(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Boomers

Remembrance of Things Past…


xkcd
(…where Randall Munroe observes that “an ‘American Tradition’ is anything that happened to a Boomer twice.”)

 

As we wax nostalgic, we might might spare a thought for musician, composer, arranger, and bandleader Glenn Miller; he died on this date in 1944.  By the early 40s, Miller and his band had become huge stars: In 1939, Time noted: “Of the twelve to 24 discs in each of today’s 300,000 U.S. jukeboxes, from two to six are usually Glenn Miller.”  His recording of “Tuxedo Junction” smashed records (pun intended) when it sold 115,000 copies in its first week; in 1942, Miller received the very first Gold Record (for “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”).

When the U.S. entered World War II, Miller was 38, too old to be drafted.  But he persuaded the U.S. Army to accept him so that he could, in his own words, “be placed in charge of a modernized Army band.”  Miller played a number of musical roles in the service, ultimately forming the 50-piece Army Air Force Band, which he took to England in the summer of 1944, where he gave 800 performances, and recorded (at Abbey Road Studios) material that was broadcast both as a morale boost of far-flung troops and as propaganda.  On December 15, 1944, Miller boarded a small plane to fly from Bedford, outside of London, to Paris, to play a Christmas concert for soldiers there.  His plane went down over the Channel; he is still officially listed as “missing in action.”

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“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.”*

NPR takes a look at a striking dimension of the generation gap:

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds wide gaps in how different generations view politics. Older voters are more conservative, more angry at the government and less hopeful about the future of the country. Younger voters lean left, wish the government played a greater role in their lives and believe the nation’s best days are yet to come. If the “silent generation” controlled the country, Mitt Romney would win the election next year. If millennials had their way, President Obama would win a second term — and his health care law would be expanded. Boomers and Gen Xers fall in between these extremes, but seem to grow more conservative with age.

See the full– and fascinating– infographic at “How Age Shapes Political Outlook.”

And for an interestingly (and chillingly) resonant perspective on the stock market, see this report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco… given the employment prospects– and thus, likely investment activity– of (too) many Millennials, many of those “Silents” and “Boomers” looking to depend on their investments, and get government out of healthcare and retirement, may now have an answer to the question “when can I plan to retire?”   Never.

* routinely, but incorrectly, attributed to Winston Churchill– who was, in fact, a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35.

As we muse, with Churchill, that we’re only as old as we feel, we might recall that it was on this date in 1861 that Jefferson Davis was elected to a six-year term as President of the Confederate States of America.  In the event, re-election was not an issue.

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