Obama And Foreign Policy, Checking In On Congress, Millennials Outnumbering Boomers

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Thanks in part to immigration, millennials will soon outnumber baby boomers. We look at how this generational shift will affect society. We also review what’s happening in Congress, and discuss President Obama’s remarks on foreign policy from last night’s State of the Union speech.

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  • Millennials On Verge Of Outnumbering Baby Boomers

    The country is on the verge of a demographic milestone: According to the Pew Research Center, members of the millennial generation will likely outnumber baby boomers by the end of the year.

    The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the millennial population in the U.S. was 74.8 million in 2014. By 2015, millennials — anyone born between the years 1981 and 1997 — will increase in size to 75.3 million and become the biggest group. By mid-century, the baby boomer population — defined as those who were born between 1946 to 1964 — will dwindle to 16.6 million.

    This generational transition could have significant implication for society, according to Jeffrey Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University and author of the book, “Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties.”

    “I think you could at least say that (millennials’) numbers will give them power in American society as a voting block,” Arnett said. “As they become older and become a central part of the electorate, that could be reflected in voting patterns.”

    While many of their life stories have yet to be written, Arnett said millennials are considerably more liberal than their parents or grandparents on issues of race relations, sexual orientation and religious beliefs. Moreover, millennials are more likely to have friends from different ethnic groups.

    “All those distinctive features will be more and more part of American society as millennials move into adulthood,” Arnett said.

    Life between the ages of 18 to 29 is considerably different between the two generations. Baby boomers settled into adulthood much quicker — they got married, had children and entered the workforce at an earlier age. In contrast, millennials largely use their 20s as emerging adulthood. The shift has led to what Arnett calls “generational antagonism.”

    “Because emerging adults are making these transitions to adult stable life later than they did, baby boomers think there’s something defective about today’s young people,” Arnett said. “But, there’s really not. It makes sense to wait now until you’re close to 30 to make those transitions because you need to devote your 20s to getting an education and getting a stable place in the labor market.”

  • A Look At President Obama's State Of The Union Comments On Foreign Policy

    Much of President Obama’s sixth State of the Union address focused on the economy and domestic issues, but he did address foreign policy – both his agenda items, and America’s successes. But a columnist says the president doesn’t have too much to celebrate on the foreign policy front, thanks in part to a worsening global situation and a lack of support for the conflict in Syria.

  • This Week In Congress – January 21, 2015

    USA Today Politics and Congress Editor Paul Singer joins Central Time for his weekly update on happenings in Congress.

  • Millennials Soon To Outnumber Baby Boomers

    According to new research, millennials will outnumber baby boomers in the near future–so what will that mean for American society and workplaces? A guest psychologist looks at the passing of the torch.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Rob Ferrett Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Jeffrey Arnett Guest
  • Frida Ghitis Guest
  • Paul Singer Guest

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