Baby Boomers entered the workforce during one of the greatest economic miracles in modern history: U.S. real GDP per capita decreased only two years between 1950 and 1970, and the resulting bounty was distributed rather equitably. We, meanwhile, have borne the brunt of the largest economic disaster since the Great Depression and watched middle-class real wages stagnate throughout our lives.
These class differences have predictably resulted in conflict. The older set has taken to newspapers, radio and print books to denounce their underemployed descendants as narcissistic, lazy and clueless: a “Generation Me” uninterested in hard work. We have responded from our own turf, in our own language, with a new Internet meme. Here are seven popular examples of the striking ways that our parents, or grandparents for some, just don’t get what we go through.