We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression—on ourselves. That’s an important accomplishment, because we’re the generation that created the self, made the firmament of the self, divided the light of the self from the darkness of the self, and said, “Let there be self.” If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you may have noticed this yourself.
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Because the truth is, if we hadn’t decided to be young forever, we’d be old.
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Whenever anything happens anywhere, somebody over 50 signs the bill for it.
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We are all alike in that each of us thinks we’re unusual.
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We are the first generation to have too many answers.
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Baby-boom-like places all seem to be engaged in bellicose national political deadlock the way we are in America. There’s much tut-tutting about bellicose national political deadlock. But it’s an improvement on bellicose national political purpose.
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We’re not a generation who listens to anybody, God included. In our defense, I doubt God minds us not bothering about Him. Very few of the people we’ve bothered—parents, college deans, the police, LBJ, the psychiatrist at my draft physical, supervisors, bosses, attractive types in bars—have minded when we quit bothering them.
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Baby boomers aren’t power hungry. Power comes with that kicker, responsibility. We’re greedy for love, happiness, experience, sensation, thrills, praise, fame, adulation, inner peace, and, as it turns out, money. Health and fitness too. But we’re not greedy for power. Observe the baby boomers who have climbed to its ascendancy in Washington. The best and the brightest? They’re over at Goldman Sachs.
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There is no escape from happiness, attention, affection, freedom, irresponsibility, money, peace, opportunity and finding out that everything you were ever told is wrong.
Behold the baby boom, ye mighty, and despair.
Posts tagged ‘Baby Boomers’
Who is going to pay all that money in to Social Security for Boomer retirement?
Alarm bells are beginning to ring in policy circles over the decline of the U.S. birth rate to a record low. If unaddressed, this could pose a vital threat the nation’s economic and demographic vitality over the next few decades.
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Yet since children are by definition the bearers of the future, knowing where new families and households are forming should be of critical interest not only to demographers, but to investors, businesses and, over time, even politicians. Demographer Wendell Cox crunched Census data for Forbes on the youth populations of the 51 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. His analysis reveals sharp differences between various regions of the country, and suggests where future growth in the country may be the strongest.
The youth population expanded in 31 of the 51 metro areas from 2000 to 2010. The 10 regions that posted the strongest growth were in Texas, the Southeast and the Intermountain West. Leading the nation is Raleigh, N.C., where the number of children under 15 rose a whopping 45%, or 77,421. Texas is experiencing something of a baby boom, paced by Austin, second among America’s largest metro areas with a youth population expansion of 38%; Dallas-Ft. Worth (sixth); Houston (eighth); and San Antonio (11th).
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What do these trends mean for the future? New York has lost about as many children as Dallas-Ft. Worth has gained — a difference of a half million. The gap between increasingly childless Los Angeles and Houston is even wider, and approaches 600,000. These numbers suggest a tremendous shift in the future locations of new American households, with all that implies for retail sales, workforce growth and residential construction demand.
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Why is household formation and child-rearing so anemic in these places, which are often celebrated for being attractive to the young and dominate so many key industries? One key reason, suspects demographer Cox, is housing prices relative to incomes. This is largely due to high regulatory costs that discourage new housing supply, particularly the single-family homes preferred by most families. Housing costs relative to incomes are more than two times higher in New York or Los Angeles than in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta or, for that matter, virtually all the metropolitan areas most attractive to families.
Today roughly 18.5% of the U.S. population is over 60, compared to 16.3% a decade ago; by 2020 that percentage is expected to rise to 22.2%, and by 2050 to a full 25%.
Yet the graying of America is not uniform across the country — some places are considerably older than others. The oldest metropolitan areas, according to an analysis of the 2010 census by demographer Wendell Cox, have twice as high a concentration of residents over the age of 60 as the youngest. In these areas, it’s already 2020, and some may get to 2050 aging levels decades early.
For the most part, the oldest metropolitan areas — with the exception of longtime Florida retirement havens Tampa-St. Petersburg and Miami — tend to be clustered in the old industrial regions of the country. These are regions that have suffered mightily from deindustrialization and the movement of people toward the South and West. These metro areas now make up eight of the 10 oldest among the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas.
The oldest city in America is Pittsburgh, where 23.6% of the metro area’s population is over 60 (see the full list in the table below). The old steel capital is followed by such former robust manufacturing hubs as Buffalo (No. 3 on our list), Cleveland (fifth), and Detroit (ninth).
How did these places get so old? The biggest factor: migration deficits. More Americans have been leaving these cities than moving there, and people who move tend to be younger. Meanwhile these graying cities attract relatively few immigrants from abroad. Pittsburgh, for example, ranks 34th among the 51 biggest metro areas in net domestic migration, losing some 2% of its population to other places over the past decade. It also stands 50th in foreign immigration over the same period. Buffalo has fared even worse: it’s 40th in domestic migration and 49th in new foreign-born residents.
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More troublesome may be the labor force impacts of rapid aging, as there is a shortage of some skilled workers, both in the Rust Belt and tech centers, particularly younger ones. This reality is already causing problems in Europe, particularly in the economically devastated south, and also more prosperous East Asia, particularly Japan.
An older population, and fewer families, tend to depress economic growth, consumer demand and entrepreneurial creativity. Japan today is not only much older, but also more financially hard-pressed than in its ’80s heyday, heavily in debt and losing its once dominant position in several critical industries.
- Do economists lie more? – “Yes. And it seems the effect is causal: studying business and economics makes you more likely to lie”
- Who Needs a Warrant? Florida Cop Dresses As Power Company Repairman to Gain Access to Home
- Election hacked, drunken robot elected to DC school board
- Change of Habit – “Humility. Lent. The Red Carpet. Hollywood just cannot get nuns right.” (See Dolores Hart.)
- Sandra Fluke Does Not Speak for Me – “[Sandra Fluke's] one claim to fame in the reproductive health care debate is…drumroll, please…being a student club leader! You go, Sandra! Hang those posters girl. Wear out those Sharpies. Me? I love me some extracurricular involvement. The difference between Sandra and me is that I don’t think it qualifies me to speak in front of Congress. ‘The Chair calls to the stand the captains of the intramural ultimate frisbee team!’ … Sandra Fluke doesn’t speak for me. Or for Georgetown.”
- Candidate Putin on The State of The World – “Victory in this week’s Presidential election is almost certain, but the Prime Minister is no longer the absolute master of Russian politics. Not only does he face a protest movement that includes some of the most thoughtful and creative people in his country; the old techniques don’t seem to be working anymore. As a recent German documentary shows, Putin’s old routine of judo, swimming, and hunting polar bears ‘no longer comes across as virile but, rather, as exhausting and joyless.’” Hmmm, “exhausting and joyless” describes a lot of political behavior….
- Geithner’s Latest Alibi – “In Ron Suskind’s [Confidence Men], on how Geithner, Larry Summers, and company protected Wall Street, Suskind quotes an appalled Senator Byron Dorgan telling President-elect Obama in December 2008, ‘You’ve picked the wrong people!’ Did he ever. Geithner keeps proving that over and over again.”
- The Gray Divorcés – “The divorce rate for people 50 and over has doubled in the past two decades. Baby boomers are breaking up late in life like no generation before.”
- What body language signals motivation, social skills and conscientiousness in a job applicant? – “talking, gesturing, and dress were indeed valid cues for social skills, but only the formality of dress predicted the applicant’s work motivation”
- People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy – “It is interesting that progressives think citizens are much too stupid to make their own choices in the grocery store.”
- It’s time to fix the Bill of Rights – “I propose that we have a meeting of all the great minds (college professors, A-list Hollywood actors, people who watch ‘Downton Abbey’) to list everything people need — basics like food, transportation, and smart phones.”
- Bill of Rights Card, from Two Seas Media
- “The PPACA Mandate: The Government’s Best Case” – “We are all familiar with an individual mandate that was authorized by the U.S. Congress and notoriously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court: the affirmative duty of persons of Japanese descent to report to a Civil Control Station. Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1943).” And that worked out so well….
- Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking? – “Even if you dismiss the recent plunge as an outlier, the declines in retail gasoline deliveries are mind-boggling. If you look at the data from 1983 to 2011 on the link above, you will note that delivery declines align with recessions.”
- “How Many Kids Are Sexually Abused by Their Teachers?,” by Brian Palmer, Slate, February 8, 2012 – “Probably millions.”
- Lead Cooled fast Small modular reactor design could be a ‘SUPERSTAR’ – “‘Small modular reactors, or SMRs, are small-scale nuclear plants that are designed to be factory-manufactured and shipped as modules to be assembled at a site. They can be designed to operate without refueling for 15 to 30 years. The concept offers promising answers to many questions about nuclear power–including proliferation, waste, safety and start-up costs.’”
- Dealing with the Dreaded CEL (check engine light) – “‘the five most common causes of a check engine light and what you should do about them…’ The list: faulty oxygen sensor, loose or faulty gas cap, faulty catalytic converter, faulty mass airflow sensor, bad spark plugs and/or wires.”
- If You See Something, Shut Up – “M. Zudi Jasser is a physician, a U.S. Navy veteran, an American patriot and a Muslim who does not hold with those who preach that Islam commands its followers to take part in a war against unbelievers.” The film is The Third Jihad.
Beniamino Gigli – Wikipedia
- 6 Ways The Job Search Has Changed Post-Recession – “4. Social media is the new recruiting tool“
- Ditch the Textbooks – “The majority of the modern management texts are written by theorists who render the content into endless seas of meaningless terminology. A better idea is to forgo textbooks altogether.”
- Why Not Hire Your Own Adjunct? They Are Very Inexpensive – “Since college tuition is so high, why not skip the campus middleman and ‘hire your own professor’ as a private tutor?“
- Charles Murray, Author of ‘The Bell Curve,’ Steps Back Into the Ring – “Publishers, forget about carefully reasoned, nuanced discussions of the issues of the day—that stuff is for college professors, or yuppies off yammering away in their salons. If you print politically oriented books and you want to make the big bucks, you need to think like a boxing promoter and stage fights that will get attention. And nothing, but nothing, draws hype like a match-up between liberal pundits and the man they love to hate, the belligerent behind the The Bell Curve, the warrior against welfare, the proudly politically incorrect Charles Murray. Mr. Murray’s newest book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum), makes a pretense of making nice. It bills itself as an attempt to alleviate divisiveness in American society by calling attention to a growing cultural gap between the wealthy and the working class.”
- Drescher: Getting fit can give a new lease on life – “Taking a forced sabbatical from politics has been a blessing in almost every way,” Morgan wrote in his 2008 book, The Fourth Witch, which he describes on the cover as “a memoir of politics and sinning.”
- Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) faces insider-trading investigation
- Can you change your partner in marriage? – “Ultimately, though, she said it was necessary to accept the other person. She knocked on the square wooden table and said ‘You can round off the corners, but your spouse will still have the same basic shape.‘”
- 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes – “Which and That – ‘Which’ introduces a relative clause.“
- The Kodak Moment – Unleashed from Scarcity, Editing Becomes More Important – “There is a burden in … abundance, a pain we’ve all experienced. It’s the burden of whittling down the flood of photos into a coherent and efficient package. Because there isn’t a barrier at the input end anymore, we have to erect that barrier later, or the insanity of fifteen photos of the same mountain, the same animal, the same sunset, the same flower, or the same family smiling becomes clear. We only need one or two good ones. We don’t need them all. In fact, maybe we don’t need most of them.”
- IT guy answers daughter’s Facebook rant by shooting her laptop – “You can have a new one when you buy one” (video at link)
- Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die – “[O]wing to medical advancements, cancer deaths now peak at age 65 and kill off just 20 percent of older Americans, while deaths due to organ failure peak at about 75 and kill off just another 25 percent, so the norm for seniors is becoming a long, drawn-out death after 85, requiring ever-increasing assistance for such simple daily activities as eating, bathing, and moving. This is currently the case for approximately 40 percent of Americans older than 85, the country’s fastest-growing demographic, which is projected to more than double by 2035, from about 5 million to 11.5 million. And at that point, here comes the next wave–77 million of the youngest Baby Boomers will be turning 70.”
- The Real Trouble With the Birth-Control Mandate – “Critics are missing the larger point. Why should the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decree that any of us must pay for ‘insurance’ that covers contraceptives?“
- Obamacare vs the Catholic Bishops – “There is some tragic irony to all this. We should not forget that many religious leaders have long-supported increasing the role of the state in health care and the economy at-large, perhaps thinking that conscience clauses would protect their institutions against any undue interference. Well, they were wrong; what the state giveth, the state taketh away. If you invite the state to ‘assist’ more and more of your activities, it will eventually start telling you how to do things. … Economic ignorance among religious leaders comes at a very high cost to their own good works.”
Tags: 323 U.S. 214, Baby Boomers, Beniamino Gigli, Bittersweet Season, Brian Palmer, CEL, Charles Murray, check engine light, Eldercare for Dummies, Elderschadenfreude, health insurance, insider-trading, Jane Gross., Jason Fertig, Job Search, John Cochrane, Kishore Jayabalan, Korematsu, Korematsu v. United States, marriage, Medicaid, Michael S. Greve, PPACA, Richard Morgan, Sandra Tsing Loh, sexual abuse, small modular reactors, SMRs, teacher sexual abuse, The Bell Curve, The Third Jihad