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Responses to the 'OK Boomer' poll

In conjunction with Graham Hand’s article, OK Boomer: fessing up that we’ve had it good, we asked both Boomers or Non-Boomers: Do you agree the Baby Boomer generation has been favoured?

[Note: This survey is now closed]

An impressive 1,800 people shared their opinions and circumstances, and while Boomers clearly outweighed Non-Boomers among respondents (68% to 32%), the yes/no responses were a little more balanced. 

 

Boomers

Non-Boomers

Percentage of total respondents

68%

32%

Yes, the Boomers have had good opportunities

58%

66%

No, every generation has its advantages

42%

34%

For the Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964), do you agree your generation has been favoured?

For the Non-Baby Boomers, do you agree they have been favoured?

 

Republishing comments in full

Many of the 600+ additional comments were heartfelt and passionate, including examples of personal struggles, as well as responses taking one side of the debate versus the other.

We have produced this report from the survey containing results and all the comments. 

 

Leisa Bell is Assistant Editor at Firstlinks.

 

18 Comments
Australian Citizen
November 26, 2019

So, the boomers are the bad guys ????. I am amazed at how this has turned into a blame game for boomers versus pre boomers versus post boomers - depending in your own personal perspective.

Why aren't we discussing the myopic short termism of Government planning and policies which set the financial/social/tax environment for each of these generations. Surely the government that set tax rates etc bears more responsibility than the person who operates within them ??. Let us agitate for proper fact based long term social policies from government rather than blaming some particular generation that apparently did better than some other generation as a result of those policies.

Warren Bird
November 26, 2019

Good comment. It's what I tried to do with all my contributions to the franking credit debate. Good policy attributes income to the right spot and then taxes it an appropriate rate. The problem, if there is one, is not with the imputation system (which is excellent policy), but with the tax rate on some parts of the retiree segment (which is not as off kilter as it might first seem, something I also wrote about).

Let's talk about whether policy is good or not, rather than who happens to benefit from it.

Belinda
November 26, 2019

A good piece and an interesting survey. When you read the comments in the survey results, you can see a lot of diverse views even among the boomers. And I know you'd expect me to say this, but the gender lens is important here. Women boomers who are divorced, widowed or never married, miss out on much of the boomer wealth, and are among fastest growing group of homeless Australians.

John
November 24, 2019

The Government's strategy for funding deficits is whip up more bank hating and to encourage regulators to impose massive fines on banks for what largely amount to software coding errors. Media reports conflate WBC's failure to tell AUSTRAC with child exploitation, when in fact almost all these 23m transactions were small pension payments to Australians living abroad. A $bn fine here, a $bn there. Pretty soon you are in surplus. Pity that pushes more retirees onto the part or full pension as their bank shares tank due to equity raisings plus dividend cuts to pay the fines. Pity also thousands of WBC employees who will soon lose jobs and join the long term welfare club as the bank is forced to find "efficiencies" to restore said dividends as soon as possible.

Rod
December 05, 2019

Great post John. Just mention "child exploitation" and the media lose their balance. AUSTRAC really did a number on Westpac.

Marcus Wigan
November 24, 2019

And may I suggest that you pay just a little attention to us (preBoomers) instead of the self satisfied ex yuppy unethical technophobic broad culture of the following generation?

We have far more in common with the millennials I find. At least they have a decent tech understanding (we leaned that tech mattered in the ww2 where it was pivotal), the Boomers have no idea of the severity of rationing undernourishment and sparse opportunities plus privations of the ww2 (I was in UK and my ration book ruled my life until 1956).

Geoff
November 26, 2019

The article is about the boomer generation and posits that, generally, they've had a good run - better than before or after - a position you seem to agree with. We're not currently talking about your generation. Feel free to write an article about your generation's problems, however.

Your positioning of boomers as technophobes is a bit of a sweeping generalisation, is it not? I'm a boomer and I work in business and IT design and implementation, therefore you must be wrong. See - I can generalise, just like you can.

Marcus Wigan
November 24, 2019

Its fascinating how my generation (the one before the gold plated Boomers) is totally ignored.Yes the Boomers had a terrific run ... but I can literally still remember the V1s fluttering over during WW2 in UK; tearing up my ration book in 1956; fighting for a place in the then tiny universities before the massive expansion for the boomers ...; just missing national service military call up by a tiny margin of time...

However the Yuppy Generation(as we preboomers refer to the boomers) brought the standards of public ethics to a new low and also seem to be generally technically challenged ... my generation literally built and programmed the first computers in wide use and we still do ... the NBN as full FFTH was and is a basic standard by the world (let alone such nations as Kazacstan) .. and its the (liberal national party) Boomers that blew it into a multitech money eating half baked nearly out of date before full launch monster.

Its the boomers who seem incapable of understanding science and evidence, preferring opinion and belief to verifiable facts.. The Boomers will prove (and are already proving) to be THE most expensive generation to humanity that we have yet seen!

Just thought I'd balance some of the earlier comments...at least we still (just) have the remaining rump of the once towering ABC.

Janet
November 22, 2019

Just because the house you have lived in for a long time is worth $1 million or more because of the housing market, doesn't mean you have much other income or assets. This would be why they are eligible for at least part of the pension. I would assume that non-discretionary expenses for the house such as rates and insurance would be higher too. Living in these areas of expensive property probably means the expenses of a local nursing home are higher so requiring the house to be sold. Having to pay a large bond for the nursing home which is refundable on death is enabling a large sum for the Estate, which the government doesn't seem to desire but is a consequence of the current system.

Gordon Lucas
November 21, 2019

My wife & I are comfortably off, recently retired Boomers. We're looking forward to a long, healthy & interesting retirement -touch plenty of wood. We've enjoyed a number of benefits that we worked to our advantage eg. negative gearing, housing booms, compulsory super & so forth. We also made a host of important choices to our benefit: we lived modestly, we invested throughout our working lives, we taught ourselves to be financially literate & we imparted these attributes to our two girls. We certainly didn't spend on dining out, expensive travel (then at least) & frequent coffees etc. Yes, we had it pretty good but we also made careful choices & now we are reaping the rewards. I sense a fair number of the following generations have a live now, hang tomorrow approach which will not serve them well. I hope they too will put something aside for tomorrow & have similar opportunities such as we enjoyed.

Jack
November 21, 2019

It is very difficult to compare the experience of two generations because of the different social, political and economic contexts. One point that is often overlooked, however, is that boomers are so numerous, they are always in competition with each other! At the time there was mad scramble to build sufficient school and university places. Then there wasn't enough McMansions to meet demand.

Boomers are now the driving force behind the increased demand for apartments and town houses as they begin to downsize at the same time. We can confidently predict that the demand for places in retirement villages, age care facilities and funeral services will rise dramatically in the next decade.

For the Boomers this competition has been a challenge because, whenever demand outstrips supply, the price increases.Josh Frydenberg has only just discovered that Boomers will soon place a much greater demand on the age pension than previously expected.

The surprising thing is that at each stage of the Boomer's life cyle, the planners have been caught by surprise and yet we have had this demographic time bomb documented since the first inter-generational report in 2002 and compulsory super since 1992. Prudent Boomers have seen the writing on the wall and planned accordingly.

Tom Harbrow
November 21, 2019

I have no doubt superannuation will at some time in the future become a prime target for government and banks, $3T is just too much of a temptation for them to pass on and the super sector with least defence is SMSF, no union and no public service defence- an attack IS coming so caution is warranted. Amazingly Coalition governments are running a close second to Labor in the money squandering stakes, large savings could be made by De-funding the ABC, cancelling the clean energy grants, slashing inflated public services and breaking idiotic submarine contract with France and avoiding fiasco's like the NBN, then you wouldn't need to be looking around for citizens to screw, live within your means like we had to.

Chris
November 21, 2019

Of course it will be a target. Gen-X will have bigger superannuation balances than the boomers could ever dream of, so if boomers think they had it hard with super, you're dreaming because you've seen nothing yet.

Jan
November 23, 2019

Tom Harbrow: You have got to be kidding! The ABC has been at the heart of Australia's cultural evolution since its inception. It is the only organisation to counter the intemperate and unintelligent tirades of the commercial media commentators. Sadly, it has been progressively defunded over the years by successive governments keen to appease the political demands of the Murdoch and shock-jock media. Now, younger generations are blaming Baby Boomers for ignoring climate change when it was first highlighted back in the 1980s (called the Greenhouse Effect back then) by once reputable newspapers like The Age, now all emasculated by media barons. Had our governments acted back then, we would have had a gradual and painless transition to a carbon neutral economy. So focussing our future on renewables and clean, green production and rapidly ending our reliance on fossil fuels s now the only hope for survival, not just of selfish, greedy humans but for the many other species who are suffering, like the koalas in the Qld and NSW fires.
One thing I do agree with you is that BBs had to live within their means. My father brought us up to never buy anything with debt.

Chris
November 25, 2019

"The only organisation to counter the intemperate and unintelligent tirades of the commercial media commentators"

When ABC QandA (which actually used to be good, 10 years ago) runs a panel of left-wing, all feminist commentators calling for violence against men in such language akin to that a terrorist would use, then it has, in my opinion, completely lost its way. Compare apples with apples now.

angus
February 06, 2020

Instead of 'emasculated' could you substitute 'feminized' please. Less militant, somehow...

Dr Bruce Moon
November 24, 2019

Tom,

It's a pity that with age, many go from a glass half full to one that's half empty!

Given your very narrow view on how to minimise expenditure it seems you rely on the Murdoch view of the world; fear, monetarism [ie. no taxes for the rich, just make the poor pay] and climate denial. Fortunately the generations coming behind the Boomers don't seem to be beholden to that rubbish.



Neil
November 28, 2019

Don't kid your self Bruce! The generation behind the Boomers are as striving and opportunity taking, as the Boomers were. Not only that but many of them understand the PC nature of our current society and simply do not make a scene, but just get on with it.


 

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