Melvin Konner M.D. Ph.D.

The Official Website of Melvin Konner, M.D, Ph.D.

...Since the causes of human nature are not a one-way street, I also want to know how changes in our environment make their impact on us--how advances in biology and medicine change how we think about our lives. My knowledge and experience have often led me to comment publicly on medical ethics, health care reform, child care, child welfare, and other policy questions, and I will do that here as well.
You are here: Home Crybaby Boomers

Crybaby Boomers

January 22nd, 2011

We need to help our kids avoid a Boomer Bust.

boomers1On the last night of 2010, after the ball fell in Times Square, toasting the New Year, a couple I’ve known for decades looked pretty glum. “Why are these people celebrating?” my friend—let’s call him Jim—wondered as he looked over at the bright, smiling, cheering, mostly young faces on TV. “We’re all just another year closer to being dead.”

“Come on,” I said, the anthropologist in me stirring. “This is one of the great rituals of the modern world. We dance, we make noise, we even sing Auld Lang Syne even though nobody knows what it means. Okay, there’s a counterphobic aspect to it—we celebrate partly because we know what you said. But we’re also toasting the joys of a pretty good year behind us, and hoping for a better one ahead.”

But their Grinchy assault on New Year’s Eve continued, despite the fact that they are among the most successful humans on the planet-both award-winners in their respective professions, with two attractive, successful kids—one happily married, one soon to be-and all the comforts of upper-middle-class life. Then Jim said something about how a great generation is passing.

I thought he meant The Greatest Generation-that of our parents, who slogged through the Great Depression, defeated Fascism, held Communism at bay and at last brought it down without triggering nuclear war, and still had the strength and optimism to raise a bunch of ungrateful brats, namely us. To the extent that it’s measureable, their suffering and sacrifice in depression, war, and political threats was far, far greater than ours.

“I’m tired of hearing about the so-called ‘Greatest Generation.’ We accomplished more than they did.” Jim was referring to rights for minorities and women, but those trends began in the forties and fifties, and our (okay, impressive) advances built on theirs. Yet, in those few minutes after midnight, as the first official Baby Boomers turned 65 (the last ones will do that twenty years from now), a pall of gloom hung over our whole generation.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, Boomers are more dissatisfied (at 80 percent!) than any other age group, even the elderly. Dissatisfaction among Millennials (18-29), hit far harder by unemployment, is only 60 percent. Yet we Boomers seem to think we’ve suffered most from the Great Recession, and we’re the most likely to think that our standard of living is lower than that of our parents.

The reality is we’ve been living high off the hog all our self-absorbed lives, borrowing relentlessly against our children’s future. Our parents handed us a national debt equal to 28 percent of GDP; we’re handing our kids a debt proportionally more than double that, at 62 percent of current GDP. And we’re not stopping any time soon: Boomers are more likely than other adults to oppose raising the age for Social Security benefits or taxing high-end health insurance benefits.

We lost money in the recent crisis, so we may have to postpone retirement. O dreadful news! Social Security was slated to start at 65 when people only lived a few years after that, and many were already feeble. Today 65 is the new 50 and, with Medicare paying the doctor’s bills and Social Security paying the rent, we can expect to live a couple of decades at our kids’ expense. Would it really break our hearts to start at 67, so our kids can have a good life as well?

We are eating their seed corn and whining all the way. The Boomer Bust will come crashing down on them and their kids, and they will look back and curse our selfishness, just as we look back, and if we are honest, thank The Greatest Generation for their sacrifices. I’m one of the ones who will turn 65 this calendar year, so like the other first-year Boomers, I had what I call my Beatles birthday last year—you know, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”

Most Boomers reaching 64, will be able to answer yes to those questions. Of course, those who have lost jobs or homes in this crisis are experiencing disaster at a very awkward time of life. But that is not most of us. On the whole, life has been good to Boomers, and we need to appreciate it. Do I have bad moments in the middle of the night, thinking about my losses-physical, economic, and worst of all in unfulfilled dreams? Sure, and so did all generations before ours. But they sucked it up, and so can we.

Last night I went to the 60th birthday party of another friend. The poor guy’s face was the very picture of Boomer Gloom. I told him life begins at 60, which is a gross exaggeration, but it’s no lie to repeat the cliché: This is the first day of the rest of your life. What’s the alternative? Walking around with a frown on our face for whatever time we have left? Spreading debt and regret to younger generations?

Get over it. Put a smile on your face and a hand on the shoulder of someone younger. Give them a little push forward and let them know that life is good, that when they get older it can still be good. Let’s put an end to Boomer Doom and Gloom. As one of the oldest of that privileged and successful generation, that’s the advice I have for everyone in it, starting with myself.

Note: By invitation, I’ve started a blog on the Psychology Today website, and my latest post can be read there or here, although different comments may be  posted there.

331 Responses to “Crybaby Boomers”

  1. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any
    recommendations?

    My blog top 10 beauty products

  2. Truly no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of then its up to other users that they will help, so here it taakes place.

    My web-site - Hennepin county family law clinic

  3. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more
    pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did
    you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

    Feel free to surf to my blog; intercostal muscles

  4. cheat racing rivals…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  5. King Willem Alexander, the current king and descendant of Willem I, will reportedly be in attendance
    for the grand opening later this month. Setting simple goals like playing a Plano or be a good sales man can make many women feel strong attraction to
    you. Just after a woman has confirmed on the actual ovulation date, she can engage in sexual activity a couple of days before it has happened.

    Feel free to surf to my web page :: เสื้อผ้าแฟชั่น

  6. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours
    lol

    my page :: drag racing hack

  7. Because the male sperm cell passes away down faster compared to a female sperm cell, the actual female sperm cell take a much better opportunity on becoming the successful.
    t have any of the following five qualities single Christian girls look for in a Christian single guy, you may want to consider becoming a eunuch.

    Yet as Jaya grew older, the celebrity daughter felt that
    she wasn’t comfortable being in the identity of
    a girl, and soon began to consider herself a ‘he.

    My blog post - ____________________

  8. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I
    recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

    Also visit my webpage; Nu cambogia extract Diet

  9. hack Racing Rivals…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  10. todocvcd says:

    I think this is one of the most important information for
    me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general
    things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

  11. You can manually collect email addresses for editors of publications that you think would be interested.
    As a result, your article has to be generalized
    and it has to be compelling, shocking or just plain out of the ordinary.
    Regular press release services to be able to media representatives also need to become applied.

  12. Hi, yes this piece of writing is really good
    and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging.
    thanks.

    Review my web blog - How To Bring The Romance Back In a Marriage
    (sizzleback.bravesites.com)

  13. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright
    violation? My site has a lot of completely unique
    content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of
    it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization.
    Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being
    stolen? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  14. HCA Garcinia says:

    HCA Garcinia…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  15. Nutra Pump says:

    Nutra Pump…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  16. b2b video marketing statistics…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  17. The investment in buildings, machinery and equipment is in difference with building an assortment investment,
    which is measured a roundabout deal. Combination well along with simmer in lower warmth.
    You can search for Indian grocery stores and restaurants in your area anywhere in the
    United States at this Web site.

  18. Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this amazing
    site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read
    through more, thanks for the advice!

    Also visit my blog post - bypass Icoud activation

  19. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest
    as yours and my users would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you.
    Thanks!

  20. Latrice says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articlews as long as I provide credit andd sources back to your website?
    My website is in the very same area of interest as
    yours and my visitors would really benefit from a lott of the information you present here.
    Please let mme knoow iff this okay with you. Thanks a lot!

    Feel free too visit my web site: ads iin facebook news feed (Latrice)

  21. This excellent website really has all of the informationn I needed about this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    Also visit my web page; how earn online money

  22. The rank and file performance will be given a formal rating every six months — this will be the basis of their salary increments.
    Not only is Junior sized clothing not cut for a woman’s figure,
    it also shows more skin that we would like. The
    reason for ice, compression and elevation would be to limit
    blood flow towards the affected spot.

    Feel free to visit my site Celebrity Dress Up Games For Kid Girls

  23. Your syndicate agreement does not have to be a complex document.
    Be sure to go with fresh bait, and stay away from the baits that are based
    on chicken or cat food. Some day you will have to divide your
    worms and start a new farm because of their rapid reproduction rate.

    my web site - crock pot freezer meals with shopping list

  24. Marvelous, what a blog it is! This website presrnts useful information to us, keep it up.

  25. sources says:

    sources…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  26. Any weapon that weighs more than 10 pounds has
    its weight cut in half, making your load much easier to carry.
    ‘ I bought her a heart-shaped pendant with 20 diamond
    chips. A common thing many new guitarists here is that acoustic is easier to start with than electric.

  27. Summoners War Sky Arena Cheats download…

    Crybaby Boomers » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  28. The coins acquired also facilitates in getting a number of the renowned participants that is at an inexpensive value and ideal,
    as a way to assist the person to create the collection that is necessary.
    There are many of sites that supply particular programs to his heart’s
    satisfaction also being a fifa cash generator, with that your person may take pleasure in the electronic
    recreation totally. The online model simulation of the
    overall game rules the whole virtual video gaming and
    tends to advance continuously.

    Feel free to visit my blog: http://www.enjoyhacks.com/fifa-14-coins-generator-online-hack/

  29. twitter says:

    I do trust all the ideas you have introduced in your post.
    They’re really convincing and will definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. May you please prolong them a little from next time?
    Thanks for the post. twitter
    twitter
    twitter

  30. There are many amazing practitioners of Craniosacral Therapy for instance, but
    it should be stressed that Upledger himself who popularized the field
    and made into a specific type of therapy in and of itself, is an Osteopath.
    An essential reality to note is that you’ll find diverse factors behind knee aches.
    But then again, it is necessary for your well being.

    Take a look at my blog post; 凄い先生!山本謙吾主任教授

  31. Hello there! This is kind of off topikc butt I need some guidance from aan established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty quick. I’m thhinking about making my own but I’m not sure
    where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thhank you

    My web blog: actions facebook ads

Leave a Reply


Blog Navigation

Selected Books

  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator

Login Form