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Saturday, June 10, 2006

LTE: "We have left it to you to clean up the mess"

"We of your parents' generation have moved from being the self-absorbed but self-righteous children of the '60s to the self-absorbed adults and senior citizens of 2006. We have left it to you to clean up the mess of wars, inequalities, national debt, materialism and Earth-trashing created by us baby boomers.

So, in those famous words from the '60s: "Don't trust anyone over 30."

Letter to the Editor
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

In the UK: media depiction unfair, Gen Y "struggling"

"Baby boomers (those over 50) own four-fifths of the nation’s wealth, with pensioners alone having assets of £500 billion. Most people’s parents are probably living in a house with a large amount of equity because of its rise in value over the years. Whereas the number of first-time buyers has fallen by a third since 1999, as the cost of the average house has increased from £96,000 to £184,000.

All this points to one thing: we are living in a topsy-turvy world. The baby boomers can afford to make themselves feel young, while Generation Y are getting old before their time."

"We're Not Having Fun in Generation Y, We're Struggling"
The Sunday Times (UK)

MIT grad laments boomer failures

"The Greatest Generation is living it up in Palm Beach; they did their part. The Baby Boomers (our parents) have really made a fine mess of things – don’t believe me? Look who is running the country; look who is driving all those SUVs; look who decided to ship all those high-tech, formerly-high-paying jobs to China and India..."

"Infinitely Different: A Look Back at Eight Years at MIT"
The Tech

Boomer sexuality: sensitive stomachs beware

"[...] As a newly single woman, I found the topic compelling and relevant to my present circumstances. It validated me as a woman, and it gave me the feeling that I'm not alone, that other women share similar feelings and concerns about who they are in middle age," said Kantor, 58, who lives west of Boca Raton.

The subject of sexuality in middle age drew 85 women ages 45 to 60 to the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on May 7, according to Robin Isaacson, Hadassah's national membership development associate, based in the regional office in Delray Beach."

"Middle Age and Sexuality Enliven Talks"
South Florida

Boomer-cons: no lovers of liberty

"...Boomer conservatism is Bismarckian conservatism, with libertarians being little more than the kept radicals who supply the cool ideas from time to time. 'Blood and Iron for Freedom and Democracy' is the mainstream."

"Going My Way?"
Lew Rockwell

Rethinking boomer heroes

"The real force behind the 1960s revolution was a generation born in the 1930s and, to a lesser extent, in the early 1940s. We speak constantly about the baby boomers and the 'Greatest Generation,' the veterans of D-Day, but we rarely refer to the generation born in-between.

It was precisely this generation, however, that transformed our culture. From this demographic cohort came the men and women who became the icons of the 1960s and who have had no equivalent successors. They cast very long shadows."

"The In-Betweeners"
Toronto Star

Friday, June 09, 2006

Advertisers prey on lost idealism and "guilt" of boomer consumers

"Targeted at Conscious Consumers, ethical advertising taps into the residual idealism and guilt of activists at heart, and Boomers who have rediscovered their romantic 60s values lost or replaced temporarily by vapid consumerism, only to see the light again in their twilight years. Pair this with nagging thoughts of mortality, the afterlife and a fear of coming back as a cockroach, and you have a bolstering opportunity."

"Ethical Advertising at a Glance"
American Chronicle

Children of "Me Generation": anything but selfish

"According to the Higher Education Research Institute, more than 83 percent of this year's college freshman class volunteered their time in 2005. In 1990, 62 percent of incoming freshmen volunteered. Even more striking is the percentage of teens who expect to continue their charity work in college -- that number has soared from 19 to 67 percent in less than a decade."

"Youths Led by Compassion"
Contra Costa Times

"Lifestyle Centers": boomer materialism with a smiling face

"Most of America's 78 million baby boomers grew up shopping downtown with their family, and they are looking to re-create the enjoyment of that experience," Scholl said. "Wall Street pays attention to the desires of baby boomers."

"Lifestyle Centers Thrive, As Malls Transformed Into Main Street USA"
Yahoo News

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Boomer retirement may hurt Wall Street

"The impact of the baby-boomer generation's aging and retirement is already raising concerns when it comes to health-care costs, employment and social security. Add another reason to worry about the aging boomers: their impact on the stock market. According to research at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, retirees don't invest as much as younger workers, which could mean a blow to Wall Street when boomers pull out of the workforce."

Washington University in St Louis

Quit worrying about the kids: boomer overdose deaths on the rise

"Dr. Males said potent prescription painkillers like the widely abused OxyContin may be contributing to overdose deaths among older Americans. Cocaine and methamphetamines also are factors, although many overdose victims had used more than one substance.

Middle-aged Americans also have been involved in more crimes nationally, a trend that may have its roots in drug addiction."

"More Middle-Age Americans Dying from Drug Overdose"
Join Together

Debt-for-Diploma: another boomer betrayal

"How is it possible that as college has become more important, access to college has become more out of reach?

Perhaps our members of Congress, the majority of whom are Baby Boomers or older, don't remember just how good their generation had it when it came to being able to afford college."

"Excerpt: Downscaling the Dreams of Youth"

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Boomer "paranoia" stifles next generation of scientists

"Garage chemistry, as Wired put it, was once 'a rite of passage for geeky kids.' But thanks to the government’s obsessive attempts to root out terrorists and producers of illicit drugs, this country’s bright star in the science realm is fading. The next generation of youth may not have the impetus needed to spark their intellectual curiosity, because increasingly paranoid federal officials don’t trust them with the requisite tools."

"Paranoia Makes for Bad Chemistry"
Meadville Tribune

Monkey “Psychologists” Help Stressed-Out Middle Aged Patients in Belarus Zoo

A family of cynomolgus (long-tailed) monkeys, has been helping people fight stress at a special “psychological relief room” in a Belarus zoo for several years. Citizens of Vitebsk come and share their troubles and triumphs with the primates.

According to the director, the monkeys’ most frequent “patients” are 40-45 year old men going through the so-called middle-age crisis, as well as young girls. Even stressed office workers seek consolation in the monkeys’ cage. “We’ve had troubled civil servants come to see their distant ancestors for psychological support and stress relief. And communicating with the monkeys helped them,” Kochenovskaya added.

After boomers, Gen-X faces retirement poverty

"Much of the pain will fall on Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1972, the report said. That's primarily because these younger workers face the prospect of diminished Social Security income and fewer of them will have pensions."

"Grim Retirement Awaits Many"
Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Consumers see "bleak" financial future for the young

"2/3 of consumers believe the economic future of their children and grandchildren will be bleaker than theirs. The 35 to 54 age group was more pessimistic than their elders aged 65+ and youngsters aged 18 to 24. The economic difficulties that threaten middle aged consumers are encouraging them to cut back expenses and save more for the future."

"2/3 Elder Consumers Fear for the Economic Future of their Grandchildren"

It's not that they aren't listening, they can't hear...

'“Millions of baby boomers hear sounds but do not comprehend words or phrases. They read lips to fill in the blanks” according to Randy Wohlers, President of baby boomer hearing aid solutions company, HearPod Inc. “At least 85 percent of the patients we fit for hearing aids have lost some of their ability to process sounds into words. This is because almost 80 percent of baby boomers who need hearing aids refuse to get help until it is too late. They are afraid that wearing an aid will signal old age, and are unwilling to pay thousands of dollars for high quality hearing aids.”'

"Baby Boomers Are Trading In Their iPods For HearPods"
The Mature

Boomer orgy of food, fat, and fun to replace Australian Ironman Triathlon event



"Rock and roll might replace the Ironman event in Forster.

An annual Baby Boomers Bash is being planned by the Great Lakes Rotary Club to bring thousands of baby boomers – those born in the immediate post war years – to the Great Lakes.

[...]Everyone will be able to take part in this fun event.

"The aim is for streets to be decorated with a rock and roll theme and retailers to dress their shopfronts and take part," he explained.

Cr Stephens said that theme events such as the baby Boomers Bash and nostalgia offered tremendous marketing opportunities."

"Can baby boomers replace Ironmen?"
Great Lakes Advocate
Forster, Australia News

Boomers seek eco-friendly hereafter

"Baby boomers are taking green living to the final frontier -- with green burial.

Green burial has a much smaller impact on the environment than traditional casket burial, and is intended to provide environmental and ecological benefits over time."

"Green Burial: The Next Step in Green Living for Baby Boomers"

Experts link motorcycle deaths to "midlife crisis"

"An unusually large number of divorced middle-age men die in motorcycle accidents, prompting expert speculation that many chose to take up the often-risky sport of cycling as a symptom of midlife crisis...The Scripps Howard study found that 20 percent of cycling fatalities were men who were divorced at the time of their deaths, a divorce rate more than double the national average."

"Many Motorcycle Dead May be in Throes of Midlife Crisis"
Scripps-Howard News Service
via Cincinnati Post

Related: (Not so) Easy Rider: boomers face "biggest risk" on motorcycles
read more

Monday, June 05, 2006

Gee, thanks: future generations to repay boomer spending spree

"The unfunded mess left behind by the current generation of office holders — and the voters who return them to office — maybe won’t impact today’s senior citizens and many of the baby boomers. But children of the baby boomers will be forced to pick up the tab.

To leave behind such a debt is irresponsible from any angle."

"Debt Spending Has To Stop"
Daily Reporter-Herald (Loveland, CO)

"Millions" of obese boomers threatened by disability

"Public health officials have said for years that obesity increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and cancer. Now a growing body of research suggests that being obese — 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight — increases the chances of becoming disabled at a younger age and unable to perform tasks such as bathing or dressing."

"Obese Boomers Face Immobile Future"
USA Today

Aging boomers fear history may not be kind

"The ferment of the '60s and '70s when boomers changed the world, or thought they did faded long ago. Nostalgic pride in the achievements of that era now mixes with skepticism: Have the boomers collectively betrayed their youthful idealism? Have they been self-centered to the point of shortchanging their children?"

"As Boomers Age, Legacy Doubts Surface"
Associated Press
via ABC News

Boomers plan handi-capable nation

"Universal Design, originally developed for people with disabilities, has become a major player in the housing industry...As home builders, you know the truth: UD is a great blueprint (as a metaphor and in reality) for planned communities, individual units, and any combination thereof. However, a delicate touch is needed when marketing Universal Design to a healthy, vital demographic."

"Selling Universal Design to Baby Boomers"
The Mature Market

In the UK: more over-50 women giving birth

"The number of British women aged over 50 having babies following IVF treatment has soared, official figures show.

There were 24 babies born to mums over 50 in 2002 - compared to just one in 1992."

"More Tots for Mums Over 50"
UK Mirror

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Has Boomer diversity obsession gone too far?

"It's clear people are tired of walking on eggshells, afraid to offend those with different beliefs, ideas, and lifestyles. It's grown exhausting, and they want their lives back. The idea of diversity seems to have worn out its welcome. It is now like a house guest who has stayed too long."

Time Magazine

Boomer scam artist receives 30 year sentence

"U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney imposed the maximum sentence on James P. Lewis Jr. Friday, describing the scheme as a 'crime against humanity.' The judge also acknowledged it was unlikely he would be able to pay back the money."

"Mastermind of $311 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to Prison"
San Francisco Chronicle

Unemployment surges among young vets

"The number of young veterans receiving unemployment checks increased again in 2005 even as the overall number of veterans without jobs decreased, according to new statistics from the Department of Labor."

"Increasing Number of Young Veterans Out of Work"
Stars and Stripes