Boomers, Meet Cuspers


Looking for a marked-down home in a marked-down country? From CNN:

The real estate market is so awful that buyers are now scooping up homes for as little as $1,000.

There are 18 listings in Flint, Mich., for under $3,000, according to Realtor.com. There are 22 in Indianapolis, 46 in Cleveland and a whopping 709 in Detroit. All of these communities have been hit hard by foreclosures, and most of these homes are being sold by the lenders that repossessed them.

“Foreclosures have turned banks into property management companies,” said Heather Fernandez, a spokeswoman for Trulia.com, the real estate Web site. “And it’s often cheaper for them to give these homes away rather than try to get market value for them.”

So, give up lattes, mani-pedis, and Netflix for awhile, and buy a piece of the “greatest nation in the world.”

You know, growing up a dispossessed, poor black girl, sharecroppers’ fourth of sixth: Even I thought better of America than this. I thought my biggest problem was shoving my way in line. I never thought my kids would find no line at all.

Why am I bitter? Here’s why: After the much-vaunted “boomers,” it’s not ‘God bless America,’ a la Kate Smith.

It’s not, ‘God damn America,’ a la Jeremiah Wright.

It’s ‘God save America,’ a la every citizen living today and to come.

Perhaps that’s why this other CNN article spoke to me so loudly:

Rarely has there been a year when so many things went out of style in such a short time: not just investment bankers, gas-guzzling vehicles, corporate jets, conspicuous consumption and political polarization, but also a whole generation.

After strutting and tub-thumping and preening their way across the high ground of politics, media, culture and finance for 30 years, baby boomers have gone from top dogs to scapegoats in barely a year.

As baby boomers lose their authority and appeal, generational power is shifting one notch down: to cuspers (born roughly 1954-1965), who arrived in style in 2008 with their first truly major figure, Barack Obama (born 1961).

We ‘cuspers’ missed both the postwar baby boom and ‘flower power.’ But we do inherit the mess the ‘die before I’m 30 crowd’ engendered. We’ve been quiet too long.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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