November 7, 2013

Who's that knocking at the door?

What started in 1946 and ended in 1964 and is still invisible?  The Baby Boom.
In the 1930s and early 1940s, there were 2.2-2.9 million babies born each year in the United States.  Beginning in 1946, we (oh yes, I am one) numbered 3.47 million, peaking at 4.3 million in 1961.  At the end of the Boom, there were 79 million new U.S. citizens.  Between death and immigration, that number's still about the same.

As we reached elementary school, the people in charge of educating us said, "Where did all these little kids come from?" and began to build more elementary schools.  Same with high school.  When it came to college, about half of us simply didn't get to go--"Sorry, we weren't expecting you--no room."  

Our life stages and buying habits explain the success of Barbie, the birth control pill and the housing boom of the 1970s.  Sorry, Presidents Reagan and Clinton, we had a lot more to do with those economic success stories than you did. And here we are, hitting retirement and--sadly--the years of declining health, and, guess what?  They're still surprised to see us at the door.

We make up almost a third of the U.S. population and account for 40% of the consumer spending.  Isn't it about time we demanded more of our leaders, the ones we elect to make the important decisions as well as the ones who get paid the big bucks to implement those plans?

There's a bit more at stake for us this time:  the quality and length of our lives.   Knock knock.   We're here . . .