Truth To Power wrote:That was a common model at the time, especially for union jobs.
It wasn’t just because of the strength of the unions (though that was part of it) - it was the post-War Keynesian consensus that the economy had to be deliberately run at full employment - anyone who wanted a job for life could have one. Needless to say, this distorted the labour market - the price mechanism (i.e., wages) could no longer operate to maintain an equilibrium between the demand for labour power and the supply of labour power, because there was no longer a ‘reserve army’ of unemployed. This produced an inflexible labour market in which wages tended to ratchet up and never down, and of course it strengthened the hand of the unions. The politicians who instituted this had come to maturity during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the trauma this had caused still haunted them. They were determined that this would never happen again.
The overwhelming majority -- almost 90% -- of Boomers graduated from high school. More than 1/4 hold bachelor's degrees. However, it is true that by the time the last of them graduated from high school in the early 80s, a high school education did not mean much in terms of intellectual preparation for adult responsibilities, and even university degrees were beginning to be devalued by the lowered bar to graduation.
Standards had to be lowered because the Baby Boomers were lazy. They dossed around at school, and then they dossed around at work. Because they could.
Again, that expectation was based on union job guarantees, especially in public employment.
Keynesianism was the main culprit, @wat0n. This is why supply-side monetarism was imposed in the USA and the UK from the 1980s onwards. Labour discipline had to be reimposed on the working class. The unproductive laziness of the Boomers was unsustainable, and their children and grandchildren had to pay the price.
The interesting thing is that the Boomers, who were so idealistic and keen on social justice in their youth, have become jaded, cynical and selfish seniors eager to consign younger generations to the treadmill that powers their privilege.
The Boomers were only ever idealistic if it wouldn’t cost them anything. Ask them to make sacrifices, and you’d get a blank stare in reply.
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Marx (Groucho)