It’s understandable that no one wanted to give Ronald Reagan credit for rescuing the economy. He was affable, confident, handsome, and could communicate with people in everyday language; he didn’t have academic credentials and he was patriotic: Obviously he was an empty-headed dolt.
He didn’t do anything: The economy was due to recover anyway… Or it was thanks to inflation moderating… The price of oil plummeting…or something.
In accordance with our basic principle, the economy clearly received a big boost from the Boomers. This was exactly the time that they were pouring into the cities in droves from their collective bean sprout farms and self-actualization retreats. Gen 2.9ers began working in the professions they had trained for in the first place: Lawyers, suing the shit out of everybody else; doctors keeping patients alive until their bank accounts were drained; and technology entrepreneurs creating gadgets that became obsolete on the same day they hit the market.
They were making serious money and trading in their VW buses for Volvo station wagons.
IBM introduced the PC in August 1981, with prices starting at $1565. With the breakup of the AT&T monopoly in 1984, it was suddenly possible to buy something other than the three basic models—one of which was the Princess phone.
Supply-side economics also engendered a miraculous outcropping of Thai restaurants. It’s hard to imagine people living without Thai food. But up until that time, no one had seen or imagined a Thai restaurant—hence there was no demand. And yet they appeared, as if summoned specifically to dispel the lingering world-weariness from that beige cardigan. What better way to accomplish this than with four-star spicy Phad Thai, with prawns or chicken?
CD players made their appearance about this time, sad to say, replacing the deliciously lush vinyl sound with cold, overly analytical digital reproduction. But, for the economy’s sake, Boomers were replacing their scratched Joni Mitchell and Grateful Dead albums with brand new CDs—packaged in jewel boxes.
Thus, the Flower-power Abdication was more or less complete by that highly anticipated date, 1984.
And of course the press had a name for these former hippie sell-out creeps: YUMPIES. You heard right, Yumpies—not yuppies. YUMP was an acronym for Young, Upwardly Mobile Professionals, whereas YUP stands for Young, Urban Professionals.
WTF’s the difference?
Well, Yumpie is an awkward thing to say. You feel stupid saying it. Also, Yuppies rhymes better with Hippies and Yippies (the political wing of the hippies).
But the heart of the issue is this: “Upwardly mobile” signified career-obsessed singles who were not settling down into traditional relationships and starting families. They were having too much fun buying stuff. But then a funny thing happened. The Boomers started having kids. And they were living in cities. So they became Yuppies.
Q.E.D. the difference between Yumpie and Yuppie is…us. I swear this ‘pon my tats and piercings: We are the young dudes, the sons and daughters of Yuppies, the Children of the Third Millennium. The BIGGEST generation.