Tag Archives | Baby Boomers

A Boomer Childhood in 25 Objects

Via Debbie Galant at Medium

From the transistor radio to Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Book,” must-haves from the middle of the past century.

I never did visit the Museum of Childhood at the Victoria and Albert last time I was in London, even though I went so far as looking up the Tube stop. But I’ve always been fascinated with childhood as a lens for viewing different time periods. I’ve seen so many shows about the London Blitz that I almost feel sentimental for it, as if it were my own era. Likewise, I carry a romanticized notion of Laura Ingalls Wilder in my head.

Alas, though, the childhood I lived through was my own. I entered the 60’s in a suburb outside of Washington, D.C. as a 4-year-old and emerged to relative adulthood in 1977. There are baby boomers on either side of me: Hillary up ahead, Jon Stewart pulling up the rear.

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Millennials Are Putting 401(k)s To Use

For once, a positive article written about the Millennial generation. If the crash of 2008 taught them anything, it’s that financial security is a myth. Setting aside any criticisms of 401(k) plans, I would say this is a sign that the Millennial generation is much more forward thinking and not as aloof as typically described.

via Time:

Young adults are outpacing Baby Boomers and Gen X when it comes to getting a head start on their 401(k)s.

You may have heard that Millennials are taking saving more seriously than Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers did at their age. But their financial prospects look much worse, given student loan debts, high unemployment, and shaky entitlement programs.

Those are the findings of a just-released study by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, which surveyed more than 1,000 Millennials in the work force. “Millennials have seen what happened to their parents, many of whom lost their jobs and savings in the financial crisis—and they are taking steps to avoid a similar outcome,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica center.

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Kids Doing Fewer Drugs While Over 50s Do More

Project2501a userphotoNo surprise: drug use by baby boomers is booming, reports ABC News:

Drug use among America’s youth is dropping, but it’s booming among people over 50, a U.S. government survey released Wednesday shows.

Last year, the rate of illicit drug use among children and teenagers 12 to 17 years old dropped to 9.5 percent, down from 11.6 percent a decade earlier, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest national survey.

Meanwhile, illicit drug use among adults 50 to 64 years old has increased in the past decade.

Specifically, illicit drug use among adults 50 to 54 has more than doubled since 2002, reaching 7.2 percent last year. For people 55 to 59, such drug use has more than tripled, reaching 6.6 percent last year.

Marijuana is by far the most-used illicit drug among both children and adults, according to SAMHSA, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Robb Smith on Economics, World Crisis and More

robb09headshotKeith Martin-Smith’s Only Everything podcast recently had on entrepreneur Robb Smith. This thirty-eight minute interview covers a lot of ground, discussing the collapsing economy, the historical background of the situation and what the future is likely to be. A pretty wide-ranging conversation, moves along quickly, and there’s some good nuggets for consideration. Worth listening to.

From Only Everything:

Robb is a social entrepreneur who works on “transformational era” systems at the intersection of human development, education, spiritual understanding and civilizational sustainability. He holds a uniquely grand view of what’s happening in the world today and what makes Millennials unique.

We get into nothing short of the future of the world economy, human happiness, and where we’re heading in the next 5-6 decades.

We discuss:

  • How World War II transformed the American economy and fueled the emerging consciousness counterculture of the 60′s and the success of Gen X in the 90′s
  • How this economic foundation is in the process of collapsing
  • What happens when a culture like ours, focused on finding lives of “meaning”, has the economic rug pulled out from under it (hint: crisis)
  • How companies like Air B&B represent the downside and problem with technology interacting with brick-and-mortar industries, such as hospitality
  • Why it’s  better today  to be a Chinese teenager today than an American one (and not what you think)
  • Why the next great economic wave and business movement will and must move away from a winner-takes-all mentality to a “win-win” mentality, as represented by B-corps and conscious capitalism.
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Baby Boomers Snarfing Adderall Like Its Cocaine

Photo:  FtWashGuy (CC)

Photo: FtWashGuy (CC)

High school and college kids have been complaining about shortages of their favorite “study” drugs Ritalin and Adderall over the last couple of years; was the shortage really because the baby boomers decided they could use a little more “focus” too? Sandy Hingston suggests they may be the new drugs of choice for her generation, writing in PhillyMag:

It’s been 25 years since I last ingested an illegal substance. In all that time, I haven’t gotten so much as a parking ticket. I raised two kids—one an Eagle Scout, the other Phi Beta Kappa. I was a Girl Scout leader and a Touchdown Club mom. I stayed married to the same man.

The capsule is orange on the bottom, clear on the top. The pellets inside are dead ringers for the sprinkles I put on Christmas cookies. I set the capsule on my tongue, take a sip from a water bottle.

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Theodore Roszak Dies At 77

TheodoreRoszakDr. Theodore Roszak died in his home on July 5th at the age of 77. Roszak was an expert on the ‘young generation’s drug-fueled revolt against authority’ during the 1960s and wrote the book on counterculture, literally. Best known for his writings, such as The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America’s Most Audacious Generation and Where the Wasteland Ends: Politics and Transcendence in Postindustrial Society. Though he is now gone, his ideas and influences continue to affect America’s society. Via The New York Times:

Theodore Roszak, who three weeks after the Woodstock Festival in 1969 not only published a pivotal book about a young generation’s drug-fueled revolt against authority but also gave it a name — “counterculture” — died on July 5 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 77.

His wife, Betty, in confirming the death, said he had been treated for liver cancer and other illnesses.

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Who’s Being Sexually Irresponsible? Baby Boomers

old-people-birdIt’s time to have a talk with Grampa. A sweeping new study of Americans’ sexual behavior shows that while young people are waiting longer to have sex, and being safe about it when they finally do, hordes of baby boomers and older people are out of control — they’re engaging in risky, unprotected sex with “dates and casual acquaintances,” apparently because they don’t know any better or don’t care. TIME writes:

As far as sexual behavior goes, we may be worrying about the wrong people. The kids, it turns out, may be all right. It’s the boomers who are being all, like, irresponsible and stuff. At least that’s the finding of the largest nationally representative survey of the sexual behavior of Americans ever undertaken.

The study showed that among men over 50, 91% did not use a condom when they had sex with a date or casual acquaintance, and 70% didn’t even do so when they had sex with someone they just met.

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Brain Becomes Slower But Shrewder With Age

Brain ScanEncouraging news from the boomers’ favorite news service, NPR:

For baby-boomers, there is both good news and bad news about the cognitive health of the aging brain.

Brain researcher Gary Small from UCLA conveys the bad news first: “Reaction time is slower,” he says. “It takes us longer to learn new information. Sometimes it takes us longer to retrieve information, so we have that tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon — where you almost have that word or that thought. That’s typical of the middle-age brain.”

As we age, our ability to multi-task diminishes. “We’re quick, but we’re sloppy when we’re in middle-age. We make more errors when we’re in middle age,” says Small.

The Older, But Wiser, Brain

But Small has found that it’s not all bad news. He points to a continued improvement in complex reasoning skills as we enter middle age. Small suggests that this increase may be due to a process in the brain called “myelination.” Myelin is the insulation wrapped around brain cells that increases their conductivity — the speed with which information travels from brain cell to brain cell.

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