Does Generation Y have the right to blame baby boomers for their problems?

When baby boomers were growing up, they weren’t afforded all the opportunities that young people today have. As women can

When baby boomers were growing up, they weren’t afforded all the opportunities that young people today have. As women can argue, there were only a handful of jobs deemed acceptable for a lady, whereas today a woman can successfully run and business and be a CEO if she works hard. So why then are Generation Y pointing the finger at baby boomers?

A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing the incomes and prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, creating a chasm between the generations.

Baby boomers look to them with jealousy and a lack of empathy as they have more opportunities, and they look to baby boomers because they need someone to blame for their financial woes and lack of self control.

Jonathan Gardner, a senior economist at Willis Towers Watson, told The Guardian the retired are sucking up so much cash there is no money left for salary increases.

“It’s the young who are bearing the burden of those past [pension] mistakes”.

But it isn’t just pensioner demands that are making it harder on the younger generations, apparently.

Consumerism means that younger people have a very disposable income and lifestyle, and may find it difficult to slow this down in the future.

Middle-aged western consumers who are at the peak of their earning potential have been the central plank in the development of the world’s postwar economy. They have been key to purchasing all sorts of goods from washing machines, microwaves, cars and houses, to life insurance, as well as putting money away in savings.

What happens in a few years when millennials get older and don’t have the disposable income to improve our economy? It is worrying, especially when baby boomers know nowadays that their pension is not increasing, though they are living longer and the cost of living goes up.

It’s scary to think about but it still begs the question: who is to blame? Is it parents who always told their children to achieve, achieve, achieve and didn’t instil good working values, or is it society with its pressures, social media, faltering politics and more?

A report by the Ready for Ageing Alliance argues that it all starts with Gen Y – they need to stop assuming that all members of the Baby Boomer generation are healthy, wealthy, and idle, and holding them responsible for everything that is currently wrong with the world.

According to Lecturer in Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University, one of the nastiest narratives to have developed over the past decade is that of “boomer blaming”, where the alleged good fortunes of the generation are presented as the cause of myriad social problems. Everything from environmental destruction to the problems of the economy, the housing market, the welfare state, youth unemployment and children’s mental health, has been laid at the Boomers’ door.

The Ready for Ageing Alliance said “the term ‘Baby Boomer’ is increasingly used as a term of abuse” because in reality, the boomer cohort, like any other, contains a range of individuals living in a range of circumstances. Yes, some are well off, with stable pensions and appreciating housing assets – but others are poor, ill, unemployed, or unable to retire.

In Miss Bristow’s research, she found while the boomers have been of interest for some time, it is only in the past decade or so that they have been so clearly constructed as a problem. One of the central charges levelled against the boomers is that, as a large generation, they have “monopolised” society’s resources: pensions, housing, and healthcare.

“The current obsession with the size of the boomer generation is a result of limited economic and social policy outlook that is obsessed with sharing out the pie, rather than making a bigger pie”, she said.

“Solutions to the economic or cultural problems of today will not be found by rewriting the past and castigating those who happened to live there. We should be living in the present, and embracing the future”.


We want to know your thoughts today on this big question: Do you feel that baby boomers are too readily blame for the issues of the modern world?

  1. Why is it that the so called baby boomers get the blame for all the money problems of today ..we are not the ones who have to have the biggest most modern home ,we startedat the bottom not the top..or the best expensive cars .young ones today want everything and they want it now.for gods sake take responsibility for.needing to have it all.we never never had government hand outs or payments for having kids that we chose to have and take care of ourselves .We also paid our our taxes our taxes as well.

    • You are spot on,oh by the way did I mentioned getting CONSCRIPTED into the army at 20 years old
      Most Gen Y could not spell Conscrition let alone know what it is

  2. Gen Y are basically lazy,obsessed with going to Uni and further studies instead of working
    Obssessed wit new houses,new cars,overseas travel and staying home with mum snd dad
    Most of them,boys do not help dad in the garden or outside chores ,whilst the girls (most of them)do not help mum inside
    So Gen Y take a good hard look at yourself and try some independence (who knows you may even thrive on it
    Another thing Gen Y, I started working at 7 yeard old (that’s right 7) selling newpapers?taking my dog (yes dog,NOT COMPUTER,XBOX,or TABLET) for companionship)
    Have a think about what I have said and spend some time reveiwing your own life instead of criticising ours

  3. Jen  

    Build a bridge.
    Blaming the past won’t fix the future
    Learning from the past and taking action to make sure, things go right from now will

  4. stacey rose  

    These children need to grow up and take responsibility of their own actions and stop blaming the parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, government, their dogs and/or cats for their actions. I didn’t make you go out and get those credits cards and then spend until you crash financially. It’s called greed and the young are showing it to the nth degree. As previously said, we didn’t get baby bonuses or parental leave. They were luxuries of the rich and famous. And Mum’s stayed at home, cooked the meals, washed the clothes and had clothes horses the hubby built, taught the kids how to have manners and self respect. Stop whining, grow up, go to school, get a job or start a business and be the adults you pretend to be. We Boomers had to. Now it’s you turn.

    • Ailsa  

      I could not agree more. They want everything and they want it now.

  5. Ron Pearson  

    We have spoilt this generation they want it all and they want it as a matter of right, EARN your own life style They are lazy and we have allowed that to happen. It’s time we taught this generation the meaning of the word NO!

  6. Christune Evans  

    Baby boomers started out with small houses,hand me down furniture ,International Travel was not even considered unless you were wealthy,. We did not receive parental leave or the exceptional subsidies for child minding. We worked our buts off before getting to the oension age. Gen y want it all at the beginning of their life jouney. They need to start at the bottom and work their way up .

  7. lorretta murphy  

    Stop blaming the parents and take responsibility for your own life. This should be instilled into all those placing blame on us the baby boomers

  8. suzanne  

    well i started out my married life with $50.00 in the bank we bought our first home interest rate 14.5 we had everything second hand and bit by bit saving did up our house starting with the piles we sold this for profit and bought a bigger house still had everything second hand for years, seems the next generation need everything and everything new , we still dont need everything new our cars get us from A TO B and are not new but we have no debt we have money for holidays and we live a nice frugal life, i think they need to learn money is not
    happiness and neither is stuff plus your kids will not remember your flash stuff but will remember you worked hard respected the stuff you did have and spent time at the beach at the park in the garden and these are the thing that matter and bring happiness NOT the latest stuff

  9. Carol  

    We made bricks (6000 of them ) to build our first house. When all of our friends were off having fun on the week end, we were building our future. We had concrete floors and an up side down box as a coffee table. Made our first curtains myself. Went without a lot of things or made do till we could afford it. MAKES YOU APPRECIATE things in life more.

  10. JAY  

    We were happy to do without. We thought it our responsibility to do hard Yakka e.g pick fruit, help with the harvest, all the hands on jobs Nothing was beneath us.Even if we left school at 14 we had spent previous summer holidays earning a few bob.
    Young ones want to start with what Mum and Dad took many years to achieve.

  11. Lynne Highfield  

    Life is more complicated now than it was for us Boomers. I believe some of the problems experienced today lie firmly at the feet of the Media, “so-called-experts” and those who claim to know what’s “best for us” and to which they demand we adhere.

  12. John Brants  

    One major problem for Gen Y and Millennials is more people than available jobs (agree with all previous posters)

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