Stop calling us “kids”


 Stop Calling us kids

Kids. Children of 28.  “Prolonged adolescence.”  “Boomerang Children.” “Living in basements.”

I see it at least twice a day and hear it much more often by the old and the clueless.  Even in pieces as respectable as the New York Times.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick and tired of hearing and seeing headlines like this. It’s part of the reason I made my website.  I am not a child and few in my generation are:  We’re just poor.  Considering how our society judges the Gen Y demographic on buying things, we can and should not be compared to children.

No really, read those articles and watch those news stories: How often do you see things that read and say “Young adults are delaying purchases” or if you go to any auto-magazine you’ll see at least one article BMCing [bitch, moan and complain] about how ‘children’ of 30 years old are not buying cars because “they’re obsessed with cell phones”. Right, because a 2000 lb. bullet costing $30,000+ is equivalent to a $300 smartphone that could grant access to the totality of human knowledge via the internet.  Let’s call this what it is: Baby Boomer delusion and blaming the victim, the latter seeming to be America’s favorite past time. And before you whip out and start stroking your STEMs and shout like an ape in heat, understand that most people with those degrees don’t even work in their field. That figure ranges from 50% to 75%.

And those ‘classifieds’ you see? They exist mainly to acquire H-1B visa workers. I know because I almost married one and she told me about it. Oh, and the endless books and articles that come out over he past few years.  The truth about the “jobs” crisis is that no one wants to pay for quality work; Baby Boomers and the 1% just want to collect. So whenever you hear “I can’t find workers,” add the words “at the price I’m willing to pay”. So stop callings is “kids,” damn it. Stop calling us kids. Stop calling us children. And it isn’t just Americans who have this problem, this is a world problem of youth unemployment that was in no way our fault.

 

According to the Canadian govt. statistics page, under why “Why are transitions are delayed?”, it notes “most jobs are temp jobs,” “there are no pensions,” part-time work out-pacing full-time positions and “…decline in full-year full-time work for young men may equally reflect lower job quality as young men report having less pension plan coverage, lower unionization rates and increased earnings instability while pension coverage for young women has improved slightly”

Or, in this writer’s opinion, they’re probably working fast food, which is a poverty trap.  Heck, Micky D’s website tells people to budget by getting a second job and turning off the heat.  This is pure nuttery.  They pulled this ad but thanks to the wonders of the internet, it, and articles ridiculing it, are readily available.  Here is one:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2013/07/18/why-mcdonalds-employee-budget-has-everyone-up-in-arms/

This isn’t just wrong, it’s ignorant and dangerous, just like majority 1% philosophy and opinion.  Still, I find most old people and baby boomers to make these implicit assumptions:

  1. The worker even has 2 jobs.  This triggers the fail state for thinking people everywhere.
  2. That insurance costs $20 [keep in mind: Medicare isn’t always an option]
  3. Ignores things like gas, groceries, child care, life insurance and clothes. In the 1% fantasy world, either parents or ‘gubmint’ pay for it. They just collect.
  4. Heating costs nothing. That was quickly revised to “$50”.

 

Suffice to say, I’m not loving it.  Because if you’re working two jobs, you are not working on obtaining the skills and connections necessary to get better work. FDR’s minimum wage and AdamSmith’s minimum wage, were designed to take care of a family.  Case in point: FDR, on the National Recovery Act in 1933

   “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”  (NYT opnion article. http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/f-d-r-makes-the-case-for-the-minimum-wage/?_php=true&_type=blogs&smid=re-share&_r=0  )

Smith had written in his book The Wealth of Nations (published in 1776):

…”They who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged”   [note: Smith seems to borrow from Richard Cantillon’s idea that labor be paid at least twice their standard of living in order that children could be raised to replace the current generation of workers.

Even Winston Churchill, everyone’s favorite quote machine, said:

     It is a national evil that any class of Her Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions… where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad and the bad by the worst; the worker, whose whole livelihood depends upon the industry, is undersold by the worker who only takes up the trade as a second string… where these conditions prevail you have not a condition of progress, but a condition of progressive degeneration.

    You want proof of that? The trillion dollar student debt bomb. A bomb that never should have existed.  And now many of us are toiling away in debt slavery that any sane person would say should declare bankruptcy, except you know ,we can’t.  Want us to start buying things? Then we’ll have enough money to start businesses, buy cars, own homes and start families.  That’s a start. And there’s a lot more to go for it to be a successful start.  Still too old for you? Let’s quote the CEO of Costco, Jim Sinnegal, who said “Paying your employees well is not only the right thing to do but it makes for good business.”  

   As I said, I try to make a dispassionate, objective analysis and opinion on such matters and this means avoiding name calling, curse words  and the like to keep the site respectable.  But I am sick and tired of being ridiculed for things that my age bracket simply has no control over and being the recipient of local, state and  national hate and bile for the shortcomings of other people.  This is something I want to discuss and write about in more detail since I began, but in the future I will strive to use more sources than this quick blurb would allow. I just had to get it off my chest.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

POST EDIT:

And looking back, this got much longer and well sited than I had intended it to be.  And it goes without saying, that when talking about large group of people there are bound to be exceptions so the best you can do is talk about generalities about broad brush strokes about large sectors of the population. So even my off days are still better than most professional writers.  But since older populations which do include gen xer’s, baby boomers and WW2 folks currently dominate the political landscape–look at how ‘gray’ our congress is!–and have co-opted resources that should have gone to their children and that most older folks still have more control over traditional media and political structures than gen y/millennials do, it is a fair statement.  My parents are baby boomers and they rock! Yes, not everyone in any one group does it and of course there are exceptions, but, when you get large enough numbers, one can see patterns emerge.  If my age group had the same entitlements and programs that older generations had when they started out, the problem wouldn’t exist as it does today.  Because let’s admit it, starting conditions are everything.  The fact that I’ll probably end up working for an older age cohort comes to mind as well.

Stop calling us kids. Stop calling us children. We’re not children and we haven’t been since we turned 18. It’s not helpful, it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem and it just baseless and insulting blaming language.

 

Sources:

 

  • http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9249838/For_half_STEM_degrees_lead_to_other_jobs
  • http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=26272
  • http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/15/2300321/mcdonalds-buget-low-wage/
  • http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2007004/10311-eng.htm
  • http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/15/2300321/mcdonalds-buget-low-wage/
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2013/07/18/why-mcdonalds-employee-budget-has-everyone-up-in-arms/
  • http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2007004/10311-eng.htm#a10
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith#The_Wealth_of_Nations
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/business/economy/student-loan-debt-weighing-down-younger-us-workers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  • http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Quotes
  • http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_lvps08&lang=en http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-23/young-adults-hit-hardest-on-jobs-support-obama-bgov-barometer.html