Perhaps you’ve heard that British authorities turned off the microphones last weekend when Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney sang past curfew at a London concert.
It isn’t the first time McCartney has tangled with authorities — back in 1969 he and his band mates were booted from a rooftop — but it’s good to know a 70-year old can still stick it to The Man.
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But is it possible that, like our baby boomer heroes, we’ve
stayed on stage past curfew?
Thousands of sad and disturbing stories have emerged from the Great Recession, but none is more worrisome than its impact on young adults, those between 20 and 30 years of age.
The facts are quite clear. Young adults are waiting longer to start families and buy homes because they’re struggling to find jobs and establish careers. Their parents’ goals — a nice home, a good school, an occasional vacation — now seem largely out of reach. For millions, the promise of a college degree has given way to the reality of student debt and unemployment.
There are several reasons for this, but boomers’ choices are clearly part of it. Because of their own financial struggles — largely due to the collapse of the housing market — boomers are having to work longer, which backs up the job-entry pipeline.
It gets worse when you realize boomers will have to rely on young workers to help pay the rising costs of Medicare and Social Security.
Not to mention $15 trillion in debt, give or take.
The young adults I know are still incredibly positive, looking for work, meeting with friends, pursuing leads, trying to stay optimistic. Some are starting their own businesses. And, of course, not every young adult is struggling — there are success stories out there, if you’re looking.
Eventually, though, all of their patience will likely wear thin. When it does, we’ll have a real generation gap on our hands, one based on wealth and opportunity, not long hair and beads.
You’d think politicians would get this. Polls consistently show young voters are more available than any other slice of the electorate, yet campaigns ignore them, preferring golden oldies instead.
Here’s a test, boomers. Play “Born to Run” or “Can’t Buy Me Love” for your adult son or daughter. Chances are they’ve heard the tune.
Then ask to hear
music. Chances are you’ll have no idea what you’re listening to.
If that describes you — or me — our curfew may be closer than we think. We can love “Twist and Shout,” but it’s time we heard our kids’ music, too.