Published July 28, 2007
How big is your piece of the pie?
After ten years of a boom and on the eve of a downturn, Irish society has been turned on its head by a Generation War. The clear winners have been the middle-aged Jagger Generation. They have been enormously enriched by the property boom, creating a new class of Accidental Millionaires. The younger generation – the cash-strapped Jugglers – will be badly exposed as the credit wave recedes.
The Bono Boomers, wedged between the winners and losers, are not about to grow up just because the economy turns down. They’ve too many important dates to keep, like ‘designer camping’ at the Electric Picnic. The Bono Boomers are Ireland’s first ‘permalescents’ – a permanently adolescent generation, too young to be old, too old to be hip.
When the Botox Economy is laid bare and the financial filler of others people’s money becomes evident, this Generation Game will play itself out as the Jaggers, Jugglers and Bono Boomers struggle to maintain their slice of a diminished pie.
However, the slow-down gives us the opportunity to take stock. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Taking a trip around the globe from Shanghai to New York, from Latin America to Central Europe, we can learn from history and appreciate that Ireland has a unique economic resource: our Global Tribe. If we exploit the demographic potential of the Diaspora, we can re-invigorate the nation.
The twenty-first century gives us the opportunity to see the island of Ireland as the cradle of a global nation which extends worldwide and is gelled together by the shared experience of the Tribe.
The prosperity of future Irish generations is based on harnessing the collective power of past generations. This is the global Generation Game.
Extracts Available Online:
The Generation Game TV Series Online:
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