OLD though. I’ll give ya that.

  95. 95
    Kay S says:

    Young people get old. Old folks once were young. All of you STFU already.

  96. 96
    DFH no.6 says:

    This post was about some NYT article making the claim that there’s a “strong case” that the boomers are the greatest victims of the economic downturn.

    Maybe true, maybe not. Complicated and arguable, no doubt (as a group, Boomers certainly have a lot less time to recover from any losses in the downturn, that’s for sure).

    What that brought out were the likes of Cacti, and Xecky Gilchrist, and Monkey Business saying, “Too goddamn bad, old Boomer fucks! You’re the ones who brought us Reagan and Bush, and what with your conspicuous consumption and all, you’re just hoist on your own fucking petard. No sympathy here – karma’s a bitch, ain’t it, gramps?”

    And then the Boomers on this thread (myself included) responded by blaming the younger generations.

    No, wait. That last part didn’t happen, did it? Because that would be fucking stupid.

  97. 97
    bemused says:

    @Raven:

    Nice segue.

  98. 98
    Tokyokie says:

    @JoyfulA: Thanks. Right now, I’m in my first semester of an RN program, and I want to concentrate on my studies until I get the hang of how things work in this new academic field. I really don’t want to have to rely on freelance work as my main source of income because it’s not sufficiently steady, but I may check it out once I get a bit further along in this endeavor. But the whole reason I decided to pursue a late second career in nursing is because it’s the one field I can think of that’s not offensive (there’s always paychecks for the likes of Daniel Hamermesh, who exist to assure the rich and depraved that they’re virtuous) for which there will continue to be employment demand up until such time as I can stop working of my own accord.

  99. 99
    Ben Franklin says:

    @DFH no.6:

    Because that would be fucking stupid.

    Well, the narcissism is growing, exponentially.

  100. 100
    Raven says:

    The collards, blackeye peas, salad and chicken breast was great!

  101. 101
    eemom says:

    @Kay S:

    Old folks once were young.

    “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the fuck happened.”

    Truer words never spoke.

  102. 102
    Raven says:

    @eemom: I dunno, when you thought you were going to be dead when you were 17, 63 looks pretty good.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: @Raven: I don’t feel all that different than I did when I was 30.

    ETA: Also as an August ’64 baby, I am really between the two generations fighting here.

  104. 104
    Concerned Citizen says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Hear hear! I’m an X’er as well. I have spent too much time being pissed at the boomers for falling for the Reagan bullshit, but they should not have to starve for it.

  105. 105
    Raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have to admit I don’t have the gas I used to. I can still hack the mile-a-day swim but standing on my feet making tamales all day Saturday and most of Sunday had me take a sick day and sleep all day yesterday.

  106. 106
    eemom says:

    @Raven:

    I also have on my embroidery list “Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.”

  107. 107
    Raven says:

    @eemom: Nice.

  108. 108
    Fax Paladin says:

    @Tokyokie: Tell me about it. I was in my mid 40s when I was laid off from the newspaper copy desk, so age was less of (but still) a factor. I wound up being rehired, with all my seniority gone. Things could definitely be worse, but still aren’t looking too cheerful.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: I was talking to my younger brother about this on Sunday in the context of playing sports. We both still can be fast and we both still have endurance; what we have lost is a bit of quickness and we are more likely to be sore the next day. I’ll not complain.

  110. 110
    Emma says:

    @PeakVT: THANK YOU. People, it’s all about class. Get it? Class. Jesus, me a good Cuban gusano and I’m starting to feel like freaking Karl Marx.

    The 1% bought themselves a government that allows them to do anything they want, and they wanted all our lunches (and dinners and retirements). And we’re sniping among ourselves.

  111. 111
    A moocher says:

    @bemused: and then there are some of us, over 40, who astonishingly enough, are not entirely defined by their high school years.

  112. 112
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Yeah? How do you explain 1984?

    Being a Democrat was seriously uncool in the 1980s. Bill Clinton made it only marginally less uncool. (I mean, there was the saxophone moment.)

    Irony was popular (churned out by angry art students, all of whom hated Reagan with a passion), but as it passed out of the circle of aesthetes and into the general student population there were plenty of people worshiping that retro stuff utterly unironically. (Like Matt Fucking Drudge and his fedora.)

    A lot of girls in the 90s taking the gains of feminism for granted, also, too. But then, who knew that “Father Daughter Purity Balls” would become the new hotness (ewwww)?

  113. 113
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cacti: Yet he still happily votes R in every election.

    Because the thought of somebody, somewhere suffering more than him keeps him warm at night.

  114. 114
    grampus says:

    This was really interesting- about how current job postings screen out too many people because the hiring managers are looking for the
    Purple Squirrel.

    In the olden days, as Cappelli sketches them, HR departments served as “reality testers.” Say a line manager at a big firm got permission to hire a new worker. “He’d say, ‘We need somebody with an MBA for this.’ And the HR people would say, ‘You really need an MBA degree for that? Are you sure? What’s important in this job?’ … They’d be pushing back a bit in terms of the job description.”

    This injected a degree of flexibility into job criteria.

    “Those guys are gone now,” Cappelli continues. “Now the requisition often goes automatically to somebody who inserts it into the applicant-tracking system. So they kind of take the wish list from the hiring manager, who is often looking for Superman—the Purple Squirrel, as they say in IT—something that doesn’t exist.”

  115. 115
    Starlit says:

    @Chat Noir: I’ve felt your pain.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that job descriptions are written in magnetic words on whiteboard by blindfolded minimum-wage temps. I do actually know the process, but believe me, the one I just described makes as much sense.

  116. 116
    Raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ve got a buddy that is 61 and he’s playing fucking baseball in the bay area. he sent me a shot of himself doing a head-first slide at the plate!

  117. 117
    fuckwit says:

    @eemom: This really is it for me.

    I didn’t expect to live past 30. I recently watched “Decline of Western Civilization”, and was just shocked by the horrifying nihilism and casual violence THAT I WAS AN EAGER PARTICIPANT IN!

    Being a teenager in the punk rock 80s was a weird time, living under the shadow of nuclear doom and fucking Reagan saying “we start bombing in 5 minutes”. I thought we were all going to die, and who cares, fuck it. I went from nihilistic and violent and bitter, to suicidal, to narcissistic “party like it’s 1999” attitude. It was “no future, no future, no future for youuuu” all the way, positive or negative.

    In the 90’s, I was one of those asshole libertarian Republican yuppies trying to get rich off of dot-com stock options and getting paid six figures to essentially lie and cheat and scam.

    I recoiled in horror from unregulated libertarian capitalism once I saw it in its raw, naked form: Venture Capital. Then I realized it was all a racket, the whole thing.

    But that inability to see the future, that doom-ism, is still persistent in me. I do think things are getting better, and I have hope that I have never had before, and are willing to work for change and have patience it will happen. But I also have this kind of fatalism and nihilism under it all, personally, I don’t really expect to live long enough for retirement. I no longer worry about nuclear annihilation, but I do worry about economic collapse, and 4-degree-celsius global warming causing war and famine and drought and such, and I don’t see it really being avoidable, and also my personal inability to really make a living long enough to live long, and my health failing, and not having medical care, etc, though Obamacare may save me from that particular fate, we’ll see.

    The sense of doom of growing up in the gas crises, helicopter evacuation from Saigon, Watergate, New York going bankrupt, the 1980 hostage crisis, the 1982 recession, Iran/Contra, the absolute peak of cold-war sabre-rattling and threat of nuclear war, then all the narcissism and Gordon Gecko greed, and then the dot-com scam after that… I dunno, it has all had a lasting effect on me, and probably others of my generation as well.

    My hope is always guarded, and my future is NOT so bright that I gotta wear shades.

  118. 118
    Raven says:

    @fuckwit: Buncha fuckin weenies. And your music sucked.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: The Archies. So there.

  120. 120
    handsmile says:

    Boomer. 1956. Don’t know (or particularly care) if that puts me in the Older or Younger camp of that cohort, but I’ve never voted for, contributed to or worked on behalf of a candidate other than a Democrat in a presidential election (and I’ve never missed one).

    Until this thread got somewhat, let’s say, derailed midway through, it made for rather grim reading, particularly the struggles of some people here whose comments I regularly enjoy. Can’t help but reflect on how extraordinarily fortunate I am now, and it’s not that my life has lacked for some serious struggles.

    PeakVT (#59) demonstrated once again why he is one of the best archers on this blog. And eemom (#107), if you embroider, then I’m a professional wrestler.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @fuckwit: isn’t that song about the future being bright, etc., actually about nuclear war? I know Pop Goes The World is about nuclear war. Of course, most things in the 1980s were.

  123. 123
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jl: That’s a really good point. “Lifestyle” diseases like diabetes type II ought to really be called “poverty” diseases because stress has a huge impact on its onset and progression. Lack of adequate medical care for a few critical years could lead to a VERY expensive last years of life on Medicare. $20K meds/year PLUS all the hospitalizations, etc.

    Studies show the UK, with lower social inequality (but just barely) has better health in all social classes than the US.

  124. 124
    danielx says:

    @Chat Noir:

    Got that right. You read job descriptions, and it’s like they want fucking Superman (or Superwoman) for most opening. Then there are the ones written so you wonder why anybody would want to to work there; gets to be so you can read between the lines, though:

    road warrior – you will see your family no more than four days a month.

    MBA desirable but not required – don’t waste our time or yours if you don’t have one.

    high energy level necessary – be prepared to wear out grindstones with your nose, subhuman.

    must thrive on cold calling and rejection – we have lousy marketing and our products suck, but that’s between us…bada bing!

    our firm has a bright future – and always will. Our benefits suck ass too.

    fun atmosphere – our pay scale sucks, hence our (young) employees spend their off hours attempting to convert their livers to iron balls.

    etc etc

  125. 125
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PeakVT: UC Econ Dept is like Rhlyeh or something, the evil pit from which the Old Ones emerge to wreak havoc across the face of the Earth.

  126. 126
    Anne Laurie says:

    @bin Lurkin’: Sent you an email, in case you get back here…

  127. 127
    hitchhiker says:

    This thread is . . . weird.

    Born in 1952, poor as dust. One of 8 kids, and we spanned the boomer years exactly. Oldest brother born in 1948, youngest sister in 1963.

    So when you talk about “boomers” as if there were some monolithic entity, think about that.

    Oldest brother went to Vietnam in 1968 and came back fucked up from Agent Orange. He’s a boomer. Youngest sister finished high school during the first Reagan administration. She’s a boomer. Believe me when I say that if they’re both boomers, the word has no demographic meaning.

    I myself have never voted for a Republican in my life, and I vote in every single election.

  128. 128
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cacti: I’m sorry you suck at demographics. You’re not tracking the same cohorts and the cohort sizes are MUCH too large. Very unenlightening. No demographic breakdown either, as I’m sure African-Americans and Caucasians track differently.

  129. 129
    magurakurin says:

    wow. this thread was very sad. Sad to see folks fighting like this.

  130. 130
    ruemara says:

    @bin Lurkin’: I am so sorry. Is there any way we could all chip in a bit or find a way to help out Lurkin’s pooch? I got $5.

  131. 131
    Bill D. says:

    A few points…

    1. Some of what’s been going on in this discussion is the following:

    You have Group A and Group B (among others). Most folks in both groups are just ordinary folks behaving decently, not being arrogant, and not wishing ill upon anyone. However, as always there are some loudmouths, assholes even, who spout off against the other group with arguments based on stereotypes and, at best, half-truths. Their spouting off is taken as proof by a few in the other group that ‘that group over there hates us and has contempt for us’. Presto, bogus generation war.

    Well, nobody has a right to speak for my generation or any other generation. By now I’ve been around for a long time, I’ve known a lot of people of various “generations”, and I can’t say that more than a small percentage of any are arrogant bastards about themselves, their own generation, or other generations. But of course those arrogant bastards are the ones who are cited as somehow representing the attitudes of their entire generation. In all fairness, it’s human nature to remember such characters who piss us off while forgetting all the ordinary folks who didn’t raise our hackles.

    Anyway, if some protagonists here want to play that game, all I can say is, live by the sword, die by the sword. If you’re white, do Ann Coulter and the like represent you? If you’re male, do Ted Nugent and the like represent you? If not, then why do individuals with bad attitudes in the group you love to hate represent that group? Because you want an excuse to blame and hate while the 0.01% squash us ALL under their heels, laughing all the way to the bank? Because you enjoy cherry-picking out the assholes to prove an entire group is bad, so you can find a handy outlet for you anger at being screwed? Just who are you fighting for, anyway?

    2. A lot of people here seem to be succumbing to the mass-media-driven notion that demographic generations coincide with cultural generations. This may have been defensible in 1970 when the character of the latter part of the demographic baby boom was not yet evident, but by this time it should be evident that folks born in years like 1962, who were far too young to participate in the events of the 1960s or the counterculture of that time, have much less in common with mainstream boomers than with people born later in the 1960s and beyond.

    This mistake in turn affects discussions of voting patterns, where votes by early Gen Xers are counted as Boomer votes. Whatever else you may thinks of Strauss and Howe’s generational analysis, their assessment of the cultural Boomer generation as covering people born from 1942 to 1960 makes a lot more sense than asserting that the demographic boundaries of 1946-1964 cover a coherent cultural group. Even then, there is still going to be a lot of diversity in that generation and every other one as well.

    3. The voting statistics offered here tonight, even ignoring important issues of inaccuracy, do not convincingly show that Group A is hugely different from Group B. Looking at the numbers cited in post 74 shows an 8% swing in 2012 and much less in 2008 (Gen X vs. Boomers). That’s hardly a basis for saying that one group is greatly different from the other in political choices. Further, these patterns have not always held in the past; consider the 1984 election: .

  132. 132
    Bill D. says:

    OK, here’s the 1984 election with an age breakdown

  133. 133
    eemom says:

    @handsmile:

    if you embroider, then I’m a professional wrestler.

    sheeeyit. And here I thought my carefully cultivated image as a sedately rocking nonagenarian would’ve slid that one right by….

  134. 134
    General Stuck says:

    LOL, some of you get the vapors easily. This thread is powderpuff to flame wars of old on this blog. I don’t see a big meltdown over a few youngins dissing their elders, and the elders introducing some data to dispel the stereotypes being made, with a small spanking attached. Voting patterns are part of the tapestry of American political life and should be discussed with supporting data. Now this particular point of generational differences is not really that important as a matter of applied politics, but it is part of the science that applied politics is based on. As for mine and Raven’s little dustup, that has been brewing for a while, and for my part is now forgotten.

  135. 135
    eemom says:

    Is it too late to mention that the title of this post reminds my “boomer” ass self of this?

  136. 136
    johnny aquitard says:

    As you sow, so shall you reap.

  137. 137
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Bill D.:

    AGE 18-24 % total electorate 11 Mondale 39 Zombie Reagan 61

    Well, fuck me, if it isn’t Gen X?

    Dunno if this data is also calibrated for the whole non-voting Gen X thing… you know, ’cause caring about politics was so lame, and nobody really represents what the people want, so why encourage them by voting?

    Thank dog I was gay. Identity politics saved me from that bunch of assitude.

    Dunno why some on this thread are in such rabid denial about this all.

  138. 138

    The dirty little secret of the American Dream — the magic land where capitalism worked for everyone — is that it was only possible because from roughly 1820 to 1970, there was a chronic labor shortage in America. There was a massive demand for people to help exploit the vast resources of the continent, and the industrial revolution had not yet advanced so far as to make human labor unnecessary.

    A labor shortage means employers have to pay rising wages to get and keep workers. That meant that from the 1820s until the 1970s, wages kept rising and each generation had it better than the one before it.

    That stopped in the 1970s, due to a number of factors — the final residue of the closing of the frontier, the advance of technology, et cetera. When it stopped, Americans sought ways to cope with the suddenly-stalled wages and moribund labor market. They put their elders to work and women joined the workforce, competing for ever-scarcer jobs. They went on a borrowing binge facilitated by the banks making obscene amounts of money from them. They borrowed against their houses.

    They even worked longer hours than ever before, to the point where we now work more hours than any other major industrial power.

    It wasn’t enough, and then the housing bubble burst.

    Meanwhile, the rich made out like bandits.

  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    Posted about this here before but at 63, going on 64, having lost almost everything by starting a retail business just under 2 years before the recession hit, I was finally able to start SS. Of course I wanted to wait another 3 years so that I would be getting enough to live OK on. But no can’t have that. So I’m now a boarder at someone’s house, almost 1/2 my SS goes for rent. A job? You must be fucking kidding me. The very few places that have even responded to my resume have all said we are not hiring now, after responding to ads for jobs. I have lots of talents, industrial designer, welder, machinist, mechanic. Notice that most of these are physical jobs requiring more effort than I can do for 40 hrs a week.
    It’s always been a bitch growing old and some days barely beats the alternative. But costs have skyrocketed, especially considering that wages are stagnate if they exist and SS for most is only slightly better than a joke.
    I will never be able to afford a car if the 15 year old one I have craps out. I can’t start another business with no money. I don’t know how much longer I will live but I imagine that it won’t get much better and may get much worse. And the fun part? The 40 yr olds in my family tell me to just go out and get a job. Stupid motherfuckers all have jobs and retired or dead parents and just don’t have a clue.

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    Hello PW, long time no. Are you still at FDL, and how are things there these days? Been a long time since I visited.

  141. 141
    BillinGlendaleCa says:

    @Another Halocene Human: What’s interesting is the difference in that age group between 1980 and 1984.

    ETA: They voted for Carter 45-44.

  142. 142
    Cacti says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Well, fuck me, if it isn’t Gen X?

    20-24 is still Boomers in 1984. Two years of Gen X was voting in 1984. All of the Boomers were voting, and voting heavily for the Gipper.

    Facts are stubborn things. Boomers loved them some Reagan.

  143. 143
    BillinGlendaleCa says:

    @Cacti: Then why didn’t they vote for him in 1980? Reagan won most age demo’s in 1984.

  144. 144
    BillinGlendaleCa says:

    OT: I was somewhat surprised with the Asian vote for Obama this year. In the 80’s and 90’s, republicans won Asians, it seems that the turning point was 2000. Guess they had no love for Shrub.

  145. 145
    Xenos says:

    @Cacti: I was class of ’84, and having just turned 18 that was my first election. Not many of us voted, but for those who were voting the ones who were enthusiastic supporters of Ronnie R. Being a young-curmudgeon New Deal Democrat (LBJ-Carter were uncool) I was terribly disappointed, but there you have it. Disco sucked, and so, too, did Democrats.

    We were third generation chicken hawks… our parents were too young for WWII (though some wound up in Korea), their parents were too young for WWI (my grandfather was on his to Europe when the war ended and the turned the boat around), we did not even have older brothers in Viet Nam, just an uncle here or there. Being in the first couple years of GenX is not much to be proud of; kids a few years younger than use were much more decent people, as a group.

  146. 146
    shep says:

    Tell Daniel Hamermesh he can go Cheney himself with the wide end of a push broom and then ask him how many people stay at a job for more than nine years. That’s how long the government says I have to work before I can collect any of the money I’ve been paying in since I was fourteen. And I don’t need any retraining to read the data and spout nonsensical conjecture just as well as he does (maybe better). Jackass.

  147. 147
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Once again you Americans have let yourself be divided into groups so that you can argue who screwed up, who has it tougher, who deserves more, whether it is by age [in this case] or race, geographic location, education, etc.

    Seems to me you guys have a class war going on and the rich guys have you in full retreat.

  148. 148
    Falmouth says:

    @drkrick: Thank you for correcting these people. Most of the young people I knew at the time did not vote for Reagan. I’m 59 and to say we were die hard Repubs and most have pensions is just wrong. We are the most screwed over group. We graduated into a recession, had to compete with an enormous group ahead of us, had our pensions taken away and then had 401K’s created half way thru our working lives with les time to catch up. It is the so called greatest generation which votes in large numbers against their best interests though there are plenty of Boomers who are now voting the same way.

  149. 149
    Bill D. says:

    @Cacti:

    Cacti, read the link and see that all the age groups under age 65 went for Reagan at nearly the same rate in the ’84 election. Using the superior Strauss and Howe definition of Generation X boundaries, voters up through age 23 were of that generation and they actually went for Reagan slightly more than Boomers did. Even sticking with the post-1964-DOB definition of Gen X and thus taking them nearly out of that election, Boomers were pro-Reagan at about the same rate as other age cohorts. In contrast, in the 1980 election Boomers were the least likely to vote for Reagan.

  150. 150
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @DFH no.6: it’s certainly not every boomer’s fault. But everyone who voted for Reagan deserves some of the blame. Not all or even most of it, but some.

  151. 151
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Fuck the generational warfare. If you voted for Reagan, whatever age you were at the time, fuck yourself.

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