I get that Millennials aren't perfect or absolved of the issues that Boomers have, but shouldn't Boomers tale the brunt of the blame seeing as they are the ones with all the powers in government right now and make up most of the work force? And if there are issues in the Millennial generation, well, who raised us?
Look, I’ve got a long-standing beef with Millennial v. Boomer discourse that I could spend a few hours on, but lemme try to sum it up briefly.
Many of the modern economic problems that affect many Millennials that are often blamed on Baby Boomers (unemployment/underemployment, soaring costs of education, loan debt, comparative lack of opportunities, poverty, etc. etc.) started well before our generation came of age. Most of these same economic issues fucked up Generation X before us, but because they were a smaller generation, people didn’t hear about it as much. And most of these problems grew directly from right-wing political and economic policies that began in the Reagan presidency in the 1980s, before the Boomers were in political ascendancy. (Yes, there were a few young Boomers in Reagan’s administration, but the leading neocons/neoliberals, using the actual meaning of the term, not the tumblr left’s version of it, who led the move rightward were older.) Boomers, by virtue of their age, enjoyed the unique benefits of the post-War (1945-1980) economy and many managed to escape the worst effects of the Reagan Era cuts, but not all did equally (see below.) And many of them, personally, are total clueless assholes about how unique their experience was. I have Boomer parents born in the early 50s, so like I know. But one of the biggest problems I have with Millennial/Boomer discourse is that it de-politicizes and de-contextualizes important social/political/economic shifts that were the direct result of Republican policies. It reduces it all to just a generational conflict in which one selfish group of people just didn’t want to share their toys with their kids. And even if you accept the idea that one generation can personally screw over another via political means, the idea that Boomers would target their own children specifically is particularly odd. Though I’ll also point out that the “who raised us” issue is more complex, as the Boomer generation ends in 1964, and quite a lot of people born in the 90s who could still be considered Millennials, have parents born after that.
As for the idea that Boomers make up the majority of the workforce, actually Millennials are now the largest segment of the workforce, slightly ahead of Gen X, with Boomers well behind. The oldest boomers are 71 now, and the youngest are 53. A lot of the oldest ones have retired and the younger ones are on their way there. X As for having “all the powers in government” that’s a pretty hard thing to quantify. Trump and many of his key advisers are Boomers, but there are a number of GenX and Millennials too. Which is why I get annoyed at the idea that Millennials are somehow innately more compassionate and kind than older generations, because not really. Millennials overall are more democratic/left leaning than older voters, but Trump still won among white millennials. Many baby boomers, too, were very liberal in their youth, and became more conservative with age, especially the white ones. It’s a pretty common thing to happen. It’s not as if that fate is going to magically spare our generation, so most of this discourse is not going to age well.
Which brings me to the other issue, that you can legitimately talk about Millennials and Baby Boomers as distinct groups with similar characteristics and experiences. Most of this discourse is highly race and class based but people don’t seem to acknowledge that. It’s focused around the experiences of middle to upper class white boomers and their kids, who presumably don’t have it as easy. And in many cases, this is probably true. Though if you’ve read any financial news in the last few years, they’ve been talking a lot about the huge amount of “wealth transfer” that has started from well-off Boomers to their kids. But for many other Boomers, this wealth never materialized. Plenty of people never had access to it thanks to their race or immigrant status. So the idea that one generation “owns everything” or needs to “take the blame” blurs the fact that within any generation there are huge differences in wealth and access to power.
Basically millennial/boomer discourse is ahistorical, apolitical, and focused on the experiences and expectations of middle class white kids, and that’s why I’m not here for it.