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Boomer Dad explains why America is experiencing labor issues and hits the nail on the head

A retired teacher says the U.S. education system stifles thinking and aids corporate interests.

Boomer Dad explains why America is experiencing labor issues and hits the nail on the head
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Senior man and adult daughter caring for plants in the garden - stock photo

Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 29, 2021. It has since been updated.


Millennials and Gen Z often feel disconnected from the boomer generation, who they perceive as condescending and dismissive, labeling them as lazy. Unlike boomers who benefited from fair wages and the American Dream, younger generations struggle to achieve the same. In a surprising twist, a boomer's child shared on Reddit their father's perspective on the worker shortage, which resonated with many young people. He detailed how America shifted in 1963, transferring wealth from workers to owners.


"My father, a 72 yr old retired school teacher [explained] the reason people don't stay at jobs for a long time anymore is because the only way they can get raises is to change companies," they wrote, before adding that workers were always rewarded for their contributions in those days. "When a company did well, that profit was shared with the employees. Today, 'the f*cking evil business owners' keep it all for themselves," they wrote, which probably explains the income inequality gap in the country. 


They went on to add that the U.S. education system hampered the progress of the country and limited the critical thinking ability of Americans. "The U.S. education system is designed to condition us to the bullshit work expectations that exist today (he says this started in 1963). The U.S. education system is inherently and intentionally racist," they wrote before adding, "I love my Dad."


Reddit was pleasantly surprised by his take and showered praise on him. "Seeing it was a boomer opinion in the title I clicked on this expecting to be annoyed. Your dad is refreshingly insightful and on point. Why don’t you grab the old man a coffee or a beer for me and tell him the internet gives him a thumbs up," one person wrote. Many boomers weighed in on the discussion and said they were given an unnecessary rap and added that many supported the younger generation. Another added, "Enlightened boomers are some of my favorite people. Old enough to have an awesome experience and smart enough not to buy the bullsh*t that was fed to them!"


The original poster went on to explain what changed. "The 1963 thing - this is kind of complex. In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik and the U.S. lost its shit. All of a sudden every American, politicians included, was convinced the Soviets had surpassed us in science and technology. The response was a swift and sizable Congressional budget increase for education," they wrote, adding that schools were given big budgets and there was intent to standardize curriculum. In 1963 when the time came for standardization of curriculum, it became narrow and prescribed. "It became less about creative thinking and problem solving and more about showing up and memorizing what you were told to memorize," they wrote.


"Essentially, school became about showing up, putting in your time, doing what you were told, and not asking questions. This, as you might imagine, produced the 'perfect' employee, so even though we can see the damage it's had on American education, it's a protected model because it benefits corporate America. So I guess it wasn't really 'designed' to benefit employers, but they realized almost instantly that it was great for business and encouraged the model even though it was eroding critical thinking skills in the U.S.," they noted.

They then concluded, "The real source of division, which is sh*tty, soulless corporations that are relying on decades of brainwashing to make us think that the issue is between generations and not between the corporate overlords and the hard-working people they exploit."

According to an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage would be more than $24 an hour if it had kept up with inflation and productivity, reported The Intercept. The federal wage now stands at a miserly $7.25, highlighting the loss of income to the younger generations. Being paid starvation wages has been a driving factor behind the 'great resignation' that has seen thousands of workers quit their jobs.

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