Quite Right

Stop blaming  the baby boomers.

Few generations have been so subject to mythologising as the Western baby boomers, born in the 20 years after the end of the Second World War. According to their detractors (who are often baby boomers themselves) they had it all: free love, free universities, final salary pensions, at least two property booms and a guaranteed job. Their offspring, by contrast, cannot afford to buy, or even rent, a home; leave university with debts they will never pay off; will never have a steady career; and can look forward to a miserable state pension at the age of 70 – if they are lucky.

I have to say, I’ve been sick of the anti-boomer barrage of bollocks over the past few years. The reality is as stated in the report, the only commonality is the year of birth. Sure, things like university education was free to the student and people had grants for subsistence. However, this was balanced by very few going to university. Like many of my peers, my retirement plan is to keep working. What pensions I do have are in small (very small) pots and aren’t worth a damn. So, it’s keep on working.

There is some truth in this. But only some. The pension of a younger baby boomer aged around 55 will probably be worse than that of his father, since the defined benefit schemes that the last generation enjoyed have largely ended. Moreover, few plan to retire early since many need to look after both their adult children and ageing parents – a new social phenomenon. A report today by the Ready for Ageing Alliance, a group of national charities for the elderly, points out that the baby boomers are an eclectic group with a wide range of needs, incomes and savings (if any).

The idea that a whole generation of diverse individuals is, in some way, disadvantaging those who followed is pure unadulterated bollocks. Time it stopped, frankly.


  1. I’ve never quite been able to understand some people’s inclination to blame the “baby boomers” for everything. After all, they didn’t have any choice as to when they were born and, if anything, it’s the generation before theirs – who were, after all the adults running the show during the boomers’ early years and young adulthood when they got “given everything” (supposedly) – who offered them all these freebies and “good times,” wasn’t it? So really, if there’s a “generation” to blame (a ridiculous concept in itself), surely it should be the “boomer parents,” not the babies!

    At the end of the day, though, isn’t it just the old “generation gap” raising its head as it has always done? As the old song In The Living Years says: “Every generation blames the one before.”

  2. My daughter, now eighteen, was slightly gobsmacked by my description of early seventies telly being in black and white with only two channels that only broadcasted part of the time. The cheapness and availability of all kinds of appliances and hi-tech toys is something that the current generation takes totally for granted. I can still remember my mum having a wash day and doing a whole weeks washing using a twin tub washing machine. We have never had anything but an automatic washer, just bung some washing in it any time that you’ve got enough for a load and leave it. Oh and don’t get me started on cars that needed constant fixing and rusted away before your eyes.

  3. Baby boomers across the globe would number in the hundreds of millions. They come from different cultures and different backgrounds. They have vastly different abilities and skills. The notion that these hundreds of millions of people are defined by the years in which they were born is utterly preposterous.

  4. Like you Longrider, I have to work for a living because I don’t have a final salary pension and I have to pay the bloody mortgage and all the other blood-sucking scum that calls itself Local Government and Government, not to mention the utility companies!! Born in 1958, we never had a telly until I was ten, and then it was black and white ( and it blew up after 6 months) Never had a family car until I was 17, and by then we didn’t have a family anymore. I never went to university either. I’ve worked every day of my working life since I was 16 (with the exception of 4.5 months when I was made redundant at 50 (nice timing you bastards). With two failed relationships behind me that lasted 30 years between them, I have next to fuck all but the house I currently live in.
    Yeah – I’m one of those effing rich as fuck baby boomers.

    It’s enough to make your piss boil

  5. Come on Russell Brand says its true so it must be? Agree with your comments, complete bollocks to suggest that the Baby Boomers have somehow had it easy.

  6. I was born in 1956, so a bona fide Baby Boomer, in 1995 it was so good, big salary, company car. Then; my pension was with Equitable Life(bye bye lots of money), company was taken over by a US company, car went, salaries cut.

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