Clash of Generations – Boomers vs. Millennials: Attitude Change Will Disrupt Wall Street and Corporate America

Courtesy of Mish.

As boomers and gen-Xers hand over the economic reins to millennials, a once in a multi-generational attitude shift comes with it.

Unlike boomers and gen-Xers focused whose primary focus was on money and “getting ahead” lifestyles, millennials have more of a depression-era survival mentality coupled with a completely different set of values.

The ensuing attitude change has profound implications, and that is the focus of the Brookings study:  How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America.

Let’s start with a couple of demographic definitions then a look at the study.

  • Boomers: Born 1946-1964
  • Generation X: Born 1965-1981 
  • Millennials: Born 1982-2003

Brookings Study Excerpts

Millennial Dominance

Millennial Values

By 2020, Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans. It is estimated that by 2025 they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce. Given their numbers, they will dominate the nation’s workplaces and permeate its corporate culture. Thus, understanding the generation’s values offers a window into the future of corporate America.

In the future, most Americans, taking their cue from Millennials, will demonstrate a greater desire to advance the welfare of the group and be less concerned with individual success. They will be less worried about being guided in their daily decisions by software and more intrigued by the opportunities it offers. Even without any major environmental disaster, they will display a greater reverence for the environment and less interest in the acquisition of things as opposed to experiences.

It will be a world that is radically different than the one those who wield power today have grown accustomed to leading. The Baby Boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, has made confrontation the touchstone of its existence. In their youth, Boomers protested the Vietnam War, or fought against those who did. As they aged, both conservative and liberal Boomers polarized America’s politics, making compromise morally unacceptable. Throughout their lives, Boomers have honed conflict and competition to a fine art.

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