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Don't get fooled again: The Baby Boomers' leadership failure

In 1971, Pete Townshend of The Who pleaded, I'll get on my knees and pray; We don't get fooled again, railing against the "jaded and compliant" leaders of the day. Now, Townshend's Baby Boomers are the generation that's taken over, and they seem to be doing some fooling of their own.

In the words of David Gergen, CNN analyst and former White House adviser, "The Baby Boomer generation is not working out very well, or as well as we hoped." Gergen made this proclamation two weeks ago at the World Business Forum, and also suggested that of paramount importance to any leader/follower relationship is trust. With that said, where's the trust between Baby Boom leaders and the generations they've been tasked to lead? Let's take a look at how Boomer leaders have butchered trust in four key areas...

1. Environment
Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the pending fall-out of climate change, influential baby boomers like the billionaire Koch brothers have stated that man-made climate change is a farce. Also part of this anti-science crusade, the Republican Party is the only major political party in the developed world that is dismissive of climate science. In fact, of the 20 GOP Senate challengers that have taken a position on climate change, 19 believe that the climate science is inconclusive or just plain wrong. Their stance is reminiscent of when the Church found Galileo "suspect of heresy" after he asserted, and proved, that our planet was round and orbited the sun.

Can young people afford to trust that these politicians are right and the science is simply wrong? While aggressive lobbying against cap and trade legislation might afford short-term benefits for the oil and gas industry in the US, it is also promoting finite resources while decreasing funding to long-term clean energy research. As this funding becomes harder to secure, China forges ahead with aggressive government's subsidies that have created a 1 million -employee workforce that is already far ahead in the clean energy market. We can't simply turn our backs on the long-term economic ramifications and trust that the unknown environmental consequences will be minor.

2. Politics
Bill Clinton, "did not have sexual relations with that woman"...and then he did. The US invaded Iraq because they had WMDs...and then the intelligence was questionable. Edwards was a faithful husband...and then came clean about his extramarital affair and having fathered a child out of wedlock.

Our political leaders now include Sarah Palin, who seems to play fast and loose with the truth. More than the lying and the scandals, there's a sense that many politicians fail to work for the best interests of the people they represent. Part of leadership is delivering the hard truth, but rather than tell the truth--to reduce the national debt, we must all, eventually, pay higher taxes--we hear hollow pledges to further reduce taxes, cut government waste and keep government entitlements. Such false promises are not only denying the masses of trustworthy leaders, they are also taking momentum and promise away from solving real issues.

3. Business
Even in prison, long after Bernie Madoff's $65 billion house of cards collapsed, his narcissism was on full display: "F**k my victims. I carried them for 20 years, and now I'm doing 150." Madoff is not isolated in his beliefs, as there is a vast list of American corporate leaders who have disregarded the welfare of others to get ahead, destroying the public's trust in the process. Enron, WorldCom and the Wall Street banks all contribute to the public's growing mistrust in corporate executives.

At some point, these leaders need to recognize that individual gain and corporate growth cannot be the solitary goals of American business. Corporate social responsibility has the potential to be more than a feel-good marketing exercise. The actions of these businesses, regardless of industry, have ripple effects with an impact on those far outside the immediate circle of employees and shareholders.

4. Religion
Perhaps the most egregious instances of breaking trust have occurred in churches across the country. We expect that the "men of God" standing on the pulpit are living in a manner somewhat similar to the lifestyles depicted in their carefully delivered sermons. But again and again, we learn that the guidelines imposed upon the flock don't necessarily apply to the shepherd. Ted Haggard started the most recent wave of evangelical scandal, after being caught with a male prostitute and admitting to methamphetamine use. More recently, prominent Atlanta mega-church pastor Eddie Long denied multiple allegations of sexual abuse coming from former employees. In many ways, Long's denial mirrors the Catholic Church's many proclamations of innocence before we learned that the sheer scale of the child abuse scandal within that institution was overwhelming. It's no wonder that a recent Pew Research report found that Millenials were less religiously affiliated than their elders.

As leaders, the Baby Boomers have lost our trust, and time is running out for them to win it back. At this point, we younger generations would at least settle for a place at the table, one where we can provide input on the decisions that will have an impact on us long after they are retired. Oh--I almost forgot--we also want the truth. We've grown up. We can handle it.

Have an idea for what we should write about next? Be in touch at info@menoconsulting.com or visit us at Meno Consulting.

By Joe Frontiera  |  October 19, 2010; 12:36 PM ET  | Category:  Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Inside the World Business Forum - Day 2 | Next: Back atcha Boomers: The tribute list


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Aww, c'mon " American corporate leaders who have disregarded the welfare of others to get ahead" Don't blame it on the baby boomers. It has never ever been any other way and with corporations being give the right to "vote" read "donate" to political parties, read "intend to bribe" that will not change..... Australian

Posted by: JoeMustBeRegisterd | October 26, 2010 4:50 AM

You have written about people born BEFORE and AFTER the baby boomer years. Do your homework and try again. And next time, keep politics out of it.

Posted by: equusjf | October 25, 2010 7:43 PM

How dare you lump me in the same category as Madoff. Please, no more ridiculous generalizations.

Posted by: Gadder | October 25, 2010 7:28 PM

Gosh, no egos here are there? Sounds like 40 years ago. Same outcome? Probably

Posted by: johnleavitt | October 25, 2010 5:12 PM

What do you expect from a bunch a people who used mind altering drugs and are the 1st generation to be less healthy than their parents were. A MUCH higher incidence of mental problems as well.

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 25, 2010 5:03 PM

Don't forget, dummy, the same Boomers who supposedly don't believe in the Climate Change mallarkey have contemporaries who are the ones promoting Climate Change as the worst thing since the Plague. Good ol' Boomers, we'll save the world one way or another whether you like it or not!!

Posted by: killerleft | October 25, 2010 2:56 PM

The biggest failure is the war mongering MSM which has sold its soul to the Neocons and no longer has America's interest at heart. Sadly its loyalties lie elsewhere.

Posted by: qualquan | October 25, 2010 12:09 PM

400 hundred years Americans endured corrupt Government an Bankers, Wall Street. Big Business has run its course. An the ignorant ones who Blame The Baby Boomers. Are just corrupt as them. I am a Baby Boomer who did not go to Wood Stock. All I am guilty of is working all my life an never once asked for hand out from the Government to bail me out.

Posted by: JWTX | October 25, 2010 11:59 AM

What a load of CRAP!

Posted by: rmcssboomer | October 25, 2010 9:47 AM

Don't trust anybody over 30.

Posted by: jimward21 | October 25, 2010 9:06 AM

The PC, Hypertext, Xerography, the Internet, the World Wide Web, cell phones, digital images, electric cars, the space station.

All invented by Baby Boomers.

Think before you spout off.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | October 24, 2010 10:13 PM

Generations are artificial, made up by journalists. The so-called Boomers never promised to do anything, nor they guilty of anything.

Posted by: ravitchn | October 24, 2010 7:30 PM

So Meno Consulting doesn't need the accounts of those companies, agencies and institutions that might be led by boomers, right? I mean after deciding that as a generation they suck....that would include the current administration (since the President was born in 1961) right?

It boggles the mind that except for the grace of God, you two could have been my children; thankfully my children actually think I have contributed to society and enriched their lives---if you were my kids I would do as a character in MY mother's favorite TV show, NCIS, and smack you in the back of the head with this comment: "get back to work you two." (really, leadership consultations, this is what you do for a living?????)

Posted by: mil1 | October 24, 2010 2:22 PM

Hey, boomers did something no other generation has done since, they organized, assembled and protested in large numbers. If you want to complain about them, go hit the streets.

Posted by: cjherzfeld@verizon.net | October 24, 2010 1:12 PM

It pains me to see so many Baby Boomers who have "sold out" to the Republican/Tea Party.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | October 24, 2010 12:04 PM

Baby Boomer generation = 1946-1964. Sarah Palin is a member of the Boomer generation.

Posted by: marmac5 | October 24, 2010 11:25 AM

When you're old enough to talk coherently, son, we'll let you play with the big boys. For now, stick to your play room...

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | October 24, 2010 9:58 AM

This is journalism? More like a lynching.

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | October 24, 2010 9:57 AM

Was it NOT the same wacko republican George W. Bush who could not find his way out of a press conference room in Japan and had to be pointed to the way he came in???

Posted by: danglingwrangler | October 24, 2010 9:44 AM

"It's NOT the boomers - it's the REPUBLICANS stupid !!!
Posted by: danglingwrangler | October 24, 2010 9:27 AM"

no, it's you...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 24, 2010 9:35 AM

if you check out the age of the dem leadership, all over 60...
and obama being as young as he is...
means the boomers got screwed by the two groups I just memtioned...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 24, 2010 9:33 AM

It's NOT the boomers - it's the REPUBLICANS stupid !!!

Posted by: danglingwrangler | October 24, 2010 9:27 AM

Is this bizarre concept of the day - ignore the reality and divert attention away from the FACT - Republicans by-in-large caused the Great Recession of 2007 and the World's Financial Meltdown with lack of financial regulation policy and just look the other way, and the ludicrous brain washing concept of 'FREE' Enterprise which is a code word concept for 'MY' Enterprise and not yours... as 'real' competition dilutes MY profit!

How stupid can the American public get by electing the very swindlers (Republicans), back into public office (to do it all over again),that devastated America's prosperity and America's future.

Are we doing this absolutely stupid election of Republicans back into office because racist America can't stand a black man doing good in a white's man's world???

Oh - I forgot - America elected George W. Bush TWICE !!!

Posted by: danglingwrangler | October 24, 2010 9:25 AM

Sarah Palin is not a Baby Boomer either. Generation envy and acrimony is not going to get it done, unless you just want to have a scapegoat for future decisions...

Posted by: jyl1st | October 24, 2010 8:42 AM

We don't blame the Depression on those who had to survive it. And the technology this person used to compose and publish this article is thanks to "Baby Boomer" achievements.

Posted by: caesar_56 | October 24, 2010 8:19 AM

Joe Frontiera is a boob who needs a good bra. Being "dismissive of climate science" is, of course, total hogwash. Being dismissive of politicized conclusions whose sole purposes are to destroy capitalism for others in the pursuit of beefy research grants and donations for themselves is something else. Scientists are not in agreement about climate issues, calling into question whether it is science at all.

And, if you're going to use religion as an example of breaking public trust by citing a few examples, journalists and columnists are in no position to act as if their sh** don't stink. Janet Cooke/Washington Post, Jason Blair/New York Times, anything published/New York Times, Dan Rather/CBS, Jack Kelley/USA Today, Operation Tailwind/CNN, General Motors/NBC News.

Yeah, you guys are real credible, right?

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | October 24, 2010 8:15 AM

Baby boomers...

Got high on pot and had lots of sex in the 60's in the name of freedom from their parents. Embraced the environment, civil rights, pacifism and Eastern religions.

Found cocaine in the 70s and started raising kids. Embraced disco and swinging. Taught their kids that they were all super-special.

Found speed and money in the 80s. Ignored the kids. Embraced affairs, divorces, materialism, tax evasion and the defense industry.

Found venture capitalism in the 90s. Largely silent while exploring pornography online. Embraced executive roles, happily adopted values of the previous generation in exchange for lots of stock options. Founded a ton of dot-com startups.

Cashed out in the 00s (the dot-coms failed... their cash-laden execs did not). Embraced "trial-and-error" startup philosophies, determining political alignment by profit potential, believing their kids are well-adjusted.

They still that they are the generation that "changed the world" in the 60s through love, tolerance and acceptance. They probably would have been, if they hadn't been so completely self-indulgent regarding the world they inherited.

I'll always be thankful for the civil rights and women's rights movements (yes, the generation before were in charge enough to change the laws, but the kids set the stage).

Outside of that, though... smoking pot and being promiscuous wasn't really that impressive, nor did it end the Vietnam War.

Since then, Boomers, you have regularly and repeatedly mortgaged the future of the economy, the military, the environment, religion, ethics, the political process - you name it - to satisfy your short-term need for pleasure.

It would not surprise me if you managed to destroy America, if not the entire human race before you're finished here.

Posted by: KellyInBC | October 24, 2010 7:32 AM

This article is exactly right on every point. But don't blame all of us. A small minority of us knew Carter was exactly right in the things he told us were necessary to achieve financial stability and energy independence. A small minority knew Ronald Reagan's economic miracle was a fraud, and funded by mirrors and robbing the social security system. We also knew that Gore right was right all along about climate change. The tragedy of the lost 30 years is that instead of leading the world in the new technology to deal with our problems, we lag. Instead of educating our own kids, we paid to educate those from China, both by the cheap shoes we bought and in our graduate schools. And worst of all, we left the next generation with a staggering debt to pay for all those tax cuts we demanded. The last election showed that maybe the next generation (especially the young) will be smarter and more responsible than we -- if they are not overwhelmed by our whining for things lost and continuing belief in magic `tea' potions.

Posted by: taxpayer2 | October 24, 2010 3:24 AM

One point that is almost never brought up about the Baby Boomers is, to me anyway, the telling fact that they were the first television generation. I believe that this had as much to do with forming this and subsequent generations as anything. Let's face it, among some positive influences, television has been the most powerful tool for mass corporate advertising and self-promotion that we've ever seen. It comes right into living rooms and sells, sells, sells, non-stop. And as for politics, this election season gives us a portrait of who and what we have come to. Television celebrates all of our worst traits.

Posted by: curtb | October 23, 2010 9:08 PM

The only 'Baby Boomer' I blame for everything is GODZILLA!!

...and 'Rodan', I'm lookin' at you too...

..Gamera? Not so much.

Posted by: PaulEVirgo | October 23, 2010 7:27 PM

I would say the biggest failure of the boomers is not replacing themselves. Their parents came back from WWII and made whoopee till the cows came home(4-5 kids). The subsequent generation was too selfish to have so many kids so they could make money and buy things(1-2 kids). The result? No more sustainability for the pyramid scheme we like to call social security.

Posted by: chandadn | October 23, 2010 7:11 PM

"Got any more gross generalizations? Laying all the massive ignorance out there on one generation is an amazing feat. Amazingly inane."

True, but it is also true that Boomers do the opposite, claim that that the sun and the moon revovle around their heads and all younger generations are narcisistic and shallow. In fact, Boomers LOVE to label others with gross generalizations! All I can say is, George Bush is a Boomer. Nuf Said.

Posted by: kschur1 | October 23, 2010 5:23 PM

This article was not about their success stories. It's called "Don't get fooled again: The Baby Boomers' leadership failure" because it's rather about their failure.

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 23, 2010 4:23 PM

I agree that the Baby Boomers did fail in a lot of different areas.

However, they did make a lot of important strides along the way. Unfortunately -- but unsurprisingly -- most of those victories came when they were teens and twenty-somethings. By their thirties and beyond, many of them were the Establishment tools they swore they'd never become, making enough money to feed their conformity, complacency, and apathy.

This piece really does little/nothing to critically analyze the Boomers' achievements and shortcomings.

--a Gen Xer

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 23, 2010 12:48 PM

Unfortunately, among the many mistakes the boomers made, the worst was probably their erroneous following of Dr. Spock's writings on child rearing. His permissive views have caused many of the problems we face today, spawning generations of undisciplined brats, of which all too many are also boomers..

Posted by: Magoo45 | October 23, 2010 11:10 AM


and you are introspective??

I re-iterate:


Posted by: Magoo45 | October 23, 2010 10:59 AM

From an earlier post:
"You failed to mention one other trait of the Baby Boomers well documented by the generational researchers. They respond poorly to criticism and tend to have limited self-reflection skills. If you read all the comments here, it seems a useful validation of the research."

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 23, 2010 10:20 AM

ah morris,,as with the older generations once a putz always etc,

Posted by: gonville1 | October 23, 2010 10:16 AM

Magoo45, that would be the kids raised by the helicopter parents of Baby Boomers.

As someone wrote earlier and I'll quote it:

"You failed to mention one other trait of the Baby Boomers well documented by the generational researchers. They respond poorly to criticism and tend to have limited self-reflection skills. If you read all the comments here, it seems a useful validation of the research."

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 23, 2010 9:47 AM



Posted by: Magoo45 | October 23, 2010 1:43 AM

Goodness, what a whiner. If anyone wanted to do a shallow essay on the lack of intelligent thought among whatever generation this author belongs to, this could be Exhibit 1. Did the WaPo actually pay for this?

Posted by: Yankeesfan1 | October 23, 2010 1:22 AM

bucinka8, Baby Boomers did not invent television, jet planes, space travel, walking on the moon, or spaceships. Remember The Jetsons? Your PARENTS invented those.

As typical with BB's, especially at work and well documented on this blog, will take credit for lots of things it had nothing to do with. But refuse to take blame on the debt as the first generation to lost at the game of keeping up with the Jones'.

For those blaming today's kids, YOU raised them as helicopter parents. Thus YOUR fault.

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 23, 2010 1:05 AM

There's a joke that circulates the interwebs from time to time:

A college student challenged a senior citizen, saying it was impossible for
their generation to understand his.

"You grew up in a different world," the student said. "Today we have
television, jet planes, space travel, walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars. We even have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light-speed processing ....and uh..""

Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, the geezer said,
"You're right. We didn't have those things when we were young; so we
invented them....What are you doing for the next generation?"

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 22, 2010 10:40 PM

You could have written a good piece on this topic, but that would have required research, which you can't or won't do, and some knowledge of history, which you don't have.

Everything you mention has been going on for decades. Are things worse now? Could be, but you were too lazy to sort that out.

Posted by: semolina | October 22, 2010 10:25 PM

For LiberalBasher :

Sounds like something I heard, some forty-odd years ago..
Almost verbatim....
Seems like I remember that some old Athenian, Socrates perhaps, wrote something similar about the younger generation's lack of respect for their elders, and general rebelliousness.
Some things never change...

Posted by: Magoo45 | October 22, 2010 9:58 PM

We should have left the current generation run down our legs instead of what happened.

They quite obviously don't appreciate what has been done for them. They quite obviously have no clue how to survive on their own, and on't wish to learn. They quite obviously, can't wait till we die.

We should have never given them the life in the first place if thats how they feel.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | October 22, 2010 9:04 PM

Without the baby boomers, you kids would still just be drinking beer, not smoking reefer.
We grew up in a society where everything was totally dictated to us.
Burr haircuts, because of WWII and Korea.
Everybody wanted to look the same..gray suits, brown shoes("don't make it").. The
American dream... carbon copies.. unthinking, minds in a box...
Boomers busted through "The Wall".. Opened everything up..
So what if we fouled up, at least you guys have the freedom of expression that we were persecuted for..
Nobody gives a rat's *** about how long, or short, your hair is, how tight, or loose, your pants are...
But kids did jail time for sewing little American flags onto their pants... And got their a**es kicked, and their long hair whacked off by righteous rednecks.. Which originally referred to their sunburnt necks, due to their "white sidewall" haircuts, not necessarily their social status or where they lived.
"Nuff said...." Nuke Diver

Posted by: Magoo45 | October 22, 2010 8:52 PM

Terrible article...does the Wapo have any editors left? Gross generalization about people who are...not even boomers. For every terrible Boomer you can name, I can name one who is wonderful. This is also true for every generation. -Bill, circa 1957.

Posted by: outragex | October 22, 2010 7:04 PM

If you want things to change, get active. The blame game gets awfully old.

Fight for gay rights.

Protect the constitution by not allowing the conservatives to gut Amendment VII - that part of the Bill of Rights that says you can sue someone who harms you. Letting government cap how much a jury can award is about as smart as government price controls or limits of executive compensation.

Fossil fuels are finite and will eventually give out. Speak out for government investment in research of alternatives.

If you don't like what has been done on health care, find a new answer but don't ignore the problem. Don't fall for the ideas that capping malpractice awards and allowing insurance companies to sell across state will somehow miraculously solve all the problems. Health insurance has been one of the least regulated businesses in the U.S. - it is not government limits on the insurance business or government regulations that have caused health care to become more than 15% of our GDP. There is something fundamentally wrong with health care operating a purely capitalist setting.

We have concentrated so long and so hard during the past 40 years on making things better for business we forgot that there are two parties to the capitalist transaction - one of whom is the consumer. Consumer protection laws are needed.

There, that is a few things to think about. If you don't like what is there now, do something, don't just sit around blaming your parents or grandparents for leaving you in a mess. Deal with it and act.

Posted by: amelia45 | October 22, 2010 6:36 PM

ok so here it is....I, the hated baby boomer worked for 20 years, long hours, 2 jobs, got a great education and had little help from my parents, one of whom faught in World War II and the Korean Conflict. I was taught to work hard and spend wisely. I now own my own company helping others in need. What the heck is the next generation doing? let me tell you, they are sitting on their butts waiting for me to help them because the idea is I owe somebody something...hmmm...dont think so!!!!!!!!

Posted by: qlamiller | October 22, 2010 3:05 PM

wow! a boomer NOT claiming The Who in their "things we provided for humanity" list? That is progress people!

Only a baby boomer would think that this discussion is about divvying up responsibility points. so unbelievably USELESS!

But while you're at it, you either need to claim LBJ as a boomer, or civil rights needs to come off the list too. see? It's not about taking responsibility, BUT THAT IS WHAT THE BOOMERS DO: claim responsibility for good things, deny responsibility for the bad things, and call their kids whiners.

It's about you, not your generation. What have you done? Taken credit for all things good (except apparently The Who). check. Denied responsibility for all things bad. check.

you really are trying to lay Iraq on the greatest generation? And you take umbrage when somebody questions your leadership qualities?

Have you no shame?

Shut it and listen.

We the people under 65 are ready to move forward with or without the big nothing you left on the table.

We will write the epitaph of the boomer generation, and it is beginning to take shape right here in this blog. We will write it, because the boomer generation will be DEAD AND GONE.

Posted by: sorenoid | October 22, 2010 2:19 PM

Someone write:
"What a bunch of whining little babies the Millenials are. Complaining about the Baby Boomers and their selfishness, while crying that they didn't get theirs."
Guess who their parents are for the most part? Thus, your fault. The apple doesn't and did not fall far from the tree.

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 22, 2010 12:55 PM

Baby Boomers didn't "fail us" any more than Homo Sapiens failed Neanderthals. The new kids are charming, and there's a quality of nuclear particle, called "charmed quarks".

To imagine that has nothing to do with anything, try "The Nuclear Charm Offensive" at www.newstatesman.com/200505230004

Someday Homo Sap will be remembered, with a shudder of revulsion, as the protohumans who almost reduced the planet to radioactive nuclear rubble.

Posted by: frogwatcher | October 22, 2010 12:11 PM

Many of the problems blamed on the Boomers actually have more to do with the Greatest Generation and the Silent Generation. Witness the last Bush administration, run by a Boomer, to be sure, but fully staffed by folks from his father's administration, and with the same tired policies.

Frankly, those of us born in the last few years of Boomer births are sick and tired of being called spoiled when our experience was quite the opposite, coming out of college in the early 80s to an economy in which employers paid those of us who were lucky enough to find a job less than what people with a high school diploma and three or four years of experience were making. If you are going to (unfairly, in my opinion) vilify the Boomers, at least make the distinction between the older Boomers and the younger Boomers, because the latter have never had an easy time of it, mostly because those going before us always manage to, by force of their sheer numbers, exhaust whatever opportunities, benefits, and services we may need before we arrive at the same point, and it appears that that pattern will continue even into retirement for us.

Posted by: CMNC | October 22, 2010 12:06 PM

Could these "authors" be working for the Koch Bros. in their quest to end corporate taxes, estate taxes, and worker/environmental regulations with impunity? The usual modus operandi is divide and conquer, and what better way to do that than by generational warfare? Yep, it's the Boomers vs. the Millennials.

Just a fact check: LBJ didn't start the Vietnam War; he escalated it. Boomers fought for civil rights for blacks, womens' rights, strengthening of First Amendment freedoms, in anti-war protests, for consumer protections, the list goes on and on if you would actually read up on history.

What have the Millennials and later generations fought for? Texting while driving? Better iPhone apps? Facebook privacy?

Posted by: shapiromarilyn | October 22, 2010 10:48 AM

Although I tend to agree that we Boomers haven't done very well, I tend to think that based more upon Michael Kinsley's article in The TAlantic, which I suspect you and others have started cribbing from.

Be that as it may, allow this failed boomer to correct some of your own miserable scholarship. First, you cite Bernie Madoff. Absolutely a miscreant of the first order ... but not a Boomer, thank you. He was born in 1938.

Pete Townsend. Hell of a guitarist. But not only not a Boomer (May 1945) not even an American. You're aware he and Entwhistle and Moon are/were Brits, right? Born in England?

As pointed out by TROBNYC, the Koch Brothers aren't Boomers. Charles was born in 1935, David in 1940.

ENRON's Kenneth Lay: not a Boomer.

You pick out Ted Haggard (b. 1956)...but you convenintly neglect Jerry Fawllwell, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker (to say nothing of Tammy Faye), Robert Schuller, et al. And guess what? Not Boomers, not a blessed one (so to speak).

And Sarah Palin, need I add, might be able to see both Russia and 2012 from her house, but she sure as he11 can't see Woodstock, since she was 4 at the time. But yes, she's a Boomer...just about the very last one, born Feb. 11, 1964, and 1964 is given as the last year of the Boomer generation. But if you think the rest of us Boomers welcome her into "our" generation (what, us hippies? Us Woodstockers? Us sexual revolution warriors and peaceniks?) then you are as deeply, sadly mistaken as the rest of your essay, Joe. And even though you didn't mention him, one of the all-time biggest eff-ups of the previous decade was Dick Cheney. 1941--not a Boomer. Newt Gingrich: 1943. Not a Boomer. Trent Lott? 1941.

Oh, and the guy you started off the piece with? David Gergen? Yeah, hate to break it to you. 1942. Not a Boomer.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 22, 2010 10:41 AM

What a bunch of whining little babies the Millenials are. Complaining about the Baby Boomers and their selfishness, while crying that they didn't get theirs.

Posted by: shewholives | October 22, 2010 10:11 AM

This is one of the stupidest "opinion" pieces I've ever read. The author's insight is at the level of scribbles on the wall of a public toilet.

Posted by: egb3 | October 22, 2010 9:41 AM

Don't know if a commenter previously mentions this, but check out George Carlin's rant in his 1996 show "Back in Town", in the last 10 or so minutes of it.

"They (boomers) are cold, bloodless, and their motto is 'gimme that, it's mine'. It's in their slogans, 'no pain no gain', 'just do it', 'whoever has the most toys wins'. And now instead of counting drug grams, they're counting fat grams, so they can fit into their fat ass docker pants"

Carlin wrote this 14 years ago, but boy is it in the mark! And this offered by a late boomer!

Posted by: Joelhassfam4 | October 22, 2010 8:59 AM

Don't quit your day job, guys. Unless this is it.

Posted by: box2005 | October 22, 2010 7:59 AM

Anyone who crafts an opinion piece (or makes a comment) based on criticizing a "generation" that did or didn't do something the writer wanted them to do has is foolish.

"Generations" don't accomplish anything; "Individuals" do.

Posted by: capsfan77 | October 21, 2010 3:18 PM

Yes, the Baby Boomers fought the Vietnam War and against it, they fought for Civil Rights and Women's Rights, and all the other things young men and women would do while rebelling against a patriarchal generation that won World War II and built America into a Super Power, but rebelling doesn't teach responsibility, they never learned any - its evident in everything they do, where they make a mess. lol.

As a child of Baby Boomers I grew up cleaning up their generations' messes since I was old enough to like girls. I am now in my late thirties, and tired of having to clean up after them, which I reluctantly do to this day. These old people (and they are old now) still go me, me, me, me, me and want to act like rebellious inconsiderate teenagers sometimes, until the lucky ones of my generation sit them down and calmly explain to them that they have had it their own way since the sixties, its time they let our generation do what we've been doing most of our lives - clean up their messes. lol.

For God's sake the Baby Boomer's Generation Crashed the Global Economy, something their father's generation built with their blood sweat and tears, and the Baby Boomer's generation can't fix it, because they are too enamored with their popular textbook theories for which they fought eachother and died over and which they still cling to like religious dogma - like their belief that a generalist will be a better decisionmaker than a specialist, which is the dumbest thing I ever heard, would you like a GP to decide if you need brain surgery or would you trust a Neurosurgeon more? lol.

The world will remain a mess until enough of our Post-Baby-Boomers generation move into decision making positions, unless those sixty-something-fifty-something-forty-something people promote idiots from our generation just to show they still got it and are still better/smarter than than the youngsters, out of some mis-placed sense of competition, which the Baby Boomers generation are not beyond doing - their irresponsible track record proves it. lol.

If you are of my generation and feel frustrated just go for a walk, and light up a cigarette or don't, and talk a long walk, you'll feel better, we'll deal with it when these old folks pass the buck to our generation, which an irresponsible generation like their's won't take too long in doing as things get worse - they want to be heroes, and get the glory, they don't like blame (just listen to all their comments on this article and you can tell they're Baby Boomers...lol.) or even plain old hard work over a generation which is what it will take to clean up that mess. lol.

I should complain a little less, metaphorically speaking my Dad has always let me drive whenever I wanted (none of that "moveover son, I'll drive" nonsense), but he complains I drive like an old lady (sorry, I don't imagine myself as some sort of Michael Schumacher) - but atleast I got to drive, no?...;-).

Posted by: darkasnight1234 | October 21, 2010 12:39 AM

This is one weird column. It's premise seems to be that if you can one bad actor in any category, that discredits the generation to which the bad actor belongs. Why is the Post wasting bytes on this?

Posted by: turningfool | October 21, 2010 12:10 AM

pbkritek, I co-sign on that one 110%. They criticized alot in their youth, but accepting feedback that's criticism is a weakness and sore subject for them. Hard to argue though with their massive personal debt, debt they created as organizational leaders, and kids today that cannot tie their shoes at 22 without calling their parents.

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 20, 2010 11:42 PM

You failed to mention one other trait of the Baby Boomers well documented by the generational researchers. They respond poorly to criticism and tend to have limited self-reflection skills. If you read all the comments here, it seems a useful validation of the research.

If Boomers would decide to quit insisting they are wonderful and special and acknowledge that they have not delivered, we would all be the better for it.

Posted by: pbkritek | October 20, 2010 11:19 PM

The Baby Boom generation spanned from 1946 to 1964, right after the end of World War II. It's called the Baby Boom generation because 79 Million Babies were born during that span. I am one of those Baby Boom babies born in 1962.

The increase of millions of babies being born during this time led to the demand of production, better housing, jobs, roads, services, and a better life.

Yes, some Baby Boomer's have butchered trust in the areas that you listed above, but there are other Baby Boomer's who have been central in the creation and development of making our lives better socially, politically, inventions, technologies, art, literature, music, and others who have fought for the rights of men, women, and children in this country and all over the world.

These people include famous people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Ballmer, and believe it or not Bill Clinton, and millions of others whose names are not famous as those I have listed, and yet, these people are doing "good" work everyday to make peoples lives better, by being role models and leaders in their own right.

With that all Baby Boomer's are not leader's and not all leader's are Baby Boomers, and it's up to you to decide who you want to follow. Who is it that you wish to aspire to be?

Posted by: lcarter0311 | October 20, 2010 9:39 PM

The first Baby Boomers were born in 1945 - post World War II. Bernie Madoff was born in 1938. He is not a Baby Boomer - he is a Great Depression baby.

Baby Boomers grew up during the 1950s and 1960s when America was at the zenith of her power. The dollar was the most powerful currency in the world and prices were low.

When LBJ started the Vietnam War - the Baby Boomers were drafted to serve in the military against their will. They rebelled and started an anti-war movement and started a counter culture movement. They also marched for civil rights for all citizens.

Baby Boomers are born skeptics with latent anti-government tendencies. The vanguard of the Baby Boomers are in their early sixties now. They don't trust everything the government says is true. They've been lied to by the government their entire lives.

Posted by: alance | October 20, 2010 9:23 PM

Where to start?
The generation that tried to have it all, but failed badly at all.

Overspent on credit as the first generation to do that while keeping up with the Jones all the way to bankruptcy, unemployment, too much house, too much $ spent on cars, etc., and failed.

Raised kids with far less respect, get killed far more than ever, can't problem solve to save their life, can't get around town at 19 since their Baby Boomer parents carried them everywhere as "friends" through age 18 and failed as helicopter parents.

Kids that stay home through age 35 due to the BB poor teaching examples of how to succeed AND TAKE CARE OF THE PARENTS versus the other way around.

Fought everything in their youth, then got mad when anyone questioned them.

What failures with big dreams, big cars, big houses and massive debt while looking good and faking the funk.

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 20, 2010 7:24 PM

I am so very, very tired of the gross generalizations made in these kinds of columns. Not only are some of those cited in the column definitely not Boomers,
but not all of the Boomers are total evil. Many said as much.
Also, those of use born in the late 50s and early 60s take TOTAL UMBRAGE with being lumped in with people born in the mid 40s to mid 50s. THEY are the folks who made out like bandits in so many areas.
We Late Boomers have more in common with the Millenial Trident 420 who posted on this board:
"Its like my parents gorged themselves with a feast purchased on credit. When they could eat no more I was invited to sit... finding only scraps and the bill."

Our Big Brothers and Sisters in the Boomer Cohort had a fabulously good time -- in the jobs and housing markets and enjoying cheap higher education -- and we at the end wound up with leftovers and a huge bill.

When people talk about the Boomers and what they did or got or whatever, I don't know what they're talking about or why they are directing anything at me!

Posted by: SFMichele1 | October 20, 2010 7:23 PM

Who should look out for our interests if we fail to do so ourselves? Could we have a better path to follow to ensure our economic welfare than following the path taken by special interest groups? They didn't leave us mere breadcrumbs to follow but a money trail that one can't fail to recognize.
I applaud special interest groups for their prowess. I recognize them as citizens with families just as you I and I recognize their hard work, almost 365 days per year. I recognize that we can all follow their lead and provide amply for our own families and with less effort, leaving more time for our families. It begins with one step, that decision to become personally involved.
Real change is often born of a simple act and one ripple can lead to a powerful transformation. Not my words, but they inspire me. I hope they'll inspire you!

Posted by: reenie10 | October 20, 2010 4:22 PM

It is foolish to blame the problems of the world on Baby Boomers only. This is a problem that is influenced by all of us. Incidentally I noticed a lot of grey heads out marching against the war before Iraq. Where were the rest of you? I also notice a loyal few grey heads who protest against global warming. Well again where is everyone else?
The younger generations have the ability to influence events just as Baby Boomers have. They have the vote, one vote one citizen. I must say I have at times been disappointed at the way the votes have gone but hey that's democracy.
Baby Boomers aren't perfect but it behoves each citizen to do their part. If you believe that the reports on global warming are true then why would you vote for a Republican who says it is fiction? While we are discussing failures Bill Clinton's partner in lust was not a baby boomer. He didn't get into that mess by himself.
Baby Boomers are now the parents and grandparents of younger generations. It is natural that they might disagree with what we have done. The truth is that now with the younger generation such as Barack Obama and Sarah Palin becoming involved as leaders the leadership of the country has shifted to later generations. If you don't like these leaders then demand better candidates. We all have a stake in what happens and the X,Y and Z generation has the vote and influence. They must take their share of responsibility for what happens now.

Posted by: OhMy | October 20, 2010 4:12 PM

JOBRO1 Your ignorant as the day is long an same too ya! What ever planet your on is the loony one. I never went to Wood Stock an how dare you call my dad an old geezer. At least he worked all his life an me an my husband have an still are. We both had jobs all of lives that prevented us to do illegal drugs. You think you got the picture right. Look in the mirror an its you your talking about not Baby Boomers !

Posted by: JWTX | October 20, 2010 4:12 PM

Gosh darn those selfish baby boomers all to heck! It was bad enough when they were rolling around in the mud at Woodstock, listening to out-of-tune, ear-splitting garbage they called "music." They continue in their efforts to destroy America even they're old geezers, expecting to collect Social Security and health care benefits! Let's pray that Obama's death squads will finish them off before they can cause any more harm.

Posted by: jobro1 | October 20, 2010 3:44 PM

Unfair. The goal of parents is to ensure their children's success. What made the "greatest generation" (our parents) so great was the experience of war and depression. So give us boomers credit - we're setting it up for the next generation to do great things.

Posted by: akuperma1 | October 20, 2010 3:33 PM

Climate Change Alarmists have asserted many theories, some of which are self contradicting, yet unlike Galileo, they have proven nothing.

Posted by: Engine2 | October 20, 2010 2:46 PM

This is largely and exercise in nonsense, but it does seem to me that the Post-WWII generation (of which I am a member) did begin the current cycle of distrust in public institutions -- government, universities, traditional media, etc. The reason: Segregation and Viet Nam revealed that the idealistically pure America that that presented as the savior of the world in the years from 1945 to 1960 was in fact a very flawed nation. Those flaws are probably no worse than those of other nations, but given the self-righteousness streak that is so strong in American culture, the flaws seem more offensive, and they didn't stop with the end of the 1960s -- Watergate, the Iran Hostage situation, Iran-Contra, Ivan Boesky, Bill and Monica, the Dot-Com bubble, WMDs, and the mortgage bubble all contributed to the deep cynicism that pervades all generations today. We don't want to get fooled again, but we end up fooling ourselves -- with the Tea Party being the current example.

Posted by: jdnathan | October 20, 2010 2:08 PM

Not only was Pete T. not singing about the politicians of the older generation but about the obvious growing smugness and gullibility ( "The Man can't bust our jeans" )of his contemporaries, he wasn't a Boomer either (born May 1945, close but no cigar). The only Boomers I can think of in the major British bands would be Dave Davies of the Kinks and Keith Moon of the Who; Bruce Springsteen would be the first in this country. Ironically, it was actually the presidentless "Silent Generation - McCain was their last shot - who made all the good noise. As for the piece, the linkup with the Republican party and resistance to climate change theory and then jumping to Clinton is just plain goofy. My Gggeneration can be rightfully accused of things like spoiled-brat materialism , self-delusions as to the grandeur of our 60s phase ("We stopped the War" -no, Nixon did that and only when he felt like it), and our widespread belief that we will somehow avoid aging and live forever. However, this rant missed all that. I hope this kind of thinking is not typical of those following us; but if so maybe our failing hands should hold onto the torch a little longer.

Posted by: Labbymalone | October 20, 2010 1:49 PM

And I guess that my father's generation was a flop because WWII was allowed to happen?

The idiots who are Teabagging scum weren't "fooled again", they have always been fooled, it has never stopped, and they will likely continue to be the same kind of fools that they were in 1971, when they jogged over to Nam and bought into the idea that they were saving us from Communism, and helping the Vietnamese by killing them.

Posted by: daweeni | October 20, 2010 1:47 PM

Though I disagree with some of the examples in this article, I agree with the overall point.

I was born in 1961 (late boomer?) and this probably is politically incorrect but here goes.

Our current problems started with "Greatest Generation". Those these individuals made significant personal sacrifice and accomplished great things, this left them with a certain hubris in that with proper organization, all problems can (and should) be solved and luck or providence has nothing to do with it.

With this attitude, they came home and the Greatest Generation started the Great Society. Unfortunately, they forgot to teach their children (the Boomers) that success was built on personal sacrifice, that problems are a normal condition of man and not every problem can or should be solved (we grow when we struggle) and eventually raised a bunch of narcissists we know as the Boomers. They/we saw only the rewards and benefits without a clear connection to their sacrifices in WWII.

So here we are. Social security is broken, we all know it, but don't ask me to sacrifice anything, we need to stick it to the other guy. National debt to high? You're right! Someone other than me should be doing more. Global warming? That sucks but don't ask me to drive a smaller car, that's a Government problem. They should pass a law that mandates that someone else invent technology so my Suburban gets 60 mpg our we'll fine them.

Health care and a comfortable retirement? You owe me, it shouldn't be my problem, and I'll happily ignore the liabilities I'm passing on to my children.

I've spent the wealth of my father and the inheritance of my children, but I don't care because it's all about me. Now where did I put my latte....

My kids aren't stupid. They may not know how we got here, but they're certainly aware of the mess we're leaving them.

Posted by: MDSCP | October 20, 2010 12:42 PM

Oops--a little confusion of terms here. Baby Boomers were simply a big post WWII population bump spanning two decades. But a small minority of early boomers, called radicals, hippies, and worse, and which consisted of just a few million kids who came of age in the late 1960's and early 70's, did their best to stand up against the very sort of vulgarity, deception, corruption, and environmental harm fueled by greed and excessive materialism that this piece decries. Even people born in the mid-1950's--not to mention in the 1960's, like Palin--were born too late to be part of that stand-up movement, which was not unerringly successful, but did bring us, among other things, the ecological consciousness that has led to today's awareness of global warming. Another important thing to keep in mind, to avoid confusion between boomers as an entire group and the minority from the early wave who tried to create a more peaceful, less harmful world, is that the early counter-culture boomers were European as well as American, as witnessed by the fact that this piece quotes a 1971 song (I was just out of high school) from a BRITISH band, the Who, as the representative voice of its generation. And as a side note? I'm sure Peter Townshend, 20 when the Who's My Generation came out in 1965, wasn't thinking of infants in diapers or kids in kindergarten as his peers when he wrote any of his generational anthems.

Posted by: StoryArt | October 20, 2010 12:25 PM

Somehow I think there are self serving power rich leeches in every generation. The baby boomers didn't event lying or dirty dealing or greed. Yeah, there are a lot of us boomers, but the vast majority of us are not rich leeches, hungry to suck from the government's teet. No, most of us struggle along just like the "greatest generation" or the Gen X or Y'ers, working 2 jobs to pay the bills and trying desperately to save enough to actually get to retire. We are no greater, nor are we any lessor than those older or younger than us. And frankly no one can chose when they are born so please stop painting us as the bogeyman just because our parents were extra horny after the war ended.

Posted by: wildfyre99 | October 20, 2010 11:49 AM

SARAH PALIN is NOT a Boomer. You just gotta take a swat at her at every opportunity, in this case pairing her with Bill Clinton. Where were you educated?
Posted by: qoph | October 20, 2010

Sorry Charlie, you are wrong...the Baby Boom years 1946-1964

Palin was born in 1964....she is a Baby Bommer!


Where were you educated? At the School of Palin!

Posted by: tinkabell1 | October 20, 2010 11:38 AM

as a Millennial, i agree with this column completely. old people are ruining everything.

Posted by: bsnyder524 | October 20, 2010 11:13 AM

30 years from now, people will still be saying "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss".

Posted by: ANCLvr | October 20, 2010 11:06 AM

SARAH PALIN is NOT a Boomer. You just gotta take a swat at her at every opportunity, in this case pairing her with Bill Clinton. Where were you educated?

Posted by: qoph | October 20, 2010 10:32 AM

To quote a Millennial friend of mine:

"Its like my parents gorged themselves with a feast purchased on credit. When they could eat no more I was invited to sit... finding only scraps and the bill."

Posted by: trident420 | October 20, 2010 10:29 AM

Dozinho, thank you for your correction, Obama came in just under the wire as a Baby Boomer. You understand my point. That someone born in 1946 is a Baby Boomer but someone born in 1945 isn't is a very microscopic difference and the same is true on the other end. That was why I was mystified that the writers would spend so much time on something so useless. And not realizing that someone in their seventies (Madoff) isn't a Baby Boomer. And as to the generation that these writers belong to, let's see what they've accomplished when all is said and done. And if their generation matters in the final analysis. Times may change, human nature doesn't.

Posted by: curtb | October 20, 2010 10:26 AM

We can debate the reasons for the lack of trust in our institutions, but the fundamental problem of American culture is that it is built upon deception. We worship the "free market" but that market rests critically upon advertising. The entire advertising industry is based upon creating false images and promoting false information so that people will be induced to buy crap they don't need with money they don't have.
Essentially, American popular culture is a crap culture whose major public artifacts (movies, TV, talk radio, music) are deceptive, vulgar and degenerate. Is it any wonder that the younger generation is put off by this culture? The real wonder is that their disaffection is not deeper and more pervasive.

Posted by: edzed | October 20, 2010 10:10 AM

pedantic interlude: Townsend wrote the song, Daltry sang it.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 20, 2010 10:09 AM

CURTB: Minor correction: Obama is also a baby boomer, born in 1964. And to the authors of this disjointed screed: the words "jaded and compliant" don't appear in the lyrics to "Won't Get Fooled Again" so why put them in quotes as if they did? Made up, I suppose, like most of your other "facts" about the boomers.

Posted by: Donzinho | October 20, 2010 10:00 AM

Hmmmm...trying to figure out who is more idiotic. The writers or the posters. At this stage, I have to say it is a toss up. If there is anyone to blame for the state of things than the label should go to extremists: liberal, conservative, religious, atheist, humanist, etc. Extremists provide no relevant guidance and blame everyone (just like most of the posters). Those who could be liberal extremists believe what you have is really mine and I'm more than happy to make you share; conservative extremists believe what is mine is mine, and I'm more than happy to take more; all others well, they still believe their world view is the best course of action when in reality the best course of action has always been discussion compromise, respect, tolerance, compassion, and well planned, conocrete ideas. Instead Extemist Baby Boomers and their offspring prefer pie in the sky ideas, immediate action, and the blame game where there ideas produce disasterous results. Obviously all extremists (and a fair few posters) have never read Animal Farm...

Posted by: devilsadvocate3 | October 20, 2010 9:41 AM

Pete Townshend was not referring to elected officials in 1971. He was alluding to the failed, drug-addicted, naive leaders of the hippie movement. He was referring to his own generation's revolution.

The same Baby Boomers that failed Townshend in 1971 are failing us now as political leaders.

Townshend understood that power inevitably corrupts. Our government, particularly our federal government has too much power.

Posted by: rwyoung | October 20, 2010 9:34 AM

We loaded up our university faculty with left-wing boomers. They taught our children, who now write articles like this. Which generation are you, Joe?

Have idea for what we should write about next? Be in touch at info@menoconsulting.com or visit us at Meno Consulting.

No, but consider joining Oliver Stone to make a movie about the Bay of Pigs.

Posted by: hipshot | October 20, 2010 7:15 AM

The ME generation were socialists when they were young and poor. They wanted everything to be equal, and the government was supposed to spend lots of money to even things out.

Then they became yuppies, and it was all about making money.

Then they became parents, and tax laws were changed to help them pay for daycare, get child tax credits, and pay for college.

Meanwhile, they've saved very little for retirement. When they do retire, you can bet the ME generation will be there with its big, greedy hand out waiting for the government to raise their social security payments so they can continue to indulge themselves.

Gen X and Y, we are doomed. The Boomers will bankrupt the country and leave us with the bill.

Posted by: mmreay | October 20, 2010 7:08 AM

It's too simplified to say that leadership and corporate swindlers (like the Koch brothers) represent the baby boomers.

These kind of people were not naked at Woodstock, they were spilling blood in a sweatshop somewhere and causing severe environment destruction. The boomers were a part of the most positive force in modern history. They were not represented by the people who are scorching this world.

Posted by: revbookburn | October 19, 2010 9:20 PM


Far fewer than 1% of that generation were at Woodstock. Just because the media fell in love with an idea of the Baby Boom generation doesn't mean that their image of a Baby Boomer has any particular validity.

You go them several steps better. Anyone who wasn't at Woodstock wasn't born between 194X and 196X? (People differ as to the actual start and end dates of the Boom Generation.) That's really silly. The Boomers were Hippies and Rednecks, Soldiers and Weathermen, and a whole hell of a lot of people who were none of the above.

Posted by: robert17 | October 20, 2010 2:29 AM

Blame the WWII generation. Had they not had so much unprotected sex, baby boomers would never have been born.

Posted by: Martial | October 19, 2010 10:48 PM

It's hard to comment on this article because of the ugly political atmosphere right now. I think it's easier to blame the conservatives, not the baby boomers for the lack of mistrust in our leadership...but the reality is that my generation will be the generation suffering the real consequences of the environment, the national deficit, etc. My whole 20's, George W. Bush was our president and I really believe that he has set in motion most of these problems. It would have been nice to have a leader who believed in facts (ie. climate science, sufficient evidence of WMD's to go into a war and the vocabulary to use the word "google"). That being said, I'm with the author on this one...I prefer the truth.

Posted by: ssnfront | October 19, 2010 9:30 PM

By posting a column full of half truths and incorrect information either deliberately or in ignorance you have shown yourselves to be no better than the people you attack in your piece. If you really want to rise above the fray, I strongly suggest you spend a few minutes with Google, Wikipedia, or Encyclopedia Britannica, Who's Who or something similar and at an absolute bare minimum get your facts straight. Granted this is an opinion piece, but it will carry little weight if you can't even even get basic, readily available information correct. I'm guessing actually checking to see what generation all the people mentioned in your peice would have taken maybe 10 minutes, tops??? Or did you just assume that no one reading the paper would know any better, or worse care that the information was wrong????

Posted by: drmammal1 | October 19, 2010 9:29 PM

It's too simplified to say that leadership and corporate swindlers (like the Koch brothers) represent the baby boomers.

These kind of people were not naked at Woodstock, they were spilling blood in a sweatshop somewhere and causing severe environment destruction. The boomers were a part of the most positive force in modern history. They were not represented by the people who are scorching this world.

Posted by: revbookburn | October 19, 2010 9:20 PM


Bravo for saying what needs to be said, you know when you get all negative responses that you have hit on something real. And who cares if you messed up on a couple of facts, we have “politicians” running this year who don’t even know what’s in the Constitution. But take heed, in order to pay for their mega-expensive, save the rich man’s tax breaks, the Republicans (personally I have no party loyalties) are on the march to raise the retirement age to 75, so we are still going to have to work with these guys for a little while longer, let’s not piss them off anymore than they already are. And besides, Tom Brokaw has already declared that “The Greatest Generation” is the WWII folks, and as a member of Gen X, I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: fleedoggfilms | October 19, 2010 9:04 PM

A couple of corrections. The Koch Brothers are NOT Baby Boomers. Baby boomers are those born 1946-1964. Charles Koch was born in 1935 and David Koch was born in 1940. Bernie Madoff was born in 1938. Enron CEO Kenneth Lay was born in 1942.

The bottom line? Baby boomers have been no worse or better than any other generation of leaders.

Posted by: rstephenw | October 19, 2010 7:53 PM

As long as we persist in labeling generations I looked into my own and was written about it. I am from the silent generation. Net was we were to small in numbers to influence anything one way or the other. We may have been born during WW2 and were of course from Depression era parents. I matured into a high paying career with two different multi Nationals. Early on I saw changes with the influence of 70 million Baby Boomers. Clinton and Rubin changed the financial regulations, and it never stopped. In my humble opinion nothing will get straightened out until these Boomers retire to the sidelines. With that said they remain caught up with themselves and may die working, running things as selfish, and a dis-honest, generation. The Ivey league business majors leave a whole lot to be desired. David Gergen has been around the bend if anyone has it right about these boomers he does.

Posted by: dangreen3 | October 19, 2010 5:47 PM

Wow! What amazing whining.

Posted by: slcbbrown | October 19, 2010 5:33 PM

Ridiculous piece. This generational stereotyping isn't even print-worthy.

This sterotyping of so-called 'boomers' as Koch brother anti-environment conservatives is as mentally "racist"
as some idiot who claims all blacks vote, think and "look" alike.

I personally would be embarrassed to have my name associated with a shallow divisive piece like this - as these two so-called authors should be.

If this is an example of what you bring to the table, I sure as hell hope you have a backup career move in place.

Posted by: daveque | October 19, 2010 5:24 PM

In case anyone forgot, there is another generation between the Greatest one and the Boomers, or the less than greatest. This was the generation born during the Depression and World War II. Bob Dylan is a member of this generation. The Beatles are members of this generation. The Beats were members of this generation. Mick and Keith are members of this generation. This in-between generation has not had a president and probably won't since we went from Bush I straight to BB Clinton and BB Bush II. Obama is Gen X. This generational emphasis is, in a word, stupid. In two words, stupid and pointless.

Posted by: curtb | October 19, 2010 4:55 PM

Author check your facts please. The Koch brothers are not Boomers. According to Wikipedia they were born before the Baby Boom era began.
So was Bernie Madoff. Got any other whines, Joe?

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 19, 2010 4:53 PM

I'am proud to admit I am a baby boomer. Who Graduated High School early in January. With Cap an Gown on I joined the Navy. Met my Husband who is also Navy. We both are still married have no children. We worked hard all of lives. Bought our home an sold our home. My husband is retired Navy an soon to retire from the airlines. We are the exception. We are wise; we are successfull more in retirement than we could ever make while working. I am Native American with full benefits. Our Tribe gives us our retirement when we retire not when other tribes did when they were young. I resent those who claim the Baby Boomers are at fault. Truth be known we are such a large group the powers that be could not resist ripping each an every one of us off. They resent successful ones that worked hard an retire good. They only want them too an not us. Well I am one who says hell no to them. And yes to us we earned what we worked for. I'll be damned if I allow them to take my earning as theirs!

Posted by: JWTX | October 19, 2010 4:02 PM

"Have idea for what we should write about next?" (English as a second language no doubt.)

Yeah - nothing. If that piece was any indication of your ability to think critically then quit writing and quit taking consulting money. You guys are unable to retrieve and grasp facts OR you deliberately lie.

Posted by: therev1 | October 19, 2010 3:35 PM

Regarding the concept of "playing fast and loose" with the truth, don't forget Barry O, the king of misinformation, who now dismisses anyone who does not agree with his "progressive" agenda as essentially being ignorant and fearful, for no good reason. Meanwhile he continues to drive the US deeper and deeper in debt to China. (I am sure this comment will not stay on the posting board, as it does not match the mainstream "manifesto")

Posted by: pwv024 | October 19, 2010 3:26 PM

Another inane article. Wapo you are really racking them up these days.

Posted by: shewholives | October 19, 2010 3:21 PM

Nixon? Gerald Ford? Ronnie Rayguns!?! Shrubby1?These aren't bboomers. They're WWII idiots without a clue. Quayle. Shrubby2. Palin and Christ-teen O'dumbo r trying their damndest to continue to throw a spanner in the works. Back&forth goes Washington. Get out and vote. tell the neoCON arists to go back to the 1950's. And stay there.

Posted by: Mitchavery7 | October 19, 2010 3:20 PM

How can selfish, greedy behavior be the purview of a single generation. The last time I checked, it is human nature. The Reason more of us don't behave that way is a lack of opportunity. If I had the chance to screw someone for a few hundred million dollars, I'd take it. Greed is a powerful motivator.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 19, 2010 3:18 PM

If the Baby Boomers failed in anything, it's a s parents. They have raiaed successive genrations that care even less than they do.

Posted by: djmolter | October 19, 2010 3:11 PM

First of all, the Koch Brothers were a gene-splicing experiment gone awry, don't blame them on the Boomers....

As for all the rest of it...it's a redneck country out there, just try to get anything progressive done, you first have to fight the raging sea of idiocy.

Wait till the kids who are in my friend's sons scout troop get older, you should hear the anti-science stuff they spout that they've been taught in those Mega-Churches out in Springfield, and elsewhere.

Posted by: fluxgirl | October 19, 2010 2:57 PM

You know - you had a great topic to really spend some time on and make a point, but you blew it. The Baby Boomers blew it when it comes to doing the right thing to manage our society. The generation has not been wise in this regard. Rather, it has been personally opportunistic and exacerbated every societal issue it was supposed to deal with. This the result of political correctness and a lack of will to do what is right. The root problem is the educational system and compromise in governement. Compromise is fine when it results in doing something that will further the ideals of our society. The Baby Boomers have simply used it to further their own personal agenda.

Posted by: AnAmerican5 | October 19, 2010 2:33 PM

You know - you had a great topic to really spend some time on and make a point, but you blew it. The Baby Boomers blew it when it comes to doing the right thing to manage our society. The generation has not been wise in this regard. Rather, it has been personally opportunistic and exacerbated every societal issue it was supposed to deal with. This the result of political correctness and a lack of will to do what is right. The root problem is the educational system and compromise in governement. Compromise is fine when it results in doing something that will further the ideals of our society. The Baby Boomers have simply used it to further their own personal agenda.

Posted by: AnAmerican5 | October 19, 2010 2:25 PM

Put the guns down, fellas, and nobody will get hurt. I'm 63, and the world I'm seeing is not the one I had in mind when I marched in Washington DC to end the war in Vietnam.

That was a radical action at the time. I voted for John Anderson for President because the two parties offered nothing of substance. I've supported high-speed rail for years. I switched to organic food 20 years ago, long before factory farms and the obesity epidemic. There are millions and millions of boomers like me!

I have the same complaints about our leaders as you do. And I think your wrath is misguided. Every generation's elders screw things up. My elders, the so-called Greatest Generation, gave us the cold war, the military-industrial complex, and dependence on gasoline for transportation. They screwed up, and so did their elders.

But it's not the generation of the elders that deserves our wrath, it's a certain slice of that generation – the greedy, the power hungry, the selfish, the egotistical, and the silver-spoon crowd.

If you want to vent, why not rail against those people instead? They exist in every generation, and they preserve their culture across generations through the levers of money and power. By attacking boomers as a class, you're alienating many of your most passionate and influential allies.

The boomer generation brought us civil rights, women's rights, and spaceship earth. Those transformations all resulted in lasting beneficial change in our society, from which you and I both benefit. Those kind of cultural changes don't happen without the passion, effort, and support of many, many people – boomers – who are interested in the same things you are.

If you want American society to move in a direction more acceptable to you, I suggest you spend more time finding and talking with the tens of millions of supportive boomers who can help you. Blaming us just pushes us further away from you.

Posted by: boblieberman | October 19, 2010 2:17 PM

It is not Baby Boomers it is CONSERVATIVES who have let us down.

Posted by: socaloralpleazer | October 19, 2010 2:14 PM

This is really worthless. Pick any generation and you can find multiple examples of broken trust, bad decisions, vile practices, etc., condoned by those in power: Slavery, persecution of natives, child labor, discrimination & Jim Crow, depression, interning Japanese-Americans, lying and covering up scandals (both personal & institutional), carrying out unjust wars, on and on. That's because we're all human and few are even close to perfection. You of the "young generation" will have your failures too--count on it.

Posted by: capsfan77 | October 19, 2010 2:14 PM

Call the wah-mbulance. Is this what passes for journalism these days? No wonder my Gen Millenium friends are depressed and quaking in their boots--one of their biggest complaints? That there is no source for trustworthy information or intelligent analysis. Pulling out a handful of boomer names for your pointless & ridiculous generational accusation is absurd--like boomers are the only generation in history that coughed up philanderers, shifty & self-serving politicians, greedy corporate bandits, hypocritical and exploitive religous leaders? The mind boggles. Put down your little computer (invented by boomers) and sign off the internet (ditto) and go find a history book. And a writing book that addresses how to construct a meaningful thesis.

Posted by: pattyc1 | October 19, 2010 2:13 PM

Author check your facts please. The Koch brothers are not Boomers. According to Wikipedia they were born before the Baby Boom era began

Posted by: trobnyc | October 19, 2010 1:58 PM

Got any more gross generalizations? Laying all the massive ignorance out there on one generation is an amazing feat. Amazingly inane.

Posted by: sufi66 | October 19, 2010 1:37 PM

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