Just Read: The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

I don’t know where I came across this book by Paul Taylor (@paultaylordc) from the Pew Research Center (@PewResearch) but I did, and it combines a lot of interests of mine (and a lot of other people). Specific to me, an ongoing following of the Pew Internet (@PewInternet)’s former researcher and brilliant community colleague in DC, Susannah Fox (@SusannahFox), and a lot of work I’ve done in diversity and inclusion as well as technology, that has caused me to read a lot of the reports cited in the book. So it’s in one package here, which is great.

I’m going to make a small editorial comment in the era of open leadership which is that I’m confused by the extremely restricted copyright notice in the book itself, which is paired with an extremely un-restricted embed-as-you-please approach on the Pew Research site itself. So I’ll respect the book of course, but embed from the site. I think the book adds some helpful comparisons over time of the type “When Gen X was Gen Y’s age…” which is important.

Actually this is the only quote I’d like to share:

As a people, we’re growing older, more unequal, more diverse, more mixed race, more digitally linked, more tolerant, less married, less fertile, less religious, less mobile, and less confident .

Taylor, Paul; Pew Research Center (2014-03-04). The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (Kindle Locations 157-159). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

This is a good setup for the book, which walks the reader through the changing demographics of our country. Very helpful in understanding the importance of immigration to our future, as well as mythbusting about the institution of marriage, which has been in decline farther and faster than before the LGBTQI community came to it

The Generations

As is the case in the study of demography these days, Generation X is ignored, it’s all about the Baby Boomers and the Millenials. No big deal. I choose to interpret based on the data that Generation X is a lot closer to Millennials in social circumstance and attitudes than it is to the Baby Boomer generation.

Just one more quote that I thought intriguing:

The sheer size of the Boomer cohort has led to a lifetime of stressful intragenerational competition for a limited share of top spots in schools, colleges, and careers.

Taylor, Paul; Pew Research Center (2014-03-04). The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (Kindle Locations 592-594). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

This is not the situation for Generation X, of course.

The Gini Coefficient and Income Inequality

I was introduced to the Gini Coefficient which is a measure of income distribution (inequality), closer to 1 is more unequal, and I did a little searching. It seems that there are different estimates of the U.S.’ number. The U.S. Census number is .4811, where others like the World Bank and the OECD come up with a more moderate number.

I don’t have a preference for either, I’m embedding the OECD numbers below, because they show the comparison which shows big differences between countries. Hint: look at France.

Diversity, inclusion, generational change

The picture here is pretty clear. In the area of acceptance, the world is learning to love better. Two relevant charts below:

Growing Support for Same-Sex Marriage across Generations
How the Generations See Themselves

Of note, I couldn’t help noticing the congruence of these two quotes, from very different people.

“If We Want People To Like Us, We Have To Like Them First” – Bobby Jindahl, Governor of Louisiana


“At the end of the day, if you are for the community, you love the community, and you help the community grow, it will show you the love you show it,” – Mally H, a 21 year old transgender woman, in Washington, DC

Just something to think about, which is that it appears that everyone agrees, love always wins 🙂 .

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