On Thursday night, Tom Brokaw did a report called BOOMERS on CNBC. It was of great interest to me because I was born in 1957---which means I am a part of the baby boomer generation.
Part of Brokaw's report was done at the University of Michigan. I'm not sure why. If I had been doing that report I would've gone back to Kent State University because that is where four young people (who would be baby boomers today)were gunned down by the police while protesting agains the Vietnam War. But that's just me.
Much attention is being paid to baby boomers these days as the first wave of us moves towards retirement and social security. Brokaw attempted to give us a 50 year look at the boomers in a two-hour period.
Yes, we were the first generation to grow up with television; many of us lived through the civil rights era and the Vietnam War. But the “real” image of a baby boomer is what I question. Brokaw failed to show the true diversity of us as a group. We are not all white kids who grew up in the suburbs watching the Mickey Mouse Club. He referred to us as the most diverse generation but the fact of the matter is some of us actually grew up in a separate and unequal society and according to a Duke University study, diversity has not led to equality. Brokaw didn't talk about that. Instead, he showed us how one black man in America was living a life he never dreamed of. The fact of the matter is many blacks in the boomer generation are no better off relative to whites than their parents and grandparents. Many older southern baby boomers can still tell you stories about the Jim Crow laws and the impact it had on their lives.
We have also been called the wealthiest generation but despite what some would have you believe, we are not all living in the land of milk and honey. Some of us may have plenty of disposable income but, according to the Duke Study, quite a few of us are struggling financially.
One thing I will agree with in the report is a comment made by author J. Walker Smith. He said baby boomers became more focused on self and a promise of economic prosperity as they grew up. They became more focused on "things", and tried to live beyond their means. Greed and ego were also the order of our generation.
Maybe that explains some of the financial mess we're in. You think?