Growing up on MTV, video games and microwave dinners, our Generation X'ers have become far more fiscally conservative than past generations.
Born between 1966 and 1982, our group witnessed our baby boomer parents sell out their "make love, not war" ideologies for BMW's, stock portfolios and kitchen extensions.
As we grew up, we experienced our parents' "acquisition phase" -- the pursuit of better houses, better cars and better TVs as their "nest egg" grew. It was all so natural and inevitable. There was a faith in current and future earnings. The motto was buy a house now that you can afford in three years. Our parents had "made it," and we thought our lives would be the same.
As children and teens, we basked in a "supreme" USA. President Reagan proclaimed, "It's morning in America again," and said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" marking the beginning of the Cold War's end. Under the leadership of presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush and Clinton, we could move forward with confidence in our future knowing that were no strategic threats from without or economic woes from within.
Since 9/11, it's been downhill -- Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently the economic meltdown. Our feeling of comfort and security has morphed into angst and vulnerability. Just as our careers were on the upswing and we were entering our own "acquisition phase," we were hit with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression: a credit crunch, out-of-control budget deficits, a crippled housing market, weakening dollar and sharply rising unemployment.