Obama's America

America in the Millennial Era

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By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

Senator Barack Obama’s success in the 2008 presidential campaign marks more than an historical turning point in American politics. It also signals the beginning of a new era for American society, one dominated by the attitudes and behaviors of the largest generation in American history.

Millennials, born between 1982 and 2003, now comprise almost one-third of the U.S. population and without their overwhelming support for his candidacy, Barack Obama would not have been able to win his party’s nomination, let alone been elected President of the United States. This new, “civic” generation is dramatically different than the boomers who have dominated our society since the 1960s and understanding this shift is critical to comprehending the changes that America will experience over the next forty years.  read more »

Obama’s Marketing Message

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By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

In less than two weeks, when Barack Obama’s lead in all the polls is likely to be confirmed in the voting booth by the American electorate, millions of words will be written about why he won and how John McCain managed to lose. Unfortunately, marketing executives and corporate leaders have ignored some of the most important lessons from the campaign.

Obama's success to date lies in his ability to blend his own persona as a messenger with a unifying and uplifting message that reaches the newest generation of Americans, Millennials, born between 1982 and 2003.  read more »

An Investment Agenda for the Millennial Era

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By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

Historians will mark 2008 as the year that started the fundamental political debate that will define America in the Millennial Era. This is not just because Millennials (young Americans born from 1982 to 2003) have propelled the candidacy of Barack Obama but also because their entire civic orientation is now permeating the policy debate crystallized by the nation’s unfolding “financial Pearl Harbor”.  read more »

Cities, Children and the Future

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

“Suburbs,” the great urbanist Jane Jacobs once wrote, “must be a difficult place to raise children.” Yet, as one historian notes, had Jacobs turned as much attention to suburbs as she did to her beloved Greenwich Village, she would have discovered that suburbs possessed their own considerable appeal, particularly for those with children.

Although some still hold onto the idea that suburbs are bad places to raise children, in virtually every region of the country, families with children are far more likely to live in suburbs than in cities.  read more »

Baby Boomers: A Millennial's Perspective

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The retiring of the vast sect of the population collectively known as Baby Boomers has several economic alarms going off. Due largely to this phenomena, by the year 2030, the number of people in the U.S. age 65 and above will double in size.  read more »

Bye, Bye Boomers, Not quite

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

They may be losing out politically to oldsters and youngins, as Morley Winograd and Michael Hais suggest, but Boomers will have a profound impact on our country’s demography and economics for decades to come.

In some ways this is as much a matter of numbers as anything. There are lots of Boomers and until the Millennials start entering their 30s in the middle of the next decade, they will retain a massive say in what kind of places and regions will thrive.  read more »

Bye Bye Boomers

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By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

The formal ratification of the outcome of the primary elections at the party’s national conventions marks more than just the beginning of a new era in American politics. It signals the demise of Boomer generation attitudes and beliefs as the dominant motif in American life.  read more »

Millennials: Key to Post-ethnic America?

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One of the most widely observed, yet least understood, attributes about the emerging Millennial generation is their ethnic and cultural heterogeneity. While they represent the most ethnically varied cohort in American history—far more than any previous U.S. generation—few social commentators actually agree on what this remarkable demographic detail really portends. Will Millennials usher in a new post-ethnic America—or simply reconfigure some different version of identity politics?  read more »

Millennial Values, Involvement, and Social Capital

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“American history carefully examined,” argued political scientist Robert Putnam in his notable book Bowling Alone, “is a story of ups and downs in civic engagement . . . a story of collapse and of renewal.” According to Putnam, the passage of the civic-minded World War II generation from American society has led to deterioration in social capital.  read more »

Home is Where the Wi-Fi is: Millennials and a Sense of Community

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The modern day forums for which people are able to express themselves and ‘stay connected’ include the much talked about websites Facebook, MySpace, Youtube, among many others. It seems like not a day goes by where there is not another article discussing the revolutionary merits these websites have on changing the socio-cultural landscape.  read more »