A number of years ago, there was this quaint description of the conflict between adults and teens and young adults: The generation gap.
This phrase, which may win a prize for stating the obvious, described how different generations struggle with communications.
There is a new generation gap and it threatens to ignite a war between generations.
The gap can be found in many places, however the most apparent is the growing disparity between the workers who pay into Social Security and Medicare and those receiving benefits from the systems.
In the near future, there will be more people receiving benefits than there will be people paying into the system.
How long will it take for some genuine animosity to develop between generations?
It won’t stop there.
Thanks to the financial crisis, many workers are extending there working years rather than retire when they had planned.
This means fewer jobs for young people entering the job market because of older workers staying on the job longer.
“Can’t find a job – blame your grandfather,” may become the war cry of the young and frustrated.
“High taxes – blame your grandmother.”
“Polluted environment – blame the old people.”
What does this have to do with the stock market?
Problems are opportunities.
Look for companies and industries that provide products and services to the 72 million Baby Boomers retiring (or reaching retirement, but still working) over the next few decades.
There will also be opportunities in products and services that address the frustrations of the younger generation.
Entertainment will always be big with this age group, however job placement and guidance services will score big as competition for an inadequate number of openings becomes fierce.
A decent job for a young person may mean moving out of their parent’s home where they retreated after college because there were no decent jobs.
Meanwhile, young people will grow increasingly frustrated and vocal at a generation that is drawing more out of society than it is putting in.
When that anger boils over it will first appear as humor, then morph into undisguised anger.
A new term will join racist and sexist: generationist.