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The New Generation Gap
Atlantic Monthly ^ | December 1992 | Neil Howe; William Strauss

Posted on 08/05/2004 10:29:02 PM PDT by Marie

"Trace the life cycle to date of Americans born in 1961. They were among the first babies people took pills not to have. During the 1967 Summer of Love they were the kindergartners who paid the price for America's new divorce epidemic. In 1970 they were fourth-graders trying to learn arithmetic amid the chaos of open classrooms and New Math curricula. In 1973 they were the bell-bottomed sixth-graders who got their first real-life civics lesson watching the Watergate hearings on TV. Through the late 1970s they were the teenage mail-hoppers who spawned the Valley Girls and other flagrantly nonBoomer youth trends. In 1979 they were the graduating seniors of Carter-era malaise who registered record-low SAT scores and record-high crime and drug-abuse rates.

"From Boom to Thirteenth, America's children went from a family culture of My Three Sons to one of My Two Dads. As millions of mothers flocked into the work force, the proportion of preschoolers cared for in their own homes fell by half. For the first time, adults ranked automobiles ahead of children as necessary for "the good life." The cost of raising a child, never very worrisome when Boomers were little, suddenly became a fraught issue. Adults of fertile age doubled their rate of surgical sterilization. The legal-abortion rate grew to the point where one out of every three pregnancies was terminated. Back in 1962 half of all adults agreed that parents in bad marriages should stay together for the sake of the children. By 1980 less than a fifth agreed. America's divorce rate doubled from 1965 to 1975, just as first-born Thirteeners passed through middle childhood."

(Excerpt) Read more at etext.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: genx
Old Cracker posted a vanity tonight about the hopelessness of my Generation. (20-30's) I think that the above article, while old, does a much better job of defining this generation than I ever could. It's long, but powerful and well worth the read.

Enjoy.

Marie

1 posted on 08/05/2004 10:29:02 PM PDT by Marie
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To: Marie

In other words, I'm stuck between the aging boomers and there brats?? I kind of prefer the Reagan Generation myself.

;)


2 posted on 08/05/2004 10:32:35 PM PDT by kb2614 ( You have everything to fear, including fear itself. - The new DNC slogan)
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To: Marie

I was born in 1961 and I turned out OK. I scored 1170 on the SAT and graduated college with an engineering degree. I am now married with 1 daughter just graduating high school.


3 posted on 08/05/2004 10:34:59 PM PDT by 38special
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To: Marie

This is the most longwinded article I've ever read...


4 posted on 08/05/2004 10:41:14 PM PDT by Terpfen (Bush will win in 2004. It's 2008 that I'm worried about.)
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To: Marie
Already Thirteeners blame Boomers for much that has gone wrong in their world, a tendency that is sure to grow once Boomers move fully into positions of political leadership.

Yup, The Clintonista generation of swine needs to be held accountable for their decades of self-serving political transgressions. How 'bout: no social security payments unless you served in the armed forces.

5 posted on 08/05/2004 10:42:13 PM PDT by JPJones
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To: JPJones

LOL! Sounds good. I'd add that any couple who successfully raised their children and where the mother stayed home while the father provided should also be given the "nod".


6 posted on 08/05/2004 10:49:12 PM PDT by Marie (Please don't feed the trolls.)
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To: Marie

Born in 1961 bump.


7 posted on 08/05/2004 10:49:54 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: Marie; qam1

These two also wrote a number of interesting books on generations. "13th Gen" for Gen Reagan (as we FReepers like to call ourselves) and "Generations". Both are pretty interesting.

I think they have a few other books on the subject.

qam1 - probably a good post for a Gen X ping.


8 posted on 08/05/2004 10:53:19 PM PDT by Betis70
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To: Terpfen

It is The Atlantic Monthly.


9 posted on 08/05/2004 10:57:05 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (BYPASS FORCED WEB REGISTRATION! **** http://www.bugmenot.com ****)
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To: Marie
LOL! Sounds good. I'd add that any couple who successfully raised their children and where the mother stayed home while the father provided should also be given the "nod".

That's great! Social engineer that generation back to reality... Give'em a taste of their own medicine!

10 posted on 08/05/2004 10:57:15 PM PDT by JPJones
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To: Marie
1961 Greatest Hits

Greatest Films of 1961

The Top News Stories of 1961

Not that I actually remember these from at the time...

11 posted on 08/05/2004 11:00:23 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: Betis70
I think there was one called The Fourth Turning. It made me feel a little better.

There is one statistic in this article that staggers me, if it's true. It's that 1/3rd of this generation was aborted. If this is accurate, then the Boomers can hang in their old age. How dare they decimate our workforce by 1/3rd, then demand that we support them in their retirement while simultaneously raising our own children?

The way I see it, if you lived a good life then there will be people to love and care for you in your old age. If you were selfish then you don't deserve to have your children and grandchildren sacrifice for your comfort. Honestly, I think that this generation has sacrificed enough for their parents' careers, soul-searching, egos and childishness.

12 posted on 08/05/2004 11:00:45 PM PDT by Marie (Hey Boomers.... reap it.)
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To: Marie

Oh yeah that's it. "The Fourth Turning". I read it and promptly forgot the title.

:-/

What a slacker ...

Yup. The aborted kids would have safely supported SS, which is probably why it is going to fail--they didn't take that into account (and how could they?) when it was designed.


13 posted on 08/05/2004 11:10:02 PM PDT by Betis70
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To: Marie
Thanks Marie!

Boomers look to values--the redemptive if painful resurrection of what Michael Lerner, the editor of the progressive magazine Tikkun, calls a "Politics of Meaning."

Which gave us a stained Oval Office, 'Senator Hillary!', 3000 Americans dead on our own soil and a World War.

They killed Kenny.

Those bastards...

14 posted on 08/05/2004 11:31:17 PM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (I shook my inner child until its eyes bled...)
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To: JPJones
That's great! Social engineer that generation back to reality... Give'em a taste of their own medicine!

Here's another idea. Suppose it was known that SS was going to be going away in fifteen years. Medicare and Medicaid was still going to be available, but everyone had to find their own way to support their basic needs in old age. The Boomers were now dependent on the success and good will of the Thirteeners and the Xers. After the expected tantrum, how do you think they would respond?

My generation has known for a very long time that SS would probably not be available for us. We know that the burden of our old age would fall on our children and our grandchildren. We also know that we have to get these kids independent and successful so that they don't drain us in our middle years, giving us a chance to save for retirement. I think that about half of us have wised up and are parenting our kids and half of us are still stupidly following the old Boomer line.

Part of me feels like pouring a drink and enjoying the show while the whole system falls in on itself. Then the grown-up in me sighs and sees that it's always the most responsible one who is stuck cleaning up the mess. But I honestly don't see how it can be done. We have a generation above us who are sucking the life out of our country as they pass through every age. We have our kids who we're trying to provide the best for so they can stand on their own two feet.

At what point in time will we be cared for? Not as children. Not as elders. I don't know if we have the strength in numbers to pull this one off.

15 posted on 08/05/2004 11:36:54 PM PDT by Marie (Hey Boomers.... reap it.)
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To: chookter
And when they are old and crying for more money to keep them in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed I shall say...

...screw you. I'm going hewm.

16 posted on 08/05/2004 11:38:15 PM PDT by Marie (Hey Boomers.... reap it.)
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To: Marie

"Crasher" Ping


17 posted on 08/06/2004 3:13:23 AM PDT by philman_36
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wait a minute, why do we have to be a generation at all? why can't we just peacefully take up our place on the palette of time without people like you coming along and calling us "post-whatever" and "neo-pseudo-classical-glurb"? I take offense. I may not have the demographical skill to summon up all three trillion of you boomers into one cohesive "impulse item rack" at walmart, but I like being nice and undefinable. you're taking the fun out of everything.
18 posted on 08/06/2004 3:15:43 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Betis70; qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Gen-Reagan/Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

19 posted on 08/06/2004 5:50:30 AM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
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To: Marie
There is one statistic in this article that staggers me, if it's true. It's that 1/3rd of this generation was aborted. If this is accurate, then the Boomers can hang in their old age. How dare they decimate our workforce by 1/3rd, then demand that we support them in their retirement while simultaneously raising our own children?

Great, great point. Like all other things, they will kick and scream until they get their way.

20 posted on 08/06/2004 5:57:19 AM PDT by Corporate Law (<>< -- Xavier Basketball - Perennial Slayer of #1 Ranked Teams)
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To: Marie

"Old Cracker posted a vanity tonight about the hopelessness of my Generation. (20-30's) I think that the above article, while old, does a much better job of defining this generation than I ever could. It's long, but powerful and well worth the read"

Was that in addition to Old Crackhead's anti-Southpark screed?


21 posted on 08/06/2004 6:06:42 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: Marie

"Old Cracker posted a vanity tonight about the hopelessness of my Generation. (20-30's) I think that the above article, while old, does a much better job of defining this generation than I ever could. It's long, but powerful and well worth the read"

Was that in addition to Old Crackhead's anti-Southpark screed?


22 posted on 08/06/2004 6:06:43 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: Corporate Law

And call us slackers - I suppose for not picking up the slack of our brothers, sisters and friends they killed before birth.


23 posted on 08/06/2004 6:59:14 AM PDT by kenth
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To: Marie
Part of me feels like pouring a drink and enjoying the show while the whole system falls in on itself. Then the grown-up in me sighs and sees that it's always the most responsible one who is stuck cleaning up the mess. But I honestly don't see how it can be done

I feel the same way. There are ways to fix SS so that it remains viable. However, doing so would require that people who are receiving SS now make some sacrifices. That isn't going to happen.

What will happen, in the long run, is that the SS system will collapse. I accept that and am planning for my future on the assumption that there will be no SS checks coming for me when I get old.

The collapse will lead to misery for many people. I don't really care, to tell you the truth. If you rely on the government to take care of you, you deserve whatever misery you get.

24 posted on 08/06/2004 7:29:28 AM PDT by Modernman (Hippies.They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.)
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To: Marie

My fiance and I are completely and utterly aware that we will have no Social Security. That doesn't mean that its inevitable collapse will have no effect on us.

It's a waste to have to contribute to it. I'm resentful, to be honest, and it's only going to get worse. On top of the SS contribution we must also contribute to our own retirement accounts. Fortunately I have a fully-vested private pension plan as well (which is also becoming a rarity). We still worry, and we both have a good 40 years until retirement!

My parents struggled financially and have virtually nothing in savings for retirement. It saddens me that the good, God-fearing couple who raised me will not have a relaxing and comfortable retirement. We will help them as much as we can - not that they will accept much (or any) help! At the same time we will have our own family to raise. It is going to get awfully hard if there's no social security for my parents...but we will not let them live on the street or go hungry.


25 posted on 08/06/2004 9:25:37 AM PDT by Rubber_Duckie_27
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To: Marie
I've always thought analyzing generations was lazy pop psychology. Here, for example:
Now look again--and notice a countermood popping up in college towns, in big cities, on Fox and cable TV, and in various ethnic side currents. It's a tone of physical frenzy and spiritual numbness, a revelry of pop, a pursuit of high-tech, guiltless fun. It's a carnival culture featuring the tangible bottom lines of life--money, bodies, and brains--and the wordless deals with which one can be traded for another. A generation weaned on minimal expectations and gifted in the game of life is now avoiding meaning in a cumbersome society that, as they see it, offers them little.

Empirically that is utterly unhelpful. Post-Sept. 11, it sounds even sillier.

26 posted on 08/06/2004 9:41:44 AM PDT by untenured
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To: Marie
But I honestly don't see how it can be done. We have a generation above us who are sucking the life out of our country as they pass through every age. We have our kids who we're trying to provide the best for so they can stand on their own two feet.

Hard decisions are going to have to be made. If the boomers want to be remembered in any other way than "sucking the life out of country" (well put btw), than they need to make a sacrifice. Their grandparents did in WWI, their parents in the depression and WWII/Korea, my generation in Gulf War I&II;Boomers are the only generation to condescendingly balk at true sacrifice. It's time to atone, stand and deliver.

27 posted on 08/06/2004 10:04:33 AM PDT by JPJones
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To: untenured

It was written in '92, dude...


28 posted on 08/06/2004 10:07:15 AM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (I shook my inner child until its eyes bled...)
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To: Rubber_Duckie_27
It's a waste to have to contribute to it. I'm resentful, to be honest, and it's only going to get worse.

I totally agree! We could solve the problem by excluding from SS everyone born between 1945 and 1960 who never served in the armed forces, ...or was a registered democrat from 1965-to present. :)

29 posted on 08/06/2004 10:12:38 AM PDT by JPJones
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To: chookter
It was written in '92, dude...

I know, but it was a prediction about the future. It was silly then, and looks sillier now in light of the way the future actually played out.

30 posted on 08/06/2004 10:20:33 AM PDT by untenured
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To: Marie

My sister was born in 1960, and my younger sib and I (who were born in 68 and 70 and consider ourselves "Generation Reagan") always called her "Backwash of the Hippies". That used to make her really angry. She's not really "like" my sib and I from a values and work ethic standpoint, though we were all raised in the same home with the same parents. She's very socially conservative and not a fiscal liberal, exactly, but she's very "Earth Mother" type.


31 posted on 08/06/2004 10:28:27 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (Free Brigitte Bardot.)
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To: untenured
I dunno....

It's a tone of physical frenzy and spiritual numbness, a revelry of pop, a pursuit of high-tech, guiltless fun. It's a carnival culture featuring the tangible bottom lines of life--money, bodies, and brains--and the wordless deals with which one can be traded for another.

Seems to explain the popularity of the reality shows, extreme sports, internet porn, low-carb beer and Paris Hilton...

32 posted on 08/06/2004 10:28:38 AM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (I shook my inner child until its eyes bled...)
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To: chookter
Seems to explain the popularity of the reality shows, extreme sports, internet porn, low-carb beer and Paris Hilton...

I'm part of what the author (weirdly) calls "thirteeners." I don't enjoy any of the stuff you list, nor do I even know anyone in my age group who claims to. Obviously lots of people in my "generation" do enjoy them, but there are also lots of people who don't. And those who do and don't can be found across age groups. I just don't think "generations" (as opposed to age, or religious intensity, or whether you are married with kids, etc.) is a very useful way to think about how Americans are different.

Some baby boomers did see themselves as some sort of revolutionary vanguard, of course, but that was probably part of the problem.

33 posted on 08/06/2004 10:37:15 AM PDT by untenured
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To: hispanarepublicana
She's very socially conservative and not a fiscal liberal, exactly, but she's very "Earth Mother" type.

In many ways, you just described me. Fashion trends don't over ride the underlying conservative core, though. When push comes to shove, she'll put her family first.

34 posted on 08/06/2004 10:51:14 AM PDT by Marie (Hey Boomers.... reap it.)
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To: untenured

Yeah.... Low-carb beer sucks.


35 posted on 08/06/2004 11:23:21 AM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (I shook my inner child until its eyes bled...)
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To: kb2614

What year were you born in. If you're 1961 or earlier you're an "againg boomer". If you were born 1962 or later you're "a brat"


36 posted on 10/23/2004 8:31:28 AM PDT by Chrysler813
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To: Marie

for later


37 posted on 10/23/2004 8:35:43 AM PDT by independentmind
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To: Chrysler813

1969. Actually I'm in between generations. Baby boomers and there offspring. My parents pre-date the baby boom.


38 posted on 10/23/2004 6:44:35 PM PDT by kb2614 ( You have everything to fear, including fear itself. - The new DNC slogan)
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