Mil­len­nials and Boomers are the lead char­ac­ters in the looming gen­er­a­tional show­down by dint of their vast num­bers and strategic loca­tion in the life cycle. But what gives the drama an almost Shake­spearean rich­ness is some­thing more: they’re also each other’s chil­dren and par­ents, bound together in an intri­cate web of love, sup­port, anx­iety, resent­ment, and inter­de­pen­dence. Every family, on some level, is a barter between the generations—I care for you when you’re young so you’ll care for me when I’m old. Every society needs to strike a sim­ilar inter­gen­er­a­tional com­pact, then rene­go­tiate the terms if the under­lying demo­graphics shift.

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