April 25, 2008

Baby Boomers - Why on Earth do They Exist?

Whenever people talk about the future of social security, the subject of baby boomers comes up. Many people believe that they will deplete social security, leaving our generation with no source of government-funded retirement income. I keep hearing people say that us young people should begin saving as much as possible towards retirement because we will have no source of income other that what we are able to save through 401(k)s, IRAs, and annuities. I cannot answer whether or not social security will be depleted, but I cannot help but wonder why on earth baby boomers even exist?

Between World War I and World War II the United States’ economy was not doing very well. In fact it was miserable. People lost their life savings in the stock market, there was very high unemployment, and no confidence whatsoever in the economy. However, WWII helped end all that. While many of the younger men were off fighting, the women took their jobs on the home front, causing the economy to grow rapidly. After the war, because of the massive stimulus caused by the war, many job opportunities existed for the men, thus giving women the option of being homemakers. Because the women did not have to work as much, the opportunity cost of raising large amounts of children was relatively low, because they did not have to give up a lot in terms of wages etc. I guess we can thank them for causing all of the uncertainty surrounding our retirement income.

1 comment:

Roman Kozhevnikov said...

I think it should be clarified that women were not just "given the option of being homemakers" so they all just voluntarily quite and went back home after the war. It was more like they were fired after the war, because employers wanted the men back.