Millennials’ problems so much more problematic

25/03/2014 § 7 Comments

You wanna set me off? I’ll tell you how. Bring up the problems of the Baby Boomers/Millennials.

Ted Rall is right on this. He’s brought it up before, and he’s nailed it again. We Gen Xers don’t matter:

I’ve been disappeared.

Erased from history.

Dropped down the memory hole.


If you were born between 1961 and 1976, you no longer exist.

Is it just me, or is this a spoken word piece?

I’m hearing how hard-done-by these poor Millennials are. And y’know, I have some sympathy. Except that nobody cared when I had tens of thousands of dollars of college debt and home ownership seemed like a pipe dream and full-time work was scarce and we were all doing jobs that didn’t require a college degree. Now I’m supposed to care about the Millennials?

Oh that’s right, there are more of them.

And so, when they can’t afford cars, it’s a movement (or not). Not like when Xers were in their mid-20s and couldn’t afford cars — we were just slackers.

When their Boomer parents try to sell their houses and can’t cash out, it’ll become a public crisis to be solved with public money. When those same Boomers can’t sell their accounting practices and plumbing businesses because they didn’t train their successors and didn’t share the wealth, it’ll be another crisis to be solved with tax breaks and succession subsidies.

But sorry, Ted, there is nothing we can do about it. Remember that the US presidency skipped a generation, going from a WWII veteran (Bush I) to a Baby Boomer (Clinton) and skipping the generation in between. It’ll happen to us, too.

We’ve already been disappeared.

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§ 7 Responses to Millennials’ problems so much more problematic

  • Donal Curtin says:

    Nice post! And not just from my Boomer perspective…

  • I’m a ’76er, but haven’t noticed this much. Much gerontocracy, not so much the Millennial-preference. I expect land use policy would change were Millennial preferences given more heed.

    • I think it was _Millennials Rising_ that had an interesting description. Around 1982 in the US, it was decided to Protect and Save the Children. All the stats were going the wrong way — teenage drugs, booze, pregnancies all headed up. But the change was sudden, like those born before ’82 were just written off.

      About land use policy — there are competing aims. Yes, Boomers want to maintain asset value, but they also want their kids to have houses and produce grandkids. I don’t know how they are going to resolve the tension. First home buyer subsidies and Welcome Home loans suggest we are going to subsidise demand. But the new LVR rule cuts the other way.

  • WH says:

    If NZ situation broadly maps with the UK, then this IFS report on the economic circumstances of cohorts between the 1940s and the 1970s ( suggests Gen Xers are going to need to rely on inheritances for baby boomers.

    Other information suggests Gen Xers can’t rely on inheritances see:
    IHT receipts collapse as baby boomers spend the kids’ inheritance

    To add to the dismal outlook for Gen Xers, the work of Thomas Pikkety – Capital in the 21st Century suggests that for Gen Xers in the current environment where the returns of capital exceed the rate of economic growth, those that have already accumulated capital (baby boomers) are going to do well, but Gen Xers should not expect a period of rising incomes to reduce the intergenerational (lifetime) wealth inequality.

    Finally the work of Andrew Coleman – To Save or Save Not: Intergenerational Neutrality and the Expansion of New Zealand Superannuation ( suggests that with increased longevity and no change in policy settings the burden born by Gen Xers in funding superannuation for baby boomers will be significant.

    Who wants to be a Gen Xer?

  • The median voter isn’t poor; they resolve it in the typical middle-class way. Mom and Dad help the kids out with the mortgage either by taking out a new mortgage on their own place, that the kids pay off, or by co-signing the kids’ mortgage. Would be my first guess anyway.

  • James Hogan says:


    straight up Bill 🙂

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