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The decade from 2020 to 2030: Welcome to the World Afterwards… the babyboomers! by Franck Biancheri

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What will the world after the babyboomers look like? Or, more exactly, Europe after the babyboomers? This is the main anticipation work of this 3rd edition of MAP. And the subject’s worth it because, on the one hand, we’re seeing throughout Europe the growing expression of the younger generation’s frustration (the “Indignant” is the particularly obvious expression for them) against the frenzied selfishness of a generation that refuses to consider that it hasn’t “deserved” all the collective benefits and privileges from which it benefits, of which many are political “income” without ever having been there other than to play at being post-pubescent rebels during May 1968 [1].

It seems that this generation’s intellectual inertia and political weight will still weigh on European collective choices for a long time, as has been the case for at least a decade, favouring the past, the present and the future, preferring to sacrifice education rather than have a collective re-examination of the pension system, considered to be dues for lifestyles that can’t be maintained save at the expense of future generations’ income, always speaking as “leftists” before finally voting in favor of the safety speech [2], … And this feeling of crushing weight, of a “generational cork” blocking any move towards a different future, thought of by the younger generations and not dictated by old men in the making, contributes to demoralize Europe’s youth [3] which, a much smaller generational group , impoverished, often less well educated, … asks how to make its voice, its aspirations, and its choices heard.

And then, political anticipation and some of the work in this MAP 3 can bring good news: there really is a world after the babyboomers, and the 2020-2030 decade will be the one that sees it hatched. Demographically, financially [4], … and therefore politically, it is in fact from the end of this decade that the inter-generational balance of power will change. Let’s not forget that the representatives of the “baby boom tail”, those who were 20 years old beginning in the second half of the 70s, are very close to the next generation [5].

So, hope is on the street corner… and not at the end of a long tunnel !

And this exit from the intellectual and sociological crust of the 60s and 70s, the years of the babyboomers education, is now readying itself. First by recognizing that it is closer than one might have thought, and then starting to think about and prepare for the sequel. History always yields the transition to generations who share common aspirations relatively easily. The babyboomers generation is, moreover, a good example.

The 20 year old student in 2011 should know that in Europe, by the time he’s finished his studies, society will be in full political and demographic transition. This means, in very clear practical terms, that he must now turn his present frustration, and in the face of a society that only seems interested in the elderly, into creative thought about what kind of society he wants for the next decade.

But be careful, the sense of history is, above all, a somewhat black sense of humor. Also, when it presents an opportunity for change, it’s also for better or for worse. The end of the babyboomers dominant influence will be like the popping of a champagne cork: the changes will suddenly flow like water. It’s only by anticipating thoughts and actions that it will be possible to prevent the worst and encourage the best. Each generation is normally faced with a similar choice. But in Europe, in the West, for almost a generation this opportunity has been confiscated by the simple mechanical effect of the unprecedented demographic weight of the generations born after 1945.

So, this MAP3’s anticipation work is a first signal to today’s youth: start to think seriously about the world after the babyboomers … because you’re going to have to build it faster than you could ever imagine today !

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[1] Two points on this subject: . this view is, of course, is only applicable to the Anglo-Saxon world and Western Europe excluding Greece, Spain and Portugal. These latter countries (like Eastern Europe) had, in fact, to face real dictatorships, which shaped the generations involved from 1945 to 1960 very differently, the heart of the baby boom. . and it also includes the “anti-68ers”, like Nicolas Sarkozy, the current French President, who have remained just as politically immature as their alter-egos of the barricades.

[2] A joint in the evening and a vote for security in the morning.

[3] And the United States and Japan as well.

[4] The major real estate shock in 2015, resulting in an almost 50% average drop in Western residential property prices (see GEAB n°56), together with all the financial consequences of the global crisis, will in fact brutally cure the serious inter-generational wealth imbalances which characterize the West today.

[5] Mass unemployment, with its individual and collective stories, is here already.

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