Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Economic Compact for the Young

Required reading for those interested in generational economics and politics.

"For a quarter-century, policies that once promoted entry into the middle class, such as affordable college tuition and support for first-time homeownership, have been battered by ideological and fiscal assault. Social investment has not kept up with changing social realities, and the remnant of America's welfare state is tilted toward the other end of the age spectrum. The solution is not, as some have suggested, to remove supports from the elderly. Reliable pensions and Medicare are also on the defensive. The remedy is to enlarge social investment for the young, to expand economic pathways to secure adulthood. With the exception of the generation born between roughly 1880 and 1910, whose members lost so much as adults in the Great Depression, there has never been an extended period of generational downward mobility comparable to this one -- and it is all the more remarkable for occurring during a period of general economic growth. "


Anonymous said...


No one is reading this, or commenting on your stories. Where is the popular uprising? Most young people are playing with their little electronic gizmos. This is not the greatest generation, in fact many of these young people deserve what they get.

Anya said...

Hi Richard, actually, I hear feedback and comments from young people around the world on a weekly basis, and young people are voting in absolute blowout record numbers in this primary. So stop crapping on this generation and do something to better your own situation. We're all in this together.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anya,

I didn't mean to offend you, and I think that you are trying to fight the good fight, but this isn't Europe, and never will be. Too much corruption here.

The main problem as I see it is that there are too many people going to college. There are just not enough good paying jobs for all of these so called intellectuals. Also, our university system has been dumbing down for the last twenty years, and I talking about Yale and Princeton as well. Multicultural Studies and the rest of the b.s. Read "In Plato's Cave" by Kernan. I meet recent college grads from all kinds of colleges and am not impressed. Their overall knowledge is minimal. They may be able to click a mouse and surf the web for an answer, but they are not what I would call interesting people. They are kind of like little children if you compare them with Europeans of similar ages.

Two: America is going down, and nothing will stop it. Yes, America may linger on for another fifty years, but the Zeitgeist has passed us by. As soon as people stop shopping, it will be over. If you weren't born into a wealthy family, and don't have a tremendous talent (discovering google or playing a professional sport) the chance of you becoming wealthy in the age of Starbucks and Blockbuster are about nil.

Yes, I agree that this generation has it hard, and it will get much harder. Soon they will be competing with Paco and Pablo for low level jobs. Yes, there will be many angry campers. Especially if that expensive college education put you into lethal debt. There is really nothing that the government can do to remedy the few good jobs situation. You should also read two book by Morris Berman: "The Twilight of American Culture" and "Dark Ages America." These books are right on. Maybe the youngest Americans will be getting onto ships to work in Asia 6 months at a time to survive. This is globalization, and the end phase of capitalism. You may choose not to believe me, but time will tell. There is never going back in this modern world, only going forward. Having vacations like in Europe would be going back. How can we compete with China, and have a European leisure like existence, you can't.

Keep reading and learning,