So if we had won (or never started) the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement had failed (blacks were kept in their place so as to never think of becoming President), JFK hadn’t been killed, and so on that caused wholesale distrust in government and institutions that had failed the people they were supposed to serve, hippies would never have existed to become yuppies and we would all be basking in the glow of vast government surpluses right now. Time to fire up the time machine, Alice…

A new film is gaining traction among tea-party followers for suggesting that the collapse of the US financial system has roots dating back 40 years to the Summer of Love.

“Generation Zero,” a film set to premiere in March, examines what producer David Bossie says is a “historic perspective on a generational change” that led to the September 2008 bank collapse.

Bossie says generational narcissism, as represented by the 1969 Woodstock Festival, is responsible for the excessive spending, mortgage crisis, and recklessness on Wall Street.

“The people who were at Woodstock turned into the yuppies of the ’80s and the junk bond traders of the ’90s and the Wall Street executives of the 2000s,” he says. “They went from Woodstock to driving a Jaguar.”

  1. brm says:

    So over the holidays I’m sitting with my parents, who were teenagers in the early 70s, and they’re talking about various siblings’ and cousins’ selfish, narcissistic and borderline sociopathic behavior.

    At one point my mom goes, “well, that’s typical for their generation – people born in the 50s.”

    My dad casually agreed with this, even though I never heard either of them say this before. They acted like it was obvious common knowledge.

  2. Dallas says:

    The Tea Baggers are looking for a Jim Jones like figure. Nobody has stepped forward other than entertainers Palin and Beck.

  3. MattG says:

    Deep down I new that somehow hippies had to be to blame in some way. How does Steve respond?

  4. amodedoma says:

    Greed and ambition, and a government without enough checks and balances to keep them under control.
    Now that the ethics committee have declared it legal for congressmen to accept campaign contributions in exchange for government contracts, corporations can contribute as much as they want to campaign adverts, and Fannie Mae’s gonna get bailed out again. It should be clear to even the biggest moran, that the government is owned and anybody who’s not filthy rich is soon to be dirt poor.

  5. duh says:

    but what caused the kids to become hippies in the first place…

  6. Somebody_Else says:

    Boomer generation politicians reek of incompetence and narcissism at both the liberal and conservative ends of the spectrum. I don’t know how you could pin it on the hippies alone.

  7. electrohead says:

    Wow that’s a relief. I thought it was because I did a stated income on my adjustable mortgage.

  8. Actually, here in California, Enron was one of the biggest factors behind our financial mess. Just ask Ken Lay. Oh that’s right, you can’t, because he’s one of those guys who died way before his time because of a “heart attack.” Enron was pretty much California’s 9/11 if you ask me.

  9. qb says:

    Yup, all those guys who dropped acid at Woodstock are now the presidents of investment banks.

    Losers look for someone to blame 40 years ago. This is where you’re at right now, do something about it.

  10. chris says:

    There have been tons of previous financial calamities in history. Using demographics to predict economic activity is legitimate. Blaming the culture wars is just stupid.

  11. jcj7161 says:

    Wow…is anyone filtering these posts with the BS meter?

  12. GTF400 says:

    Interesting blog you’ve got here, Uncle Dave. To understand the arguments put forth by the “Generation Zero” documentary, it is crucial to distinguish between the actual Baby Boom Generation (born 1942-1954) vs. Generation Jones (1954-1965). GenJones was originally lumped in with the Boomers, but is now generally seen by experts as a separate generation. Understanding the differences between these two generations is central to comprehending this documentary.

    The post-WWII demographic boom in births is one thing, the cultural generations born during that era is another. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978
    Generation Y/Millennials: 1979-1993

    Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:

  13. bobbo, libertarianism fails when it becomes dogma says:

    Well, you know . . . . the hardest trick of the atheistic communist horde is to make us believe in hippies.

    The commies!!!

    I hate them, I hate them, I hate them! (Copyright Monty Python)

  14. chuck says:

    So when will FEMA set up the death camps?

  15. Cursor_ says:

    Woodstock had nothing to do with the excesses of the baby boomers. The whole nation did not attend Woodstock so it is specious to even imply such a thing.

    The baby boomers were created by their parents. The same parents that went through the Great Depression, fought fascism and basically had a conservative and fundamental religious look on life.

    They saw the adverse conditions of the depression and the horrors of the war and they wanted a better life for their kids.

    So they moved them from crowded stinking cities to the suburbs, gave them whatever they pretty much wanted and crammed them with the best of everything they could cabbage onto.

    This was truly the first generation of the US that had the chances that past ones never had. There was more mobility than ever before, more people had more disposable income, more people had access to food and medicine than ever before. We have to remind ourselves that previous, even during the roaring 20s that the US still had shortages of basic living materials and poor conditions for the majority of the population.

    Now if you were not Caucasian, this was not the case. But for the white baby boomers, it was a fat time. They got spoiled. They started to feel entitled. And they took that entitlement farther and farther with each decade.

    Now we have the majority of the nation bred on entitlement, believing they are the greatest nation on earth and lacking in prudence and humility.

    It was not the 60s that did that. It was their upbringing. Self-indulgent and filled with vanity.

    Now they are old and still demand the best cars, homes, plastic surgery, pill popping so they won’t seem old like their parents. Still trying to remain petty, spoiled little children.

    The best thing will happen when these sycophant whiners finally depart from the world. Then the population will drop, resources will be freed up and we won’t have to watch 5 minutes of news wedged between incontinence products and ED pills!

    Now THAT is an attractive idea of baby boomers wetting themselves and having boners.


  16. Rick Cain says:

    Well as we all know, all the 60’s hippies grew up into corporate executives.

    None of the strait laced conservatives in the 60’s grew up to be corporate executives…

  17. Dr Dodd says:

    The 60’s counter-culture runs today’s government and much of Wall Street. This certainly explains the turmoil in both arenas. It also means that if you want to rebel against the man you must be a conservative.

    Funny how the pendulum swings.

  18. Uncle Dave says:

    #12: Do I really have to put sarcasm tags around commentary for those members of the ‘literal Internet’ (as Molly Wood calls them) who are incapable of recognizing it?

    #13: Have to say I had to look it up. Never heard of that expression. Since I was born in ’54, I guess that explains why I don’t fall into either group.

  19. Jägermeister says:

    Logic for simpletons.

  20. honeyman says:

    How does attending a peace, love and music festival make you a narcissist? I have often joked around about hippy boomers selling out and making fortunes (right, Dave? :D), but to blame economic collapse on woodstock narcissists is just unadulterated bollocks. This is just another tenuous dig at liberals by intellectually bereft conservatives.

  21. chris says:

    Well there was a “wonder of me” thread in mid-60’s to mid-70’s coming of age crowd. That is a true thing.

    Giving the top .5% all of the benefits in the economy is also a great way to crash the economy.

  22. noname says:

    # 4 Eric,

    “So the Reagan revolution was due to people who attended Woodstock?”

    No silly, the Reagan revolution was due to Alzheimers!

    What other American revolution do you know of the that country is way worse off 30ys later?

  23. Mr Ed says:

    The true mark of the teabaggers is simple ignorance, selfishness and racism.
    Teabaggers are simply the Klan in better clothes.

  24. JimD says:

    No, the Great American Collapse started with Reagan, De-Regulation, Reaganomics, The Chicago School – Milton Friedman, Tax Cuts for the Rich (remember in the “Glorious 50’s the top tax bracket was 91% – that’s what Elvis paid !), and the GREED IS GOOD 80’s, the “Rust Belt” attack on manufacturing and labor, outsourcing, etc, etc, etc !!! And of course the Republicans WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR DESTRUCTION OF THE ONCE-GREAT COUNTRY !!!

    Lady Liberty Weeps !!!

  25. Michael_GR says:

    So… let’s see… it’s the Hippie culture’s fault that people who once supported hippie values turned completely against them, became capitalists and ruined our economy… rrrriiiight…

  26. Angel H. Wong says:

    Typical Conservative attitude: They Blamed Obama for the economical mess even before he got elected, then blamed the Clinton Administration, THEN blamed the Carter Administration and now the Hippies.

    All the while pretending that George W. Bush’s, George H. Bush’s and Reagan’s terms never happened/everything then was nothing but unicorns and rainbows.

  27. Glenn E. says:

    Actually, I think they got this only half right. It was the kids, who’s families could afford to set them up in Ivy League colleges, to escape the Vietnam War draft (like Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush). Who ended up becoming the unscrupulous grads put in charge of so many things that got fouled up. You name it, finance, health care, etc.

    I’m not against anyone for avoiding the war, out of principle. But they should have done the honest thing, and declare themselves CO. Rather than hiding behind a college deferment. And getting a degree for something they just didn’t care about, in the process. Then becoming doctors, and lawyers, and such. With no more ethics, than a fly in the air. What happened after 1970s, was we had a glut of grads with hardly any moral standard, for the careers they basically fell into. So they either did a lousy job of it. And/or did everything they could to cover up the fact that they had no talent for the job.

    Don’t blame just the Woodstock hippies.

  28. tomdennis says:

    How did I get into this?

  29. god says:

    Nothing new about right-wing rednecks being afraid of rock’n roll. Just another Republikan making money off his native audience.

  30. Mike D says:

    I’ve always thought that a major factor in the creation of hippie nation was air raid drills and nuclear bomb shelters. Force a generation to spend their grade school years periodically hiding under their desks at school contemplating global nuclear warfare and you’ll create a paranoid bunch of anti-war demonstrators looking to save the earth from insanely greedy Masters of War.
    I was a hippie, born in ’52 – now I’m a wage slave supporting the banks and war mongers by paying my taxes.
    So, Woodstock caused the financial meltdown and Glenn Beck is the 2nd coming of Christ.
    Now that that’s settled, can we get back to watching sports and drinking booze?


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