"X" Marks The Spot Of The Generational Divide

Tyler Durden's picture

The economy is Boom(er)-ing...


(h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer)


How does this end well?

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Say What Again's picture

This is what happens when no one can afford to retire.  Everyone will need to work till they die - or move to sucking on the teat of the state.

Say What Again's picture

Meanwhile, the RUT is making all-time new highs, so I guess everything must be great with our economy.

Since I can barely get 0.25% for a savings account, I can't even save up for retirment, because my "real" spending power goes down, if I park my money in any kind of fixed income asset.

I guess I could "invest" in the S&P500.  That will keep going up right?

Seer's picture

It should be clear by now that the only "returns" to be had are either in playing the very game that compounds the long-term problem or in "new" ventures.

The solutions will only ever come in the form of dealing with the TRUE fundamentals: Food, Shelter and Water.

The notion of "retirement" is a bad joke.  It was a lure by TPTB to build their control.  It could never have been sustainable because all is predicated on growth.

My "solution?"  I have none to "offer" other than to say what I've elected to do (I could end up right or I could end up wrong, but for sure, I'm going to end up dead).  Farming.  "We gotta serve somebbody," I'd rather serve folks by producing food than being some part of a factory system.  Pay is poor, but at least I can be "at home" and work.  I'm also a bit learned in/on Water, but I don't see there being much there for a while (at least in my area- might be a good play for others elsewhere).

First thing is to stop being in denial.  Retirement will become something that only a handful of people will "do."  That's actually how it is today when viewing on a global basis: and on a historical basis as well, with the fossil fuel age being the only time in which it's actually been able to exist in larger numbers.

FEDbuster's picture

Bigger trash cans in the workplace restrooms for all those Depends.  Don't you love it when the 80+ year old grocery bagger asks if you need help to you your car with your groceries?

29.5 hours's picture



It makes me sad and a little angry when I see that at Publix, the local grocery. I see people in the bakery, handling the register, along with other tasks, who by rights should not be working--who deserve a few years of rest. Some of them are not just old, but infirm and unhealthy.


All this is wrong.



TheReplacement's picture

Who says they deserve a rest?  They lived through the greatest economic times in history and failed to save anything for retirement.   They voted for the corrupt machine that is Washington.  They voted for freebies for all, especially their generation.  They decided that throwing gobs of money at wars on drugs, poverty, and terrorism was good.  They decided to spend vast amounts of the peoples' monies on things like "the arts".  They have selfishly lived extravegant and wasteful lives.  They decided to leave nothing for the future.  They decided to not even teach the youth to properly take care of themselves.  They spent weekends in Vegas or the Bahamas because it was cold up north.  Even the best of them just went along to get along.

This problem will go away when all the people who have sold our future for their present finally die.

Radical Marijuana's picture

NO, TheReplacement, it will not happen that "This problem will go away when all the people who have sold our future for their present finally die." By that time, all of the basic deeper reasons for these problems will have continued to get exponentially worse and worse ...

OF COURSE, "Even the best of them just went along to get along." The methods of organized crime had ALREADY been successfully applied to take over control of the government before they were born. The Federal Reserve Board and Income Tax were already in place. There was never anything that any of them could effectively do against the established systems, just as there is nothing which is now politically possible, with any practical means, to resist the runaway triumphs of force backed frauds dominating everything being done.

There was never a time when anyone who was aware of what was happening was actually able to effectively resist the triumphs of organized crime taking control over the powers of government. The vast majority of people were always the victims of the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy. (Some of the best politicians that tried then tended to die early.) The few that knew better could never compete with the real operation of the methods of organized crime, which had already taken over control of almost all social institutions, by being able to take over control of the public money supply, and then being able to leverage that up to dominate the funding of the school systems, as well as buy up control of the mass media. (As well as almost certainly being able to pay for any significant real opposition to be discredited or destroyed.)

Even today, apart from a few fringe Web sites, 90% of the information that people get comes from the biggest corporations, who are constantly lying by omission, and staffed by the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites that money can buy. Furthermore, almost all of the opposition to the deeply entrenched established social pyramid systems are reactionary revolutionaries, who provide some good analysis of the problems, but then promote old-fashioned false fundamental dichotomies, and their related impossible ideals, as their versions of how to inspire "solutions" to these problems.

While I agree that vast majority of the "boomers" were mainstream morons, one should not overstate the degree to which they "voluntarily" agreed to become victims of the their cultural conditioning, which was already very far advanced before they were born. One should not blame them for adapting the best they could within their personal circumstances. Certainly, that meant that the triumphs of the fraudulent financial accounting systems that dominated their lives automatically got worse, faster, throughout their life time. However, there was never any practical ways to resist the ways that the best organized gang of criminals, the biggest gangsters, the banksters, and the corporations that grew up around those banksters' triumphant frauds, could ever be effectively resisted by the boomer generation, within their life time.

There is nothing that is going to stop the runaway triumphant financial frauds, except the longer term consequences of their own excessive success driving them towards their own mad self-destruction. At no time in that process are things ever going to get better. Rather, they are going to continue to get worse and worse throughout the 21st Century. The boomer generation were born into already established systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, in which context they had the most personally successful lives by going along with that. Certainly, the basic ways that huge lies, backed by lots of violence, drive civilization mad have been accelerating at an exponential rate during the lives of that boomer generation, born after World War II. However, they were never able to do anything effective to resist that, and nobody today can do anything effective to stop that unfolding now either.

"They voted for the corrupt machine that is Washington" because they never really had any choices outside of the system of that "corrupt machine," which had already been built before they were born. The banksters and their buddies are STILL making billions and trillions of dollars from their successfully implemented systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence. There is STILL nobody else who can effectively compete with them. Since everything is dominated and controlled by HUGE LIES, backed by LOTS OF VIOLENCE, while there is nothing outside of that which could stop that, the only realistic prediction for the future is that MADNESS will continue to get worse, faster, until it destroys itself, in which case there are no good reasons to believe that things will get better then ...

It would take a series of political miracles for the human species to learn to have mechanisms which effectively cared about the longer term consequences of their actions enough to change their current behaviors. Such effective mechanisms would have to work through the combined money/murder systems, to change the ways that the debt controls were backed up by the death controls. To face the facts would require understanding more deeply how and why the principles and methods of organized crime controlled the government, in order that that could be done better. However, there are no sound grounds to believe that could happen during the remaining life time of the boomer generation, and indeed, no reason to believe that kind of enlightenment could ever be developed enough during the foreseeable future. On the contrary, we are actually looking at the runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut systems, of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, steamrolling over the future, and turning most people into the road kill of those systems.

Enough radical truth to more effectively resolve those chronic political problems may as well be on the dark side of the moon, for all the apparent realistic potential that it has to change anything. IF enough people understood how and why the government became the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gang of criminals, in ways which then did not collapse back to bullshit "solutions" that asserted that should simply be "stopped," then we MIGHT begin to be able to have enough radical truth to guide more realistic resolutions of our chronic and increasingly severe, political problems. However, on the contrary, it appears to me that each generation has become even more of a victim of scientific brainwashing than the previous generation, because the runaway triumphs of applying the methods of organized crime to dominate the government keep on being advanced more, while, correspondingly, most other people then are able to understand that even less, because they are too effectively conditioned to not want to understand. Hence, what this "X" marks the spot chart is indicating is the overall trend that the younger you are, the more you are being lied to, cheated, and robbed by the political system that you were born into. However, relatively speaking, the baby boomer generation was also born into that system too.

sylviasays's picture

It makes me sad and a little angry when I see here in Mexifornia that almost every worker at every restaurant, fast food outlet, car wash, and any other service business probably should not be working there--because they are all illegal. There are rarely older workers at most service businesses here in Mexifornia.

'Sí, Se Puede

Rock On Roger's picture

If you were smart you would follow their lead.

Go north young man.

Local paper - six pages of classified ads include four pages of help wanted.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

If you owned a business and a snot nose kid or an older adult wanted a position, which would you hire?

I feel for the kids, but many now have little to zero work ethic. 

What you see is what you get.

Say What Again's picture

I disagree with your assessment that most kids don't want to work these days.  I know many smart young people that are eager to work.  They would love to find a job with a reasonable chance of career advancement, but that is not easy these days. 

Even with a 4-year degree in a technical field, such as Engineering, Comp-Sci, Chemistry, Business, Marketing, etc., from an accredited school, they usually get a "contract" position with an option (by the company) to hire at a later date.  They get NO benefits during that period, and there is little guarantee they will be hired at the end of the contract.

Meanwhile, the CEO gets a bonus for 100s of billions of dollars for; "keeping costs down"

This is exploitation.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

True, Say What.

But look at the graph. Who is competing 65 years and older (for the most part)?

These aren't hi-tech jobs we're talking about here. 

Greeting at walmart and taking your money at BK isn't in the same line as a 4yr new graduate.

Then again, I have been wrong before.

Say What Again's picture

Again, I would disagree.  I work in a "tech" field, and I know MANY "older" folks that would like to retire, but they can't, because they don't have enough savings to do so.  And these people are not wild spenders that did not try to save for retirement. 

One "problem" is that the life expectancy is longer now, so you need to have a larger retirement savings than in the past.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

revoke the .fed charter. create a gold/asset backed currency. wait 10 years. retire with real money and low inflation. problem solved.

markovchainey's picture

And like you mentioned before that 0.25% interest rate sure isn't helping.  It can never be said enough: Fuck you Bernanke!

disabledvet's picture

the whole thing was a set up from Day One. Even Goldman has gotten take for a ride...we'll see to where as well. "outcomes cannot be predicted"...they all sure look like zombie banks...and this sure looks (and feels personally to me) like "the zombie recovery from hell." but anyone other than the folks here who said "they cared" are simply nothing more than total bullshit artists. in 1929 "they did nothing." and there was ZERO social safety net back then. still trying to figure out where Vietnam fit in to all this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1TpLWiCcno hey, phuckers...get in there and fight. I did.

Seer's picture

"I work in a "tech" field, and I know MANY "older" folks that would like to retire, but they can't, because they don't have enough savings to do so. "

Again, the notion of "retirement" needs to be dropped.

There is no longer any predictability in the future now that growth is dead/gone.

We are to end up living just like most on the plant do and have done.

I could get more money working at McDonalds than on my farm.  But, job security?  Further, it's about managing expenses.  Clearly those folks who "would like to retire" did not manage their expenses: I know someone like that; I'd blasted him for soliciting funds for restoring the gorgyles in Italy (I pointed out how poor so many folks in the world were and that saving tourist shit for rich tourists was elitist); I'm thinking that reality is starting to set it.

And regarding managing expenses, one can relocate to some place that's cheaper to live.  Retire and live poor or keep working and live modestly (for as long as your job is available)...

Say What Again's picture

So you're suggesting we should all become farmers?

ed31337's picture

No. Just the people who like to eat healthy and eat fresh. The rest of you lot can keep on working like slaves for your million dollar bonus CEO's and stuff your faces full of fat, salt, and high frutose corn syrup till you drop dead.

ParisianThinker's picture

Life span is lowest in USA, and medical care there is 12th out of 13th western countries.

That's the plan.

roadhazard's picture

There are no more Walmart greeters.

fastpilot's picture

Well I don't know what they call them now, but I was greeted by one just last week.

markovchainey's picture

Contracting isn't so bad when you're young.  My experience was that the money was much better than an "employee" job and while there were no benefits you really don't need those so much when you're in your 20's and gaining real world experience.  I didn't give up contracting until my 30's...

Cheduba's picture

I got a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering in 2007, worked for 2 years at a copper mine, went back to grad school for a M.S. in Environmental Engineering until 2012 and it took me a full year to find employment again even having 2 years experience, multiple internships, I was an RA, and I had completed multiple research projects while in college.

I put out hundreds of applications in that year, but most job postings required 5 years experience in that specific field.  Companies don't want to take the time to train anyone, so they just do without that position until that mystical "perfect fit" that doesn't exist comes along.  Even though there is an entire wave of engineers retiring in the next few years as the smartest people in the past 30 years went into finance chasing where the money was and leaving a shortage of engineers, you can't find work as an entry level engineer (or even with two years experience).

I was fortunate to finally land a position through my college a few months ago, but the people at companies producing goods of real value should be the ones making six figures, not the a**hole central bankers, hedge funds, and real estate brokers.  An engineer can easily make a process change that saves the company millions of dollars a year and we get nothing - the shareholders, however see a few cents of earnings per share and the CEO gets a raise and stock options that benefit from your ideas.

I agree, it is extremely tough out there, even for engineers and I wanted to share my story.  To me, it is worse than exploitation, this is us lowly slaves having to worship at the feet of the pharoahs in their palaces just to beg for any useful work and consider ourselves lucky for only having to pay 19% interest on our credit cards instead of 50% on a payday loan.

Seer's picture

"An engineer can easily make a process change that saves the company millions of dollars a year and we get nothing - the shareholders, however see a few cents of earnings per share and the CEO gets a raise and stock options that benefit from your ideas."

Two points:

1) Perhaps people should not work for such companies?

2) "Savings" may only ever be, from this point on, stop-gap, as declining sales due to the lack of growth will continue to force margin compression- at some point it doesn't matter how "efficient" you are, if people cannot afford to buy (they're spending more on food, shelter and water) then it's all pretty moot.

Rather than shelling out money for more "education" I decided to apply it toward my own farming enterprise.  Slow going, but to me anyway, better to have land and be learning than to be "learned" and have no land or work (that couldn't cover modest living expenses).

zaphod42's picture

"Perhaps people should not work for such companies"

maybe that's the only kind of companies there are?  It is coming to the point that companies have automated and cut back on labor, thinking they don't need those workers now.  And, forgetting that those workers are also the people who are their customers.  The owners have only themselves to blame when their ediface comes crashing down. 

Look out, below!


Haloween1's picture

Well you could start helping by staying out of Walmart and any other store that sells crap made in China.

Buy American made, or don't buy it at all.


ParisianThinker's picture

Once Obama gets the TTP (Trans Pacific Partnership) passed,

you won't be able to "buy American". It will be illegal.

ed31337's picture

It's the worst ever for engineers because ALL of your income is being filtered through gov't taxes, corporate CEO million dollar bonuses, corporate sponsored health insurance "benefits," and Federal Reserve devaluing of your pay. It all boils down to immense burden upon your hard labor.

For a farmer, the food you eat came straight from your labor and never filtered through all that overhead. When the farmer goes to sell his land to retire, the Federal Reserve dollar devaluation gets zeroed out in the end. No CEO to skim off the top of your labor. 

As a former engineer, I spent my hard earned money on a house with a bit of land around it, solar panels for heat and electricity, a well for water, and now I'm working in the yard everyday growing/harvesting my own food instead of sitting in a cubicle working for the man. It ain't for everybody, but it works for me.

GeezerGeek's picture

It's not exactly a response to your intended point, but obviously I'd hire both (assuming equal ability) and have each work 20 hours/week. 

Seer's picture

Yeah, but...  Managing MORE people is harder- double all the HR-level stuff.  And with more people you can, as a manager, stoke the competition (turn people into ruthless backstabbers).

Sudden Debt's picture

Well, still they are the future and it's us who fucked them up so we'll have to find a sollution.

I'm working with some of those young kids and it's not the lack of work ethics but a lack of goals because we as a society destroyed the role models.

What role models do those young kids have right now? Material products are evil... a steady relationship is so passé... woman are hookers... guys are dumbasses... I mean what do we show those kids?
As a working parent, we also get the wrong models. We are shown that we need to do whatever we want to do and put ourselfs first, not our kids.

Yesterday I was eating with my best friend at his home. This guy has it all, his own company, a shitload of money, a fleet of collector cars, a second house in france, a third in Italy, 2 lovely kids.... he has it all.
All besides one thing. His parents don't complement him about what he build and it's actually destroying everything he has because his frustration is killing him. Our society doens't show what makes you happy. What is happy? What's the goal?

I got my goals, it's my family. they're number one to ten on my list. And I'm a happy guy. We've got more than enough to go arround and we get to do whatever we want. That was and is my goal.

So as long as we don't get non material goals back at centerstage, we'll never restore our society.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Great post, sudden debt.

I didn't know you had it in ya.

Your best friend and my bro have the same guilt.

best weekend, bitchez, i'm out!

zaphod42's picture

Sounds like you and your bro' are very different; why is that?  Same parents?  Same home life?  What makes one sibling succeed and another crash and burn?  I have 4 kids, all grown.  One is dead from bad decisions; one is a derlict; two are extremenly successful.  We gave them all the same example, the same lessons, the same genes. 

If you have any answers I am ready to receive!


halfawake's picture

same story with me and my sis. she's been a mess since 13. i was golden child. not sure i have an answer; one part nature vs. nurture, another different types of friends we gravitated to, and another my dad treated us different (i always had sports to relate to).

Headbanger's picture

Let my try to answer your questions.

First of all.. There is no such thing as "happy" in the world but it can only be found within one's self.

Your friend with the non-validating parents need to tell them to fuck off finally as his life is his own.

In my humble opinion.. Life is all about solving our own problems first. Then those of our neighbors and friends.

And what's so bad about "non material goals" like love and self regard and peace with one's self and others?

I'm no preacher by any means but I've had all the wealth and "happiness" as defined by our neurotic society

and found it to be an empty life as many of my peers have as well.

Words you may not want to read here but just being happy with how you are as a person is all that matters.

Seer's picture

Right on target!

It's less work to feel happy if one feels one is being constructive (and it helps if people around you share in your ideas/notions of what constitutes being constructive- if they don't then either change out those folks or change out what you're doing).

I'd further state that one's frame of mind is what one wants to make it.

exi1ed0ne's picture

Why should they have any work ethic?  The way I see it isn't so much lack of character, but of hope for the future.  There is almost NOTHING to look forward to other then more taxes, more inflation, more shit treatment at any job, no raises that keep up with inflation.

What you see is what you get.  You see a snot nosed kid, and I see someone who realizes they have decades longer then you or I at being ridden as a tax donkey by the FSA until they get drafted to fight for dwindling resources.

The retired crowd can also underbid youth for wages because they have SS acts as a subsidy depressing wages.

Seer's picture

"There is almost NOTHING to look forward to"

Suicide then...  or,  LIFE!

Find something to be passionate about and accept toil as part of life.

"The retired crowd can also underbid youth for wages because they have SS acts as a subsidy depressing wages."

Good point.  BUT... there's the issue of "health."  If the youth are fit and healty then they're a better pick long-term.  Sadly, however, "long-term" ain't on the radar seeing that we have no clue about what we're going to do with a System that is facing zero/negative growth for MANY years to come (and that Sytem is not designed to handle such a situation).

My wife in her middle-age years moved from the Philippines in order to give her kids a better shot at the future.  I've never met anyone with such determination, grace and enthusiasm for life as she has- so, I married her!

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Youth work ethic aside (I've seen both sides of that coin), the question you pose is a good one.  I'd suggest the real difference is the experience differential.  Paid the same and say w/the same work ethic, do you hire the geezer w/years of experience you can tap into, or a nice enough kid that you've got to train and hand hold for a while?

The really scary part of this vice is the squeeze it's putting on middle aged people.  I cant tell you how many guys and gals I've spoken with who are in their prime earning years (late 40s early 50s) who are being let go.  Their pay, largely the result of years of good performance and accumulated experience is deemed "too high" (though the employers never say that explicitly), and so they are being let go in favor of either fewer workers, or lower cost ones. When Obamacare really kicks in, that shrinkage will only accelerate as will the dog fight between the age cohorts for the dwindling supply of jobs.

Seer's picture

"shrinkage will only accelerate as will the dog fight between the age cohorts for the dwindling supply of jobs."

Economies of scale in reverse.

You see, we made our money off of making iShit for the younger folks to consume.  Those younger folks are broke and, thanks to the iShit, mostly distracted (and a majority are physically in poor shape).

When reality really kicks in our entire economic system, with or without Obamacare, is going to crater.  When things decay we always start looking to blame this detail or that detail, never looking at the Big Picture: perpetual growth on a finite planet is what we've been doing, and now that the planet ain't cooperating we're looking to blame everything ("snot-nosed kids," "greedy boomers," "Party X," "Party Y," "economic theory X (which unstatedly assumes perpetual growth)", "economic theory Y (which unstatedly assumes perpetual growth)" and so forth and so forth) EXCEPT that our underlying premise is WAAY flawed!

ed31337's picture

I know perpetual growth is often deemed unfeasible here on ZeroHedge, but frankly, I gotta disagree. Perpetual growth IS possible. I've got some invasive vine plant that don't need water, doesn't need any fertilizer, and just grows and grows perpetually from massive energy beamed down to us everyday by the sun. Until they figure out how to destroy the sun, perpetual growth is not only possible, it's virtually unstoppable. I've been trying to kill this vine for a decade!

FLHRS's picture

When growing up, my kids (now 24-31) looked at me like I was an alien when I told them to go get a job at a fast food restaurant.  They refused because it was below them. 

Haloween1's picture

In 2002 I was the guardian of one of my nephews.  He went to college to learn basket making and navel contemplation, on his trust fund, of course.  During the breaks, I told him he had to get a job.  When he couldn't come up with any ideas where to get a job, I told him to go down the street to the fast food joint and flip burgers.  He said that was an insult.

Now he's married, three kids, on welfare, his wife works at some menial job but he stays at home to watch the kids.  The guy has no idea how to get out of bed and actually deal with the rigors of employment, such as showing up on time, doing what he's told, and getting along with co-workers.  Somehow he goes from day to day giving little or no thought about anything.  His wife is equally as oblivious, doing her job and coming home to a rat's nest of a house.  But she thinks that is the way life is supposed to be, so all is fine.

I feel sorry for his three kids, cute little girls. 


29.5 hours's picture

@ H. Oaf,

"What you see is what you get."

Not true. It is not an either-or situation. If your "snotty-nosed" kid sees that s/he has little chance for a truly decent job and we are way past the era when companies actually paid to train workers, then yes, the kids will probably have a lousy attitude if they have any intelligence or gumption.

Lack of decent jobs for the youth is not an individual problem--it is a social problem of dangerous magnitude.





TheReplacement's picture

I look at most seniors today as the people who put us in this mess.  They and their kids are responsible for the snot nosed kid.

I would hire the youth knowing that I can possibly be a good influence and get years of service from them.  If it doesn't work out with that one then there will be more kids tomorrow.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  People voted for it.

They also spent for it too.  How many of these OldFarts spend the money as fast as they earned it, never saving a dime in the lives.

The OldFarts - the world's greatest generation - setup the socialist programs for themselves.    It was a great intergenerational scam.  Too bad the OldFarts didn't think about the concept that the young people can only be screwed IF they had jobs.

GeezerGeek's picture

By OldFarts you must be referring to the generation that went through the Great Depression and WW II. They are the ones referred to by Brokaw in his book "The Greatest Generation", although many were barely able, or too young, to vote for FDR in 1932. They were, however, around to support the creation of Medicare in the 1960s. It is a curious thing that the book I mentioned contains this quote: “A common lament of the World War II generation is the absence today of personal responsibility " I wonder if they ever stopped to think just who raised the Boomer generation to be a bunch of spoiled brats lacking personal responsibility. Of course both calling the former the greatest generation and painting boomers as spoiled are generalizations. 

Should we henceforth refer to you as NOTaREALhistorian?

Haloween1's picture

The so called Greatest Generation was responsible for feathering their nests with  medicare and huge raises in Social Security during the '60's, counting on their Boomer kids to support those expensive programs.  They also allowed their kids to get shipped off to a stupid war, and they didn't give a damn who came back or not.