If there's one book Warren Buffett is associated with, it's his mentor Benjamin Graham's, The Intelligent Investor.

But, there's another book that Buffett credits with giving him his earliest start in business, called One Thousand Ways to Make $1,000

First published in 1936, the book's language is quite dated (I dug it up and wrote about not long ago), but you can still imagine how a young Buffett took inspiration, reading the story of one up-from-nothing entrepenuer after another.

There's a short passage from it to share today, which comes after the author, Frances Minaker, describes the story of Gustavus Swift, who founded a meatpacking empire in the 1800s:

"How different from the average young men of today! They are usually more interested in having a good time than they are establishing themselves in a business of their own. ...

If these people ... worked half as hard at making money as they do at having a good time, they would be rich."

What I love about this is that the author is basically going off on the lazy, no-account kids of her day. Ultimately, of course, they'd grow up to defeat the Japanese and the Nazis and be nicknamed "The Greatest Generation."

Then, they'd go on to give birth to the Boomers.

And that in turn brings us to the current moment, which might actually be the first time that a younger generation gets to clap back at the Olds, at scale.

It comes to us courtsey of Tik Tok -- which, let's be honest, there's at least a 75 percent chance you're not even using. So, with the help most self-aware and ironic 40-something citation possible, let's go to the New York Times for an explanation of the viral video clip that started it all:

[A] white-haired man in a baseball cap and polo shirt declares, "The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don't ever want to grow up."

Thousands of teens have responded through remixed reaction videos and art projects with a simple phrase: "ok boomer."

"Ok boomer" has become Generation Z's endlessly repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don't get it, a rallying cry for millions of fed up kids.

Teenagers use it to reply to cringey YouTube videos, Donald Trump tweets, and basically any person over 30 who says something condescending about young people -- and the issues that matter to them.

There's a long long tradition of this kind of younger-generation bashing, of course. As a card-carrying member of Generation X, I remember being called a "slacker," for example -- before my generational peers did things like build the Internet, and bravely race into the World Trade Center on 9/11. 

So, it makes me happy to see that another, younger generation is getting revenge beyond just "living well."

Although, in fairness (and statistically), they might not actually see a higher standard of living compared to their to their forefathers--perhaps the first generation in a long time to suspect that's their fate.  

Published on: Oct 30, 2019
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