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June, 2009:

Boomers’ entrepreneurial spirit may lead us out of recession

According to the study “The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom” put out by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in June 2009, boomers between the ages of 55-64 founded more businesses than their younger counterparts. In this day and age, we think of those young techies that started Facebook, MySpace, etc and expect that they will continue to fuel our economic recovery. However, as BusinessWeek summarizes, the entrepreneurial spirit of baby boomers may be critical to our economic recovery. As a baby boomer, I know that I have started a few businesses in the last few years. Most recently, I have started a canine massage business. I wonder how many of the boomers who have lost their job over the last few years have started their own business versus the younger generations? How many of you have considered starting your own business?

Boomer commencement speakers apologize

I was reading the Wall Street Journal last night, June 11 when I saw the story about boomer commencement speakers, Thomas Friedman, Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Senator Michael Bennett apologizing to college graduates for how they perceived boomers have handled our government and society. They are apologizing for the mess that has been handed to the generations that have come after us. Adult children and their children are living with their parents (the boomers). The financial mess was headed by boomer executives. We have used as much oil, water, and other valuable resources without concern for their availability to our grandchildren and their children. But, as the article states, “is an apology enough?” Should we be trying to instill in the generations following us the same idealism that we grew up with? Should we be trying to get people fired up enough to protest and challenge authority as we planned on doing? Are we the only ones at fault? What about all the 30 and 40 somethings that have made money off of the ideas of boomers? Do they have some responsibility? What we need now is not a look back but an understanding that “it does take a village to raise our children and maintain a civil, less consumption oriented society.”