Will the baby boomers become the generation that eats its young?
The boomers' prosperity comes, at least in part, at the millennials' expense. Boomers are working longer, for example, continuing to occupy jobs that millennials would like to have. And the boomers are able to plan their retirement around a social safety net — namely Social Security and Medicare — that the millennials will be stuck paying for.
As Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center explained in a recent interview:
Things are out of balance. Our Social Security and Medicare systems, which, in the public's mind, have done brilliantly in doing what they set out to do, they were based on the demographics of the 20th century. You had, literally, at the beginning, 150 workers per retiree, by the time all the baby boomers move into taking those programs, we'll only have two workers per retiree.
Taylor gives more context to the conflict in his new book, "The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown." How is the ever-widening generational gap shaping our nation's politics, economics, demographics and more?