Baby Boomers Got the Blues
Viewing Life Through Morose-Colored Glasses
By Monica Hesse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10, 2008; Page C01
The baby boomers -- that prominent group of middle-agers whose massive numbers invite never-ending dissection and speculation -- have once again spoken. What they have said is, " Waaaaaahhh."
This is according to a social and demographic trends survey released recently by the Pew Research Center. The survey measured the pessimism, dissatisfaction and general curmudgeonliness of 2,413 adults in various generations.
The results validate any member of the Greatest Generation who ever looked at his or her offspring and sadly thought, "soft." Simply put, boomers are a bunch of . . . whiners.
More than older or younger generations, boomers -- born from 1946 to 1964 -- worry that their income won't keep up with rising costs of living. They say it's harder to get ahead today than it was 10 years ago. They are more likely to say that their standard of living is lower than their folks' but that things don't look too good for their kids either (67 percent of younger generations, meanwhile, feel they have it better than their parents).
Sigh. Those poor, tortured boomers, slouching around like our angsty brother who insists on being called "Holden."
Perpetually restless, utterly mysterious and so very multitudinous -- 76 million -- that the rest of us are doomed to study them, analyze them, wave shiny objects around for them. We write scores of books about them, with titles like "Age Power" and "Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group."
It's all part of the frantic tap dance of figuring out how to raise boomers' tender and flagging happiness, when what we want to say is, BUCK UP ALREADY.