As our factories move overseas, I think there will be three job choices:
1 - go to college, get massive debt and hope you land a good job.
2 - go into retail.
3 - start your own business. If you had a rich uncle leave you a couple hundred thousand, maybe you can buy a franchise.
There is a 4th option, learn a skill and got to work in a refinery, welding shop, land drilling rig or off shore drilling rig.
People are lazy, so they are usually going to take the path of least resistance, which is retail.
I left the welding field in 2005, and hope to never go back. There were lots of reasons why I left, but the main reason was the pay.
Why should I have to work 60+ hours a week just to make ends meet?
One company I worked for (around 1994), at my yearly review they gave me a 25 cent raise. That did not even cover the cost of inflation or the increase in gas over the past year. The longer I worked there, the more money I was going to be losing.
Over the past 30 years the world has turned into a global economy. People are just going to have to accept a lower standard of living then their parents and especially their grandparents had.
There was once a time when people owned land. One of my great uncles owned close to 400 acres just 20 miles from where I live. The family lost the land during the depression. the family could not pay the property taxes, so the county tax office took the land and auctioned it off. A timber company bought the land and gave my family 40 acres to live on.
Since the 1930s there has been some reason or another for the middle class to lose ground.
I have 4 children in generation x, and I worry about their future. Even if they get a college education, they will be so far into debt that they will probably not be able to buy a home or start a family.
My wife and I have know a family where the daughter just finished high school. She started her first year of college in a couple of weeks.
The daughter wants to go for a journalism degree.
That is fine and dandy, but in this economy what kind of money is someone going make in journalism?
Over the past 25+ years wages have stagnated, while the price of everything else has continued to rise.
I have 3 kids. My oldest daughter just graduated college and has a good job. She got a scholarship so fortunately she isnt starting out in debt. My other daughter is a junior in high school and works at dairy queen. She loves her job and plans to keep it while finishing school and junior college here. My son is a freshman in high school and plays basketball and is also a sports trainer following in his mother's footsteps. He is very smart so I figure he will get a scholarship as well. They will work while in school but we have the resources to get them thru college without piling up a butt load of debt. That way they can have a good start to their adult lives. After all isnt that a parents job? I think it is and Im very happy and fortunate to be able to do it for them. I dont think a kid has much of a future unless they have a college degree of some kind. I want my kids to have it better than I had it. My wife and I have worked our butts off over the past 20 yrs. to insure they have a good life and get a good education. We had a tuff start and have worked hard to make sure the kids dont have such a rocky start to adulthood like we did. Beyond that I hope they are smart enough to do well. I think they will be fine.
Yes, many of those in Generation Y are somewhat lost. That's a fact that cannot be denied.
Go to any coffee shop, Internet cafe, or local sub shop. The "lost" are covered in tattoos, pierced from head to toe, and their eyes are glued to a 2" x 3" screen while their thumbs dart around a miniature keyboard. Many have grown-up to believe that they are entitled to things and stuff. They have been coddled and told that, "Everyone deserves to win!"...despite the effort expended.
Frankly, I don't have much sympathy for them. I wasn't handed anything in life. I busted my a$$, I went to school, I got academic scholarships, and I got a good paying job. Today, I get up at 6am, and I get home between 7pm-8pm during the week. I'm proud of my achievements. But again...nobody handed it to me.
Here's the thing...It's not just Generation Y.
I'm currently managing two fellas (in a nice paying tech-job) who are contractors. They have a very similar "entitlement" mentality. They think that they're supposed to get paid for work they don't do. Just yesterday, one of them came to me and asked if he could leave work 2 hours early. I figured I'd say yes; it was a slow Friday and he mentioned something about preparing for a birthday party for a family member.
I then looked at his submitted timesheet for the week...Hmm?
Those two hours that he wanted off somehow made it onto his timesheet. So, essentially, he wanted to get paid for the two hours (remember, a nice paying tech-job), which he did not work. Not a problem though...I just adjusted the guy's timesheet for him.
So, while I think that Generation Y has its issues, and maybe more than previous generations, I think it's a mindset in some folks that is driven by the core values they are taught and the habits they learn over their lives.
In my mind it's simple...an "Entitlement Society" does not mix well with a "Capitalistic Free-Market Society".
Sure, we should have a safety net, but it shouldn't turn into a hammock.
Y'all think about this and tell me if I'm thinking wrong.
Way back when...If you wanted to go to college, your parents spent a butt load of money, or you worked your butt off for the money to get a higher education. When in college, you worked your butt off to make the most of it and learn all that you could. You did so because, 1. You really wanted that education.2. Somebody worked really hard for the money to put you there, and you wouldn't dare pi$$ that away.
Now, when those students got out of school, they normally got great jobs. Now think about why. 1. They were really hard working, well educated people, who knew what it meant to accomplish something. 2. There were only so many of them, making those sacrifices to get that education.
Now move forward to today. Everybody knows, that if you want a good job, you need to go to college. The problem is that now, so many people think that "going to college" insures them the great job. That's not correct. You see, now just about everyone can get student loans. They, or their parents don't have to work their butts off for the money. They just say "yeah, I want to go" and someone just hands them the money and says go ahead and just pay me back later. Now you have a bunch of people in school that don't really have much respect for the opportunity. They coast through school, bring down the level of all those in the school. Now you have a bunch of people with a degree that are not hard working, or well educated. Now that degree doesn't mean much, so it doesn't get you the good job. There are still some good jobs out there, but they go to the ones who work hard and figure out how to get them. College is no longer an automatic "in".
Now you have tons of kids that think the world owes them something, who come out of school with big student loans to pay back, can't get a good job, and look for someone to blame for it. They have come to expect everything to be handed to them.
All the while, you have people who are tought how to succeed, work hard and make things happen...and guess what. They are demonized because they succeed.
My 18 year old just came to this reality a few months ago.
I've done all I can to raise her, but she has to get off her butt, and now do the work I've prepared her for. (And the economy is not in her favor, that's true, but it was not in mine in 1984 either when I was first out of High School.)
At 18 I was working 3 jobs.
Paid my own way, but did live at home when I slept. (Rarely ate a meal at home however, did not have the time.)
We got into an arguement, and this 18 year old told me to F'off. Wow, I've been angry at my folks before, but never gone there.
So, I'm really happy to watch her go out and discover that she's had it pretty easy, and grow up some.