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Financial Ward of the Chinese

Generation X has a new name and it’s not pretty: Financial Ward of the Chinese. Ouch.

photo by kennymatic via flickr

Over the years, I’ve heard every possible less-than-glowing term used to describe Generation X. That is, until today, when I read an article by Dale McFeatters distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.


McFeatters reports on a variety of Gen X woes – Boomers who won’t retire and make way for promotions for Gen X; Gen Y nipping at our heels and a recession they keep telling us has ended, but come on, nobody really believes that. Then he says my generation is fast-becoming something that caused the pancakes in my stomach to turn into lava rocks: FINANCIAL WARDS of the CHINESE (thanks to two Baby Boomer presidents). That’s a new one for me.

(NOTE: 5.1.2016 Unfortunately, the Trentonian has killed the link to this article.)


I’m practically the fairy god sister of Generation X, flying around in my little tutu and waving my magic fairy dust wand, cheerleading the cause of my generation. Things will get better. It’s all about the journey. Remember, be anxious for nothing. Right? Ugh…


I can’t believe I’m an American, born in 1967, and someone has just said I’m fast becoming a financial ward of the Chinese. And, the worst part about it, McFeatters is right.


If this doesn’t bother you, you’re probably one of those Xers who’s glad to just be getting 77 cents on the social security dollar. It’s more than you ever expected you’d get — and you’re grateful.


Tomorrow will be a better day.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. jenX

    @MYGENX – I will check into that book.

    @ANDI – It’s all so disconcerting!

  2. Andi

    I totally agree with SOMETHING HAPPENED SOMEWHERE, I think someday the Chinese are going to call in their marker. Our government is in a very precarious position right now, can’t piss them off too much, they can close off all their manufacturing to us – and what would 80% of the U.S. companies do then to make their product. I love the line about wanting to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and kicking butt – I can just picture you!

  3. mygenx

    Yes, we were used to having the rest of the world be our wards. It was in the back of my head when I was in Italy recently and was spending Euros and knowing that each one I spent was worth a $1.50.

    Also, Pearl S. Buck is a good author regarding China–“The Good Earth”.

  4. jenX

    @WEK – You know I’m your favorite blogger. hahahahaha!!! Hey, Wek. The best is yet to be. =)

  5. jenX

    @DADDY FOREVER – I had not heard that! We’ve done this to ourselves. We’ve fattened ourselves up on their slave labor, and honestly – that makes me sick – but I’m guilty! I buy the cheap stuff – my Christmas tree is loaded with hand-feathered birds MADE in CHINA. I’ve prayed for the hands that made these birds, but I wonder if it’s just to clear my own conscience.

  6. jenX

    @SOMETHING HAPPENED SOMEWHERE – Yes this is what I was thinking in my comment to Yogi. My children have no idea how much the Chinese have impacted our financial markets – how different things are NOW because of the Chinese. Our schools are so bent on teaching math and science to keep up with the CHinese. They need to be teaching history – recent history – so our kids know where they and everyone else came and come from and who exactly they’re dealing with. Frankly, communists, although I know many Chinese long for Democracy.

  7. jenX

    @MYGENX – I love the word RANCOROUS! Yes, it is. I’m serious. For two hours I stared out the window and then started googling Chinese + Good Luck. I must say, I do love many things about the Chinese and their culture. I’m a huge fan of Chinese American literature – Amy Tan, Elizabeth Kim. But, I don’t want to be a financial ward of a still-Communist nation.

    @YOGI – You’re right about Baby Boomers contributing so much to the tax base. Those dollars are so critical to the economy. I appreciate your logic about the financial ward stuff. Actually, you’ve made me thing that the Chinese have really just furthered our consumption habits. Gen X can buy stuff so much cheaper now than they could 25 years ago. For example, when I was in college, I paid $12 for a blue wood carved elephant necklace. I can best it and pay only $1 now for it as a local store. All that stuff is made in China. My daughter has no idea how expensive all these things were. So, maybe we aren’t financial wards as much as we are just simply fattened up by their cheap labor. On some level, I must reconcile this with my faith, and that is not easy.

  8. jenX

    @DAVE – Great comment. I missed it earlier! =/ I agree – it won’t just be Gen X. I think it’s interesting that Gen X is out there via McFeatters boldly calling themselves out in this way. It’s that nihilism that often prevents denial, I guess. I always want to believe our day in the sun is continuing – just more people joining us now as Democracy spread. It is very exciting how flat the world has become, and also disconcerting at the same time, though I can’t put a finger on why!

  9. Wek

    Haha! Thanks for bringing up those Xsters that for some reason believe we’ll have social security waiting for us. Gawd I hate optimists.

  10. Yogi♪♪♪

    Jen, sorry my earlier comment was ambiguous. I mean what happens when China doesn’t really want us to be their wards?

    Seriously, I don’t worry about too much. Its just recycling dollars.

    They didn’t take money away from us. They gave us money. Presumably we spent it well because the killer is the interest payments.

    What is wrong with foreign companies investing their dollars in the USA? Gives them a stake in our future is the way I look at it.

    So, I am not depressed about it at all.

    What I’m worried about is the Gen Xers not picking up the slack tax wise. I’m going be retiring in about a dozen years or so and I need you guys to keep Medicare afloat.

  11. Something Happened Somewhere Turning

    I loved the post because people need to hear this stuff. I can’t believe how many people are ignorant of what is happening in the world.
    The thing that scares me the most is that one day the Chinese are going to call in their marker and we will all be in big trouble.
    The younger people don’t understand what’s happening in the world because this is just the way it’s always been as far as they know. And they would be right. I fear for my children as well. Sadly enough the children don’t get it because that is the way they were raised. Ignorance is not bliss.

  12. Daddy Forever

    I was shocked too when I heard Obama couldn’t criticize the Chinese too harshly when he was in China because they’ve become America’s bankers. How did that happen?

  13. Territory Mom

    I hear ya, sister!

  14. jenX

    @YOGI – so are you saying that we are their ward or we are theirs? I read it to mean that we are their wards – as in they have power over us. Blehhhhhhhh. =….(

    @ROB – I hope you’re right. Funny and smart comment if you are!! =)

    @LOREN – It is depressing! Thank U about the masthead. I’ve put some mistletoe over God. =)

    @SOMETHING HAPPENED – I did try to find some humor in it. Man, i hope my kids are going to be OK…

  15. mygenx

    What a rancorous label! But, we all know it, right? It’s no surprise. But we can do without another negative label. Our Generation has enough of them already; some of them rightly earned and many of them inherited. Yes, we are heirs of a debtor nation and all we can do is do our personal best in our lives and our work and hope it makes a difference for us and our children.

  16. Something Happened Somewhere Turning


    Hear, hear!

  17. Loren Christie

    Oh, wow. That’s depressing…but I do love your new blog masthead.

  18. Dave Sohigian

    I went to China in February to visit my brother who is an expat in Beijing. I have to say that it won’t only be Gen X that are wards of the Chinese in the future – it will likely be the entire country. Perhaps it is just my Gen X nihilism coming out, but I don’t really mind it all that much. We had our chance in the sun as a nation, and we may yet still accomplish great things. But we won’t ever have the world domination we did in the mid 1900’s. And that is probably not such a bad thing considering how we squandered that power.

    Keep up the great blogging. Sorry I have not been around the comments much lately – crazy busy here until the end of the year.


  19. Yogi♪♪♪

    Hey, got news for you Jen. We are all financial wards of the Chinese.

    You think that’s bad? Think what is going to happen if they don’t want to be wards any more.

  20. Anonymous

    What an ignorant jackass. Saying that we are financial wards of the Chinese would mean that the (cry) baby boomers where financial wards of the Arabs, Japanese and Germans, all of which at one point in time where considered the USA’s financial nemeses. According to this person’s reasoning we are all financial wards of Wal-Mart. Rob


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