Good article in Esquire magazine that details how our generation is crippled by Social Security, cuts to education and debt. Gotta love paying for Social Security I’ll never see!
Many claim that the young deserve their fate: They’re entitled, they have too many choices. They don’t know what they want. They’re getting themselves into debt. They don’t know how good they have it.
These criticisms are convenient, but also demonstrably incorrect. Defining generations by cultural attributes or values, almost always done with unrepentant shallowness, is the stupidest thing that commentators do. However, a recent study from the National Center for Education Statistics comparing high school seniors in 2004 (who are in their mid-twenties today) with high school seniors in 1972 (now in their late fifties) is useful and practical.
The breakdown is rather stark: Two thirds of the Boomers thought “being able to give their children better opportunities” was important; 8 percent wanted to live close to their parents; 18 percent believed that making money mattered; 27 percent cared about social problems. The students in 2004: 83 percent claimed that the opportunities of their children were very important; 25 percent wanted to live close to their parents; 35 percent were serious about making money; and 20 percent cared about social problems.
Compared with their parents, high school kids who graduated from college into the teeth of the recession are a Republican fantasy. They want a good job in order to raise a family, and it’s exactly that arrangement that is going to be denied them. The deal they were promised, that if you work hard and make smart choices you will have a good life, is not working out. A Great Disappointment will no doubt follow.