The “Screwed Generation” (That’s Us)

Demographer Joel Kotkin does a bang-up job of scaring me in this piece for the Daily Beast. The most uplifting facts:

• In Spain as in Greece, nearly half of the adults under 25 don’t work.

• Ireland, which in recent decades actually attracted new migrants, is exporting a thousand people a week.

• Spaniards are having fewer children now than they did during the brutal civil war of the late 1930s.

According to Brookings, America spends 2.4 times as much on the elderly as on children.

• Here’s a tribute to futility: today a majority of unemployed Americans age 25 and older attended college, something never before seen.

• Roughly one in five American adults 25 to 34 now live with their parents — almost double the percentage from 30 years ago.

How dire. But he ends on a high note, kind of:

The developed world’s youth shouldn’t expect much help from an older generation that has preserved its generous arrangements at the cost of increasingly stark prospects for its own progeny. Instead the emerging generation needs to push its own new agenda for economic growth and expanded opportunity.

Basically: If you want a job, you better make that job.


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