Debate Heats Up on Travails of Baby Boomers


The Wall Street Journal’s page-one article Monday about four million Baby Boomers aged 55 to 64 who can’t find full-time jobs seems to have hit a nerve.

The hundreds of comments posted about the article, both on the website and on other sites where the story has been reprinted, suggest that readers have deep feelings on the issue.

Associated Press

Some write of their anger toward Baby Boomers, blaming them for borrowing too heavily and saving too little, creating a debt problem that will be carried by future generations. They accuse Boomers of being lazy and self-centered and complain that, because they are such a large group, the government is too concerned about their wellbeing.

Others decry an economy that allows people to be fired from jobs just as they reach their mid-50s. That is a time when they normally would be earning peak incomes and fattening their retirement savings. Instead, many Boomers without well-paying jobs are spending their late 50s and early 60s running down their savings just to cover the costs of daily life.

The comments, which in some ways track the national political debate, show a deep disagreement about who is at fault, what should be done and what the consequences will be for the nation’s future. One likely consequence: This will be a political issue for years to come.

The number of comments and their content reflect a simple fact: As the Baby Boom generation, numbering close to 80 million people, begins marching to retirement, the national consequences will be enormous.

In part because of improvidence and weak wage growth, in part because many have lost jobs and in part because of the severe recession, Baby Boomers as a group are unready for two or even three decades of life after they stop working.

Because there are so many of them, this is a subject of national importance and one that evokes strong feelings, both among Baby Boomers themselves and in the broader public.

One interesting thing about the comments is their quality. Of course, some are self-serving, malicious or simply vehicles for a political view. But many are thoughtful, empathetic or at least pegged to the article’s theme.

Here is a link to Monday’s article, Oldest Baby Boomers Face Jobs Bust, and to the hundreds of comments.

Debate Heats Up on Travails of Baby Boomers
E.S. Browning
Tue, 20 Dec 2011 18:08:59 GMT


One response to “Debate Heats Up on Travails of Baby Boomers

  1. Merry Christmas Bruce. I invite you and your readers to visit and select a present under the tree.

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