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I am a member of Generation X which means there are two main concepts that I
grew up with: how to play Atari and dial a rotary phone at the same time and
that I will not be as financially well off as my parents.
Back in the early 1970's, my then 30-something Baby Boomer parents were
living the epitome of the middle-class lifestyle. They both held college
degrees, owned a home in a middle-class neighborhood, owned two cars and
grilled out with other neighbors on a regular basis and their only child
was attending a Montessori pre-school. They had arrived at their intended
destination of middle-class society.
We are currently going through interesting economic times otherwise known as
the jobless recovery.
The easy going middle class lifestyle of the Baby Boom generation has given
way to the 21st century and the Gen X version of the middle class existence.
Which basically consists of a 30 something family is drowning in debt to
keep up the private school tuition, their own college student loan
payments, car payments, house payments on the modest split-level home and
the credit card debt that is necessary to keep up the illusion of
middle-class prosperity.
In this day and age, ascending to the middle class equals more financial
burdens instead of security. Chances are you have probably changed jobs at
least three times since you graduated from college 8 years ago and you are
always aware that your department could be down-sized at a moment's notice.
Meanwhile, wily advertising execs are having a field day peddling
high-interest credit cards and over-priced luxury items which promise to add
some much-needed glamour to your anxious drone-like lifestyle.
Articles and financial pundits alike express sympathy for the floundering
middle-class American...
My suggestion to middle-class Gen-Xers is to stop living way above your
means and face facts that the easygoing middle-class existence of our
parents is long gone. Which means that a little bit of sacrifice and
financial re-evaluation is in order.
I can already hear the grumbling of protest from my Gen-X brothers and
sisters.
"We are getting a raw deal from the Baby Boomer generation. They are
stealing our jobs and they are going to deplete the Social Security system
when they retire."
Perhaps, but the answer to the impending Social Security apocalypse is
thrift and not animosity toward our Baby Boomer elders.





Comments

The following comments are for "Two Middle-Class Americas: Gen-X and Baby Boomer"
by divatosity

Almost is not enough
divatosity

I agree with some of your thoughts here, and I especially like that you do not follow the "blame someone" road that so many Gen Xers and baby boomers follow these days. You are probably correct in your assessment that the Gen Xers won't have the same job security as their parents, but it was also like that when I was starting out on my own (I'm 50ish now). Here is a little secret though. What I see with the upcoming generation is that many of them seem to have bought into the notion, as the main streem media will have us believe, that you get out of high school, get into a good college, graduate with a degree and work for a fortune 500 company--either that or you are born into a rich inheritance. The simple truth is, you have to start at the bottom, work hard, pay attention, try to have a good atitude, and always "trade up" if you can. Always look for a better opportunity. The old saying is that opportunity only knocks once. That is bull feathers -- usually opportunity is banging away hard and heavy, screaming and yelling, wanting someone with the guts to take a chance -- not the life threatening kind of chance, but a chance on themselves to step up to the next level. The baby boomers didn't just fall into their middle class lifes -- they worked their way up. By the time I was 25 I was a lead mechanic on a multi-million dollar military aircraft, was responsible for my own actions, was held accountable for TONS of things. I'm not saying the military is the answer, but before I was in the military I had also been a plumber's apprentice, a roofer, a concrete and brick layer, a snow plow driver, a tire buster, and I even tried to be a rock star for a few months.

Maybe you can help me pass the word to the Gen Xers that think they are already sunk before their ship has left harbor --- roll up the sleeves, stand up straight, grab on to something that requires hard work and effort, kick it in the ass and stay with it until a better opportunity comes along -- you'll notice it easily because someone else will pointing it out like it is an unachievable goal. If you lack qualifications and education to chase those opportunities, then find out what you need to do to realize them. Sorry for the rant, but you really do have some valid thoughts here, and it is a pleasant surprise to read them without all the "woe is me" mentality.

Remember, spread the word -- tell the Gen Xers to get to work and quit sponging off mom and dad.

Good job

( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: January 16, 2007 )





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