1/05/2015

Confusing Signs

A recent ATTN.COM article shrieked, “The State of Millennials' Finances Says a Lot about Our Economic Recovery.” The article ticked off the scary signs of a failed economic recovery:

  • Low trust, lower savings.
  • Higher education means higher costs
  • More education, fewer jobs...?
  • Underemployed and undereducated?
  • Decreased buying power

It’s pretty clear that several of these complaints are contradictory. Lower savings means decreased buying power. Which is it? Higher education or undereducated? After a thousand words of whining about how badly the poor Milennials are being treated by reality, the article admits, “Despite hardships, Millennials remain uniquely optimistic about the future. But at the same time, data shows they are relatively unattached to political organizations. Last month, almost 80% of young voters sat out on the midterm elections.” Finally, this last bit isn’t confusing at all. Two clear characteristics about Millennials are clear: they are lazy and they are entitled.

Before you get your panties in a wad and whine “we’re not all lazy,” I know. Nothing of anything is all anything. However, it’s also true that 90% of everything is shit. The shit the Millennials represent is specially sorry. In my opinion, nobody has ever been braver, more on-target, or more politically creative than the Occupy Wall Street kids. I would put their energy and dedication against any generation’s social protest movement from the 1900’s labor movement to the Vietnam protests to the civil rights movement. Occupy is heroic and very Millennial. The other 99% of that generation can’t be bothered to crawl out of their parent’s basement for breakfast.

In conversations with several realtors regarding selling our 1.4 acre, 1900 square foot home, we have been given the same message repeatedly, “Young buyers are lazy. They do not see the potential in anything that will require them to do work. Fix everything, replace everything that needs replacing, paint everything, and sterilize the place.” When I asked how that would play out with the 1.4 acres of yard that needs at least 3-4 hours of work every week to stay reasonably under control, they all said, “That’s in the fantasy zone. They will imagine themselves able to take care of a park because it fits their delusional fantasies. Just make it look neat and don’t talk about the work required to do that.”

In a moment of despair a friend commenting on her kids’ inability to drag themselves out of their parents’ home and begin their own lives, she said, “They want to start off where we ended up.” I’ve seen a lot of that, too. I taught at a technical college for 12 years and the resistance to learning core skills was impressive. How these spoiled, lazy children expected to make a living in an industry (music) that was not only in severe economic decline but that has always been highly competitive completely evaded me. As expected, most of the school’s graduates ended up in completely non-music related businesses doing the sort of tasks they could have been doing without any education at all.

Supposedly “youth unemployment is stuck at 17.7%.” I wish I could say I am surprised or that I believe the economy is at fault for this sad state of affairs. However, the fact is that I wouldn’t hire many of the people I had in my classes for menial labor, let alone the skilled labor they pretended to be training for. The fact that Congress is working hard against the best interests of that group of citizens (and the rest of the 99%) is in large part the fault of this huge non-voting block. The 18-40 managed to drag themselves off of mommy’s couch to elect Obama in 2008 and to a massively lesser extent in 2012, but they failed in their responsibilities in both the 2010 and 2014 elections and have no grounds from which to complain when the Republicans trash their future by overriding Obama’s vetoes in the next two years. This bunch of coddled kiddies want to blame Boomers for their problems, but they’re going to find that when the Boomers are gone their own kids will shift that blame to their own parents who are going to do what they’ve always done; whine and screw off.

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