Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Generation Why

Got this in an email from a very pretty Gen X'er this morning.  


  People born before 1946
are called
The Greatest Generation.
  People born between 1946
and 1964 are called
The Baby Boomers .

People born between 1965
and 1979 are called
Generation X.

And people born between 1980
and 2010 are called
Generation Y .

So why do we call the last group Generation Y ?

Y should I get a job?
Y should I leave home and find my own place?
Y should I clean my room?
Y should I wash and iron my own clothes?
Y should I contribute money to the home?
Y should I help buy food?
Y should I get a car when I can borrow yours?
But perhaps this cartoonist explains it best of all:
Just thought you might like to know "Y".

Though amusing, and on the money for some, it's a little unfair.  In my experience, a lot of the kids I am running into are pretty solid citizens.  There is a segment that is starting to understand how this whole mess came into being, and that the government is the problem rather than the solution.  After all, these are the kids who have been fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  As a Boomer, I blame the Greatest Generation for electing FDR four times and picking Lyndon Johnson over the near-libertarian, Barry Goldwater.  None of us could vote before 1967.  I was in the cohort of 18 to 20-year-olds that first voted in 1972.  I blame the X'ers for Clinton, but then you have to give them credit for breaking the Democrat choke-hold on Congress in '94.  We all have to answer for Obama.      


  1. As a Boomer, I blame the Greatest Generation for electing FDR four times and picking Lyndon Johnson over the near-libertarian, Barry Goldwater. None of us could vote before 1967.

    Yes, So true.

    I do worry about my girls making it into the middle class. Could be just that we don't live in a big metropolitan area where there are more opportunities. But from my limited perspective, there doesn't seem to be much opportunity for a regular guy or gal.

  2. I see that with my granddaughter's boyfriend. He's a good, hard-working kid, but he ends up working two jobs, part-time or something, whatever he can find. He's always working, but he's getting by and that's all. He was born in '95.

    1. Interesting observations around opportunity for young people in the US. Unemployment here in NZ is around 5.7%. Conventional wisdom says around 2% of those folks are unemployable through substance abuse, or anti-social behaviours. That leaves around 3% looking for work but cannot find it.

      As a former employer, I have seen some of these 3% come through my office. Often poorly presented, very average communication skills, indifferent employment history. You ask the question - is the pain of hiring this person going to be greater than the pain of being short staffed.

      As soon as you ask the question you know the answer.

      So for us here in NZ, I think we have pretty much full employment from an employers perspective.

      As to opportunity? Well, there are people still coming to my home town of Christchurch that suffered the severe earthquakes four years ago to take part in the rebuild process. Lots of Irish, to be sure. Lots of workers from the Philippines and South Korea as well.

      One of my sons came back from Sydney and started a building business in the city. He has a staff of 10 and is doing ok.

      Sometimes we have to move to where the opportunities present themselves.

    2. Yes, NZ tops the list on economic freedom these days. If I were young, I'd definitely be tempted to head down that way. Being 25 years old with a bow, a kayak, and a motorbike, in Middle Earth, it would be really nice.

    3. Hey, why not come anyway - even if it's just for a holiday? There is lots of hunting if you are into that, great motorcycle roads. I have a beach front holiday home in Golden Bay you can use, plus you can hang out at our place in Christchurch any time. :-)

      There has to be an upside to blogging and putting the world to right this side of eternity, surely!

    4. That sounds pretty good. I will think about it.

    5. You can always reach me at brendan @ mcneill . co . nz