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Thanksgiving dinner would not be complete without inter-generational verbal conflict conducted while consuming a bird for the crime of being delicious. Traditionally, these discussions have revolved around how the older generations had it so tough:
- “I had to walk 12 miles barefoot in the snow to Our Lady of 25th Street and we had one nun to teach 145 kids”
- “Our tenement had one outhouse for 15 units to share”
- “Because of the Kaiser I could never really enjoy my liberty cabbage”
With all the changes of the last few years, I say that in 2014 the tables have turned, and it’s time for the younger generation to tell their elders how good they had it this holiday. Some reasons:
- The economy is growing half as fast for us as it did for Boomers (real GDP growth 1974 to 1984 was +37% and for 2004 to 2014 was +17%). And these are the government inflation adjusted GDP numbers;
- Every other ad on TV is features a couple discussing ED or Henry Winkler hocking reverse mortgages;
- The U6 unemployment rate has been well over 10% for 6 years and is currently almost 13%. For the non-economic nerds, U6 unemployment includes those who gave up looking for a job or are forced to work part-time because they can’t find a fulltime job, unlike the nonsense U3 (“total unemployment”) number the media uses;
- Homes were an investment not a reverse ATM machine (median home prices were up almost 50% from 1976-1980 and down 10% from 2006-2010);
- “Don’t let the bedbugs bite” was said as a joke for boomers; today, we check our kids’ mattresses; and
- Coca-Cola had real sugar, cars were made out of metal, and saying “Merry Christmas” was not a micro-aggression leading to a one-way ticket to the reeducation camp
And please don’t tell us about growing up during the Cold War and living with ICBMs pointed at your garage; you weren’t the only ones, and Red Dawn wasn’t marketed at you. Wolverines!
Happy Thanksgiving!Published in