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GI Generation (now 109-86 years old) noted as confident, rational problem solvers who know how to get things done. They were the original boys and girl scouts, victorious soldiers, builders, Trust government and authority. Federal attention has gone to whatever age bracket they are in – financially comfortable.

Silent Generation (now 85-68) became instruments of social change – civil rights and feminist leaders – in midlife after being cautious, unadventurous young people. They produced no Presidents but three decades of top aides. Tend to be sentimental, seeing every side of the issue, specializing in the world of human relationships rather than civic leadership. They are taking more risks as elders. Motivated by compassion, fairness.

Baby Boomers (now 67-50) are better philosophers than scientists, better preachers than builders. Concentrate on perfecting inner life, but as mid-lifers begin to impose their vision-political correctness. First generation to be targeted as consumers; 40% of them have cut back, simplified lifestyle. As they retire, they want significant, powerful volunteer positions.

Generation X (now 49-29) were under-protected by children, independent of parents, risk seeking, lacking connection to history and culture. Many sub-cultures exist among Gen Xers. Good at consumer awareness, pragmatic choice, quickness. Have few global hopes but high hopes for individual success despite social problems. Thirteen times more Gen Xers under poverty level than GI generation. Yearn for community – “sick for the home they never had” If they have children they want the children with them. Value competence, authenticity and the job itself.

Generation Y (now 28-10) have been born in a era concerned about education and child protection, and into the smallest families in US history. Most were born to parents who desperately wanted them; they are already saving more than they spend on junk food and entertainment. They are technologically adept and “wired.” Focus on community and nation rather than the world. Like to work with peers and value civic engagement

Based on Generations: the History of America’s Future 1584-2069, by William Strauss and Neil Howe.