The Baby Boomer
The baby boomer by definition would refer to a person who was born immediately after the second world war. This was due to the disastrous effects of the second world war that saw a reduction of worldwide population arising from the massive casualties whereby statistics show that over 61 million were killed in the span of the war lasted for 7 years. The analysis also shows that in adding insult to injury in the period from 1947-1963 there was a reduction of annual births to slightly below 3900000.The social and historical background as earlier stated would date back after the second world war whereby the millions of the war survivors otherwise known as the war veterans or the G.I.s returned home. It was in the effort to re-integrate them back to the society that the U.S. Congress decided to pass the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of June 22, 1944, by the then President Franklin Roosevelt. It provided for vocational and also college training of these veterans as well as compensation for the period of unemployment of one year. The Act also provided for the disbursement of loans to restart and rebuild their lives by e.g. starting income generating businesses and also acquiring of homes. The people who were in their twenties were the great beneficiaries since they acquired new abodes in well- organized communities on the neighboring American cities.
What is baby boomer and when it happened
Their productive years covered the years up to and including the period of Great depression and therefore had not so pleasing experiences of poverty and deprivation and also opportunities of reconstruction were many arising from the effects of the war. These factors got success knocking at their door and therefore could afford to reproduce at a very high rate whereby in 1947 live births increased from a figure of 223000 in January to 340000 in October. In the early 50’s the population had increased to over 33 million as compared to the early 30’s where it was estimated that live births were less that 25 million.The reasons advanced for this increase is that there was need for the U.S. government to spend to prevent a repeat of the Great Depression. This fuelled great economic development which was characterized by a growth in the housing sector and also a boom in the labor force. There was a characteristic growth in middle class due to availability of jobs especially white collar jobs and thus increased urbanization and increase in demand of automobiles and other likely consumer goods.
Economists have tried to unify all theories that have been advanced to explain the baby bash as it is sometimes referred. There has been a correlation of three factors i.e. material expectations rather the desired living conditions, the male income and female wage. They argue that the male aggregate wage rises fertility will also rise and when the standards of living conditions fall the fertility level also falls or when the female income increases. The increase in the female wage is deemed to represent time foregone in engaging in the childbearing activity. It is therefore assumed that the cause of the baby boom in the above periods was due to increase in the wages of the males and a fall of the incomes of women It is also suggested that the boom would be boosted by the reduction of the number of women who had opted to stay childless during the war and found that the end of the war was an opportune time for childbearing. Also, the younger women decided to depart from the participation in the female labor force and decided to stay home and engage in childbearing activities.A shift in the standards of living has tended to explain the above phenomena whereby the increase in nominal wages regardless of an increase in the real income made couples feel affluent enough to have achieved the desired level and therefore capable enough of increasing the family size.
Why marriage rates reduced significantly while divorce rates increased?
These attempts to explain that when the war veterans returned home, there was an incentive of the post-war Government to spend in an effort to stimulate the economy and reconstruction were able to meet their living standards expectations with ease and therefore due to the small population felt important to increase the number. Economists have also tried to explain why the population plummeted in 1967 when the babies born during the baby boom went to the job market to look for jobs their experience was different from their parents. They had high expectations of standards of living in borrowed from their parent’s backgrounds but had the low level of earnings relative to their expectations due to their large number as compared to their parents and therefore their fertility rates decreased significantly. Female labor participation increased as young women infiltrated professions that were dominated by men and therefore as earlier stated childbearing was an opportunity cost.
The attributes widely accepted for this particular generation is that they are associated with a redefinition of traditional values and a rejection of the same but this has caught the attention of some scholars criticizing this noting that an in-depth observation shows that there has been a consistent carriage and continuity of values from older generations to younger generations. A category of baby boomers that vary slightly for the usual baby boomers are the Golden baby boomers. This is the baby boomers that are just about to exit their professions through retirement. This are different from the other generations whose characteristic is to be contented with life and waiting for their ultimate end. The golden boomers, on the other hand, have a potential to start and succeed in business and also are ready to spend and therefore have been targeted as a very profitable segment of society by industries and marketing professionals. This was brought about by the fact that they were the first generation of children and teenagers with significant power of spending coined from their family’s living standards but in the contrast, they did not enjoy the same benefits as their parents did. Due to this frustration that crimes specified with the age group between 16-26 years, increased also in the uptake of illegal drugs.
Apart from the Americas there are other countries that have experienced baby booms but in their context, this is referred to as the baby bash. In Canada for example, it is defined to have happened in the period of 1948-1967 where over 450000 live births occurred. The same happened in Canada whereby the Second World War veterans upon returning home were given a goon welcoming package by the post-war government. However, after 1966 preceding 1967 there was an increased uptake of birth control methods and therefore there was a decrease in live births recorded. In the U.K. there was a baby boom in the 1960’s capping in 1964 but another was later experienced in 1990.Australia also did experience between 1945-1962.
The size of baby boomers is estimated to be between 75-77milion children that were born between 1946 through to 1965. In the U.K. a characteristic of baby boomers is that they hold over 75% of the total wealth of country having top of the range sports utility vehicles, 50% of designer perfumes and skin care products. In addition, baby boomers have access 85% of financial assets, over 55% of unrestricted power to spend and over 50% responsible for most of consumer spending including 80% of medical drugs and 65% and 85% of over the counter drugs and leisure travel respectively.
Characteristics of baby boomers
The baby boomers are deemed to have matured when the U.S. was experiencing social; change whereby the conservatisms’ and the radicals met on a middle ground especially fuelled by the occurrence of the Vietnam War. Analysts observed that of these over 40% had deviated from formal religion while the rest of the people had either stuck or had never been it or were going back to this formal religion. Their return was of more radical approach whereby they had to change the system and therefore the issue so homosexuality and abortion began to be had and caused a lot of controversy. This boomer generation also experienced the use of illicit drugs as earlier stated leading to be a world-wide disaster since they wanted to experiment spiritually and also did not belief in the conventional methods of medication rather opted to follow the approach of self medication. Another characteristic of these baby boomers was their generational identification with Rock and Roll music with the likes of The Beatles and Motown Sounds being listened to through transistor radios and later the use of walkmans. Fashion was tailor-made to suit this people with the introduction of mini-skirts and bell bottoms. The education system was characterized by the overcrowding of schools whereby there were half sessions to accommodate those who wanted to combine childbearing and education. The progression of the automobile industry where vehicles by the automobile manufacturers were to suit the ever-changing tastes of both the parents and the baby boomers
There is a popular English proverb that aging begins at birth and thus this is not an exception to the baby boomers and therefore though they avoided this discussion of late there has been consultations on how to manage aging and late-life complications of which in otherwise state of denial, they are an economic headache to their children once they retire. The issue of memory loss is a big problem due to the denial of aging and therefore not able to handle many details at the same time as they did or they would wish to.
The baby boomer has produced quite a number of influential and well converted including the current U.S. president Barrack Obama and being the predecessor of former President George W. Bush who was also born at the same period of 1961 and 1946 respectively. Others would include Condoleezza Rice(1954),Al Gore(1948) former U.S. vice-president, Tony Blair(1953)former British Prime-Minister, famous people in the arts and entertainment industries such as Tom Cruise(1962),Whoopi Goldberg(1953),Johnny Depp(1963),DenzelWashington(1954), in the music, John Bon Jovi(1962),Elton John(1947),sports, George Best(1946) ,Michael Jordan(1963),business, Steven Ballmer,Ceo,Microsoft(1956),Richard Branson(1950) and many others not mentioned in this piece of work.
Memorable events in this period would be the assassination of key political leaders i.e. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Malcolm x and Martin Luther King, risk of being drafted into Vietnam war, experimentation with illicit drugs and many others. In conclusion the baby boom generation has revolutionalized the way generations today are conducting business by the virtue of the fact that some of the behaviors’ such as legalization of gay marriages and abortion are being accepted therefore the society being a more advanced version today of the generation.