Truth, Justice, and the American way. TRUTH: Helping to correct people's misconceptions about history, science, and the state of the world. JUSTICE: Meant in the biblical sense. Fair treatment of other people, rational laws, and assisting the disadvantaged. THE AMERICAN WAY: A classless society where everybody has an opportunity to meet their potential and for economic advancement, regardless of race, ancestry, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What is the Millennial generation? (USA only)

The press has taken to calling the current crop of teenagers and young adults (Gen XI) the Millennial generation. MTV has the audacity to dub the generation starting with those born in the year 2000 as the "Founders" generation. These names do not describe these people and are a break with the traditional counting of generations (I assume due to poor education of news editors). Generations are designated by the average age of women when their first child is born (excluding women who don't have children).

MTV wants to name the generation starting with the year 2000 the "Founders". The Founders were Gen 1 (those born from 1737 to 1755), not Gen XI or Gen Y as MTV would have it. Gen X means the tenth generation. X is the Roman numeral for 10, it does not not mean unknown.

Gen XI (1985-2007) was the first generation to grow up with the internet, mobile phones, violent video games, microwave ovens, and a lack of parental attention. The press calls this the Millennial generation, but the year 2001 has nothing particular to do with this generation. I think the press feels a strong need to distinguish this generation because the children of this generation behave so much differently than the previous generation. A more appropriate description is the Abandoned generation, because in most families, all adults had to work (the median income had dropped by over 25% relative to inflation). As a result of the lack of parental attention, many of these children did no learn cultural traditions, including etiquette and the ability to distinguish between famous people and honest people. Getting more hits on Twitter or another web outlet is more important to millions of these people than writing an insightful article or composing a moving song. This generation has a lowered birth rate and later births because more people are putting off children until after college or until they have advanced in their career.

Other Generations

Gen I (born 1737 through 1755) Was when most of the signers of the US Declaration of Independence and the signers of the US Constitution were born. In retrospect, we refer to this generation as the Founders, because they founded the country and the people in this generation greatly extended the US territories and began settlement of the extended territories. The other generations are numbered relative to this generation.

Gen XIII (1900-1919) was called the Oughts. World War I, the rise of Russian Bolshevism and the Great Depression dominated the childhood and young adulthood of most of these children. This was the first generation to grow up with movies (films) and to experience the introduction of "talkies" (films with sound). This generation followed the depression of the 1870's (caused by the US government paying off loans which funded the Civil War), and the optimism of the 1890's. The news during this time was more pessimistic (mostly due to  increasing tensions in Europe leading to the beginning of WW I).

Gen IIX (1920-1945) is the Post War (WW I) generation. They grew up in the depression and WWII. People put off having children during WWI, WWII, and during the depression, so this is an extended generation. This is the generation that battled for equal rights.

Gen IX (1945-1955) was the Baby Boom/Baby Bust generation (1945-1955 was the boom, 1956-1965 was the bust). This is the post-WWII generation, the generation most affected (in their formative years) by "The Assassination Decade" (the 1960's), the Vietnam war, and the introduction of government betrayal by Nixon. These people learned defiance and created "the sexual revolution" (1961-1985, ending with public acknowledgement of Aids in the general population).

Gen X (1965-1985) The current adults. This generation grew up with television as the primary entertainment and baby sitter. Old enough to remember Nixon, but not MLK. These people are mostly confused by modern politics, confusing attractiveness with leadership. Most members of this generation incorrectly think the civil rights movement is completed. For the first time since the Great Depression, average people born in Gen X earn less than their parents, relative to inflation.

Gen XI was moved above the line.

Gen XII (2008-2031 approximate) is the Lone generation. In addition to a lack of parental supervision, this generation grew up with pocket computers containing Twitter, Facebook, video games, and other personal relationship blockers (such as earbuds). This is the first generation with reduced college enrolments since 1962. Most parents of children in this generation have lost hope that their children will be more "successful" that they are (this pessimism had not been seen since WW II). The median income in 2015 was less than half of the median income in 1975, relative to inflation. During this period, the US has to increase immigration in order to maintain population and the economy (which currently depends on population growth for stability).

Gen XIII (2032-2055 approximate) will probably be best described as the Diversity generation. Toward the end of this period, for the first time since the 18th century, the majority of US citizens and legal residents will not be Caucasians (light skinned people of European ancestry). Most children born in the US during this generation will be non-Caucsians, "mixed race", or  the children of immigrants.

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Canoga Park, California, United States
Software Engineer with Ph.D. in Computer Science. I have a deep background in the sciences and in computer-human interaction. I was a college professor for 11 years, followed by over a decade of work in industry.