By on July 15, 2016

hipster lyft millennials

Automakers are turning up the wick on drive-sharing investments and slowly transitioning from car manufacturing to providing mobility. That’s likely a good bet, too, considering a recent report from McKinsey Global Institute.

The report, titled “Poorer than their parents? A new perspective on income inequality,” is a stark reminder that the economic situation isn’t as good as it was 10 years ago, let alone compared to the highs of the postwar West.

For starters, 65 or 70 percent of households in the advanced nations studied were “in income segments whose incomes in 2014 were flat or down compared with 2005,” states the report. The United States is one of the countries pulling up that average with 80-percent of households in income segments either flat or falling.

The 2008 recession is the epicenter for much of the economic turmoil over the last 10 years as “income from wages fell for all population segments between 2002 and 2012, regardless of age or level of education.”

But it’s the disproportionate nature of that downturn that worries researchers.

“The recession and weak recovery in some of the countries have led to persistently high levels of youth unemployment, preventing young people across advanced economies from launching careers. These are the people who are literally at risk of growing up poorer than their parents,” the report states.

Car ownership is expensive and operating a vehicle on public roads is a privilege. For young people, car ownership may also be a privilege they simply can’t afford.

The full report is available from McKinsey Global Institute.

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178 Comments on “Report: Younger Generation at Risk of Being Poorer Than Parents...”


  • avatar
    Storz

    I am 35, college educated and have a real career type job in the engineering field. I make significantly less than either of my parents did at this same age.

    • 0 avatar
      RetroGrouch

      Obvious information is obvious.

      Um, this already happened. Anyone born 1970 or later is making less than their parents (on average).

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Kill more people!

      No seriously!

      Look like everything else on the planet you’re just a commodity and as we approach 10-11 billion people on this planet your value and the value of your labor becomes less and less (supply and demand).

      What we really need is a few world wars and a damn nasty pandemic to create a world wide shortage in labor!

      Okay that is mostly tongue-n-cheek but sometimes I really have to wonder if that is the crux of the problem facing people. Well that and the trite idea that the higher-ups have a “moral” obligation to maximize returns for the investor which really seems like a cop-out for somebody who doesn’t have the balls to own up to admitting they are slashing wages/benefits in order to make sure the company is in the black in order to keep getting that bonus.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @raph – There are “superbugs” popping up that antibiotics can’t touch. Multiple drug resistant TB is endemic is some populations, HIV is still a problem in Africa and Ebola flares up every 10 years or so and add to that increasingly violent weather. Social unrest at home and abroad will also cull the herd.

        People are quick to blame the offshoring of work but much work done in developed nations is automated. Robotic assembly lines move much quicker than humans. Even in heavy industry machines can do much more work than humans ever could.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Storz,
      Where did you go wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Storz, you making less money than your parents is called supply and demand. The Republican party used to practice these principles instead of whining about not getting there fare share.

  • avatar

    Thank God I chose a $2000 per semester CUNY over a $50,000 per semester PARTY SCHOOL.

    Paid off not only my student loans, but my credit card bills once and for all in less than 8 years.

    PAID THEM OFF

    OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    While these millenials and Gen X/Y’ers are trying to figure out how Bernie’s gonna give them $15 for minimum wage so they can afford their $100 per month iPhone, their sneakers, their metrocard and their cable TV bill…

    …I’m over here trying to buy new tires for my Supercharged HEMI.

    The problem gets even more complicated if you add illegitimate kids into the mix: spousal support or child support.

    I know a dude with 3 kids – two with one chick who moved out of state and 1 with his wife. His monthly net income is what I spend on gas each month.

    Poor guy wants an SRT or a BMW.

    I point to his kids and I’m like:

    “Nah Bruh – there’s your car right there!!!”

    • 0 avatar
      golfnotgolf

      I once saw a low thirty-something guy in a 3 door Golf R with a license plate of “NO KIDS”. Having no dependents certainly does make more attainable the ownership of a nice car.

      • 0 avatar

        Childcare is extremely expensive.

        My views of it are twisted because I live in NYC and I’m faced with high costs of living whether I own a nice car or not.

        The problem is that the Federal Reserve DID NOT FIX ANYTHING. By keeping interest rates at 0% they have driven up spending – allowing borrowing of money cheaply.

        The housing market cannot find an equilibrium.

        I was fortunate enough to buy a 1800 square foot “house” in Queens. It was just $250,000 because of all the work needed. The rapid appreciation after I did a little work has pushed it to $400,000+.

        But I recognize this is artificial inflation. None of the houses in my community are truly worth $400,000. But that’s the manipulation of the market.

        I couldn’t have kids and send them to these liberal-ruined public schools. That kid would turn out dumb. I’d have to spend $6000 a year on Private school…money which I could be sending to FCA.

        Add in clothing, feeding em and then ON TOP OF ALL THAT… having to deal with their rebelliousness and nonsense when they age. I ain’t got time fo that.

        And then there’s the women here…

        There’s a reason men here travel and get foreign wives. These chicks here are downright hateful and materialistic. Entitled: like I owe you something?

        and there you have it. America’s breakdown of the family structure …

        • 0 avatar
          skor

          The reason why the Fed’s monetary policy failed to help the average person is because Washington failed on fiscal policy. The money that was being injected into the system was not getting into the hands of Joe/Jane Average, where it would have the greatest multiplier effect. Instead it remained in the hands of the already wealthy, where it created new bubbles. That’s why you see apartments in Manhattan selling for $50 million and people paying $500K for restored split-window Vettes.

          • 0 avatar

            “The reason why the Fed’s monetary policy failed to help the average person is because Washington failed on fiscal policy. The money that was being injected into the system was not getting into the hands of Joe/Jane Average, ”

            I’m sorry SKOR but I reject that premise.

            The FED SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE ANYTHING AT ALL.

            Keynesian economics thinks: the stimulus wasn’t big enough.

            You remember when Bush handed out those $600 welfare checks? Well I deposited mine straight into savings.

            It’s simple supply and demand.

            If everyone has more – then more is worth less.

            If everyone was GIVEN A HELLCAT…then HELLCAT wouldn’t be special and now I’ve got to figure out a way to get an AVENTADOR.

            Supply and demand.

            The housing price RISE when the Demand rises. By making it easier to get loans Demand rises.

            The housing prices FALL when demand falls. By making it HARDER TO GET LOANS – Demand falls. (Half ya’ll credit scores SUCK lol)

            The Fed has done nothing but drive up spending, causing an inevitable bust and recession and they’ve PAUSED the housing market’s corrections (foreclosures for example).

            The question is “what are they waiting for”?

            They will look for any excuse to blame someone else for their obvious failures and I believe they are waiting to let the market collapse if “their president” isn’t chosen.

            THE FIX IS IN.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Any policy aimed at propping up asset prices, which is what lowering interest rates, not to mention QE asset purchases, do, will transfer the share of total output from those with fewer assets to those with more of them.

            The composition of total income has shifted steadily away from wages earned, to return on assets, ever since the US dropped the last anchor of the dollar to Gold, allowing for unconstrained growth of the financial sector and “asset appreciation” as a means of obtaining wealth/income. Instead of goods production, which requires that you hire someone, and pay them.

            It’s not really any harder than to realize that since putting Washington’s face on paper pieces does not really create any new wealth, but doing so makes those who own homes (the old) “wealthier”, simple arithmetic requires that those who don’t own them (the young) will get poorer. The rest of the brouhaha and mindless yapping, is nothing but obfuscation by the beneficiaries to cover up this fact.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            We agree on the effect, but not on the primary cause. Returns to wealth have exceeded returns to labor in the last generation.

            But the primary driver for this has been the extraordinary expansion of the pool of workers. Literally a billion Asians dropped their jobs as farm hands and got middle class (for them) jobs. A billion. To be an American or European competing with them is to suffer falling employment levels and wages.

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          BTSR,
          $6,000 for private school , no where in metro NY, a good private school in NJ starts around 15,000 and that is first grade, HS runs 30K plus, so your choice is live in a good school district and pay for it w high house prices and high taxes and pay for private school, it is much easier to have extra cash when you do not have kids, and I am sure everyone reading this thanks their parents they did not take this option. I always tease my daughter that her daycare cost more than a new E class but it is a choice I would make again and again.
          Glad to see you paint all US women with one brush.

          • 0 avatar
            golfnotgolf

            He might have meant NYC women. Just a guess.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            seth1065..i have no regrets leaving the great state of NJ when I was 19 and never looked back. My former employer worked at the Hun School in Princeton part time as a shop teacher. It was wicked expensive to send your kid there in the 90’s, I can’t imagine what it is today.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            Buried in the lede there is the good news that BTSR isn’t likely to spawn…

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          $6K/year for private school? You’re only off by 600%.

        • 0 avatar
          onyxtape

          $6000 may get you 2/3-days-a-week part time at a decrepit Catholic school. Maybe. In the real word, most are akin to college tuition.

          And you do realize the reason that women want to marry their way into the US, right? Hint: It’s most likely not because they’re not materialistic.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the Catlick grade school I went to is about that much for full-time school if you’re out of parish. if you’re a parishioner it’s a couple of grand cheaper, but that might be with the expectation of tithing.

            I wish the NYC/SoCal/Bay Area types would quit acting like stuff is as expensive everywhere else in the country.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            In my neck of the woods “private” schools aren’t that expensive. If you head south to Victoria or Vancouver then the prices are steep. I was paying around 7k a year for my 2 sons in Catholic Elementary school. They do get some public funding which is maybe 1/3 of what public schools get.
            Like JimZ has pointed out, Catholics pay less if they are “active” in the Church especially with the cheque book. Catholics get first dibs as well as legacy students. The school my kids went to had an interesting mix of ethnicities and religious denominations. It was worth every dime.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @BTSR – Kudos on dropping the bombast. I like seeing this side of you.
          One does have to be realistic in relation to where you go to school and the associated costs but even more importantly one must chose realistically. A friend’s daughter is just finishing up a Fine Arts degree but what can she do with that? Go back and get a Masters and teach art at community college? or maybe work as a librarian?
          I teach my kids that a “feel good” education rarely ever puts food on the table. Too long we have had the mantra ” It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you feel good about yourself” stuffed down our throats.
          I tell them that yes it is important to “feel good” about your career and what you do but it stops “feeling good” when you can’t pay the bills.
          “Welcome to WallMart” with a PhD isn’t the way to start out life.

        • 0 avatar
          philipwitak

          re: “…couldn’t have kids and send them to these liberal-ruined public schools. That kid would turn out dumb.”

          nonsense! it is usually ‘conservative’ republicans who downplay the value of real knowledge and wish to eliminate the federal government’s department of education, not liberals.

          and it is typically ‘conservative’ republicans who tend to prefer responding ‘from their gut’ not their mind [with emotional pleas – not factual information which can be clearly defined, logically imparted and pragmatically evaluated].

          so, you want to easily identify some ‘dumb’ in order to avoid it? try looking at those characters who will repeatedly, intentionally discard the salient factual evidence of reality, in favor of some phoney-balony bovine feces about their belief in things like: ‘clean’ coal, creationism, climate-change denial and praying’ away the gay, etc et al.

          or maybe just have another good close impartial look at the current presumptive republican nominee for president: DONALD T RUMP – he is most definitely as dumb as they come.

        • 0 avatar
          415s30

          SF is nuts, the place I am in was 150k in 1996 and one sold for 500k, a condo. How is anyone supposed to have a family?

        • 0 avatar
          hgrunt

          Tone down the salt there.

          People have been complaining about the breakdown of family structure forever. The first written example being someone who got up in front of a forum in Greece and complained about how kids these days in 500bc.

      • 0 avatar
        Shiv91

        golfnotgolf: Yep, I fully admit that I must drive what I choose or won’t be happy. Maybe its selfishness, I don’t know, but not having a wife nagging me into buying a Highlander is pretty nice.

        • 0 avatar
          golfnotgolf

          Both skor and BTSR have correct points here, I think. Policies in DC failed, either through inaction or misguidance. The Fed tried to do something to help even though that really is not what it is supposed to do. But it is a bubble: interest rates can only go so low and loans can only get so easy.

          So then, is it not sad that newer generations are not taking this money and making investments like BTSR?

          Also, a nice Highlander is $40k. If you have several kids, you still have to make a lot of money to own one of those.

          • 0 avatar

            If I had several kids I’d have a new Pacifica.

            The Fed trying to help?

            the people in charge have no idea what they are doing – are making things worse – and as they are making things worse, there are plenty of people, like me, who distrust them and recognize how to stay ahead of them and maintain wealth even as they create more poverty.

            It’s called “subsidy capture”.

            I live by it because it’s basic and true.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Or maybe that was daddy’s Fun Car.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      Which CUNY School? I am guess QC since you live in queens….

      • 0 avatar

        Yes. QC – because they had a Graduate program.

        I got a scholarship for my M.S. (Physics/ Geology) and I’m paying for my next degree in District Administration CASH money.

        $2700 for every 6 credits.
        Total of 36 credits.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          If everything you learned about climate change was from CUNY, then you should get your money back.

          That’s Trump University level “education”

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            You can’t go one thread without mentioning Trump, can you?

            It would seem the best real estate deal he ever made is living in your head rent free…..

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Trump is the master of free advertising.

          • 0 avatar

            #1. I recognized that climate change is 100% natural but global warming is a taxation scheme completely contrary to the laws of thermodynamics .

            #2. Speaking of trump being a master of free advertising I would just like to say that I will be LIVE Facebooking a Cadillac Drive event tomorrow in Citi Field so if you aren’t one of my Facebook friends you really ought to be there .

            The 4K quality videos will be on my YouTube channel later tomorrow after 5 PM if not sooner .

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Greenhouse gases and associated climate change is much more than thermodynamics. How much CO2 can the world’s oceans absorb?
            In my part of the world the politicians in the “south” buy into the whole carbon credit and carbon tax crap but neglect reforestation. The amount of “NSR” or “Not Satisfactorily Restocked” forest land is huge. Catching up on reforestation not only ensures employment for future generations but has the added benefit of sequestering massive amounts of CO2.

          • 0 avatar

            Lou, this is a core problem reforestation would delay a lot of our issues. I read an article by the head of the wood sciences at university of Maine some years ago that basically offered, it would be cheaper and more economically stable to reforest land and slow the rate of pollution control regulations (or at least keep it steady at current rates rather then accelerating it.). This would allow more time for new industries not using fossil fuels to come on line etc without large shocks to the market.

          • 0 avatar

            REFORESTATION requires a large amount of energy.

            It’s better to simply STOP cutting down trees and clear cutting.

            Then we need to focus on creating clean water using solar stills or nuclear energy so we can simultaneously provide electricity while providing clean water – desalinated water.

            You don’t realize that not just the ocean absorbs CO2. THE SOIL DOES AS WELL.

            Nature keeps coming up with ways to store carbon – specifically in erecting of carbon based plant life and animal life.

            People act as if the Earth never had Carbon Dioxide before…

            CO2 is a basic element of Photosynthesis which we need for AIR.

            I don’t understand why people can’t think beyond the box – or step outside the box and look back.

            Nature finds a way!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BTSR – my first degree is in Forest Resource Management. Reforestation is labour intensive but as I said it has a dual benefit of ensuring a renewable Forestry Industry and carbon sequestration.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          QC is a great school and I also paid the tuition,cash by working and going to school full time.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Similar story: I put myself through Columbia. Worked 30 hours/week. Earned my BA at 20.

          • 0 avatar
            ixim

            When I attended QC, tuition was free, and the school was highly selective. Talk about the current generation having less.

        • 0 avatar
          golfnotgolf

          You would have a new Pacifica, sure. For everyone who is not as skilled at the subsidy capture game, those people will not be buying $40k SRTs, hot hatches, or even crossovers. You may know plenty of people with that acuity, but plenty does not mean majority.

          We need people creating wealth, not just skimming off the next short-term opportunity. I would blame this advanced economy degradation on the lack of independence and entrepreneurialism within newer generations.

    • 0 avatar

      LOL man, your warped views on having children versus having a depreciating liability is both hilarious and sad.

      Everyone cries about how expensive kids are, but the amount of joy that my son gives me pales in comparison to any car that I’ll ever own.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      I’m one of those millenials you’re complaining about, except I’m doing just fine. No debt, have a car I want, etc. I don’t stereotype an entire generation because people who were just 2-3 years behind me didn’t do as well as me. Couldn’t find jobs for years, and debt can really add up fast. You were probably graduated into an economy like when I graduated: jobs easier to find, money easier to make.

      It only looks generational because that’s the exact group that was affected.

      Parenting might play a part in it too. My parents taught me how to approach personal finance, encouraged me to save, invest and so on. Many of my classmates just had no idea, with most thinking that credit cards were as good as free cash.
      My guess is the easy fast credit, rising home values (and people refinancing or taking out HELOCs) from the 90s to mid 00s meant they saw their parents basically do that and didn’t know better.

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      So? Do you think the entire workforce looks like you? Did you dad have a college degree? How about your mom? I don’t know how old you are, but once upon a time people didn’t have to know anything about anything to get a job that was able to support a family in their country. I am not disparaging you or your success. Good for you, but the so called working class in this country really never had to work, or get an education. THAT is the problem that created the current situation as you described. Blacks and Hispanics also worked, but never attained the “stuff” the whites did. They could’t get mortgages for homes in the suburbs or for new cars (back the 60’s and 70’s) and ended up with cash on hand and when they lost their jobs, were able to survive because they always had less. Now? Trump voters were promised the moon. The GOP and the Dems know that jobs are never going to come back to the Rust Belt in numbers to move the dial. The USA was great because after WWII we made over 40% of everything consumed in the world. No competition because Europe and Asia were destroyed. They rebuilt and the USA is stuck with infrastructure over 100 years old and the conservatives worry about whether Jesus carried a AR-15 or AK and abortion. Not only is the car industry about to be taken down but the entire economic system is a bubble about to burst. Robots are forcing Capitalism to its knees.

  • avatar
    skor

    What do they mean, ‘risk’? If current trends continue, there’s no question about it. Most of the under-40s that I know, who have money, inherited that money. They’re damn lucky that grandpa, grandma, mom or dad did not have any lengthy illnesses before they kicked off, or they would have gotten nothing.

  • avatar

    This isn’t hard.

    The value of the US Dollar has fallen precipitously since taken off the gold standard. Except for a period in the Reagan ’80s and a similar period in the Clinton ’90s, the dollar has fallen. It may be gaining some strength at present, but it’s not like it was 50 years ago.

    Think $15/hour is where the minimum wage should be?

    Adjust for the value of the silver once used to make US coins, and we had that in 1965, when the minimum wage was $1.25.

    The silver in $1.25 worth of all-silver quarters (minted before 1965) is today worth around $15.00.

    Add in the exportation of US jobs…AT US TAXPAYER EXPENSE!…and although these two factors are not the entire problem, by any stretch of the imagination, they make up a significant part of it.

    I’m also tired of the mental masturbat!on exercise undertaken by most parents…MY CHILD MUST GO TO COLLEGE DAMMIT!

    No, you’re just acting out another “keep up with the Joneses” fantasy while “Pleasant Valley Sunday” plays in the background, its 50-year-old lyric, now, sadly, as relevant as ever.

    While so-called “menial” jobs go wanting, despite the income and opportunity many of those jobs offer.

    Finally, there was once a general mindset of shared prosperity in the business world. If a business owner or corporation “made it”, the spoils were shared with the employees, in the form of higher wages, benefits and pensions. That, too, is gone.

    Fortunately, the current millennial generation takes that last one quite seriously, enough so that I can see a future in which the CEO turns more of their spoils back to the business and their employees. Because they understand it’s GOOD BUSINESS. At the very least, if they’re perceived as greedy – if that greed is exposed on social media, for example, an increasing number of people will boycott that product or service.

    For examples, the folks at Tom’s Shoes aren’t idiots. Buy a pair, a kid in Africa gets a pair free. It’s good business. And it actually makes the world a better place.

    • 0 avatar
      Michael McDonald

      Thank you! How valuable is a Bachelors degree when 8 out of 10 people have one? I’m 23, 24 next month. I tried the college thing, but did community college because I didn’t (still don’t) know what I wanted to do. Rather than jump into an expensive school for 4 years, I did 2 years and spent $10k over what could have been much more. Throughout the time I was in school I worked full-time in retail, and worked my way from the bottom to “3rd in command” in management. I was in-line for an Assistant Manager position where, at just 21, I would earn 55k salary + bonuses. I turned it down, and actually left the company a month later for, get this, car sales.

      I’m almost 24, I made 60k last year (average in my area) and am in line for about 75k this year. Not making millions, but let me tell you I am making much more than most people I know with their fancy bachelors degree. Also, I have a much less significant amount of debt, so even if they also make 75k, I am coming out ahead of the game. I just dropped $800 for a month of one-on-one personal training for 3 days a week and NONE of my friends could understand how I could afford it. I understand the stigma of selling cars, but I don’t care as long as I’m making good money.

      I care more about the real life experience I gained, being a manager of a store at 19! 19!! Maybe not THAT impressive, but still – how many can say that. That’s a lot of trust my boss and his boss put in me. They still call and ask me to come back, too.

      In every interview I’ve been in so far, they are extremely impressed with my ACTUAL experience, and barely notice I don’t have a bachelors degree. I stand out from the pack ( I think ).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’ve got some truth for you. One of my friends was laid off in January after twelve years as a corporate trainer, previously she held positions in sales and worked her way up from cashier to manager of a gas station in the 90s. She told me she dropped out of a music degree in 1992 because it was too expensive and took the minimum wage job the same year, eventually working her way up society’s ladder. Now however the corporatocracy, who was happy to hire her as a trainer coming from a sales career in 2004, won’t even grant a phone screen without that meaningless bachelor degree. Twenty four years of work experience, with twelve as a trainer, need not apply. This is how far we have sunk as a nation.

        My advice? Find a community college which will accept at least 30 CLEP credits, and on you own time start amassing CLEP tests. These tests are $80/pop but 30 credits costs you roughly $1,000 as opposed to the 10,000 in tuition (and your time) you would pay for 1-3 semesters and the passing grade is 51% (not kidding). Once you CLEP half of your associate’s, pick a major and at least finish the A.S. Based on my friend, you will probably have to waste more time and money later for the equivalent of a 90s high school diploma as this is what the undergraduate bachelor’s has become, but perhaps not.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Sounds like you’ve done well, Michael!

        Experience counts for a lot in the corporate world, and as you said, it’s becoming rarer for younger people as everyone stays in school full-time until their mid-twenties. I also wound up in a “menial” job, and am similarly making the same or more money than my better-educated contemporaries while living arguably an easier lifestyle (fewer hours worked, much more travel, more vacation, and a defined benefit pension).

        However, like 28 Cars says, not having that degree can catch up with you. It happened to my machinist-cum-manager father, and it’s already happening to me at 32; my pay scale has plateaued, and I’m failing to even get interviews to so much as move laterally or even down on my pay scale in more interesting roles. I’m aware that if I lost my current gig, it would be nearly impossible to find another job with a similar standard of living, and that’s not a good feeling.

        Your best bet is to use the money, experience, and momentum you’ve managed to build, and work on a degree or some other life boat that’s going to be your “next thing.” Make sure you build a solid savings fund, because you’ll never know when you’ll want or need it. Money is freedom – be it to buy a first house, invest in a lucrative opportunity, or float you while you forego an income in order to pursue a new career path. Trust me, it’ll pay off much more in the long run than an $800/month trainer. Don’t get into the habits of the people around you; in most cases they’ll still be doing the same thing they are now in ten years.

        Me, personally, I’m working part-time on a Management degree while continually looking for a job or side project that will let me gain new valuable experience. Since I don’t own a home or have kids yet, I’m putting 30-40% of my income into savings, while my girlfriend does similarly.

        • 0 avatar
          THE_F0nz

          My advice to my kids (if I’m lucky enough to have them some day) – Get an engineering degree. Any engineering degree.

          People with engineering degrees are everywhere at the companies I frequent. In every role. It happens after they break the barrier of getting an entry level job, and decide to branch out into another team.

          Marketing? Program/Project Management? Ops Supervisor? Sales? CEO? Finance? Quality? All of their leadership and high performing team members from the past 3 companies I have worked for have engineering degrees. Managers love the problem solving skills and the hands-on experience, even if it is only for a few years.

          Once they got their job, their company paid to get them into a business/finance program at a university.

          After that, the world is your oyster. Chase whatever your heart desires. A family, a car, a house or become an entrepreneur.

          Last piece of advice for would-be daughter/son – Don’t go around posting about your successes, how much you paid for school or how you are better off you are then your fellow woman/man. You look like a jerk to other people who may have had other problems in life that derailed them along the way. In short: Stay classy…

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Some of us engineers actually wanted to stay in design for awhile. However, the downward wage pressure from foreign born engineers made staying in design a losing proposition. I segued into construction management and then, commercial building management and operation. So, I do agree an engineering degree is a great step, but sometimes I miss working on good design projects…

            That said, those around me who do the best? Stationary engineers. The guys operating the physical plants in “my” buildings all make a killing, and they get all sorts of benefits. If I could do it all over again, I’d go into that field right after engineering school…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nice post JuniperBug.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          JuniperBug – well said. The secret is to set one self up to be able to open/enter as many doors as possible in life. A degree is just one set of keys. Chose well and it might just be a master key.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah I feel you pain Juniper I have considered going back to school but at this point with 3 kids it would be a huge time drain. I went to trade school and got promoted and raises pretty regularly until the recession. I think not having a college degree is a big round file flag on potential interviewers. Which stinks. Many smaller employers don’t care as much and understand the value in experience but not all.
          As you said there seems to be a pay wall where the just don’t consider you a viable candidate without a degree even with a ton of experience which is just silly but is the state of our world.

        • 0 avatar
          bodayguy

          Having a college degree absolutely makes a difference.

          And it’s not about what you learn in school. All the best career advancement comes from what you learn on the job.

          However, having a degree proves you can stick with something for four years (or five in my case, oops) and make the goal – even if you don’t like it. It’s as simple as that. That’s what it shows an employer.

          I’d suggest at least getting an Associates Degree on the side, it’s not that tough.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        Impressive for 23/24. There’s nothing wrong with the jobs that a lot of people see as low-class, like selling cars or getting into skilled trades.

        People can get into them much cheaper than getting a degree that might end up being worthless and potentially make good money without getting into tens of thousands of student loan debt.

        Plumbers, electricians and mechanics will always be in demand. I doubt car sales jobs will go away either due to the franchise laws.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          brettc – I’ve seen it time and time again where those with PhD’s etc. act like they are the only ones with money. In my part of the world a guy climbing out of a beat up crew cab pickup might be one of the richest guys in town.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        You are the perfect example of why the push for every kid to go to college is a mistake. There are tons of great paying jobs out there that don’t require a 4 year degree. Great job.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “college is a mistake”

          Watch that sh1t… one of the principal benefits for an hourly-class lad of at least a 4-year degree program is that it takes him out of an environment where women have been programmed to breed early and often.

          Immersion in a college environment where most kids are scrupulous to keep sex inconsequential is profoundly liberating.

          • 0 avatar
            DownUnder2014

            Hmm…all interesting replies. I’m currently going through the Vocational Education (pretty much like Community College) phase myself so this is relevant to me too.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    It’s evolution. The economy is changing and unless young people learn to adapt, they’re going to get left out in the cold.

    Instead of complaining and voting for idiots who promise to turn things back to the way they used to be (an impossible undertaking), these people should be trying to acquire skills in areas that are actually in demand.

    Perhaps people in the rust belt and coal-mining communities should be looking for jobs in the medical or tech fields instead of holding out the futile hope that grandpa’s manufacturing job is going to come back from China. Sorry folks, you voted Reganomics and that’s what you got.

    I don’t know any starving auto mechanics, A/C repair techs, or anesthesiologists in my locale.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      he says, as though those jobs are limitless.

      and then there’s the issue that a glut of people with those skills dilutes the value of having them, depressing wages.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        You’re a Negative Neg. Of course we can all get rich treating each other’s medical problems.

      • 0 avatar
        e30gator

        That’s what “demand” means. Look it up. You go where the jobs are, not where you wish they’d be. The opposite mindset produces poor people, not a good thing. But then again, I suppose I am one of those types who’d prefer not to live in a country with such a wide gulf between the “haves” and “have nots”.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          But when you go to where the jobs are, sometimes where they are changes. Or a bunch of people are going there.

          My wife is an Occupational Therapist. She has a good job and is paid well. She has student loan debt, but it’s manageable. He sister starts OT school this year. She’ll have at least four times the debt (OT school is three years instead of two and tuition has gone up), more people are graduating as OTs (more programs, more spots in existing programs, and more competition to get into programs), and she’ll probably start with a lower wage than when my wife first started.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Money travels. People don’t. People seem to think it’s easy to just pull up stakes and “go to where the jobs” are as though that doesn’t incur significant costs in and of itself.

          • 0 avatar
            e30gator

            So are we implying that millennials should go where the jobs aren’t?

            Your SIL will pay more and earn less no doubt because there is no longer a demand for more occupational therapists.

            Maybe she should become a welder.

            I’m a big fan of Mike Rowe, and I think he makes a good point when he says that high school grads should ignore following their passions and follow the money instead. Good advice.

          • 0 avatar
            e30gator

            @JimZ

            “People don’t travel.”

            Just ask the good people of Detroit how well that’s working out for them.

            A smart move for those trapped in job wasteland would be to incur the expense of moving by whatever means necessary and get out…or stay put and wait for a miracle. My guess would be that they’ll be waiting for awhile.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            They should go where the jobs are but recognize that where the jobs are can change at any time.

            Most of the people that still live in the City of Detroit can’t afford to move.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            or the jobs could be gone by the time they get there.

            the problem that “bootstraps” idiots don’t want to admit is that decent paying jobs today for the most part require specialized education and/or training. if those jobs fall out of demand, you basically have to start over, which takes time and money. if you have a family to support, that may be time and money you can’t afford. Like when the auto industry was collapsing, I was commiserating with some people about possibly being laid off (and out of work for some time.) One moron piped up with “there are plenty of jobs out there! Look, here’s a dozen openings for Java programmers in the NYC area!”

            I was like “what? you stupid…. I’m a mechanical engineer who lives in Detroit. I don’t f***ing know Java programming, and by the time I could learn it those jobs would be taken. Plus I would be competing with people who have more experience.”

            but that falls on deaf ears to people like e30gator, who don’t know that “simple” and “easy” are not synonyms.

            “Most of the people that still live in the City of Detroit can’t afford to move.”

            remember last year when that story went around about the guy in Detroit spent basically 19 hours a day getting to and from work because he had to walk a significant part of the distance? There were some drooling morons on Jalopnik who said (in earnest) “why doesn’t he go back to school so he can get a better job?” The guy only had 5 hours a day left after working a job which doesn’t pay enough for him to afford a car, and he’s supposed to find time to take classes?

          • 0 avatar
            e30gator

            @Adam Tonge

            There’s a risk with everything, for sure. But what’s going to give an individual (we’re still talking about gen Y, right?) the best chances for success? Staying put and pursuing an antiquated idea of the American dream in a dying field, or rolling the dice and moving to a growing area and field that actually needs workers?

            True story…
            My father was the third generation of family members working for US Steel in Youngstown, Ohio. That factory closed and my parents lost everything…with no money and two young children. They packed our belongings into a small U-Haul and moved us to Florida. At first staying with family while saving enough to move us into a cheap apartment.

            That was 34 years ago. My father, now in the water treatment field just bought his third new Cadillac. So like I said, adapt or get left out.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            LOL @ the Detroit walking guy taking college classes.

            e30gator-

            I understand that their is a risk. However, Detroit’s population is ageing and a significant number of people don’t work anymore. Those that are young are in single parent households with terrible schools. People with no money that thought moving was worth the risk have mostly already moved.

            The suburbs are fine. There are jobs. It’s sometimes hard to find $100K+ jobs outside of the auto industry though.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            @e30gator — One anecdote does not a rule make. Plenty of people can adapt, and do, but plenty more people are absolutely stuck where they are. They don’t have family to help get them back on their feet.

          • 0 avatar
            e30gator

            @JimZ

            I don’t believe I ever implied that moving or starting a new career was ever “simple” or “easy”. It wasn’t for my family. It sucked and took forever.

            But I am implying that there could be avenues out of poverty or hopeless situations if one chooses to pursue them. Those who choose to live the way their grandparents did are the ones who seemingly put all their faith in the idea that someone with magical powers will make America great for them again.

            Yeah, good luck with that.

          • 0 avatar
            e30gator

            @ Kyree/Adam

            I completely understand that there are people who simply can’t change their circumstances since they don’t have the resources. Those people have always been there.

            So, it begs the age old question…what do we do with/for them?

            That’s what politicians and society has been bickering back and fourth about for decades.

            Do we…
            -give them free college or forgive student loans?
            -provide them with social services at the tax payer’s expense and stop complaining about it?
            -increase minimum wage and give them a chance to better their circumstances?
            -blame immigrants and send them packing, hoping that Detroitees learn to love washing dishes and working as migrants?
            -continue the failed experiment of cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans, hoping that they break the precedent of reinvesting those savings overseas, and instead pay back that generosity by reinvesting in the US?
            -just let them wither on the vine?

            If you have a successful solution then you’ll have my vote come November. Unfortunately, nobody else has.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            Are some of you actually seriously saying that it’s impossible or unreasonable for people to move to where there are jobs?

            150 years ago people were spending months on boats to do just that, and you guys are whining about renting a U-Haul and moving to a different part of the country in an age where you can still video chat with anyone left behind, or get cheap airfare and be there in a few hours?

            My dad left one of the the wealthiest countries in the world (although he himself was basically financially independent as of about 17) to come by boat and work in mines in Canada just because he was curious about it. Then he worked in a brewery in Liberia for a while. Life insurance salesman in England at one point, machine work in Australia, before settling down with his new wife and starting a family in Canada, where they had no support system or relatives. I’ve never heard him whine about it.

            But hey, it’s easier to do nothing and then whine about how no one is bringing a job to your front door like a dog brings the newspaper.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Are some of you actually seriously saying that it’s impossible or unreasonable for people to move to where there are jobs?”

            No, FFS, that’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying it’s unreasonable to believe it’s a feasible option for everybody.

            “150 years ago people were spending months on boats to do just that,”

            earning a decent living 150 years ago was just a tiny bit different than it is today. Oh, and 150 years ago we had just made it illegal to buy and sell people, so…

    • 0 avatar

      Part of doing something for your self is realizing that government bureaucrats and regulators do have something to do with your success and trying to put the person that will best help the situation in office.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      One needs to look at demand for jobs when picking an education/career path but that must line up with one’s personality and/or personal skill sets.

      Another thing to consider is the average age of those in a career one is considering. If the average age is 55 and you are facing a 4 year degree the odds are there will be a ton of openings by the time you pop out of school.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      So, my wife has a science master’s (pharmacology and toxicology), and works for a publicly funded cancer research centre (one of the biggest in our country). Because of public funding, she at least gets a bit of stability (she knows people who went into pharma, and get laid off the moment some big drug fails trials, and the R&D department becomes the first place to cut costs), but at the expense of a salary that’s probably not in line with 8 years of post-secondary (she’s also still a contract, rather than full-time employee after 5 years). And compared to the people in her university lab who got their doctorates in the same field, she’s the successful one.

      Her best friend is an RN at a big hospital, and she had to switch to trauma just because they’ve started hiring RPNs, which the RNs normally have to take liability for (as I understand it). At least in trauma, the repercussions of hiring less competent staff are more severe, and they haven’t sunk that low yet.

      Both are hard-working, both chose sensible, medical-related professions (and both graduated without student debt), both work in a populous, prosperous area where there’s not a shortage of opportunity, and they still both have a tenuous future. You can pick the right job, you can be in the right area, and you’re still not guaranteed stability.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    Another issue is that FDR’s economic stimulus plan (goading the Japanese into attacking us) has long since run its course. The prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s was largely built on the U.S. having built up a huge, modern (at the time) manufacturing infrastructure due to the war, with most of the rest of the world left crawling out of the rubble. Economically there was no meaningful competition for quite a few years afterwards and the U.S. could essentially write its own ticket.

    To make matters worse, what’s going to be happening in the not-too-distant future is that more and more jobs will be done by “your plastic pal who’s fun to be with” — initially unskilled jobs, then semiskilled, then…

    (Looks like I can’t post a youtube link? Go to the site and search for “Atlas, The Next Generation” posted by BostonDynamics for a glimpse of the future.)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The robots are coming, the robots are coming!

      Wait, they are already here; and they will be the disruptive force of the 21st Century.

      Did you know there was a robotic Segway? I rode one in Prague. Let that sink in, there’s a robot fricking Segway and soon there will be a robot for nearly everything.

      http://www.ninebot.com/Product-ninebot.html

      Those of you who support illegal immigration, please rethink your positions because this robot revolution will occur much faster than you think. A fifth column of foreigners in a nation already devoid of meaningful jobs while the cost of labor approaches zero through automation is a recipe for disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” The prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s was largely built on the U.S. having built up a huge, modern (at the time) manufacturing infrastructure due to the war, with most of the rest of the world left crawling out of the rubble. Economically there was no meaningful competition for quite a few years afterwards and the U.S. could essentially write its own ticket.”

      this is what people don’t seem to realize. they have it in their heads that we were kicking a** and taking names from 1946 to 1991. They’ve forgotten that the post-war boom only lasted a short time; the wheels started coming off the boat in the 1950s. Car companies were already dropping like flies, and we were embarking on the first of many fruitless proxy wars against the Soviet union.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfman3k5

        When was the last time we actually won anything?!

      • 0 avatar

        True, but in a macro sense the GDP per capita is higher then it’s ever been. The trouble is where it goes now. I don’t have an answer to how we should redistribute things (whether thru private or public functions) But let’s not kid ourselves and say this isn’t the boom times because it is that money just doesn’t make it to main street like it used too. ( look up the price of profits on marketplace for some ways that wallstreet has caused companies to create these problems)

  • avatar
    mchan1

    It depends on the person.

    That said… I’ve met and seen many millenials who are spoiled brats with an entitlement attitude that will have Karma serve justice to them in spades!

    Many of them happen to have money from their inheritance or parents and are basically enjoying the good life. Many of them have jobs that are paying relatively well (had to squeeze the info out from them but got the ballpark figure ~$40-50k starting salary) and they are STILL B!TCHING!

    When you’re starting out in life and working and getting that type of salary including benefits, then do NOT B!TCH!
    ^
    THAT is why the Millenials are generally HATED, along with the fact that many are so liberalized with the likes of Hollywood and its PC [email protected]

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “That said… I’ve met and seen many millenials who are spoiled brats with an entitlement attitude that will have Karma serve justice to them in spades!”

      they don’t have a monopoly on that. I encounter so many Boomers (my dad’s generation) who are whiny, spoiled, self-centered brats.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “so many Boomers (my dad’s generation) who are whiny, spoiled, self-centered brats.”

        Long my aspiration. But still was hard to achieve even in the late 20th Century from a blue collar start.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

        Who do you think taught millenials to be spoiled brats with an entitlement attitude? It makes me think of the 90s anti-smoking commercial. “I learned it from you dad!”

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nah, clearly the internet is to blame.

          COMIC BOOK GUY: I’m interested in upgrading my 28.8 kilobaud Internet connection to a 1.5 megabit fiber optic T1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that’s compatible with my token ring Ethernet LAN configuration?

          [Homer stares blankly in silence]

          HOMER: Can I have some money now?

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “Who do you think taught millenials to be spoiled brats..”

          See, that’s the problem with half-assedness. Really, truly selfish Boomers like me never had kids to ruin.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      I was not aware that millenials were generally hated.

      I guess I’m moving in the wrong circles…or I have failed to sync up and update my “to hate” list.

      How come it’s OK for you to bitch about them but it’s not OK for them to bitch about their jobs?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        because “kids these days are horrible” is something every generation says. old people always carry themselves as though they’ve been paragons of virtue their entire lives, while their descendents are “lazy, spoiled, whiny, no-good brats.”

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. – Socrates (roughly 2500 years ago)

          Right on JimZ, been that way since the beginning of time.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            PrincipalDan – you beat me to it.

            “Socrates (469–399 B.C.)
            The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

        Millennials b!tch about their jobs because the boomers handed them a poop sandwich for employment opportunities.

        • 0 avatar
          mchan1

          Not really.

          The millenials grew up in technology which they’re using today to usurp a lot of work from the older generation, hence the “glass ceiling” is lowered from the Eldery->Baby boomers->Gen X.

          Many millenials think that being a (software) engineer is the ONLY field to study to make money (i.e. social apps where everyone who’s anyone is connected to someone!). They don’t realize that technology makes life somewhat better, Life is NOT About technology!

          Remember that millenials are the children mainly of Baby Boomers so their Spoiled, Entitlement attitude comes from the Baby Boomers that somewhat wrecked this country.

          In a decade or 2, the U.S. will have somewhat of a Boom-let thing going on as it’ll be the Millenials who’ll basically run things as their Baby Boomer parents begin to literally pass away! Scary!

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “The millenials grew up in technology which they’re using today to usurp a lot of work from the older generation”

            Like techie illegals, sort of.

            Deport!

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Here’s the problem with comparing past success with present circumstances; context matters.

    Most of our national prosperity can be traced back to WWII.

    See , a little known fact in America regarding wars; they F up an economy royally. Dead people, burned out factories, etc all mean reduced economic standard of living. All events that happened in Europe and Asia after WWII.

    But here in the US of A, our factories didn’t get blown up. Our economic infrastructure was beyond the reach of enemy ordinance in the 1940s, so when the war ended we enjoyed an automatic economic advantage over our national neighbors. Our best and brightest not only didn’t die in enemy air raids , but German scientists fed up with their busted regime emigrated here.

    Thus the 1950s and 1960s. Asia and Europe were still recovering from WWII while our grandparents built the romanticized America the GOP likes to use as an advertising tool. It’s real easy to be the economic king of the world when you’re the only one with an advanced industrial and intellectual culture.

    Now? The competition has caught up. Asia and the developing world are now viable economic trading partners . America no longer is the only resource for advanced technology and intellectual knowledge .

    Put simply; it’s time to share the wealth.

    From my seat as a Millenial, maybe that’s a good thing.
    Let China and Russia duke it out with Brazil for global dominance.
    Let China send troops on global nation building exercises in Islamic countries.

    When the next terrorist attack hits in some foreign land, call Beijing.

    Maybe if we paid attention to problems in our own borders we wouldn’t be in a hurry to violate someone else’s. Let’s get rid of this “America World Superpower” hubris built up by decades of partially circumstantial economic dominance, and cast our national attention to the issues within our own borders.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Another point of context is what could be considered “background wealth.” People today have luxuries that even the wealthiest didn’t have back in the day. Air conditioners, washing machines, microwaves were hardly universal in the ’70s. Look at the standard features on cars. ‘Ordinary’ houses are mini-mansions from yesteryear–not just size but also the premium niceties: moulding, hard surface counters, wood/tile floors, efficient windows, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I like this.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      “Let’s get rid of this “America World Superpower” hubris built up by decades of partially circumstantial economic dominance, and cast our national attention to the issues within our own borders.”

      Sadly this is a common belief among Millennials, the most naive and poorly educated generation in the history of our country. Thankfully the large injection of immigrants we’re experiencing is going to remedy this problem. But in the meantime someone has to play world cop and since there’s only one qualified to do so…

      • 0 avatar
        LS1Fan

        When it’s your kids and family who have to die on the side of a road 10,000 miles away from home, you’ll sing a different tune.

        Further–as Tim McVeigh demonstrated back in the 90’s- America is perfectly capable of making her own terrorists.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          Timothy McVeigh? He is one of one, nice example, you only have to go back 22 years to dig that one up

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I don’t think anyone who has been online or turned on a TV or radio needs to be reminded that America has far too many incidents of hate crimes and home grown terrorism. We don’t need to go back 22 years; just a few days, sadly.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            So what terrorist attack happened a few days ago by an American?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @markF – Dallas shootings of police does fit the definition of terrorism.

            “The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “But in the meantime someone has to play world cop and since there’s only one qualified to do so…”

        Who would that be? It can’t be us, given our propensity to leave things in far worse shape than we found them.

    • 0 avatar
      mchan1

      Most Americans have NO clue of the summary of what you just mentioned as History is NOT a strong area for many people especially Americans.

      The times after WWII was almost paradise for a nation that wasn’t destroyed unlike many nations in Europe or in Asia.
      Then starting ~1990s-2000s, the rest of the world started to ramp up and catch up to the U.S. in production and lifestyles changed.

      The older generation’s “What’s good for America is good for the world!” mentality is what’s gotten the U.S. into trouble (i.e. look at how the U.S. is considered as the world’s ‘enforcement’ arm in sending in troops whenever there’s some sort of conflict or, more recent in history, for oil).

      Unfortunately, the next few years will be hard for Americans to adjust to a somewhat different lifestyle as business is now more ‘worldwide’ instead of national inside the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Well, it certainly hasn’t helped our cause to have spent 70 years tear-assing around the globe fighting hunger and disease while saving other peoples’ children that grew to be the dime-a-day workforce supplanting ours.

        We brewed a lot of the this mess, including rampaging islam, ourselves.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      LS1Fan – well said.

      “America World Superpower” is just a more modern term for “US Empire” Capitalism and/or globalism.
      USA Global militarization occurred post WWII without having to actually invade anyone other than the odd Banana Republic and/or Oil Republic. The “Cold War” was a convenient reason to build the Empire. 1st, 2nd and 3rd World jargon existed for a reason. Soviet Communist aligned countries and USA capitalistic aligned countries made up the 1st and 2nd worlds. 3rd world just happened to be the sh!t left over that the Commies or Capitalists felt was a waste of time.
      every dog has their day and as you have said,”it’s time to share the wealth.”

  • avatar
    NoID

    Well that’s bad news, because right now my parents are dirt poor.

    I make a good living, but as a SIMK household (the polar opposite of the DINK household) it means that a good living is quite fluid.

    That’s OK, because when Giant Asteroid 2016 comes to pass we’ll finally achieve full equality.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    My wife and I have accepted that we may never be home owners. It appears to be a new reality of parents with a single income (mom stays home with the kids and will homeschool). My dad pulled it off and he never made the money I’m making, so it does seem strange, especially since we have no debt. If that’s the new normal then so be it, we still manage to rent a home so it’s not all bad.

  • avatar
    Fred

    As a liberal I’d like to blame our corporate overloads for a lot of this problem. Still, I see a lot of financial mistakes that young people make. My own situation as a boomer, has me optimistic not just for myself but everyone. Well as long as we can avoid WW3 and our fearless leaders don’t get their L*&^ together.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      History teaches us that many economic booms come after great wars. Of course you have to WIN and a big part of it is the great loss of life suddenly makes the labor of everyone left alive that much more valuable.

      Now if we can just keep those dang nuclear and biological weapons out of the conflict…

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        PrincipalDan,
        Interesting concepts you have, especially regarding wars, wealth and winning.

        There is one problem with your theory. It was the West that “won” WWII, not just the US.

        The countries that prospered out of the winners were those least affected by damage and destruction, ie, US, Canada, NZ and Australia. We didn’t make our money out of manufacturing, we made money out of lending money to others to re-develop their nations.

        Many people foolishly think manufacturing is the end all – be all to a countries existence. But historically the most successful countries where the countries that had significant trade. Even city states became powerful due to trade.

        Look at the data. Even within the US auto industry. How many people does it employ? How many of those jobs are directly related to US built vehicles? No where’s as many as you would think.

        Our whole society is based on the motor vehicle. This means the majority of transport involved in the maintenance and running of our economies is based on the motor vehicle.

        So, this makes the actual auto industry manufacturing job as a percentage of the industry insignificant. So what is the loss of exporting manufacturing jobs, to a degree? Service industries represents a massive portion of our economies, not building pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “History teaches us that many economic booms come after great wars.”

        As long as the war is on someone else’s turf.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Yep, mid thirties.

          Never bought them much, just like my childhood. This is not being a hard arse either. Help them by pointing them in the right direction.

          To me kids at home when older than 22-23 is just not on, unless there is a (genuine) reason. Not having a job just doesn’t cut it. Shovel sh!t if you have to to put food on the table.

          Many kids, even here in Australia will not lift a finger if they have a degree. Some fell entitled to good pay and a job they want. I tell a lot of young people become a tradesperson as the money is as good as a person with a degree. Also a tradesperson is a better proposition for the more enterprising among us. It gives them a better chance to start up a business.

          Many of the young at work have never been told they are failures and losers. They just question all the time will irrelevance, more about how to get out of the task/job. I have a simple response to them. Only ask me a question if it is directly related in you achieving the goals I have set. If it is whining or complaining I tell them to fnck off.

          I do believe society including parents don’t set the correct or stringent enough expectations on our young. This has made them risk averse and less independent.

          But, I think parents do themselves a disservice by buying their kids cars, TVs, etc. My view is when a kid is 18 they must go out and get a job, even part time. Then buy their clothes, pay board, buy a car.

          In other words earn what they WANT and respect what they need. Just passing an exam is not justification to buy a kid a car or what ever. Tell him to flip burgers, dig trenches, mow lawns, etc so he understands the real value of what ahead for him.

          Lifes a bitch, they must learn this. They will not learn, respect and value whilst living at home ……… waiting for the dream job they can’t hold down or only do for a short while.

          By the way, Lou, do you have kids at home? If you do you are a poor parent. You seem to be on the net 24/7 with various names, etc. What about giving them adequate guidance and direction?

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Different times –

    My old man dropped out of college so he could support his wife and newly born son. He worked at a shoe store, eventually quitting that to manage a shoe department at Meijers. At age 26 he was a store manager. By the time he was 30, it was corporate office management. Late-30s and until he retired at age 55, one step below a vice president.

    With this income he managed to invest in stocks, build a cottage on Lake Michigan, and put three kids through college. He never lived big and flashy though – drove Oldsmobiles and then Nissans. Even now he is a real cheapskate. Growing up I thought we were dirt poor since the other kids I went to school with seemed so much more spoiled than me. Grass greener, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “He worked at a shoe store, eventually quitting that to manage a shoe department at Meijers. At age 26 he was a store manager. By the time he was 30, it was corporate office management. Late-30s and until he retired at age 55, one step below a vice president.”

      good for him. But unless Meijer needs hundreds of vice presidents, he’s an outlier. the opportunity may be there for *anyone* to rise up through the ranks, but it’s not there for *everyone.*

      It’s like overbearing parents who push their kids relentlessly in sports, dreaming of them making it to the pro leagues. Sorry, but statistics say you’re kid ain’t likely to get there.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        Unlike me, my dad has the type of person who would succeed anywhere – just the right go-go attitude.

        My broader point – he did this without a college degree, and was made a manager of a large store at the age of 26.

        These days he may have been barred from that path – need a degree and wouldn’t have been given that kind of big responsibility at age 26.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          My wife’s cousin’s husband started out as a bicycle courier. He worked his way up through the ranks and got an education on the way and has moved back and forth between Canada and the USA. He is now the CEO of that company.

          That is a great story but not everyone has a rags to riches story. It tends to be case of “rags to different rags” story.

          My dad was born in 1919 and was a prairie farm boy when the “Great Depression” hit and the “dust bowl” hit. He was a smart kid that was being groomed to be a teacher. His dad had no choice but to make him drop out of school to help the farm since he was the oldest boy. He worked his way across the country making money and sending it home to his family. He eventually ended up with a small trucking company.
          He had 3 buddies, all brothers that he came to our town with him. One because a small business owner like him, the other was killed in a mill accident, and the other became a multimillionaire.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Good discussion. Part of the problem where I live is that young people do not want to leave their families and go to parts of the country where there are jobs. Doesn’t help to have an engineering degree if you are not willing to go where the jobs are. Another thing is that many young college grads get a degree in something like Art History which is not a marketable degree unless you are willing to get a PHD and then that is not a sure thing.

    Yesterday, I was on a conference call with my Senator Rand Paul. Many of the questions and comments were about the “War on Coal” and concerns about President Obama’s and the EPAs regulations. The coal industry employs a lot of people and is a major industry but what many won’t admit or don’t realize is that the coal industry has been declining for years and that natural gas is a cleaner and more competitive energy source. At a certain point natural gas will be replaced by cleaner and more efficient energy sources. Technology has changed all of our lives with positive and negative effects, but we all need to adapt to the change. Nothing ever stays the same.

    The above comments about the US having unprecedented growth after WW II because the manufacturing infrastructure was already in place is very much what happened. It took a generation for Europe to rebuild its infrastructure damaged from WW II and it took a generation for Asia to build its manufacturing industry. We have transitioned from an economy that was prosperous with lots of jobs, to being the largest Super Power to the exportation of low skill jobs and to lower wage countries, and now to robots starting to replace the lower skill more repetitive jobs. Even China is being effected by the robot revolution with many lower skill workers being displaced by technology.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      In addition to young people not wanting to leave their families and go to parts of the country where there are jobs, there are a whole bunch of related problems.

      Housing tends to be ridiculously expensive where there are jobs and in most families, both spouses have to work and its difficult for both of them to find jobs in the same physical area where there are jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      I have a friend (Gen X) in Sydney who has a decent paying job as an auditor in the ship maintenance industry.

      He complains about the cost of living in Sydney every time I visit. I tell him to find a new job in other cities where the cost of living is cheaper.

      Real estate in Sydney is very expensive, some of the most expensive in the world. He could sell his home and buy a nicer or build a better new home with lots of money left over and with a job paying less he would live better.

      A lot of people are scared (risk averse) for this type of change. I can’t feel sorry for him as their is a solution to his problem.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    I think this article should have mentioned that younger generation that will probably be poorer consists of white males. Example: Look at the demographics of medical students. Majority are primarily females or minorities. The white male is turning out to be the whining generation. Just look at this current election. Instead of adapting and becoming more educated to survive in a world economy. They “we” sit back and whine that all the jobs are disappearing to minorities and other countries. Hence, the d.trump phenomenon. Conservative values and economics have been thrown out the window and we are turning to isolationism. Which all circles back to poor education of the current majority. The gop is even turning against common core education. Who needs “math” as one of my bible study brothers puts it so eloquently.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Maybe your friend should read Numbers :)

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “one of my bible study brothers”

      Oh.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Somebody actually supports common core? Jeez, remind me not to take you seriously in the future.

      I’ve seen the type of work kids brought home under common core, it is well below the level of work I was given, and is completely insufficient in preparing children for a successful future.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      VW16v – there has been a big push to increase visible minorities and women in professions such as Medicine. Women tend to benefit more from the education system since their “personalities” are more amenable to the current school system. Some are going as far as saying that we should go back to an all male and all female education stream to make up for this.
      PrincipalDan – correct me if I’m wrong – thanks. (I’m sure others will. LOL)

      The GOP has traditionally been supported by business leaders, conservative religious groups, and white and/or rural and/or uneducated males.
      That is now where the chasm exists in that party. We have the “isolationist build walls and kick out the foreigners” demographic and the “free market” laissez-faire capitalists. The isolationist group does not realize or chooses to ignore the fact that the group they worship is partially responsible for their current lot in life.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The push should probably be for the most qualified candidates for medicine but well we can’t start making sense now after fifty years of wrong can we?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          28-Cars-Later – the system does not favour women due to quotas i.e. affirmative action but favours women because they learn and mature differently than men especially during the formative years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The “system” shouldn’t favor anyone, its just a series of standards. If those standards are altered, it hurts everyone.

            Don’t worry though the robots will fix it when they take over, they will kill everyone equally.

            @yamahog

            “Cheap to be dumb when money is easy”

            Interesting.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          28cars, people travel from all over the world to attend U.S. Medical schools. The schools do pick the brightest students and right now white males would rather whine about the economy then adapter to a changing social. The cream rises the the top and white males are sinking.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I hate to burst your bubble but that’s complete bullsh*t and I have a personal connection as to why.

            My brother applied to the Physician’s Assistant program at the Univ of Pittsburgh last year (which is a two year accelerated program). He was not accepted for term, however about two weeks before Christmas he received a call from the program stating someone had dropped out and he was next on the waiting list, was he still interested etc. He is now in the program and two of the twenty some candidates have already flunked out and one literally died of some sort of complication due to a transplant she received a few years before. I honestly cannot recall how many started in the 2016 program, but it was over twenty and under thirty candidates and of these, TWO were male prior to his addition. This is statistically speaking, highly unlikely if not impossible. He was also the oldest student at thirty one with most of the others described to me as early to mid twenties females with no prior pre-med education. My brother’s IQ is somewhere above 140, and I can assure you he is more intelligent than I and about 98% of people if the below chart is to be believed. The cream will rise to the top when it is allowed to, but not before.

            https://lonelygenius.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/
            iqnormalcurve.gif

            The US medical system is fast becoming a joke, especially when it allows a bereft of Indian or Pakistani practicing doctors in who have NOT gone through US medical programs. Indian medical school is rife with fraud and poor practices:

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-medicine-education-specialrepor-idUSKBN0OW1NM20150617

            Marxist ideas have seized control of most of US society and you will see the damage in upcoming years of weakened standards and racist policies such as affirmative action. The nation will be ripe for implosion, I hope to enjoy the show from afar.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            28 cars, your brother being put on a wait list for PA school only proves my point about medical schools choosing the best students. Not sure on the US medical system becoming a joke. That just sounds like regurgitated a.m. Radio ignorance. Our billing system for medical is bit screwed up, on the right path now. But still messed up. Only saying that be I’ve watched hundreds of people laugh off hospital bills only leaving bills to the hospital and rest of society that is responsible for there Healthcare.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      In competitive, desirable educational programs, white and Asian males face higher standards than white women and brown/black minorities.

      https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/medschool.png

      Asian students with a 3.6-3.8 undergrad GPA have a lower chance of admission to medical school than black students with a 3.2-3.4 GPA.

      On one hand, as jobs become more competitive it’s affecting the older white men who used to rely on networking rather than skills to get their job. But white men and Asians dominate in competitive, winner take all industries. Look at the composition of technology and finance companies and look at who starts them.

      But with the rise of protected classes things like layoffs and promotions seem to move slightly against young white men. Anecdotally, I was gunning for a job held by a white woman who rarely worked and wasn’t effective. I didn’t get the job promotion and my manager at the time (who was an Indian woman) took me aside and explained that some decision makers were hesitant to fire a woman over 40 and replace her with a man, then she gave me the best advice of my life – leave the company and succeed on my merits elsewhere. I’m forever grateful to her for not wasting my time and hitting me with the facts. I’m doing very well at my new position and my old company is going down the drain.

      Between us cats, it’s easy for a bad company to exist when money is available at such low interest rates. And I suppose it’s cheap to be dumb when money is easy. Read into that how you will.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        yamahog – I was referring to the difference between male and female learning patterns at the elementary and high school levels. The system favours women because of personal traits not “protected” status.

        • 0 avatar

          If a system favors males, it must be sexist, no other explanation allowed. If a system favors females, the only acceptable reason is that males must be defective.

          Only some animals, the ones that are more equal than others, can complain about hostile environments and gender bias in education.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT GENDER BIAS……

            “Dr Gijsbert Stoet, of the University of Glasgow, who led the study, said: “At the moment we see that, with the exception of high-achievers, boys have poorer educational outcomes than girls around the world, independent of social equality indicators.”

            “independent of social equality indicators”

            “independent of social equality indicators”

            “That it is not, is probably fuelled by a lack of public understanding of the distribution of skills, which we have highlighted in this and previous studies”

            Boys and girls have different skill sets and different levels of maturity.

            Girls are likely to read more, do more homework and tend to be less disruptive.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I like this Stoet, he seems to make sense:

            “The drive to push more girls into traditionally male-dominated subjects such as engineering, physics and computing should be scrapped, said Dr Gijsbert Stoet, a reader in psychology at Glasgow University.

            In a speech, he said the search for more gender balance – a passion of many politicians, school leaders and learned societies – was a waste of time as innate differences between boys and girls meant they would always be naturally drawn to certain academic subjects and careers.

            He said the nation probably needed to “give up on the idea that we will get many female engineers or male nurses”.”

            ““What is better?” he said. “To have 50 per cent of female engineers who do not really like their work but say, ‘yeah, well, I did it for the feminist cause’. Or do you want three per cent of female engineers who say, ‘I really like my job’?””

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10961555/Give-up-on-gender-equality-in-the-sciences-at-school.html

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        Yamahog, medical exams even at the nursing level are all the same for male, female, and minorities. Giving excuses for males not going to college for actual jobs should not be put on minorities or females that are goal driven.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @28-Cars-Later – there needs to be consideration for different learning styles. The current system of one size fits all tilts the benefits towards the female side of the spectrum. I do agree that society has pushed women to move into careers that they might not be ideally suited to do. There should be more focus upon assessing learning needs to bring out the best in people.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    “I quit my job to play videogames, donate to my Patreon and use this Lootcrate code to save $10!”

    -The average Millennial “adapting”

  • avatar
    madman2k

    I am of the generation they are talking about (I turn 27 soon). My folks never made a whole lot of money in their younger years, until my dad started transporting hazmat and gaining seniority. So at this stage of life, 8 years into a career, I think I am making the equivalent of quite a bit more than my parents did back then. Obviously not comparing inflation it would be a lot more.

    I decided joining, and then remaining in, the military was the best option for me. Started to study IT and computer science but gave it up – sometimes I wish I had kept that up and would be making more, but this is stable for now. Annual pay raises are small lately, but something. Housing allowance goes up and down, can’t keep up with housing bubbles on the West Coast but that’s life. Congress of course wants to cut them down to keep us all living in fleabag 1 bedroom apartments.

    Hopefully I can do 20 years, then I’ll be 39 and getting a decent pension. Assuming the country hasn’t fallen to shambles by then of course…

    Most people start another career once they retire from the military, many of them jump into civilian government service positions where the rank/time counts. Usually retiring and picking up an O-3/O-4 equivalent position means at least a 25% pay raise compared to active duty as soon as the checks start coming in. More if you get a disability check too.

  • avatar
    FordMan_48126

    + this – everyone here raises great points.

    Yes, there has been wage stagnation the last few years Economic Policy Institute says for the bottom 90%, wages grew 15% from 1979 to 2013 – but for the top 1% they have grow 138% during the same time period.

    So, what to do?

    (1) If you have kids, not matter what age, don’t fall into the trap of “Must go to college”. I’ve already had this argument with my wife, and she is starting to see my POV. College is great, nowadays, only if you get some sort of STEM degree first (as many have mentioned, the analytical think should come first, companies can & will train you in management & finance if they see potential). If they aren’t literally rocket scientist or hacking codes, better to steer them to other areas that need people that pay well ( nursing, plumbers, repair people, etc). In other words, be honest with them what you see they are good at and what they are not….

    (2) As several people mention, it is better & more practical to get real world experience first, then at the same time get your education, then go to undergrad & then grad school right away….and have then pay off their schooling by themselves (at first). That is what I did; got a scholarship that paid for 80% of my undergrad and worked thru school to pay the rest, got a job and spent 10 years working before going back to Grad MBA school at night, and worked my way thru, that too. Nothing like paying for your own stuff that teaches responsibility; also great to not have debt, too.

    (3) Teach them to live frugal & sensibly; they don’t always have to have new stuff, and they don’t need everything their friends always have. They also don’t need to have that semester off from school to ‘backpack thru the EU or South America”

    (4) Teach them how to win; doesn’t matter if they are a boy or girl, one of my biggest concerns is the lack of ambition or the “everybody wins” mentality of today’s public institutions. This may sound petty to some here, but in looking for a school for my daughter, we checked out three types on out area (public school, charter magnet school, or private catholic school). Guess which one had a trophy case full of medals and trophies from athletic and academic accomplishments first thing when you walked in the door, and which school we chose? I truly believe this is the thing dragging down most Western economies more than anything is there education systems that focus too much and everything else but learning to get the correct answers & succeeding.

  • avatar
    V8biturbo

    At the age of 20 my parents weren´t abduced by a couch and a video game, they were living the real life, working very hard to progress and to do it better than their parents. They wanted to be independent, they didn´t spend money in silly things like changing the cellphones (it they should´ve existed) once a year, paying on demand tv, etc. Millenials and X-Y gen´s minds do not allow them to think in real things such as compromise, effort, long term, or at least middle term. They should stop acting like kids and grow up, stop living a virtual life in social nets, stop spending time on the internet. Stop spending your dadsy´s hard earned bucks in superficial items. Be serious, work hard, want to leave your parent´s basement and live a life. You will be surprised how much can get with hard work, concentration and compromise. Of course, that doesn´t exists in Facebook

  • avatar
    mchan1

    Please don’t lump Gen X with Millenials/Gen Y (the 2 are essentially the same!).

    Gen Xs are stuck between the Boomers and the Millenials and left out to hang.

    Getting credentials is about life because that’s how society is all over the world. Who cares if the person behind the credentials is a crook? People/Society still cares about Credentials!

    For example…
    An accountant MUST be a CPA (CPA is basically one who passed the CPA exam and met min. state requirements before getting the CPA license).
    A person with a MBA is Much better than Anyone Without an MBA.

    If you look closely at the financial crises over the years, many of the crooks had a background in finance, had an MBA or was a CPA. Yet Society still wants these types of ‘people’ BECAUSE of the credentials which is Bullsh!t!

    The younger generation is complaining because many studied non-business/engineering fields and can’t find a job. No wonder!
    Today’s world is about business!
    You gotta make money for yourself or someone as life is not about handouts unless you’re a liberal and believe in government handouts.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Then become a carpenter or bricklayer.

      Just because a person has a degree or some other form of educational certification doesn’t entitle them to a job or income.

      It seem many are risk averse and the sense of entitlement has increased since WWII. Even us Baby Boomers have this sense of entitlement.

      The reality is, you might have aspirations, but do the aspirations match reality?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do find these types of articles quite amusing.

    It seems all are worried about the dollar and how much they have in comparison to someone/thing else.

    So, do the young have a lower standard of living? No.

    Do the young stick it out in a job, ie, commit themselves? No.

    Do the young want a life like we had? No.

    Many of the young stay at home for years. The young along with the “good doers” can sit whine and cry how fncking hard it is for them. The fact is if they moved out of home and committed themselves to more than just acting like princesses and get on with their lives they will find they would build wealth.

    So, whilst kids have the security of Mommy and Daddy wiping their asses day in a and day out they will not be as successful as our generation.

    Stay at home young ones and only worry about having enough money to party instead of learning how to survive. Once you learn how to survive you will become better able at wealth creation.

    Parents seem to be the biggest socialists. Kick their asses out and tell them to get a job. Once they realise they need to have money each and every week they will be more committed to self improvment …….. an the associated income improvements.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Don’t trust anyone over thirty.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    That is part of the problem, many of today’s generation are not willing to stick it out on a job that they feel is boring and below their dignity. Also that many are not willing to relocate to where the jobs are. There are those I know that live in the Cincinnati and N KY area who do not want to leave the area. Doesn’t do you any good if you have a degree in Engineering, Accounting, Finance, or Math if you are not willing to go to where the jobs are.

    Mike Rowe who use to have the Dirty Jobs series on cable and then did the Ford commercials has a music degree and is a trained singer. Mike changed his career path and used his talents in TV. Mike Rowe now travels around the US speaking to students telling them they do not have to go to college to get a good paying job, that they can learn a trade such a plumbing, auto repair, electrician, and heating and cooling repair.

    It is a disservice to young people to allow them to live at home indefinitely without a job. How will these children take care of themselves if something happens to their parents and it is much harder to get a job if you have not employed for a long time.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    America did not become an economic juggernaut because of the effects of WW2, and it’s economic decline was not inevitable. The post war recovery of other nations helped the is economy. Unfortunately, US government policies have created stagnation, just as many predicted. Massive government, massive regulation, massive debt and other policies have retarded private sector growth. Young people, unfortunately, consistently vote for the politicians who promote these very policies and ridicule those who earn of the consequences. Don’t bitch, young people, you are getting what you asked for.

  • avatar
    dwford

    We like to blame the government, the bad economy, the evil corporations for the decline in living standards for our young people. All true to different degrees. But a big problem I see in most millennials I know is simply poor money management. Making a large income from a job is not what makes you financially secure (working in car sales I saw plenty of people with 6 figure incomes that had crappy credit and maxed out credit cards), spending less than you earn and investing gets you there. Kids today seem perfectly happy to spend on fun and wonder how to pay the bills later. Part of that is many having indulgent parents that let them live at home for free. Part of it is just being young and narcissistic. We need to teach proper money management in schools.


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