Beyond image is the reality of a generational cohort that sent astronauts (of both genders and all races) into space, built a post-war economy on everything from Chevrolets to computer chips, invented “exurbs” and the shopping mall … and failed to heed Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about a “military-industrial complex” as the United States became the most powerful nation in human history – and consequently was at war or involved in military intervention someplace on the planet virtually the whole time since 1946.
If baby boomers seem ubiquitous (we’ll get to the self-absorbed part in a minute), their numbers tell the story.
“At over 76 million people, baby boomers represent the largest single population growth in US history and have had an enormous impact on every institution in the country, as well as lived through some of the most interesting times in American history,” begins a recent report by AARP “Approaching 65: A Survey of Baby Boomers Turning 65 Years Old.”
Another number indicating boomer clout among the senior citizen class: On average, 7,000 a day are turning 65.
As the nation tackles health care and economic issues related to retirement – need I mention Social Security, Medicare, and Wall Street-based pension plans? – their sizable cohort will have increasing influence in Washington. Most members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate are boomers.
They already do have political clout in the form of AARP, a major lobbying force on behalf of older Americans.