Boombers benefit from government help.“The reason we’re having this argument over socialism and capitalism,” Pete Buttigieg explained recently, “is that capitalism has let a lot of people down.” Buttigieg, one of the Democrats’ many candidates for president, is not wrong — but this isn’t class warfare so much as intergenerational warfare. As such, there may be a way to resolve it without the economic destructiveness that often accompanies class conflict.

Some history can help explain where the tension is coming from. Well-educated, affluent baby boomers have done exceptionally well over the last 60 years. Yes, that’s due partly to prudence and hard work, but it’s also the result of luck. Over the last half century, the U.S. and global economies have undergone profound changes that have redounded to their benefit.

The first boomers were the most fortunate. They graduated from high school and college into the strongest labor market on record and an economy whose productivity was soaring due in part to a massive public investment in technology. In 1966, the federal government spent 0.7% of U.S. GDP on NASA — a level of spending that Medicare wouldn’t reach for another decade, and Medicaid wouldn’t see until the 1990s.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper


Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.