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Thursday, March 01, 2007

In the UK: boomers fleecing the next generation

Expensive pensions, no hope of getting on the housing ladder, and tens of thousands of pounds of debt just to go to university. Have the under-35s been mugged by the baby-boom generation that went before them?

Many of you reading this will be thieves. And a good proportion of you will be victims. There is no mugging involved, but a new form of wealth exchange, which economic observers are calling generational robbery: the financial phenomenon whereby one generation - the baby boomers - enjoyed a whole range of economic benefits that are now unattainable to those growing up behind them.

"The Great Generational Robbery"
New Statesman (UK)

In New Zealand: greedy boomers fuel public outrage

The burning sense of rage and injustice felt by hardworking Kiwis shut out of the property market was revealed in the survey conducted by mortgage lender Wizard.

Six out of 10 believe there are now significant barriers to ever owning their own home and blame the government and avaricious babyboomers for their troubles.

"Baby-Boomers to Blame"
Sunday Star Times (New Zealand)

Poll: mythical boomer image losing ground

Americans agree that the baby boomers, who flamboyantly celebrated sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, are the nation's fun generation.

But their hearts and their work ethic? That's another story.

A national survey of 1,008 adults conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University found that boomers are not regarded as the most generous, self-sacrificing or hardworking generation.

"Poll: Boomers a Bit of a Bust"
Cincinnati Post

Fed Chief: boomers could break us

A vicious cycle may develop in which large [budget] deficits lead to rapid growth in debt and interest payments, which in turn adds to subsequent deficits," Bernanke said in the prepared remarks.

Bernanke told Congress that over time, the United States needed to move toward fiscal policies that were sustainable and that would promote more saving to support the Social Security retirement program without imposing undue costs on taxpayers. However, he offered no specific policy prescriptions.

"Bernanke Renews Warning On Baby Boomers"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Clinton candidacy: hot air from an empty suit

[T]he very first lines of her speech ("I'm in. And I'm in to win") were a cheap ripoff of Disney teenie idol Corbin Bleu's "Push It to the Limit" lyrics. Think about that: In preparation for what was clearly the biggest and most important speech of her life to date, Hillary Clinton sat down, plucked the inspirational top from a crappy teenie boy-band song, and then plunged right into a student-body-right regurgitation of DLC focus-group campaign gobbledygook, rhetoric that was still bruised and squashed quite flat from the pounding it took on the Kerry campaign trail two years ago. This was her way of introducing the future President Clinton's "new ideas" to the world.

"In It to Spin It:Hillary Gets Off To a Smashing Start"
Rolling Stone

Boomer vanity fueling quest for eternal youth

3000$ for a hearing aid, 1 500$ for conductive keratoplasty of the eye, 15 000$ to maintain hair transplants, 500$ for teeth whitening, boomers do not hesitate to pay the price to stay young. Surgery and personal trainers are among the most popular.

Some 800 boomers were polled recently by the American Association of Retired Persons. Virtually all of them said that they intended to undertake substantial life changes in the next year. Topping the list: taking better care of themselves.

"Boomers Are Ready To Pay The Price To Stay Young"

Love it or leave it

The aging of the baby boom generation is no secret. But Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning and demography at USC, believes that the boomers' future is directly tied to the economic success of the state's younger immigrant population. His forthcoming book is titled "Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America."

Q: You have a difficult job convincing people that their financial self-interest is intimately tied to those who aren't of the same economic group.

A: I've got a couple of things on my side. The key point being the aging of the baby boomers. We don't like aging. None of us do. But it will happen, and it will happen en masse.As soon as people look at it and think about the consequences, they begin to realize what's in store. There is really no place to run, because this is happening nationwide. They can leave the country, I suppose.

"Immigrant workers could be crucial to ensuring the security of aging baby boomers"
Los Angeles Times

Monday, February 26, 2007

Boomer anti-aging fears and the decline of the graceful exit

...[T]he Baby Boomers' dread of aging (even their retirement commercials retain some hint of triumphing over time) has pervaded a culture that once prized the good sense of knowing when to leave your neighbor's cocktail party, and doing so quietly. The Boomers introduced the notion of the high-spirited party animal that has to be dragged away. Little value is placed anymore on deferral. You stay around as long as you can, dignity be damned. The worst fate is to be "on the sidelines." It's likely that this thinking has had an effect even on those, like O'Connor, who are members of an earlier generation.

"To Retire or Expire"
American Spectator

Ominous new novel foresees dark boomer future

They have an in-house rock band -- Acid Reflux -- for their weekly "sock hops." Their dining hall is as clique-ridden as any high school cafeteria -- the early Haight table, the late Haight table, tables for the New York and Midwestern emigres, the vegan-vegetarian-Buddhists and the like. Nobody trespasses.

Along with their rock 'n' roll, they still have sex (not that you want to picture it) and drugs (not the kind from Dr. Beaver), but they are treated like recalcitrant kids and react accordingly.

"Novel Sings Baby Boomer Blues"
News and Observer

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hillary: "I will end war" (that I shamelessly supported when it served my political interests)

Hours before casting a Senate vote on a nonbinding resolution that opposes the president’s decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq, Sen. Hillary Clinton defended her former and current position on the war with New Hampshire residents.

“If (Bush) does not end this war by the time he leaves office, when I am president, I will,” Clinton told a cheering crowd.

"Clinton: 'I Will End War''
Portsmouth Herald

So much for inner beauty: boomer women embrace Botox

To be or not to be, that is the question. And if the “B” stands for Botox, many Boomer aged women are saying 'yes', choosing to go under the needle for a more youthful appearance. Increasing numbers of women, and men, think they've found the fountain of youth in a tiny bottle.

"Boomer Girls Saying 'Yes' to Botox" (Kansas)

Boomers at the gates: Norcal seniors dreading boomer influx

At first it sounds hilarious. A generation gap at the retirement village between the 60-year-old Baby Boomers and the 80-plus old timers?

What's the conflict? Frank Zappa versus Frank Sinatra?

But beneath the surface a nasty little battle of demographics is brewing. Sprawling retirement communities are attempting to spruce up facilities to appeal to the onslaught of Baby Boomers, while the longtime residents worry that they are subtly being nudged out the gate.

"Retirement Community Rift Pits Baby Boomers Against the Elderly"
San Francisco Chronicle