In the post below on “elders,” there was a bit of talk about the “others.” Let’s say “youngers” (20-40) and “middlers” (40-60). We can debate when elder begins, even if, rather than birthdays, it is a state of mind.
Do youngers have a dramatically different generational sense of themselves and their world? They were born between 1977 and 1997, hence in the U.S., they were Reagan babies and Clinton adolescents. The wars of GW Bush drew some of them into war in Afghanistan and Iraq. When and if they went to college, many were saddled with debt. They probably had more contact with drugs and drug culture than earlier generations, but also more knowledge of computers, gaming, internet, and social media. The youngers among them may have felt the financial crisis at the beginning of their working lives. The economic, political, sexual, and entertainment culture in which they swim seems a sharp contrast to that of the “elders,” (over 65). Such generalizations are usually open to big exceptions. And I haven’t touched on any of the positives in their growing up.
The middlers were born between 1957 and 1977; the tail end of the baby boom and the beginning of the baby bust (1963). Given the dates, most would not have fought in Vietnam. They would have benefitted from the new insistence that everyone had to go to college: tuition was still reasonable, especially at state schools and the student debt problem doesn’t seems to be as pressing as it has since become. Very young in the sixties, how were they influenced by the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war and pro-war movements, LBJ, and Nixon (China, Watergate, impeachment)? They may have started their work lives when good-paying jobs were still available, but are seeing retirement years as more difficult than they may have imagined—unless they’re fabulously rich (like you know who).
So it looks to me like the current crop of elders may be sailing into the best time in U.S. history to be 65+ (Social Security, Medicare, wheel chairs and curb cutaways, kneeling buses, and the 10 percent grocery discount on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
How wrong is this analysis?