11 Reasons Why Younger Generations Are Growing Resentful of Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are the people born between 1946 and 1964. People often call them the “golden generation” because of their wealth and influence. However, not everyone holds this generation in high regard.

There is a growing resentment toward baby boomers among younger generations, which may surprise you. However, there are many reasons for this.

Economic Privileges

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Many people resent baby boomers because of their economic privileges. Baby boomers entered the job market during an economic boom, and they had higher employment rates and better job security.

This, along with a strong economy, cheap housing, and accessible education, laid the foundation of their wealth. It now seems unattainable for younger generations. This shows a stark contrast between boomers’ economic advantages and the financial struggles of millennials and Gen Z.

Student Debt Crisis

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During the boomer era, the cost of higher education was much lower, allowing many to graduate with little to no student debt.

In contrast, student debt is $1.6 trillion today. It affects 43 million Americans, most of whom are millennials. According to Federal Reserve data, over a third of borrowers are under 30.

Housing Affordability Crisis

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When they bought their first homes, housing prices were much lower, making it easier for them to build equity and wealth.

For instance, in 1963, the average cost of a new home was about $19,300. This is far less than what young people now have to pay when adjusted for inflation. According to Zillow, currently, the average home value in the U.S. is $354,179.

Job Market Challenges

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Younger Americans are grappling with the harsh realities of the job market. Many find it challenging to secure stable jobs and advance their careers. Meanwhile, baby boomers are keeping their jobs for too long, blocking younger talent from entering the workforce. This struggle is one of the key reasons for the growing resentment toward baby boomers.

Resistance to Technological Change

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Many young people believe that baby boomers are resistant to new technology. This creates challenges in the workplace and society.

Only 26% of people over 65 feel very confident using electronics online, compared to 73% of 18-29-year-olds. This gap in digital literacy can cause frustration because the world relies more on technology for communication, work, and access to information.

Boomers’ unwillingness to adapt to new technology creates a barrier between the different generations working together.

Environmental Negligence

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Baby boomers are often accused of contributing to environmental degradation. This generation oversaw a massive industrial expansion, with consumption skyrocketing. However, they made little effort to reduce environmental impact.

The largest rise in carbon emissions occurred in the late 20th century, a period dominated by baby boomer activity and policy-making.

Baby boomers responded to climate change slowly, leaving young people facing pollution, climate change, and resource depletion. Gen Z feels baby boomers neglected the environment, fueling their resentment.

Holding onto Power

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Younger generations feel a sense of frustration and injustice. They see baby boomers clinging to power in politics, corporations, and other key areas. This makes it hard for younger people to rise to leadership.

As of 2021, baby boomers made up 48.8% of the U.S. Congress, despite being only about 21.2% of the total population. Due to their over-representation and influence, baby boomers are perceived as not passing the torch to younger generations. These generations feel sidelined and underrepresented in decision-making.

The Wealth Gap

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The wealth gap between baby boomers and younger generations is stark and growing. Recent studies show that baby boomers own 50.4% of the nation’s wealth, while millennials own only 6.6%.

The gap is not just due to life stage differences. It is also because boomers had economic advantages, such as high property values and stock market growth. These benefits primarily excluded younger generations. This gap couples rising living costs with stagnant wages. It shows the financial challenges younger people face.

Differences in Social Values

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Shifting social values creates a generational divide. Baby Boomers, shaped by social movements, often value hard work and personal achievement. In contrast, younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z favor collectivism and environmentalism.

Attitudes on social issues, like LGBTQ+ rights, evolved within the boomer generation. But, younger generations generally hold more progressive views. According to a recent survey, 80% of Gen Z support same-sex marriage, compared to just 61% of baby boomers.

Healthcare Strain

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With millions of baby boomers aging, the healthcare system is struggling. They need frequent doctor visits, treatments for chronic illnesses, and long-term care, which strains the government’s budget. For younger people, this may mean longer waits for appointments.

Plus, higher healthcare costs and a shortage of resources like nurses and specialists.

Intergenerational Tension

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Shifting demographics have created new realities in the workplace. Baby Boomers often had good job markets and clear career paths, motivating them to work hard. However, younger generations face a different landscape today, characterized by a lot of uncertainty in the job market. With the younger generation focusing on work-life balance, they are often stereotyped as laidback by the boomers. This economic gap has created tension between generations, fueled by stereotypes about work ethic.

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