Does "kids these days..." complaints from older generations motivate younger generations?

Super random thought.

Does the older generation complaining about "kids these days" motivate the younger generation to be better?

There must be some kind of "hey Boomer, we're better than you think." or "Oh we're gonna prove you wrong old man" kinds of reactions right?

I mean there are people in ancient sources complaining about the younger generation. There must be something fundamental about humans and history here.

No I'm not high right now but I was when I thought about this. Thanks for asking.

Comments (44)

 
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 23, 2021 - 3:49pm

As a twenty year old, no. 

Some of the older generation have wisdom from experience, but many are incredibly misguided in lots of different ways. So I don't care what the older generation, in general, thinks of me. 

If it is an individual I know and respect, their opinion holds more weight, though I am sure I will still disagree with him on some things.

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 24, 2021 - 8:41am

I don't associate with "the kids these days" demographic enough to have any sort of collective groupthink with them. I'm a straight, conservative, Asian, male, I don't bark at people, I hate cancel culture, I don't worship Instagram or TikTok "celebrities", I read physical books, and I'm not an SJW. When you think of a Gen Z autist that doesn't know anything about the real world and is in for a surprise when mommy and daddy stop paying for their expenses, that's not me. That being said, I do care about climate change. All things considered, when boomers complain about kids these days and all of their flaws, I'm not insulted because I know they're not talking about me.

Generalizations are always dangerous.

 
Funniest
  • Intern in HF - Other
Feb 24, 2021 - 10:00am

I don't find it motivating or really care if I hear an older person call our generation lazy. 

If anything I believe that many of the people 40 and above in the finance industry and others as well couldn't replicate their success if they had to do it again. 

The majority of the industry is straight white/Asian men. With the push in college admissions and hiring to include a more diverse candidate pool I would think at a minimum the bottom 10% of straight white/Asian males would never have gotten into or even waitlisted at Harvard/Stanford (UG or MBA) or broken into IB/PE/HF/VC if they had to do it again today mostly due to more intense competition (them not breaking in due to the diversity push is secondary IMO).

Our generation definitely deserves its fair share of flack, however the competition we have to deal with for everything far exceeds that of previous generations. 

My uncle for example went to a non target graduated with a 3.0 and couldn't pass any level the CFA when he tried to take it out of school but landed on trading desk (he gave up on passing it after he failed L1 for the 3rd time). He's had a very successful career over the last 30 years but there is no chance in hell he'd be able to break in today.

One guy he went to college with had 2 DUI's before graduating college and has had 4 since then but still remains employed as a trader.

Another guy he used to work with (uncle moved to different firm) that I've met at sporting events (Super Bowl and March Madness) over the years he openly hangs out with prostitutes and is always on something. Same guy also had to move states after his 4th DUI because the neighboring state wouldn't permanently revoke his license. He's since had 1 more. Would any candidate today be able to survive that kind of background? 

 
  • Intern in HF - Other
Feb 25, 2021 - 11:00am

SB'd. It definitely feels like we're going in that direction. 

 
Feb 25, 2021 - 12:27pm

Bizkitgto

The industry... or really the country is being watered down. At this rate we will all be regurgitating the same propaganda while wearing the same, boring grey clothes while all having the same hair cut. Individualism will not be tolerated. 

You mean, kind of like the world has always been?  There is a reason there is an obsession with being "middle class".  It means, socially, being identical to your peers and not standing out.  I understand that Hollywood is fictional, but the tropes that are expressed about the 50s and early 60s exist for good reason.  There is a reason the Boomer generation loved buying McMansions in gated communities.  You want to fit in, Keep up with the Joneses, etc.  Pretending as if "individualism" is being eroded is absurd.  The acceptance of different cultures, the acknowledgement that the ideal is not to pigeonhole everyone into the common conception of mainstream white Christian culture, is doing more to spur individualism than it is to reducing us all to some ridiculous form of groupthink.

 
Feb 25, 2021 - 11:05am

Very good comments. Here is essentially what I see as the problem in society right now which is very similar to your line of thinking:

1950s....entire world is blown up except for the US so any idiot could get a great job at the factory which paid a middle class house and lifestyle.

1960 to maybe 1995....very few people have college degrees. Any idiot with any college degree can find a good job. You could get on Wall Street with an Art History degree if you tried just a little bit.

1995 to 2008 - transitional period as global competition increases.

2008 onward - You can still get a great job and live a good lifestyle.  You just have to major in the right field, work hard, and hustle.

Lots of politics today is based on looking back and complaining about how things aren't as good anymore. I would argue that much of that era was abnormal. Today, things seem a lot more rational: you have study the right thing, get good grades, and hustle to make it.  Before you could be a complete bozo and do alright in the US?  How is that normal and why should a society actually expect something like that to continue?

 
Feb 25, 2021 - 7:05pm

NoEquityResearch

Lots of politics today is based on looking back and complaining about how things aren't as good anymore.

Lol. Isn't that ironic? Politicians complaining about how things are today when they are the ones who ruined it.

Politicians are horrible at everything but passing the blame.

I would argue that much of that era was abnormal. Today, things seem a lot more rational: you have study the right thing, get good grades, and hustle to make it.  Before you could be a complete bozo and do alright in the US?  How is that normal and why should a society actually expect something like that to continue?

Cuz we're bunch of crybabyies who want other people to take care of us. People need to toughen the fuck up.

As a side note I love Ben Sasse for being the only politician actively talking about this generational issue. There is no "big hunt" or some other rite of passage into adulthood nowadays.

 
Feb 25, 2021 - 12:32pm

Not at all.  As you say, every older generation since the dawn of time (or recorded history) has complained about the people younger than them.  Mostly I think it's regret and projection from older folks onto the younger.  As I enter my 30s I look at teenagers and think "WTF is going on there, these kids are idiots."  Part of that is because a small part of me misses who I used to be.  I imagine as I get older that will get worse.  Part of it is I see the way kids adapt to new technologies which I can't easily keep up with, even now (also not very tech proficient in the first place) - I can only imagine how people who used to need a library react to Millenials who are proficient with the internet.  Part of it seems to be the universal acknowledge to gatekeep this shit.  Given how most wealth, power, and prestige is held by older generations, I feel that a lot of it is a post-hoc justification for why a bunch of aging, out of touch people get to keep their hands on the levers of power.  "We earned it, you are just reaping the rewards of our effort," is a pretty effective way to justify it to oneself, especially when most of the policies are self-serving.

 
Feb 25, 2021 - 12:58pm

Ozymandia

I feel that a lot of it is a post-hoc justification for why a bunch of aging, out of touch people get to keep their hands on the levers of power.  "We earned it, you are just reaping the rewards of our effort," is a pretty effective way to justify it to oneself, especially when most of the policies are self-serving.

Yaaaassss, give Oz the levers of power so the people's revolution can begin! 

 
Feb 25, 2021 - 3:36pm

NoEquityResearch

Ozymandia

I feel that a lot of it is a post-hoc justification for why a bunch of aging, out of touch people get to keep their hands on the levers of power.  "We earned it, you are just reaping the rewards of our effort," is a pretty effective way to justify it to oneself, especially when most of the policies are self-serving.

Yaaaassss, give Oz the levers of power so the people's revolution can begin! 

Ha.  I have zero interest in being a politician as the career is currently oriented.  Strict term limits and stricter remuneration?  That's public service, and I'd sign up for that, but I don't have the patience to kiss ass and babies (though not both simultaneously) all day.

However, I don't see how anyone can complain about the concept that politicians should skew younger.  The decisions they make impact the future far more than the present, whether you agree with them or not.  The people with the strongest voice should be those who will have to live with those policies for good or ill.  As it's currently constructed, the elderly are given far more power in politics, both as voters/interest groups and individuals, than the young, which leads to what I consider to be misaligned incentives.  One of the ideas that I liked that Mr Trump initially supported (and then walked away from, presumably because his base didn't love it) was infrastructure investment.  To the extent anyone likes taxes, I think spending to rebuild roads and bridges and power plants is one thing we can all relatively agree on being a good use of public dollars - even aside from the employment and economic activity it drives, the indirect benefits are also great.  But why does an elderly person want to pay additional taxes for a public good they won't be able to fully enjoy?  That's what I mean, and anyone who thinks that the elderly aren't voting with exactly that kind of thing in mind isn't paying attention.

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