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Generational Conflict

September 21, 2012

If current law holds, the current batch of retirees will get far more from Social Security than they paid in. While it may draw some resentment from young people who have to pay for transfers to a generation which is currently far richer than they are, there is one countervailing fact, which weighs heavily on the scales of fairness. People born today have access to a higher technology level than people born fifty years ago, so while retirees are richer than workers right now, baby boomers have had much lower lifetime earnings than Gen X or Y can expect. They had to grow up without the internet, or Playstations or any of that. So when you’re handing over 20% of your paycheck to pay for a baby boomer’s vacation home, remember that when they were your age, they were walking up hills both ways without an iPod.

The Economist on Boomers

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