Parents usually want their children to have a better life than they did. In the United States, the parents of today's under-30 crowd may be disappointed in that hope. Throughout last year, they were far more likely than other age groups to have reported unemployment in their households. Labor force participation for those ages 16-24 has decreased to its lowest levels since WWII as a Pew report on the graying work force notes that the recession has tilted the job market towards older workers and those with degrees.
The Pew report also says that nearly a third of the public has come to believe that a degree is necessary to get a good job, whereas 30 years ago, just under half believed that. As former President Clinton pointed out last week at a a press event, the cost of a degree has tripled in recent decades, entirely wiping out the benefits of every government assistance program for college costs.
Those college costs are usually financed instead by loans which are currently not eligible for bankruptcy protection. Loan repayment therefore eats up larger percentages of future earnings which have been plummeting for 8 years for those under 55. Bad timing for anyone who's taken out student loans in recent years in the hopes that the job market would catch up to their education expenditures, and worse luck if their parents' declining wages reduce the possibility for family assistance.
A third of adults under 27 also lack health coverage, with nearly half of those young adults earning less than $14,000 per year. Since wages for most people have been effectively stagnant, they have not kept pace with health coverage increases, and the lower you go down the economic ladder, the truer that is. Especially because there's been an ongoing decline in employer-based coverage that has disproportionately affected low-income workers and the small businesses that create the most jobs.
For another worrying indicator, an AARP poll earlier this year indicated that around a quarter of adults 18 and over are living with parents or in-laws. Another 15 percent were worried they might have to do so soon, while one in seven lived with a sibling.
I don't know about you, but the American Dream I was sold didn't include worse buying power and relative wealth than my blue-collar, high school-educated parents for myself, my peers and those who came after me.
The Leftist author above can see the problem but goes on to say that the solution is more factory jobs! She seems unable to see that ever more of America's wealth is being sucked up by a vast, continuously growing and useless bureaucracy that has been foisted on Americans by Democrats at Federal, State and local levels. America's vast army of paper-shufflers CONSUME wealth. They don't create it. And, to add insult to injury, they are on average paid far more than private-sector workers
Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here