Once upon a time, not to long ago, between 2011-2012, some brand new “ideas and concepts” began “heating up” and floating around the Internet” called Collaborative consumption, Collaborative Economy and the “Sharing economy”.
The selling of those ideas was primarily pitched to the 79-80 Million member Baby Boomer generation, (all headed toward retirement age), as a middle class “lifestyle” sustainability strategy.
The economic devastation “derived” from the Boomers Real estate “nest egg” Bust of 2007-2009, unraveled and “shook loose” confidence in “bank financed promises of “return on long-term property investments”.
From what I understand ( NOT much) but for the most part, most Baby boomers, in their childhood life were “raised” in a family that was “hoodwinked” into “what I DO understand as” the mindset of a “labor side sharecropper approach” to creating debt. After leaving the south they forged ahead with consumer financing, property improvement financing for windows, doors and floors, refinancing loans, after refinancing the original loans on “their” house and car and truck, credit cards and “summer home” villa property “co-ops” etc. .
The Baby Boomers were undeniably nurtured in the concept of accumulating “reoccurring consumer debt”, because their parents (more than likely) had plenty of seasons and years when the “crops” just didn’t produce enough “surplus” for their families, leaving them with the only option presented , which was to “borrow against their side” of future earnings/harvest and being stuck with “consuming or “buying on credit” and/or I Owe You debts.
I personally think (too many) Boomers never “financially grasped how to individually value and how to gauge their time, talents, and skills in an industrial age of “skill set abstraction” that was geared toward harnessing and standardizing physical stamina using Labor Work Unions and Skilled trade associations as pillars for building Global Corporate Organization stability and international brand growth.
The young 20 something year old Boomers were strategically targeted and enticed mostly from the southern states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas to migrate “upnorth to formulate the “middle of the country”, Middle class “world”.
Having come from “the sharecropping era”, The Boomers somehow developed an uncanny mindset to also borrow against their own future and the future of their off spring and now appear to be almost oblivious to the “financial vises” of consumer based debt and self-engineered entitlements they formed and call “social programs”.
Fortunately, for the Gen X’ers and Mellinnials (the off-spring of the Boomers) the new computer technologies brought with it mass movement into the “Cyberworld” and the birth of a “new world/place and frontier” to migrate to.
Meanwhile “(back at the barn”) In the “real world”, the house investment/property buying BOOM then BUST ( finishing off the “industrial age economy”) that began in 2007, primarily “happened” because of the “consumer buying habits” of the Boomers.
The culmination of learned behavior, bad habits, mis or under-education concerning the “financing of consumer debt”, inadvertently help to create a perfect storm that grew to disrupt and cause world-wide political changes, economic evolution, and the undeniable Internet’s impact on consumerism and migration into the Cyberworld of economics, peaking interests and explosion of financial transactions from person-to-person to circumvent the costs of “banking” and financial transaction fees.
The largest group of people planet earth until 2017 (surpassed by the Mellinnials), who formed the Middle Class across the globe) over the past 5 years, for the first and last time time in their adult working age lives, have found themselves faced with adjusting to the fast approaching, looming years of retirement. For most of The Boomers, retirement means no longer being able to “afford” the disposable (consumer debt) lifestyle of being a “well paid, union covered, employer benefits protected, middle class full-time working weekly paid income generating employee.
Baby Boomers “retirement” means, after reaching a predetermined age, they would live within a reduced and monthly paid amount of income, generated/paid for by younger tax contributing workers, as an alternative option or choice to continue to contribute if/ when not physically/ mentally unrestricted to do so.
THE X MARKS THE NEXT BOOM
Meanwhile the Gen Xers, America’s neglected middle age generation, squeezed between the two much larger generations; The younger inexperienced Millennials and the older Baby Boomers, are strategically positioned and entering the most financially rewarding stages of their lives; and are geared to become the emerging Gig Economy Business Leaders, Government Leaders, Innovators of the On Demand services sectors and Pioneers of Cyberworld formulated Industries of Business and the restructuring of local economies .
Once upon another time, as the first teenager off-spring , (we) Gen X’er’s were the first generation “hoodwinked” with the idea of “MAYBE landing a good job” IF we chose the lifelong path and financial debt trap of “borrowing from Boomer parents or Boomer banks ” for student based education/training, and IF we scored high enough on written and physical performance test, and IF we had at least one referral from a credible person, we could possibly be placed in the competition pools of “qualified candidates with college degrees” pre-selected for the “chance to interview to possibly “land a good job” depending on who and how you interviewed on the day it was your one chance to “interview for the job” and discuss your education, skills, hopes and dreams for your life and future….
OR Go our own way to figure it out, using whatever Business aptitude, Work-school-street-smart life skills, Entrepreneur experiences, Natural gifts/Talents and personal skills sets to avoid some of the prescribed damage caused by being fully engulfed in the never ending participation of financing and accumulation of “debt”.
Gen X’ers did not enter their “20 something adult working age” having the same choice or option of “moving where the “auto industry jobs” are and forming groups of United Workers with attorneys, which they skillfully used to draft contracts as they negotiated and accomplished having lifetime occupations. The boomers created the “phenomenon” describe as “having a good job”. MY LORD were they NOT GOOD JOBS, NO NOT REALLY they were “GREAT JOBS” , but NEVER to be repeated again in the history of “labor force workers” in any other industry .
YES IT WAS GREAT for the Boomers (because each of them, if employed most of their adult lives, 25 years or more ) grossed no less than $1,500,000 MILLION DOLLARS …! from weekly paycheck generated income (over the span of their working years) NOT including the system they set up called the “Social Security Entitlement Program” giving their elected officials power and the ability to “legally” tax/abstract money” from younger workers, in order to help sustain or maintain their “lifestyle of financing” debt and belief in “bigger meant better” hyper consumerism.
Like it or not, the Baby Boomers have built a track record and pattern of notoriously being the “selfish/ wealthy/rich/ me/ my/ mine ” group between the three world-wide generations of Millennials, Gen Xer’s and Boomers. No pun intended.
To be fair, in the early 1960’s, when they were in their early 20’s and first became “full-time employed” workers of the emerging middle class, the Baby boomers initially started laying down the foundations of prosperity for their children and family generations to proceed . About 32 cents of every federal dollar, excluding interest payments, was spent on investments, only 14 percent on entitlements.
But then, in the mid-70s the lines were unhooked and deliberately crossed.
In the late 1970s, Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker engineered a dramatic increase in interest rates, detonating a multi-year “real estate” market hitting” recession and pushed the national average annual (official) unemployment rate up to near 10% in both years of 1982 and 1983 (sounds familiar). During that same period of time, the Black unemployment rate skyrocketed to above and beyond double the national rate to over 20 percent. Massive unemployment was not an unintended consequence of this policy, but the chosen means to finally break the power of workers who were the tip of the spear in pushing for higher wage/job protection demands.
From the 1980s forward the Baby Boomer generation strategy of “labor strikes and sit-in power” began weakening, so individual capitalist corporations, including the “infant-size” Walmart at that time (compared to now), “learned from the back then politics and big corporations media coverage losses from the union” and adopted an increasingly aggressive stance toward labor. Employer offenses intensified after Reagan broke the air-traffic controllers’ strike in 1982, widely interpreted as a signal to capitalists of “open season” on unions accompanied with a minimum wage hat tip from The Federal Government. Union decline accelerated, and strikes (which had become virtually unwinnable in the new anti-union climate) dropped off dramatically.
NOW WE HERE
Today we spend less than 15 cents on investment and 46 cents on entitlements. And it gets worse. By 2030, when the last of the boomers have “enrolled” onto the Social Security rolls, entitlements will consume 61 cents of every federal dollar.
According to analysis by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, the Xer’s have 14 percent of the nation’s wealth compared to just 4 percent for Millennials and 50 percent for the Boomers. But by 2030, as the Boomers finally start to fade from the picture, Xers will dominate the nation’s wealth, accounting for 31 percent, twice the projected share of Millennials.
Unlike the Millennials, who received “we all participated (no competitive) trophies and “good job” plaudits, the Xers were the original “latch-key” kids who were forced to make their way in a country and a world dominated by Boomers economics and politics.
The now second (to Millennial age group) largest consumer market in the world, the Boomers began “finding value in sharing what amounts to “their surplus assets” just a few years ago. In 2012 the Boomers began to “buy into” the opportunity to generate income from simply being “willing to share what they have accumulated”. There discovered another lin of “producing income” from younger people willing to pay a fee to share/borrow a ride sitting in the yard, renting a room/garage space/second home, buy and reuse their “old” tools, vehicles, old appliances, or purchase items as a novice or professional collector (sold on ebay, Airbnb, and the various craigslist type websites).
History itself has captured the evolution of “generation change” and recorded the many phases of economics and politics intertwined within the story of our bouts of “physical, mental and economical based slavery VS the idea and dream of Individual Free markets” and just as the older generation of Moses passed through time and the torch, The GenX’ers (and the proceeding generation of Millennials) must continue to position and prepare ourselves to enter and possess our land in the “cyberwold” of milk and honey”.