December 17, 2017
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Comments for: Younger Americans are getting the shaft

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  • Anonymous

    As I near the age of 70 I can think back to when I had no job opportunities as well. I bounced around hungry and desperate for work. The state did not care for me then and it does not care for me now. I grew tired of the weather and a lifeless lifestyle, so with about fifty dollars and my used VW beetle I left for Tucson AZ. It took about 3 days of travel to get there from here.  I got a job with manpower for a couple of weeks then applied for a job in a Copper mine in San Manuel AZ. Things started getting better for me but gas went to $1.25 a gallon. Wow, can you imagine so much money for gas? Don’t go to Tucson because I did, and the Copper mine in San Manuel has been closed for 30 years or so..don’t believe me..Google Magma Copper mine. The point I am trying to make is that you need to do some homework to find where the jobs are, you need to go there as prepared as you can and tough it out in order to work for a living to provide for yourself and your family if you are married. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop blaming the former generation for what is now your problems. Back then the problems were created from my former generation too. Get with it, come up with a plan for yourself and stick it out. I can tell you where to go right now wether you are a man or a woman and you will make $60,000.00 this year with very little skills, but I won’t.  You need to solve your own problems to develop your own identity.
    As I near 70 I am beginning to tire. Yes I am still working and may work for another 4 years, but I am not hungry, have a decent car and presently own my house. I have witnessed coworkers retire as soon as they could because of their lack of perseverance. Work as long as you can, you will need every dollar to stay healthy and happy. Please don’t believe any politician, they are all liars and will send you to an early demise.

    P.S. your first step to ending hunger and developing your life is to turn off the television and stop playing the games on your computer. Don’t believe anything you hear and half of what you read.  Use your PC as a tool to start mapping out your life.

    Good Luck and God be with you.

    Carnac the Magnificent!

    • Well said Carnact. Successful people overcome the obstacles before them and persevere. Successful people fail but learn from it and move on. There are many things in life you cannot control but at the same time there are many things you can. Get up every morning, choose your attitude, work hard, and find happiness for yourself. 

      • Anonymous

        This generation is every bit as hardworking, and industrious as any other.  This piece does not suggest civic engagement as a substitute for individual responsibility but as an integral part of that.  

        The Baby Boom generation shirked it’s civic responsibility to future generations, leaving short-sighted, so-called “free markets” to decide; governing as “consumers” rather than “citizens”.  

        Today’s generation is beginning life with huge debt loads that our grandparents spared our parents with well-funded universities.  I can’t imagine why a generation so blessed would deny our children any less. 

        • Guest

          Sprucy has a new handle but the same old message.

        • Anonymous

           This generation was robbed by the universities who took the government money pumped into the higher education system and then charged whatever the market would bear while handing out useless women’s studies degrees.

          • Anonymous

            Not quite that simple.  The “government” (i.e. “Us”) slashed/cut/reduced the amount of money it “pumped” into our public institutions, placing a greater burden on families ALSO struggling with declining incomes — compared to the previous generation.  

            Government-backed financial assistance also covers a smaller portion of a college education than in a previous generation, but the necessity of a college education for the fewer and fewer living-wage jobs INCREASES “what the market will bear”.  …how much debt and desperation a family will endure…..

            “Useless” degrees?  …reflective of the nihilistic view of education purported by business round tables of the early ’70s; think tanks who sought to use our educational system to defray THEIR training costs.  (Hhhhhmmmm… …about the time family incomes began their downward spiral; working harder and harder for less…).

            “We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. ” ~Chris Hedges

            The business community should welcome deep-thinking people, but no, too many want to use the education system as a means of control and utilization rather than investment.

    • Guest

      I completely agree with your comment.

      It’s odd how my experience so closely mirrors yours, right down to my Beetle escape pod. The only real difference was that I had a trade when I made my move (at age 21) and had a job waiting whenever I moved on, but no idea where I’d live when I got there. When Dad found out how many times I was on the brink of starvation, he asked why I didn’t say anything when he’d been helping all the other kids. I simply said that I was over 21 and responsible for myself now. As it was his eldest son saying this, he just puffed up as he walked away.
      Now, as an empty nester with 2 college grads  under my belt, two properties, and only one wife for 30+years, I can say your type advice without feeling like some old Republican. Now if the kids didn’t all expect to start on the top rung without climbing the ladder first…….

    • Anonymous

      Given the fact that our society is more mobile today than it’s ever been, how long has it been since you’ve heard the phrase “write when you find work”?  That phrase went out of popular use in the 1940s after the depression ended and young people no longer had to move to make their fortunes.  The point is this:  too many young people don’t want to do what young people in the 1930s and 40s did.  Rather, they expect fortune to come to them with little or no effort on their part.

      • Anonymous

        Not true. 

        • Anonymous

           Yep, hanging out in parks is ooohhh soooo more productive.

          • Anonymous

            And how’s it being the grumpy old man on the porch? You seem really comfortable making broad and frankly stupid generalizations. To you, those you disagree with are all bad and with terrible intentions. Funny how you bent over backwards last week to give baby boomers a pass for their xenophobia though… ;)

          • Anonymous

            There is plenty of space open on the porch. Too bad it is the so many of the young that have chosen that path. I’ll haul out a rocker for them. But I’m going to charge for the beer.
            Probably no takers then, expect it for free.

            As for xenophobia obviously you misunderstood the post. If you could see the composition of my immediate (home) and extended family you wouldn’t say that.

          • Anonymous

            I was referring to the fact that you’re pretty generous with those you agree with and not so with those you disagree with. You’re comfortable maligning young people, but remember last week with the baby boomers? Nope, no bigots there. They all simply hate illegal immigrants and their fear for a loss of culture and values refers only to illegal immigrants.  Baby boomer are good and pure. Youth? Bad and lazy!

          • Anonymous

             Never said that.

          • Thank you for this wolfndeer. The Andy Rooney-izing in the comments on the BDN has really started to get to me. 

          • Anonymous

            Heck, You are one of the guys that tell them to hang out in the park.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, malcontents are like that.

      • Anonymous

         Lowest mobility in modern history right here in US.  One of lowest for mobility in the OECD.  You might want to have a cup of coffee and wake up to the fact that the same income inequality that was shouted by Occupy is actually having a terrible impact on almost all americans. 

        Working hard is no longer a guarantee for anything.  Not only is becoming wealthy through hard work unlikely, it is increasingly likely that you will become financially devastated due to sickness or injury.

        Instead of relying on the lie that says that young people are ALL lazy and feel entitled, think for a moment about who might benefit from your thinking such a thing.  Media has an agenda, neighbor, and it is not to help our youth or hard working find a fair shake in their careers.  They are funded by mega-corporate interests that can make even more by paying even less.  There is no room for mobility in their twisted world view.

    • Anonymous

      A generation that enjoyed the utmost public investment in terms of education, family wages and general public goods, only to turn around and deny the same to our children by ravaging the public wealth and implementing Ayn Rand-esque philosophy in the public sphere.  

      Unfathomable.

      The younger generation is, indeed “taking responsibility” — civic responsibility to restore the society dismantled and decimated by a previous generation.  

  • Anonymous

    Vote for Barack because apparently it is time to throw in the towel and become George Costanza.

  • “If the American people ever allow the banks to control issuance of their
    currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations
    that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until
    their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    • Guest

      The first line of that quote explains the rest of it. 
      In his support of having a national bank with one currency rather than each bank issuing their own (and there were many). That quote was appropriate in it’s time, but out of context to what’s happening today.    

      • I dont think that you have grasped the concept of 

        ( control issuance of their currency)

        We don’t have a (National Bank) we have foreign banks coining our money! Have since 1913 (Opps! I should have said —Have Again Since,—Look up Andrew Jacksons view on the matter!)

        There is Nothing { Federal }  in the Federal Reserve Bank!

        It should be called the “Foriegn” Reserve Bank!

        • Guest

          While I ‘grasp’ what you are trying to express, you haven’t ‘grasped’ the reality of what your quote actually referred to. 

          Jefferson was for a National Bank to get rid of every town’s bank issuing their own currency. Years later,Andrew Jackson hated how the (literally) fat cat of the new bank was really trying to run the country’s finances So Jackson spent much of his presidential credibility fighting him, and ultimately won.  History is good reading, if it’s understood then remembered.

          Hence, my reply to you that your quote of Jefferson doesn’t apply to today’s banking situation.  
          That applied to yesterday, and is completely irrelevant to today’s situation. That was then, this is now. Find a more up to date and relevant quote for today’s banking when trying to make a point. 

          Get the point I was trying to making now?  Up to date and relevant.
          Good quote, though.  :)

        • Guest

          One heck of an edit to include my arguments into yours to make yourself look more knowledgeable and make mine look redundant! Pretty slimy of you. Should I cut and paste your original comment and reply to me?

          And nobody but us “coins” our money. The fluctuation of the world’s currency has influenced the value of our dollar since we dropped the gold standard. And another thing, I didn’t say we have a national bank. Jackson got rid of that.

    • Anonymous

       And this is precisely what we have.  Media ownership by these behemoths matters.  The ability to give without limits matters.  These matter not just in their bottom lines but in the bottom lines of every person who seeks to earn safety and security. 

      Until we do three things, we will continue to watch our own people, hard working and lazy alike, fall to unimaginable depths of poverty and despair. (1) Break up the Too Big to Fail banks, (2) outlaw all private funding of elections, (3) bring “standards and practices” review back to our media.

      Until we address these “core” problems, any progress will prove illusory and our trajectory will deliver us straight to the dustbin of history.

  • Anonymous

    This articles title offends me greatly, it is not the fault of there elders but of the wrong people in positions making the decisions and destroying our way of life.  It is big business and a corrupt Government that has destroyed the American dream and if the younger generation want’s to fix it, find a way to fix the election process which is as corrupt as the Government controlling it!  Your vote means nothing because you have no control who runs for office, its big money that controls it!   If Mr Miller came up with the title of this article he should be fired!

  • Anonymous

    Well said Carnac. I have worked all my life, never collected unemployment, welfare, etc. and will have to work well past my retirement age. So I am also getting the shaft, right Mr. Matt?  The elderly that you bash and want to just cut off their benefits, remember one thing Mr. Matt, hundreds of thousands served our country in war to make us a free country. Stay down in Washington with the rest of the crooks.

    • Anonymous

      I guess you have been too busy to notice that we are not as free as we once were and that our working class cannot survive any longer on the  stagnant wages the elite allow us to earn.  Food stamps are not on the  rise because of Obama or even the wall street swindle that cost the American middle class their home equity.  Food stamps are on the rise because even full time workers do not earn enough to feed their families on.  Look at a chart of real wages and food stamp  usage and you will notice a clear inverse relationship between them. 

      The true crooks are those in Washington and Wall Street that engineered a wealth extraction system that has worked effectively.  Don’t blame young people and the poor for that.  This was engineered by avaricious baby-boomers who never learned about sacrifice from the great generation that preceded them.

  • Anonymous

    They’re the scapegoat generation. We’re willing to blame everything and anything on them. The truth is that they have it very tough. School has never been as expensive and the job market hasn’t been more bleak for graduates. It’s easy for us to say just work harder and want it more because we’re so far removed from the situation they’re in. We need to remember that it wasn’t their greed that wrecked the economy.

    • Anonymous

       On the other hand this generation has an expectation that things are going to be made easy for them. I have kids out of school come and apply and desire salaries well over what the market is for their skills. Things are tough, no doubt, other generations had things tough as well and overcame. There is also a dearth of people willing to do what it takes to build a life for themselves. I know a few kids that have the desire and are doing well but there are not nearly as many independent types as there used to be.

      • Anonymous

        Everyone wants things. That isn’t new. We taught, and as we should have taught, them that hard work and diligence pays off. Many excelled in school and yet can’t even get work in a relevant field, not even entry level positions that before 2008 could have been held by high school graduates.

        It’s so lazy and dismissive to say that these kids expect too much and they’re not willing to work. That’s a lie and it’s unfair. The job market and the economy hasn’t been like this before– not this tough. Like I said, it’s easy and lazy to try and blame kids for this, but it’s not reality.

        Isn’t it ironic too you want to paint them as a lazy generation and yet you’re comfortable with a baseless and superficial analysis of what they’re going through. What a joke.

        • Anonymous

          No I don’t think they are lazy. I think they just don’t think they know how to do it. It’s like they’ve been told a diploma is the end… Now go find a job.   “Commencement” means beginning.

           I know a young couple that works in retail sales, low end jobs.. They have managed to buy their own own home and just finished the purchase of their second apartment building. They buy these things cheap then rehab them in their spare time. They are 28 now but started just four years ago living in an apartment. But these kinds of kids are few and far between compared to past generations.

          I think it is intellectually lazy of you to misrepresent what  I say for your own ends.

          Things have been this tough… in the rural area my parents grew up in things have never been good. But they did ok.

          • Anonymous

            No, you make lazy generalization (they’re all hang out in a park, they don’t know how to budget, they expect too much, etc.) and then you try and step away from what you’ve said. And no, things haven’t been this tough, not for new graduates. But keep living in the land of make believe, where the facts you don’t like aren’t real and no one else is as hard working as you. Zzzzzz…

          • Anonymous

            Mis-characterize my statements all you like but sooner or later the kids will figure it out.

          • Anonymous

            Hahah, God! You complain that I mischaracterize your statements and then in that very same sentence you go on and affirm how I’ve characterized your statements! What a joke you are.

          • Anonymous

             What a fool you are. ESL?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, actually. And there you go again, affirming what you’ve pretended to denounce. I grew up in a French household and learned English when I got to kindergarten. So much for not being a baby boomer bigot, right?

            Your baseless and ignorant comments have nothing to do with the family I was born into though. You make broad claims and then try and step back. That’s fact. I understand your hateful and angry comments quite clearly.

          • Anonymous

             Your facts are really nothing more than your opinions. I taught an ESL class. Have you?

          • Anonymous

            Doesn’t make you not a bigot. What else was the intent of your response beyond the fact that ESL individuals are stupid and cannot interpret English? That’s what you meant. I must not have been raised speaking English and that is why I cannot understand your dancing around the issues.  Say one thing one second and then say something else another second. Disgusting.

          • Guest

            Even Barney Frank said not long ago: “I’m done talking to you. Its like having a conversation with a dining room table!”
            Once a good banter devolves, its time to clam up.   Agree to disagree.   :)

      • Anonymous

        I can’t agree with anyone maligning young people. Both my own kids and their friends work very hard and faithfully at very difficult jobs. I’m not seeing a bunch of layabouts. Quite the opposite.

        • Anonymous

          We are teaching the kids to be servants.
          Read into things what you want but here is post of mine from several days ago.

          “There
          is no reason we should sacrifice the young because the rest of us are
          old. By increasing costs on the young you encourage them to leave the
          state enlarging the  gap. Young people while they are healthy need the
          income that advantage of youth gives them. They need to make their
          mortgage payments, raise their children and perhaps even have the
          financial ability to start their own businesses.  Just like everything
          my generation has done  its selfish and now in our old age we demand the
          young sacrifice their future for us.”

  • Anonymous

    America is a  land of opportunity and will continue to be as long as there are those who work and strive for more.

    The problem is to many have given up  and live off the state and teach there kids to do the same.

    • Anonymous

       You miss all that this article and the news of the last five years has to teach.  Hard worker may improve your likelihood of getting by but upward mobility has died. 

      I know too many who work harder than they ever have and have less to show for it.  When wages decline year on year for decades and investments enjoy more and more cover from taxation, it is obvious who benefits, and it isn’t hard workers.

      As long as wages, especially the minimum wage, are stagnant or in real terms falling, you can expect only that more and more people will tire of working hard.  Upwardly mobile cultures are that because the prospect of a better life is apparent because increasing wages can make that happen.  We are a culture in decline because we have been talked out of that better tomorrow.  Corporations want to pay less and less in wages and you and many others are conceding the point. 

      Let me guarantee this:  when the oligarchy has been perfected and profits are maximized, they will not begin to share with you and your children.  In fact they sit on an ever increasing pile of cash, depriving our young and industrious of an opportunity to contribute meaningfully.

      • Anonymous

         You may have learned the maxim incorrectly. It’s not “Work harder to get ahead”,  It’s “Work smarter to get ahead.”

        You have talents and gifts if they are properly employed you can do well. I am not saying things are easy. The opportunities are still there, you just have to see them when they float by. It would also help if you didn’t get caught up in the notion that somebody has you in their economic crosshairs. That attitude will hold you back.

        • Anonymous

          When any worker gives their 40 hours, they deserve at least to afford a life with dignity. This must not be reserved for the brightest or best bred.

          As for the crosshairs, if you think the relationship between record profits and declining wages is casual, you are ignoring the fact the crosshairs are focused on you.

          The only way left for the wealthy to attain even more wealth is to steal whats left from the masses. Cut to the bone, corporations are now lobbying to destroy social security and education; the last tranches of wealth held by the working class.

          • Guest

            So you’re saying a person that shovels snow and mows lawns 40 hrs a week deserves the same comforts in life as a plumber or one that starts a shop working the same hrs does?
            Certainly the same dignity and admiration, but not necessarily the equality of comforts and material things. It’s reality. If everyone received the same then where’s the drive to excel?  That did Russia a lot of good. (Your last paragraph smells of another unfounded conspiracy theory.)I’m gonna hate myself for replying.

          • Anonymous

            Nobody suggested “equal material things”.  But a floor?  A livable minimum wage? I, for one, am sick of subsidizing the labor costs of Wal Mart via our social safety net.  Six heirs own more wealth than the bottom third of Americans!  Do they contribute that much more to society?  Absolutely not!  

            If a job is worth doing, it is worth paying at least the cost of doing it!  Cheap labor has become one expensive “entitlement”, and short circuits how an economy is supposed to work. 

          • Guest

            I hear what you’re saying (Squalmart has always been a slave-driving rapers of downtowns), but it doesn’t sound at all like you. I didn’t suggest a ‘floor’, only a standard with which to measure; also used as a basis for the Joneses next door or the have/have nots. Just where does one think the ancient concept of equality came from? ‘To each to their ability’.

            Ya want it? It’s always been up to the individual to work for it. Simple to understand for people who remember not to listen to the singing trees of utopia. Some need to remember that the concept has always existed. Not pretty down here, but its the way things have always been. While many nanny state programs are welcome and needed, the creeping growth of demands is getting out of hand.

            Peace and goodbye, Sprucy.

          • Anonymous

            Workers ARE “working for it” — they simply aren’t getting it. Look up labor productivity numbers, and they are UP! More of the wealth created by labor is going to their bosses. …AND the bosses are paying lower taxes on it.

             Labor standards/regulations do not create cost, they only shift it to where it belongs.  

            “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country”
            Franklin D. Roosevelt

            Heck, even Henry ford realized the responsibility of business to pay enough for people to buy the product. !

          • Guest

            Since I received 2 versions of your reply (third edited response to me here), I’ll reply to the shorter one.

            “Workers ARE “working for it” — they simply aren’t getting it.  Labor standards/regulations do not create cost, they only shift it to where it belongs.”

            One needs to have the drive to work and be willing to move to where the job exists. I did just that.
            When I mentioned the nanny state and the creeping demands getting out of hand, I was talking about tha explosion of entitlements that society has used as a crutch rather than being self responsible/sufficient.

            We could talk about this forever in a round and round fashion, but since you don’t seem to have the same 60 years of life experience as I, Its best to stop here.

            Peace and goodbye.

          • Anonymous

            Not the same comforts….that’s not what I said. I said a life with basic security (able to afford rent, food and health care) without depending on charity or a government program.

            We are among the stingiest countries in the world with what we pay in unemployment and “welfare”.

            The drive to excel comes in wanting to have more than the basics and more than the next guy. That is fine. Still, when people work full time they should be paid enough to survive on. They are not now. That is a national shame and travesty.

            The stagnation of wages is absolutely the work of large corporations. They lobby for it, create organizations to do their bidding to ensure it. America allows these companies (which are not people and have no conscience) to destroy the social fabric of the country by keeping all of the profits and not even making them pay reasonable taxes. Conspiracy is the wrong word, neighbor. Strategy it is and it has worked until Occupy and persistent recession brought it to the fore.

          • Guest

            Another edit, I see.getting common today.
            You had said only “dignity” in your previous comment.
            Everyone deserves dignity for hard work, but if your job doesn’t supply you with enough $, then move on from shoveling snow for the basics that everyone needs. That was the gist of my original reply to your pre-edit comment.

            As to the rest of your reply, it has a mixture of obvious facts and theoretical ideas and beliefs. Old stuff.

          • Anonymous

             If you work a menial job your going to live based on that pay. If you do not like that lifestyle then you work to make yourself WORTH more! If you work to a goal then you can get there. The issue is that there are to many who want pay for nothing ( the welfare state ) Or those who show up do the least they can IE those who show up for there 40 hours but do not strive and do MORE then required. I have hired and fired many folks over the years. You learn in the first week if they are worth keeping or not.

            Just because you are AT work for 40 hours a week in no way means you WORKED 40 hours. There is a HUGE difference.

          • Anonymous

             You seem to believe that you have no control over your own destiny and I find that sad.

          • Guest

            Ya know, I usually like your comments but occasionally have been tempted to call you a cheesehead.  I really can’t give you enough likes on this thread.

          • Anonymous

             Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Nice effort to pit young people against old people. Before we really get going on that, though, could we raise a bit of revenue by getting rid of special tax breaks for millionaires and billionares? They need to be part of this equation.

  • Anonymous

    You want to save money on higher education?  Go to a school where you live. It reduces the cost significantly.

    • Anonymous

       I’m hoping my kid wants to go to Beals.

  • Anonymous

    Stop pumping government money into loans for higher education.  All it does is raise the price and the capitalist pigs in the ivory towers laugh all the way to the bank.

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