‘OK, Boomer’ – Is Boomer Privilege A Thing?

‘OK, Boomer’ – Is Boomer Privilege A Thing? November 7, 2019


‘Ok Boomer’ is the newest chapter in the culture wars. This particular war was simmering for some time. Baby Boomers have been complaining about Millenials ruining everything from avocados (Note: even though I’m part of Generation X, I have had a run-in with the avocado toast crowd.) to the Hooters restaurant chain. The most recent battle started in earnest in New Zealand’s parliament.

The Guardian reports:

A 25-year-old New Zealand politician has admitted making “some people very mad” by using a viral phrase in parliament.

Chlöe Swarbrick told an older lawmaker “OK boomer” after they interrupted her speech on climate change.

There was little reaction in parliament but she soon began trending online. She has also been accused of ageism.

And here is the video of the rhetorical slap down that launched a million tweets:

I started wondering, Is Boomer privilege a thing? If it is, then what are it’s characteristics? 

I asked people on Facebook and Twitter what they thought.

They overwhelming answered Yes, and I’ll be happy to tell you all about Boomer privilege. 

Here are some responses:

– It’s all about being born at the right place and time. Most of these folks pat themselves on the back as though their own special talents and hard work were the impetus of their success, but in actuality they were just riding the wave of a robust economy which was irrelevant to their existence.

– Absolutely. They can’t imagine allowing later generations getting their wealth. They think they worked harder to get what they have than later generations who work just as hard and get much less. There are as always exceptions.

– You get to ask why some twenty something isn’t a millionaire yet.

– Assuming that all Gen-Xers and Millennials need to do is work as hard as Boomers did in order to see the same level of success. That basically frames EVERYTHING for them.

–  “Why don’t these kids just get a summer job to pay for college like I did?”

– The privilege of being able to ignore long term global issues because they won’t live long enough to deal with the consequences.

– Owning your home outright because homes were roughly a quarter of what they are now
Actually having a pension and retirement fund
Being able to draw social security because it’s still there for them

– Assuming that if you are in debt, you’ve been irresponsible… Not recognizing the job market/pay rate/school debt reality.

There were dissenting voices. They pointed out the good Boomers did concerning Civil Rights, protecting the environment (Clean Air and Water Act), protesting the Vietnam War, and doesn’t Bob Dylan matter?

All good points. Of course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a social phenomenon called Boomer Privilege.

I’m a Generation Xer. I was discussing the matter with my girlfriend at the local diner today. She didn’t have any idea what Ok Boomer was all about. As I told her the story it suddenly came to me Generation X is flyover country.

All the action is going on between Boomers and Millenials.

No one is paying attention to Xers.

And that’s fine by me.


What do you think?

Is Boomer privilege a thing? If it is, then what are its characteristics?


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