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Baby Boomer Bashing

(31 Posts)
petallus Fri 24-Aug-12 09:42:32

I see there is a prog on this evening (Born Bankrupt Sky News 7.30) which looks at whether today's children 'are going to spend the rest of their lives paying for the mess left by baby boomers who spent irresponsibly and expected those in power to do the same' (quoted from Times tv guide).

Annobel Fri 24-Aug-12 09:47:18

Oh, not again! Am I immune from these accusations? I was born at the beginning of the War, not after it. hmm

JO4 Fri 24-Aug-12 09:49:31

I think it's true. I feel sorry for this generation growing up now.

Though they probably will be as bad.

JO4 Fri 24-Aug-12 09:50:14

Don't take it personally Annobel grin

petallus Fri 24-Aug-12 09:52:50

It's such a contrasting view of Baby Boomers to the one which sees them as having worked hard all their lives and paid into the system and thus being entitled to certain benefits.

I too am exempt having found out recently I am a few years too old to be counted as a Baby Boomer grin

JO4 Fri 24-Aug-12 10:00:47

Yes. We are too old. [smug]

They hadn't even invented the hole in the wall money machine when we were setting up, leave alone the credit card.

absentgrana Fri 24-Aug-12 10:29:02

The oldest baby boomers were born in 1945 and I think the convention is that the last ones were born in 1960 – but some commentators have extended the final "birthline" (as opposed to deadline) beyond this. I fall into this group and am very tired of being told what a thoroughly bad person I am and how I have ruined the lives of an entire generation. "…are going to spend the rest of their lives paying for the mess left by baby boomers who spent irresponsibly and expected those in power to do the same." Oh give me a break from cheap and shoddy journalism.

AlisonMA Fri 24-Aug-12 10:30:44

Well I am one of the first baby boomers and I don't feel responsible for the state of the country. We saved hard for everything but today's young people expect to have everything instantly. Some examples:

We had to save with a paticular building society for 2 years to even be considered for a mortgage.

Our mortgage was based upon a maximum of 3 times my DH's salary, mine was not taken into account. Taking both salaries into account, IMO, is responsible for house price rises.

We were more than happy to have anything anyone was prepared to hand on to furnish our home. These days people expect to be able to at least go to Ikea and get everything new.

We expected to stay home in the evenings because we couldn't afford to go out and have a mortgage. That is not acceptable today.

We did all the maintenance on our home and car ourselves, we could not afford to get people in or have the car repaired and this was in the days when cars rusted easily. MY DH spent ages filling rust holes, sanding, painting etc.

We cooked all our own meals, never had a takeway or ready prepared food.

I am not blaming the young, but do not think we should be blamed either. Life is different that is all. We and our contempories didn't expect so much so quickly, today they do because that is the way life is today.

Annobel Fri 24-Aug-12 10:41:58

It isn't fair to stigmatise the younger generation either, Alison. As I think I've said before, my lot have had great pleasure furnishing their new (old) house in character from charity shops and Ebay. Thankfully, that hasn't included beds, or the kitchen equipment, as DS is an ex-chef.

petallus Fri 24-Aug-12 10:44:42

I was thinking along those lines AlisonMA.

I remember how we all a) got engaged b) saved for at least two years before being able to buy a house and get married c) saved before starting a family.

It was all waiting and being sensible back then.

And no sex before marriage (officially at least).

And don't forget when we were children we didn't have many sweets or other luxuries because of rationing.

To be fair though, how long would a young couple on an average wage these days have to save for in order to buy a first house? Ten years? grin

Anyway, you can't blame the Baby Boomers. We just happened to grow up in a time of increasing prosperity after the War.

janeainsworth Fri 24-Aug-12 10:47:14

Alison I can't really add anything to your post - your experiences exactly mirror ours! I remember hiring a van in 1970 and driving from Manchester to Fleetwood to get a wardrobe and chest of drawers that my best friend's mum no longer needed and had kindly donated to furnish our first house.
Oh and yes - presumably the programme is talking about the baby boomers who saved responsibly to fund their pensions, and now find their annuities are a lot less than they should have been, thanks to Gordon Brown's intervention.
As Absent says, the term babyboomers includes people born as late as 1960, i.e all those women who thought they were going to get a state pension at 60 and now find they have to wait till 66.
I think as a generation we have been fortunate - I can't imagine the chagrin of my grandmother when my grandfather left her with 3 young children to go and fight in the First World War, and then two decades later, see two of her sons fight in the Second World War, and a nephew lost at Dunkirk. Or my mother-in-law, father-in-law was a POW of the Japanese for four years and during that time she had two postcards from him.
I don't envy the young either.
But it's not our fault we've been fortunate.

Annobel Fri 24-Aug-12 10:57:34

OK, I'm not officially a BB, but didn't get married until I was 29, so am on a par with most of them - apart from the fact that I'd seven years of earning behind me. When we bought our first house, the Building Society was almost begging us to take their mortgage offer. The house cost about £4500 - three bed, detached. One salary just about sufficed to run a house, a car and a baby. A few years later, I got evening class work which eventually enabled us to have a caravan, but we didn't go on foreign holidays. We certainly didn't behave in a profligate manner though I don't think the children ever wanted for anything. I made all our curtains whenever we moved, and always had knitting on the go.

Faye Fri 24-Aug-12 11:03:28

The Generation born before the Baby Boomers are called the Traditionalist or Silent Generation nothing silent about some of them on GN hmm They were born between 1925 and 1945.

The Lost Generation: Those who fought in World War I (born pre-1900)
The Greatest Generation: Veterans of World War II (born 1901-1924)
The Silent Generation: Also known as ‘War Babies’ (born 1925-1945)
The Baby-Boomers: (born 1946-1964)
Generation X: (born 1960′s to early 1980′s)
Generation Y: (born between late 1970′s to early 2000′s)
Generation Z: (born early-mid 2000′s)

Annobel Fri 24-Aug-12 11:06:43

Me? Silent? hmm

Barrow Fri 24-Aug-12 11:09:42

Doesn't each generation think times are harder for them than the previous one? Yes, we had to wait 2 years before getting a mortgage and didn't buy things "on tick", but that was the same for most people of our generation. Expectations are higher now with more peer pressure. I certainly wouldn't want to be starting married life today!

One point I would make - interest rates are very low, making mortgage repayments easier but that means we "baby boomers" receive very little on our savings (such as they are!!)

Mamie Fri 24-Aug-12 11:18:09

I always think that "baby boomers" seems to have a very narrow focus in the media. What about the shipbuilders, steel workers and miners? Did they win out in life's lottery?

AlisonMA Fri 24-Aug-12 11:21:51

Annobel I'm sorry if you think there is something in my post that stigmatises the young, that was not my intention and on re-reading it I cannot see what you mean but I apologise if that is what you think.

One further point, at the beginning of the 1970s interest rates were so high that we were paying about 18% interest on our mortgage. I had given up work, as I think most of us did, to have DS1 and we really did have to scrimp and save to make ends meet. We never complained about it, it was just part of life.

I had to take holiday for my maternity apointments, there was no maternity pay, no nursery to put the child in and no NI contribution while I was at home caring for a child. I think it is a great improvement that these things are now available but perhaps this should be drawn to the attention of the people who think we had it so easy.

Annobel Fri 24-Aug-12 11:32:47

Sorry, Alison, I misread your intentions. Yes, we did have sky-high interest rates in the 70s but at least we had tax relief on interest payments - MIRAS: mortgage interest relief at source.
As I was 5 months pregnant when we came back from Kenya for good, there was no chance of my getting work and it wasn't until DS2 was 20 months, that I had the opportunity of part-time teaching.

AlisonMA Fri 24-Aug-12 11:40:28

Annobel I'd forgotten about MIRAS, they still have something like that in the Netherlands but it does encourage people to borrow 110% which also coveres expenses.

jeni Fri 24-Aug-12 12:00:19

I can't believe that I'm the SILENT generationgrin born dec 44!

Annika Fri 24-Aug-12 12:02:44

My self and DH saved for many years before getting married, we both worked till babies came along I stayed at home to look after them until they were a little older then I worked in the evenings (DH was at home to look after them)
We have not run up huge bills , have not claimed any benefits apart from child benefit and DH now has his state pension
All of our children have been through school and now they all have jobs.
We now have to top up our income with our savings because we were silly enough to save for our 'old age' and so we do not get any help from the state.
We are both 'baby boomers' so how on earth is this mess we are now in our fault. I am sick to the back teeth of having to to sorry to the 'powers that be' for being born when we did ! Why not just shoot us and be done with it . They may save a bob or two sad

jeni Fri 24-Aug-12 12:03:13


Bez Fri 24-Aug-12 12:19:16

Like many of you we had things given or bought second hand. I did not have a washing machine till just before my DD was born - a Hotpoint Countess with an electric mangle but the demise of launderettes does make it difficult for people with no machine. I did not like using the dryers though as they were very fierce and one did very funny things to my beautiful sexy nylon nighty

petallus Fri 24-Aug-12 12:23:18

I LOVE being part of the Silent Generation (b 1943) especially as I think I talk too much.

Later, I'm putting up a new thread on this subject because I'm fed up with myself.

jeni Fri 24-Aug-12 12:27:02

I was interrupted.
We saved and got married and moved into our tiny 3 bedroomed semi box. It was furnished entirely with other people's cast offs apart from the bed which was a present from my gran. The dining chairs were old surgery waiting room chairs and the table my mothers old kitchen table.