Tag: baby boomers

Adulthood Is Awesome. Embrace It.


2407282649_c52cbc624f_zOkay, maybe it’s just the existential crankiness that comes from turning 31 today, but I have to get this off my chest: Why do people complain about being called “mister,” “miss,” “sir,” or “ma’am”?

I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. If one was past puberty, one was a mister or a miss. My babysitter was Ms. Stacy; my sister’s best friend’s mom was Ms. Sheri; the gentlemen who owned the pool across the street was Mr. Hazelwood — that was even how I referred to him when I told my parents of his recent death. It was the same dynamic at school and a church. As kids, we were stuck with just first names, but the adults had titles! Mr. and Mrs. for most, Brother and Sister for the really old school folks in the congregation.

Then we moved to the Kansas City area. My first Sunday, I was introduced to the Sunday School teacher who laughed when I tried to call him Mr. Robin. This has been a recurring experience ever since — I attempt to show some respect to an adult, and the responses are variations on “Mr./Ms.So-and So is my father/mother” or “Are you trying to make me feel old?” (I especially find the latter type strange when the speaker is clearly over 60).

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I was talking today with someone who works for a major oil corporation here in Houston. She was telling me that her company recently invited many of its employees to a presentation in which differences between generations were discussed. The generations identified in the study were Matures (65+), Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millenials (sometimes […]

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The Time for Reparations is Now


shutterstock_135245903There are certain times when windows open, allowing previously marginal ideas to flourish and the unthinkable to become possible. Gay marriage started out in the early ’90s as the pipe dream of a few cranky law professors; soon, it is going to be the law of the land throughout the country. The movement to have the US pay out reparations for slavery is in its early stages; it’s easy enough for us to write it off now, but expect this to be pushed with some urgency over the next 10 to 20 years. The reason is that this is one social movement that comes with a time limit.

The window for reparations is slowly closing because of demographic changes in this country. Any such scheme will depend on rich, white Baby Boomers who are receptive to appeals based on guilt. As those people die off over the next 20 years, they will be replaced by two main groups.

The first is white Gen Xers, who will be a less-than-optimal target for extraction. Productive people about my age (38) will be squeezed for as much tax revenue as possible as we move into our peak earning years — and our peak earning years will not be nearly as productive as our Boomer parents’ were. They came of age when America was still on an upward trajectory.