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Millennials And The Next America

Millennials make their own way. Less trusting. More politically independent. We’ll look at a big study of millennials, and the American future.

A new Pew Research Center study shows the Millennial generation (young adults younger than 33 and older than 18) are less trusting, more political independent and more diverse than previous American generation. (Creative Commons)

A new Pew Research Center study shows the Millennial generation (young adults younger than 33 and older than 18) are less trusting, more political independent and more diverse than previous American generation. (Creative Commons)

You could call it the “next America.”  Not the America of the “Greatest Generation” or the Baby Boomers.  But the America of the millennials.  Americans 18 to 33 who are moving up, moving in, eventually taking over.  A big new survey points to how they look different and think differently.  Much more diverse racially, ethnically.  Much less attached to institutions: political parties, religion and – so far – marriage.  Less trusting than their parents, but more linked up online.  Loaded with debt, but optimistic about the future.  This hour On Point:  exploring the next America.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center. Author of “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown.” (@paultaylordc)

Kat Chowreporting covering race, culture and ethnicity for NPR’s Code Switch team. (@katchow)

Evan Rytlewski, music editor at Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express. (@Evanryt)

From Tom’s Reading List

Pew Research Center: Millennials in Adulthood — “The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood. Now ranging in age from 18 to 331, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.”

NPR: Millennials To Bear The Burden Of Boomer’s Social Safety Net — “The next America this book captures is a place where millennials, the younger generation, are growing in numbers and influence. Among other things, they are reshaping this country’s political landscape. The book, packed with charts and numbers, raises questions about federal programs that seem to treat millennials unfairly.”

American Public Transportation Association: Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2013 — “In 2013 Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, which is the highest annual public transit ridership number in 57 years, according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This was the eighth year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide.  While vehicle miles traveled on roads (VMT) went up 0.3 percent, public transportation use in 2013 increased by 1.1 percent. “

Read An Excerpt From “The Next America” By Paul Taylor

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  • Unterthurn

    They are being oversimplified for marketing and manipulative purposes. Let’s figure out how to push their buttons and make them want our ideas and products. Different parties want to pull and tug and make them believe their definition of integrity.

  • Duras

    Generation screwed. Have fun with overpriced college and a shrinking middle-wage job market. Also, good luck enjoying life while paying off student debt and saving for your kids’ tuition at the same time.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Plus paying for baby boomers’ social security/medicare benefits as the amounts that the baby boomers/employer matching contributions have paid in won’t begin to cover the benefits that the boomers receive when they live into their 80s and 90s. Plus the interest on the $40 trillion national debt will consume more and more of taxes that are collected. Oh well, few if any of the bozos in congress that put all of these underfunded spending programs in place will be around to face the millennials’ wrath at such a irresponsible scenario.

      • Duras

        There’s a relatively simple solution: immigration reform.

  • J__o__h__n

    On Point just had a show on the Millennials on Jan 10th. How many of these shows do we need in one year? Please don’t have any more between now and the inevitable graduation show. I’m sure even the most self-absorbed of the Millennials and their helicopter parents are growing weary of this by now.

    • Emily4HL

      I agree with you. I’m a millennial who hates this conversation because everyone accuses us of being stupid, entitled, and self-absorbed. Enough!

    • Human2013

      Tom can have as many

      • J__o__h__n

        You certainly disproved that stereotype. Most of my career has been during this prosperous century and I’m still paying off student loans so whine to someone else.

  • Coastghost

    Even Pew pollsters can expect ample opportunities to poll Millennials again and again across coming decades.
    Having heard an NPR synopsis or two of the recent polling, what further data emerge concerning Millennial attitudes toward the respective regions they reside in? Just how attuned to geography are they?
    Just how realistic are their actual political attitudes (at least half of them sound afflicted with utopian political thought that doesn’t necessarily have close ties with prevailing reality: what ARE Millennial views on Russia’s seizure of Crimea, do they all like North Korea as emphatically as Dennis Rodman does, how trusting are they of Iranian representations of security with peace, what do they say has gone wrong with Venezuela since the death of Chavez?)?
    What exactly is the nature of their views on American history? How aware are they of the particulars of American history? (They are all clear on the concept that US history commenced prior to 1945, right? a large assumption on my part, I know.)

    • Emily4HL

      I love your attention to the nuance of life experience on this group. And really disappointed that you are so derogatory at the same time.

      I’m sure you could find plenty of millenials who understand the world and maybe even agree with you…just as you can find plenty who fit your stereotypes. That’s true of any large group.

      • Coastghost

        What is your cohort’s capacity for self-criticism, in that case? Who among you are taking on your own fellows, your own contemporaries? No criticisms to offer for your Snowdens and your Mannings, your Lohans and your Lady Gargoyles? Actually, what critical distinctions do you find at your disposal? (We don’t even know how important you find fashion to be.)

        • Emily4HL

          I think we criticize viewpoints and actions. I don’t see a lot of point in criticizing any generation too broadly. I don’t particularly like the people you’ve mentioned and have my own reasons, but yes, some of my generation love them.

          Also, disagreeing with you doesn’t make us not critical. Making a judgement does not necessarily mean it must be negative. If you don’t see criticism of those people, from anyone between the ages of 18 and 30, I want to know where you’re surfing the internet. Maybe we should all pin our ages on our comment handles.

          • Coastghost

            For one thing I express my skepticism towards modernity by unplugging from it whenever possible: thus, NO cell phone, NO Twitter account, NO Facebook account, no television, no active social media membership.
            I’m not dumping on Millennials, but I am interrogating your competencies without any eagerness to flatter you. One-sided criticism I also agree is useless by itself: in terms of sequence, though, it can reliably precede attempts to forge a constructive critique.

          • Emily4HL

            I really like the last commenter. I’m rather in line with her. There are plenty of millenials also rebelling against that connectivity, so again, I find making generalizations about the millenials frustrating, because I don’t fit with the generalizations that are usually made.

            On the other hand, if you’re skeptical of modernity, it makes sense to me that you’re going to be skeptical of the people who embrace it. I’d like to suggest that you criticize everyone who is embracing the modernity you don’t like. Including the 65 year old college professor who can’t believe she can’t send photos to my phone because my phone doesn’t do that. It makes calls. I grant that there are statistically more millenials embracing this modernity, but it really isn’t limited to us.

            I’d also like to point out that I would call these comment boards social media. You’re sharing your opinion in real time with other commenters. Certainly less, and certainly more high-minded than most social media, but social and media nonetheless.

            It’s been fun!

    • Human2013

      Please consider that OUR generation has access to more information than your generation could imagine. We also get access to more perspectives — rather than the American(Eurocentric) view of the world. We have more friends and classmates from around the globe than your generation. We are connected in a way that your generation could not connect. I have friends form Ecuador, Haiti, China, Cameroon, DR, Ireland, Kenya, Canada, Mexio, Belize, the phillipines and so on. Can you say the same?

  • Guest

    …..

  • Emily4HL

    I hope this conversation doesn’t simply dump on millennials or discuss how “screwed” we are. This group is HUGE, covering a wide range of ages, experience, upbringing, and values. I think there are interesting trends that affect this generation, but I’m so sick of the generalizations that try to discuss a generation as if we have only one story…especially when the generalizations tend to be negative.

    • kaybee63

      It probably will be, because that’s what old people do…..”I remember walking to school in two foot snow drifts, barefoot, uphill…both ways!”

    • Human2013

      The oversimplification and negative commentary are displaced. We are nothing more than a continuum of what came before us, so before you bash millenials, ask yourself how your generation influenced the next.

  • Human2013

    I have to say that I’m sad to see religion as we’ve known it, depart this generation. While we’ve been dismayed and disgusted by the atrocities committed by clergy and their flock, the net sum of Christian philosophy has been a great addition to humanity.

  • betzib

    Try not to leave Gen X out of the conversation, which is what usually happens when discussing generations. Plenty of talk about boomers and millennials, but Gen X is practically invisible.

    • Tim Rohe

      I thought that was our thing and we liked it that way. Will someone please tell me which generational stereotype I’m supposed to conform to so I now how to conduct myself.

      • Floyd Blandston

        Sounds like (generation) Wh(y?).

      • Jeff

        So true, Gen X is the ambivalent generation.

  • Tim Rohe

    I was at a library conference and there was a session on “Millennials” and how they’re changing the dynamic of modern libraries. The session was moderated by an old white guy, naturally, who gave his thoughts on Millennials before awkardly herding a bunch of them up on stage up on stage to answer questions from the audience.

    The first question was a general one about their general thoughts and concerns, to which my friend gamely responded that she was concerned about being stereotyped and pigeonholed by older people based on biased “research” and shoddy anecdotal evidence.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Tom can you bring up the point from that Frontline show “Generation Like”, which demonstrated how this generation does not even understand what “selling out” means as a concept?

    What does such an attitude mean for our future? For accountability, for dignity, for not getting taken advantage of by Government or Industry?

  • AlanThinks

    One point Mr. Taylor makes that could use expanding is the fact the problem with Medicare spending comes primarily from intensive end of life care – 30% of Medicare expenses go to the 2% who die each year and more than 70% of that is for hospital-based mostly intensive care. We need a new paradigm on how we die including a change in the Medicare program.

  • Jeff

    I hope that the boomers can move out of the way and start retiring…also don’t fight the millennials when we fix the mess you left us on SS and Medicare. BTW, the boomers had some of the best economic times in history, 11.6% annual returns [last 30 years] in the stock market (if a boomer put a few thousand into the market every year they’d be a millionaire by now) and housing prices tripled and quadrupled…what do they leave us? Massive national debt (100%+ of GDP) and a Medicare program that will be broke within 10 years and a SS program that will exhaust all funds before a millennial could even touch it.

    • Floyd Blandston

      Ahhhh…., You’re a ‘Millennial’. Your comments now come into better context- come back in 15 years and tell me how far you’ve pushed the rock uphill Sisyphus!

  • kaybee63

    We wonder why they have no social trust?!? Maybe because we’ve taught them to fear strangers, being abducted, cyberstalkers, etc.? I don’t think it takes a lot of research to figure this one out.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Iraq, Financial Bubble, selling of Obamacare, NSA, IRS, Too Big to Fail etc, I think have more effect than being wary as a young person of strangers and online vulnerability,

      • kaybee63

        While that may be a reason to distrust authority, I thought it was phrased a social question…..”Can most people be trusted to do the right thing?”

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I would hope people realize they need to distrust or trust their elected representatives, as much if not more than those in their community.

          Rule of Law, not Men, the foundation of Western Civilization, is based on many generations have learned the answer to the question is “no” for governments, while hopefully yes for community members.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Misplaced trust. Hope and Change. Lies to pass bills, NSA, Too big to fail, Open Fed Windows for revolving door Wall St/Regulator types, etc etc.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    As an mid generation baby-boomer (still not 60), I see some great young minds in action everyday in the college classes I attend. Millennials do not seem as arrogant as we boomers were. They are not engaged in a generation war, the way Boomers were with the Greatest Generation.
    I have faith that they will do some wonderful things in the next few decades, and we may yet see that “kinder and gentler America” emerge their stewardship.

  • Michael Harvey

    We learned to socialize because our mothers threw us out of the house and said come home when the street lights come on. So we were left on our own to sort out how to relate with our peer group. Kids today, as far as I can tell, have little to no time without adult supervision, the play date childhood.

  • Floyd Blandston

    Is it racist of me to advise Kat Chow to find a new name? :D

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      The new generation is/will be more secular populist libertarian whether they realize it or not.

      http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/08/09/what-is-libertarian-populism

      I actually fell for Obama and thought there was that streak.

      Rorshacht test

      • J__o__h__n

        And now you have fallen for something else. Libertarian catchphrases aren’t a one size fits all solution either. Be skeptical of everything.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          At some point, even with the skepticism, we have to get out of the headlights and start moving. Libertarian populist type principles based on sound economics and Constitutional principles just look like the best roadmap.

          The more you read, history, politics, economics, the more you move toward that. Hence millennial shift (Ron Paul and youth + internet access to content about ideas)

          • J__o__h__n

            That is at least 50% of what I read and I am not coming to that conclusion.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            We need ground rules; transparent and enforced equally. Rule of Law not Men. Agreed?

            We should have an elemental Safety Net for the truly poor, destitute, disabled. Agreed?

            Power Corrupts. Agreed?

            The Constitution, Separation of Powers and the Bill of Rights are good things, created out of a reflection on Human Nature and World History. Agreed?

            Overall, in most cases, supply and demand, and freedom to trade and produce, leads to pricing and availability efficiency. Agreed?

            If you begin to micromanage a self-organizing system with regulations and mandates, you will have unintended consequences, and may then be tempted to come up with new mandates etc to counter those consequences, potentially ad infinitum. Agreed?

            When you can buy food or radios etc from 20 different companies, you have a better chance of good pricing/quality, than if there was only 1 choice. Agreed?

            If the Government gets into the market, since it can undercut by subsidy other “honest” competitors, you will likely be left with 1 choice for that “product” Agreed?

            Without competition, that product has a lower chance of being of high quality and low price. Agreed?

            Power Corrupts we agreed. If we give more and more power to the Central Government, less to States, less to free-thinking people, there is a great chance for corruption and inefficiency. In addition, we have less and less chance for accountability and alternatives as the power grows and competing choices dwindle.

            Self Government was a concept designed to maximize the power to individuals and minimize it to centralized authorities, for obvious reasons. Agreed?

            Does this all sound so bad? What conclusion are you coming from?

            Communist/Socialist attempt to organize people and resources, have not worked well. That is plain in the historical record.

            I don’t think a hybrid works, because too many of the principles of liberty and Central Planning are completely incompatible.

            Given Rule of Law ground rules, a basic Safety net, I’ll take the more liberty path than Central Planning, or leading by elites path.

            Iraq, NSA, repeal of Glass Steagall Rule of Law for benefit of political/financial cronies, Too Big to Fail, same sex equality under the law, and I believe it will come to pass, early term abortions.

            libertarian thought is on the right side of all these issues, which I do not think is even debated anymore.

          • red_donn

            The infection of Ayn Rand and various oversimplified economic schools have ruined much of this potential.

            The first point of a “hybrid” would be the intensive use of the government as a provider of information and a corrective counterbalance to various market distortions. The current ongoing belief, that an abolishment of the status quo would be sufficient to generate much of the improvement, is highly dangerous. The distortions from private interests are already at play in the economy and should not be given free reign.

            I, of course, agree that the government is largely in cahoots with these interests, but I find that the standard libertarian line of “corrective” measures plays even further into the hands of private distortions. By this I mean such things as attempting to do away with the minimum wage, affirming unpaid internships, further reducing pollution controls, etc. In each case, the lazy though thus implied is that driving up production, profits, or GDP by removing restrictions will necessarily lead to an overall improvement.

          • red_donn

            Until I talk with more (any) libertarians who have heard of, and can discuss, information assymetries and bargaining leverage in labor markets, I cannot hold truck with their economic plans. A half-truth, the efficiency of the market, followed with zealotry and without an understanding of limitations, in this case the real-world existence of basic economic assumptions, leads to worse disasters than simple myopia.

            Why has the Libertarian Party advanced, year after year, a national sales tax that it itself acknowledges will further burden the lower and middle class wage-earners? This is truly shoddy work, hinting at a lack of real innovation or deep economic understanding. It takes so little effort to create an alternative, such as three flat national taxes for income, consumption (sales), and capital (wealth) which can be readily adjusted to fit the needs of the economy, rather than simply by class.

    • Tim Rohe

      Yes, but that doesn’t stop it from being funny.

      • Floyd Blandston

        “So, Izzy Snotpockets goes before the Judge to have his name changed…”. That one’s from my Grandparents generation of ‘first gen. immigrant kids’.

  • John Locke

    I am 23 and the great majority of my friends and acquaintances share the basic belief that organizations are effectively sociopathic: entities that seek self interest above morality or ethics. That is not to say we hate or despise institution, but we recognize the amount of trust that should be afforded to something that seeks its own expansion beyond all things.

    • Floyd Blandston

      Nicely said!

    • Wotan

      Indeed, but as a 40-something, I and a great deal of my friends have felt the same for as long as you’ve been alive. I suspect many Boomers have felt this for even longer.

  • Coastghost

    Social media REPLACE critical thinking, critical thought, reflection? Social media ENHANCE critical thinking, critical thought, reflection?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Most who actually lived in communes learned they don’t work.

  • Coastghost

    CodeSwitch is one interesting example to adduce: a passing glance at the NPR Ombudsman’s page reveals numerous charges of heavy-handed editing to the point of censorship, of closing down the expression of views that are found somehow not to be tenable or welcome.
    If Millennials get to edit their world so efficiently, they can indeed begin turning the world into one that suits their prejudices.

    • Wotan

      Code Switch gives Krulwich Wonders a good run for its money as the biggest waste of space and resources on NPR. In a sense, it’s even worse. At least Krulwich isn’t in the habit of replying to his commenters on the blog only to have it deleted my their own moderators, then proceed to wage a massive banning campaign of commenters with whom they disagree under the guise that such comments are “objectionable.”

  • Melissa Mangino

    So where does Generation X fit into all of this? I feel like we get no respect.

    • betzib

      Show is over half over and not one mention.

      • Floyd Blandston

        Word. Middle child syndrome…

    • Tim Rohe

      We are the Rodney Dangerfield of generations!

    • jefe68

      You and Rodney Dangerfield…

      • Tim Rohe

        Beat you to it!

        • jefe68

          Great minds….

          • Tim Rohe

            I want to agree with you, but I don’t know if my generation celebrates synergy and consensus building. Let me check the literature and get back to you.

          • jefe68

            Well, you have wit, that’s a start.

    • Jay

      We got no respect, instead we got the enormous bill for Lyndon Johnson’s (failed) Great Society and Vietnam War.

  • Kevin

    I am encouraged by the changes I am seeing in the demographics surrounding the millennials. I have two daughters; one a physician and other a lawyer. The physician married a man from Cuba and the lawyer married a man from Nigeria. They were raised in a small town in Vermont. Who would have thought 30 years ago this could happen?? Hopefully as boomers fade and millennials take over that the Tea Party will be doomed!

  • Markus6

    I wonder if they’ll be the stressed generation. Every problem is instantaneously and constantly in their face. Climate change, unemployment, overpopulation, starvation, terrorism, all that rest are coming at them from dozens of different angles and it’s constant.

    We had the bomb and the soviet union and our own worries, but they weren’t always in our faces and, for good or bad, we had more god and the idea that there might be something beyond this life.

  • Beth

    I am 45 years old, so a member of Generation X, I suppose. Where does my generation fit into this new America?

    • betzib

      Yes, you’re Generation X. And so is Steven Colbert, but he doesn’t even know it. This generation is so invisible, members aren’t even sure where they fit in. If you were born between 1964-1980, you’re a Gen Xer.

  • Jeff

    Jimmy has it 100% correct, great caller and perspective. Most millennials are very socially liberal but at the same time they tend to be much more on the side of freedom when it comes to economic issues…very much like libertarians.

    • Floyd Blandston

      Freedom? Define it; freedom to swallow whatever message the Koch Bros. pay GOP candidates to tell you? Freedom to give up 100 years of worker struggles to gain equity vs. capital? Please say it ain’t so!

      • Jeff

        Good, you regurgitate your talking points from the left…the Koch Brothers are around ~50th on the list of political donors…you say nothing about Soros because you’re blinded by your political ideology. Freedom is freedom, if I have to explain it to you then you don’t understand it. Freedom to choose which employment option you want because you have skills employers are looking for. Taking from someone is not freedom, it is theft.

        • Floyd Blandston

          The ability to *hear* ones own BS comes with age. Save this comment and come back to it in 15 years.

          • Jeff

            Nice, I’m glad you clearly addressed your non-outrage against Soros while you have so much for the Koch brothers…hypocrisy, isn’t it amazing? Hypocrisy = BS.

          • Floyd Blandston

            Jeff, you can take my initial statements, change the political polarity of them 180 degrees, and you still haven’t answered the question- define the ‘side of freedom’ regarding ‘economic issues’. You won’t because you’d be forced to confront both the shallowness of your knowledge and its ability to be thoroughly refuted. Your willingness to foreclose this debate is not the act of a libertarian; let self-reflection show you to whom that approach might belong.

          • Jeff

            I point out your hypocrisy and you avoid it, I point it out again and I’m asked to ‘define freedom’…really? Okay, freedom simply means that people are free to do what they want with their money, it means a more efficient tax code…lower rates and much fewer deductions the remaining ones shouldn’t be based on life choices (that means treat everyone the same, equality). Now I addressed your question, I ask you to address your outrage at Koch brothers and why you don’t care about Soros who manipulates currencies to make money.

          • Floyd Blandston

            The intellectual and social nous to discern a speculative question from a doctrinal statement is a useful skill, as well as the avoidance of insult without a knowledgeable basis for its application. If you can avoid this result in your life, consider yourself lucky. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1939/01/21/1939_01_21_019_TNY_CARDS_000176068

          • Jeff

            Good dance, still no direct reply to my question, which means you’re doing everything in your power to not confront your own hypocrisy.

          • Floyd Blandston

            Nice try Brer Rabbit- it’s your tarbaby, ‘Objectivism’ yourself offen’ it. :D

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Attitudes towards government.

    The new generation is/will be more secular populist libertarian whether they realize it or not. The scales are/will fall from eyes.

    http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/08/09/what-is-libertarian-populism

    I actually fell for Obama and thought there was that streak.

    Rorshacht test

  • http://www.jimtimberlake.com jimtim

    tom! you’re leaping from boomers to millenials… as a gen x-er i’m a little wounded you’re skipping over the stage we set :)

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Tom you could do a “What is Libertarian Populism” Panel Show, with one of your Millennial guests on the panel as well to see what comes out.

    http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/08/09/what-is-libertarian-populism

  • jefe68

    I’m not sure where this guy gets the libertarian angle from.
    My daughter is a lot of things, libertarian is not one of them.
    Neither are any of her friends. They are very liberal, all for gay marriage, want abortion to be legal, want a decent national health care system, want college to be cheaper. In short they want government to work, not to be so small as to be a meaningless construct.

    • Jeff

      All of those things you list off could very well be libertarian sided issues…gay marriage (yep), abortion (yep), new national healthcare system (removing it from employers, yep), college to be removed from the loan system we currently have (moving to a non-government system where people can gain a more efficient education within 6 month, yep once again). Your daughter is more of a libertarian than you realize.

      Just think a little bit outside the box on those second two issues…she wants a more seamless healthcare system, more automatic and detached from your employer…many libertarians have advocated for such a system. The education issue is more about reducing costs, removing waste and making it more efficient overall…a new education system without government support where you can go to school for 6 months and for $5,000 and be done with it…yet another libertarian issue.

      • jefe68

        Nope. What you’re leaving out here is that government needs to be involved. They make the laws.

        As to libertarians wanting the US moving towards a NH system, that’s news to me. I’ve never heard Ron Paul say anything to that effect. Quite the opposite.

        You’re college idea seems based on some kind of fantasy land, like all libertarianism. I’m not sure where you get the 6 month idea from, that’s a load of bunk. You can’t train a plumber in 6 months, so how are you going to educate a lawyer or a decent K – 12 teacher?

        My take on libertarianism, is you guys want to do everything on the cheap and screw the regulations.

        • Jeff

          Well, it’s pretty obvious you’re not a millennial by the ability to think beyond what you know, beyond how the current political system presents things.

          You never heard about giving individuals the tax breaks that businesses get when purchasing health insurance? Mandating that insurance companies must renew all insurance every year and not allowing past medical history after investing a few years into that medical insurance company? You buy your own, you get a tax break and you can never have insurance cancelled if you purchased the insurance when you were healthy.

          Fantasy land? Have you not heard about a programming crash course where people are paying $12,000 to gain programming skills (enough to be employed as programmer) with in 12 weeks? I’m not talking about lawyers, doctors or even high level engineers, the university system has its place but for the vast majority of degrees we have so much fluff filling up the education programs…almost all of them have 1-2 years of lib ed requirements that have nothing to with a job (or the major being attempted) in the future. Many people go through school in hopes of a good job, give that hope through a better, faster, more efficient system (especially for mid career professionals)…why can’t we offer that program in a short period of time…find the skills employers are looking for and give people those skills. Even plumbers learn most of their skills on the job, doing an apprenticeship which they begin within a few months of training.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Conflating “making laws” or Rule of Law (which they still don’t understand), with Central Planning, is one of their favorite rebuttals.

            I struggle to know if it is on purpose or from ignorance.

            Pretty sure the latter.

          • jefe68

            You made a statement about education, a pretty broad one, and now you’re trying to back track it. Taking a programing course is not the same thing as getting a college degree or doing a apprenticeship.
            As to the fluff in the “vast majority of degrees”, well what degrees would that be exactly?

            Education should be about developing ones critical think skills and problems solving. What you seem to be on about is training. Two different things.

          • Jeff

            You’re thinking like a different generation…a degree? Who cares…I suppose someone will want some sort of a uniform degree (a piece of paper) but it’s really meaningless…you should come out of a quick education program with real skills and very good example of your own work. With programming it’s code and your own program you’ve created…same with education with Xcel sheets, equations, a marketing proposal and even a sales pitch. If you can actually do what the business is asking and nail the interview then that’s what is needed, not some meaningless degree.

            Ask many of those with a degree (in Communications or English) if it’s helping them get a job right now or if a 12 week programming course would open up more employment opportunities.

          • jefe68

            I’m not thinking like a different generation.
            If it was up to me we would have a system akin to Germany. And the waste in education you’re on about, well that’s not coming form the professors, that’s on the administration side.

          • Jeff

            Fully-paid, year long sabbaticals…once a decade? Great benefits, very high pensions paid until death…that’s all for the profs, pay them well for their regular teaching/research…let them fund their own retirement and time off.

          • jefe68

            Professors rarely go on year long sabbaticals. Most can apply for one semester, and that depends on the institution. You’re on about benefits as is this was somehow a bad thing. As to the pay, well you’re really out of touch. Those that have full time positions are averaging about 70 to 80K a year. As to the retirement comment, you again don’t know what you are talking about. Unless they are working for a state school, and one that has a state pension plan, all professors are paying into a retirement account. You also leave out that 70% of the people doing the teaching in the US are adjuncts without any benefits or retirement funds.

            You keep on reinforcing my opinion that libertarians are immature.

        • Jeff

          See my response below, if you don’t think there’s tons of waste in the current education system then you aren’t looking hard enough.

      • Kathy

        I think millenials want healthcare and educational systems that work like the ones in Europe, not the libertarian one in Somalia.

        • Jeff

          See my response below, if you can’t think outside of those two options then we can’t have a conversation. The Dems could have easily passed universal healthcare…they ran away from it and now we have Obamacare…don’t blame anyone but the Dems that had a veto proof majority.

  • Brian

    I worry about a generation that simply becomes apathetic.

    • J__o__h__n

      I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Jeff

      Hey, leave Gen X out of this!

  • Coastghost

    Optimism and the innate capacity to realize and instantiate optimistic outcomes are vastly different and separate and distinct things.
    Our geniuses perceive these available distinctions, yes?

  • Jay

    Hopefully the millennials will learn from the many failures of the ‘Great Society’ Baby Boomer generation and not make the same mistakes they did.

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    Babyboomers SOLD OUT big time: dismantling and destroying much of the good their generation accomplished – especially during the golden-age of civil rights periods/movements for (women and minorities)!

    And sadly, seemingly only doing so in order to KEEP MORE for themselves; almost spiritualizing their self-regard through Reaganomics – just being greedy and selfish!

    I mean…look at all those hippie men that turned around and became the aggressively corrupt Wall street of the 80s, 90s, to current!

    Millennials, in my opinion, could FINALLY be the great correction generation that’s needed.

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    I’m a little worried about the 27 yr old caller that said he was a Republican primarily due to economics.

    I’m sorry, but Republican economics is far more ideologically driven, rather than fact-based.

    • Markus6

      I have to disagree. Ideology seems to drive the selection of facts on both sides. Pick any speech that Obama (or just about any politician) gives and look at the facts he chooses. How many facts that run counter to his arguments, does he use?

      When people on this forum use facts, the vast majority used are in favor of their position, though in the real world it’s never that clean.

      But I think I’m off topic now.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Emulate Beyonce.

    Sell out your sexuality for money.

    Why not, all the other privacy is gone, to Facebook, NSA….?

  • hellokitty0580

    WTF!! I totally disagree with the last Baby Boomer caller Mike. Unfair. I am a very well-informed Millennial. I explore. I distrust the talking points. I formulate my own opinions. I am not a sheep. I believe in following my own path and I definitely look at things in depth. I read, I stay informed!

    Yea, maybe there are lots of young Millennials that are not informed and don’t care to be, but not all of us are that way. Some of us have very deep beliefs and we move toward those beliefs. I see that from people in my age group. It may not be in the same way that Baby Boomers did, but we have our own way, different techniques. Its important for older generations to respect that.

    • jefe68

      He’s just a grumpy old guy.

    • Jeff

      I agree, I know so many more Gen X’ers who are into reality TV…they were the generation of Real World, Road Rules, Survivor, Big Brother etc…sure we have more today but I’d be willing to be it’s the 30-40 somethings that are watching the Kardashians and the variety of Housewives shows. I (and many of my fellow millennials) hate reality TV…if you look at the new movement when it comes to popular shows, it’s not reality TV it’s the really good dramas…Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead, Mad Men, etc., no reality TV shows in there that hold the attention of the millennials.

      • jefe68

        Funny, watched and loved The Wire, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire., hate reality TV and I’m not millennial.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Nice idea, but economics ( where do I get my next meal) comes first. Environmental concern is very important, but these incorrect notions that it can be first, when its not, due to unchangeable human nature and self-preservation, are counterproductive.

  • TheAssassinBug

    Every young generation thinks that it is the solution to the misdeeds of the previous one.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Oh no! Identification politics waning!? What will the vote panderers do? They can’t turn to……substance!?

  • MarkVII88

    What I’m taking away from this show is that the only generations that matter are the “Boomers” and the “Millenials”. Evidently those of us who fall between these two groups are insignificant. Perhaps that’s solely because the guests today are representing those groups. Where do the guests think those of us that are around 35-40 years old fall in this milieu?

    • betzib

      Guess we just don’t matter. Whole hour show and not one mention.

  • Mangojam

    The economy was ailing when I graduated from college, too (1990) and it took me ten years to find a decent job. The world was also changing then, in ways we are just beginning to understand. Each generation has its troubles.

    • Jeff

      What was your degree?

      • Mangojam

        Undergrad in Political Science, Master’s in English. Banks were failing, we went to war, etc. Not a great time to be young and striking out on your own, either.

        • Floyd Blandston

          Jeff is now laughing, mocking your foolishness in not studying exactly what he did… ;)

          • Mangojam

            Ah, well. In a boom and bust economic culture, someone is always going to be on the bust end of the boom (or bubble), regardless of their education and skills (or generation). Except for the untouchable 1%, of course.

          • Jeff

            No I was just curious…some degrees are simply harder to find employment than others…if that’s your passion then that’s your passion; just don’t expect someone to quickly employ you with a Master’s in English.

  • Malia

    I’d love to hear a show about my (forgotten) generation, the Gen-X’ers.

  • Scott B

    I heard the two Millennials talking about being libertarian and I wonder if they understand what they’re saying? The current version of libertarianism is the one that’s the far right of the Republican party, that espouses personal rights, while denying rights to huge blocks of people with voter ID laws and woman’s right to determine her reproductive decisions, and is all about “Me! Me! Me!” I wonder because that generation is also more socially conscious and inclusive, and can see that (as pointed out on The Daily Show last night) that $4B in tax loopholes for big biz is not a “pittance”, and that $3B in SNAP benefits isn’t going to break us and cutting it doesn’t make the people that needs it suddenly go get jobs, jobs that aren’t there.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      You display a great ignorance of libertarian ideas, clearly referring only to the mischaracterizations you know you are supposed to believe, with all due respect.

      • Jeff

        Pro-choice is a libertarian issue…denying rights? Libertarians want everyone treated equally under the law, more than either political party…that commenter is completely misinformed about what libertarians believe.

        • Scott B

          Show me a Libertarian leader that’s pro-choice.; or thinks that voter ID laws are a bad idea.;or doesn’t think slashing social programs will somehow generate jobs; or that privatization and deregulation is the answer to damn near everything is the answer to everything, when they are clearly not.

          • Jeff

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_perspectives_on_abortion

            “The majority of libertarians support legal access to abortion as part of their general support for individual rights, especially in regard to what they consider to be a woman’s right to control her body.”

            There you go!

            Of course less government interference means more jobs, it’s basic economics.

          • Scott B

            There where are the libertarian leaders that support abortion? Nowhere I can see. They hang hang around the Republican party when it suits them, and bite that same hand when it doesn’t.

            Less government interference means more jobs? Really? You mean like eliminating the minimum wage and crushing unions so billionaires like the Koch bros, who push that agenda, can somehow bring people up by pulling the floor out from under them? Or do you mean that the government shouldn’t have financed NASA and the space, that brought about the tech we enjoy today, and the millions of jobs it created?

          • James

            I’m sure you think your making some profound point, but when you label Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as Libertarians, you come off as an ignoramus who doesn’t have a clue what they are talking about.

          • Jeff

            Rubio and Cruz are NOT libertarians. Cool, I look forward to your rant about Soros.

          • herewardpooley

            Authoritarian and libertarian are both of the left and the right. The Dalai Lama, for example, would be left libertarian and Stalin left authoritarian. Obama and Romney would both be right authoritarian. Cruz and Paul would be right libertarian.

    • Sy2502

      Libertarians are dead center. Good display of ignorance there, buddy.

      • Scott B

        No, they’re clearly not. Ted Cruz, the Pauls, Bachman, the Koch Bros, et al dead center?

        So look at those three fingers pointing back at yourself when you point that finger at me, saying I’m the ignorant one.

        • Sy2502

          Of the people you mentioned, only Ron Paul is actually Libertarian. Oh you didn’t know?

          • Scott B

            The rest seem to blur the lines quite readily, or didn’t you notice?

          • Sy2502

            Only for people like you who don’t even know the difference between a Republican and a Libertarian. For the rest of us, the difference is quite apparent.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        Actually there are different sorts of libertarians. Right and Left. Republican Libertarians like the current stream of Ron / Rand Paul supporters are Constitutional Libertarians, meaning ultra conservative. Left libertarians are concerned with binary economics and personal liberties.

        • Sy2502

          The simplest way to describe Libertarians is “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”. There may of course be variations on how fiscally conservative and how socially liberal, but a self professed Libertarian who’s really both fiscally and socially conservative is really a Republican, and a self professed Libertarian who’s socially and fiscally liberal is really a Democrat.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            This is a wholly false oversimplification. For example, a Libertarian who is both socially and fiscally conservative may be TOTALLY anti-corporate. Thus, this person would NOT be a Republican.

            A Libertarian who is both socially and fiscally progressive could be a proponent of Binary economics, and thus, would NOT be a Democrat.

          • Sy2502

            A socially conservative Libertarian isn’t a Libertarian. Libertarians believe in personal freedom above all so for example, a Libertarian can’t possibly be in favor of moralistic laws, because a government that imposes its religious morals on people is not a Libertarian government.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            Again, you are incorrect. A socially conservative libertarian may believe in personal liberty for everyone, while choosing socially conservative views for themself PERSONALLY. Granting oneself personal liberty as well.

          • Sy2502

            LIbertarianism is a political philosophy, the Libertarian Party is a political party. We are talking about politics here, how to run a country, not what you do in your private life.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            Just admit you are in the presence of someone with a higher IQ than you… Humility is good for the soul.

            I really don’t want to get into a big lecture right now.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            As another example, property rights and corporate personhood, as corporate realpolitik, applied to Libertarianism, would essentially give ultimate power to corporations. I don’t think most libertarians intend that view, but don’t realize how it would come out in the wash. This is why binary economics and emphasis on the flesh and blood “sovereign citizen” is such an important, yet under-emphasized aspect of any successful Libertarian movement. Go back to school.

          • Sy2502

            Who would that be? You? Ahahahahah!!!! You’re funny.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            Ahhh, ME. I’m delighted you find our discussion humorous. But I assure you my authority is absolute.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            Actually, I was talking about both.

  • truegangsteroflove

    An hour of sweeping generalizations about generations. What if people aren’t sufficiently submissive that they would let someone else put them in a box.

    There are good reasons for people to resist being forced into an identity not of their own making. One would be not fitting into the box of characteristics and attitudes that someone has written a book about, and who goes around pushing his generalizations in order to sell books.

    Another reason would be the arbitrariness of generational definition. What if one missed it by a year or two? What if someone else comes along and defines the generation as starting five years earlier and ending another five years earlier? How about a longer time period? Shorter? Maybe a generation is only eighteen years. Or thirty.

    There may be cultural characteristics of different age groups, but the groups are always arbitrary and everyone has their own lives. They deviate from the generalizations about their generations in their own unique ways.

    One thing that can be said for sure, though, is that we are all in the same boat, and the boat is sinking. Maybe a better question is who gets throw whom overboard first – boomers, Xers, millennials, or some new, as yet not arbitrarily defined generation.

  • Coastghost

    Do Millennials resolutely distinguish thought from feeling? Or: what is their attitude towards invoking such a distinction, what utility could come of employing such a distinction? Do tell.

  • kaybee63

    Yeah, well I’m supposed to be a baby boomer, but you think I remember where I was when Kennedy was shot (the classic “are you a boomer question) Well, as a one month old infant at the time….. NOT. You can only relate if you’re in the middle of the bell curve of a generation.

    • Sabrina S.

      Yep, just like I’m not supposed to remember when the Berlin Wall fell, even though I was 5 years old, not 5 months!

      As silly as litmus tests like that are, at least they’re generally not assumed to be the over-arching determinant of your identity. No older colleague or employer (eek!) is going to assume that you lack certain skills because you do or don’t remember a certain historical event, but they might think that I can’t read things in hard copy instead of on a computer screen (yes, I’ve been asked that) or that I’m going to be texting all day at work. ARGH.

      By the way, some put people your age (around my brothers’ ages) into a smaller generation called “Generation Jones.” You’re all supposed to be bitter and pessimistic, apparently. At least you don’t have to hear about it all the time…

      • kaybee63

        LOL, guess you’re right about that one. When I was in seventh grade, my social studies teacher taught us about the fallacies of generalizations- I think the responses here validate what he was trying to teach us at least.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    The biggest lesson of history, and of government, is that things must inevitably get worse before they get better- and most people aren’t visionary enough to tolerate the valleys and dips after instituting good policy. Therefore, short term view means always dealing with things in a reactionary rather than proactive way. When the population wises up and intelligently chooses delayed gratification, society will become enlightened.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    There are high IQ and low IQ people of every generation. Technology can be used to manipulate or used to liberate.

  • Nate Baum

    I think millennials work pretty hard. Myself and another are still at work near 7 – 8 pm on a regular basis. We don’t take for granted a full time job that provides benefits…

  • krosref

    Poor Gen Xers, we appear to be completely culturally and economically irrelevant.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    The millennials? I see what you mean. I am not a millennial, however. And I value common sense.

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