YOUR Generation or OUR Generation? Why Not Both?

Fast Company recently published an article titled "Baby Boomers Stole The American Dream, But Young People Can Take It Back." The article blindly blames the entire baby boomer generation for the world's problems, while conveniently ignoring the great things boomers are contributing and the positive impact they're having on society. If you're a boomer, you may feel offended by this article. If you're in a younger generation, do yourself a favor and keep reading. Our editor, Cheryl Harbour, felt compelled to respond to the article:


Oh, it is great to be young.

It is great to have faith in your own wisdom and ideas – and particularly to be confident that you can change the world for the better. With that kind of thinking – you have a lot in common with people who were young in the 1960s and 1970s (the baby boomers). You weren’t around to watch it, but baby boomers railed at the establishment, too.

You really don’t need to go as far as blaming an entire generation for the things you don’t like.

You don’t like corporate greed and fraud – and certainly there are people in the baby boomer generation who have been guilty of that. But there’s also Martin Shkreli (age 35), who made millions by hiking up the price of a life-saving drug. There’s Elizabeth Holmes (age 34), recently charged with  “massive fraud” that allowed investors and consumers alike to believe that technology developed by her company Theranos could provide important health information with just a simple finger prick.  

On the other hand, there is Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates (both baby boomers) who turned their fortune into a foundation that has contributed nearly $3 billion toward eradicating polio throughout the world by 2020. There is James Allison, (a baby boomer) Chair of Immunology at Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He’s credited with changing the course of cancer treatment by focusing on the immune system instead of the tumor.  

And you don’t like politicians who think they’re entitled to break the rules the rest of us follow. Oh yes, we know a lot of those. But, ahem, there is the young governor of Missouri (age 43) who thought he could get away with it, too.

You want Congress to forgive student loans. Elizabeth Warren (a baby boomer) has been working on that for years. She’s on your side.

You want support for the movement started by the Parkland students. George Clooney (a baby boomer), Steven Spielberg (a baby boomer), Marilyn Katzenberg (a baby boomer), Kate Capshaw (a baby boomer) and Oprah Winfrey (a baby boomer) each donated a reputed $500,000 to support the students’ march. Looks like they’re on your side, too.

Governor of Florida Rick Scott (a baby boomer) just broke with his party, his president and his past as an NRA supporter and advocated for gun control in his state, including a measure the NRA absolutely hates: requiring that buyers of rifles and shotguns be at least 21 years old.

We could go point by point through your list of baby boomer “betrayals” – but why would we want to do that? The real point is that what age you are doesn’t matter near as much as how you think and what you feel about issues facing all of us today. And even more important is what you DO about them.

Hollywood’s #metoo movement is an example of how people can come together over an issue, not be separated by an age gap. At the Oscars, Frances McDormand (a baby boomer) showed all of us what real unity looks like. Isn’t that a better way to go about it? is the resource for Baby Boomers who want to keep their mind open, their information current, their lifestyle healthy, and their life interesting. We aim to empower Boomers to lead a more extraordinary life.

Photo: iStock


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