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Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:25 AM

This, my friends, is far too typical for my generation.



Not to exacerbate any generational warfare which, I agree, is counterproductive, but to educate my Boomer and Millennial friends, today's Doonesbury explains the frustrations and life experiences of many GenXers. Would those Ph.D holding, hard-working, and intelligent people be waiting tables or working as nannies 20 years ago? Somehow, I doubt it. It's not like we Xers don't work hard. We do. It's not that we lack ambition. We don't. Our world is simply much worse, economically, than the one into which our parents were born.

I don't blame Boomers for giving us Ronald Reagan and supply-side economics. I do blame Boomers for their apparent lack of concern and action on this subject. In their defense, I suspect that Boomers lack a frame of reference to understand how much harder it is to live in this world now. The United States was at its richest in 1973, and it has been getting poorer ever since. Boomers came of age when we were at our richest, and they don't seem to understand why their children and grandchildren are struggling. The lack of sympathy and concern many of us get from some boomers (especially our family members) is disconcerting and depressing.

Thus, I post this strip as a friendly and poignant reminder. Take care of your children and grand-children, Boomers. We've had plenty of "tough love." Many of us now need some real love.

-GenX Laelth

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Reply This, my friends, is far too typical for my generation. (Original post)
Laelth Dec 2013 OP
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WHEN CRABS ROAR Dec 2013 #234
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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:31 AM

1. As a boomer, I can appreciate what you're writing. Too many of us don't get it ....

 

... and think the old rules still apply.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:36 AM

5. Thanks, Scuba. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:37 AM

6. used to be, you could have a single breadwinner in a family with just a high school eucation, and be

able to afford a house, 2 cars, and a vacation or two. and when you retired you'd have a nice pension waiting for you. and if you went to college, you wouldn't be rich per se, but very well to do.

all of my contemporaries are college educated and for everyone that is married, both spouses need to work full time just to afford a halfway decent, house, student loans, and daycare since they both have to work.

what happened to the American Dream?

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Response to dionysus (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:43 AM

10. I remember a US Savings Bond commercial from the early '70s

It featured a mailman who proudly proclaimed, "Last year I was able to save 300 bucks with the US Savings Bond program" ($25/month X 12 months). In those days, a retirement nest egg of $40-50 grand was considered to be pretty decent.

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Response to dionysus (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:22 PM

234. What happened to the American dream?

Corporations, banks and Wall Street, getting anything that they wanted from the government.

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Response to WHEN CRABS ROAR (Reply #234)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:36 PM

250. There ya go.

 

Wage growth flatlined in the mid-70s but costs kept going up. The PTB wrote the tax code to benefit themselves, labor was de-valued and destroyed as a political force, business became openly all about greed being good...add 40 years and voila! Here we are.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #250)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:35 PM

260. It started with deregulation under Nixon.

Carter was quite the de-regulator, too. And of course, there was repeal of Glass Steagall and NAFTA.

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Response to merrily (Reply #260)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:33 AM

303. I don't recall much deregulation under Nixon

 

--remember the wage and price controls?--although I think he did do some serious damage regarding health care (I have a vague recollection of him and Haldeman? deciding to allow profit-taking? I can't remember).

Edited to add: Here it is. It wasn't Haldeman, it was Ehrlichman: http://whitehousetapes.net/clip/richard-nixon-john-ehrlichman-all-incentives-are-toward-less-medical-care

All the Incentives are Toward Less Medical Care

In this conversation excerpt, domestic policy advisor John Ehrlichman∇ briefed President Nixon on what he viewed as the advantages of relying on Health Maintenance Organizations as a key component of the U.S. health care system, using Edgar Kaiser's Permanente as an example. True HMOs at the time had been devised by health care reformers who hoped to control costs, improve patient care, and facilitate coverage for the uninsured. For Ehrichman, however, the HMO idea represented an opportunity to develop a private sector-based, profit-driven alternative to a national health care proposal offered by Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA).


But I definitely remember Carter starting the ball rolling on deregulation. After the oil shocks of the seventies and "stagflation" he and others no doubt felt new ideas were called for....I am not as fond of Carter as many are here.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #250)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:01 AM

307. +1...nt

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Response to WHEN CRABS ROAR (Reply #234)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:21 PM

252. it was a rhetorical question...

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Response to dionysus (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:24 PM

253. Reagan! Need I say more? n/t

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Response to dionysus (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 06:54 AM

289. What happened to the American Dream? They destroyed the union movement!

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:13 PM

151. some define me as a Boomer too

born in 1962. I have an MA and work as a janitor for the last 11 years. So I am supposed to be doing WHAT about the glut of people with advanced degrees.

The OP asks, 'would that have happened twenty years ago'? Well, yes, I graduated 23 years ago. So yes, it would.

But even beyond that, I got my BA 28 years ago, and it was so useless in the job market that I ended up going to graduate school.

Of course, that's what I get for majoring in an apparently useless subject for employers.

That subject? Math.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:03 PM

220. There are plenty of we boomers who DO get it

and are holding advanced degrees that we got after a late "regrooving" only to come out of school with a mortgage and no house to show for it... and yes, we ARE waiting tables and cleaning motel rooms too, and competing for work with you GenXers. Try getting a professional position in your forties or fifties and have only a working background without having saved the world by the time we were twenty and competing with twenty-somethings who will work for less because they don't have as many financial obligations.

I think your generalization overlooks this cohort of boomers. The point does apply to us as well as everyone else who entered the workforce from 2000 on... and it sucks.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #220)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:31 PM

258. I'm in this category, too.

Last edited Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:39 AM - Edit history (1)

I'm a Boomer, too, but wasn't able to go to college until I was in my early 50s. It took me from 2001 to 2010 to get my bachelor's and my MA. I have work related to my degree, but it's part-time contract work with no benefits, and this is the BEST thing I could find. I feel damn glad to have it, but it isn't what I had planned on. I was unable to get anyone around here to even consider me for retail, restaurant, or other similar jobs because they all said I'm "overeducated. So, I'm in the same boat. I'm actually nearing retirement age now, but I don't see ANY remote possibility of that happening anytime within the next 10 years... unless I win the Lotto or have some other fantastic stroke of luck. You're right. It sucks.

ETA: And I did not vote for Reagan. Ever. I remember trying to talk my grandmother out of it, but she was star-struck, and enthralled with the idea of a movie-star as president. Nothing I could say would have swayed her infatuation with this idea.

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Response to Silver Gaia (Reply #258)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:27 AM

277. Yup.

I have never voted for a republican for president, ever. I remember the sixties and everything since that has come of having one flavor of government and the other. I lived in CA when Ronnie Raygun was Governor and again when Brown was Governor the last time too, it was a world of difference... essentially like going from a total police state to something far more palatable-but I still can't live there.

My current situation is much like yours, that is when I can get something relative to my education, which is rare. So I manage sandwich shops or run hotel desks, clean rooms, operate heavy equipment or whatever I can find down in tourist town for a paltry sum during the season and try to make it through the off seasons the best I can. Glad I don't live in a heavily populated area, don't think I'd have even half a chance of keeping a roof over my head or anything else.

Keep hanging in there though, it's about all we can do while trying to get the folks who should be representing us to notice that we are still here and teach those younger than us that things have been worse but not since we were really young and that we all have a stake in this thing... not that it was ever easy street at any time.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:52 PM

238. You have to remember Boomers are a generation split down the middle

I was on campus during late '60s - early '70 participating in civil rights and anti-war activities and I distinctly remember setting up our table at the student union with other campus groups. One of those other campus groups was the Young Republicans who were antithetical to everything we stood for.

It always been so amongst the Boomers — the dichotomy of the left vs the right — and it has been that divide that has marched along with us through the decades, through Nixon, Carter, certainly through campaigning against Reagan/for Reagan, through campaigning against Clinton/for Clinton, and certain the same split carried on thru W the disaster Bush and through to campaigning for President Obama.

Pls don't lump all Boomer together as uncaring, fat cats. We are the original protest generation and we many times have wondered what happened to the GenX and Millenial protestors?

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Response to brush (Reply #238)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:45 PM

246. Not to worry. I'm clearly not uncaring nor a fat cat.

 

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Response to brush (Reply #238)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:33 AM

278. That's how I remember it, too

There were plenty of Boomers who looked and thought like Tricia Nixon.

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Response to brush (Reply #238)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:16 AM

311. Not just the Boomer generation ...

... in the late eighteenth century, the population was similarly split: 1/3 for the revolution, 1/3 for the crown, 1/3 uninterested.

Or, so say some history books. None of my family were here at the time.



Are GenX and Millenials united in their political views? I work with a few GenXers who are not all liberals.

Boomer anti-war protesters were perhaps more motivated: there was a draft.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #311)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 04:59 PM

364. Good point about the anti-draft motivation

There were Bush's wars though. I myself march in NYC and Wash. DC demontrations against those wars. Doesn't seem like the torch was picked up.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:33 AM

2. You're preaching to the wrong folk, cuz most of us here despised Reagan

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:36 AM

4. I appreciate that you read the post.

That's enough for me, but I specifically stated that I do not blame Boomers for Reagan.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:13 AM

34. you said what I THINK you said, young lady :wags finger:


accuracy schmacuracy




I loved your OP, and as someone on the Boomer/Millennial age line, I'm going to share it. Accurately

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Response to Schema Thing (Reply #34)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:21 AM

49. Thank you. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:14 AM

36. OK. Where I come from, "I don't blame you for ..." means "I know you did that but I understand why"

You also say "I do blame Boomers for their apparent lack of concern and action on this subject"

I think that if you checked carefully, you'd also find many of us here spent the Reagan years fighting such bullshizz and have since then have continued to try all manner of ways to fight back

But the learning curve has been steep for me, and I think also for everyone else: whenever I finally learn one new piece of the puzzle well, explaining to other people exactly how such and such a tactic might work (under some circumstances) requires me to walk back down to the bottom of the little slope I've conquered and restart the uphill climb to demonstrate what I'm suggesting. And since IMO what's really required is a fully self-conscious mass movement, there's no way to insist on any point or demand anything from listeners -- and there's no way to avoid listening to their understandings either: in fact, that's essential

The bottom line is simply that progress always has been and always will be a real struggle, and much of the work is painfully slow, until enough people are engaged, at which point the dynamic changes, and one suddenly is forced up a new sleep learning curve, where one begins again learning one piece at a time of a new puzzle. And it can be psychologically exhausting if one insists on thinking optimistically or pessimistically -- quite a lot of intellectual and emotional habits simply must be abandoned, including the habit of trying to think things through too carefully, which must be replaced by a more scientific process of trying this than that than something else to see what works




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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #36)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:33 AM

63. I certainly appreciate the fact that you fought against Reagan and supply-side economics.

Tragically, that effort has not yet led to any real progress on the issues of economic justice, wealth inequality, and income inequality. This, however, I can say. Americans under the age of 30 have a more favorable opinion of socialism than of capitalism. My generation's shock, anger, frustration, and, yes, resentment are causing us to bring up and educate the Millennials and the next generation to demand some economic justice. If this situation does change, it will be our doing, and we'll rightfully take credit for it.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #63)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:39 AM

75. My experience of politics is that often one must choose between doing the work and

taking the credit

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #75)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:56 AM

92. That's really interesting.

In my post above, I noted that GenX is actually doing the work. We're rearing the next generation(s) to demand economic justice, as well as being the most productive generation (i.e. hardest working) in the history of the planet. Undoubtedly, you've seen the evidence showing massive gains in productivity since GenX entered the workforce. That's me and my generation, working harder than any cohort ever recorded. In fact, the majority of the workforce is now comprised of members of Generation X. You can understand that we're a little ticked that we work harder than our parents and grand-parents did and yet have much less to show for it.

So, we're doing the work, and we'll rightly take the credit. We're producing those children who favor socialism over capitalism. That's how it looks from my perspective, in any event. Not exactly sure what you were trying to say ...



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #92)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:40 AM

133. See,

here is where the trouble starts, when people (any people) start saying "we work harder." Your readers may agree with certain aspects of what you are saying, but the "we're better" meme just turns many members of non-we right off.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #133)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:46 AM

137. Better?

Where did I say that?

The fact is that we do work harder. All the evidence shows that. If that makes us "better" in your mind, so be it, but you said that, not me.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #137)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:24 PM

254. You have a lot of

work to do to prove to me that you work harder than many of we boomers have for social justice and equality. And I think you have to work harder to understand that as well. Honestly, that's a pretty self-aggrandizing attitude there, and just where did you get your "evidence"? Exceptionalism much? Maybe a good hard look around you might help, a good hard look beyond your iphone monitor... might take you a couple decades but eventually you might understand that what you are implying is pretty selfish.

Yikes.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #254)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 08:14 AM

292. Ah, I see.

While I have participated in a civil rights march (1987, Forsyth County, Georgia), I can not say that GenX did as much "work" as the Boomers did advancing the causes of social justice and equality.

No, the "work" I was talking about is the kind you have to do to live. According to the data I've seen, GenX does more of that than any generation in recent history.

And we have less to show for it. Go figure.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #292)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:28 PM

333. Really?

Your equivocation doesn't mean a thing without some backed up info. So you went to a march, how nice of you. It might interest you to study what WE did back in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s... getting teargassed in front of the white house and in the streets en masse, beaten by cops, arrested for no good reason, denied jobs because we had hair more than 1/2 an inch long, and for what we wore and if we were seen with certain people... Denied education, access to student loans wasn't a fact of life until the late 80s and early 90s for most of us so if you weren't born with a silver spoon up yer butt, forget college. And many of us had brothers, husbands and dads who were traumatized and physically damaged by our continuous wars of choice... if they lived through it. And then there are those of us who worked to change things from within the system at our workplaces, and sometimes one or two might even get elected and try to affect change from that angle.

Did you know that in many states that women were at fault for their rapes if they didn't have every window and door of their dwellings double locked? And trying to prove you didn't "lead him into" forcing himself on you was near to impossible and you could end up in jail for reporting sexual abuse? And that you were considered a "possession" of your parents such that what they chose to do with you (including incest and beatings and deprivation of human concern) was their business unless they actually killed you or visibly starved you? I think you have no idea what life was like for our generation and that you have been spoiled by the privileges you enjoy that have not always been there... and guess who fought to make them possible.

So, as far as I'm concerned, you have a long way to go to even start to think that you have it tough or have "done more" than we boomers. You can start by reading some history and then take a good hard look in the cosmic mirror and ask yourself what you're all haughty about. You have a long way to go before you can start taking credit for what we did to make it safe for you to do what you choose to do for yourself.

So you can take your haughty attitude and keep it to yourself and stop insulting those of us who worked and fought for your freedom to be a snob.



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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #333)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:38 PM

336. Sorry you feel that way.

We remain, I hope, allies in the ways that really matter.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #92)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:37 PM

194. It's just advice about a certain style of political work, that "choose between doing the work

and taking the credit"

If that doesn't interest you, you don't sweat it: maybe it's wrong, or maybe it's just meaningless

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #194)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:21 AM

294. I think I see what you mean.

I was, in fact, trying to take some credit for the fact that Americans under thirty have a more favorable opinion of socialism than of capitalism. That made sense to me because it's my generation that reared those people under 30. If they're liberal and demanding economic justice, that's the product of GenX childrearing. For that I take credit, and for that we did the work. We reared those people under 30, not the Boomers.

Hope that explains where I was coming from. That said, I have to admit, I don't really understand the distinction you're making about "choosing" to do the work vs. taking the credit.



-Laelth

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #75)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:04 AM

105. Are you sure you're a boomer?

Because that's a pretty 13er thing to say!

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Response to beerandjesus (Reply #105)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:38 AM

132. I earned my PhD in math years ago, then taught for years, so I guess I've met lots of 13ers.

Nobody likes it when I tell them to choose between doing the work and getting the credit, but it often seems to me an essential distinction to make in political action: what frequently wins is great unglamorous heaps of nitty-gritty nuts-and-bolts work, that doesn't sound at all hard to do when you describe it to somebody else, but that is really key to the whole thing

I mean, for example, spending days and weeks and months or more, trying to get people to take an issue seriously, and collecting a name or ten names at a time and making sure somebody calls them to show up for something more every now and then, and finally getting together more than a handful of people, and suddenly you've got several hundred folk in a room all clamoring for real action, and they vote for somebody to coordinate stuff, and you make a suggestion, and everybody turns around with who-the-fuck-are-you expressions on their faces, and you realize, holy shit! yes! this is really going to work this time! But the dynamic changes, because before it wasn't a big deal to many folk, and now suddenly there are turf fights over who is in control? and a thousand variants of that, and not everybody is really here for the same reason: there are people who want to sound informed but aren't; there are people who would be really great at the task but are hypersensitive; there are people whose real interest is to be the center of attention; there are people who think nothing should be done until we resolve all of our philosophical differences; there are people who are only there to disrupt ... And every time I've ever gotten credit for anything in a context like that, it's only because there were a lot of hard-workers helping me, who should really be getting the credit: the lady (say) who came up with perhaps the most brilliant strategy I ever heard for this or that particular issue, but who never ever showed up in a group of more than five or six people, or the guy who studied the hell out of one particular aspect of the issue -- so the rest of us could utter an absolutely accurate sentence or two in reply to a minor question that was sometimes asked, because being able to answer questions like that really did help our credibility







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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #36)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:23 PM

255. Did you also spend the Carter years and the Clinton years fighting supply side economics?

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Response to merrily (Reply #255)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:26 PM

256. IIRC I spent some of the Carter years blaming everybody older than me for fucking everything up

Oh, yeah: been there, done that

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #256)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:37 PM

261. This has been going on since Nixon. Some dismantling of the New Deal

actually began under FDR himself.

It is a meme that Reagan started it all.

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Response to merrily (Reply #261)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:19 AM

312. I agree. Reagan was just a harder turn right. I remember during the 80's discussing how long it

would take to catch up to Western European standards of democracy. Seems they took the 60's revolution and ran with it, and we , instead, elected Nixon.

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Response to adirondacker (Reply #312)

Wed Dec 11, 2013, 08:32 PM

418. Thinking back, I remember giving Reagan the benefit of the doubt

 

on his economic programs (even though the recession of 1982 was brutal) because, by God, he did actually whip inflation.

Inflation had really messed up the Carter years. There was no point in saving money, so unless you were going to buy a whole lot of stuff or spend your paychecks on cocaine, there was no point in making any money or any plans.

So Reagan seemed to know what he was doing, and that lent an undeserved and very damaging credibility to the voodoo economics that he instituted 30 years ago and which ideas are still considered conventional wisdom today.

And I can't help wondering if the Fed had the power to keep inflation burning as it did under Ford and then Carter and then to flip a switch and turn it off under Reagan--and none of us were sophisticated enough then to know it. (Is there a tinfoil smiley?)

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:49 AM

83. Correct. I would never vote for Reagan, and btw, my greatest generation parents HATED him!

I was 30 when Ronnie Reagan ran for President and I don't know who voted for the jerk, but I DO recall

an interview with Abbie Hoffman in which he reversed his "Don't trust anyone over thirty" mantra to

"Don't trust anyone UNDER thirty now -- They're all for Reagan".

.Maybe the younger boomers?..I don't know, but it certainly wasn't the preponderance of people in my age group.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #83)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:53 PM

174. Boomers were about 30% "Hippie", 40% "Nixon Youth", 30% "Centrist" in the late 60s.

And political alignment actually tends to stay the same over the years.

So we got Reagan because your part of the Boomers happened to be outnumbered.

We don't tend to associate with the morons on the other side of the political fence (and they're morons no matter which side of the fence you are on). As a result, we get a skewed idea of what "our generation's" political beliefs are.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #174)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:55 PM

200. Yep, but even then, what was considered "centrist" was a lot more liberal than what it is now..

and as Abbie Hoffman mentioned, people 10 and twelve years younger than us at the time, tended to be for Reagan.

They were the very tail end of the Baby Boomers. In fact, Barack Obama. born 1961, would have been one of them.

Judging by the way he seemed to praise Reagan as a "transformational president", I wouldn't be surprised if he was

one of the "under 30's" at the time who voted for him, ESPECIALLY since he actually came out in the last election and revealed that

"In the mid-Eighties, I would have been considered a Republican".

It was also a considerable number of the older generation...I have a friend my age who told me her parents were stone

liberal until Reagan came along...Then they became "Reagan Democrats".

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Response to whathehell (Reply #83)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:37 AM

279. In 1984, I was teaching at a college that had an ROTC program,

and most of the ROTC students were Reagan bots. There were plenty of left students (although the majority of students were apolitical), but the ROTC gang was especially conspicuous due to the fact that they wore their uniforms on campus one day a week.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #279)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:24 AM

295. Yep, I believe it...As I recall, a number of universities would not

even allow ROTC on their campus, but that was, as I remember, in the 60's and 70's.

Thanks for your recollections, Lydia.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #295)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:53 PM

327. ROTC saw a resurgence after most other sources of Federal financial aid

were eliminated or reduced during the Reagan administration. ROTC gave the students free tuition and textbooks (the college bookstore had a special checkout line for them)--along with a dose of right-wing indoctrination.

One of the most radical professors I ever met thought this was deliberate, and she was almost certainly correct.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #327)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:04 PM

329. Oh wow..

Yes, I'd agree...It most certainly DOES sound deliberate...Good ole Ronnie.

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:31 PM

257. He threw so many Viet Nam vets out on the street!

....and don't get me started on the environment! You can't be a part of the original Earth Day , as I was, and like Ronald Reagan!

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:40 AM

269. so true nt

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:34 AM

3. PhD in engineering and no job?

 

I don't buy that. My husband is trying to hire 4 people right now with a minimum of a bachelors in computer science or electrical engineering for a month now. Do you know how many applications he's gotten? Zero.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:37 AM

7. you should be ashamed of yourself.

 

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Response to moxybug (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:42 AM

9. Because I spoke truth from experience

 

I'm afraid I have to disagree. Anyone with a degree in engineering who doesn't smell bad on an interview and who doesn't have a criminal record can get a job. Microbiology? I have no idea but I know for a fact that engineers (both civil and electrical) are in huge demand. I know this from first hand experience.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:57 AM

21. Anecdotally

this isn't true. I have a relative, a recent graduate of a top engineering school, with a Bachelors and Masters in some aerospace type engineering who does not smell bad, had excellent grades and no criminal record. He has been unable to find a job. He was flown across the country to interview for one position, but there were several others, also flown across the country, also with good grades from a good school. He did not get the job. Even if he had gotten the job, a bunch of other engineers would not have. In this case, the demand was far less than the candidate pool.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:37 AM

67. Telling a story about your husband isn't "first hand experience". It's second hand.

And as an engineer I can tell you from first hand experience that your statement about how easy it is to get a job is utter nonsense. I hire entry level engineers and I have dozens of good applicants to choose from. 10% might get an interview, one gets picked.

If your husband is actually getting zero applicants, then it sounds to me like he needs to learn how to advertise jobs.

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Response to JBoy (Reply #67)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:38 AM

71. Doubtful

 

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #71)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:41 AM

77. LOL. Oh, OK.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #71)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:34 AM

267. Your whole story is what is doubtful. There is a SURPLUS of computer scientists

and engineers. If you're husband isn't getting any applications, something is seriously wrong with his approach.

http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1319039

If US universities are pumping out high-tech college grads in numbers sufficient to fill job vacancies, why is industry saying that they need more? H-1B temporary worker programs that bring in more STEM workers seem to be heating up again -- why?

According to an Economic Policy Institute's comprehensive study concerned with the supply and demand of STEM graduates, findings indicate that for every two students graduating with STEM degrees from US colleges, only one is hired in a STEM job. That's quite a disconnect, especially if the training is rigorous.

The study was prepared by experts Hal Salzman, Rutgers, B. Lindsay Lowell, Georgetown, and Daniel Kuehn, Urban Institute and EPI, and concluded that: "in computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year." It also concluded that there isn't a shortage of talent -- and if there was, wages would have risen rather than remaining flat over the period in question.

Looking at the future, the report indicates that there will be three new high-tech degree holders for every two high-tech jobs over the next decade. There are already millions of unemployed college grads.

SNIP


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Response to JBoy (Reply #67)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:01 AM

97. Sorry But I Can't Agree

We've had openings for Chem E's for more than year. We have filled 60% of the openings. In a year.

We've made offers, but the competition, at least for Chem E's is quite intense, so it becomes primarily a money bid. Someone else offers more.

We're not in a remote area. Just an hour or so south of Chicago. Big metro area, but far enough south that we get into the lower tax areas. (Property and sales.)

Company pays competitively, per the surveys. (Definitely not at the highest end, but above the median.)

We still only get probably 12 candidates for every 7 spots. And, we've been turned down over money 3x.

This is one year worth of experience, very recent, and coming from a multibillion dollar firm. Still anecdotal, but contrary to your comments.

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Response to JBoy (Reply #67)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:12 AM

117. I think the real question is, what kind of salary is he offering?

Sure, anyone with a PhD in engineering can get a job--if they can support their family for the same amount of money the company would pay a single H1B living in a youth hostel.


If anyone thinks we 13ers are raising a generation of socialists, they're goddamn right.

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Response to JBoy (Reply #67)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:27 PM

209. I'll give you some first hand experience

 

My son is a year away from getting a BS in Mechanical Engineering degree. He's 20. He's already getting cold calls for interviews.

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Response to philosslayer (Reply #209)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:40 AM

270. Why don't you come back and brag when he actually has a job?

And has kept it.

My nephew with a ME degree and a solid GPA from an highly regarded school got an offer and a job very quickly -- and then the whole division was laid off three months after he started. The next employment hunt was much harder. He took a non-engineering job to get by, and it was more than a year before he got a real mech E job. The pay was only about 80% of what graduates were getting in the year my nephew got his degree.

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Response to JBoy (Reply #67)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 06:49 PM

233. I'm a civil engineer...

Sent out a resume a year or so ago, called to follow up. They had received over 40 resumes (I wasn't even interviewed).

Sure there are jobs, and there is demand for civil engineers, but things are still a little slow.

There are public works projects, but there aren't as many as there need to be in order for all the good engineers to have good jobs.

I'm in my 50's, if I were in a position to hire I'd want someone with less experience than I have.

I'm working now, but I'm not making as much as I was before and it's difficult keeping busy. I'm kind of lucky because I'm also a professional surveyor and there seems to be more surveying work around than engineering. At least in the circles I'm in.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:23 AM

265. I have six engineers in my extended family in different sub-areas

and all of them would say BULLSHIT!

That is, unless you're talking about a job that pays minimum wage . . . engineers probably aren't standing in line for those.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:39 AM

8. depends on the area. a college friend of mine had a degree in mechanical engineering but ended up

becoming a debt collector because there were no jobs in the area. of course, he was too stubborn to relocate to find work so it's partially his fault.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:53 AM

16. where are you and how is he recruiting

 



If he'll hire fresh grads he should have no problems

I'm a headhunter and place engineers. Does he need some advice? PM me.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:55 AM

18. Your compassion and sensitivity are a beacon to those of us lost in the wilderness.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:00 AM

24. LOL, quite literally. Well said. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Orrex (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 03:44 PM

219. You read that poster's sig, didn't you?

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:00 AM

23. I think you're honing in on a detail and missing the point

Instead of making a statement about the opportunities available to an engineering PhD, the toon is making a point about the diminished opportunities in general for young Americans to earn a good living, some of whom are highly educated and motivated.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:04 AM

28. Gee, I wonder why that is.

 

Every single person that I've heard complain that they can't hire people in the IT field (I'm in that field and I'm employed) is wanting someone that is a skilled in everything to work for $15/hr or something ridiculous like that. If you can't find someone to work for you, you are paying too little, the work environment completely sucks or both.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:10 AM

30. That's not true

 

He's willing to hire entry level -- with a simple bachelor's degree. No one has even applied to find out salary. Not one resume has been submitted.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:12 AM

33. "Entry level"

 

Also known as "I don't intend to pay you very much".

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Response to Aerows (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:15 AM

40. What do you want with a bachelor's degree?

 

Vice President of the company? Seriously...entry level is NOT a dirty word. Hell, interns for this company historically get paid better than medical professionals in most areas of the country. (I think that pisses me off more than anything... if you are a recent grad with an under-graduate degree you SHOULD be in an entry level position in a company. THAT is where the gen-xers lose THIS baby-boomer. You set your expectation levels WAY too high.)

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:20 AM

46. I have a job

 

and I'm damn good at it.

I lost you, miss Boomer, because you set your expectations for what you should pay people for their skills way too low. Like I said, if you have 4 job openings and can't hire a soul, either you pay too little, the work environment sucks or both.

It's just that simple.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:26 AM

127. Just out of curiousity, what do you do for a living?

 

I'm from "Gen X" myself and always thought my colleagues and former classmates were the hardest working people I'd ever met-- until these "millenials" came along. They work their asses off at least as hard as we ever did, and have even lower expectations.

I have to wonder what sort of intense professional experience makes you so comfortable labeling generations lazy or saying they have inflated expectations.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:50 PM

237. Maybe for clarity you could post the specifics of the job your husband is offering?

 

Requirements, duties, salary, benefits, location.

Then we could rule out some possible reasons he isn't receiving applications.

If he's wanting mechanical engineers to move to Attu Island, Alaska that might explain the dearth, for example.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #40)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:51 AM

299. Entry level is fine.

So long as we agree that minimum wage, right now, if it had kept up with inflation and increases in productivity would be $22.00/hr. if it was the same as the minimum wage in 1962. So, people with High School diplomas ought to get a little more than $22.00/hr. A college degree should be worth at least $30.00/hr. (i.e. $60K/year).

Is that what you're offering? If not, then you must concede that this work environment sux for GenX and for the Millennials.



-Laelth

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Response to Aerows (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:17 AM

42. I think you may have hit on a

 

different kind of problem. During the 80s and 90s many people were coming right of school and walking into jobs that were paying 6 figure salaries for starters. Those were incredibly high salaries for new workers and perhaps the people graduating today are expecting the same thing.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:25 AM

53. Not really

 

I don't think anyone expects six figures right out of school, but in a field where there is high demand, no one is going to take a job for $10/hr or a place where the work environment completely sucks when they can go right down the road and get $20/hr.

There is this expectation that companies can hire a young computer genius for $10/hr that can walk right in and do the job. You see it all the time.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #53)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:32 AM

61. Disagree

 

Me nephew is graduating UT-Austin in May and he I hear he and his friends talking. Many are not going to grad school and their expectations for jobs are ridiculous. 6 figures, 6 weeks vacation, yearly bonuses and this is with just a BS. Thankfully nephew has parents who set him straight and are trying to get him to think about law school - that degree would never go to waste.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #61)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:17 AM

121. Ask anyone in the IT field

 

I'm in the IT field, and I was just relating my experiences, and others can tell you the same thing. Inevitably, there are companies that have an expectation that they can hire someone young with a plethora of skills and pay them next to nothing.

Why on earth would someone with in-demand skills take a job that pays next to nothing or has a horrible work environment if they can take their skills elsewhere? That's why someone with 4 job openings can't find anyone to hire. That was the only point I was making.

Your nephew certainly has some unrealistic expectations. I have no idea what he majored in, but if he is thinking about law school, it probably wasn't science, engineering or technology. I agree that would be a good idea and wouldn't go to waste.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #121)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:24 AM

125. He's in the business school at UT

 

They really aren't his expectations as sister and her husband have made sure that while he grew up pretty privleged, he's under no illusions about how lucky he is. His friends, on the other hand, (not all but many) have been told their whole lives they are the crown princes and deserve whatever they want. Graduation is going to be quite the kick in the ass for them.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #121)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:07 PM

147. Those ridiculous expectations usually come from their parents

or other older relatives. In my own family, it was her two grandfathers and an uncle who told my daughter over and over and over again that she'd be making six figures fresh out of school. Even after she graduated and had a good entry level job, my father told her she was getting ripped off and should be making a lot more.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #53)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:15 AM

120. You've stated it very well

When I was unemployed for an embarrassingly extended period (2+ years), I sent out well over a thousand resumes. I'm not a fuck-up, either; I have experience, employable skills, and I interview well, even if the jobs aren't at the six-figure level. Of the few companies that called back, most offered about half of what I'd been making at my previous job, but their expectation were preposterous. $10/hour, must have at least six years experience in the field, etc.

It was definitely a buyer's market, and it still is, as far as I can tell.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:38 AM

73. Bingo

 

I think you are right

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #73)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:50 AM

84. That doesn't apply to GenXers as they aren't "right out of school"

I'm a GenXer. I'm in my mid-40s. GenXers aren't just getting out of school and expecting high salaries. They've been out of school and working in their fields for a long time.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #84)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:54 AM

89. But they once were

 

and many are still in the same position that they were upon graduation. Until they get a bit of entry level job experience under their belt they are still "right out of school"

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #89)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:56 AM

91. 20 years later?

In the 90s, it was easy to get a job, and the unemployment rate was very low. These people got out of school, got jobs, got married, bought houses, started families, and then the economy changed and they lost their jobs but still had all the expenses of grownups who had been working for a decade or two in their fields. They aren't entry-level. These are my friends and neighbors. They aren't 20-somethings in their parents' basements who have never been able to find jobs because the economy has been bad since they graduated. They had jobs during a better economic period.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #89)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:03 AM

104. bored now

 

I'm not going to convince you that most of the problems of the basement dwellers are caused by their own decisions and attitudes and you aren't going to convince me that none of it's their fault. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #104)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:06 AM

106. The problem is that you're thinking you're talking about basement dwellers

You're still stuck thinking it's kids who haven't left their parents' basement. People my age - GenXers - have elderly parents, often elderly parents we are helping out, and often parents who are no longer with us. My father passed away in his 70s, and my husband and I pay my mom's rent. I'm not living in her basement. What if my husband lost his job and couldn't find another one? I wouldn't be able to help my mom and she'd be on just social security without that apartment. She'd be worse off too.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #106)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:10 AM

114. My advise to you is to stop trying to reason with under the bridge dwellers. It'll

only make your brain hurt.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #104)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:03 PM

182. Ah yes....get called on bull, it's time to run away.

So...can't even give us a state where these jobs are? How weird. Almost like you realize your anecdote isn't going to hold up.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #104)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 05:50 AM

286. Maybe you should go give your husband some libertarian boot-strappy advice about

how to be successful at finding good employees.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:39 AM

76. early 90s

 

High school grads with a few Cisco certifications were even being treated like gold.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:13 AM

119. You must be speaking of MBAs/Wall Streeters.

My memory of the 80s for the "rest of the country" is nothing like you describe.

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Response to tosh (Reply #119)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:20 AM

123. I do live in NY

 

so that would make sense. But I seriously don't remember anyone being unemployed that had a college degree and I remember nobody complaining about low wages. What I do remember were bidding wars for people. It was insane and merely the other side of the coin. After the 2008 crash, everybody has cut back and seem determined to do the same or more with less personnel.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:00 PM

144. My ex-wife and I both graduated with IT degrees in 1984.

 


I started out just over $14K. She started just under $14K.

I knew a lot of people in college who thought they were going to get huge salaries straight out of college back then. And I spoke to a lot of interviewers who had no idea where those idiots were getting that idea.


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Response to ieoeja (Reply #144)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:56 PM

178. They were indeed getting

 

those huge salaries right here in NYC. Right up until 2008 when the markets crashed.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:44 PM

215. Are you speaking from personal experience?

 

Because I graduated HS in 1980 and I am not familiar with any of these "many people".

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #215)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:47 PM

217. Yes - very personal experience

 

I graduated in 1983 and I live in NY (and work in Manhattan). The salaries, benefits and bonuses had employers having bidding wars to get the best candidates. This company would agree to pay your moving expenses, that company would give you an apartment for 6 months until you found your own....it was madness and except for the dip in 1987 (which really didn't effect jobs on Wall Street at all), it was like that right up until 2008.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:43 AM

271. Then he should put the job description here.

People will tell him why he's not getting responses. Maybe someone will even apply.

But you are wrong about a surplus of jobs. There is actually a surplus of computer scientists and engineers.

From an industry publication:

http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1319039

If US universities are pumping out high-tech college grads in numbers sufficient to fill job vacancies, why is industry saying that they need more? H-1B temporary worker programs that bring in more STEM workers seem to be heating up again -- why?

According to an Economic Policy Institute's comprehensive study concerned with the supply and demand of STEM graduates, findings indicate that for every two students graduating with STEM degrees from US colleges, only one is hired in a STEM job. That's quite a disconnect, especially if the training is rigorous.

The study was prepared by experts Hal Salzman, Rutgers, B. Lindsay Lowell, Georgetown, and Daniel Kuehn, Urban Institute and EPI, and concluded that: "in computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year." It also concluded that there isn't a shortage of talent -- and if there was, wages would have risen rather than remaining flat over the period in question.

Looking at the future, the report indicates that there will be three new high-tech degree holders for every two high-tech jobs over the next decade. There are already millions of unemployed college grads.


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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:15 AM

420. Why hasn't he spoken with a college campus?

I live in a college town and I work for the school. Talk to someone in the engineering department-I'm sure they would be able to make referrals for those about to graduate.

Right now, IT and comp sci grads are a dime a dozen. Get them right out of school and you'll be fine.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:50 AM

139. So work as a nanny instead?

 

I doubt that there are nearly as many job openings for IT or engineering as would be required to absorb all the qualified applicants, but if the choice is between $15/hour in your field of education or $15/hour waiting tables, I would think most people would choose the IT job.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #139)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:09 PM

183. IT job availability is pretty localized.

When looking for my current job, I started looking in Colorado to move closer to some family. My search included all of Denver, it's suburbs and Colorado Springs and it's suburbs - the area where about 80% of the people live in Colorado. I'd get around around 10 job listings a day. Most of those weren't actually good fits.

With nothing lining up well, I started looking in North Carolina to move closer to a different branch of the family. Search area only included Raleigh and it's suburbs. About 100 job listings a day.

So it's quite possible for an IT person in Colorado to work waiting tables while openings go unfilled in Raleigh.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:15 AM

39. Really?

Where, what benefits, how much is he paying, what are the responsibilities? My guess is he either is paying less than someone would make working retail while expecting them to work harder/worse hours, and/or he isn't advertising the opening enough so no one knows about it.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:19 AM

45. Then you guess wrong

 

He definitely is expecting hard work and he's advertising big time. THIS Is exactly why so many professional visas are being sought int he engineering field. My husband was hoping to hire engineers in this country, but I suspect he'll end up having to employ from India or China. That seems to be par for the course in this area of the country when it comes to the computer sciences.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #45)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:20 AM

48. So it's the first part

He is paying very little and expecting really hard work for that small pay. People might as well work at McDonald's or the mall.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #48)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:46 AM

80. HAHA I noticed that dodge too.

If that person's husband isn't getting any applicants it means he's paying less than some crappy retail job, or he's expecting 80 hours a week for a $30,000 salary.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #45)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:25 PM

158. So many personal anecdotes, so little analysis

I don't mean to say this just to GladRagDahl but to everyone who is commenting in this thread.

We all know people who have great jobs without fancy degrees (me and Billy Gates), and people who have incredible degrees (PhDs in hard sciences) without jobs.

@GladRagDahl - could you post an example of your husband's job offerings? There must be something about it that is turning applicants away. I believe you said that the pay level wasn't mentioned in the adverts so it must be something else.

@everyone - we've all seen Bureau of Labor Statistics (or whatever they're called now) numbers. Does anyone have a sample of some meaningful aggregates of how we are doing (US citizens) in getting jobs - broken down by age, sector, and education level?

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:20 AM

47. So your world is a reflection of the entire nation?

 

Think about it, no it is not and you miss the point of the cartoon and the OP imo.

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Response to Rex (Reply #47)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:33 AM

62. The cartoon is no more a reflection of the entire nation

 

than my experience is. And no, I did NOT miss the "poor pitiful, over educated me" point of the article. Life isn't perfect and if you don't want to relocate, or accept an entry level position in order to work your way up but would rather live in mom and dad's basement until something perfect falls into your lap -- that's on you and your parents. I know I'll never convince someone in this position that their own decisions have put them where they are. I see enough of my own friends supporting their adult children into their 30s and 40s -- some because their degree in performing arts didn't pan out and make them a star or because they are too good to work entry level.

I simply don't buy many of the excuses. And this is a great way to vent -- when I have to bite my tongue whenever my friends wail on about how little Casey can't find a job with his Bachelors in psychology so he's spending his time trying to be a pokemon champion in mom's basement until that perfect job finds him. BS on that! Little Casey (or Susan or whatever) should be working part time in a nursing home or a school system or whatever building up some experience. He doesn't have any expenses. He can afford to do entry level, even if it IS beneath him. I know it's all fun and games trading pokemon cards for fun and profit -- and traveling around the country for pokemon competitions but come on, you are in your 30s. Grow up already!

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:47 AM

81. you gave YOUR anecdote… now others are giving theirs. and they do not jibe.

so then it's b/c of arts degrees. and then it's b/c you imagine people think that "working is beneath them."

I had a very similar discussion with Chamber of Commerce official who was touting ALEC-sponsored legislation in Tally. Just saying.



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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:12 AM

118. Wow, now my strawman quota for the day is met <EOM>

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:57 PM

201. I don't know what fantasy world you are describing in your reply

 

but you sound clueless as to how hard it is for people to find jobs. I've never met a single person in my life that turned down a job to go play pokemon OR lives in their mom and dad's basement...but carry on, I guess someone somewhere will identify with your post.

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Response to Rex (Reply #201)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 04:37 AM

284. Look to the signature line.

That fantasy world.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:28 PM

235. Seriously, pokemon trading cards?

It sounds like you're taking one personal experience and projecting it across an entire generation.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:56 PM

248. Pokemon?

Susan, or whatever? double

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:46 AM

79. I 'm thinking your husband's experience is very much the exception

I taught at a university w/ some of the best engineering programs in the country. I knew several engineering students who were smart andbalance even had some good internship experience, but were competing against hundreds for jobs and had tremendous trouble finding them.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:50 AM

85. Cool story bro! nt

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:02 AM

100. There was a time...

when an engineer didn't have to have a degree. I worked for over 20 years as a mechanical engineer.
I had to correct many mistakes made by engineers with masters degrees.

As I told the guy that fired me,(downsizing) a degree isn't a guaratee of intelligence.

You also didn't state the starting salary. Many companies are not paying professionals well.

Maybe your husband should try changing his qualifications required for the job.

As far as boomers, there are a lot of us. The term covers a large swath, many more folk than GenXers, yuppies, millennials individually. We don't all think alike.

This didn't start with Reagan, he wasn't smart enough to do anything on his own. It started with Nixon's defeat in 1960.
The general populace became too intelligent for their own good.

Their biggest accomplishments: co-opting the media and keeping the left fighting amongst themselves.

Why on earth would the gop still be alive otherwise?

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:06 AM

109. Buy that, it common

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:30 AM

129. Where are you located?

My nephew graduated from Stanford Engineering and is finishing up his PhD, has interned with NASA, but has no big job prospects on the horizon. He is still in Palo Alto, probably will be for the (very) short term, until his PhD comes through, but that is probably in the VERY near future, and he doesn't know what's next. He just turned 30 this year.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:28 PM

161. Zero applications - Something is seriously wrong with

either the way your husband is letting people know he wants to hire and/or the jobs he's looking to fill.

Check the offered wage vs required hours.

Check to see if the company has a reputation for bad working conditions.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:01 PM

180. Then he's doing it utterly wrong.

And the fact that you won't provide details like location or starting salary indicates you know that, but don't want to admit it.

There's a fair number of out-of-work DUers. How 'bout posting a link to the Monster or Dice posting for these jobs?

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:31 PM

210. I would LOVE to see the job ad for that. I really would.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:43 PM

214. You want to know why? Post the details, we have a cadre of engineers that

 

will be happy to tell your husband why he can't find anyone.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #214)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:19 AM

263. Best answer yet!

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #214)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:20 AM

264. I think it's quite telling

that she's refused to post any links to a position that is supposedly being widely advertised.

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #264)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:30 PM

334. They never do. I went around with this nonsense in the late '90s

 

when they were selling everyone on the "tech worker shortage". Just as now, there was never a shortage of qualified people, merely a shortage of qualified people that had no options and could be coerced into accepting whatever employers were willing to trade for their skills.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:15 AM

262. My husband works for a large engineering firm that is about to

lay off many experienced electrical engineers.

You're living in a bubble if you don't believe that there are unemployed STEM PhD's right now.

I personally know of a newly minted PHD chemist from a top school who's still looking for a job one year later, and another guy with a bachelor's degree in ME who needed more than a year.

I don't know how your husband is advertising those positions, but he needs to change his tactics. There are plenty of job-seekers out there for jobs whose pay/benefits meet industry standards. One problem is that the computer screening so many employers use these days screens out many people would be perfectly capable of doing the advertised jobs. (For example, someone who has worked in the food processing industry producing vegetable products is perfectly capable of transferring those skills to fruit or other food products.) Or maybe your husband has written such a restricted job description that, on the surface, no one would seem to be qualified. This is what employers sometimes do when their real aim is to hire cheaper foreign engineers.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #262)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:28 AM

421. I live in a college town.

We don't have an engineering degree at the local university but we do have IT. IT grads are currently a dime a dozen, at least around here.

College graduation was yesterday. What are many of the students doing, come next semester? Attending grad school because they know there are no jobs. The few I've heard of having jobs waiting for them were in radiology, nursing, med tech, construction management (every single one had a job months in advance) and safety. Oh, and the ROTC kids. The others? Good luck.

The only kids I've heard of in IT with jobs right out of school were, strangely enough, the international students. The others? Good luck. And I'd bet it's no different with engineering.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:39 AM

280. Maybe he's not paying enough and is looking for an excuse to

hire an H1B who thinks $30,000 a year is a fortune.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 06:17 AM

287. What salary is he offering?

I find that 99% of the time "I'm trying to hire people but they don't want to work!!!" complaints can easily be explained by that question. "What are you offering?". Usually they're trying to pay a third the going rate. Half if they're "generous".

If your husband isn't getting applicants, there's a damned good reason. And the reason isn't that there aren't workers. Either he needs to advertise the position, or he needs to up the pay.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 06:48 PM

371. Maybe if the pay was above minimum wage

Then your husband would get some applications.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:03 PM

422. Engineering jobs tend to be centered in specific city areas. And engineering degrees are expensive.

I live in San Diego where there's a shitload of engineering companies that cater to either the military, the universities, or telecom. However, being in the process of finally getting my own degree, I know that the's an additional "engineering college fee" on the upper level courses that kick a $36K BS degree into the $75K level if the student wants to get a degree that actually means more than a technical certification.

Also, (anecdotally) people tend to apply for work within two/three week seasonal periods; Mid-January, May/June and September. I know that when I've applied during those periods, I've gotten jobs.
Don't know why, but that's the application trend I've seen over the past 30 years I've been working. I suspect it has to do with when most people get out of school or the military, finish their vacations, and start looking for work, and these periods are also at the one-month point before most contracts and projects are scheduled to begin, so companies are looking to fill in worker gaps with new people.

Another thing I've noticed is that rhere's always job openings around here at companies that aren't competitive with their wages and benefits; most of them are entry jobs requiring either a technical cert "with experience" or a BS and start at $14.50 - $16 an hour and are usually temporary or linked to a specific contract or project that usually lasts only a year or two.
A high percentage of the advertised openings are also resume collection drives for companies to use to bid on a contract, so applicants are not really serious about the resumes or applications they send in.

Very few engineers with a degree above a BS around here get hired for a permanent position on a blind hire or job fair.
The good jobs that require advanced degrees or experience, the ones that start at $25 an hour, require the applicant know someone or worked on a project the people that have the final say on who hires knows. The idea that "everyone has a chance" at the position is usually a polite lie. If the company doesn't already have someone in mind and has to advertise because that's the law, one's reputation and network is far more important than education or experience in the field.

Now, this is in San Diego, where the people getting jobs here already live within a 60 mile radius. Go over the mountains almost a hundred miles to El Centro, or Brawley, and that BS or MS in engineering that can be a foot in the door at Qualcomm or Sony is not going to find you much more than perhaps a Dish or Cable installer or as buyer or materials handling position at a local construction company or as a member of the Geek Squad at the nearest Best Buy.

I'm sorry your husband can't find any applicants right now. If he started advertising early November, he would have missed the September/October job seeker's rush.
However, if ya'll are in/near a college or military town, or a high-tech hub, he should be seeing some applications starting the second week of January.
If you aren't located near an engineering job hub, it might be a bit harder; you'd be looking at the majority of your qualified applicants who are still working in the field being re-locators that can afford to move and/or feel they can take the chance that your business will need them for more than a year or two, and it would be a good investment to move.

Over the years, I've passed on applying for quite a few jobs that looked like they were project jobs that, while good paying, would require that I pick up and move quite a distance from my "home base", and would then leave me stuck in the middle of BFE when they were over.


Good luck to your husband on his applicant's search. I hate to say it, but LinkedIn might be a cheap way to spread out the net a little wider and find people in your area or people willing to move to your area.

Haele


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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:43 AM

11. Yes, relocation may be necessary

 

There are tons of dead areas across the country. I'll agree with you there!

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:10 AM

29. Why should relocation be necessary?

I agree with you that people have to do what they have to do to survive. Many of us have relocated. I have relocated a couple of times in search of better economic opportunities.

Will you, at least, concede that it's harder for GenX and the Millennials? Is it not true that we have to move more often in search of economic justice and opportunity than previous generations did?



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Response to Laelth (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:11 AM

32. Yes -- harder, especially in some areas -- but

 

the whole "PhD in Engineering" and waiting tables just ticked me off.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #32)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:22 AM

51. Oh so really this is about an emotional response.

 

At least you finally got to the point.

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Response to Rex (Reply #51)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:57 AM

93. +1. This is it.

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Response to JBoy (Reply #93)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:22 PM

157. Pissed her hubby isn't allowed to have indentured servants instead of employees.

There is good reason his crap job offers go unfilled, people aren't willing to work for starvation wages in crappy work environments for idiots who think paying 24KK a year for 78 hours work a week is a fortune.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #157)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:31 PM

164. Boomer parent here who couldn't agree more!

I have two kids, a SIL and DIL who are underemployed!

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Response to Laelth (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:13 AM

35. Exactly. And I'll never understand why some people seem to think relocation is just no big deal

Just wave the free relocation wand, and *poof* instant new home in your new location! Easy peasy.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:21 AM

50. No, I won't concede that

 

My father had to relocate twice in the 60s in order to find work. It's why I ended up in the Washington DC area.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #50)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:29 AM

58. Yeah, and it's not like anything has changed since the 60's

Everything is exactly the same today. Be sure to stay strong on that opinion.

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Response to kcr (Reply #58)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:03 AM

103. EVERYTHING has changed since the Sixties..Even the minimum wage was worth Three Dollars more in

buying power than it is now...Even Morning Joke admitted this today.

Check this out: Since 1978, the pay for the average CEO went up OVER 750 times,

while pay for the average WORKER has gone up just 5.7 times!

This is a TRAVESTY of injustice!

I began working in the late Sixties, and I'm working now, and I can testify to the fact

that this is a HORRIBLE era -- NOTHING is the same -- It's a whole different country.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #103)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:30 AM

128. Three dollars more?

Elizabeth Warren says that if the minimum wage were adjusted for inflation and for gains in productivity it would be $22.00/hr. today instead of $7.25.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/elizabeth-warren-minimum-wage_n_2900984.html

As you can imagine, GenXers feel like they're getting ripped off ... hard.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #128)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:42 PM

196. Yes, three dollars more in SPENDING Power..

Warren is right but she's making a different argument.

Yes, I can imagine how they feel they're getting ripped off -- millennials too...That being said, older workers are ALSO being

ripped off, since even with all their experience, they're frequently passed over for younger, often, foreign workers.

We didn't have the H1-B visa thing back in the day..In fact, that just started in Poppy Bush's administrations, although

Bill Clinton, to his shame, had no trouble keeping it going.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #196)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 05:58 PM

229. Admittedly, our VISA law is abused, and it hurts American labor. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #229)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:27 AM

296. It certainly does, and this has been going on since the mid-nineties, at least.

You would think that, with a recession on, especially, they'd show just a BIT more loyalty to American workers,

wouldn't you?

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Response to whathehell (Reply #296)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:34 AM

297. Another gift from Bill Clinton?

Frankly, I think it's treasonous for any American politician to advance the interests of foreign labor over that of the American worker, but I am rather biased in favor of labor.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #297)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:08 PM

330. You betcha...He didn't start it, but he continued it with no problems...As Michael Moore has said,

"Bill Clinton was the best Republican President we ever had".

I AGREE that it's treasonous, or something like it, to advance the interests of foreign labor over American workers,

and yes, I too am very biased in favor of labor, but then again, I really don't think you have to be...Who's country

is this, anyway?.....Read up on the TPP if you want to be FURTHER outraged on the "unpatriotic", anti-worker, anti-sovereignty stuff.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #50)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:32 AM

59. What percentage of a person's income went to housing in the 60s?

Housing costs more. It is really expensive to relocate, and difficult to do with kids, and risky to do if you don't have a job already lined up and are moving with the hope that you might find a job when you get there.

People I know who are job hunting are happy to relocate if they have a job to relocate to, but people keep suggesting that they up and move their families, and sell their houses that they still have a mortgage on, with the hope that they might find something after they move. It is not realistic.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #59)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:35 AM

65. And then add to that you're likely moving to an area with a higher cost of living

if you're going to where the jobs are. It more than likely makes it an impossible barrier if you don't have a job. I just recently did this. I don't know how anyone can afford to do it if they don't have a job lined up. It's incredibly expensive. And even if you do. If they aren't paying for your relo, and many companies aren't doing this anymore, then it's still a barrier that many can't overcome.

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Response to kcr (Reply #65)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:17 PM

152. And you are likely moving from an area where you had at least a bit of family

help (babysitting, cheaper place to stay, etc.) to a place where you have no one. Anyone who picks up and moves without a firm job to move for is only going to go deeper in the hole.

We moved twice to follow jobs, but we sure as hell didn't do it hoping to find a job. We were hired already. And it was still insanely expensive and disruptive.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #59)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:37 PM

236. Additionally, assuming that you can sell your existing house in an economically depressed area...

May not be a realistic assumption.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #50)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:35 AM

66. Wow. That's too bad.

It appears we have nothing left to discuss if this particular fact (from my point of view) can not be agreed upon.



-Laelth

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #50)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:13 PM

184. Twice?

Golly, what horror.

I'm up to 7 relocations. And I'm only approaching 40.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:01 PM

239. My field assumes up front anyone entering it will move several times a year. It's a bit annoying. nt

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:16 AM

41. Relocation costs money

People without money have a hard time with that.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #41)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:25 AM

54. Doesn't matter to someone that got pissed off over a cartoon.

 

I have zero sympathy for people that are clueless to how hard it is for my generation to get a job that can take care of all our needs.

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Response to Rex (Reply #54)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:29 AM

57. They forget that GenXers

Probably have a house and kids. Relocation in the hopes that you might find a job where you relocate isn't really a realistic thing for people our age. It would be a good choice for someone very young without kids.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #57)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:10 AM

116. I agree, we cannot just magically pick up and move for free!

 

Moving requires money! I think some just don't understand, because they are living comfortably without a care in the world. To them, we are a bothersome eyesore. A reminder of cold reality and not the comfy bubble they place themselves in.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #57)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:46 PM

251. It might not be such a good choice even for someone very young

I tried "voting with my feet" and "moving to where the jobs were" (Los Angeles) when I was much younger, but got the runaround from nearly everyone, found that lots of "jobs" listed in newspapers weren't really jobs at all but merely calls for resumes, and heard tons of phony-baloney excuses for why people wouldn't hire me. The most "promising" job was working as a telemarketer selling magazines-- minimum wage to start, then mostly commission after that.

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Response to Rex (Reply #54)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:18 PM

155. One need only look at her signature...

to understand the ignorance.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #155)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:15 PM

187. Yep. Middle finger to everyone, right out front.

Typical Libertarian who thinks everyone *but them* needs to work for free, then goes through every fallacy in the book in order to justify that position.


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Response to gollygee (Reply #41)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:37 AM

68. I'll bet

 

mom and dad would be happy to fund a relocation to get them out of the basement

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #68)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:38 AM

74. We're talking about GenXers, not 20-somethings

We're talking about people with houses and mortgages and kids in school. Who still owe money on their houses and can't afford to move with the hope that they might find a job when they get somewhere.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #68)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:01 AM

99. Or they could just borrow $20,000 from mom and dad to start a business, right?

I seem to remember someone else making a similar statement to yours. I forget who it might be, though. Something recent, like last year....

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Response to last1standing (Reply #99)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:07 AM

111. We GenXers have elderly parents

Or our parents have passed away. She keeps talking about "basement dwellers" like we're in our 20s and haven't left home. She doesn't understand the age of the people she's talking about.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #111)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:24 AM

124. I'll go further to say that her language is right out of the "Entitled Republican" playbook.

Most 20 somethings don't have parents who can fund their relocation or make other substantial investments in their children's lives. This belief that these young ( 20 or 40 year old "kids" can turn to their parents who apparently have pots of money they're waiting to give away is a dream for the vast majority of America.

There is a sense of entitlement and a lack of understanding or compassion that runs deep in her posts.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #68)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:35 AM

130. So, everything's just like the 60's

and everyone's parent's has tens of thousands of dollars to dole out!

Your misconceptions explain your posts in this thread. If you had even a tenth of a clue about the reality of how most people live, regardless of what generation they belong to, you'd think differently.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #68)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 04:37 PM

363. WOW

Do you read the responses you get? Or do you just choose to ignore them? Post the ad. Simple. No that might show you're full of crud.

Why don't YOU relocate? Obviously you live in a place that has nothing but 40 year old Gen Xers living in their parent's basement. You're so full of your poutrage that you ignore the fact that many Gen Xers have baby boomer parents in THEIR basements. This baby boomer will be in that situation very soon.

Move to Somalia. It's your cup of tea. And I'm sure you love you some tea bags.

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Response to GladRagDahl (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:07 AM

112. It wasn't for my parents, thats HUGE for people. Family infrastructure makes SO Much of a difference

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:45 AM

12. I've been claiming that our kids won't be leaving our home...

it seems the new normal is that jobs cannot support you. I've got two friends buying multi-dwelling attached housing to take care of their aging parents right now. I applaud it from a family point of view, but financial realities were that elder-care costs are ruinious these days and despite their shockingly impressive-sounding job titles, it required multi-generational support to buy a house.

So things are changing. Certainly, for my X'er generation, the concept of a single income household was as far-fetched as flying cars -- technically possible but too much to expect in practice. For you guys, the concept of a single job being enough for a single person seems the same.

And somewhere, a 1%'er is laughing at all of us...

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Response to Pholus (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:55 PM

177. Been hearing alot about multi-generational housing this year ...

Lennar (national builder) launched a new product line of house designs last year for multiple generations:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/future-housing-us-multigenerational-home-lennar

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #177)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:03 PM

249. I like the concept, but hate that it is implemented....

through the pressures on a generation being deliberately underemployed because it is profitable to a few.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #249)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:20 PM

331. Definitely agree.

As an option, wonderful.

But under- and unemployment plays a big role in this occurring for more than a few, who would otherwise not be.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:09 AM

300. I agree. The 1% is having a good laugh at our expense.

And they're richer than ever. Why shouldn't they laugh?

I applaud the concept and the practice of multi-generational housing, but I still don't like being poor.

If we agree that minimum wage, right now, if it had kept up with inflation and increases in productivity, would be $22.00/hr. had it remained the same as the minimum wage in 1962, then people without High School diplomas would be earning $22.00/hr. People with High School diplomas should be getting more than $22.00/hr. A college degree should be worth at least $30.00/hr. (i.e. $60K/year), and that's for an entry-level position. People with experience should make more than that.

Is that what the 2013 job market looks like? If not, then everyone should concede that this job market sux for GenX and for the Millennials.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:46 AM

13. While I acknowledge there are some Boomers

who don't "get" how difficult is the current job market -- and why -- I am hopeful that more of us will realize who are primarily responsible for radical income inequity (and the commensurate lack of jobs, particularly ones with reasonable remuneration). When we, as a majority, address the corporate megalomaniacs who've usurped our media, our politics AND our global economy; we will have taken the first crucial step towards changing this reality.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:03 AM

26. I'd guess over half of the boomers have had their own careers decimated while

 

entering their "peak earning years" (after 40 LOl!). We have watched our wages stagnate for 25 years and cost of living more than double over that time. We are not ignorant of the economic realities.

Like to point out that some traditionally decent jobs for HS educated women have disappeared, too -- secretary/admin asst/ receptionist) and those remaining positions now generally require a "degree".

Sales? You can be a good producer and you're still over when you reach ~45 years old.

Been brutal out there. BUT it's turning into a candidates market in some industries and the pendulum is swinging toward labor...

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #26)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:46 AM

78. I'll have to reserve judgment

on whether " the pendulum is swinging toward labor..." I am heartened by the increasing number of strikes, but I want to see measurable change (higher minimum wage, banking regulations, elimination of corporate personhood, etc) before I'll be comfortable with that assessment.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:49 AM

82. You are right Chervilant.

That is why I wholeheartedly believe that IF the majority of Americans will work together and elect a Proven Progressive as POTUS, who fights hard for economic (and other) justice. A politician who has repeatedly proven his willingness and dedication to
" address the corporate megalomaniacs who've usurped our media, our politics AND our global economy; we will have taken the first crucial step towards changing this reality.
I realize that "party first" zealots reject Senator Bernie Sanders, mainly due to his "pedigree."
It will take a willingness to be open-minded. Not a "spoiler" mentality, which IMO is a corporatist ideology meant to scare us,
just like most of their declarations are. I KNOW how important it is to be able to replace justices in the SCOTUS as the old ones leave.
IMO, there is no other politician who has proven his/her willingness to fight TPTB for average Americans.
If this happens, America will usher in a "New Deal" era of the magnitude of FDR. Hopefully, like Reagan, we can have a bloodless coup
in the opposite direction.
It will be a fight, especially among party purists. It is a fight that I welcome.
The naysayers are legion and this post may be deleted, in actuality I am attempting to return our country to the values and pro-people
days of the Democratic party's best period.
The letter behind someone's name no longer indicates how they will govern. Their track record over decades, is the best indicator. Along with Senator Sanders continued outspokenness for the people, his long term actions speak for themselves.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #82)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:47 AM

272. I am with you 100%!!!


We need to rock this joint and get back to being Democrats, not republican lite anymore..

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or any real progressive.. I will stand with you!!

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Response to blue14u (Reply #272)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:24 AM

291. Thanks blue14u.

I expected a lot of grief over this post...

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Response to chervilant (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:13 AM

301. Thanks for reading the post.

That's as much as I can ask for. I share your hopes, but I note that Americans under 30 have a more favorable impression of socialism than of capitalism. If that's so, the "first steps" you describe have already been made, and we, Generation X, did it. We reared those children (most of them, anyway). Credit where it is due.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #301)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 04:13 PM

361. Actually,

#Occupy has given me much hope, and I remain optimistic that we can forge a multicultural, multi-generational opposition to the corporate megs who've inflicted upon us this destructive radical income inequity.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:51 AM

14. I Get Your Point

about the economics, but for the love of god, can we stop making this about generations??? I, and my friends, graduated from college in 1980 into 10% unemployment as the steel industry collapsed and took down the economy around it as it fell. Although we do OK now, I, and many of the people I graduated with, will never completely recover the ground we lost. So be it. My point is not boo-hoo me, it's that I would find it easier to feel your pain if you would stop the generational stuff. In addition to graduating into a suck ass economy, you've got some hurdles we didn't. We had some you don't.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:04 AM

27. amen. read my post just above yours?

 

thoughts?

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Response to RobinA (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:38 AM

304. Talking in terms of generations is useful.

That's why people do it. You see equivalence ("you've got some hurdles we didn't. We had some you don't." I think that's a false equivalence. My purpose, here, was to attack that false equivalence.

If we agree that minimum wage, right now, had it kept up with inflation and increases in productivity, would be $22.00/hr. if it had remained the same as the minimum wage in 1962, then people without High School diplomas would now be earning $22.00/hr. People with High School diplomas would be earning more than $22.00/hr. A college degree would be worth at least $30.00/hr. (i.e. $60K/year), and that's for an entry-level position. People with experience should make more than that.

Is that what the 2013 job market looks like? If not, then everyone should concede that this economic climate sux for GenX and for the Millennials. It is nothing like the world into which the Boomers were born.

All I am asking is for Boomers to acknowledge this fact and then respond accordingly ... by taking care of their children and grand-children. Is that too much to ask?



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:51 AM

15. There must be some kind of sympathy & awareness.

 

There is a big percentage of adults below the
age of 35 who live with their folks, including many college grads with huge debts.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:50 AM

305. There are far too many of those, I agree.

And, clearly, there is some sympathy and awareness. That said, having been one of those people at one time (a post-grad resident at my parents' house), I can assure you that it was no picnic. The pressure to get me out of the house was significant, and the presumption that my poverty was the result of my own failings was immense and painful.

As I said in the OP, I think the Boomers lack a frame of reference to understand how much harder it is to survive now. How else can I explain the behavior and attitudes of my own family members?



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:54 AM

17. Have you read this article?

The Rise of the New Left by Peter Beinart.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/12/the-rise-of-the-new-new-left.html

It's speaks exactly to the sentiment that toon expresses and gives a convincing argument for some optimism about where we're headed.

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Response to Ian_rd (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:52 AM

306. No. I had not read that article.

Thanks for the link.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:56 AM

19. Not just us Boomers, but our parents too,,,,

I don't let anyone get away with disparaging comments about 'the young people'.
Things ARE different.

I love my Gen-Xers and my Step-Millennials and my GrandKids.

We are watching them struggle,,, they're working hard and are just barely scraping by.
There's no job mobility and low pay in current jobs.
We step in when we need to with assistance for the big stuff,,, tires, car batteries or just whenever we see a need.
We've beefed up Birthdays and Christmas and even made up some reasons to send a card & a check ~ like "Christmas in July".

It's breaking my heart. We're trying to get ready for retirement BUT cannot and will not let our children go without the basics.

on edit:

While we can and do help financially what we cannot do is alleviate their stress related to financial insecurity.
Like I said, it's breaking my heart and it keeps me awake at night.

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Response to KarenS (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:46 PM

171. Many Boomers are parents and Aunts and Uncles so We know whats going on

I have children and nephews and nieces in their late 20s who work 3 jobs to keep up. The assumption that we are oblivious as a generation also assumes we have no family with younger members. Every generation has its challenges and I would agree that this one with the combination of college debt and a terrible economy with narrowing opportunities and income inequality in many ways is especially difficult and stressful for young people.

On the other hand there are always opportunities that your parents did not have, if you can only see them and seize the day. The old Chinese proverb about Danger and Opportunity comes to mind. We brought our children up with the idea that they should look for a career that really satisfies them in ways more than making money. One where they could give back and enjoy and take pride in the work they did no matter what. My daughter, though poor in money, is very rich in these other qualities in her work and I am very proud of her.

My generation had its own challenges including lack of opportunities for women that have improved a lot over the years and blessings in that the jobs were there when we graduated. I would wish for all our next generations a job that lets you give back that you can take pride in and also that is sufficient to pay the bills and plan for the future. That last part is the tragedy of today's young workers. That is being taken from them slowly and surely.

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Response to KarenS (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:04 AM

308. Thank you. That was a lovely post. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:57 AM

20. Thank You!

That needed to be said. Sign fellow GenXer.

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Response to Springslips (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:11 AM

31. Cheers, my friend. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:56 AM

274. Hopefully this OP

will help with the understanding and compassion needed to move

this country in a direction that will help your generation, and really all of

us who still struggle with the current market.

its hard, really hard to make it now...

Best of luck to you Laelth. Great post...

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Response to blue14u (Reply #274)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:02 AM

290. I hope so too, and thanks for the kind words. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:59 AM

22. Not all of us Boomers are ignorant of the situation, we love our kids!

I was for Carter, not Reagan. The US Chamber of Commerce and the Republicans switched tactics and no one realized at the time the significance and scope of what they were doing. Clinton seemed our guy until NAFTA.

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:39 AM

298. Thank you.

GenX's expectations are so low that some sympathy and understanding is all many of us require. That said, some of us need more than that. Sadly, what we need most of all is cash. We're broke and hopeless, many of us, and we feel bad that we can't give our children the standard of living our parents gave us.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:02 AM

25. "Many of us now need some real love"

So do we boomers!

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:23 AM

313. Thanks for callling attention to this quote from my OP.

To be honest, I have been shocked by how few people responded to that line. Nobody really asked what I meant by "real love" in this context.

For better or for worse, "real love" in a capitalist society means one thing and one thing only ... money. The truth of this assertion can be seen in our aphorisms.

"Put your money where your mouth is."
"Money talks, BS walks."

etc.

What GenXers need from their parents and grandparents is money. We're mostly broke, and we feel very bad, generally speaking, about the fact that we can't give our children the same lifestyle that our parents gave us. I'm not blaming anyone for this sorry state of affairs, but I do ask for some sympathy and understanding.

That said, plenty of Boomers are struggling and need more money too. Good luck trying to squeeze it out of my generation. Wish we could help. Most of us can not.

Thanks for the response.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #313)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:17 PM

321. Most of we 98% are in that same boat!

Up that same creek.

I wish you lots of luck and that's about all I have left to freely give. We old boomers tried to make Love free in the 60s...we always felt there wasn't enough in our world back then to go around. Looks like money still trumps love, here in the real world.

Edited for boo-boos.

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #321)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:58 PM

328. In my own time and on a few occasions, I have chosen love over money in my life.

Now, I wonder whether that was a mistake. I hate even having to wonder about that.



Sadly, that's where we are. Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:14 AM

37. Well stated, Laelth.

I am a boomer and there is a need for a reminder.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:09 AM

309. Thank you for the kind words.

We are, after all, in this boat together.

I appreciate the support.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:15 AM

38. GenXer, born 1972, checking in .......





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Response to marmar (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:26 AM

314. Thanks.

We are all in this boat together.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:18 AM

43. thank you

As a boomer, I very much appreciate your post. Unfortunately, we experienced a prosperity which appears to be long gone.
I, for the most part, have lived the life of a "poor artist" by choice, but even a low wage job back then allowed someone to pay rent and feel relatively secure. I was able to be a rather free living "hippie" for most of my life. Some of my peers became "yuppified" and lived a wealthier life style than I. But there was more of a choice of ways to go. Ironically, we all now face frightening issues surrounding our retirements and twilight years.
I am sorry if many in our generation seem insensitive to your situation. Certainly now,
we are all finding ourselves in the same boat.

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Response to G_j (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:39 AM

316. We are all, definitely, in the same boat.

Even the wealthy among us are in this same boat, though they like to ignore this fact. And many people from the Boomer cohort are feeling the squeeze just like the rest of us.

I definitely appreciate your sympathy and understanding. There is hope for the future, however. I take some pride in the fact that Americans under the age of 30 have a more favorable impression of socialism than of capitalism. We are making progress. For many of us, however, some real economic justice may arrive too late to improve our lives.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:19 AM

44. Part of the problem is how the educational system operates

For 50 years the higher ed system was predicated on a model where professors at universities were expected to raise a lot of money through grants, and in turn train a bunch of new scientists. The 'best' would have tens of postdocs, dozens of students, and lots of new Ph.D.'s per year. In the beginning, we started from a small base and so this was relatively easy and the new scientists found jobs in the growing Universitys. But beginning in the 80's, and steadily getting worse, the sources of federal and state research funding failed to keep up with the steady growth in new students/professors. At the same time the Universities were squeezed by state funding cuts so they stopped growing permanent faculty much, if at all. Yet the model of churning out newly minted Ph. D.s after using them for cheap labor still wasn't changed. Now we have reached the point where Professors in science specialties (and bio, biotech, etc)spend large amounts of their time writing grant proposals that only have a small chance of being funded. And their students see very few job opportunities because the slots just aren't there. And the focus of research has shifted to more immediate gratification topics that require fewer people, or can be outsourced.

It used to be (pre wwII) that the science system in this country was small, with professors doing much of their own research. We may end up going back to that model. But the profession needs to stop imagining that we are still in the 'glory days' where funding was easy and building an empire that churned out lots of new Ph. D.'s was the ideal goal.

Or we could pull our collective heads out and actually fund science and research at a higher priority than death. I won't hold my breath on that one.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:44 AM

318. For many years, I was one of those graduate students.

I made wages that were exploitative, at best, while still teaching more students than tenured professors and bringing more money into the school's coffers. Our collective decision to de-fund education was a tragic one, and it has had lasting results.

Thanks for the response.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:24 AM

52. You should blame the Boomers

The Boomers (yes I am one of them), along with those following close behind (GenXers) bought into the Reagan supply-side, morning-in-america nonsense. It has all been downhill ever since. Basically what happened is that once the Vietnam War and then Nixon were out of the way, Boomers were 'tired' and needed to focus on the self rather than the big picture.

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Response to ramapo (Reply #52)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:32 AM

60. Gen X wasn't old enough to vote for Reagan

I was 8 years old when he became president.

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Response to kcr (Reply #60)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:26 PM

160. Not true.

GenX is largely accepted as being born between 1961–1981.

Was born in 1967.

There are people in this generation that could have voted for/against Reagan.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #160)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:33 PM

165. No.

Gen X is not largely accepted to have been born starting in 1961. 1961 is tail end boomer. 1946-1964

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Response to kcr (Reply #165)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:55 PM

176. People born in '64 were able to vote for Reagan.

Even by the standards you present, GXrs could have voted for Reagan.

I didn't -- I wasn't able to vote in a presidential election in 1980. was born in 67.







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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #176)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:32 PM

192. For one thing, not that many of them did

And for another, a majority of Gen X was born later. Most of them weren't old enough.

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Response to kcr (Reply #192)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:10 PM

205. Fine. I didn't state this: "Gen X wasn't old enough to vote for Reagan"

I just wanted to make it clear that Gen X people could and did vote for Reagan. See my comments below, and you will see that I am not trying to allude to what you seem to think I am saying.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #205)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:47 PM

216. You didn't state it. I did, because it's correct.

To begin with, I was responding to someone who was blaming Reagan on Gen X.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #160)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:39 PM

168. well those are the dates I like

but other widely accepted dates are 1944-1964 for Boomers and 1965-1985 for GenX.

But really ALMOST ALL of Reagan's victory margin in 1980 came from voters over age 30. That is, voters who were born before 1950. Voters born after 1950 were evenly split about 44-44-11, and were also only 23% of the electorate. Apparently many of us stayed home. http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/elections/how_groups_voted/voted_80.html

Even if you use the 1941-1961, many Boomers were born after 1950.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #168)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:02 PM

181. Thanks for the info.

I wasn't old enough to vote in 1980. I do accept that Boomers probably did vote in the largest margins for Reagan, but like the OP -- it's OP like I don't hold a great resentment about that.

I generally think a lot pf people were fooled or mislead about what reaganomics were actually offering to America.

I;m sure you and many others remember Morning in America?

30+ years later it's Mourning in America.

I blame politicians more than generations.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #181)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:16 PM

188. but it was NOT Boomers

in 1980, voters over age 45 were 41% of the electorate and they voted for Reagan by about 55-40. Those are people born before 1935. Not Boomers. Voters age 18-21 were 6% of the electorate and voted for Carter 45-44.

It was the parents of Boomers who gave us Reagan.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #188)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:27 PM

191. It was a combination of things that included Boomers.

The Boomer generation was roughly 30% "Hippie", 40% "Nixon Youth" and 30% "Centrist".

Part of Reagan's victory came from that 10% difference. Part of it came from attracting more "centrists" of any age. And part of it came from older voters.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #191)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:02 PM

203. but if only people under 30 got to vote

then Carter wins 45-44. So how is ANY of it due to Boomers?

There is another factor, if I compare it to 1976 I get what I expected. In 1976, voters under 30 voted for Carter over Ford by 54-46. So for Reagan to only lose that demographic by 44-45 was a significant gain. Either that or Anderson pulled a lot of votes from Carter, but since Anderson was a Republican, I am not sure why he would get more votes from Carter than from Reagan.

Another thing is, that voters under age 30 were 32% of the electorate in 1976 and only 23% of the electorate in 1980. So it seems that many young people in 1980 just stayed home and let their parents decide their future.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #203)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:39 PM

213. Because of that 44.

Carter needed a larger margin among young voters to overcome Reagan's margin among older voters.

30% Nixon Youth instead of 40% Nixon youth and Carter wins.

Another thing is, that voters under age 30 were 32% of the electorate in 1976 and only 23% of the electorate in 1980. So it seems that many young people in 1980 just stayed home and let their parents decide their future.

Possibly. But you are talking about the end of the baby boom, so I don't know if the total population of under-30 went down too. Probably not enough to account for the entire drop, but it may have been a factor.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #213)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:53 AM

273. the end of the baby boom does not factor at all

in fact, it should go the other way

going from 1976 to 1980 means you lose the people born from 1946-1949 and you gain the people born from 1959 to 1962

what I get from birth numbers is

1945 - 2.858 million
1950 - 3.63 million
1959 - 4.295 million
1960 - 4.258
1961 - 4.268
1962 - 4.167

that source does not give me numbers for 1946, 1947, 1948 or 1949 but the birthrate peaked at 27 in 1946 and was 24 (per 1,000) in 1950. So the number for 1950 at 27 would be only 4.08 million - less than any year of the 1959-1962 period. The voting pool of under 30 potential voters should have GROWN from 1976 to 1980.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #188)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:43 PM

197. Thank you for pointing this out

It's wrong to put the blame on boomers. It's utter nonsense to put it on Gen X

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #188)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:11 PM

206. Understoood. eom.

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Response to kcr (Reply #60)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:23 PM

242. There were also Gen X'ers who may not have been old enough to

vote for him for the first time around but could (and in some cases did) vote for him the second time around in 1984

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Response to RFKHumphreyObama (Reply #242)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:42 PM

245. Still a small portion of Gen X, and a very small portion of the voters over all

my point about blaming Reagan on Gen X remains. Besides, it's rather hard to re-elect a president that wasn't elected in the first place. I'm not the youngest of Gen X and I was 12 during re-election.

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Response to RFKHumphreyObama (Reply #242)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 08:44 AM

293. That is a pretty ridiculous claim

I was born 1965. I graduated H.S. 1983 at 17. 1984 was the first election I was old enough to vote in and that was by 1 year. Gen X starts in 1965. Our generation to start with had Silent parents and were not significant in numbers --not like the monolith size of the Boomer generation. The parental influence on their kids politically may have made many of my cohort vote for Reagan's second term but our numbers were very small. I voted for Mondale as did most of my friends. We lived in NY which was more liberal than other states.

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Response to ramapo (Reply #52)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:56 PM

223. plenty of us did not fall for the Reagan con job

and SHAME on those who did

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Response to Skittles (Reply #223)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:28 PM

243. Yup, and plenty of us are facing the same crap job-wise.

I'm a tail-end Boomer. I got laid off so long ago, I can't stand to think about it. I have a graduate degree, but that doesn't mean squat, given my age. Most of the few jobs available have been the $15/hr type, and they want you to have every fucking skill on the goddamn planet. At least the GenXers and those younger have some chance of eventually being employed if and when things ever get better. Me, and those of my age that are in the same boat, not so much.

And, FWIW, my first vote ever was for Carter, and I have never voted for any goddamn republicans in my live, other than the local coroner. And, that's only because his Democratic predecessor's dying wish was that he succeeded her.

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Response to ramapo (Reply #52)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:54 AM

319. That makes a lot of sense.

I must concede, in opposition to a poster above, that many GenXers did, in fact, buy into Reaganism. Although we were too young to vote for Reagan, we all came of age during "Reaganism" and have been affected by it. Some of us bought it. Some did not, but I still take some pride in the fact that Americans under the age of 30 have a more favorable impression of socialism than of capitalism. We, Xers, did that. It's the children we reared who have had enough of Reaganism and who are demanding some economic justice.

Let us hope our children and grand-children succeed where we have failed.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:28 AM

55. I am a Boomer who joined DU today (after lurking here daily for years) to reply to you....

I think about you younger people daily and the progressively more deplorable state of this country in the last several decades. I want to live long enough to see things better for subsequent generations. It seems that just recently talk has turned to the glaring atrophy of wealth distribution in the economy. The problem was that many of us who feel as I do were shouted over for years by an oligarchy of the Enfranchised, who did, and are still attempting, to maintain that their capital-backed ignorance trumps other reasoned opinions. We all have to now continue to re-validate that light of reason, now that we have have stood at the abyss of greed and smug, uninformed certitude. Hopefully, we will continue to steer away. I look for things to improve because they must. It is not only good and reasonable, it is vital to the future of the culture. The best of that future for all of you. Indeed, for all of US.

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Response to zed nada (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:01 AM

98. Welcome to DU ~ zed nada

I'm a boomer too. [img][/img]

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Response to zed nada (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:24 PM

190. The good news

(such as it is) is historically this level of inequality is unsustainable. It results in massive corrections via government or via revolution.

So the future will be brighter, but it could be ugly getting there.

And welcome to DU!

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Response to zed nada (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:33 PM

259. Welcome. Very thoughtful post. nt

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Response to zed nada (Reply #55)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:15 AM

275. Welcome to DU zed nada

Good first post... It took me a while to actually sign up too. No regrets so far...

Du has many personalities... have fun...

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Response to zed nada (Reply #55)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:04 PM

320. I am honored. Thank you for the post.

I do not believe that your hope is misguided. Americans under the age of 30 have a more favorable impression of socialism than of capitalism. We are making progress. For many of us, however, some real economic justice may arrive too late to improve our lives. Regardless, I do not despair. I love the Millennials, and the generation following them is even better, from what I can tell. Income inequality and wealth inequality must improve soon, or, so I hope. What I have seen of the two generations following mine leads me to believe that things will get better sooner rather than later.

Cheers!



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:28 AM

56. College mills and corporate America made a college degree worthless

 

to THEM, unless you are overqualified which means they were never going to hire you in the first place. I agree with every word, thank you for the thread.

I blame REPUBLICANS for giving us Reagan. Worst thing they could have ever done to this country...up until the BFEE showed up.

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Response to Rex (Reply #56)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:20 PM

322. My pleasure.

I also blame Republicans for giving us Reagan, but I don't think Reaganism was a strictly "Republican" phenomenon. More than once I have called Bill Clinton the best Republican President since Eisenhower. "Reaganism" was a national phenomenon, and it was not confined to the Republican Party. That said, most Democrats seem to have come to their senses and have abandoned Reaganism. Whether Hillary Clinton is one of them is a question that remains to be answered.

For my part, I want to see some economic justice, and I am merely hoping that the Democratic Party (as a whole) is smart enough to at least try to give it to us.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:34 AM

64. Please stop with the boomer bashing

the oldest boomers would have been 34 or so when Reagan was elected. What kind of political clout would that demographic have? It's time we all recognized the power of the 1%. By that I mean the system is designed to benefit them and the rest of us are left with crumbs......

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #64)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:37 AM

70. No doubt, Wall Street is the real culprit, here.

All I was asking for in the OP was some sympathy and understanding. All I asked you to do was to "take care of your children and grand-children."

Is that too much to ask?



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #70)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:49 AM

138. I understand the general point you're making

and I certainly sympathize with anyone today who finds it hard in these bone-crushing soul-destroying economic times. Personally, I'd be scared shitless if I was just starting out today, fresh out of college.

You should understand though that a lot of Boomers are also up against the wall. Many of them are taking care of their kids--trying to put them through college, trying to give them as much economic and personal support as they can as they start out in life--AND caring for their frail and aging parents in an era where elder services are being threatened all the time. AND trying--for those who are politically progressive--to make some impact politically. AND worrying about the time when they'll no longer be able to work--what with all this talk about "reforming" Social Security and Medicare. For folks like that, these last years have been a frustrating, exhausting, truly frightening time through which to live.

So for progressive Boomers, I don't know if it's lack of empathy so much as lack of resources, time, and energy.

Another factor in the backlash I sense you getting here is that, since the 1970s, Boomers have been blamed by conservatives for all the ills of the world. George Will has been I think the most active spreader of this media virus. This has been used as a way to denigrate, and undo, the various advances that have been made in terms of voting rights, reproductive rights, civil rights for people of color, GLBTs, people with disabilities. If we dismiss Boomers as trivial, self-absorbed, pie-in-the-sky hippies, it becomes easier to whittle away at all the progress made since 1960, progress many younger people seem often to take for granted.

So I think your attempt to elicit some empathy here might be seen by some as another one of these "the Boomers are to blame for everything" threads. I don't think, reading your OP, that that's at all what you intended, but it appears as though some folks at least are reading it like that.

The only way we'll change things now is to pull together for 2014. Sorry, but that's the only, and thus the best, advice I can offer. I wish I could be more helpful.

Anyway, gotta run!

Best wishes to you and yours.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #138)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:56 AM

143. Excellent post. Thanks. I appreciate the thoughtful response.

If you are taking care you your children and grandchildren, kudos to you. Many of us do not get the same level of sympathy and compassion from our elders. That, in fact, was the point I was trying to make. You, for your part, seem to be doing the best you can, and that's as much as anyone can ask.

Cheers!



-Laelth

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #138)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:53 PM

347. Interesting about George Will

I wondered where this meme was coming from.

It's very effective / divide and conquer

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:37 AM

69. Bingo! nt

 

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:38 AM

72. I don't know if this is what you are talking about, but...

I am a mom with two teenage girls. I was born in 1964, so that puts me at the tail end of the Boomer category.

I look at the world in which my girls are growing up in, and economically it is like a different planet than the one I experienced.

So many things have changed. It's not horrible, but it's different and more challenging. I don't convey a sense of pessimism to my children. However, we have many, many discussions about the future, about life.

When I graduated from high school, I went to college and took out student loans and graduated with debt. Although many people try to continue this model, I can see that it's a model that is NOT working now. College costs have soared and kids graduate with six-figure student loan debt that enslaves them for the rest of their lives. If they run into financial trouble (which is terribly easy to do, because job prospects, the employment situation and a downward pressure on salaries--are real) they are completely screwed beyond repair. Those student loan companies default you and your credit rating is screwed and you have little chance of getting a good job because employers check credit ratings. Your life is a mess that is impossible to escape, as interest accrues and the debt grows. I don't want that for my kids.

We talk about alternative routes. We discuss options NOW. Our kids can take honors classes and get college credits in high school. Many of my friends' kids have graduated high school and entered college as sophomores. That helps financially. I also talk with my kids about working and attending college simultaneously. Pay for college as you go, taking a lighter load of classes but working internships and other entry-level jobs to help ease that loan burden. We also talk about attending community college, living at home for the first two years and other options. There's nothing wrong with doing this. It's a different world now. Tuition costs are CRAZY and unless you have 70k sitting around to pay for one child in college, you're put at the mercy of the student-loan mafia. I'm trying to teach my kids that we support alternative routes. We don't care if it takes them eight years to get a degree. Better to work, get financial support from us and get that degree slower--than to graduate with a mountain of debt and a degree in English Literature that leaves them strapped.

Pressure is on these kids to live in big houses, drive expensive cars (with $500+ monthly payments) and have oodles of material possessions purchased with credit cards. We teach our kids that this lifestyle turns you into a hamster on a wheel. We teach them to work hard and be smart with money and to realize that much of what they see around them in the suburbs is hot air. I think many GenX/Milllennials look at everything their parents have--and they see the lavish lifestyle and they feel inferior. Why can't I obtain this? Why is it so damn hard? They feel like failures. We teach them that this is not true. People overextending themselves and living lives slaves to their creditors--is how many people do it, but I think it's time that we teach our kids that this is untenable and foolish. We teach them to focus on inner happiness, kindness and living within their means--as signals of success--not a BMW in the garage and a McMansion.

I support my kids no matter what their choices are. No matter what their incomes are. However, I do sense that the bottom has dropped out on so much. I see my friends kids graduating from college and working as waitresses or in lower level jobs, and the pay is terrible. These are smart kids with straight A's in college, graduating from Big Ten Universities. If this is the reality for many, then we owe it to these kids to help them adjust to this new reality and support them as they grow up and figure it out.

I also think the old model, "You're 18! You're on your own now" is cruel. There was a new study which defined adolescence as ending in the mid 20's. I remember being that age. It's scary to have such heavy adult expectations foisted upon you, when you're still maturing. I think we need to be kinder. We need to adjust our expectations. We need to understand that our kids may not go to college, because it's just not feasible for some. Maybe they'll go to community college or learn a trade. If they do go to college, they might not graduate in four years and obtain a $70,000k job with a primo corporation with a primo corporation in Chicago. This was the norm, when I was in college.

It happens for some, but not all. We need to educate ourselves on what is happening in the world and help these kids adjust to it. It's a different world out there now.

Sorry for the long post, but this subject is close to my heart and your OP sparked lots of thought!

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #72)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:54 AM

90. Relocation is essential if the jobs are elsewhere.

 

That's what I tell my daughters, who are high school juniors. They are looking forward to college but I have no idea how I'm going to pay for it. But they understand that being willing to relocate is a big part of finding the right job when they do have a degree.

Different city, different state, different country. Whatever it takes and we'll work out the rest later.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]There is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it.
Nothing.
[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #72)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:40 PM

195. On the college front

One thing we plan for our kids is to try and steer towards "state" schools.

I went to a small private college, and so paid a ton of money for my degree. But because nobody has heard of the school beyond the local area, paying that extra money resulted in no financial benefit - my degree is "generic degree". Not "degree from impressive school". You could argue I got a better education out of it, but frankly I've learned more on my own over the last 20 years than I ever did in school.

If the kids happen to get into somewhere famous enough to justify the extra cost (MIT, Yale, etc) then sure. But otherwise the degree from my alma mater is working out to be as beneficial in the job market as a degree from a UC that would come with 1/10th the cost.

But we're also going to not "talk down" the trades. There's nothing wrong about being a plumber or carpenter. Heck, it isn't outsource-able. Which may result in no degree, but a nice, relatively stable career.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #72)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 06:52 PM

372. I can see you have thought about this a great deal.

You're right to note that I was specifically talking about the "You're 18! You're on your own now" model. That is cruel, but I was also talking about the "You're forty now, but you still can't pay your bills? What's wrong with you?" model. In fact, that latter one is the one that affects our generation, and it's the one I intended to address. Boomers just don't get it when their forty-year-old children can't make it, but it's happening ... a lot.

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

-Laelth



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Response to Laelth (Reply #372)

Sat Dec 7, 2013, 10:53 AM

397. You are so very sweet...

My post went off point from your post, and I appreciate your kind thoughts. I agree with you about some Boomers
failing to understand why their younger children are experiencing tougher times. The economic reality of this country
has been turned on its head since 2008. Everything has changed. There's been a downward pressure on salaries, for sure.

We took a 30 percent paycut and my husband is a network engineer--a professional. Our benefits have been drastically
cut and we pay $500+ a month when we used to pay $0. Food and gas have skyrocketed.

Many boomers had it easy, especially the older boomers. They worked hard and excelled in a booming economy. Many of them made out like bandits in the stock market. Yes, there are many people who are succeeding, but it's not as easy as it used to be.

I'm in the suburbs, and your point is well taken. People have buckled down. I know many parents who are working extra jobs in the evening--at Home Depot, Kohl's, etc., because costs and the cost of college have made it nearly impossible to afford everything that used to be affordable.

Thank you for the interesting OP and conversation.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:51 AM

86. I took my son to the doctor last week...

and saw a brand new BMW 650 in his driveway.

When the doc walked into the reception room I congratulated him on his new car.

"That's not mine, the plumber is here to give me an estimate on a new boiler."

Absolutely true story.

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Response to meaculpa2011 (Reply #86)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:02 AM

101. Probably

the owner of the plumbing company. My bro has been a plumber for over 30 yrs here in SoCal and I know most of them don't do THAT well.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #101)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:35 PM

166. I'm sure you're right.

But I have a friend here on Long Island who is a one-man operation (kinda) and he does very well.

It's just himself and a truck, plus a helper or two when needed.

He doesn't drive a BMW, but he did put two kids through Ivy League Schools without loans.

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Response to meaculpa2011 (Reply #166)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:36 PM

212. My brother

works for a big school district here, so less pay but a good pension..He lives with his teacher wife in an apt near the beach. They are childfree like me, so they travel the world

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Response to meaculpa2011 (Reply #86)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:56 PM

179. +1

I think the generational aspect of this issue is way over blown. And there is a general expectation that the economy will eventually go "back to normal." Some have been waiting for back to normal since the early 1980s.

Most of my customers are contractors. They may or may not have some college but they know their trade and they know how to do business for themselves. They range from calm to jovial. Most will never be a "slave to the man." You can't outsource plumbing, heating, electrical, car repair, police and fire, and many other blue collar jobs.

I see a disconnect between jobs and colleges. There is a lemming-like push to put EVERY kid into college when the real goal should be to align every kid with an income. Kids are being lied to every day. Being told just stay in school, rack up more debt and get that next degree and everything will be fine. That is a 1950s mindset. We would do well to balance book learnin' with some real options from the real world IMHO.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #179)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:20 PM

189. Very true.

My daughter dropped out of high school at 17. Broke my heart.

She is fiercely independent. Now at 20, she's working for a growing plumbing/HVAC company and learning the business. Her ambition is to go out on her own before long. I won't be surprised at all if she's running her own company by age 30.

I've been a free-lance speechwriter for more than 30 years. I left a job that I loved with a Fortune 50 Company to work for myself.
Even the best job doesn't compare.

Part of the problem is that federal law has severely restricted the use of aptitude tests since the 60s. To get around the regulations companies simply require college degrees from all applicants. Every job I ever had required college even though the actual work did not.

Law of unintended consequences.

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Response to meaculpa2011 (Reply #86)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:21 PM

332. Good post. Sounds about right to me. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:53 AM

87. As an early boomer

I know how far our Nation has fallen. I do remember the 50's as a decade of prosperity. I remember the 60's as an era of change and expansion of freedoms. This was the turning point where the far right drew the line. They branded protestors and environmentalists in negative terms. They proceeded to destroy the unions that had begun the changes that created the prosperity of the 50's. In the 70's they took control and pulled the carpet out from under all efforts to regulate and control the corporate take over we had been warned of. The 80's were the implementation of their world plans. The 90's saw how well the media could control a slight move to the left. Even in the face of increased prosperity the decade was smeared with shame. We all know what has happened after the millennium as the MIC basically usurped all control of our economy and foreign policy. Again, a move to the left is met with more shame and slander, this time with the participation of bigoted racists who do not know who to blame for their misfortune.
This four decade long slide backwards was the result of only a few million votes in each election cycle, orchestrated by a media owned by the 1%ers, and exacerbated by the, now, poor people looking to blame someone.
It is not a situation of one generation against another. It is not a situation of one race against another. It is not the result of terrorist threats to our way of life.
It is a result of the greed of the 1% and how easily it was for them to divide and conquer a minority of voters with issues that have nothing to do with actual responsibilities of governance.
I wonder what our world would be like if only we had an electorate that showed up to vote and the prosperous path we started out on was allowed to continue.

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Response to randr (Reply #87)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:35 PM

335. Excellent post.

There would be no Republican Party if 95% of eligible voters showed up at the polls. In such a utopia, I would welcome the split of the Democratic Party and would happily align myself with its liberal branch.

I don't object to your history of the nation's demise, and I do agree that this isn't really a generational issue, except to the extent I have framed it as such. Too many Boomers seem to just not "get" how hard it is for their children and grand-children to survive these days.

Either way, I thank you for your response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #335)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 08:19 PM

382. Oh, believe me I understand

We have two daughters and two sons, just hitting 40 with 9 grand children among them. They have just managed to get their lives somewhat secure in the last few years and we still have our fingers crossed. Between their health, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs we have been pushed to the limit. Remember, while we boomers may have enjoyed Americas' hay day, we are now all in the same environmental and economical situation at this time in history. For each victory we celebrated there are two more dire situations confronting us now to deal with.
I would love to say we are sailing off into some promised retirement but that is not the case for the vast majority of boomers.
Thanks for the post!

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Response to randr (Reply #382)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 08:26 PM

383. I am happy for your kids and your grands.

Sounds like they have a good family-support system. I know a couple of Boomers who are struggling mightily right now--completely unemployable, mostly self-employed by necessity. I feel for them. That said, at least they had a chance to amass some wealth before the bottom fell out. They reared their children, at least, before they sank into economic misery. Many GenXers feel they've been denied that chance, and many of us are still rearing our children. It's positively depressing.

Thank you for kindly engaging me on this topic.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #383)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 09:06 PM

384. Back at ya

Be well!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:53 AM

88. In the 80's I worked with guys that are now retired or were and have since passed away that

would have a tough time getting or keeping any good job today. Of course they are exactly the type that consider themselves working class heroes and will tell you they built this country and want to take it back. Yeah right! The most many of them did was graduate from high school (barely in a few cases) and then take average Joe type jobs at the best time in history for guys like that.

Not that there was ever anything wrong with just an average guy showing up to work everyday, getting the job done acceptably and making it to a comfortable retirement. I kind of grew up expecting that's they way it should always be. My problem is all of those people like that who have done everything they could to go along with pulling up the ladder after them. Of course it's unwittingly for a lot of them. They were manipulated and lied to every step of the way for thirty or more years.

As long as they got theirs, had low taxes and cheap stuff, to hell with everyone else! If you expect to get the same deal they got, you have to be wanting to take what they have away. That's what they are led to believe or want to believe. Try and tell them any different and they react with anger.

I'd like to see some of these guys try and make it now. See how you do getting drunk at pool or bowling nights a few times a week and showing up hung-over at even their old job these days. A DUI used to just be a "boys will be boys" thing. Now even one can cost you your job. At our local mill, if something like that causes you to miss a shift, you're gone. A supervisor notices a problem and thinks your hung-over, you get tested for cause and fired. I knew guys that had numerous second chances in situations like that back in the 80's. I even know a retired beer driver that got a DUI driving his beer truck and didn't lose his job. Good luck out there today for those guys!

One example that is truly amazing is an elderly woman volunteer at the blood center where I work. If anyone should know better it should be her. Her husband was a retired union man who worked for years at our local paper mill. She herself finished her nursing career out there. She really has a heart of gold and will tell you she is pro-union to the bone. It's astonishing to me that she votes exclusively Republican, gets her news from Newsmax and hates Obama with a passion. I really think a lot of it is who she grew up being taught to trust. That would be older white authoritarian type men. Following that path did get her family raised and land her in a comfortable retirement after all. I don't think she is racist, at least not exactly, but I doubt she would really trust any minority in office, including women, if her leaders were telling her not to.

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Response to brewens (Reply #88)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:43 PM

337. Very insightful post. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:00 AM

94. This late Boomer gets it

Totally. Makes me angry! I have plenty of young friends in this position. For the record, I was born in '64, the last year of the boom and I'm 49. Lots of GenX friends.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #94)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 01:59 PM

338. You're definitely on the border, generation-wise.

Thanks for the sympathy, the understanding, and the post.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:01 AM

95. Sorry but as a boomer

this economic mess we're in is because of Nixon/Reagan and I did NOT vote for either of them. Reagan changed the rules on Pell grants when I was trying to get to college. Then he raised taxes on my waitress pay and they are still suffering from that insanely low pay. I take offense that you are pointing to boomers as the reason this country is a mess. I've done everything I could to overcome what those freaking bastards and the GOP did to this country and finished my degree when I was 45 yrs old. I also have a brother-in-law with a PhD that has not had a permanent job since '08 and he lives in silicon valley! I didn't have any kids so I can't be blamed for not raising them properly. And the fact that I haven't had a job in 7 yrs because of this economy is just a slap in the face from you. I would love to have a job right now but I'm one of the lucky ones. I married someone that can support me/us without me working but I've given up looking for a part time job because there are so many out there suffering to support their own families and I don't want to take one job away from them.

Who's side are you on? The liberals in this country are fed up with these republican talking points and for you post this drivel on this Democratic Underground makes me wonder how that happened?

flame away...

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Response to LittleGirl (Reply #95)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:11 PM

339. Sorry you took the post as a personal attack.

I went out of my way to say that I did not blame Boomers for either Reagan or supply-side economics. I was just asking for some sympathy and understanding.

Was that too much to ask?



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:01 AM

96. The exact opposite of what you posted is true.

Our world is much better, economically, that the one into which our parents were born. And that is the problem. For the U.S.--- not the world. After WW II we were the only dog left standing. Europe's infrastructure and the most productive elements of its labor force had been decimated. There was little infrastructure and literary in Asia, Africa and S. America.

The U.S. with an intact educated labor force and good infrastructure produced goods for itself and the world. Now all of that has changed. Infrastructure is everywhere, although Africa lags, people are educated and can do everything that only the U.S. could do. That is why our growth is poor and our recovery is jobless. It is not going to get better.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #96)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:07 PM

149. Good points but I think it can get better if government played a better role than that of bystander.

 

All that infrastructure needs refurbishment. All those tax breaks that go to oil companies could go, instead, to sustainable energy endeavors, thereby creating thousands, maybe millions, of new jobs.

We can make things better if we want to.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Precision and concision. That's the game.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #149)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:15 PM

186. You and former9thward make good points.

I like that you provide a solution.

I;m not willing to believe that all is lost. In the 80's government, didn't take the boomer generation into account. This is a multi-tier problem that has been kicked down the road for decades.

This didn't have to happen, and it's still not too late to fix it.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #96)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:20 PM

342. I hear you about the infrastructure. Ours used to be the best. Now, not so much.

In addition, I would note that I have argued that on social issues and in terms of democracy, the United States is better now, in 2013, than it has ever been.

But, my generation, Generation X, is not better off economically than the Boomers. The current job market is much worse than the one the Boomers enjoyed when they were my age. I can't tell whether you're actually denying this or not. It seems like a given to me. Trudeau, for his part, seems to agree.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:03 AM

102. Well, Laelth, I did my part.

I didn't have any children.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #102)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:01 PM

145. That means I have fewer people to compete against for reasonably well-paying jobs.

Needless to say, there are fewer and fewer of them available today.

On the other hand, had you sired any children, I suspect they would be joining us in our fight for a little economic justice in the United States. Either way, I appreciate what you have done and continue to do to create a more just society.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #145)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:17 PM

153. It would be inconsistent for a person with my nick to add to population.

I can understand where it would be frustrating to hear some variation of "you young people need to work hard like I did," which is such a common attack these days. Or a backhanded insult like the President harping over "some people have lost faith in the American Dream." Well, yeah, the American Dream turned out to be a big lie, so isn't it just terrible that the rising generation is smart enough to have figured that out? Unfortunately, nobody has yet figured out what to put in its place.

What worries me is the people who think we just need to re-enable the economics of Conspicuous Waste to promote economic well-being. One of the things some of us Boomers used to worry about was the environment, and how we were trashing the planet in our pursuit of More Stuff. Along with everything else, that concern was ignored as the country entered the doze of "Morning in America." It's funny to compare the early 70's and now, so many things that were Important then are starting to be Important now. Shame that in the interim we did fuck-all about them.

I think we need a radical rethinking of the idea that Everybody Must Work, Everybody Must Produce, Everybody Must Consume. Unfortunately, that's radical. And I am a pessimist, ultimately. I don't think we're going to change anything until it's too late. It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature. Mr Malthus believed that population would increase and use up resources until resources were insufficient to sustain the population, and then things were going to get... ugly. I am very afraid that things are going to get very ugly, and sooner rather than later.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #153)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 11:14 AM

310. Well said

And well felt. Thanks, your post is important. Thanks.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:06 AM

107. I'm SORRY !

 

I voted for saint ronnie in "80" when i turned 18.
After i saw what he did to America, i have NEVER voted repubLIEcon
again in my life.
Again, i apologize for my stupidity and ask your forgiveness.

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Response to penndragon69 (Reply #107)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:53 PM

175. I really don't blame you (or any other Boomer) for Reagan.

And I appreciate that you've done everything in your power to rectify the situation. Thanks for trying to be a part of the solution.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:06 AM

108. AMEN!!! My wife and I talked about this very thing this week. That OUR generation has to do things..

...different than our parents

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #108)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:42 AM

134. Quite true.

We have every reason to be proud of our accomplishments, however. As I noted in a post above, GenX is rearing the next generation(s) to demand economic justice. Americans under the age of 30 have a more favorable opinion of socialism than of capitalism. GenX's shock, anger, frustration, and, yes, resentment over the current state of our economic system is causing us to bring up and educate the Millennials and the next generation to demand a more level playing field and a more just distribution of this nation's wealth. If this situation does change, it will be our doing, and we'll rightfully take credit for it.

As well we should.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #134)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:46 PM

172. +1

This entire thread is so very educational.

I want to thank you for putting it up. Laelth.

I honestly love all the honest discussion and POV's here.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #172)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 06:00 PM

230. My pleasure. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:07 AM

110. too true

Gen Xer here and that is absolutely the way my friends and former classmates experience things. I worked in restaurants for damn near 20 years and the staffs I worked with were mostly all college educated people, many with advanced degrees.... including more than a couple of engineers/sciences. Bottom line... waiting tables pays better per hour and is more flexible than a lot of the jobs that are available in one's "field", and that is just wrong.

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Response to justabob (Reply #110)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:23 PM

343. It's a colossal waste of human capital.

And it hurts us all.

Thanks for the response.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:08 AM

113. Boomer checking in to say "I get it"

I voted for Carter, too, and never bought the whole Reagan "program"-I knew that was going to end disastrously and it did.


As a person in education, I am finding it harder to keep repeating the mantra about "more education=great jobs" when I see a lot of very educated people working in minimum wage jobs (and no doubt trying to pay off student loans).


We are truly all in the same (leaky) boat right now. We need to band together.

I have no children nor grandchildren. But I try to be kind to those folks who are the age that they 'would be'.

I marvel at TV shows and movies that show folks living on a secretary's salary, let's say, and having an apartment and nice clothes! I realize it's TV/a movie, but I know when I was born, my folks could afford: me, a new car, a new house-on ONE salary. You can't really afford that on TWO salaries nowadays. Something is not right. I don't have to be an economist to figure that out.

Take care Laelth, and all GenX folks.

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #113)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:36 AM

131. Thank you.

Some sympathy and understand is all I was really asking for. For better or for worse, my generation's expectations are so low that we expect little more than that, and we are grateful for whatever we can get.

Still, I thank you for what you have done and for what you continue to do.

Solidarity!



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #131)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 08:38 PM

244. I would like to ask something of you, too, Laelth.....

I would like some sympathy and understanding from you, too. I'm an older boomer - almost 65. I'm still working part time because I can't live on $1,002 a month Social Security. I have to pay for my own health insurance because as you know, part timers do not get benefits through work. I started working at the age of 17 right after I graduated from high school, in an office as a "Girl Friday" for $1.25 an hour. I raised two children and went to college full time while my children were in elementary school. I graduated summa cum laude, #2 in my college class at the age of 36. I still had to start out at a major corporation at somewhat of an entry level position in 1986 because I had been out of the work force. I understood and accepted that from the start. I did not vote for Reagan and have never in my life voted for a Republican. I now make $15 an hour with no benefits. I worked two part time jobs earlier this year, one of which was physically demanding, on my feet all day for $8 an hour on concrete floors, and I have bad feet, so I would practically be in tears by the time I got home from that job, but it was either that or not be able to pay my bills. I have no smartphone, no cable, no eating out or fancy coffee shop coffees. I cook from scratch and eat whatever I've made until it's gone so that I don't have to buy any more ingredients that week.

I have never once blamed a Gen-X'er or a Millenial for my woes. NEVER. It serves no purpose whatsoever for you to pose your post in terms of generations and constantly asking for sympathy makes some people think of it as whining.

Generations younger than mine were fed a crock of you-no-what about everyone needing a college education. When everyone or at least the majority has something, the value of it goes down, not up. I could tell you a thing or two about how and why higher education has gotten so expensive because I work at a university and prior to this have worked at another institution of higher learning. I have had conversations with professors who tell me that upper administration comes down on them really hard if they fail students, so they are told to revise their curriculum, give extra credit, whatever it takes to pass most of them so that they stay in school longer.

I am surrounded by young people every day I go to work and some of them work for me as student assistants. At both of these institutions of higher learning I have listened to the younger people talk about how they're going to make a lot of money when they graduate. When I try to talk to them about how that may not be reality, they don't want to hear it.

I don't really have any solutions, but keep in mind that some boomers (not me) are part of the sandwich generation who are taking care of aging parents and teenagers at the same time, and trying to make ends meet too.

If you want our party to end up like the Republicans of today - split in two - then just keep on posting these threads where one generation is pitted against another. As a liberal Democratic woman who came of age in the '60's, we should be working together for solutions.

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Response to llmart (Reply #244)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 02:35 PM

345. I need to take some time to consider this post before I respond.

But, I did want you to know that I read it and am considering it.

Regards,

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:10 AM

115. i've had about as much "tough love" as i can stand.

great post. thanks.

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Response to Sheri (Reply #115)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 06:42 PM

370. My pleasure, and thanks for the kind words. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #370)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:44 AM

419. you're welcome, sweetie. nt

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:17 AM

122. It is quite true . . .

That you millennials are in a tough spot, thanks to over 30 years of very poor decisions, mostly made by Republicans, that totally screwed the economy. It is also true that we boomers at least had an easier start in life. But with the U.S. no longer enjoying the "perfect storm" of little overseas competition, fairly strong unions, and blue-collar jobs that paid enough to raise a family on times are tough for everyone -- except the 1% that is. Those prosperous times are gone, not to return again -- but that doesn't mean we can't work to make things better. We have a common enemy: the 1%. They have just about finished sucking this country dry.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #122)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 03:23 PM

348. Thanks for the response.

I hope you noted the banner at the bottom of my posts. I agree that the 1% is the problem, and that's why I am encouraging Elizabeth Warren to run for President. We need change, and we need it fast.

I am an Xer, not a Millennial. In many ways, there's still hope for the Millennials and the generation that follows them, but hope is rapidly dwindling for Generation X. Many of us are in our 40s now, and we're still struggling. If we can't get a decent, good-paying job very soon that we can hold for ten or more years (so that we actually get something decent out of Social Security), we're done for. Many of us can't even buy used cars for our teen-aged children. The idea of putting them through college is enough to keep many of us up at night. If we were still young, there might be more hope. But we're not ... we're middle-aged and broke.

I still feel that many Boomers just don't get it.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:25 AM

126. People with disabilities have always faced this problem.

I had a very good friend, Ph.D in psychology with a specialization in rehabilitation counseling, near the top of his class from a decent school, who spent close to a DECADE looking for work--and this well before the current recession/depression, in fact at a time when the economy was booming. The reason why: he was blind. That's it. He was told, again and again, that a blind person couldn't be a therapist, that clients "wouldn't be comfortable." He finally got a job with the VA--because of Section 504--but nearly starved before that happened.

I have dozens of other anecdotes like this I could share. Even if workplaces are accessible (and many still aren't), even if there's reliable, affordable, accessible mass transit (and often there isn't), even if a person isn't working against disincentives that mean taking a job means losing his or her health insurance (which under O-care hopefully won't happen as often) folks with disabilities STILL can't find work, no matter how qualified they might be, and--truth be told--no matter how good the economy might be. Nowadays, with the job market in the toilet, it's even worse.

I applaud your post, and thank you for it. Anything that reaches out to people in an attempt to educate is, I think, generally a good thing. Besides which I almost always enjoy Doonesbury.

I just wanted to add this little footnote to your OP, so people can factor in this reality in as well.

Best wishes.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #126)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 03:48 PM

353. I appreciate your adding this perspective.

And I thank you for the kind words.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:44 AM

135. The problem is the idea that simply creating a whole bunch more exotic degrees

 

will create a whole bunch more exotic jobs.

It's a bill of goods that the education industry has sold, especially to young women, that buying an education also purchases the matching career.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:45 AM

136. my brother and his wife are on food stamps

both underemployed, both overeducated for their jobs.

One a business major, the other a PhD psychologist in a overcompetitive college city

microbiology is a tough field to land a steady job in as well

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:53 AM

140. The OP illustrates one of the many reasons why it DOES NOT MAKE SENSE to ...

... raise the retirement age and cut Social Security ... both of which compel the Boomer generation to hold onto their jobs longer, when they would much rather retire and enjoy their free time while they're still young enough for many of the activities they seldom had enough time for during their working years.

I was born in 1957, and would dearly love to indulge my passion for hiking in the mountains after I retire.

Let's make early retirement EASIER not HARDER, and open up those good career positions for the younger generation!!!

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #140)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 05:02 PM

365. Hear, hear! n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:54 AM

141. having been in the academic job market 20 yrs ago...

...I can assure you that many of my colleagues were under employed or could not find work in their fields. There have ALWAYS been stories about cab drivers with PhDs. Those of us who got successful post-docs and tenure track faculty positions were extremely fortunate. Same as it ever was.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #141)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 05:53 PM

368. I really can't accept "same as it ever was."

We will have to agree to disagree on that.

The economic outlook for Generation X is just terrible. Truth be told, there's still hope for the Millennials and the generation that follows them, if we can turn our politics around, but hope is rapidly fading for Generation X. Many of us are in our 40s now, and we're still struggling. Most of us can't amass any wealth. Most of us can't get any economic security. If we can't get a decent, good-paying job very soon that we can then hold for ten or more years (so that we actually get something decent out of Social Security), we're done for. Many of us can't even buy used cars for our teen-aged children. The idea of putting them through college is enough to keep many of us up at night. If we were still young, there might be more hope. But we're not ... we're middle-aged and broke. Our parents were much better off when they were our age.

Just for some perspective ...

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #368)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:43 PM

379. I hear you....

Although I'm a certified baby boomer-- born in 1955-- I didn't begin college until I was 30 and I finished grad school at 40, so I was in the academic job market with Gen X colleagues too, in the late 1990s. Maybe that's why it seems to be "same as it ever was," because we're really talking about the same experience. But it really was the same 20 yrs ago, at least in the academic sciences.

When I look at the colleagues that my current cohort replaced, the difference in life style and expectations is shocking. They were SOLIDLY middle class, somewhat upper middle class in this community. They did well financially and retired comfortably. Few of us are doing so well these days, and those of us with huge student debt will likely retire to some form of homelessness, i.e. living in a camper. For example, I've never been able to buy a home in the community where I live and work. That was unheard of among the cohort we replaced, who worked here from the late 60's through the 90's, largely. It's normal, today.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #379)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 08:02 PM

381. My expectations are quite low.

I have been very fortunate, and I will survive, but I can't afford to put my children through college. It's quite distressing that I can't give my children what my parents gave me. It's tempting for GenXers to blame themselves, but here's the truth:

If Elizabeth Warren is right, and if wages had kept up with inflation and increases in productivity, then a burger-flipping job in 2013 would pay $22.00/hr. ($44K/year). Someone with a High School diploma would start at a wage scale above minimum wage, and people with college degrees would start at about $30.00/hr. ($60K/year). Of course, people with experience would get paid more.

I could live quite nicely with those kinds of wages ... just like the Boomers did when they were younger. We just don't live in that world any more.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 11:54 AM

142. Boomer tomato dude weighs in.....

This is an incredibly complex and frustrating issue. We all know how politics works, so blaming a generation for a particular president or policy is too simplistic - and many others above said, the election of Raygun was one of the most depressing and confounding experiences of our lives...I remember drinking very heavily that night (with my graduate school friends) in disbelief. In broad terms, the country back then was just as gullible to propaganda as always....I don't think it went as deep as even understanding trickle down or supply side - many were hoodwinked by that damn "likability" thing. And of course there is the inevitable pendulum swing of culture - I was amazed at how many undergrads were becoming conservative holy rollers (as post-doc me, the left wing hippy, wondered what went wrong).

My wife and I both worked our butts off when in high school and college, just as our daughters did. The difference is that the pay we earned was relatively much greater and provided much more help. I was making 5.00 an hour working the deli in a grocery store - it was unionized - back when I was 20 (37 years ago)....and when I compare that to what my daughter makes (less than 8.00) working part time in a grocery store (because they won't give her full time), it is beyond ridiculous.

Both our daughters have bounced back into our houses and out again as adults. It is not for their hard work, or talent. The country's goal posts have moved, and the game is rigged. We help them both as much as we can....but it is tough to watch. Real love indeed, and understanding.

We need to move beyond generalities, labels, broad brush strokes and do something that recent culture finds difficult - take time to think things out, work with complex issues, and mostly, ensure that we elect those who understand and can make things better (which of course in these ad, TV, social media and Citizens United times is only becoming more difficult).

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #142)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:46 PM

198. +1

It is that good old divide and conquer crap going full blast with this whole discussion.

I believe you've nailed it and good for you for taking your kids back into the home!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #142)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:41 PM

377. Lovely post, NRaleighLiberal.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:06 PM

146. I can understand your feeling

I am a boomer. I expected my sons to have a better life.

One is dead from a brain tumour at 26..(Yes, my American young generation, you can suddenly be struck by a terrible terminal illness, after never being sick a day of your life.) Luckily we live in Canada and we got the best of care and no medical bills.

One is a genius, with Mental problems...he does the best he can but there is a stigma to mental health problems, like Aspergers and Autism as well as Depression. This is in both Canada and the USA.

Things have deteriorated since
my generation . Ike was the last great Republican president.. The USA has succumbed to greed.
Ronald Reagan gave it a big, big push. The corporations got control.. Voting is rigged. Unions are dying.

You can not blame it on the boomers....Many of the young generation DO NOT VOTE. AND MANY OLDER ONES DON'T VOTE EITHER
There is plenty of apathy all around....

The corporations and elite 1 percent diverted the attention of most people with THINGS...Sports...Entertainment. American and much of western civilization has been diverted to the kind of Roman days of the coliseum. That is why Hunger Games is riveting. Much of the elite live in the Hunger Games city...while those have nots are in the districts destined to be slaves and send their people as gladiators to fight to the death and for the elites entertainment and profit.. How long will this last? It is uncertain but Big Brother is watching. I hope that someone can figure out how to get out of the mess that the Reaganites and tea partiers put us all in

In Canada we are watching...We are not going to not fight...We have a FATCA fight now going on. You can read my previous posts, that got 4 recs, 31 replies, some of mine and over 700 views...!!!!!!!!.
Remember in the 1930s many people viewed and did not speak up and look what happened.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #146)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:32 PM

211. There's a reason GenX votes in record low numbers

We couldn't get people to even come out against our issues when we were in our 20s. If you can't even get political opposition, you sure as hell aren't going to get political support.

Smaller generation size meant we were not necessary for any political party, so we were basically ignored. Heck, marketing types labeled us as "GenX" because "We didn't bother to find out about what you like" is too long.

That leads to a big "why bother voting" problem.

Now that GenX can ally with newly-18 Millennials, more GenX is voting. But there's a lot of damage to undo.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #211)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 03:25 PM

218. I greatly admired OWS

and they have done much good things..Keep on perservering.

My generation worked on civil rights and the draft....It did not materialize over n ight.


Now I fight the FATCA fight...

Who knows Stephen Harper may quit before the IGA is signed.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #211)

Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:42 PM

378. Excellent analysis, jeff47. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 12:07 PM