By Jim Selman | BioThere was an interesting article in the New York Times on Generation OMG speculating on the impact of the current economic crunch on our younger generations. It compares some of the conventional wisdom about the impact of the “Great Depression” on our parents with views on how the “Great Recession” will affect our children. The conclusion is that nobody knows, although most believe that living in tough times does affect how people see the world and can forge a generation’s ‘way of being’.
I am not sure I believe this—it is too deterministic and there are too many exceptions and generalizations to buy the theory. Nonetheless, it can be a useful inquiry.
My father is a conservative man who made practical choices throughout his life. He stayed in the military after WWII because it was a more reliable option than taking risks in the private sector, given his responsibility for raising a family. Was this a product of being a teenager in the Depression or a product