Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Doom, Gloom, and Booms

I attended a CLE program last month where one of the speakers engaged in two hours of financial doomsday-ism; the gist was ‘Baby Boomers are retiring, and this country is nothing without its greatest generation’ (not to be confused with The Greatest Generation) driving the economy. The Baby Boomer speaker pointed out that retired workers no longer spend as much, and draw from Social Security rather than contribute to it.

She reasoned that when so many Boomers retire at once, their combined might will destroy the American/World economy. The panel ended before I could be advised to put all my savings in gold bullion or bit coins, but I’m pretty certain that’s where we were going.

Now, from a recent FiveThirtyEight article about the economic impact of the retirement en masse of the Baby Boomers:

Boomers are no longer even the largest age cohort; more of today’s Americans were born in the 1980s and 1990s than in the postwar years.

Oh. Well, they’re still going to put a strain on public finances and everything, but this still doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe the Baby Boomers will just be the generation that was bad at math. After all, have you seen the national debt you guys rung up?

Regardless, I’m sure that the baby boom retirement will be a uniquely American problem that will hamstring our-

…things are worse in much of the world. The U.S. has fewer residents over 65, as a share of its population, than most developed countries, and the disparity will only grow in coming decades.

Huh. You know, I’m beginning to think it’s not so-

Thanks in part to the echo boomers, the dependency ratio will flatten out by about 2030. Not that long thereafter, the oldest of the echo boomers will begin entering their own retirement years, and the cycle will begin anew.

Look, you can cripple our generation by delaying retirement and keeping all the good jobs for yourselves. You can cripple our economy by leaving the publicly-held debt at $12 trillion when you guys start retiring. But come on. Please don’t let this generation be the echo boomers.