Listen: Why do we pit one generation against another?
"There is a generational war going on. Yeah you might have heard. We've talked about we're all guilty of it. We're guilty of it on this podcast. You know what it sounds like the cover the new Time magazine. Taking a look at the millennials also known as being needs integration and narcissistic self interested unfocused lazy but entitled is the Big One. The millennials generation Z.. Have the Peter Pan Syndrome. They don't ever want to grow up. Your generation needs everything to be about you. And that's very upsetting to US baby boomers because self-absorption option is kind of our thing memes and Stereo tapes and rants are fun. They're great for getting attention online but this week a new project decided to actually go to the numbers and the science to answer some questions. Are millennials really L. E. Lazy and entitled are the baby boomer's keeping younger people from owning homes and finding jobs are old people living so much longer that they're to blame length for income inequality. Do people coming out of school. These days really make less money than they used to. And critically is as the generation gap really worse than it's ever been or are we just doing the same thing that we've always done. The same thing that it turns turns out is hard coded into our genetics are the boomers to blame millennials. To blame for is the real villain. The person who came up up with the concept of generations in the first place Jordan Rawlings. This is the big story. Re Danielle Smith of Maclean's went to the numbers. You try to figure out what's true and what's not when it comes to who to blame hey. MD My first question for you is. Where did the whole concept of the dual covers for this Mcclain's issue come from from in the gigantic package? Folks put together on this. You might have heard of a thing called okay boomer podcast about okay so even it means so this so this was an idea that or I guess. Retort that was popularized in the fall and prompted a lot of soul-searching researching about whether there's some kind of general racial warfare happening and if it's there is it based on reality is that a creature of the Internet and what's behind it. We decided that we should go big with that idea and delve into it ourselves. What are the two covers? One cover has an older gentleman. Gentlemen on the front and it says it's all your fault boomers and then on the reverse side it's a younger woman and it says it's all your fault millennials so depending on the way that that you pick up the magazine you'll see one or the other so like I mentioned to you. We covered okay boomer before when it was a mean. And we just talked about The general assumptions That go on between generations and the rhetoric that gets thrown around but you guys actually decided to to try to look at the data and see WHO has a better? Who has it worse? WHO's at fault? What kind of a process was that Well this story is about everything if you think about it the idea of age cohorts is just permeates everything in our society Eddie from work to schooling education Money business every everything that you can think of has some angle to it that has to do with generational racial differences so it was a pretty big task to bite off and chew and so I decided that you know there's a few things we can focus on. We have statistics picks that show data to do with income inequality we have evidence that younger generations are more mobilized on the issue of climate change. there's a few hugh areas where we can kind of dig deeper and dissect whether this difference between generations is Is Real how big is it. And how much animosity is it really causing or as some of this just you know scuttle butt on the Internet right and when you did look into that what was the first thing you found. That was different than you'd expect going off. What the SCUTTLEBUTT on the Internet says? Well I guess I mean the first thing that I personally personally thought about. When I was writing the story was when I look at my own life and I look at my family and the the wide age range among my family and friends? I don't feel generational animosity right away. I can't really see it The ways in which I think we can all notice. Differences are in the beliefs Thoughts and beliefs about policy ideas thoughts and beliefs about the way that people should vote. And what issues sir. Important housing costs are very very different for young people today than they were thirty or forty years ago but when we sit down down at the dinner table. We're not necessarily having these raging debates over those issues what really Brings US together is without getting to combat is is love you know I mean generations. Get along in a Lotta ways so I just wanted to figure out how crazy I was thinking that we can all just kind of get along and enjoy each other. And how can we come together on some of these issues that. Divide us when you look at. What what boomers say about millennials and millennials say about boomers? What do they get right? That's actually backed up by data like who's who's using real facts Fox here while there's sort of two competing narratives right and maybe I we can talk about what. Those narratives are That are not necessarily backed up by data. This is what we typically see online. We see older people suggesting that younger people are entitled That they don't work very hard that they don't appreciate the social progress that came before them that they're whining about their feelings online and that they're not appreciating this sort of ground that was trodden by their forebears to get us here on the other hand. You have younger people saying you guys have been at the peak of political and financial dominance for a very a long time. They're saying to the boomers. Listen you had things much better than we did. And we are waking up to this now and we want changes and we feel hard are done by because you've used this power to benefit yourselves at our expense. Parts of those narratives are true. A little bit of all of it is true. And I. It's it's there's some contradicting data. Here that I found quite interesting There's a group in Canada called generation. Squeeze which is sort of the primary group advocating eating for policies that help millennials those younger than them their data that they've compiled has a few key points that I think Illustrate the problems here. One is that your fulltime income. If you're a between twenty five and thirty four at about eight times that income is how much it you'll pay for for an average house. It was only four times your average income a few decades ago they also claim and there there is some dispute here with some stats can and data which I can get into but their claim is that generally speaking. We'll also make less money if you adjust for inflation than baby boomers dead. Where does that come into conflict with stats can stats can did a study recently? That shows a slice of the millennial generation versus a slice of Gen xers and a slice of baby boomers sort of when they were around the same age It doesn't reflect the generation as a whole and. I think that's where there might be some discrepancy but what the stats can data shows. Is that on average. The median incomes for millennials at at a younger age is higher and the net worth is higher to than it was for Gen xers. There's and baby boomers. The the caveat to that is that the debt for millennials is much much higher And your net worth is higher. Because you're accumulating assets that are more expensive right housing more expensive so the median debt for a millennial age aged twenty five to thirty four. This study found is thirty. Five thousand dollars versus nineteen thousand dollars. Gen xers around the same age and eleven thousand dollars as for a boomers around the same age. So that's where Generation squeeze another advocates really like to focus because the debt load is is what causes the anxiety that we see from younger"