If you’re a Millennial who feels a strong disdain for those of the Boomer generation (that raised them), you might have some unresolved issues with your home life. I’m not here to play armchair psychotherapist, but let’s look at some of the issues you might have with Boomers.
I am technically a member of the Millennial generation, but I was born in the last year of that category (1981-1996). The Baby Boomer generation spans from 1946-1964.
There is a lot of diversity within a single generation. Depending on whether you were born at the beginning or the end of that time period, your life could be very different. But let’s not get stuck on that little detail. I am legitimately questioning why we Millennials hate Boomers.
They exploded the national debt.
This is true to a point, but plenty of Millennials played a role in this as well. Millennials first turned voting age in 1999, so they have partaken in voting during some of the biggest spending periods in US government history. The government hasn’t been debt-free since 1835. Don’t act like Boomers are the only generation that has struggled with excessive government spending.
President Reagan increased the military budget, which increased the debt to GDP. He also oversaw the end of the Cold War.
The next president, George H.W. Bush closed the gap of debt to GDP and slightly raised taxes. H.W. was held to account for raising taxes after he publicly promised not to.
He was replaced by Bill Clinton, who embraced positive economic policies, and along with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, oversaw a decrease in entitlement programs.
To recap: Boomers helped elect Reagan who ended the Cold War, yet made the debt worse. Boomers helped elect H.W. who balanced the budget, yet raised taxes. Boomers were angry about the tax hike and helped elect the first Boomer president, Bill Clinton, who lowered taxes, spending, and worked across the aisle to decrease government dependency and entitlement programs.
They have done nothing to stop the destruction of the environment and to make a cleaner future.
In reality, Boomers efficiently and sufficiently impacted the environment for the better.
Boomer youngsters clad in bell bottoms stopped randomly throwing their snack wrappers out of car windows and instead, put it in a trash can. This seems like a small, meaningless progression, but it cleaned roadsides and riverbanks and was brought to you by the small actions of Boomers motivated by the crying Indian.
They bought into the Keynsian economic policy of stretching your paycheck to buy the newest, shiniest product and living in debt to sustain that.
This is true. They ushered in the norm of keeping interest rates inorganically low so they could buy a suburban mansion, boat, and Chevy. Boomers promoted the lifestyle of instant gratification through easily accessible debt at the expense of saving accounts that grew thanks to interest.
They ushered in the drug war.
No. It was elected officials from other generations who initiated the exceedingly harsh policies to attempt to end drug use. The Drug War was more or less an overly dramatic policy response to Boomers’ free use of drugs that coincided with their sex and rock & roll lifestyle. Remember those hippies doing too much acid at Woodstock? Boomers.
Boomer vs Millennial
Maybe the whole “Ok, Boomer” thing is not about actual Boomers. It’s just a shorthand way to invalidate a person by saying, “you’re old and don’t have anything credible to say.” But there is something to learn from people who have had different life experiences than you, and helped build the society that you live in.
Now, there is always something that could be improved and we should constantly strive to be better, but we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Don’t despise an entire generation based off of an overly generalized characterization.
People are not idiots that lack credibility simply because they are Boomers. They are idiots because they’re economically illiterate, they believe in “reefer madness” hysteria, or they’re Joe Biden (but I repeat myself).