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Age-based Cultural Division

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis


Paul Taylor has written a new book called, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown. He says, “While battles continue to play out in modern-day America with rich versus poor, liberals versus conservatives, and the religious faithful versus nonbelievers, what could be the biggest contest yet is the one between generations.” His premise is that age demographics are potentially the hottest issues we will face in the future. When it comes to issues like Social Security and Medicare, it is a simple math problem; fewer folks paying in, and more are taking out. The two biggest generations are the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and the Millennials (born after 1980). The two smaller generations are the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) and the Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980).

Although there were many conclusions drawn about the potential conflict, I was taken aback by his findings of attitudes toward America based on age. When asked if they thought America was among the greatest in the world, 90% of all adults said yes, but by age, only 32% of the Millennials agreed. I find that sad and disturbing. It is not all their fault. We boomers, who populate much of the political scene today, are providing a poor example of the American spirit of political compromise for the best interests of all. Perhaps it will be the youngest that will be the ones to finally put an end to all the negativity and name-calling that has left our system battered and gridlocked. And one can only hope that if they succeed, more of them will come to see America as the greatest country on earth.

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