like most generations coming to age in a particular time period that era has a way of effecting ones out look throughout that rest of there life. In the 1920's it was the devil make care attitude ,in the 1930's the great depression ,in the 1940's it was world war twoand the greatest generation ,in the 50's it was moving to suburbia ,in the 1960's it was the anti war counter culture ad wanting to change the world . These generational experiences have a way of effecting the majority of that generation shaping there experience and the way we think about the world . In the 1970 's oil shocks ,stagflation,international terrorism ,military failure ,stagflation ,the misery index, high divorce rate ,high drug and alcohol use ,the hang over from the sixties all lead to one over riding principle for the 70's generation FAILURE and the 70's generation becare the generation that never really made it .
With this failure came the litany of kook conspiracy theories ,and inability to see a benevolence in the universe ,a feeling that things larger then onself were working against us . That malevolent forces beyond our control were conspiring against us. That we were helpless in the face of doom .Not trusting the markets nor the government but looking to punish and spread the misery equally far and wide, the 70's generation embrace totalitarian socialism or communism to a greater degree than anyone since the 1930's.
As the 70's generation grew up it brought incompetence and disaster and mostly failure in its wake , from ENRON,the mutual fund debacle ,to the current banking and finance disaster to the destruction of wall street ,the 70's folks have unleashed a cataclysm of disaster and failure on to the rest of us. Remember these people still think good old stagflation Jimmy Carter was a good president?
So why do I keep harping on this day in and day out ,well any economist worth his salt would admit that one of the strongest cyclical driving forces in an economy are demographics and given the most economic activity is driven by business creation and house hold formation it can be noted that from time to time an economy is blessed with demographics that favor these to factors ,but what we find in the 70's generation is a proclivity for neither. My last reunion told the whole story ,as i am told nearly half the graduating class of 1980 had never been married . I found this simply astonishing given we came from a very upper middle class place with a "first rate education".
No dont get me wrong every generation has its successes and failures but some generations seem to produce more of the latter .
there is more to come....