Lots of the media attention on “emerging adults” who are slow (or failing) to launch blames the kids themselves. Pick a reason: They harbor unrealistic expectations, they’re spoiled, they’re lazy, their brain circuity functions differently, it’s the economy or, as the kids say, whatever!
In a refreshing (like a cold slap) change of pace, some commentators blame us, the baby boomer parents, not for over-indulgence but for refusing to go quietly into the next stage of our lives. Call us “emerging retirees.” Pick a reason: rebuilding depleted 401Ks, mortgages, “double income, no kids” is a good thing, or maybe we enjoy working and plan to stay, as Buzz Lightyear says, “to infinity…and beyond!”
That’s not exactly what some young adults want to hear. “Give up the reins, you geezers,” urged the headline in a piece by Timothy Malcolm, 25, a Hudson Valley, N.Y. newspaper editor. He writes,
The main reason we 20-somethings still sleep at mom’s house is because mom and dad won’t get out of the work force. They’re clogging the pipeline.
We gather that some millennials agree with Mr. Malcolm and would argue: Mom and dad please finally retire (even if you don’t have the money) so we millennials can take your jobs. Employers will love us because not only will we work for less money, we actually know how to use all those tech gadgets (at the same time) and Twitter.
We also wonder if many of the “kids” agree with Mr. Malcolm who also criticizes his parents’ generation for trying to keep young! Boomers are not acting their age, Mr. Malcolm laments,
Because of improvements in health care, boomers are not only living longer, but they’re subjected to the salacious whispers that, yes, even in old age, they can remain vital! They can keep working, climb mountains, row boats and — gasp — have sex! Think about Lucy and Ricky or Archie and Edith cavorting in beachside bathtubs. Yeah, it is ridiculous.
Sorry, Mr. Malcolm and company, but baby boomers are probably not going to slink off into the sunset anytime soon.
On a more serious note, a writer for The Atlantic blames the mess that’s forcing many millennials to delay their careers on the economy forged by baby boomers. In What’s Really the Matter With 20-Somethings, Derek Thompson writes,
When people ask what’s the matter with my generation, part of me wants to say: Have you seen the economy you created? What’s the matter with yours?
But that’s churlish. So instead, let’s make a deal. Boomers, fix what you did to the country. And I promise you, the kids will be alright.
He’s got a point.