“Generation X” needs active baby boomers

The author

Tillmann Prüfer is a member of the editor-in-chief of “ZEIT” magazine.

Fortunately, I’m not a baby boomer, that’s the generation that is accused of everything bad. Because there are so many, they are eating up all the pension funds. In addition, according to a common allegation, they have spent their entire life in luxury and have consumed heavily – but not thinking about future generations. They supposedly took the whole economic boom with them, bought fast cars, yachts, cruise ships and nuclear power plants and thus made the planet unusable for future generations.

And instead of taking part in the clean-up work, they are now offended and complain to the younger ones. So that there is only a shrug of the shoulders “OK, Boomer” to say when someone from the generation thinks again that gender mainstreaming, climate protection, wearing masks and so on and so forth are all exaggerated and that above all personal freedom is to be protected should. Yet it was they who had taken up the cause of reinventing the world. Instead, so the allegation, they cling tenaciously to their seats in the Bundestag and in the administration.

I have now read in the “Welt am Sonntag” that this assumption is no longer true. The baby boomers weren’t even planning to hold out forever. According to a study by the Institute for Ergonomics at the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal, the majority are planning an early retirement. They do not cling to their jobs at all, but rather want to move to their country house in the Uckermark, if their financial circumstances permit. This means that the boomers may soon no longer be suitable as an enemy. They cut roses and leave Twitter to “Generation Z”, those who support the “Fridays for Future” movement and criticize pretty much everything that the baby boomers have left them with.

That can’t be right for people like me. Because then my generation, “Generation X” born in the seventies and eighties, would become the oldest active generation. So far we have been better known as the ones who invented grunge and techno, who spent the first half of life discovering themselves and then giving up the second half. So far, my generation has been the one that was not to blame because it was not responsible for anything either. It would be nice if it stayed that way. Our generation can’t take it nervously at all to be attacked. Could the baby boomers please turn off a few twittering, sprightly opinion retirees who will continue to attract displeasure for at least the next ten years? I would also be willing to give away some of the grass I grew on the balcony.

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