Every month close to half a million baby boomers turn sixty years old. In our world of increasing percentages of older aged people more of the population will be in retirement than ever before, and we will have to work on stabilizing and reworking our economy to compensate for this drastic change. Looking at different aspects of the baby boom such as minorities, the economy and population age graphs will allow close to every detail about the baby boom to be covered. “Young people are unemployed at historically high levels. Global competition is stronger than ever, but institutions have not adapted to prepare new workers for its challenges. Boomers have run up incomes for the very wealthiest Americans, shrunk the middle class, and, via careless borrowing and reckless financial engineering, driven the economy into the worst recession in 80 years.” (Tankersley) With the economic problems we are facing worldwide and the large mass of baby boomers going into retirement at a rapid rate, all our institutions and economy drivers are going to have to change for the future of our uneven spread of people, if we want to sustain a balanced system.
“Baby Boom” St. Joseph Hospital, Chicago, 1941
Now that the first generation of those born in the Baby Boom worldwide are reaching retirement the warnings about the financial havoc was bound to wreak upon Social Security and the national economy. The Author Grace Bauer of Baby Boomer Issues is arguing the point that this large group of retirees are very self serving and they take what they need and want, and because its in such large numbers people are unsure of how this is going to effect the rest of society. The three points that are the most important in this article and that i agree with are the Cultural icons, Self serving retirees, and the Economy with baby boomers. The Cultural icons that were present in between the 40’s till the 60’s are what the majority of our population have grown up with and are the icons that have helped shape them into the type of self serving type of people that they are today. Because lots of the symbolism and icons had to deal with peace and the laid back kind of system they are different in the way that the more recent humans have been born because of the changing of icons. The third most important part of this article is the economy, this is the most looked at aspect of the baby boom because with such a large population at a certain age they will all require things at the same time in mass amounts which is something that we are typically not used to.
An important primary source that I chose is in an Interview form with the interviewer/Author being John Sparks asking questions about the baby boom to a first hand man named Perri Peltz. This interview was given to get a better idea of what its really like being a baby boomer and see everything through the eyes of them, allowing those who are interested in the people of this age to get information. The main purpose is that the Boomers being the largest demographic of people and how they’ve been the driving force of our economy, but now there all retiring or dying off. In this interview John sparks who is asking the questions is from a completely different time then Perri so they are both pretty unrelated living completely different lifestyles. The source contains the way in which the people are going to deal with the majority of people going into retirement, and how we are going to change to run our economy. This primary source helps my thesis as it agrees completely with idea that many things are going to have to change in order for us to continue along the path to having a better functioning economy even with hard falls. My second primary source comes from a writer for the Wall Street Journal named Pj O’Rourke who was born in the years of the baby boom. In this primary source he outlines the fact that the people from the baby boom were different from people from any other generation as PJ says, “Before us self was without form and void, like our parents in their dumpy clothes and vague ideas. Then we came along. Now the personal is the political. The personal is the socioeconomic. The personal is the religious and the secular, science and the arts.” Now that this time had come the boomers believe they have changed times for good within the mental psych and regime of people.
The secondary source that I thought was the best goes into detail about the differences in human characteristics from those of the Baby boom compared to everyone who lived and or was born previous to these years. Many people and the media see the baby boomer generation in different lights. With increased educational, financial and social opportunities, the Boomer Generation is often portrayed as a generation of optimism, exploration and achievement. Compared with previous generations, more young adults pursued higher education or relocated away from family to pursue career and educational interests. The two themes that help me encompass my research paper in the best way are conflict and Humans and the Environment. Conflict because as those who were born in the baby boom make up a large portion of the population and as they reach older ages and begin to retire and then eventually die it will leave us will many open jobs and other alternative positions that are no longer filled. And Humans and the Environment because us humans will have to cope with what we have as soon as the “Baby Boomers” are no longer functional and a benefit to our society. In the article “What if Baby Boomers don’t live forever” was written by Linda Stern and Susan Heavey. In the article the authors point out that in general people assume that people live longer then there predecessors, but now the authors are reporting that because of certain factors this could be the first time the reverse is happening. They report that because the large population will outnumber the amount of available hospital rooms, retirement homes and other things they wont get the necessary treatment they need to survive as long as past generations. This article connects to the conflict theme in my research paper.
“Educating Black Youth” Children learn in Miss Ray’s first-grade class at Washington Elementary School in Topeka in the 1950s.
In the monograph I chose to help assist me with my project is the Baby Boom; People and Perspectives. I chose this monograph because the authors and the editors look at all the perspectives of the baby boom beyond what the average person thinks of it as, which really allows the readers to get the entire spectrum of what was actually going on. In particular I chose chapter four of the book because it deals with African Americans and the Baby Boom, this was a very interesting chapter to me because when people usually think about the baby boom they think of white middle class people, but in reality three out of every ten people born at the time were minorities. Three interesting topics covered in this chapter that I am going to incorporate into my project are the demographics of the African Americans, the politics, and also the future of the African American Baby boomers. Being able to have all this very detailed in depth information on the minorities at the time are very interesting. For example for one of the three topics I chose being the Demographics it says that “Between 1946 and 1964, the birth rate among African Americans increased at a rate greater than the population as a whole. The actual number of black children born annually in the US nearly doubled during this period from about 358,000 in 1946 to more than 600,000 births in 1964 (Wellner, 49).
“Population F Forecast 2002-2020”
With the majority of the worlds population demographic being those born in the time of the Baby Boom after WWI from all across the globe, we have seen many changes and are sure to see many more as time goes on and the Boomers go into retirement and begin to die off. With all that we have gained from these Boomers such as many social icons and business’s and much more we also know that there are negatives such as the state of our economy which will be hard to work with as they begin to go into retirement. But the economic problems we are facing worldwide overplays the gains we have gotten, and with the large mass of baby boomers going into retirement at a rapid rate, all our institutions and economy drivers are going to have to change for the future of our uneven spread of people, if we want to sustain a balanced system.
“Early Boomers” Andrew Fleck Child Center Ottawa, Canada 1950
-“Baby Boom”, January 13 2009. Web. August 24, 2014.
-“Early Boomers”, December 31 2010. Web. September 6, 2014.
-“Population Forecast 2002-2020”, January 11, 2011. Web. October 2, 2014.
– “Educating Black Youth” Fall 1950. Web. December 1, 2014.
-Linda Stern and Susan Heavey, What if Baby Boomers don’t live forever (Washington: Chicago Tribune) August 14, 2012, accessed September 6, 2014
-Monhollon, Rusty, editor., Baby Boom and Peoples Perspectives (ABC-CLIO 2010), 1-242
-Jim Tankersley, “Who Destroyed the Economy? The Case against the Baby Boomers” The Atlantic, October 5, 2012, accessed September 20, 2014.
-Grace Bauer, “Baby Boomer Issues,”Pdf (2009): 1-3
-PJ Orourke, “The Boomer Bust” The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2013, accessed November 16, 2014.
-Susan Talons, “The Baby Boomer Generation” Value Options, October 8, 2006, accessed November 16, 2014.