Baby Boomers - The Golden Generation
After World War II Americans and Europeans were busy rebuilding their countries and economies. It was a time in which soldiers came home from war camps and went back to their normal lives. In the years that followed many babies were born and the birth rates went up quickly. This generation of people became known as the Baby Boomers. They were born between 1946 and 1964. After that the birth rate started to go down again.
When they were in their teens they experienced the Roaring Sixties, a decade of war, free sex, protests and drugs. The most important events of that time were the assassination of JFK and Martin Luther King, the Vietnam War and the first American on the moon. In the 80s they became the Yuppies who laid the foundation of our business world.
They were also the Rock and Roll generation. From Elvis Presley to the Who and from Buddy Holly to the Rolling Stones, the 50s and 60s were dominated by this new form of music. Woodstock was a music event that up to this day has not been matched.
The baby boomers were the first generation brought up in front of the TV set. They watched the Nixon-Kennedy debate, dead American soldiers being brought back home from Vietnam and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.
The baby boomers have influenced politics and economy like no other generation before them. They fought for civil rights and were at the top of the feminist movement. In 1992 Bill Clinton became the first Baby Boomer president.
Baby boomers have not only rebuilt the economies in the industrialized countries they also were big consumers throughout the decades. In the 50s and 60s they bought hula hoops and frisbees, in the 70s and 80s they built houses and today they buy netbooks, iPhones and other gadgets. They have been driving force behind the economy for the past 50 years. Now they are reaching retirement age and the golden years are slowing down.
There are also problems that the boomers are leaving behind. As they are nearing their 60s the younger generation will have the task of taking care of the golden generation and need to generate enough money for their pensions. Baby boomers are healthier and better educated than their parents were. And their life expectancy is higher.
Researchers have found out that not all baby boomers want to retire and spend their lives travelling to other destinations. Many want to stay active and do something meaningful in the last years of their lives. Others simply can’t retire because they haven’t saved enough money to take it easy. There are even those who want to start their own company. In any case, the baby boomers will still be around for some time to come.
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- assassination = when a high politician or important person is murdered
- baby boomer = the generation that was born between the mid 1940s and the mid 1960s
- birth rate = the number of babies born for every one thousand of the population
- bring up = grow up
- civil rights = the rights that every person should have
- decade = ten years
- dominate = to control something
- drugs = something that is not allowed , which people take to feel happy or excited
- economy = the system of producing money and goods in a country
- experience = to take part in
- feminist movement = ideas that say women should have the same rights as men
- force = power
- foundation = groundwork, basis
- gadget = a small and cleverly –designed machine
- generate = produce
- influence = to have an effect on
- life expectancy = the number of years that a person will live on average
- matched = here: there has not been one like this before
- netbook = a new kind of notebook that is smaller and cheaper
- researcher = a person who studies something and wants to find out more about it
- retire =to stop working because you are too old
- take it easy = to rest and not work so hard any more
- task = job