No, the Boomer generation is not merely a marketing construct

August 11, 2009 § 10 Comments

A brief note of correction on a recent comment on my old post on Boomers which makes a curious assertion:

If you look at the actual vital statistics numbers, the boomer gen isn’t really any bigger than Gen X, and neither is the “millenial” generation. They fudged the birth years when they were playing games with marketing. There was a boom in 1946, compared to the years *before* that. After that point They were all 3-4 million per year. There were as many people born in my birth year, 1971, as there were born in 1946, for example.

Hmm, let’s look at the data shall we?

us-registered-births-1909-2004
source: Political Calculations, reposted here.

Okay. So actually most of the Boomer birth years were 3.5 to 4.25 Million and most of the Gen X years were 3.0 to 3.5 Million. And there are maybe about 7 years in the Gen X interval where births match the lowest 4 years at the very start of the Boom. Way to structure a comment to be more or less textually accurate while constituting a complete misrepresentation- that takes some thinking!

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§ 10 Responses to No, the Boomer generation is not merely a marketing construct

  • HD4004 says:

    Interesting article, but it’s missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

    It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. Many experts now believe it breaks down this way:

    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978

    Here is an op-ed about GenJones as the new generation of leadership in USA TODAY:
    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20090127/column27_st.art.htm

    Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:
    http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

    • bikemonkey says:

      Oh and btw, whether you want to call yourself a different half-generation or not, you dipshits are STILL on the hook for Ronnie’s second term at the least, Bush I, the hamstringing of the Clinton second term and all the anti-tax bullshit that was the subject of my original post about how Boomers ruined the social compact of this country.

      • HD4004 says:

        No one calls GenJones a “half generation”. The long list of top experts who support GenJones view it as a full bona fide generation between the Boomers and Xers

  • bikemonkey says:

    “GenJones” is a crock of shit invented by early Boomers who didn’t want to take responsibility for their more idiotic and irresponsible generation mates. No Sale dude.

  • HD4004 says:

    bikemonkey…you might want to consider knowing about topics which you comment on. In case you’re interested in knowing the truth:

    1) GenJones was not invented by early Boomers; in fact, virtually none of the key people involved in the GenJones movement, including Pontell, who coined the term, are early Boomers. They are almost all in the GenJones age group

    2) Whether you happen to be “sold” on GenJones or not, a long list of influential experts, demographers, sociologists, pundits, pollsters, and market researchers have “bought” GenJones…which is why it has become so quickly established as a full bona fide generation

  • melville says:

    Holy Shit! There’s a GenJones “movement?” I’ve pooped better than that!

  • bikemonkey says:

    a long list of influential experts, demographers, sociologists, pundits, pollsters, and market researchers have “bought” GenJones

    idiots with commercial/professional interest in making shit up that nobody else gives a crap about. all for their own motives of making themselves look important. “gee, lookit me! I invented GenJones, I must be fucking brilliant”. buncha assklowns.

    I’m still not impressed. Short version is this. A generation is, you know, a gen-a-fucking-ration. One person has a kid, that kid is the next generation. That kid grows to reproductive age and reproduces the *next* generation. Apply this to the years in the chart above and your dumbass fake split. 11 years between “generations”? I know girls are entering puberty a bit earlier now but c’mon dude. No fucking way a generation is 11 years. 22 is much more reasonable.

  • HD4004 says:

    bikemonkey…Again, you might want to consider actually having some knowledge about topics before making comments; your posts wouldn’t be so laughably ridiculous if you did:

    1) Virtually none of the many credible voices who have embraced the GenJones construct have any personal gain by doing so. I can easily list over 50 influential people who support GenJones, only 1 or 2 of them can be shown to have any conceivable personal agenda or gain for their support

    2) If you knew anything about this topic, you would know the very basic Generations101 difference between familial vs. cultural generations. Yes, the points you make about reproduction are absolutely true about familial generations (e.g. grandmother / mother / child) but have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to do with cultural generations (e.g. Boomers / Jonesers / Xers). The overwhelming consensus now among generation experts about cultural generations is that they are approximately 10-15 years and getting shorter (largely due to the acceleration of culture)

    Is there any part of you which is embarrassed by your obvious cluelessness about this topic?

  • bikemonkey says:

    “acceleration of culture” is caused by punditards and their lickspittles who seek increasing meaningless categorization and arbitrary distinction so that their self-congratulatory ejaculations gain traction.

    I’ll take your point that so called GenJones second-half Boomers are as motivated to dissociate themselves from early Boomers as the latter are to dissociate themselves from later Boomers.

    As I said, nice try. On the measure that matters for this particular discussion, the election of right wing neofeudal theocratic douchehounds who instantiated anti-community policies that have brought us to the current sad state of affairs, both halves of the Boomer generation are culpable. All but a few year-cohorts were eligible to vote for Reagan for his first term and essentially all were eligible for his second term onward.

    The selfish-ass, I-got-mine-now-fuck-you behavior is a trait shared across both halves of the Boomer generation.

  • bikemonkey says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1988/10/31/us/political-memo-gop-makes-reagan-lure-of-young-a-long-term-asset.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

    What is clear from a study of the responses by more than 5,000 young voters interviewed by The New York Times/CBS News Poll in the autumns of 1980, 1984 and 1988, is that young people have decidedly shifted their allegiances, to the Republicans’ benefit. In 1980, Democrats outnumbered Republicans among voters under 30 years old by a margin of 2 to 1. Now, the parties are virtually even.

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