Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The World Is Your Oyster But the Irritants Form the Pearls

Image result for once i realized the world was my oyster the world was mine

Despite being “better educated” than Boomers…

Thirty-nine percent of millennials have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to about a quarter of baby boomers when they were the same age.

Millennials find themselves falling behind in the Game of Life. That seems, well, unfair. But nevertheless, there it is.

Millennials are earning 20% less than baby boomers at the same age — despite being better educated, a new study has found.

Research published in a report by the nonprofit New America found that the Great Recession, which began in 2007, was largely to blame in the generational wealth divide.

Lack of solid income has also affected other aspects of millennial life — the median age for a first marriage is currently five years older than it was in the 1960s and more millennials are choosing to live at home than previous generations, the study said. - NYP

Naturally they blame us, the Baby Boomers, for everything.

Millennials (and to some extent their Gen-X and Gen-Z brethren) hate their elders with a ferocity never before seen in our culture. Egged on by the media-savvy likes of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, they blame prolonged heat waves on boomers who supposedly stood by and cheered as the Earth went up in flames. The phrase “OK BOOMER” has now become young people’s “repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don’t get it,”

I understand they blame the Boomers who took everything, used it all up and left them nothing. What other explanation could there possibly be? Because bad policies, bad management and bad juju have never aligned to hit the fan before. Oh wait, except for that time it did and resulted in the Great Depression – which was like the Great Recession, only much, much worse. Still, Boomers were never made to suffer through the horrors the Millennials have endured through the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, until Trump came along to fix it. Boomers were never unable to find a job because the unemployment rate hovered between 3.9 and 9.9% for the 10 years between 2008 and 2018.  Well, except for that time between 1975 and 1985 when it hovered between 6 and 10.8%, mostly around the high end, when many of us Boomers were just getting in the labor market. And to be fair, what we lacked in magnitude of recession we made up in volume. We had the recession of 1970, 1980 and 1990, along with 1987’s Black Monday stock market drop when everyone thought the financial world was about to fall apart but didn’t; even without any major government intervention.

And don’t even get Millennials started about not being able to buy a house! How unfair that Boomers are staying in their homes longer and not making that reasonably priced housing stock available to them. Could be that their parents are holding on to their homes in order to have a place for their Millennials to live when they decide to move back, again. True, housing stock wasn’t the major issue facing Boomers who wished to buy a home and start a family. No, the real issue was interest rates which hovered around 9% in the 70s but shot into the double digits during the 80’s and stayed there through the early 90s. The 30 year fixed rate peaked at 16.1% in 1981. I bet most Millennials couldn’t even guess what that rate would do to their monthly payment, even though they complain incessantly about the burden of their student loans exacerbated by interest.

Speaking of which, it’s beginning to look increasingly like the “I’ll gladly pay you tomorrow (with interest) for a college degree today” plan is a fool’s mission for the young unless they’ve gotten adequate counselling along the way. A LOT of degrees that end in “studies” do not make you any more marketable than you were before. Unless accompanied by teaching credentials even some of the classic disciplines, like English and history, only qualify you for a job at a more upscale restaurant.

Perhaps this article contains another reason why that is: 

For the third time in a row since Common Core was fully phased in nationwide, U.S. student test scores on the nation’s broadest and most respected test have dropped, a reversal of an upward trend between 1990 and 2015. Further, the class of 2019, the first to experience all four high school years under Common Core, is the worst-prepared for college in 15 years, according to a new report.

And that’s really saying something. But as some old Boomer first noted back in the olden days: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Just remember, everybody’s story begins the same way:

You write the rest. The world is indeed your oyster but it is the irritants that form into pearls.

DISCLAIMER: As I’ve written on this subject often enough to know, I need to post this. This criticism does not apply to all Millennials. Indeed, there are some real movers and shakers out there who have, despite all odds, grabbed the bull by its horns and turned the world into their oyster. Hooray for them! There just seems a smaller percentage of movers and shakers these days and for that I blame the media-education complex and the cesspool of Hollywood.

And while I readily admit that stereotyping can be inherently unfair, it does – as somebody pointed out just the other day – save time.