The demographic component of the Baby Boomer comes from the end of World War II. From 1946 to 1964 the dramatic increase in birth rates in the United States created the rise of the average American family and how as a society we adapted to the postwar years. The Baby Boomers were born and over the next twenty years their impact on American social and cultural events would define them as the “Me” generation.
Baby Boomers wanted to push back against the establishment they felt had crippled their parents and the nation. Recovering from the Great Depression only really happened because of the United States involvement with the European war efforts. Although the United States did not officially enter the war until the attack on Pearl Harbor, most steel industries that were silent after the crash of 1929 were now rolling strong, producing armaments for Allied Forces.
After the war, there was still a need for industry. The factories needed workers, and many Baby Boomers entered the establishments and began making changes in automation, as well as handling their employees by rewarding them with pensions and healthcare options their parents did not have. Many Boomers went to college and began making changes politically and socially. Although they were still considered anti-government, they wanted equality and a better way of life for everyone. They pushed for the Civil Rights and were dubious of anyone over 30.
The “Me” generation wanted to open their world to all possibilities. They made sure we walked on the moon and made great strides in the medical field as well as developed pharmaceuticals to help people live longer and stay healthy. Since they remembered the plight of their parents, they were extremely loyal to their children and felt being involved in their lives would make for better Americans.
The Baby Boomers wanted persona gratification and personal growth. They believed in work and wanted to continue to make a difference. Although they were anti-war, they felt to really make a difference they needed to get involved in politics. Baby Boomers would eventually make it to the White House, while throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, they had to contend with making changes through the senate and other branches of government.
They did not understand how to save for the future until government and employment programs allowed them retirement options. Since Baby Boomers were team oriented, they believed in staying with companies until the end. Because of their work ethics, most Baby Boomers will retire around the age of 65. The “Me” generation are healthier than their parents of the Forgotten Generation. They have the tenacity to continue to push against the establishment even though they understand they need it. The paradox of the Baby Boomer means they remain opinionated and transformational at the same time. Their need for the social security administration will make strains on the economy we are beginning to understand today. Since the social security is likely the most important income for Baby Boomers, they fact they will still be depending on the program into the foreseeable future means the following generation may look for alternative income sources when they are ready for retirement.
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