Baby Boomers are a gloomy lot

The oldest Baby Boomers turn 65 on Jan. 1. Then, each day of 2011 and for the next 19 years, 10,000 more will turn 65.

The 79 million Boomers make up 26 percent of the country's population. Ours were always the biggest classes in school because of the post-World War II boom in, well, babies.

The researchers at the Pew Research Center report we are a pessimistic lot. They’ve strung together a series of surveys taken in recent years to prove this point.

For example, 80 percent of Boomers say the country is going in the wrong direction. This compares to 60 percent of those 18 to 29 who think so. Of those already over 65, 76 percent are dissatisfied with the country’s path.

Another survey in the spring found 34 percent of Boomers think their children will not be as well off as they have been. Of non-Boomers, only 21 thought this.

Even after suffering through those insufferable ’60s with long hair, bell bottoms and pot smoke, Boomers “feel” younger than they actually are. Pew tells us the typical Boomer feels 9 years younger than his or her actual age.

As for that gloominess, maybe we are just more attuned to reality, because the country is losing ground.

The most recent Pew survey reports, “The public is especially bearish about the federal budget deficit, the cost of living, the financial condition of Social Security and the availability of good-paying jobs. At least six-in-ten say the country is losing ground in each of these areas.”

Here is a look at how pessimistic all age groups are:


And things are not likely to get better soon: