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Are Baby Boomers Getting an Unfair Share of Blame for Breaking America

A retired man using a tablet and sitting at the table while resting with his wife at home.

"Ok Boomer" became the mantra of a younger generation fed up with the Baby Boomer generation. What started as an Internet meme quickly leached into the lexicon of how people spoke with one another in the real world. However, this simplistic phrase certainly glosses over so many of the positive contributions that Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are making to our society. It attempts to demonize those who have done so much to build up the very society and freedoms that we all enjoy on a daily basis. Obviously, the Baby Boomer generation is not without its flaws, but there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to "breaking America," and it is not fair to tag all of that blame on one generation.

Student Loan Debt, Global Warming, And Other Shared American Problems

Some Millennials and Gen Zers like to paint Baby Boomers as solely responsible for the financial and environmental troubles. However, they often fail to notice that Baby Boomers face many of those same troubles themselves. Yes, tuition rates at colleges and universities continue to skyrocket, but Baby Boomers take on some burden. Business Insider notes that the share of student loan debt held by people aged 50 or older has doubled in the last fifteen years, and this has major implications on their ability to retire:

Data from AARP and the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances found that those age 50 and older held about a fifth (22%) of all US student loan debt in 2020. In 2004, that number was just 10%.

According to the data, 8.4 million Americans age 50 and older held $336.1 billion of student loan debt in 2020. That averages $40,011 per family — a figure that nearly matches the average 2019 student loan debt of $40,300.

And, as 50-somethings approach retirement, that amount of debt could be problematic.

Baby Boomers Borrowing

It is not entirely clear that all the borrowing done by Baby Boomers for education was to educate themselves. It turns out that many of this generation are borrowing on behalf of their children and grandchildren. They use Parent Plus loans as a means of helping their relatives get into college. The trouble with this is that they personally take on debt that was of no direct benefit to them. No one mentions this selfless act.

The student loan crisis is not the only problem that gets thrust at the feet of Baby Boomers. There is also a lot of talk about how this generation is responsible for global warming and the housing crisis. Unfortunately, this narrative also misses the very real facts.

Are Baby Boomers Getting an Unfair Share of Blame for Breaking America

Baby Boomers are getting an unfair share of the blame for 'breaking America.' Learn more about why this statement is an unfair one.

Global Warming

Global warming has undoubtedly been speeding up since the Industrial Revolution. Baby Boomers have contributed mightily to that increase, but Millennials and Gen Z are doing their part as well. Just look at the environmental impact of a popular fad among young people such as Bitcoin. The mining of this coin at its present rate uses about the same amount of energy as the entire country of Sweden! Sadly, this energy consumption rate is growing by the day as the currency continues to gain in popularity. Baby Boomers did not invent this, nor are they the primary parties involved in the mining and trade. Younger people are the ones driving this environmentally hazardous currency to all-time highs in price and fame.

There are so many more examples of everyday problems that are slapped onto the Baby Boomer generation when they are really a shared responsibility. It is so important that we recognize that the problems that we create as a society generally are not whipped up exclusively by one generation.

A Baby Boomer using a laptop for online banking.

Banking Made Better for Baby Boomers

As noted above, Baby Boomers are actually quite generous with the wealth that they have managed to stockpile. They hold more than half of the country's wealth. However, they are using that wealth to help their children and grandchildren with expenses. It is because of this that it becomes so important that Baby Boomers be given the banking tools.

PrimeWay is the answer for Baby Boomers who have been looking for ways to get their finances in order and keep tabs on them routinely. It is a service made with the Baby Boomer generation in mind, and it is incredibly user-friendly. From simple daily banking transactions to mortgages to investment management and more, PrimeWay simplifies the process of controlling one's money the way that it ought to be controlled.

Author Bio

Keith Huckabay

Take 3 parts Internet Junkie, 4 parts Broadway Fanatic, 1 part News Addict, 2 parts Comedy Enthusiast, and mix it with some ice in a blender and you get Keith. He is highly energetic and brings just a little bit of quirky to all he does. When he’s not marketing his pants off for PrimeWay, Keith likes to hold court with his friends over a nice dinner or traveling new places.

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