90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
A Lost Generation?

A rising generation of young Americans face tough times. We’ll look at the impact, and their way forward.

Employment among young adults between the ages of 16 to 29 was at its lowest levels since the end of World War II. Just 55 percent were employed, compared with 67 percent in 2000. (AP)

Employment among young adults between the ages of 16 to 29 was at its lowest levels since the end of World War II. Just 55 percent were employed, compared with 67 percent in 2000. (AP)

The jobless economy is not easy for anyone who’s looking for work. For America’s rising generation of the young, it can be particularly bewildering. Where do they put their first foot on the ladder? Where’s the ladder?

We’ve got several years of new grads now stacked up, looking for their way into an economic life. And while they wait, they’re getting tagged: lost generation, generation limbo.

This, the same Millenial generation that was called the most optimistic and determined ever. They’re still looking to shine.

This hour, On Point: America’s young and tough times.

-Tom Ashbrook


Andrew Sum, professor of economics and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

Patricia Snell Herzog, postdoctoral fellow in the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and co-author of Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood.

Matthew Segal, president and co-founder of OUR TIME a national non-profit advocacy group that speaks for people under 30.


Young people today have it rough. The recession has hit them particularly hard. They’re unemployed, or underemployed; they’re moving back home to their parents homes in greater numbers and they’re putting off marriage, childrearing, and home buying as they wait things to improve. All of this has led watchers to call it the “lost generation,” a characterization finds support in the data.

Andrew Sum, Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, said that past generations have been deeply effected by economic swings. “Over the past decade, the average young American family has seen their annual income fall by 20 percent,” Sum said. Adjusted for inflation, that means that the average young American family earns only as much as a similar family earned in 1959.

“It is not sustainable,” Sum said. “Young people have been left behind.”

That bleak economic picture has contributed to political non-participation by young people, further compounding a societal response to the problem. “People are so consumed by trying to get by, by trying to pay rent, by trying to pay off debt, by trying to pay for groceries that all of the sudden political engagement and civic participation feels like a luxury,” said Matthew Segal, who heads Our Time a non-profit that advocates for American under the age of 30.

“I often think of a little plane trying to get off the ground and constantly having to return to the runway to try to build up enough speed to take off,” said Patricia Snell Herzog, postdoctoral fellow in the Kinder Institute and co-author of Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood.

Caller Nicole: I’m calling from Boston. I’ve been at Occupy Boston since day one.

Tom Asbrook: You’re one of the people in the streets in Boston outside the Federal Reserve this weekend? What do you see? And why are you there?

Nicole: I here because, personally in my experience as a young adult in this world, has been that there are no opportunities for me. I can barely afford to go back to school after taking a two-year break because I couldn’t afford it. I have unstable housing. I just returned to public house because I couldn’t afford a regular apartment because the rent was too high. And making minimum wage, I just couldn’t afford it. This is a time where there aren’t opportunities for young people. You can see lots and lots of college kids, and lots of young peple that are here occupying with us because we feel that we don’t have a chance in this world. We don’t feel like we’re being heard and that our needs are being met.

Ashbrook: There you are, you’re in the streets. What would you like to see happen?

Nicole: I just want to know that people are listening. I just want to be heard. We don’t have demands yet. I don’t even know if we’ll get demands as a group. But individually, I just want a chance in this world, and I know that lots of other people do. I want a chance to get an education, I want a chance to have a decent place to live, a chance to have food and a future. It’s really as simple as that.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18- to 23-year-olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.”

National Journal “Students now finishing their schooling—the class of 2011—are confronting a youth unemployment rate above 17 percent. The problem is compounding itself as those collecting high school or college degrees jostle for jobs with recent graduates still lacking steady work. “The biggest problem they face is, they are still competing with the class of 2010, 2009, and 2008,” says Matthew Segal, cofounder of Our Time, an advocacy group for young people. ”

PBS “In record numbers, 20-somethings are delaying big moves like marriage and home ownership — and opting instead to live at home with their parents.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    “Impact” must involve a collision or striking.  The correct word in the introduction would be “challenges.”

    • nj

      Oh, please. “The effect or influence or one person, thing, or action on another” is a perfectly acceptable definition.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Acceptable in what sense?  How does your definition have anything to do with a blow?

        • nj

          It’s not “my” definition, it’s OED’s. Take it up with them.

  • Cory

    Well at least we aren’t still suggesting everything will be like it was as soon as this pesky recession ends.

    This is it folks.  The new now.  The WWII bounce is gone forever, and what we are left with is a fight to the finish with India, China, and a world full of hungry and desperate people.  It couldn’t be worse right?  Wrong!  The opponents listed above are hungier than we are and are willing to spend a lifetime of hard work just with the hope that things might be better for their kids.  They are willing to make generational sacrifices while we are perpetually stuck in the business cycle.

    What should we do about all this?
    1.  Stop the stupid rhetoric of the shining city on the hill, our best days are still ahead of us, the American dream isn’t dead, and the silly hope that the America of 1955 can be brought back.

    2.  Break your children in particular from the seductive grip of materialism.  Failure to do this will bring them a life of constant disatisfaction.

    3.  Solidify egalitarianism in this country while there is still time, and do it by squeezing the wealthy.  Fortify the social safety net instead of dismantling it.  Fortify education and healthcare.  The people at the top have seen this future coming and have spent the last 20-30 years taking as much as they could to cement their position.  Time to ignore their lies and and use the power of our numbers to shape our future in a way that benefits more than 5 or 10% of us.  Oh how they will squeal, but just grit your teeth and believe in yourself.  Besides, how much worse can things get if we go after them?

    Even if we do these things, the future is fairly bleak.  The Indians and Chinese ALREADY know how to live with almost nothing, and we are brand new to the game.  Unfortunately, this is the best we can hope for.  I guess we could spend many years flailing around with our military until we completely collapse…

    • Barbara

      Wonderful commentary Cory. I would like to add a few points:
      It is necessary to break ourselves (the parents and grandparents of these young people) of OUR materialism. More and more and more is an endless destructive wheel.

      It is necessary to have REAL education, not simply degree gathering. Graduates who are able to do both critical and creative thinking are essential to human and societal growth. This goes for both High School as well as College.  America’s record at both education and health care are low on the scale when compared to other countries.

      Additionally, it is necessary to have a REAL media, rather than the entertainment fiasco it now is. We need investigative journalists desparately, and they need to be heard – something that does not happen when corporate interests rule the airways and print vehicles in this country.

      The young people who have organized the occupation of Wall Street see the picture clearly. Politicians have sold themselves to the corporations, the corporations have traded morality in for the bottom line. And the majority of the citizens of this country are busy blaming the young, the immigrants, the ill, and the poor.

      This is wake up time – like never before!!!

    • Dave in CT

      Close our trade/immigration borders. Eat our corn instead of turning it into gas. A few nuclear power plants. Oh, and dump the international bankers and their corporate cronies peppered throughout our economy.

      Good old, evil, self-sufficiency.

      At least till we are back on our feet.  Then we can try and save the world on our central banking credit card again.

  • Cory

    BTW, someone should tell that poor kid in the photo that the “Employment Guide” is pretty worthless.  He’d have better luck dressing neatly and going to employers in person.  They’ll appreciate the gumption!

  • ripped-off tax payer

    As long as NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and the WTO are being inflicted on the American people by Wall Street, D.C. and the for profit, (privately-owned) Federal Reserve System, unemployment is only going to continue to rise.

    • nj

      *Ding* *Ding *Ding* We have a winner!

      • Eattacos2

        Wow, that’s really deep.  You definitely are making good use of your  G.E.D.. 

        • nj

          Well, see if i ever support one of your posts again.

  • Michiganjf

    …and let’s not forget what Republicans think:

    Don’t invest in anything for any of today’s youth or the world they will have to live in, as “WE” don’t want to “burden” their generation with debt.

    THEY would much rather have a decent land of opportunity when AND ONLY WHEN they’ve saved up for it and can pay for it in cash.

    … until then, a little more decay and neglect should do the trick!

    • Winston Smith

      I would say that $15 trillion dollars is quite a lot of debt to have piled up.  If I were in the 16-29 age group, I sure wouldn’t want that kind of debt being passed along to me!  The economic malaise that has gripped the western world during the past three years is the hangover from piling on the debt, similar to someone who has maxed out their credit cards and now must pay the piper. 

      I do have a question for those who advocate more stimulus spending now and “dealing with the debt later”.  Will “later” ever be “now”, or will it always be in the future as times will never be good enough to finally deal with it?  And what will we do when it climbs to $20 trillion, $30 trillion, $40 trillion when it becomes just that much harder to deal with?  Neither the Republicans or Democrats have the guts to deal with the issue…just a never ending game of kicking the can down the road.

      As I have said in many posts, it is too late for us as the debt is simply too large.  The only thing that we can hope for is that the eventual collapse is somehow not too painful, which is wishful thinking.  But when the dollar and/or the Euro triggers the global collapse, it will be quite apocalyptic.  Our currency will be worthless, and so we will not be able to buy food, energy, or any other essentials for existing.

      • Anonymous

        Ahh I love the tome of fear mongering in the morning.
        Debt and deficit are not the same and you seem to be mixing them up.  We had more debt coming out of WW2. All nations caring some debt and what you are purposing is kind of short sighted.

        • Winston Smith


          I believe that I know the difference (debt being the accumulation of all of the annual deficits and surpluses since the beginning of our nation).  I am not trying to be alarmist or fear mongering.  I honestly don’t understand how we can keep going…why China and other countries would continue to lend us money when the only way that we can pay it back is to issue them new i.o.u.’s to replace the maturing i.o.u.’s that we don’t actually have the cash the pay back.  I have always been debt adverse, as were most people a generation and more ago.  I believe that we are violating sound financial principles as individuals as well as as a nation by getting into such large amounts of debt.  It just seems to me that like the housing crisis, it is unsustainable and will collapse at some point.  Perhaps not too far into the future.

    • Zing

      You have a point regarding cash.  savings and cash certainly would have prevented  the debt crisis and real estate meltdown.

  • AC

    Why do people insist this problem is solely political? You are distracting yourself from the most obvious : Unemployment will continue to rise because the jobs that existed just over a decade ago are now obsolete. Technology has replaced them, we have too many people and no need for them. My husband is one of those whose skills are now unwanted and obsolete, which is a shame since he’s brilliant :). He continues to try and adjust and find a place for himself, but every field gets narrower and narrower and totally unnecessary.
    and as for our competitors : These countries are not as unified in their goals or as ‘hungry’ as they seem on the surface. I certainly wouldn’t want to win the Nobel Peace Prize in one of those countries – they’ll not just imprison you but go after your FAMILY. You’ll work & you’ll like it, even if you’re 10. They have ‘work-camps’ to help ‘re-program’ you into a better mood. Others can boot an entire community out to make way for their own profitable projects or endeavors. God forbid you’re an elderly widow, their own children turn their backs & watch them starve (their own fault, they should have thrown themselves onto the pyre if they were righteous and virtuous, no?)People in position, whether through their money or the ‘state’, will use that power. We are eons away from an equalitarian society, not that it’s not a noble goal, but it assumes reason in all, while in my short life, I have met many an unreasonable people. I have seriously been shocked from time to time – not kidding!I think those countries are going to have some rude awakenings of their own this century from their citizens they abuse. And so, the historical pendulum will swing back again, back and forth, back and forth, the bullied becoming the bullies etc, etc, et cetera….

  • AC

    also, I have now heard reference several times for the government to ‘forgive student loans’. Because so many of this generation are graduating in serious debt w/o garuntee of quality work. I am wondering what that that federal money goes towards and what would be lost if it is forgiven? Will academic programs be cut? Professors? Research? I really don’t know how it works, but I would like to know before I support this idea of forgiving student loans (I’m still a bit in the hole myself w/them, so I’m fond of the idea – but it worries me too…)

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I see a serious moral hazard in forgiving student loans. 

      Many students have chosen to go to expensive schools taking on debt when they could have at least spent their first few years of college in community colleges that are relatively cheap by comparison or at least state universities that aren’t cheap, but they’re cheaper than BU.

      If you choose BU (a great school but one of the more expensive ones) you may be thinking that a degree from there will be worth more than a degree from UMASS and you’re willing to take on debt knowing  you can pay it off more easily when you get that high paying job after graduating.

      Taking on that risk is your choice and when it doesn’t work out YOU have to pay for it. I resent having to pick up the bill for students who made that choice.

      • Ashley Elisabeth

        Then why is it okay to offer loan forgiveness for home owners who bought a house they could not afford, and not for students for bad a bad decision? And it’s completely okay that the price of tuition has gone up 600% that of inflation since 1998, correct? The higher education system shouldn’t be held responsible at all?

        You need to keep in mind that a 17 year-old  – that’s right 17 – is making a decision about college – which is exactly why there needs to be reform in the high education system. Parents aren’t always involved – mine were not – and I made the best decision I could at 17 and wanted a better life for myself because endless pressure on all sides that I needed that tier one school to achieve that.

        It has not been the case.  

        I went to BU for undergrad, solely because I received a “full ride” for four years. I applied to 39 schools, was accepted to all but one, and many of the schools offered me scholarship money, and after endless meetings and letters, I picked BU because it seemed to be the best “bang for the buck.” Turns out there is tiny print somewhere in their handbook that says that “full ride” doesn’t apply to the regularly 5-7% tuition increase each year, which on $50,000 is a hefty chunk of change. I worked 40 hours a week between nannying and tutoring after discovering that work study is a joke to avoid those loans – but at the end of the day still have a Perkins Loan or two.

        After BU I discover my degree is worth very little as I graduated at the start of the recession, and take on graduate loans for an MBA – which I hope, but fear, will not pay itself back.

        Companies are taking advantage of the recession and highly educated young professionals by paying them very little, because they know that we have to accept that job with “inexperience” constantly being cited. No matter I worked full-time in college – it’s regularly discounted because I was “still in school.”

        You JUST CAN’T WIN if you are in your 20s these days.

        I don’t have the option to live with my parents (in fact, I help out a sibling). I want to pay my loans off quickly because I don’t want an additional $17k in interest – but I am killing myself in the process.   

        But I don’t deserve forgiveness, right? Because recruiters threw shiny brochures in my face, showed my dorms I never lived in, at a school that was 1500 miles from home.

        Sadly, I would have been better off working at Starbucks and rising my way to a manager and juggling a couple other part time jobs – unlike now where I work a decently paying job and hold a side job that pays for my loans and other small bills.

        Is this how you want the youth of our country to feel and exist?  

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          I didn’t say or imply that any loan forgiveness is okay. I certainly don’t want to be bailing out people who took out mortgages they couldn’t afford, not matter now predatory banks were in offering them.

          But, that last point goes to your point about recruiters tossing shiny brochures in your face. Do you blame them for your choice to go to BU, sight unseen? I applaud you going there with a free ride and applaud the free ride being the tipping point in the decision as it was for me for grad school.

          People make choices to go into debt and there’s calculated risk in this. For some it works out well and they get the kinds of jobs that pay well and the debt goes away in time. Others bet the farm and are stuck.

          I think there is considerable moral hazard in asking others to pay off what amount to gambling debts.

          • AC

            I’ll agree with the moral hazard premise, but – you’re using hindsight and that’s not totally fair (calling it gambling). This is a system that has worked well in previous decades – this is new territory, a lot of ‘majors’ are no longer viable in the modern world.
            I don’t completely like or support the idea, but not for the reasons you state. I want to know how the revenue of collected loan payments is used. What is it allocated too? That is what is worrying me…where was that money previously going?

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Sorry, I don’t fully understand your comment. The gamble is assuming the job one gets after a high priced education, done on credit, will pay off the debt. Where’s the hindsight?

            For some people this “gamble” works out. For others it doesn’t for a variety of reasons.

            The moral hazard comes into play when other people are asked to assume the debt on the gamble.

            To refocus on the predatory loan companies after the fact seems to be playing the professional victim card. At what point is it your responsibility? Or, isn’t at least some of it your responsibility for using credit to pay for college so you could go to the school of your choice?

            If I knowingly take out a loan for a house I can’t afford and a predatory bank gladly gives me the loan, at least some of the responsibility for the coming foreclosure rests with me, right?

          • Dave in CT

            IMO part of our collective mental illness is presuming that a humanities degree can and should generate the income needed to pay back $75,000 in loans, for all its awardees.  It’s an upside down pyramid.  One professor  teaches 100 students, and we think we can expect to have 100 new humanity professors 10 years later?

            Does that make me anti-humanity? No. Should be part of any rounded liberal arts education.

            It makes me anti-debt and pro-working/living within our means and towards our core needs.

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Dave: Thank you (fellow nutmegger), your last paragraph says at least a piece of what I’m trying to say.

            Most of us (maybe all of us in this comment thread) have to take out a loan to buy a house but there are ways to go to college without loans, even if one doesn’t have a lot of money. Making the choice to go to a more expensive college and assuming the debt that that might come with is a choice and in many ways a gamble. The gamble is that you’ll be able to pay off the debt when you graduate.

            I’m totally pro liberal arts education. I want people to be literate and worldly so they can fully participate in our democracy (okay, let’s not go there). But, one can get a liberal arts education at a public university or, a community college and come out literate, a bit more worldly, and maybe more employable than one would be otherwise.

          • Ashley Elisabeth

            The problem is with this “gamble” is that is the rate that it “works out” has SIGNIFICANTLY dropped in the past ten years.
            The ABA will no longer accredit law schools that charge over $40k a year in tuition – and that makes up something like 25% of currently accredited law schools.
            I think that is recognition that there is a problem.
            No, I don’t blame the recruiters. At the end of the day, I’m busting my ass so it shows that I don’t blame anyone but myself.
            But I am sick and tired of hearing about the “lost American dream” when there are many of us who will be renting, pushing back important life milestones, for who knows how long – and we aren’t getting any younger.
            @AC – yes, I want to know where the money is going. There is NO accountability in the higher education sector – “for profit” institutions are repeatedly scruntinized, but how are they any different than Harvard, BU, BC or the like?

          • AC

            it’s kind of late to reply to this, but i just read it off my dashboard. What I found unfair was the use of the word ‘gamble’ – since middle school, you were taught to value education and a getting into a ‘good school’ as an INVESTMENT in your future – there was always a lot of pressure about this ‘investment’ and the ‘good school’. While you can argue semantics on the levels of risk in ALL ‘investing’ – the pressure was on and belief in this investment was a motivator for sure, accidentally leading many astray.
            & Honestly, I think the same thought processes are still in the education game………..calling it ‘gambling’ is unfair, since it STILL is sold as an ‘INVESTMENT’ in your future to take these loans on – and as Ashley Elisabeth stated, in the past decade, the standard and expected ‘ROI’ has dropped significantly.
            I’m not arguing to forgive the loans or that today’s students were mislead by parents/teachers/counselors when they were younger and should be considered victims – it is what it is and no one expected it. It’s the generation caught in the middle of a historical transition where the ‘old’ ways just don’t mean anything – I think it’s unfair to be able to stand where we are now and pretend we knew it all along. If that is the case, where were you 10yrs ago warning about this version of events/analogy used?

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            AC: This must be generational. I was always taught that getting a good education was important and going to college was important as well, but I was also taught that carrying debt was something to be avoided and if I chose to carry debt, it was my responsibility to pay it back.

            If you apply to and get into BU and UMASS and you can go to UMASS without debt or with very little debt but will be carrying more debt to attend BU, the choice is yours.

            If you feel pressure to attend BU (maybe the better but definitely the more expensive school), you can react to it in two (or more) ways:

            1. You can “gamble” that the degree from BU will be so meaningful and great that it will help you erase the debt faster than a degree from some other school. People who go to medical and law school take this gamble and for the most part it does work out although not as fast as many of them would like.

            2. You can go to UMASS and not carry as much or any debt.

            You chose to go into debt. No doubt others faced with the same choice chose to go to UMASS and not have the debt. They too may not have a job at this point but they don’t have the debt.

            No doubt this scenario is quite common and I’m not in any way saying everyone who “gambled” on the more expensive school made a mistake. But, not everyone who gets into BU decides to go there and one of many reasons is that they can’t afford it. This is a real choice that people make, some one way, some another.

            Everyone is free to do whatever they want. The moral hazard comes in when people who get into trouble in this way expect others to bail them out.

  • Nancy

    As the mother of two 20-somethings, I have a huge concern about this issue.  My son just graduated this past summer with a master’s in ITS, and found a job paying 40K+ in just a few weeks.  And we live in Ohio of all places! Now, if my college senior daughter can do as well next year, I’ll sleep much better. I read an article yesterday in my local paper about this generation’s lack of “soft skills.” Things like the ability to interact face to face appropriately, work ethic, able to pass a background check and drug screen, and showing up on time every day. This information came from the directors of several vocational school and community college administrators who deal with local (SW Ohio) employers. So perhaps part of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the young people themselves.

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    As before, I suggest a 6 hour workday ! Having said this, I would like to suggest to any young person who is forced by circumstances to live at home  to get their parents blessings and invest small amounts in as many mutual funds as they can. This simple act could well make them millionaires through the power of compounding by the time they are ready to retire. Now that’s some fine lemonade!

    • Anonymous

      And then they can take care of their aging parents.

    • Gregg

      I don’t think more play time is the answer.

  • Gregg

    Wow, it was just a lost decade last week.

  • Gregg

    We really are at a turning point. 8% unemployment seems like a dream. There are more people on food stamps than ever. Over regulation and threats of higher taxes are choking expansion. We are divided and resentment is encouraged towards achievers. Obama care is an albatross that will surely take us further down. Our credit rating has been lowered. The misery index is up. There’s more poverty than ever. Why? Bush?

    Can someone explain to me how the housing crisis leads to a jobs crisis? It’s a serious question, I don’t know the answer. As awful as it is for someone to lose a home it doesn’t mean they lose their job. 

    • nj

      Gregg continues to shovel baseless, inaccurate, right-wing dogma. Regulations of “threats of higher taxes” (or even, actual higher taxes) have little to do with economic “expansion.” As if an economy based on finite resources is going to be able to “expand” indefinitely.

    • Smaug1415

      Housing Crisis = Job Crisis – “How?”

      Elementary, poor boy.

      Housing creates more jobs now in the US than manufacturing.  Housing means contractors, builders, electricians, plumbers, people buying things for housing from furniture to lawn mowers and so on.

    • Dalbin

      Gregg, in talking recently to someone who once built new housing, I would suggest that part of the problem could be that we are no longer experiencing a housing boom?

      The jobs that go with the housing/building sector…which means anyone in construction, as well as those attendant jobs that support or depend on this sector.

      It’s a ripple effect. As we lose well-paying jobs…we lose buying power, which in turn creates less demand and ergo, fewer jobs in many other related businessess and industries.

      Consumer confidence? Supply and demand? Lost pensions, stagnant wages….

      Ripple effect indeed. A 70% consumer driven economy has it’s limitations.

      • Gregg

        Thanks Dalbin. The ripple effect can be dramatic but it seems to me other opportunities open. I hold a Contractors License in NC although I don’t use it much. Builders here have just shifted to remodeling and that’s booming. Empty houses no longer have people to mow the lawns. Banks owning foreclosed homes are in need of landscapers to keep up their investments. There’s a ripple effect in that direction as well. The money is not as good as during the housing boom but that wasn’t real. Money is harder to make than that.

        Also I guess “housing crisis” doesn’t really describe it as well as “credit crisis”. Other industries were affected such as those that had to borrow to meet payroll. But that never seemed like a good business model to me.

        I still am having a hard time blaming it for everything we are experiencing.

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t “understand” how the destruction of $8 trillion in personal assets affects jobs, you are more (or is it less) than brainwashed.  Try reading some Dean Baker or any number of economists on the subject.

  • Jasoturner

    This is a really tangled knot, but I would make a couple of observations.

    First, I think young people have to get over the mentality of “I am well educated/trained, please give me a job.”.  They need to start thinking “Mr. employer, I have this skill set and this is how I can help your company succeed.”   As Fast Company used to put it, you need to become your own brand and really assess your abilities with a cool and honest eye.

    Secondly, I would like to believe that the received wisdom of free trade fabulousness will be given a second look.  When manufacturers in other nations are held to much lower standards than the U.S. in terms of employee pay and treatment, environmental protections and financial transparency, we are effectively allowing these countries to carve out our manufacturing capabilities for the sake of buying cheap junk at Walmart.   The economy is not a church, and the free trade zealots are not gods.  A little rationality could help save America for those of us who remember when you could make a good living with a skilled trade.

  • Yar

    Not only are we losing a generation, we are losing our nation.
    I have a solution: 
    Require 2 years of public service for 18 to 24 year old’s.    Use their labor to assist in public schools, leading physical activity, tutoring, maintaining facilities, cooking meals, improving education.  Youth can assist in every public activity from treating drug addicts, to cleaning up highways.  Teach them proper use of firearms, they can replace the traditional role of the National Guard.   
    How to pay for this program, use inflation.  Take foreclosed homes, (that we already own through Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac) move  youth in, and maintain the home and rebuild the community.  This gives work experience to youth and jobs to those who supervise them, I would target returning soldiers as supervisors. 
    This is stimulus, targeted by age, it helps the individual but it will also save the nation.  I can see plenty of work for this labor force.
    Every citizen in the target age group should be required to participate.  
    I think this will pull our country out of its self destructive debt obsession. 
    There is no bigger debt than a lost generation. 

    • Anonymous

      Interesting ideas but not very democratic. You can’t force people to do the things you are advocating. There is a difference between a draft, which in light of a shrinking military seems a tad silly, and requiring people to do the states bidding. As you’re insistence that it would pull us out of our debt, I don’t see how this would do that.
      If you only make enough to pay the rent and eat with nothing left over, how do you save? With what? Air. 

      Our nation is moving towards something bigger than a lost generation. It’s a two level society of those with wealth, and those with none. This is the reality.

      • Yar

        “Our nation is moving towards something bigger than a lost generation. It’s a two level society of those with wealth, and those with none. This is the reality.”

        Our nation is moving toward revolution!
        When the gap between rich and poor gets too great, then the lightening bolt of anarchy strikes.  History has proved that time and again.  The only thing that can’t be predicted is what is too great.  We will only know once it happens,  a disenfranchised generation seems to be a destabilizing force.  

        As for mandatory service, many democratic nations require service.  I see it as preparing our children to own the country that we are about to pass on to them.  I believe laissez faire democracy is an oxymoron. Democracy is dependent on both an educated populous and a dedicated workforce.   This mandatory service is intended to strengthen both.  How can we ever pull ourselves out of debt without investing in youth? They are the workforce of the future.

        • Dave in CT

          If you guys think we are moving toward revolution, you/we better get real, and REALLY figure out what we think about capitalism, crony capitalism, debt, war, real sustainabilty, communism, Central Planning for our own good etc etc.

          If we don’t find our common ground, and sharpen the focus ONTO THE CORRUPT CRONIES IN BANKING WALL ST AND GOVERNMENT,  and NOT confuse that with a need to “destroy capitalism” we are really really screwed, and it will be a real horror show, when simple minded, lazy, political-party-based, black and white, pick a side with your gut, not your head sh-t hits the fan.

          We disagree alot here as we try to get the heart of issues. But I hope everyone is honestly trying to get to the heart of issues.  Too often its just defending a pre-determined notion to the “blog-death”

          Good Lord, just read a few books, realize what people are concerned about and FIND COMMON GROUND.  Wall St. and Government have PLENTY criminals and colluders to keep us busy in a search for justice and more fairness.

          Don’t fall prey to being divided!

          • Dave in CT

            2 books that give plenty of fodder for both sides, and plenty of common ground for anyone caring enough to think it through.

            Reckless Endangerment, by Gretchen Morgenson NYTimes writer about the meltdown and how Government and Wall St were both essential partners in setting the stage for Armageddon.The Road to Serfdom, about the concept of ceding too much power to centralized planners and power players, who may start with good intentions, but historically, have led to big problemsYou can rail against the GOP-hijackers of the Tea Party all day long till you are blue in the face, choking on astroturf.  But if you cannot understand why the plumber down the road is a Tea Partier, or some small business owner, and find the common ground, you just can’t be thinking broadly enough.

          • TFRX

            The plumber down the road remains a Tea Partier in late 2011 if, and only if, he is embarrassed to tell people he is a Republican, and he is (80% likely, per AmericanGrace.org) to be a hard-right Christian-labeled conservative.

            The common ground between them folks who can’t wait to get into office on the platform of “jobs” and immediately start trashing the rights of women, gays and lesbians, and the voting rights of poor and young people, is, what exactly?

          • Yar

            Focusing on money or debt is confusing the problem,  Money is really just the ability to trade work over time.  Work is what gives money its value, we have been playing this big monopoly game until just a few players have all of the money.  Nobody wants to play anymore, what should we do?  
            Inflation is one way to get money back into circulation.  Use it or lose it, is a start.  Much of what the FED has done to keep inflation low actually constricts investment.  When Brazil went through a hyper inflation period they created a virtual currency to tie wages to inflation.  That prevented a revolution.  We need some of that type of logic.The only way we are going to pay our debt is for inflation to make it a small enough part of GDP that it is insignificant. What is the economic principle behind a year of jubilee?It is a game reset, where without violence the people are giving a new chance on life.  

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Hyperinflation also led to Hitler in Germany during the 30s.

          • Dave in CT

            folks who haven’t read this yet, should.


          • Anonymous

            I never said we are moving towards revolution. I do think we are moving towards and are already in a post-industrial reality in which a huge portion of the population is not needed any more. Hence the have and have not comment. The new reality is going to be more akin to a the lousy housing estates the poor are relegated into (think East Baltimore). I’m not sure what is going to happen but I also see a lot of 20 and 30 somethings making inroads to local economic solutions. Living with less and doing things that create their own jobs. It’s not easy, but I’m all for this.

            I’m trying to figure out how to make my land as small as it is to be more productive for food. I’ve cut about third of what I spend on food by growing a lot of my own.
            I’m still in learning phase as I’m not growing enough to get me through the winter or at least cut that bill in half or more.

            Of course not having an acre of good land is an issue.

          • Dave in CT

            Right there with you on the land/growing some food, and also modeling that for kids, in addition to traditional education.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Actually, a universal draft is precisely democratic–it involves everyone in the process.  That’s fundamental to a democratic system working.

        • Anonymous

          Yes a draft is one thing. Making people do work for nothing or to pay off loans is not. Did you read my comment? I said a draft was not a sound idea as the military is shrinking. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            A universal draft doesn’t have to be only into the military.  It can be a national service draft–into any of a number of services.  Besides, why do citizens believe that they deserve a good country for nothing?  I see nothing wrong with asking everyone to give some back.

    • Cory

      I like your idea, but you know what opponennts will say.  “More big government!  Blah blah blah!”

  • Smaug1415

    20-Somethings are a lost Generation???

    What about us over 45 year olds who got laid off and can’t even get an interview because of our age?

    • AC

      may I ask what industry you were in prior to your layoff? and are you looking for something similar?

      • Smaug1415

        Advertising.  There were over 200 ad houses in NYC ten years ago.  Now there are only a dozen or so with several small start ups.  None are paying anything for work now.  With just a few big block chains to sell to, advertising is just not what it use to be. 

        • AC

          ah, classic example of what i have been trying to say about obsolete jobs due to technology. Let’s face it, graphics, flash, final cut and phoshop are fairly easy to grasp and has created a ‘do-it-yourself’ style of advertising that was never possible before. I can’t tell you how many of my husband’s clients have a ‘nephew’ that is setting up the website…

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

          Hey Smaug,  you have pointed out a most ominous indicator.

          Advertising is a not needed and ineffective in a market with quasi-monopolies, unemployed and  subdued consumers.

    • Cory

      They’re not lost, they are forgotten.

  • Adks12020

    I’m 29.  I graduated from college in 2005, a couple years before the recession really hit.  I got a job coming out of school making ok money but I took what i could get because I was inexperienced and figured if I worked a few years and built some skills I could move up. 
    Then the recession hit.  Now there is not only high unemployment but employers are extremely reluctant to promote anyone because that forces them to pay the person more money which is not in their interest in hard economic times. The employee gets the shaft because you can’t move up and there is such huge competition for the small number of jobs available that it’s very difficult to make a move to a new employer in the hopes of finding upward mobility there.  In addition employers are capitilizing on the fact that young people will take whatever they can get by giving us far more responsibility than our pay grade and just expecting us to suck it up. 
    I just had a conversation with my girlfriend and her friend over the weekend (both 25 and graduated into the recession) and neither one of them could think of any of their friends that weren’t forced due to financial circumstances to move back in with their parents at some point in the couple years after graduation.  I was doing relatively well at 25 and ended up getting laid off and having to do the same thing. 

    The majority of the people I know that are over 30 had a much easier time right after college.  They are at a point in their careers where I had hoped to be in my early 30s.  Unfortunately, it seems I will probably not get there until I’m closer to 40.

    Now I’m going to take the finaincial risk of going back to school in the hopes that I can increase my marketability to employers since that second piece of paper is so important to them (the scam that is college is a whole different matter).  I just hope that piece of paper is worth it and I can get a good enough job to pay off the debt sometime before I die.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      In your pursuit of a certificate keep one eye on sustainability and the other on self-fulfillment.  I hope for better times and the best to you.

    • Cory

      Welcome to the paradise of never being good enough and always being expendable.  God bless the free market.

  • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

    Would they be lost if the media provide the demographics to speak?   Blogs are not the answer.    Given a chance and the insight of the formula to Andy Rooney‘s success, the young would be worthy of higher visibility.    It’s a matter of refining the thought and giving opportunity.   Solitude of thought provides little motivation to articulate.

    It is time to start talking about a new media encompassing moral character.

    The Do Good Gauge

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Do you work for Wikipedia?

      • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

        No, can’t even get Jimmy Wales or the Wikipedia Foundation to talk with me.   Ward Cunningham does not work for Wikipedia, though he did invent the wiki.   I was fortunate to have a two hour phone call discussing my ideas nearly two years ago.    It was inspirational.   Here were his comments:

        You seem to have a technical solution to what I might call
        “dysfunctional divergence” of thought. Blogs encourage divergence,
        perhaps to the point of dysfunction. Wikis encourage convergence, else
        edit wars produce dysfunction. There is surely opportunity to invent
        in the middle ground.


        • nj

          This is getting really annoying.

  • Dave in CT

    I’ve been hearing that among all the socialists and communist wannabe’s at the Wall St. protests, there are also plenty of Ron Paul types, questioning the Fed, questioning the banking system, the war machine, and our whole crony-capitalisitic, debt driven system.

    But the press does not cover those people, or their points.

    So the GOP ignores Paul and his followers and the logical points of their criticism of the status quo,

    And the mainstream media does the same.

    Please explain.

    We have a sick, entitlement, zombie culture. I’m  not talking about social security or medicare.  I’m talking about everyone thinking they deserve a 3-D TV and an iphone, as a birthright.  I’m talking about a total disconnect between the concept of doing productive, material things that support our subsistence, and the illusion that we can all be postal workers and social scientists.

    How am I wrong?

    Why are the productive people, like blue collar tradespeople, more Tea Party, while the government workers and college educated in abstract degrees people more mindless Wall St Protest demanding their piece?

    • steve

      Corrupt oligarchy/leadership on both sides of the fence.

      Is it beyond possibility that those under their leadership join forces to foster reform, i.e….

      “…socialist/communist wannabe’s and Ron Paul types”?

      I believe the current political system has encouraged a false dichotomy to encourage our disparagement of eachother…”do not look behind the curtain”.

      • Dave in CT

        Exactly! But is it really that hard to see that?!

    • Cory

      One group wants a different way of doing things, while the other wants an extreme version of the same way that they believe will benefit them.  I’ve never been able to accept that a civilization using greed as its motivation is the only and best idea.

      • Dave in CT

        Yes the grassroots Tea Party wants a different way of doing things without all the Washington/Banking collusion, and the the other wants an extreme version of crony capitalism and entitlement, it’s call Communism.

        • Dave in CT

          Greed, or self-preservation?

          Do you eat when you are hungry, or when the government rings the dinner bell?

          Did you grow that food, or is it a government ration pack?

          I know you don’t really believe all this black and white, market is so evil stuff Cory.

  • Dave in CT

    Victory Gardens.

    No Joke, and there should be no shame.

    Punish corrupt Wall Streeters and Bankers and their Government backers in both parties, but don’t deny that our debt-based illusion of the easy life and easy prosperity for all, is just that, an illusion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    They cured this unemployment situation the last time by starting world wars.

    Either these kids get into uniform, or they will be protesting in the streets asking for the heads of bankers.  

    During the great depression, the unemployed were less educated and less connected.  To be sure, this time around, snappy Irving Berlin tunes and shmaltzy yankee doodle dandy movies are not going to get this new generation of unemployed to risk life and limb for corporate and foreign interests  – although David Mamet and Hollywood are doing their best trying.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      We weren’t so far in debt in those years and could afford to spend our way out of unemployment.  I do challenge your claim that the First World War was the result of umemployment, though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Made no such claim Greg.  The last time they bailed out a depression was WORLD WAR II !!!   Have your coffee before you post.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          “They cured this unemployment situation the last time by starting world wars.”

          I presumed that you used the plural to indicate more than one.

          • TFRX

            Yeah, doesn’t the original have some sort of pronoun trouble?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Indeed–unattributed pronoun.  Bonus points to you.

          • TFRX

            Hey, coming from someone who knows–without looking up–the difference between a similie, metaphor and analogy, that means something.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            TFRX You may have a comprehension problem.  Why dont you and greg go out for a coffee… or a rootbeer slurpee.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            You started off your comment by saying, “They solved the unemployment problem. . . .”  Who are they?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            Hey Greg,  You got to look behind the curtain.  THEY are there.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Perhaps, Dorothy, you could tell us who they are?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            She could indeed, but she drank and drugged herself to death. Looking behind the curtain is dangerous to one’s health.

          • TFRX

            Which “they” cured unemployment by starting World Wars? Various
            factions of would-be empires in Europe or Pacific Rim Asia? The USA?

            Your choice of words makes it sound like it was planned for exactly that reason.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            Well lets see TFRX,  if you were in power, would rather see your regime brought down and imprisoned by irate unemployed protestors, 
            or would you rather they all be drafted, or enlisted after some patriotic response to a “pearl harbor” type event, then fight and die to grab more resources, territory and power for your regime ??

            Tell me TFRX, which choice would you make…if you were THEY.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            Yes…Wars.  Plural…   In Asia and in Europe.  No pronoun problem dude.    What you presumed was that Irving Berlin was a propaganda tool for just WWI.   His tunes and movies were big in getting the unemployed hyped up for WW II. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            World War II was one war on two fronts.  I made no reference to Irving Berlin.  You wrote that “they” cured the unemployment problem–who are “they”?

  • Guest

    Fahreed Zakaria’s GPS had a nice ipod on job recovery.  I encourage everyone to watch/read it:


  • Smaug1415

    If this generation wants jobs then they will have to go out into the streets and start protesting and fighting for them.

    Not on the computer, not on the cell phone or blackberry – on their feet with their voices, signs, fists, and vote.

    You ain’t gonna change the system that is strongly against you unless you fight for it.

    Ask you over the hill parents how they did it in the 60s.

    • Dave in CT


      If you want jobs. Go find one. Make one.  Pick up trash in the streets. Start a garden. Wash some windows. Take care of elderly getting groceries. Wash a car. Walk a dog. Get started somewhere. Do something honest and productive.

      Or smash windows and “destroy capitalism”.

      Meanwhile should be demand transparency and accountability in government and finance, the exact opposite of what Obama delivered? You bet!

      But simple minded drivel that fighting in the streets=jobs is horrifying, short sighted crap.

      • Smaug1415

        Who said anythng about smashing windows???

        A bit reactionary here?

        Your mother Judith Miller maybe??

      • Anonymous

        Nice sentiments. However the reality is that for every job there are about 4 or 5 people applying. You can’t live on picking up trash in the streets. Get real. Also the anger you are talking about is a result of frustration and while I agree with you on this account it seems to me that you are not seeing the cause and effect here.

        • TFRX

          The advice Dave has given seems more appropriate for 15-year-olds who want to earn money to buy their first very-used-car.

          • Dave in CT

            That’s exactly the point the guest was making- young people not doing any work.

            Great tit for tat though! So productive.

          • TFRX

            “Young people”?

            Do you mean 15 year olds or 22 year olds?

            There’s a bit of real-world difference in their expenses, isn’t there?

        • Dave in CT

          The cause?  Scarcity. Too many people on Earth. The conundrum that if we take the natural resources from the earth that could give more comfort to the people, we will continue to degrade the earth?

          How do we deal with scarcity.  Free markets or Communism.  Initiative and sense of accomplishment and sense of self-suffieciency which I am sure is part of our evolved psychology as that is what let us survive evolutionarily, or sense of dependency and entitlement and despondency at being helpless and needing to be saved by someone?

          • nj

            How many false dichotomies can Dave pack into one post? “Free markets”/Communism. Self-sufficiency/dependency.

            What utter nonsense.

            No wonder the Tea Party is a failure.

      • Dave in CT

        “But I can’t afford an iPad2 on a dogwalker salary!”  Protest!!!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      What did those protests actually accomplish, other than making us lose a war?

      • Anonymous

        You apparently weren’t draft eligible between ’69 and ’73.

        And you believing we could have won that war in any fashion gives me great insight into your thought process.

      • Kosta Demos

        Those protests terrified enough right-wing greedheads to take over our country in 1980 and run it into the ground ever since.

        • Kosta Demos

          Oh, and those protests didn’t “make us lose a war”  The Vietnam war was a mistake from the get-go.  We lost just by being arrogant and blind enough to get into in the first place.

      • nj

        Greg enters the Twilight Zone. 

  • Dpweber83

    Outstanding topic and show so far!

    Boston, MA

  • Chris

    Whoopdeedoo. I was a Baby Buster in the early 90′s. Simple pieces of advice: learn how to cook your own meals, lose that iPhone, and there’s nothing wrong with store-brand spaghetti.

    • Greg_Stakowski

      do you really think the base problem here is extravagant smartphone expenses?

  • Sharon Twigg

    I graduated from college in 1992 in New England, which was in a pretty bad recession. It took me two years to find a full-time job, which I had to move to DC to find. I earned my PhD in 2008–later than I planned, but it’s tough to get into graduate school in a bad job market! The biggest impact on new graduates today will be that their job progress will be slow and circuitous, and that first home and retirement will be delayed by a good 10-15 years.

  • Steve

    As always, hundreds of opportunities await virtually anyone willing to step beyond their (our) comfort zones to try something new, e.g., working on a kibbutz in Israel, teach English overseas (salary, apartment, RT airfare and insurance in Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, etc.), working on merchant ships (Seafarer’s International Union, etc.), volunteering for U.S.-based organizations in exchange for nominal stipend, room & board, etc., etc., etc.!

    • Yar

      I have a child who has done just that, an advanced degree in public policy, an undergraduate degree in economics. Teaching English to 6 and 7 year old’s in South Korea.
      Their gain is our loss.  we need those skills here, we can’t afford to send our youth away.

    • Cory

      Don’t forget prostitution, selling your hair, selling your blood and plasma, and even one of your kidneys.  I heard you can get 15k for a healthy kidney!

  • TFRX

    Wait, “there are more bachelors’ waiting tables than holding engineering jobs”?

    Does this mean bachelors’ degrees in every type of study, the schools of business, liberal arts, engineering and other sciences for the former, v. schools of engineering for the latter?

    If so, the original statement can carry a bit more shock value at first glance than when that’s considered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    I feel particularly sad for those students from the Hamptons whose parents provided them very expensive educations to prepare them to be hedge fund and derivative brokers. 
    They’ll have to live in a downtown flat on their parents money, possibly  without a park view, while they gain a graduate degree in art-appreciation.
    Its so sad… really sad. 

  • Bunkburger

    There is nothing wrong with waiters, bartenders, etc. with bachelors degrees- in fact that is good for society. However, when that bachelors degree costs you $50K or more in long-term debt, that is a problem that keeps us young people from marrying, having children, buying homes, and working at the jobs that we would like to be working.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Having college educated young adults in jobs that don’t require a college degree is only good for us since our high schools have stopped doing what they’re supposed to do.  I see far too many college freshmen who have learned little in high school, and now, I have to teach them the basics of citizenship, in addition to whatever subject I’m teaching.

    • Smaug1415

      “Nothing wrong with Waiters…”


      • Kostademos


  • Dan

    College was a lie. I’m still paying off the loans, but I work a job that doesn’t require a degree. My wife works a job that doesn’t require her degree. We barely make enough to pay the bills and take care of our 2 kids. We are under 30 and feeling pretty let down and discouraged. We were always told of the promise of a college education…what a joke. Now we’re just broke.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The plus side to this huge hiccup relates to the previous couple of decades:  Did our country cover itself in glory in terms of the financial infrastructure?  Nope.  Did it shine when it came to governance, balancing the budget, keeping infrastructure forward-facing?  Nope.  Did the public education system do itself proud in getting everyone to a good starting point?  Nope.  How about business, America’s feisty core; did it keep us in fine ferment, like that compost heap out back? Nope; they saw happier hunting grounds overseas.  “Jobs” are now things that can be packaged up like UPS packages and sent overseas.  If you want to work here, start your own business.
       The good sign?  We’ve hit the limit.  We’ve got to start from square one.

  • Bryan Reinholdt

    What about the GREATNESS of our generation? The veterans that are returning find skills and experiences that do not relate to the civilian world. Veteran unemployment is 11.5% but I’m sure that is a low estimate. Veteran Green Jobs is an alternative to the problem, if you want those types of jobs. 

  • Anonymous

    Alas my nephew and so many others are casualties of an economic war waged by China on the US, facilitated by outsourcing-happy corporate executives and laze faire Republicans. Repeatedly, unfair trade practices have contributed to the destruction of business after business and by the time it is brought to the WTO, if it is, the damage has been done and more unemployed are left in the aftermath.
    When something like 4 jobs are created overseas by our corporations for every 1 job created here by them, we have a very serious systemic issue that has nothing to do with lack of capital or tax rates on the wealthy. Relying on corporate America to rescue our youth is like waiting for aliens to land and save us all from our industrial waste.
    Only the industrious will flourish as there is little opportunity for those without fight left in them. Sadly too many kids have been brought up thinking that jobs grew on trees like big screen TVs, cool cars and smart phones with unlimited texting. In reality, nothing is free and several generations of kids have been raised without hunger, fear or a healthy respect for the future. The harsh reality of today is brutal medicine from which some may learn, but I find little comfort to found in that thought.
    I feel more sorrow for the 50-somethings, with years of experience and expertise from dedication to a profession, who find their jobs shipped overseas or just gone with no demand being created elsewhere. Nearing retirement, with no time to recover, they face loss of everything they have worked for over decades, and poverty in old age is a very real probability.
    Perhaps from these generations will rise the political will to start repairing the damage done when Nixon opened the doors and later when Reagan gave away the key.

    • Dave in CT

      You don’t really expect to convince us that its just Republicans that sold us down the river, race to the bottom, with globalization. That made us compete against illiberal, dictatorial, autocrat countries with low wages that reflect the lack of paying for a basic civil society or liberty.

      Both Parties opened our doors to this NOT-free/fair trade and gave away the store in less than a generation.

      Should have listened to Perot.


  • Ronl

    we have all been sold a bill of goods….the biggest  economic collapse since the 30′s and not one indictment… Wall Street actually is the only one that made any money in the last 10 year…this government is a complete joke and unfortunately these kids are not going to see things get better for years. Neither are the rest of us 

    • Smaug1415

      So True!   So True !

    • Dave in CT

      Why aren’t the protestors demanding that focused fact?

      Too busy chasing red herrings that support the Democratic Party.

  • Jm

    something that is not discussed about finding employment but is a factor for myself is the feeling of not wanting to work for what is offered in the current marketplace, I feel less inclined to work for large corporations due to the fact I feel I am only contributing to the bottom line of companies that dont really give a Jack about our society hence there track record past and present. It is a matter of confidence in the marketplace to hold their end of the bargain in a captalistic society, if i work to perpetuate that narrative i am only contributing to the problem, my other optin is to be unemployed and keep my dignity which is not a great option. Anyone else feel this way?

    • Cory

      I’ve got kids, so this hamster can’t responsibly step off the wheel.

  • Trisha

    What was the comment that Mr. Sum made about more engineers waitering and waitressing than are actually employed? Can anyone clarify what they heard on this or point me to the research study? Thank you!

  • College Grad – No Hope!

    I’m a pull yourself up by your boot straps Midwesterner but this problem is no joke. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from a good school with 2 degrees in business in 2008. I had to work 6 months temporary contruction work until I got my one and only interview in a call center. I took the job and have been working up the ladder since. A few tips for my fellow employees under 30:

    1) Find a big corporation with tuition reimbursement and get that masters degree, apparently a bachelors will not do it anymore.
    2) Do not expect help from anyone but family. (If they can help, my own dad was just laid off last year)
    I agree about the lie, we were told if you get straight As the jobs will follow when you graduate, it all depends WHO YOU KNOW to get a foot in the door, otherwise its pretty bleak.

    • steve

      I am also a Midwesterner, graduating Summa Cum Laude from a good university-but a generation earlier than you. It took ten years to successfully enter the mainstream job market.

      Predicting the future is difficult.

      If I can offer you some hope; value/foster long term loving relationships, invest in your community(ies), continuing education, and eschew the materialism that ultimately leaves you cold.

  • Tharen

    Does the increased minimum wage passed by Congress and signed by the President have any impact on the low youth employment numbers? 

    • Cory

      I might prefer to be a career criminal than to work for much less than minimum wage.

  • John Van Hemert

    As a 28-year-old who recently earned a PhD and took a good job in agricultural science, I think the “lost generation” took the “do what makes you happy” mantra a little to far.  I feel my peers spent their late teens and twenties doing what felt good to them and not *strategically positioning* themselves to adapt to the changes around them.  I finished a bachelor’s in IT during the .com bust and outsourcing boom, so I entered grad school in a different booming field.  When I finished that I sought a career in a booming industry.  “Doing what makes you happy” doesn’t adapt to our cyclical economy.  Continuous strategic positioning does.

  • Harry

    Once again, this program focuses on an aspect of a much greater problem, without identifying the greater problems.
    1) US economic policy, both government and business, has destroyed manufacturing capacity over the past 30 years
    2) US services are not really needed any more; almost any service provided by US corporations can/is outsourced
    3) with world population increasing at the same time technology enables fewer people to produce more, isn’t it obvious, that the age of the unemployed is not the point: ALL age categories are facing this issue.  Unless we find a few billions to sell goods and services too, isn’t it obvious there simply isn’t much need for all of these degree-holding unemployed people?
    4) the world has effectively handed over manufacturing to China at the expense of enormous environmental degradation and labor abuse; even China has had difficulty employing their college graduates these past five years
    5) even people who to try to retool with an advanced degree in a “hot” area, cannot be assured of anything

    • Anonymous

      Good points Harry.   Also, the past 30 years have been a time of growing inequality between rich and poor, and a deteriorating middle class.   The loss of dependable and stable manufacturing jobs is one of the reasons.

  • Dave in CT

    This guest needs to learn Austrian economics and meet Ron Paul. 

    Get head out of the zero-sum game fallacy.

  • James

    Can your guests address unpaid internships and how they tap into the productivity of my generation while offering little to no compensation?

    • Cory

      …or volunteering as a way to network.  Unpaid labor, gotta love it.

  • Derek Maurer

    Lower the Medicare eligibility age to 62 or even 60. That would allow lots of older workers to retire who otherwise would stay in the workforce in order to keep health benefits. This move would clear out a lot of us old farts from the workforce and let younger people in.

    • TFRX

      …and it would also make Medicare cheaper per person.

      Everything else being equal, folks who would retire to Medicare at 62 or 60 are healthier than someone 10 or 20 years older. (This supposition doesn’t even throw into the mix people who are just getting more and more ill waiting to get to the Medicare starting line while not being covered at a job nobody will hire them for.)

      That means the pool of folks in Medicare (disclaimer: I’m related to a couple of ‘em) will become, on aggregate, healthier, and cheaper to provide the same services for.

    • Cory

      Good luck getting that past the teabag crowd.

  • sam

    I’m a 23 year old newly minted college graduate. After graduating I moved back home to work the same summer job I’ve had for the past 7 years. This fall I’ve kept myself busy with two part-time jobs, some adult continuing education classes, and working out a lot. I don’t really know what I’m going to do—I’m earning good money that’s going to enable me to pay down a chunk of my substantial student loans. The hard part is that although my parents have let me come back home (though they make me pay rent) they’ve both suffered economic setbacks that have hurt the household financially. I may wind up contributing significantly to the family budget to keep us ahead of the mortgage. Throw in the social stigma of being in your early twenties and living with your parents and it’s not an easy row to hoe.

  • Dave in CT

    We have too many people.

    Grow food now.

    • Smaug1415

      So Simple….

      What have you ever grown Dave in CT?  I grew up on a farm.   Sounds so idealic.  But the reality is that your simple ideas of washing cars and picking up trash don’t do it.

      • steve

        You may want to investigate Polyface farm

      • Dave in CT

        Corn, Kale, carrots, beets, lettuce, beans, squash, watermelon, basil, fennel, asparagus, apples and some other stuff.

        Anyway, the question related to the guest on the show talking about young people not working.

        I started at 15 landscaping and grocery store.

        What, did the rest of you go work for Wall St right our of middle school?

        I appreciate your farm work, and your rightful and experience-based knowledge that its its hard.

        But while we might wish there is a dream way for an easier life, maybe there just isn’t.

        I’m sure you know there is no free lunch.

        All the schemers in Washington and the Banks, play on our hopes and dreams of a free lunch, and freedom from labor.

        Entropy is real. The need to eat and cloth and shelter is real, and meeting those needs is, and should always be a source a dignity, not something to be derided.

        The Bankers fuel our dreams with debt, and then when the charade comes crashing down, they not only take our meager hard assets, they keep our debt obligations on the books.

        We don’t need to embrace socialism or one world government in order to feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves. Or even a bit more luxury.

        We just need to do it, and keep the bankers tentacles out of our pockets and root cellars so to speak.

    • Cory

      I feel about gardening the same way I feel about solar panels.  Everyone should do at least a little.  I’ve been doing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.  Hoping to expand a little more next year.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Regarding a point raised recently–young adults, vote.  Politicians pay no attention to you because they know that the highest voting rates are in different demographic groups.

    • Cory

      Yes indeedy!

  • Mr Jeff Newton

    At 28, I find this economy has forced me to become more competitive
    then I ever thought I would need to be (hard to do with a BA in psych and comm.).
    I sit on two boards, have an impressive resume, an expert portfolio to match
    and have not found the need to return to school or work more then the classic
    40 hour week. It all may just be luck, but I think it might be more about proactively
    shaping my professional life. Passivity will get you no where in this economy.

  • Dave in CT

    We are competing against communism supported Chinese labor!

    What on earth do you expect!?

    • Anonymous

       So you’re saying the communists are winning the capitalist game? 

      • Dave in CT

        Your point? If you can’t beat em, join em?

  • Dave in CT

    What “case” made?

    Give me more?

  • Dave in CT

    How about paying for that cable TV and iphone data plan?

    • Dpweber83

      Right: because the best way to find a job is to insulate yourself from communication technologies.

      Boston, MA

      • Dave in CT

        I know, I know. Because something is good, or has value, you deserve to have it.  Because you do!

        Put it on the credit card.

  • David Dzikiewicz

    I’m a 27 year old with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and I just returned to waiting tables after working 3.5 years in social services because I wasn’t making enough money and had few if any advancement opportunities. School isn’t an option at this time because it costs WAY too much, though if I could afford it I’d gladly return to education and start over.

  • AC

    housing and transportation – are those ‘consumerous’??

    • AC

      2.5x 75k won’t buy you anything within a 1.5hr commute, I know…

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Mr. Segal, perhaps you will notice that all of that technorubbish is a distraction.

    • AC

      what’s technorubbish?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        All the gadgets that he said young adults understand.

        • AC

          ah. but that’s a legit point, don’t you think?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Not really.  I’ve yet to see how playing with toys makes a person a better employee or producer.

          • AC

            well, for me, i was able to recruit my FB friends into giving a little to engineers w/o borders…..

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            And this provided a job to whom?

          • AC

            i guess i meant in a sense of an ‘awareness’ medium. One of my friends did use his status update to beg for a change in the company he was with and it worked. but he was among friends…..

          • Greg Stakowski

            Have you ever met an engineer?

          • AC

            me. i sorta know him…

  • Chuck

    I’m glad your guests are supporting the flat tax idea, we need to become more libertarian today for sure.  The government is completely out of control, spending money on risky business (healthcare for instance) obviously endangers its ability to perform the few things it is needed for.  There is no need for a lower income person to pay more, if the tax is flat, the rich will pay more and the poor less.  

    The real reason for our problems is that the Federal Reserve (A private Secretive global bank that controls every dollar in the US) brings down the value of the dollar each year.  What this does is force us to use the banking system, because there is no currency allowed which will retain its CURRENT value.  It is mandatory that you either use the banking system, or invest in global companies that use this system, or you will lose your past work and effort.  It is illegal to trade in silver, and the reason is so that every penny will then go through this crony capitalist system (which is quite different from a free market).  Think about it, each time you make a transaction with a card, 2-3% goes to a bank, with real cash, nothing goes to these global bankers and their middle eastern wars.  There are countless other ways these global banks tax you legally.

    • Dpweber83

      “we need to become more libertarian today for sure”

      Which specific policies would you support?

      Boston, MA

  • jim

    I hope the new generation will realize the “tricking down effect” that conservative republicans preach simply does NOT work. In fact if we have the further widening between the HAVE and the HAVE NOT, we should have unrest and chaos. This problematic scenario is the 30s led to radicalism and fascism. We cannot afford to neglect our neighbours and our fellow americans.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder seeing these issues through the lens of generational cohorts.  I am a ‘GenX’ man, born in 1969…caught between two big political generations…the BabyBoom before and the Milllenials after.  I feel like we are caught in-between – the old Boomers response to letting go and moving on is the Tea Party.   Now the Millennials are pushing for a place at the table.   At the end of the say, I think our generation (GenX) can play a role as translators between the two.

  • Judy

    The problem your are describing is not limited to a generation.  This is across the board.  My husband and I are in our mid-50′s.  I had my own business for 8 years, that I had to close last year due to the economy.  My husband hasn’t had a substantial raise in years.  I am struggling to find another job, and I have no unemployment, since I was self-employed.  I have an MBA, and 25 years of work experience, and can’t find a job other than call center right now.  We have one kid in college (just started) and the other is a sophomore in college.  Our savings for their college and our retirement are languishing in this market.  Retirement will likely occur not by our choice, and it will not be the retirement my parents had.

  • Dave in CT

    “4) the world has effectively handed over manufacturing to China at the expense of enormous environmental degradation and labor abuse; even China has had difficulty employing their college graduates these past five years”

    And who did this?  DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS

    Stop placing our hope in the Democratic, crony capitalistic/democratic socialism/one-world utopia party.

    We already know we don’t want the establishment, authoriatarian, crony-capitlaism GOP.

    Modern liberty needs to be embraced.

    On Point needs to spend a whole week exploring the concept of Crony Capitalism.

    • Dpweber83

      “And who did this?  DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS”

      Yeah, that or the basics of economics…

      Boston, MA

    • Smaug1415

      Agree except that I am not placing my hope in the “Only White and Wealthy need apply” Republican Party

      • Dave in CT

        that’s why I said,
        “We already know we don’t want the establishment, authoriatarian, crony-capitlaism GOP.”

  • Frickinducky

    This isn’t just a matter of employment, but a matter of entering a debt based economy.  We don’t have any control over the economy.  The Federal Reserve exists not for we the people, but for the corporate owners of the Reserve.  There is no security or hope of economic prosperity while the Fed has no responsibility to we the people.  I find it hilarious in a bad way that Andrew Jackson, one of many presidents who fought against privet ownership of the currency graces the $20 bill.  I am sure he is rolling in his grave.  Great, my 19 year old may eventually be able to get a job, but all of his labor and time pretty much goes to paying the debt built into the very fabric of the dollar.  Nothing will really change until we have a sovereign currency and a voice in the economy. 

    • Dpweber83

      “We don’t have any control over the economy.”

      That’s maybe the most outrageous over-generalization I’ve seen all day.

      The Federal Reserve isn’t negatively impacting your 19-year-old’s job search.  If anything, the Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policy over the last decade and a half is the only reason you can find student loans.

      Pick a new windmill.  

      Boston, MA

      • Dave in CT

        Great! Thanks Fed, for the opportunity for another LOAN!

        For christ’s sake what is so wrong with honest work and honest investment and living within our means!

        Oh yeah, it doesn’t enrich the lenders!

        Dan, did you work for Hillary’s credit card bill?

    • Anonymous

      You forgot to add that Andrew Jackson was also partly responsible for one of the worst depressions this nation had in the 19th century.
      Van Buren was also a factor in this panic by not getting the federal government involved. Hmmm…, sounds familiar.


      • Dave in CT

        You forgot to acknowledge that earlier financial crises were prompted by government and bankers’ efforts to expand credit despite restraints imposed by the prevailing gold standard, and are thus consistent with Austrian Business Cycle Theory.


  • Anonymous

    I recently walked across a college campus in Pennsylvania.  Many places on the campus I heard and saw students talking about how great Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul were.  The discussion included how one of these candidates needed to be elected to fix America.  It looks to me this generation is getting exactly what its members want.

    • Nick

      God help us then….

    • Dpweber83

      Which college?

    • TFRX

      I, too, would like details. The original post sounds a little too Bobo to me.

      • AC

        what does ‘sounds a little too Bobo’??? mean

        • TFRX

          David Brooks at the NYT is Bobo.

          His reputation is based on anecdotes continually overheard from cabbies all over the world who drive him from the airport he landed at to the hotel he’s staying in. They are taken as gospel and echoed through the media, and not supported by statistics, shoe-leather reporting, or even meaningful polls.

          • AC

            i’m embarrassed but i don’t even know him….

          • TFRX

            You shouldn’t be embarrassed to not know of him.

            It’s much more embarrassing to know of his work and think he’s making a point. It’s much more embarassing to believe, as he does, that there are millions of voters out there just waiting to vote for Big Name Democrat (he’s been doing his schtick for ages) if only that Democrat were more conciliatory in tone to the right-wing and put Blue Dogs like Ben Nelson and such on yet another useless panel with hard-right Republicans.

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    It’s not just Wall St. but also Universities that are working against this generation.  The costs of college have increased at multiples of the cost of living.  Most of this increase has gone into high salaries of administrators rather than into classrooms.

    This generation, and their parents, should be picketing colleges and universities as well as banks and Wall St.  Whether it’s banks or colleges Washington will NOT help you – only strong social action will effect change.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      BRAVO JOHN !!! 

      The banks created the student loan bubble while the universities jacked up the tuition exponentially.    And the only way to solve these debt bubbles are through inflation.  Catch 22.  

      • Dave in CT

        Just don’t forget that it is the DEMOCRATS who use the government to enable to BANKS to do this stuff, just like FANNIE MAE, all under the guise of GOOD INTENTIONS. 

        It is such BS, it enriches their crony banking overlords.

        We already knew the establishment GOP was a crony-business party.

        Can we finally admit the Democrats are the crony Banking party, dump them, and just move on?

        Cronyism between Government Banking and Industry is the main problem, not our free market system.

        We need to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, which the protests really seem to want to do.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

          I dont fall for the Demo-Repub charade.  Its all a front for bankers and their lobbyists.

      • Susan

        And let’s not forget what started it all:  money printing.  You need that to make the loans.  With the power of the fake purse the government can eventually have its hand in everything. 

  • Dave in CT

    Hear that Giant Sucking Sound yet?

  • Susan

    I tuned in late…has anyone brought up the subject of fiat money, Austrian Economics, the inevitable collapse we are now experiencing?  Prior generations were raking it in because the government was PRINTING the money.  Now that bubble has burst.  And typical of paper money systems, the rich have gotten richer, the poor poorer. 

    Here’s a link to recent hearings on the subject:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ChBR0mSWhI

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    Judy and the sheet rock installer said it all – it’s not generational and it’s not JUST about college grads.  This pile of stinking crap has been laid on this country through a 25 year pattern of shipping jobs overseas (anyone remember Ross Perot?) giving tax breaks to the wealthy (anyone remember Bush I branding it ‘Voodoo Economics?) and disempowering young people by giving them bright shiny object to play with (computer games, etc).

    A robust economy is not rebuilt without undoing these trends & only strong action by the people will do this.  What we need is an American Association of Working People to provide a voice for the ‘job doesrs’ in this country.

    • Anonymous

      Welcome to the post-industrial work world, or lack there off.

      • Dave in CT

        Do we need to eat and have shelter and educate our children?

        How can there be a lack of work?

        Oh, our lack of diligence and vigilance has let us get herded into a serfdom society where we are beholden to iphone data plans and ATM fees. And paying back that pesky 14 Trillion in debt.

        Hmmmm. Where did all that money go?

        Do you (we):
        A) Want to government to do the above for us?
        B) Want to be free to do the above, and not be forced to do more if we don’t want to?

        Lets decide and move forward with the dismantling.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Professor Herzog, you think that young adults are more aware?  You haven’t taught college freshmen, I take it.  Mine, as a whole, have little awareness of anything that happened more than five years ago.

  • Cmknight123

    My son, 27 is now in his third year teaching ESL in S.Korea as he could not find employment after graduating from University of SC, is not required to pay US income tax and has benefits. He is enjoying the adventure but we sacrifice seeing him only once a year.

  • JEL

    I graduated from college with a BA in the late seventies and spent many years trying to find any job let alone one that pays $80,000 entry level salary. We are that lost generation. A Bachelor’s degree in any field was supposed to be more than we needed for employment.  Many of my classmates never found meaningful employment or settled for what was available and ended up staying; papermill, waitress, etc. Time to be creative, think outside of the box, generate your job.

  • listener

    This question doesn’t directly deal with today’s show, but my question (or suggestion) is why haven’t you discussed the ideas of Barry C Lynn. 
    My book club just finished his book and we were all blown away by his ideas and insight.   

  • Concerned

    Let your guests address the largest single factor affecting
    wage and employment levels in the United States, both historically
    and at present: international TRADE AGREEMENTS.

    BOTH parties since Carter have abandoned the interests of the majority and
    catered to multinational corporations who wanted to lower input factors by
    shipping jobs overseas, first in manufacturing and then in every service that
    can be performed remotely (e.g. Oracle programmers in India).  The
    locations of these jobs have most often been in undemocratic societies that do
    not protect the right to organize, nor enforce wage, age or occupational safety
    rules. We, my friends, are the input factors to be minimized.  Apart from outsourcing, any efficiency gains
    in firms at home, in absence of collective bargaining power, have – quite predictably
    -  gone to management and shareholders –
    not to workers, the vast majority of the population.

    The pending agreements with Columbia, Panama and South
    Korea being pushed by the Obama administration are
    equally as weighty as NAFTA and the host of other agreements that have shipped
    labor in massive quantities to East and South Asia
    over the last 35 years – in many cases not improving the material, let alone
    affective, conditions of persons in such countries. The “Golden Period” of
    American growth mentioned by one of your guests was dominated by the New Deal
    Coalition in congress and the statistics of broad-based inclusive growth
    followed suit.  Once labor lost its power
    in the 1970s, all trade and finance policy has tended towards the interests of
    Oligopoly – coming either from the Democratic or Republican parties.  The statistics have followed suit.

    • Concerned

      I am the poster of the above comment on Trade Agreements:
      - Caleb from Jamaica Plain, MA (29 Years Old)

  • AC

    this reminds me, i think it was PBS, but i just saw a documentary the other day where they recruited math & science teachers from the philipines to Delaware or something because their were no american math/science teachers…

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Too true–teaching in our public schools is one of the hardest jobs in this country and receives some of the lowest pay for its education level.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

         Oh come on. An education degree is a joke!

        Its supply and demand. Since an education degree is so easy to get, people flock to those programs, and thus the supply of educators skyrockets. Since there is such a large supply of educators, and the demand is not growing as fast, the price of each educator goes down.

        If my professors can manage to teach a full lecture hall of undergraduate students, surely they could manage a class of high schoolers.

        Ouch, I know, the truth hurts doesn’t it?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Until you’ve stood in front of both groups, I invite you to be quiet.  I’ve taught high school and college students.  The difference in how the two systems are run (for now, anyway), make the former a structural failure.

    • TFRX

      Shouldn’t the free market handle that? I mean, if nobody’s applying for a job, doesn’t every Austrian economist I’ve ever read say that the pay is too little?

      • AC

        good point. i don’t know, sometimes things that seem logical get ignored and i just get more confused….

      • Dave in CT

        I’ve got it!  We can all eat Red Herrings and our worries will be over!

        The democratic socialists and communists and unaffiliated utopians keep serving up plenty!

        Or you could tell us the Austrian vision, and what you disagree with and why it didn’t predict our disaster.

        No wait- Just give us your CARICATURE of Austrian view and then shoot it down!

        • TFRX


          It is way too easy to get, from our media uberlords, the headline “Nobody is applying to work here.”

          How many economists does one have to rub together to not recognize the end of that statement “…at the wages we’re offering”?

          You say you’re all up with hardcore economist reading and stuff. At what point does supply and demand stop being a tenet of it?

          • Dave in CT

            You mean the printing money with interest attached to gin up fake demand to bring housing prices back up and keep an iphone in every pocket and prius or SUV (pick your party favorite) in every garage?

            Just wait until people really cut back on the “luxuries” of today, and all that money is turned to food and shelter.  Then all the cash poor are totally screwed with the inflation.

          • TFRX

            This has been another edition of “non answers to simple questions”.

          • Dave in CT

            That’s rich. You mean like your evasion of my question above with your question:

            “Or you could tell us your understanding of the Austrian vision, and what you disagree with and why it didn’t predict our disaster.
            No wait- Just give us your CARICATURE of Austrian view and then shoot it down!”

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller Nicole,

    You don’t have any demands yet?  So I’ve walked into your showroom, looked at your product, and now I’m leaving.  You haven’t asked me to buy anything.

    • Dpweber83


  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller Chris,

    Not everyone can do every job.  We can’t all be software engineers–or doctors or bankers or on and on.

    • Brian

      I agree, it seems like some people are saying it’s our fault we wanted to be a police officer or a teacher so we should just accept poverty.   THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN!

      • AC

        i thought i saw a news clip that had a bunch of graduating police officers going up on stage for their badge and gun and exiting to get a pink slip…..(& return the gun)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

       That is simply false. I’m an engineer, and there is nothing special about me. You are just as smart as me, as is everyone I work and go to school with.

      The issue is that not everyone is willing to do the work required to become an engineer or a doctor or whatever. Its not that they can’t do it, they don’t want to!!!

      My generation feels much too entitled than is good for them, or this economy. The truth is, our economy needs these people more than ever! Wealth is built on the backs of engineers, and so without engineers, we have no wealth.

      Doctors and bankers included of course ;)

      • AC

        i’m glad you said it – I can remember being stressed out and working 20hrs a day in school while ‘other’ majors watched the game in the student lobby. Holy mad was I jealous…Only 12 of the original 47 finished in engineering….

      • Chris S

        Hi Alex,

        I obtained my education in Arizona and am still employed in Arizona though I live in Iowa currently. My employer has been searching for qualified personnel to fill open positions but has been unable to due to the complete lack of qualified people! It reminds me of a local paper that I skimmed through one evening and noticed a reply by an Intel VP that stated: We have no plans of expanding our campus in the area due to the lack of educated potential employees.

    • Chris S

      Not asking everyone to do every job – asking people to take a few moments of introspection and find traits and skills that they can market and be useful to our society and economy. Then, make a plan and follow it through.

      Some points that I was cut off before stating were: how about all those high priced Apple products in the Occupy Wall Street movement? How many overpriced toys do you SUBSCRIBE to on a monthly basis? Do you make use of all of your resources made available to the general public for free or a limited fee? This slightly younger generation is making me sick. I have enormous amounts of respect for the people I see hauling in cans at the local turn-in area; at least they didn’t give up.

  • Bdanke

    When will young people begin to question the value of higher education as provided by the university system? If one wants to learn something there are books. Universities seem to only be valuable by providing access to labs and expensive equipment. Student loans cannot be discharged in most cases and are and will be a noose for the younger generation. How many of the individuals who have created our modern era been college drop-outs? The young need to create their own opportunities and study subjects that can create value and not empty words.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Perhaps those college dropouts would have created a more humane technology if they had taken a few more humanities classes, instead of learning only about gadgets.

      • Dave in CT

        Just what we need, more sensitive unemployed. I guess at least they wouldn’t be agitating for civil war.

  • Dan

    Any old farts with a “kids these days” attitude should remember who they’ll depend on when they can’t go to the bathroom without assistance.

    All this talk about morality is silly.

  • Dan

    “Adults” won’t save us so we’re going to have to do it ourselves. The first thing we can do is start the public conversation and frame it not in terms of generational warfare but in terms of building a better future for Americans of all ages. One that is built on

    • Dan

      *One that is built on shared sacrifice and shared aspirations rejecting divisive politics and the concept of us vs them.

  • Susan Grossberg

    Student loans are crushing this generation and leaving borrowers with no way out, particularly for private loans.  Federal student loans can be dealt with thru income contingent repayment programs, but private loans are essentially non-dischargeable in bankruptcy and there is no program available to help borrowers.  The “undue hardship discharge” available in bankruptcy requires a showing that for the duration of the borrower’s working life that the borrower will be unable to earn income above poverty levels.  Congress must be urged to change the bankruptcy code to provide for reasonable  and live-able approach to dischargeability of student loans. To do otherwise is to drive an entire generation into financially untenable lives.

    Attorney Susan GrossbergGrossberg Law Offices100 Franklin Street, 4th FloorBoston, MA  02110Tel:  617-357-5555Email: SG@GrossbergLawOffices.comWebsite: GrossbergLawOffices.com

  • Dave in CT

    Crony-capitalism and the Fee-model, Credit card-model economy created by the 2 parties for the benefit of the banking elite, have ensured the Serfdom, and 0-Wealth society the guest speaks of.

    Also, individuals have to reject materialism themselves. The government loves it. It pays their bills.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

     The real problem that everyone is afraid to address is that young people nowadays are assuming a degree in higher education is the equivalent of a ticket to a good job.

    I graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree, and I had three job offers. My friends in the program all got job offers as well when they graduated.

    Young people have to realize that you can’t just go to school, get a BA in whatever, and expect to get a good job!

    My generation is too entitled. This is the ball and chain on the economy everyone is simply afraid to address.

  • Dave in CT

    Did anyone mention the word debt today? Or was it just give us more and ask the government to do more?

    These people at least need to go camping for a tiny taste of self-suffieciency, and being away from the consumption culture for a bit.

    • TFRX

      First things first.

      At this point in the business cycle, more worrying about debt is like wondering where one can take a pee in privacy while wandering in Death Valley with a mouth too dry to spit.

      • Dave in CT

        That’s pretty funny.

        But I’m worried about who dumped me in Death Valley, and why there is an electrified rail all around me preventing me from the liberty of pissing.

        • Dave in CT

          Investigate the Business Cycle.

          While obviously there are many factors in anything like an economy, what do you disagree with in this?:

          “Economists of the heterodox Austrian school argue that business cycles are primarily caused by excessive creation of bank credit – or fiduciary media – which is encouraged by central banks when they set interest rates too low, especially when combined with the practice of fractional reserve banking. The expansion of the money supply causes a “boom” in which resources are misallocated due to falsified interest rate signals, which then leads to the “bust” as the market self-corrects, the malinvestments are liquidated, and the money supply contracts.
          One of the primary critiques of Austrian business cycle theory is the observation that the United States suffered recurrent economic crises in the 19th century, most notably the Panic of 1873, prior to the establishment of a U.S. central bank in 1913. Adherents, such as the historian Thomas Woods argue that these earlier financial crises were prompted by government and bankers’ efforts to expand credit despite restraints imposed by the prevailing gold standard, and are thus consistent with Austrian Business Cycle Theory.”

          Please don’t pull an Ultrax, and say the government/Fed may start bubbles, but don’t cause them.

          • Dave in CT

            The “Business Cycle” is now an industry, and both parties have used the government to establish, and entrench it.

      • AC


  • Claire

    Bravo, Matthew and our time!  I am 57 years old with one child in college and one more ready to attend within two years.  I want my kids to be educated AND gainfully employed, too.  I don’t want to retire at 75 because my kids don’t have a future.   If I was retired, I would join your rally!! Go for it!

  • Kosta Demos

    If you really want to cover this issue, you should go down to Dewey Sq. and broadcast live from there.

    Last year, I was a candidate in the special election to fill the Boston City Council’s 6th District seat (Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury).  I lost.  But the door knocking I did was a blunt and usefull education on the true state of our economy; over and over I met educated men and women under 30 who felt completely shut out from from both the job market and political system.  Canvassing West Roxbury, I was shocked by how often the door would be answered by an unemployed young person forced by economic necessity to move back into his or her parents’ home.

    This young, disposessed demographic is what drove the “Arab Spring”.  You covered those events well.  Will you do the same now that the same movement is awakening right here?

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    I would (as an “unemployed older person” {55 years old}) urge the 4 in 10  in the younger generation who aren’t registered with a party to get registered if they want to have a voice. Here in Kentucky we have what are called “closed primaries” wherein you can only vote for the candidates of your party come primary time. Better to have a voice, than no voice at all.

    Don’t let the powers that be pit us against each other. We are in this together if we can only exercise our power.

    Unemployed carpenters should be weatherproofing all over the country. Here in Kentucky the house you insulate yesterday may save the mountain you hike/bike/gawk at tomorrow.

    • Dave in CT

      Register Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries.

      Just be careful with your pen and don’t check one of the establishment GOP cronies.

      The go back to unaffiliated.

  • Andromeda132

    It seems at times difficult to organize young people because we don’t feel like our voices are being heard. The babyboomer generation has a tight grip on this country right now, and are only concerned with themselves. Its a new day and its time for things to change.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      As a baby-boomer I agree – and please note, I feel exactly the same about the “Greatest Generation” that begot us. 

      What you’re saying is the system is rigged for the old, not the young. And my answer is: get yourselves organized and start voting in ways that will steer the government to pay attention to the future needs of your generation.  

      But understand this: older people and conservatives know the value of the ballot box and use it to command a government that serves them first.  To beat them you’ll have to learn to sing from the same song book, be smart, and be prepared to sacrifice time and money to get there! 

      • TFRX

        The ballot box is an answer, provided the GOP hasn’t scrubbed out one’s voting rights this year.

        • twenty-niner

          Bev Perdue, the Democrat governor from North Carolina, is well ahead of the GOP on this one:

          “I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two
          years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever
          decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I
          really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”


          • Modavations

            Read what Peter Orzag said about Democracy.Same thing as Ms.Perdue and don’t forget NAZI’s weren’tSocialists.They called themselves the National Workers Socialist Party to throw us off track.

    • Modavations

      Your world view will be drastically different by age 30.Why you ask?Paying taxes!!!!

  • Get up! Stand up!

    The young woman calling from the 99% demonstration – it’s heartbreaking to hear her ask just for a shot at having the basic things we have come to expect for a decent way of life in this country. There are millions like her and millions more who have been historically disenfranchised such as minorities, disabled, and the elderly.

    How did we get here?  Listen to what they are chanting: CORPORATE GREED and a political system that caters to it and  obeys its commands.
    The system is rigged and the only way out and up will be people power.  The rising generation needs to become a voting block that politician’s cannot avoid -or finesse with fine words while betraying their base once they get into office.  Organize and mobilize and be heard!

    • AC

      i really think you should count overpopulation as a definitive variable….(we just don’t need milkmen, bank tellers or post office workers anymore…..)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

        That is very true, we don’t need them anymore. Times have changed, and people need to change with the times. Even though we don’t need milkmen, we still need people to design, build, and maintain the systems that produce, distribute, and store the milk. These are where the new opportunities are, and our generation is unwilling to do the work necessary to understand these systems.

        • AC

          i’ve mentioned this myself, the jobs of the future will have you write the program that does the actual building…..then someone pointed out that we would all be shapeless lumps from such work, which seems probable, lol…..

      • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge
        • AC

          i agree w/smaller, more sustainable communties, many good points to argue for it, though maybe some hidden cons too 
          - someone mentioned a founder of such a movement out of England – I looked into it, but forgot what it was called…does anyone know?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            It was in Rugby, Tennessee.  It’s now a tourist site, which tells you how successful utopian experiments are.

          • nj

            No one’s talking about Rugby, except you, fishing for red herring. Greg thinks resilient and self-reliant communities are “utopian.” You need to get out more.

          • Modavations

            The Kibbutz is a quaint artifact

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

            It would cause prices to sky rocket. We already had this debate decades ago. Efficiency and thus cheaper goods won out, and thus we have the system we do now.

          • nj

            “Efficiency” powered by fossil fuels. Relatively cheap, readily available fuels are what gave us the system we have now. That party’s ending. So-called renewable sources are not concentrated enough to replace fossil fuels, plus they have costs and drawbacks of their own.

          • Modavations

            You can’t beat the combustion engine.Just refine and refine and get more mileage.In Europe they all drive the “new”diesel.There’s 200 years of oil left,no sweat.In 50 years we’ll be teleporting.A barrel of oil seems expensive,because the dollar has lost so much buying power.Wait till the hyperinflation hits.In europe they pay pounds and Euros for the stuff we buy in dollars.The $4.00  beer in Boston costs $4pounds in London($6.00)

          • Anonymous

            Beer hasn’t been $4 in Boston for a few years.

          • nj

            …200 years of oil… At what cost (global warming, pollution, foregone opportunity costs)?

            The easy oil is just about gone. Countries have or soon will reach peak oil. Prices will soon begin an inexorable rise.

            But keep dreamin’ Moda-troll.

          • AC

            that’s so funny – my con list didn’t include this argument, but that does make sense. i was thinking more along the lines of immunity/illnesses and the dangers of isolationism….

          • nj

            Transition Towns, or just Transition. Rob Hopkins was one of the founders. A Web search will bring up much info.

          • AC

            thanks – i remember now!!

  • JONct

    I’m sorry, what is up with Matthew Segal’s hostility towards academia?  I’m 25, unemployed, liberal, and have no connection to academia, and his  hostility towards Patricia Herzog and her study smacks of the republican douchebaggery that doubts global warming because they don’t like the scientific findings.  I may find some of what she says difficult to take personally, but nonetheless clearly there is some data there to support her claims.  Beating up on academics, who seem just as desperate to find work and satisfaction as anyone else, is like beating up on orphans or the nerdy kid in class.  Mr. Segal, I don’t need a dipsh*t like yourself or anyone else representing me and my friends if you are going to be that backwards and disrespectful.

    • Geri

      As a baby boomer  – I worked 2 jobs raised 4 children while putting myself thru school – My wife and I (of 40 years) seldom took vacations and saved for our children and for our retirement.  I also opened my own firm 20 years ago after learning the business from my previous employers.  My wife and I never received help from anyone  – and never asked for it.  JONct – I would recommend that you worry less about politics and what OTHERS are going to do for you and start taking greater PERSONAL accountability for your own situation.

      • TFRX

        Ah, another calling for more personal responsibility because the “riffraff” are morally suspect.  The biggest thing all those millions of people who are un- or under-employed, eating into their savings, selling their fillings to pay the rent, etc, can do is be more personally responsible. No tilted gaming table here.

        I’ll stop concerning myself with politics when the Koch bros and all my economic uberlords unilaterally disarm first.

      • nj

        Personal anecdote does not speak to, excuse, account for, or provide an answer to systemic, institutional problems in the wider economy/government/society.

      • Cory

        Gee, thanks.

      • Anonymous

        Yes you did receive help from your fellow tax payers. For the roads to get yourself and your goods to market. For the police and fire department to protect your home, busniess and lifestyle.

        Not one person in this country has become wealthy on their own, not one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

    There is nothing wrong with the economy. The problem is with the people.

    No matter how much stimulus we pump into the economy, its not going to solve the problem.

    • TFRX

      Wait, what?

      All those people applying for any kind of work whatsoever, in greater numbers per opening than in, what, 30 years, are the problem?

      And I’ll stick with what real economists have shown about the stimulus, thanks.

      • Chris S

        Right here is the problem that you stated in your question:

        “All those people applying for any kind of work whatsoever, in greater numbers per opening than in, what, 30 years, are the problem?”

        Yes, that is exactly the problem. They’re applying for any kind of work whatsoever. The question needs to be: why are they applying for any kind of work whatsoever? Are they jacks-of-all-trades? Are they unskilled? Why can’t they find work in a current profession? Why won’t they?

        • TFRX

          This has been going on for the working class for years. The Bush recovery never happened for them.

          They didn’t become stupid, unproductive, lazy and goldbrickers in ten short years.

          Blaming this class of people for the economy isn’t going to get you anywhere except on CNBC.

          • Chris S

            I like how you default to “blame” instead of performing any serious analysis on why they are where they are and how they can change their position.

          • TFRX

            How many tens of millions of people have to be in this spot before the better off, like others in my economic strata, stop saying “tens of millions of people are simply there because they made the wrong choices, aren’t productive enough, too lazy and uneducated”.

            These people are so much more symptom, not the cause.

            But blaming them for the failing of the economy at large is a comforting way for the middle class to say “It won’t happen to me.”

          • Dave in CT

            We have been to consumeristic, and too unrealistic about our ability to pay for what we want, and let the 2 parties feed us the Kool-aid, for too long.

            Reckoning time, and the dividing and conquering going swimmingly.

          • Chris S

            TFRX, please stop trying to just monologue – it’s not useful for anyone.

            Can you actually provide an answer to any of the above questions or even poke at the thought instead of asserting generalized blame?

          • TFRX

            I AM poking at the thought.

            Blaming poor people is easy. No point is made doing it in these parts.

            And if you call that a monologue, you really need to get out more.

          • AC

            but i consider middle class to include jobs like ‘banker/bank teller’ or ‘post master/mailman’ – you know, some of the jobs that are disappearing? or am I too literal? what exactly do you mean then?

          • Dave in CT

            Don’t worry, he has all the answers somewhere in his head. Just doesn’t want to bore us with the logic and mechanistic foundations of his worldview.

          • Dave in CT

            Blame the Republicans! Good, halfway there….. OK, now open up the other eye….


          • AC

            this argument seems parallel to arguments through-out periods of the industrial revolution – i don’t think he’s necessarily ‘blaming’ or calling anyone ‘lazy’ etc,
            for me, i agree w/him – and feel it’s necessary for free training/support programs to help ease the pain of transition…
            tho, I disagree with the infrastructure issue – we TOTALLY need to update our infrastructure asap!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

            Now, that might be something I would support, but there would have to be stipulations, such as it would be free as long as you pass the program with a certain “grade” or level of success somehow measured.

            While we need to teach people to learn how to fish, we can’t give them fish if they don’t learn how, especially when the classes were free.

          • Modavations

            One does not appreciate that which is free.

          • Unquotable

            That’s why you insist paying for your love.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

            We have created an entire generation of people dependent on the government for their basic needs. We shouldn’t be talking about young people as a lost generation, rather we need to address the problem of the welfare generation as the lost generation.

            In today’s world, if 16 year old Marquan doesn’t understand the need for schooling, its most likely because his parents, and their parents, and perhaps even their parents didn’t understand it either! Why? Because the government will always be there to take care of them!

            And its not their fault, its the do-gooders fault in government in the 60s. We can thank LBJ for a lot of these problems we are having now.

          • AC

            i dont know – i spent some time in the midwest and southern parts of this country and it’s amazing that while ‘formal’ education isn’t necessarily important or stressed, - meanwhile they have a phD’s worth of knowledge of agriculture and nature and would be better off than I would if you took my corner store away…..:)

          • Modavations

            Hey Young Lady,
                  Europe was hopping.The streets were jammin,you can drink beer in public,smoke cigs,good gear everywhere

          • AC

            ew. beer tastes like sweat socks smell! but the point is made – sounds like fun…

          • TFRX

            “An entire generation of people dependent on the government.”

            I won’t worry about overgeneralizing in further replies to you.

          • Modavations

            Do you remember Claribel Ventura?.Something like 30 of her intergenerational family,were on the dole.

          • nj

            Someone mentions welfare, and in a flash, a winger-reactionary jumps in and blows the dog whistle.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

          Because they can’t. They don’t have the skills to satisfy the demands of the current economic landscape.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

        Well it was a broad generalization. Sure, there are things we could do better, for instance paying more attention to small businesses and such, but we can’t say that “the economy” is broken.

        The jobs are just being shifted elsewhere. Productivity has skyrocketed, and thus we don’t need as many workers, but since this productivity is due to technology, we need more people who can handle this technology though perhaps not as many as past workers.

        Globalization is the cause for that. Thank NAFTA and your congress people. We can’t go back and fix that now, so we need to just deal with what we have.

        And the real economists are stuck in the 1930s. We have different problems now, that aren’t going to be solved with another New Deal. Sure, infrastructure is important and offers great bang for the buck…but this spending needs to be continuous in order for it to have long term effects. How is that anything but big government?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

           The worst part is, 60% of our engineering workforce is on track to retire in the next 20 years, and we are nowhere near producing enough new engineers to fill that gap. So no matter how much we spend on roads, our economy is still headed for trouble.

        • TFRX

          We came out of the Great Depression with a pile of public goods, all with brass plaques or granite cornerstones bearing the date “193x”.

          As far as “keeping the lights on” in this economy, what we need is government spending to keep this from becoming 1937 again.

          Our infrastructure has taken a tumble in the last 10 years, per the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report.

          You’re saying “big government” like it’s not needed now, like hundreds of Republicans haven’t had fistfights to get the stimulus money for their own projects, while saying “stimulus too big” and “job killing spending”.

          Continuous and long-term effect? I’ll deal with that at this point in the bidness cycle.


          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657942714 Alex Byrley

            Blind government spending is the last thing we need.

            It didn’t help us get out of the depression, only when we focused our spending on the war effort did we get out of it. This is not the 1930s.

          • TFRX

            As long as we don’t “morally unhazard” ourselves to an austerity-driven redux of 1937, it’s not the ’30s.

            Of course, back then one party, (and about a third of our commercial media) weren’t dedicated to keeping millions out of work so one man would lose his job.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps it’s not the 30′s, but if you go back and study the time just before the depression many of the smae arguments werre being made – less government, less taxes. Tax rate dropped to 25%…. and then the world fell apart.
                   Ah well, maybe we can have another good old World War to unite God and country and get us out of doldrums again.
               HEY, wait a minute come to think of it- WE’RE the only ones with close to the military might to start a World War – let’s go for it. Let’s Blitzkrieg Canada- they’ve probably got some WMD’s there somewhere.

      • Modavations

        Herr Krugman,Steiglitz,Robert(third reich)are leftist,propagandists.Economics is a fake discipline.Sort of like Psychologists and Chiropractors

        • TypicalResponse

          That’s why post-graduate degrees in Economics are held in the highest regard on Wall Street because it’s a ‘fake discipline’ to go along with a fake ‘free market’.

          • Modavations

            Economists were shocked,economists have revised downward,economists have revised upwards,economists have revised sideways,GDP #’s were downgraded.And Moodys,Standatrd and Poor,et al., missed the frigging housing collapse.

          • TypicalResponse

            Like I meant: smoke-n-mirrors propagandists financed and brought to you by over-educated, upper-crusted, ponzi-scheme selling, lipstick-on-the pig marketing, gambling elite, soothsayers posing as Wall Street-’free market’-capitalists.

  • Dave in CT

    Love those Dems….

    TransCanada Pipeline Foes Allege Bias in U.S. E-Mails

    E-mails released Monday show a sometimes collaborative relationship between lobbyists for the company building the pipeline and officials in the State Department. TransCanada Pipeline Foes Allege Bias in U.S. E-Mails

    • Dave in CT

      But you love it when Government colludes to do what YOU think is right….

      And you scoff at the Rule of Law.  Time to look it up and think about it.

  • Modavations

    If you don’t intend to be a scientist,don’t bother with college.$200,000 for a Liberal College education is a  scam from foisted by “Big College”.

    • nj

      The daily Moda-spew has begun!

      • Modavations

        That makes me two hours behind the daily NJ spew.I had to work this morning!!!!

        • OUKid

          What happens to you after 4pm anyway?

          Do they shut down the computers at the home after dinner?

          Maybe mommy won’t let you comment after dessert.

          • Modavations

            That’s when I brief Obama,Sarkozy,Berlusconi,Angela

          • TypicalResponse

            That explains our problems.

    • GetReal

      Try to get a job without a college degree – even a low-level one.

      Even an in-state college tuition will leave a student with a $400 to $600 per month loan debt.

      • Modavations

        Quit wringing your hands and get out there.Open a Lemonade stand.I started with $10,000.

        • TypicalResponse

          Probably when $10,000 meant something and how did you amass this small fortune?  So, how did you pay for your education and how much did it cost anyway?

          • Modavations

            I opened my first Lemonade stand at 7 and “pops” paid for college.He also,was a self made man.

          • TypicalResponse

            In some places, parents have been ticketed because their children were running a lemonade stand.  Back in the day, one middle-class parent could afford to pay for several educations at once – not today. 

          • Modavations

            Lemonade Gestapos.What a hoot.The sick part is you’re correct

  • Modavations

    Start your own business.If you can’t,seek an apprenticeship in your discipline.

    • GetReal

      With what capital, a loan from the SBA or my local bank?
      And while I’m being paid less than a living wage for my ‘apprenticeship’ how am I supposed to pay rent and transportation expenses?

      • Modavations

        How did we manage for the last two thousand years?.Passion,I’d say.

        • TypicalResponse

          When did passion become a fiat currency?  You probably think the unemployed are out of work because they aren’t passionate enough, or are too spoiled and too lazy to work.

          • Modavations

            May I recommend the esteemed Dem. profession of “hand wringing”

          • TypicalResponse

            I rather take up the position you seem to profess: blame the ‘hand wringing’ unemployed for our horrendous economy.

          • Modavations

            Blame the jackboot of oppressive,omnipresent govt.,on our necks.Good god man,liscenses for Lemonade stands

  • Modavations

    Rarely have I heard such a bunch of ninnies.This is a “golden age” and the fact that you can go back and live with “mums”, at the mansion,is proof

    • RDF

      I don’t know if I’d go quite that far. I can believe there are some real problems finding employment. However, I do think that this generation has some of the highest expectations in history. Most of them came from upper middle class homes in the suburbs and feel it incumbent to keep up nothing less than that lifestyle. Much that previous generations might have called luxury they now consider necessities. Many of this younger generation are willing to work hard, but they haven’t had much experience with sacrifice and making do with limited resources.

      • Modavations

        My fear is that the schools have an antipathy to the free market.People all over the world want to get into the U.S.,so they can get rich.Meanwhile, our professors  teach the kiddies to hate the wealthy!!!!Most of us are seIf made men,not Trust Fund babies.If the young bloods adopt ‘laissez faire”,they’ll thrive.Term Limits on the Solons would greatly accelerate an economic revival.

    • SirFool

      How can the “biggest percentage-point decline in employment of any age group ever in our history” be interpreted as being in a “golden age”?

      • Modavations

        The average lifespan in the US is 80.I can call anywhere in the world for 15 cents.I can get anywhere in the world in 24 hours.I can go to the Met,or British Museum and see the treasures of millenia.I can “google” any question and get an instantaneous answer.I can get an MRI and view my organs without surgery.I can….

        • SirFool

          By not addressing the particular statement above, you have proven your critical thinking skills are nil and your vision myopic.

          • Dave in CT

            Are the “rich”, or simply competent, supposed to connect the dots for everyone too?

        • nj

          More dispatches from Moda-troll’s Fact-Impaired Zone.

          It’s 78.3 in the U.S., but who’s counting. It’s 80 and above in 15 other countries, though. Maybe he was thinking of Iceland.

  • Modavations

    The girl in public housing,living at the Boston Protest site was a hoot.”I don’t know whaT I want,I don’t know what it means”.Oh Please~~~

  • Pete D

    Jobs depend on the market place. The market place depends on people having money, The vast majority of the people who make up the market place and have jobs aren’t getting paid enough to make the economy grow. They aren’t getting paid for the true value of the services they provide because the higher ups have decided that labor isn’t worth it and they should get the benefit of the increased profits or they spend their money to pay exorbitant salaries to TV celebrities, pro athletes, movie stars etc, all people who don’t contribute any service nearly equal to the money they receive in pay. Any one collecting a salary of one million dollars or more should be contributing 25 times more value to the economy than an average worker but they don’t come close to adding that much value and their salaries continue to grow at the expense of the worker and the economy. Those same people are crying class warfare because the must pay all the taxes. The class warfare is really against the common worker who make up the market place so that the private sector can create jobs. Until this condition is corrected, there will be no job growth.
    Economists claim that these salaries are in the economy abd don’t affect the total disposable income in the market place thus the market place is not affected. The economic data tells a different outcome. The economy depends on the rate that money changes hands; not on how much money there is and the wealthy can’t spend it fast enough. Every dollar paid in wages to them takes as much as 10X’s more time to return to the economy. You figure it out. That means that the economy loses $10 for every $1 paid to the Peyton Manning’s, Tom Brady’s, Jack welch’s, Simon Cowell’s, Katie Curic’s, Gary Cohn’s etc. 
    That is where the jobs have gone and until this condition is corrected, don’t expect the economy to improve. It is not a matter of young people to get creative, to stop whining, governmet stimulus, low interest loans, low taxes, in general, if there is no money being spent there won’t be any jobs.

    • Fredlinskip

      100% agree.
      Candidates speak of growing the economy as if that is the whole answer. It obviously isn’t.
         There was a wild frenzy of spending under W, by a large percentage of American populace addicted to easy credit. From economics 101, all this spending, by all rights, SHOULD HAVE in a true “free market” economy, produced LOTS of jobs. I guess it did- in China, but in US most of the $ found it’s way up into a very tiny # of people’s hands. W policies promoted Reagan “supply-side” economics on steroids until now the richest few are so far out ahead, the rest can’t see the dust. Only 2.1 million jobs were created during W years AND THAT BEFORE THE CRASH. 
          Under Clinton, 10x that were created, but that was a time when economic policy was skewed more towards middle and lower class.
          Until Americans get over glorifying CEO’s and execs making 1000 times what those actually doing the producing are making, as if they (CEO’s, execs) were some kind of heroes, things aren’t going to change.

  • Modavations

    The guys who show up at the protests “du jour”,are the same guys who used to do the “Greatful Dead”circuit.

    • DeadHead

      Over 700 hundred Continental and United pilots, joined by
      additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)
      carriers, demonstrate in front of Wall Street on September 27, 2011 in
      New York City.

      • Modavations

        What does a beef between the pilots of Continental and United’s merger ,have to do with the Wall St.Protest.It was their union taking advantage.

        • SimpleMind

          I’m sure it’s not their union all of these pilots feel are taking advantage of them.

          Starting pay, pensions, health benefits, jobs, safety – that’s a lot of ‘beef’. 

          • Modavations

            So why would you march on Wall St.Sounds like a job for NLRB.Oh,I forgot.
            They’re still hiding after the Boeing(?) debacle.

          • SimpleMind

            I wouldn’t call $50 million worth of lobbying by Boeing a ‘debacle’.
            I’d call it a payoff or bribe.  Ah, our ‘free market’ system at its best.

  • Dave in CT

    I would like to see an On Point hour exploring the following statement.

    The “Business Cycle” is now an industry, and both parties have used the government to establish, and entrench it.

    • Modavations

      Bill Clinton said he’d ended the business cycle.That,of course,was before he “tacked to the right”.

      • WantToKnow

        When did Clinton ever say he ‘ended the business cycle’ and when was he ever anything but right-of-center?

  • Dave in CT

    Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse

    Look up Meltdown on Amazon.

    “Partisan readers beware: regardless of your political affiliation, you will discover that your party shares in the blame for the mess we’re in. It is best to check your party affiliation at the door before you read this book. But read it! “

  • ripped-off tax payer

    The Army and Marine Corps need young men and women to enlist.  Somebody has got to go to Afghanistan to guard and protect the (opium) poppy fields for the well-meaning Taliban that gave sanctuary to Al-qaeda pre 9-11.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      The Taliban were getting rid of the poppy fields,  the US is now guarding these fields for the local warlords and corrupt leaders. 

      Al Qaeda is a CIA creation.  But recently they nixed their main characters like a sitcom series, so they can focus on the new bogeyman, Haqqani network.

      • ripped-off tax payer

        Excellent points.  The average American is more likely to get killed by a bee sting than by the CIA created Al-qaeda.

  • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

    I suggest Buckminster Fuller never judged the momentum of On Point’s blog community with his crazy notion.

    A trimtab is a nautical device that acts as a small rudder used to turn the larger rudder of giant ships, offering tremendous leverage in terms of steering and changing the direction of the ship. Fuller, drawing upon
    his naval experience, saw the trimtab as a powerful metaphor for effective individual leadership: small and strategically placed interventions can cause large-scale and profound change.

    There is an iceberg on the horizon.    Good luck.

  • DoctorDoctor

    What this story proves is the effect ‘reaganomics’ has had on the American economic system a generation later.  Like the theoretical cancer it is, it took decades to prove its malignancy. 

    • Dave in CT

      No, it takes longer. This is the New Deal coming to roost.

      1) Massive government with hands on all sorts of “well-intentioned” levers used to garner votes from most expedient constituencies (see 2 for funding).

      2) Federal Reserve Monetary Profligacy

      3) Reagan Era military debt spending (see 2 for funding)

      3) Clinton/GOP cooperative Era of Deregulation of Banking and empowerment of Barney Frank, James Johnson’s Fannie Mae, and the rest of the political class cronies.

      4) Bush Era War to try and get some cheap oil to keep the game going. (see 2 for funding)

      5) A gullible electorate who loves their 2-party system and recoils at the chance of principled reformers of any stripe, Nader to Paul, having a chance, and willingly accept “Too Big to Fail” mantra, to bail out the malefactors (see 2 for funding).

      Just  breath on it lightly…..Voila!

      Enjoy the Serfdom to pay back the Monetary Profligacy!

      • RiddleMeThis

        So how do you explain the ‘economic miracle’ which caused the people who were born post-depression era to double their parents standard of living in their own lifetimes?

        The circumstances of which will never be repeated again.

        • Zing

          We plundered the rest of the world.

  • Cabmanjohnny

    There are more people than jobs available, productivity is higher per worker, too many are now “educated” while skilled vocations are passed over and few to no corp is investing in job creating ventures. All of this does not look to get better as you consider it would take decades to rebuild a domestic manufacturing economy. In the meantime the very populated emerging economies like China and India would only need to trade amongst themselves in the near future, not with us, meaning less opportunity. So, If I were young I’d work for food and spare change to learn a chosen niche, then start my own business. Even if it meant living in the truck or car for a while. Did it myself. Get busy!

    • AC

      i don’t think that’s such a good idea for young girls tho….

    • mambo

      What kind of cab do you drive, a donkey?

    • GetReal

      How should one weather-proof and decorate their cardboard box?

      • Anafrag1

        Male birds decorate by making piles of little symmetrical pebbles, it makes the ladies want to move in with them…;)

  • Ultramarine73

    There is a lot of work in North Dakota for men who are hands-on inclined.

    For the more cerebral, in my industry CSS coders are making $50 an hour (if they’re contracting independently), and PHP programmers are making over $100 an hour.

    • NiceColor

      What planet are you on?

      $100/hr for php programmers? That’s $200,000/year and cut that in half for your fictitious CSS salary.

      Heads of IT departments median salaries are barely over six-figures.

      Web developers with years of experience and the latest skills are half that.

      What kind of work is going on in North Dakota?

      Supporting roles in the oil fracting business – like driving oil trucks.

  • Dave in CT

    You guys will like this.

    I was just out assembling one of my cold frames, and looked at the box, and guess where it was made…….

    wait for it…….


  • Dave in CT

    E-Mails Reveal Early White House Worries Over Solyndra

    By ERIC LIPTON and MATTHEW L. WALD 31 minutes ago

    “New e-mails provided to Congressional investigators show White House officials expressed concern that Solyndra might collapse months before it did.”

    NY Times

    Think of all the cold frames we could have had for 500 million.

  • Tolka

    The current mess comes as a result of the 2008 financial collapse however what we fail to understand is that, historically Wallstreet is known for Privatizing profit and on the other hand socializing the problems…and we all gonna live with this unless transaction tax is imposed..

  • Theodore J. Stumpf Sr.

    I have been listening to your program aired 10/3/11 about this so called lost generation.
    No one wants to acknowledge it but in the 60′s and 70′  we were sold a bill of goods that no one is left behind, college is not for every one.                     
    You have to pay your dues first, learn the business you wish to pursue.
    Why doesn’t the government push for apprenticeships?  Thats the only way to learn a skilled trade.
    No, our government wants to teach exotic dancing and the arts to people who can’t spell cat given the c and t.
    Would you want a house built by immigrant labors brought to this country to work for a minimum wage who have no skills.
    Who is building our ships?  How are machinists getting trained? How about Plumbers?


    • mambo

      Thanks for posting your e-mail MASTER PLUMBER Stumpf Sr., next time my shi**er is backed up, I’ll make sure to give you a call.

      • Modavations

        Wetson Town Hall is advertising for two,professional “Handwringers”.Send in that resume

        • mambo

          That would be a great career move for you.

          • nj

            Hand-dryer would be a better position. A good use for all the hot air the Moda-troll produces.

    • AC

      robots are building our ships…& the programmers behind them are not ‘ours’…(actually, I don’t know that for a fact – I’m totally assuming…but maybe a google question for me to persue later…)

      • AC

        ooo!!! http://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/143089
        that link was just cool sounding!!
        a lot came up on the industry so I’ll plow through it when I can, unless any one here knows?

      • AC

        darn. I want to read this right now, but I have real work to do…


      • Modavations

        And, of course,we invented the robotics

        • AC

          yes. darn reverse engineering and countries/people who have no respect for intellectual property rights…..

    • TheMagicWord

      Like the pipes in your plumbing, most of your argument is full of ….

  • Ultramarine73

    But as a tax payer I don’t want to fund “fulfilling jobs”.

    The young man who was the guest seemed incredibly naive and a little bit selfish.  When you start out you just have to do the poop that needs done.  I know there are shortages in my field, so I have sympathy…but kind of not.

  • Ultramarine73

    Well said, Theodore J. Stumpf Sr.

    • Modavations

      Well said squared, Mr.Stumpf

  • Fredlinskip

       Part of the problem I believe is that the “information age ” thing is bit of a cop out. As if all’s we have to do is sit around and pass information around and not produce anything.
       Schools aren’t really geared towards steering folks towards the trades. It has been the “Americans are too good for that type of work” attitude that opened up such a vacuum that sucked in so many illegal immigrants.
    And the more that came, the more wages dropped . There is nothing dishonorable about working in the trades or actually being in the production end. What is dishonorable is that those earning their livings off backs of others haven’ compensated workers fairly.
       It all seemed to work for a while under W years when so much $ was being pumped into economy by borrowing from China (and others) and Americans were on a credit crazed spending frenzy. But soon as that dance ended and bubble burst, the effect of GOP policies have come home too roost.  

    • Dave in CT

      Remember the great show Tom had sometime this past year on the trades/vocationals?

      • Fredlinskip

        A bit of it- probably worth going back to the archives.

    • AC

      which trades specifically? The US is still #1 manufacturer in the world – (I looked this up for another show), we need less people to output far more than these ‘cheap’ labor competitors and it’s thanks to technology. And it’s thanks to technology that we need less ‘skilled’ people going into trade. What they need to do is move from ‘trade’ to programming – robots will do the trade, more precisely and efficiently.
      Sometimes I sound cold, even to myself…..

      • Fredlinskip

        You are cold and cruel- you sure you”re not a robot?
        I’ll need to do my “homework” better before answering more effectively. Right now I need to get back to my own work.

        I saw a recent sci-fi movie called “the moon” or something like that. It was about how this guy was stationed on the moon to maintain a big manufacturing/mining outfit that was mostly “robotized”. He discovers another version of himself accidentally who had had an accident. Turns out they both were genetically engineered drones with planned obsolence… was interesting.
        Anyway.. back to real world

        • AC

          i loved that movie!!
          i’ll agree w/cold, but i’m not owning ‘cruel’….i do volunteer in middle and high schools to get kids into math – surely this makes me nicer??

          • Modavations

            You,Not a Feminista and Ellen Dibbles are my “favs”.

      • Modavations

        Not only do we still produce 25% of the world’s goods, we also use 25% of the oil.Year after year, we vied with the Swiss for most effecient of economies.This year we fell to #5.Furthermore,our market is so huge ,we have never exported more then 8%ish.

  • Fredlinskip

       Perhaps it’s not the 30′s, but if you go back and study the time just before the depression many of the same arguments werre being made – less government, less taxes. Tax rate dropped to 25%…. and then the world fell apart.
           Ah well, maybe we can have another good old World War to unite God and country and get us out of doldrums again.
       HEY, wait a minute come to think of it- WE’RE the only ones with close to the military might to start a World War – let’s go for it. Let’s Blitzkrieg Canada- they’ve probably got some WMD’s there somewhere.

    (Repeat of below)

  • DodoBird

    In Reply to Modavations:

    Self made men don’t use four exclamation points after making a nonsensical, acerbic comment.

    I’ve also know several people who have returned to their ‘poor’
    countries because the quality of life – from food to health care to
    leisure time- is better than in the US.

    Corporations, not schools have a ‘antipathy to the free market’.

    If you knew anything about politics inside the beltway, you would
    understand that’s what K Street, the lobbyists, our legislative bodies,
    and the ‘revolving-door’, regulatory agencies are all about.  

    • Dave in CT

      “Corporations…… have a ‘antipathy to the free market’.If you knew anything about politics inside the beltway, you wouldunderstand that’s what K Street, the lobbyists, our legislative bodies,and the ‘revolving-door’, regulatory agencies are all about.”

      You are making his libertarian critique for him.

  • Dave in CT

    RE Wall St Protests

    Better get a Reform agenda, that has broad American support, or all we will get is a police state and more consolidation of power.

    We need a Ron Paul/Ralph Nader rally.

    Put their points of agreement on paper as a reform agenda, leave the rest off the table.

    Get real people, we need a Bigger Tea Party of common ground, not an anarchist of communist one.

  • William

    It is sad to think so many people will never have a good career.

  • JoblessRecovery

    Is this show NPR’s and OnPoint’s ‘makeup’ response to its poor reporting last week on the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest?

    The ‘lost generation’ moniker is an insult. 

    They are not lost.  They are frustrated from being unemployed and under-employed.  They are disgruntled from being in debt by obtaining overpriced and overvalued education credentials.  They are dismayed because a house-of-cards economy has fallen on their economic viability. 

    To exemplify these young people with the statement:
    “What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.” is disingenuous.

    When the generation of political and business leaders ahead of them have demonstrated little moral or no ethical behavior and have handicapped the next generation’s future to better line their pockets through greed and corruption.

    Don’t victimize the younger generations.  They are the ones who will have to clean up the mess we allowed to be made.

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      Yeah, but that’s their parents’ fault: “Everyone wins”; “If you fail, you can stay at home”, etc. You are frustrated because you thought $50,000 would BUY you a $50,000K job… Most of you won’t wait tables, scrub toilets, or work in a grocery store because you were coddled. Taught that was “beneath” you, as you had a cell phone, personal television, and parents who fought every teacher, made sure you “won” every game, and drove you everywhere without question until 16.

      Grow up, “kids”–this is the game called “Life.” Sorry your parents failed you.

  • Guest

    The “bag of lies” as one of the guests put it, has been around since I graduated in the mid-90′s.  Don’t you remember the theme song to the NBC sitcom Friends?  I suspect the bag of lies has always been the case even before my Gen X class.

    I graduated with a degree in Pure Mathematics.  A completely useless major at the time.   And my job was sweeping garages and moving heavy air conditioners.  I was embarrassed to meet my friends because they would ask me if I was losing weight.  I was, because I couldn’t afford to eat on a regular basis.

    Here’s the truth: if you work hard at something, you get good at that thing, but it doesn’t often translate outside that “thing”.  So if you work hard at school, that means you are good at ‘strenuous schooling effort’, it says almost nothing being good a school, yet alone about getting a high paying job

    When I go to restaurants and talk to the young waitresses/waiters, I find they are recent college grads many of them have Masters to boot, and a lot of them complain about their “dead end” job.  But when I inquire about their major, many of them have taken subjects that are just not in demand: history major, archaelogy, journalism, etc.  Yet they expect to get jobs making at least $65k/year.  This is unrealistic.It’s better to get over the bag of lies as quickly as you can, otherwise you’ll live a life of denial.  I started my freshman year, sacrificing my weekends and the party college life to study computer programming in my spare time.  Because I had a strong suspicion that my ‘dream major’ was a ‘lie’.  My hunch paid off, two years out of college, I got myself a computer job paying a measly $25k/year, but in 15 years time I now make over $120k/year, all by studying w/o the help of college.

    Just open up the help wanted ad of your local newspaper, and you’ll get an idea of what’s in demand: engineering, the hard sciences, economics, finance, vocational skills like medicine, programming, accounting, physical assistance.  You just gotta be open, be creative, be realistic, and don’t ever work hard… work smart.  Hang in their kids, you’ll make it.

    • WhatsInDemand

      The “bag of lies” abound.  Timing is everything.  Lucky you were able to ride the dot.com train.  Many weren’t.  College was never meant to be ‘job training’.  It was hard to ‘work smart’ at $12/per hour in the 90′s.  It’s impossible today.

      • Goodluck

        He’s actually right. If you are willing to pick up a few books on programming and really learn the subject matter, you can get a job. My last boss did not have a college degree. He was 29. Again, he was my boss. It’s hard to convey just how much my first statement is true.

        • MisterObvious

          And if you can design and program the next killer app. you can be a millionaire.

          Okay, we get it.  Computers are the future.

          How many people do you think can program?

          Hard work and risk-taking can be applied to any industry – no college necessary.

          Just try telling that to your next employer.

          • Goodluck

            No. I dont make million nor does my 29 year old boss. I am not trying to give you a crappy rags to riches story. I am telling you what I see as an insider to employment game. There isn’t a field I know of but computer programming where you can make a good salary if you are willing to literally pickup a few books and start learning. I’ve had several coworkers and managers who don’t have college degrees and are excellent computer programmers and all make a good living at it.

            Sure there are risks to learning, but it’s much much lower than you think.

            I understand the sentiments of your last statement. You need experience before you get a job these days. But here’s the thing you can get all that with programming. There are a ton of open source projects needing volunteers to work on and to have that on your resume is just as impressive if not more so than a real job. Those open source projects are more than willing to accept volunteer work.

            Finally who can program? Well the best programmers I’ve found are actually former editors. There is an overlap in skill set: the ability to understand copious amounts of output, and the ability to extend and modify that output, and also to organize it are all things that editors do. Yeah I’ve also worked with editors who were willing to pick up a few computer books and start learning because they were desperate for a job. Also if you can solve math problems, you can program.

            You know who else can program? Foreigners who are willing to work. They get jobs just fine even though they barely speak English, are socially awkward, don’t know much of our culture and can’t establish a rapport with their coworkers, have no liberal arts knowledge, no bachelors degree, went to a vocational school in India.

            If I do a job search for programmers just in my city alone, there are over 500 positions open.

          • ACoupleOfBooksLater

            I applaud your sentiment, but few people are capable of really doing hard-core programming.  It’s not just something you can ‘pick up from a couple of books’ or ‘if you can edit’ or ‘solve math problems’ – although those skills are necessary.  It’s almost like an art form or other highly skilled craft. 

            Developing something for the .net platform or a sophisticated C++ application or designing content management software based on object oriented databases are for only the most skilled. (Not to mention network administration and security.) Most programmers I’ve know have toiled away for hours, grinding out code by solving problems and trouble shooting for years, before they had became proficient enough to be hired professionally.

            And, just like in many industries, people of foreign national origin are often hired because they often are taken advantage of and are generally perceived to work for less compensation.

            If there are 500 programming jobs in your city alone, I bet over 400 of those advertised positions are for 100 (or less) actual jobs posted by head hunters, recruitment professionals or placement services.

      • Guest

        I applaud the fact that you went to college for the knowledge and not for on the job training. But don’t confuse that with job prospects. If a person has 4 years of “job training” (ie, studied a major that is in demand), well that person has 4 year head start over you. So it should be expected that they get a job. If you spend 4 years NOT job training (ie, not majoring in an in-demand skill) you are just as good as a high school student when it comes to employment. Why would you expect any better? This is not just a bag if lies, this is just common sense thinking!

    • Freedlinskip

      Lots of jobs in economics- lots of room at the top there, aslong as you don’t mind distorting facts- there’s no limit to what you can possibly make.
      (Other than that, most of Guest’s remarks seem to have merit)

  • Shucks

    I understand the instinct but find the use of the phrase, “Lost Generation,” in this context to be offense to the generation of men who originally embodied it. These men lived through the most brutal war history had ever seen. They suffered a nihilistic malaise born out of watching human beings put each other through a hell the world had never seen before. 

    To equate their experience with college grads who can’t find professional jobs …? These experiences just aren’t equivalent. 

    • Anonymous

      How true. We should also not forget the Bonus Army March and camp that was broken up by the Army lead by one General MacArthur and a aid to MacArthur was a Major Dwight D. Eisenhower. Patton was there as well leading a tank unit. Pretty sad day for the US in my opinion. 

    • TheUsual

      Leave it to the media to appropriate a meaningful phrase into a bastardized commentary for public relations-soundbite-propaganda.

  • Judy

    Regarding the high unemployment of  16-22 year olds: why are we allowing companies to hire seasonal foreign workers under the H2B visa program when there are a lot of willing teenagers/college students here? Every touristy place I went this summer(Block Island, Marthas VIneyard, etc) there were young workers from Eastern Europe. Why isn’t there recruitment in Boston, New Bedford, etc.?

  • Jen

    I’m 31. I have 56K student debt. I have a BS biology. I work a job that does not require a bachelor’s – $12 per hour. Enough said.

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      You have a job! STFU

  • Mkivi

    thank you for this great hour of radio. Mathew really understood all the issues myself as a 21 yr old in college and all my friends are going through right now. 

  • Chris_54911

    I’m 41. My generation (You know us Xers!?) came of age during a recession in the 1990s, we are now in our 40s in another recession.  A great deal of us are trying to get training by going back to school again so we can get a shot at getting a better job, all the while we’re seeing all the praise and head patting on Gen Y. You called US a lost generation. No, we’re not lost, we knew the game was lost before we turned 30.

  • Edwin Pérodin

    I have to admit, I’m with the Software Engineer who graduated at 26. As someone who has been bombarded with this issue over the weekend, a lot of these 99% are people who made some really bad choices. I’m not saying that it’s true that opportunities are limited, but you know as an American, the only thing I was promised is the pursuit of happiness. I’ll fight till I die to obtain it, instead of whining like some people on tumblr.

    • Freedlinskip

         It’s true that people are ultimately responsible for their own choices.
         On other hand these kids can’t be blamed for the working environment they are  entering- that’s on “us” (generations that preceded).
         Also it’s not as if everyone is born into the same environment and opportunity, and dare I say “connections”. Those that come from families that can send them to best schools ultimately have advantage.
          Also it’s too easy to just blame people’s fate on them- Sure some are lazier and chose not to prepare properly, but I don’t want to play God and pretend I know all the factors that lead people to become what they’ve become. It’s not all as simple as some would like to believe.
         AND it’s not like the old Horatio Alger books where if you just work hard and stay clean, you’re guaranteed to live fulfilling meaningful life (although that doesn’t hurt your chances any).

      • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

        No, you were expecting to be “taken care of…” (your parents are idiots) with cell phones, televisions, laptops, etc., and coddled you. Time to be adults.

    • SmilingClowns

      The pursuit of happiness… oh, really?
      And how were you ‘bombarded with this issue over the weekend’?

      I presume most people you know weren’t as fortunate as you and studied something else that supposedly made them happy and they haven’t achieved ‘software engineer’ (with capital ‘s’ and ‘e’) income, yet.

      So, you will ‘fight to you die to obtain’ happiness?

      I’m guessing you have no idea what ‘happiness’ is or even how to go about achieving it.

  • Hidan

    Funny the first hours is on how so many young are hurting then the second is on wasteful/often pricey gadgets.

    • YouNoticed

      That’s the NPR flim-flam.

      • Dave in CT

        Its like the jazzy musical interludes NPR plays after a story about genocide.

        • YouNoticed

          Clear your mind.  All is well.

  • C H

    More people need to read about what has and is going on in Japanese society, which has been in economic malaise since 1990.  They have a higher suicide rate, lower birth rate, lower marriage rates, people living home with their parents until for year as and years.  We are in a depression and on the same path…  Suggested reading Richard C Koo and Richards Katz (see both authors books on amazon)

  • RBj

    This is basically my position. I graduated from school in in spring of ’07 and found a job, but the company shut down. I had to move back home with my mom. I just got a job at a grocery store bagging groceries for minimum wage.  

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      You have  job! Yay!

  • emillen

    You can do everything right and still be pretty screwed. I’m 22, fresh out of college with a BA. I’m one of the only people I know my age, or around my age, who has a 40 hour a week job in my field within 6 months of graduation. Incredibly lucky, right? Problem is, I’m still not making enough money to both pay back my loans and live on my own. I’m taking as many house sitting jobs as I can, just to get out of my moms place and make some extra cash, and so are all of my friends. Even if you have a degree and beat the job odds, tons of debt and the high cost of living can still get you in the end.

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      No one “lived on their own” at 22! Are you THAT SELF-ENTITLED? We all had roomies until our mid-30s, and dealt. Deal. You COULD be  living in a desert, starving. What a bunch of wussies.

      • LookItUp

        You are a misanthrope

  • Mikekdroid

    Sometimes I feel like you get the biggest complainers and wussies, just because you can read an book, go to class, and get a degree doesn’t mean you’re a genius and should then be treated like a saint. This is AMERICA mane, do something, wait tables! I waited tables in NYC for 5 years (1998 – 2002) until I got my cushy desk job on a cubicle farm, WHATEVER! 

    • ResentmentMuch

      Those were some pretty good years to be making tips. 

      Tell me, how could you afford to live in NYC, commute to work, pay your rent, college loans, utility and food bills all on a waitstaff salary.

      You should write a book about all that resentment you built up serving the more privileged folks who can handle the expense of dining out.

      So, if someone is describing their situation by telling you how difficult it is today to make ends meet even with full employment you consider them a big complainer and a wussie?

      Glad you found your cubicle in life.

      • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

        It’s called having 1000 roommates. It’s called not living off $5 coffees, cell phones, and video games. It’s called forgetting what you “Want” vs. what you “need.” Moron.

        • Roadkill

          I’m sure it would be lots of fun living with someone like you.  So tell us, how did you get to where you are today?  By name calling and bullying while using capital letter descriptions?

    • Anonymous

      In the words of Bugs Bunny, what a maroon.

      • Gregg

        “All you gotta do is put your mind to it, knuckle down buckle down do it, do it, do it” -Roger Miller

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      YOU ROCK!

  • Mikekdroid

    PEOPLE, maybe cut back on the NETFLIX, APPLE PRODUCTS, start having some respect with you parents if you live with them, adapt to your circumstances. 

    Stop getting plastered every weekend and then calling up and complaining to TOM about how you can’t find a job. Mow lawns, paint a house, wait some tables, or fix a bike. I mean I know it’s tough out there but are we a COUNTRY of complainers and cry babies or are we a country who can raise themselves up from they’re CLARK’s straps! I mean let’s read some books, and stop being JEALOUS of others. Plus, stop shopping at WHOLE FOODS and maybe eat and drink less. Hey, I’m sooo liberal, but this broke, complaining group of listeners are making me sick. 

    • Anonymous

      You are making a lot of presumptions based on your own warped judgments. Mow lawns, really? Paint a house? We are not a country of complainers. I for one has had it with the likes of people like yourself. Self righteous, self satisfied and without a clue. You know what turn it off if you don’t like the show.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      The game is on.    This message is for the young insulted by the ingorance pushed in their face.    History repeats itself.    If you want to see the parallel of where we have come and where we are headed watch the PBS documentary called The Greeks Crucible of Civilization.   

      Stop ignoring the atrophy of mind.   Democracy alone will not succeed.   Meritrocracy is the competition this country needs to exercise the atrophy of thought and pull itself from the current situation.

      I pity the flabby intelligence of the likes of the mikekdroids of this blog in such a competition.   

  • Sunriseyes7

    I’m 26 and recently completed my Masters in Teaching Art Education. I went back to school only after receiving my Bachelors Degree and being unable to find a job, except through my mom, who was able to get me a job in our local school system. This was what spurred me to return to receive my masters in education, a degree that is invaluable. Teachers will always be needed…but in this economy teachers are terrified about what they should do, therefore there are no jobs for new teachers. I have been substitute teaching for 8 months, and begrudgingly babysitting, like I have been since I was 12 years old. I’m a newly wed and fear everyday that my husband and I will suffer terribly because we can’t afford groceries, let alone health insurance, and he actually has a decent job…but of course it doesn’t offer insurance. What more can we do? We are educated, motivated, and hard working. But really this does not seem to matter much anymore. I’m waiting for something to give…anything. 

  • Travis Gould

    I’m still optimistic about what will result from the unemployment of young adults in America.  Social networking has created a dynamic means by which creative ideas can proliferate.  Furthermore, the information available to young adults through the internet will enable creative entrepreneurship in ways that will transform the structures of our economy.  We will not simply recreate what was before, but will create new ways of interrelating all together, especially through more localized economies.  I think young adults are reexamining mainstream explanations for our social ills and will experience a generation-wide transformation of values as a result (i.e. values that move towards humanization, localization, and interdependence).  Our tomorrow will look dramatically different than yesterday and young adults are poised to not only take advantage of opportunities, but also to create them where they didn’t exist before.

    In the event that matters deteriorate to such an extent that fundamental political reform (revolution?) is necessary, young adults are again perfectly situated to create this reform peacefully and effectively.

    • PragmaticMan

      What kind of crystal ball have you been peering into?

      I gotta get me some of that.

      Let me guess, you believed the ‘hope and change’ thing too.

      How’s that working out for you?

      • Travis Gould

        Great! But it goes back way farther than Obama ’08.  

  • http://twitter.com/TongoRad TongoRad

    “My Generation” is a shallow abstraction, a marketing term used to differentiate and divide.
    Solidarity is what’s needed now, across all age groups.

  • Rachel

    I’m 30.  My generation does not have the entree into a well-paid union workforce the way my parents did.  Those jobs have all been shipped overseas or for the ones that remain, do not offer workers a living wage, retirement benefits and healthcare that creates a solid middle class.  If I expect to save for retirement, I’m completely on my own.  My parents had pensions and healthcare for the entire family.  I have a sad 401k employer match and would have to pay upwards of $700 per month to add two kids to my health insurance. 

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      Scrub toilets. Change sheets. Take out garbage. We didn’t have “401Ks” in the ’80s…

      Respect your elders. You might learn something. You are self-entitled and pathetic. And don’t have kids if you cannot afford mac & cheese for yourself. DUH.

      • BrokenRecord

        I bet you get a lot respect from the people you encounter

      • SoSICKofYOU

        Suck my dick.

      • DisgustedwithTHATGUY

        In the 80′s, people who worked hard, got good grades, and got a college degree didn’t end up scrubbing toilets for minimum wage at the age of 26. 

        And, they certainly didn’t have to incur the high amount of debt to get that degree, which young people have been indoctrinated to see as an essential component to achieving the “American Dream.”
        Based on this post and those you’ve made above, you are completely ignorant of the situation, for both individuals and for the future of this country, and you refuse to make any effort to understand, and it is disgusting.

  • http://twitter.com/TongoRad TongoRad

    “My Generation” is a shallow abstraction, a marketing construct used to differentiate between consumers.
    We need solidarity across all age groups and not a narrowing of perspectives.

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      And some hardcore work = scrub toilets, wait tables, take out the garbage, learn how to cook, do laundry, balance a check book.. BOO HOO.

  • Ramon

    i was an aircraft mechanic, work was great but i decided to get an engineering degree.  Still work as a mechanic in the summers and i get calls every day from all around the country with employment opportunities.  I’ve noticed that the service industry, ie. technicians, welders, nurses etc have ample opportunities for employment, maybe not around the corner from your house, you have to be willing to relocate but the work is there.  My sister is an RN and has chosen to leave her job twice in the last couple of years because of better pay/schedules.   

    • GreatMove

      Congratulations on your career choice.  It must be nice to be able to work only a few months a year a still be able to afford school.  I didn’t know about the ample opportunities in the nomadic service sector.  I know RN’s who can’t get full-time jobs with benefits in metropolitan areas because hospitals are ruthless profit centers.  If only they would leave their homes and families for greener pastures.

  • Geoph_swiss

    I am 29, and I frame it that I am both a cause and a victim of the Financial/Housing Crisis. I am happy that I haven’t had to bring a child through all of my ups and downs, I credit my 9th grade health class on really instilling the responsibly of having children. I guess I really should have paid more attention in my Accounting Class

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      Or ANYTHING in high school, or life… 

  • guest

    I am 30 and have been planning for over  a year now to make the transition from teaching high school to owning and operating a small farm.  With any luck I’ll be there within the next year.  I love teaching, but it doesn’t feel very secure any more.

    • Dave in CT

      Good luck. How do you afford the land?

  • Eileen from Michigan

    I’m 27 and hold a BA and masters degree. I’m working two jobs as an adjunct professor — a well documented dead-end position. I was an English major — something that only the most whimsical of my undergraduate students now want to pursue. If I didn’t have the dream and drive to make my own company and be my own boss, as well as the energy/education to  launch it TODAY (okay, in the near future), then I would be desperate and depressed.

    At times I wonder if I have enough experience to launch my own business, but I am the future and I have the passion — so why not try now? No one other than myself will give me the chance to do the job I want to do, so it’s time to be my own boss!

    Kids? As in having my own kids? Biology says I should do that in the next ten years, but money and stability doubts that will happen that fast.

    • EightyHoursAWeek

      It’s a shame and a telling example of our contemporary social state that you have to give up motherhood in order to thrive.

      Good luck taking the plunge.

    • Valedictoriantypo

      You have a job teaching and you’re BITCHING? Grow up! You have an income.. and why does EVERY WOMAN think she “needs” kids?

      Ugh. Grow up.

      • MisogynistAlert

        Someone wants to risk their low-steady income and put off raising a family to start their own small business – the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great – and you criticize them and tell them they need to grow up…

        You are a typo.  You are a mistake.

  • Artymowski

    Deja Vu! Shades of 1979! Been there! Done That! Obama=Carter, more or less.

    • Anonymous

      If you think it’s the presidents that cause the economic problems, think again. They get blamed and are part of the problem, but it is congress not the president who make the laws and are mostly responsible for the economic woes we are in. A weak democrat for president who did not stand up to the demagogues and ideologues of the republican party did not help. Having one of the worst dysfunctional congresses in modern history is also huge factor.

      • Artymowski

            I’m well aware of the myriad causes that slow an economy. I include; the Congress, which was held for decades prior to Carter, by Democrats, and monetary policy.  Obama is as guilty as any past Politician for demagoguery, as well as Nancy Palosi, and Harry Reed are as well. In 2008, Obama had a much bigger mandate from the public than Jimmy Carter ever had, yet he totally fumbled his opportunity. And, he had a supper majority in both houses and still came up impotent. He is worse than Jimmy Carter, and as dysfunctional a Political creature as this Republic has ever seen. He is Chicago politics manifest in the White house, all politics, no substance, all slogan, no action.   Dysfuctional Congress? I guess you don’t remember a couple little things that happened before Carter was sworn in, such as THE Vietnam War and Watergate? If you lived through it then, this is just more of the same.

        • Anonymous

          No I disagree. It’s not more of the same. The congress of today is not the same animal as it was in the 70′s. For one you had a lot of moderate Republicans back in that period. They also came to consensus more than they do now. I’m not sure what your point is here by bringing up the Vietnam war and Watergate. What’s the point and relevance to what is happening now? I mean one could go back in history further to show how dysfunctional Congress was.

          Obama has really messed up, that’s one thing we can agree on.

  • HowMuch

    I wonder how much Tom Ashcroft and On Point are paying their teenage and twenty-something interns?

    • Diogones

      Same way Bill Clinton did and Barney Frank. ;)

  • JM

    I must respond to the 29-year-old computer programmer who was the last caller on this show.  He said he was ashamed of our generation for failing to plan and instead just expecting to get jobs doing what they love.  I’ve rarely heard such off-the-mark commentary from NPR listeners. I am also 29 years old, and when I chose my graduate program three years ago — a master’s degree in information services and technology/public policy — I researched the projected employment for the field with the US Department of Labor and considered that the Internet was booming, so I chose this degree over some other fields that seemed more interesting to me but less likely to lead to paying jobs.  I graduated at the top of my class and was awarded a prestigious summer internship from Google.  I am a Presidential Management Fellowship finalist; PMF is a program that recruits graduates for federal service.

    I still don’t have a job.  I was almost offered some prestigious positions, but then I was told they were cut or put on indefinite hold after budget freezes (in government but also private industry).

    It makes me wish I’d just picked my dream subject, if I were going to be unemployed either way.  But I did not fail to plan, sir.  Not everyone can be a programmer like you.  That didn’t seem like a good plan to me because my dad, who has been a hard worker all my life, lost his job a few years back after the tech bubble collapsed.

    So perhaps you should just thank your lucky stars that you’re so fortunate to have a job and show some empathy.

    • LuckyStars

      Sorry about your real world experiences. It speaks volumes about our transitional economy and how careers may not materialize as expected or can vaporize in an instant.  I know of some people in the tech-field who have been marginalized in the different economic shuffles and have not regained their earning power or positions.

      • JM

         Thanks for those kind words!  I haven’t given up hope; I even have a bit of optimism.  I and the rest of us in this situation, young and not-so-young, will keep on trying our best and hope things turn around!

    • Valedictoriantypo

      Stop bitching and clean toilets and sling pizza. We don’t owe you what “you expected.” It’s called working for a living.

      • ToiletCleaner

        Been there, done that.  That’s not a living, that’s existing. 
        You seem to be the worldly-type, how are you getting by?

    • Dalbin

      What surprises me most, is that those who have been more fortunate during our economic meltdown, are so very arrogant. You should be grateful you were spared.

      Hubris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

      We can do all the right things (or so we think) but life can change in a heartbeat. Todays hot job can become tomorrows…Sorry, we don’t need anyone for this position. We’ve downsized, outsourced and eliminated, what many were told would be great jobs for the future.
      We go to school for 4 to 8 years, depending on one’s major, only to find that…”Guess what?…the job no longer exists or is being done by someone in China or India.

      We can take care of our health…only to find years later we were exposed to toxins in our environment and are now suffering the consequences.

      So many examples come to mind. Security is an illusion and plans only go so far in a world where we really have only very limited power.

      Yes, life is what happens while we’re making other plans.

      JM…don’t despair and don’t allow the hubris of others to deter you.

      Good luck!

      • Chris S

        For me it’s not so much arrogance as being so extremely frustrated with this chunk of the population. I’ve upgraded my occupation four times since I obtained my degree and I attempt to remain competent and advertise a desirable skill set. In the past four years I’ve also broken my hip, suffered severe eye strain (from guess what, too much work) that lead to chronic migraines, and had a bout of nasty tendonitis which I’m recovering from right now.

        Your plan doesn’t work as planned? Keep trying – maybe at something else. Most cases where I speak to someone that is in this suck vortex, they’ve tried once — maybe twice, and then totally resign themselves to sucking. I’ve been trying, failing, and succeeding since I was 14.

        Try this new motto: Be competent.

        Yes, I’m angry.

        • Dalbin

          Chris, I know you’re angry and your health is suffering. It’s been the same for me. When the anger started making my health issues worse, I had to give it up. And yes, somedays it still gets me, just human I guess.  It’s trite to say perhaps, but darn, life is what it is and sometimes even our best efforts can come to naught. That’s the kicker isn’t it?

          And you’re right..it’s the frustration and the disappointment.

          I hold onto one thing however…resilience and the willingless to keep going for it. Quite simply, I keep thinking..It’s not what happens to me…it’s what I do with it.

           Life seems to be about letting go of what doesn’t work or no longer works…a tiresome business to be sure. I think you have to live awhile to understand this however, and for those who are just starting life’s journey…this is an important lesson to learn.  

          Don’t give up…be angry, be frustrated but please… don’t hold onto it very long. Because you’ve kept at it Chris…you’re farther ahead than many. May not always get the results you want, but it keeps you in the game as they say. Whoever “they” are?

          Takes a lot of courage to live a worthy life. Sounds like you’ve got it.
          Hats off to you.

  • twenty-niner

    A sign of life from Congress? Let’s see if the Manchurian golfer in the White House has the stones to sign it:

    China’s foreign ministry said it “adamantly opposes” a bill being pushed by the Senate to allow the United States to impose duties on countries that undervalue their currencies.

    Adamantly opposes? You know it must be a good bill. Sign it golfer!


  • Lilya Lopekha

    Military is Hiring.
    Let’s NOT ask for a new investigation of the events of 9/11 (14.2 cents per person) …. what else can you expect?

    • Brett

      Oh, you’re not even trying…the military is hiring; and, what about a new 9-11 investigation, then a link to some fringe anti-Semitic blog?!?! That’s the best you can do to tie in your non sequitur? At least mention all of the jobs that could be created for the investigation and the potential new technologies developed for the investigation, and so on. You 9-11 conspiracy theorists are getting lazy. Obviously you’ve somehow developed a mathematical formula of some sort to to come up with a cost of the investigation to each person. (So you’ve done SOME work!) Is that every man, woman and child, BTW, in the US? Or is that the world? And, if each person would have a choice and be willing, say, to pay 25 cents to make lunatic conspiracy theorists go away or spend 14.2 cents to have another investigation, which do you think people would choose? Also, I don’t have any hepennies, nor are they circulated in currency; did you think about that? Also, think of the accounting costs, the governmental departments set up to refund overpayments and so on…sure, 14.2 cents, but what about the hidden costs?    

  • Anonymous

    I think there’s a lot of valid points being made here though the protesters sound like a young version of the tea party an unfocused angry mess.—-”I’m protesting because I’m having car troubles” really? 

  • Gabrielmarcel

    The lack of demands by the Occupy Wall St. Movement is intentional.  Looking at the history of our nation, the majority of protests and rallies that make demands have resulted in pseudo reforms to placate the protestors as a pressure release valve.  We will continue to occupy not only until we have the establishments attention but until the establishment is listening intently.  

  • Pingback: it's this new thing i'm trying

  • guest

    There is something to be said for learning how to budget your money and “live within your means.” It is something that several of this generation need to understand if they want to climb out of their situation. There should be no shame in living frugally, or at least sacrificing some of your inflated consumerism.

    Personally, I ‘m a 32 year old graduate student living on a research stipend. I don’t make that much money. I have a wife (who doesn’t work) and 3 kids with one more on the way. We have no loans, we live in one of the most expensive counties in California, and we buy flights to Hawaii at least once a year to visit family. Admittedly, our youngest children do get medical (we only use it for vaccinations and annual check-ups), but that is our only form of government assistance. My peers can’t understand how we are getting by. They say can
    barley afford to sustain themselves; well, they also eat out two meals a
    day and hit the town on the weekends. $10/meal really starts to add
    up. Our family of 5 tries to eat on $75 a week. There is no secret you just need to prioritize your spending.

    In the program one of the callers said she couldn’t have kids because she hadn’t gotten a raise yet. That is nonsense. I’d wager her and her husband each make more than I do, and they might not live in one of the most expensive counties in the country. They just need to organize their priorities. If she really wants to have kids…then she can afford to have kids.

    • valedictoriantypo@hotmail.com

      Having kids is narcissistic, in the least. If you want to “raise children” and MEAN it, why not adopt?

      There are TOO MANY PEOPLE on the planet. This is why the employment rate is so low. Simple math, people. And stop having children!  

      • Iota

        So you are saying we should really only let the most irresponsible people have children? That will do wonders for the gene pool.

      • SimpleMind

        There are too many unwanted children on the planet.  Sounds like you were one of them.

    • Likelystory

      $75 a week? What are you feeding your family? Are you living in subsidized university housing? Trips to Hawaii once a year? I don’t buy your story of frugality. Sounds like your living on the poverty line.  Get some food stamps at least. By the way, your ‘research stipend’ is probably funded by the government.

    • Jbnewburg

      She might not have the health benefits you enjoy. It adds up. I pay my own and it is not cheap and the coverage isn’t that great either. What if this couple has a special needs child? Without a good policy they could end up penniless. Good for them in long term planning.

  • Valedictoriantypo

    Phffft… I live in a low-economy area, and there are many, many MANY JOBS. They mean: “I don’t want to have a roommate; I want cable; I want a cell phone; I want booze of my own; I want I want I want…

    Disgusting. Bad parenting for the last decade.

    • guest

      Yeah, can you believe those kids who spent $80,000 on an education want to make more than $8.50/hr/no benefits.  WTF?

    • Doubtful

      Bad parenting and consumerism is why our youngsters can’t find work?  Worst economy ever and your living in job heaven.  I doubt it.
      Send us a link of your local employment advertisements.  I am sure that would be a hoot.

  • Gregg

    The old model of getting in debt to get a degree (any degree) no longer is viable. College is not worth the money any more. The pursuit of knowledge does not require it.

    I’d advise youngsters to get their hands dirty and learn a trade or three. Develop a work ethic. Find a passion and get really good at something. Determine whether they are comfortable being a “company man” or a leader. Learn to work with others. Be punctual, humble and reliable. Define and buy into the notion of an honest day’s work. Build a reputation and references for the above.

    • BrickInTheWall

      The whole point of college is to get students and families into debt to receive the same education their grandparents had obtained before they even finished high school.

      A college education is another myth or ‘failing business model’ perpetuated by a declining social order.

      “You don’t need no education. You don’t need no thought control.” 

    • Dave in CT

      But isn’t that just so 1800′s?  That’s Tea Party crap.

      We have Google now. We all deserve at least $45,000 a year as a reward for getting through all those college parties and coming out the other side.  I thought college for salary was a guarantee like my cell phone contract?

      We deserve more, because we are owed a better material  and consumer existence than our parents!

      Its 2011, get it!

      What do mean that makes no sense, I want it!

      • Modavations

        Sir,I need 25,000.00 per annum ,just to party.

        • Dave in CT

          Its under the pepperoni slice in the pizza I sent to you at the protest.

        • Dave in CT

          Its under the pepperoni slice in the pizza I sent to you at the protest.

    • Freedlinskip

      Hate to admit it but I might have to give you a “like” there Gregg.

      • Modavations

        We don’t need your “stinking likes”.Hi Geneeral G., they also have lot’s of gold down there.Hiddenite is a green colored Spodumene.Most Spodumene is pink and called Kunzite.Just joking Freedlinskip

        • Gregg

          I have a doctor friend who pans for gold as a hobby. We spent the best part of a day in the creek sluicing mud and we got about 8-10 flakes of gold about the size of a coffee ground each. Fascinating! We’ve got about 100 acres, 2 creeks and a river. We’re less than 15 miles from the place where the monster emeralds were found. One day….

  • Dave in CT

    Fannie Mae Knew Early of Abuses, Report SaysBut Democrats aren’t corporate cronies are they? They only use their power for good, its the Republicans who are evil.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/business/fannie-mae-ignored-foreclosure-misdeeds-report-says.html

  • Rachel

    I am 28, employed as a waitress and am in the process of leaving NYC  to move back to Maine, where I grew up.

    I wanted to write about the movement I see among my friends and peers, which was touched upon on the show.  I have also known a lot of young people who are going into homesteading and farming.  Supporting themselves and feeding themselves through insanely tough work.  My boyfriend and I are hoping to make this transition as well.  I would like to use my many years in the restaurant industry to start a farm-to-table restaurant.  I believe this off-the-grid, self-sustainability movement is coming from a desire to live and support a certain type of lifestyle (i.e. organic, low impact, and local oriented) and unless you have a whole lot of expendable income, you cannot support those things without doing it all yourself.  
    I have also witnessed among all of my peers a tremendous sense of community and support.  It is pretty amazing to watch and be a part of a group of young adults who are all working toward something they are passionate and proud of.  And creating a community and using quite a bit of entrepreneurial savvy to make it work.  
    I’m inspired by “my generation.”  It’s all about investing in your local community.  Washington, unfortunately, is hard to put up with, but if we can work for change in our communities, perhaps the movement will move up the food chain.  

    • Dave in CT

      Exactly how I felt at 28.

      Didn’t have the cash for the land.

      Hard to be a renter/homesteader.

      Good luck, hope you can save for land.

    • Gregg

      Good luck with that Rachel. When you move back to Maine I would suggest you buy some land. It was one of the best moves I made at your age. The next thing you know you’ll be 40… then 50. May as well spend that time building equity. Prices have come back down to earth and it’s a buyers market. Don’t just go to a Realtor and see what’s listed, find land you like and go to the owner. Learn your way around County GIS sites. Go to the registry of Deeds. Talk to people. It’s a more organic method. Owner financing is worth exploring. There are tons of opportunities right now. Again, good luck!

  • cassandra

    It’s a perfect storm for young people and the effect on them will effect the economy for a generation.  What percentage of them will have money to buy a house or save for retirement?  The housing market will not rebound without new buyers.  The kids are overextended for college loans that are lousy investments and won’t lead to well-paying jobs.  The jobs aren’t there.  Their elders won’t or can’t retire:  the Age Discrimination in Employment act did away with mandatory retirement at 65 so far fewer older people are leaving the good jobs.  From cradle to grave we’ve become a serf economy:  our kids are in thrall to banks for college loans, our workers have to put their money, if they have any, into 401(k) accounts that they have little knowledge about and less control over, and our workers have no unions and no negotiating power in a tanking economy that awards corporate greed and not productivity. Darned if I can see a way out unless the young join the Wall Street demonstrators and demand a revolution.

  • NJ Joe

    I can’t stand Baby Boomers.  They got educated on a socialized system that their parents paid for, voted to give themselves huge tax cut in the 1980s but wouldn’t cut spending, and won’t tolerate the young generation paying for their under-financed retirement.  So selfish.  Their parents – the Greatest Generation – sacrificed to build a better society in which everyone could live decently.  The Baby Boomers – who are the WORST generation in my view – enjoyed socialized education when they were young, wouldn’t pay for it when they’re working age, and want some type of hybrid socialism, in which someone else pays for their Medicare while they don’t pay taxes, in old age.  Such parasites…

    • Anonymous

      NJ Joe, you probably don’t remember but we “boomers” worked for the equality of Women, Blacks, and Gays.  We tried to end a war and helped create the environmental movement.  We also raised our families, paid our bills, and helped to take care of our parents. No one is born able to feed themselves nor change their diapers.  I am thankful that my children appreciate and respect my generation.  Believe me there were layoffs, stagnant wages, inflation, recessions and cronyism during our years.  I think our generation did a lot of “great things”.  Remember each generation has their glory and their shame.  Take your anger and aim it at the right entities:  the previous generation is not the culprit.

      • NJ Joe

        On one hand, fair enough, although plenty of you were teenagers when major advances for women and blacks were achieved.  Those reforms were passed when your parents’ generation held the reigns of power.

        When the country was firmly in the hands of Baby Boomers, plenty of government policy was widely moving against the economic interests of non-privileged blacks, and the urban areas where most minorities live.  Still, credit should be granted for progress on women and gays.Still, I suppose that blaming an entire generation of people is as ridiculous as saying that some characteristic of today’s youth is responsible for their problems.  Which is precisely how this Lost in Transition study is being used in the media, despite whatever qualifications its authors want to put in the preface.It would be more fair to say that a sizable portion of that generation – at least enough to elect Reagan, the Bushes and the Republican Congresses among them – are responsible.  These are precisely the same people who, by the way, are proposing defending Medicare for those aging Baby Boomers, while having us finance a system that they plan to cut down when it is our time to collect.The main point is that Baby Boomers are leaving us with a substantially weakened society.  And make no mistake about it, they did it while neglecting America’s public institutions and systematically demands more money for themselves without sacrificing their personal entitlements.

        • Anonymous

          Well, I can only speak for the baby boomers segment I was a part
          of. And I am very proud of what we tried to do and did accomplish.  A lot
          of people I knew from the “greatest generation” thought Blacks and
          Women were doing just fine.  And Gays – I cannot even begin to tell you the
          general opinion on that subject.


           I do agree with you that defining an entire generation is
          stupid.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12136706


          The two best things that could be done right now to help would be
          to outlaw paid lobbying and raise the cap on Social Security.  


          Many Baby Boomers have not faired as well as you seem to think:
           those recessions, stagnant wages and all.  However, I am one Baby
          Boomer who was more than happy to pay for my parents’ Social Security.  I
          felt better knowing they had that supplement.  To be honest if they did
          not have that I am not sure how I would have been able to support them and my
          own family at the same time.  


          Don’t be fooled into thinking we had it so much better.  It
          has been a struggle.  You should fight to make sure that Social Security
          is there for you.  This raging against Social Security is only a Wall
          Street ruse to get their hands on it.  And we know how that will end up.

      • twenty-niner

        You sat around and smoke a lot of pot. You promoted a culture of “if it feels good just do it”. You de-industrialized the country with horrible trade policies. You created a welfare state that has doomed generations to interminable poverty. And you’re leaving one heck of tab on the way out: Nearly $15 Trillion in Federal debt and $116 Trillion in unfunded liabilities.

        Take a bow.

        • stretch

          You’re perpetuating a stereotype about boomers as a bunch of hippie potheads.  See clodene and jofb’s comments.  Stop blaming when you don’t have all the facts; and stop blaming anyhow.  Come up with constructive solutions instead.

          I’ve taken my bow.

          • twenty-niner

            Come up with constructive solutions instead.

            To quote Marcellus Wallace, “step aside Butch”.

      • Anonymous

        I am a babyboomer. I am a political activist. I am the daughter of a Navy officer who fought in the battle of Okanowa in WWII. I believe that this nation has been duped the past 20 years by greedy Wallstreet Ubers, and the Corporations that did not respect any generation, any workers, any Americans, and soley sought to profit for their own self-serving agendas. As a babyboomer who fought for womens rights, was against the Vietnam war, and the way our soliders were mistreated upon their return, and a mother of generation X’ers, I would like to warn you that divisiveness is what the Bought Congress and their Wallstreet Ubers are betting on.  Split the middle class/cause them to fight amongst themselves for that remaining one slice of the pie (while they enjoy the bulk of the profits) is what they bet on. You had better study the inner workings of their game…..obviously the Occupy Wallstreeters get it, Dylan Ratingan gets it, Michael Moore gets it, I hope America gets it!

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      I want my vote back on this comment.   I’ve changed my mind.   In Ancient Greece Democracy ruled when every person gave and backed up a solemn oath to defend their way of governance till death.    This finger pointing has to stop.  Until we can look inside and find  fault within ourselves, we cannot thrust our unfounded beliefs on others.    Maybe we should bring back the draft for many reasons.   One would be to slap a little pride out of too many self righteous arm chair politicians.  Myself included.

  • n5678

    The myth here is that this generation, unlike others before it, is unable to have a job and own a house in their twenties.  That’s an unreasonable amount of pressure to put on oneself.  Most of us Gen Xers worked two jobs and lived with roommates until we grew into more stable careers.  It takes work and time.  Defining failure as not being able to own your own home at 26 is completely unrealistic, not a product of the times.  

  • Bensmomjo

    She wasn’t bitching you jerk. She was just explaining her situation, which is tough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/avi.dey2 Avi Dey

    Yes, “Lost Generation” is pretty clear to most people, speically young people. “Policy” is not the only answer. Policy does not guarantee execution of  community tools and social capital necessary to prepare for the knoweldge economy, and using existing resources of small tech biz such as existing at  tech hub communities such as Metro Washington DC Hub. Your “science shows” on public radio is a good start toward public literacy about science. Now we need to help create the innovation supportive structure at the nation’s tech hubs at the grassroots level. 

  • Sunxoflower

    welp, as a college student with 40 grand in debt this article made me sufficiently more depressed.

  • Samuel Angol

    I’m a soon-to-be-30-year old residing in the Greater Orlando area of Florida.  Back in February 2005, I began work as a head-hunter at a medical recruiting firm.  Part of the reason I chose that field was that for the longest while, we had heard that the healthcare sector was supposed to be immune from economic downturns.  During those days, there was a shortage of credentialed healthcare workers (pharmacists, nurses, dentists, etc…) — a good problem for us head-hunters.  For a period of three years, I really felt I had it made.  I loved my job, and could see myself working as a head-hunter for another decade or longer.  In November of last year, I reluctantly left my position.  The two biggest problems that this recession created for us head-hunters was a shortage of employers willing and able to pay placement fees and clients unwilling or unable to pay us our dues for placements made.  I was forced to take a telemarketing job that I really don’t care for.  At least, I still have a roof over my head.  I’m assessing my options.  I really want to be able to afford and enjoy the good life again.

    This is a very strange time for us younger people.  I have long thought that accelerating technological innovations and scientific breakthroughs would result in more opportunities for everyone.  Every now and again, I’m left to reflect on Richard Dawkins’s assertion that evolution can sometimes work in reverse.  We happen to be the most educated, tech-savvy, and globally conscious generation of all time.  I believe that we’re passionate about leaving our mark on history.  There just seems to a dearth of opportunities wherein we can channel our creative energies…

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    If you ask people hiring (such as myself), you’ll find tepid interest in the jobs bill currently being pushed by the President. The GOP likes the infrastructure spending, some of which they can funnel towards their cronies. The country is unwilling to recognize that the current system is untenable. More of the same will only enrich the educational, banking and other industrial complexes. 

    Ready to find a new job or change careers? Google JobWaltz for premium job search assistance.

  • Sahar

    Maybe we have to go through a terrible time to learn how to fight and be strong! We can’t change what has happened and how we ended up here, but this is OUR TIME! Why sit around and complain? How many of us young people are actually active in our world beyond a laptop? Technology is great but we need to create and DEMAND change. We have to fight for ourselves. As a generation, I that we’re coming up with more new terms for “hip” than we do for anything else. We might be the “most educated” generation, but only college wise? Volunteer, be involved in your communities, and be aware of the world around you. We have HUGE dreams and potential, we all just need to get up and do something!

  • Fo15

    What’s missing in the discussion is the impact of globalization.  It is very fashionable for corporations to move the junior jobs overseas and keep the “higher level” jobs in the US.  This sounds good: keep the higher-paying jobs at home.  However, the problem is without our junior people getting jobs and getting trained, where will future “high level” workers come from?

  • Slipstream

    Another excellent program.  Thanks OP for tackling this “elephant in the room” issue which has mostly been ignored by the mainstream media.  Although they are paying lots of attention to the Wall Street protests, interestingly enough. 

  • Erey

    Well their are jobs in the USA. You’ll just have to work three of them to survive.

  • nevrgivup

    People need to choose their degree carefully.  What I didn’t here from most of these people was what their major was.  The young lady whos degree was journalism should understand that it might be difficult to find a job in journalism given the current impact of technology on written media.  I am back in school taking some accounting classes to get a CPA (already have a bachelors and a masters) and the majority of my classmates who are finishing their first degree and are in there early 20s don’t seem to be having any trouble finding a job.  Get a degree in something that is marketable and makes you competitive e.g. business, engineering, accounting, medicine.  But if you want to be a Art/History major you might have some difficutly getting a job, sorry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=680110423 Ryan Brown

    I couldn’t agree more with the previous post. I majored in biology at a state university for my undergrad and lived at home. When I graduated I was able to obtain a teaching/research fellowship  and did not pay for my Master’s. Because of this I was able to afford my entire education without any debt. I will add that I was very fortunate to have parents that could help me financially but the cost of my education was approximately 8,000 dollars a year.  When I was writing my thesis I was offered a teaching position at a public high school in Massachusetts. Because of my good credit I was able to buy a house last year, taking advantage of the crash in the housing market and low interest rates. Now at 26 I have a good job and own my own home. I think many people of my generation were encouraged to major in whatever they wanted and that they should go to expensive private schools, this I feel is the downfall of so many of my peers. I was told by my parents to be fiscally responsible and major in something that will put food on the table. I worked hard, very hard and I was lucky to have help. However, I think many people feel entitled to a good job based on the fact that they went to college. A Bachelor’s degree IMO is the baseline, what a high school diploma was a generation ago. You need to stand out from the crowd.

Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

Sep 18, 2014

Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment