Generation Screwed: Why millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression
Many have watched their parents suffer from the economic vicissitudes of the last decades without any understanding of why this was happening.
I thought this sentence was important. What I see lacking in so many people, and certainly not exclusive to Millenials, is a lack of curiosity about 'why' things are as they are. We have mentioned many times on this site how hard it is to get any traction in discussing the 3Es and related issues. I attribute this partly to a generalized loss of curiosity in personality traits. It seems few people want to dig deeper to find out more or seek answers to the 'whys', especially if there is no immediate threat. This also ties in with, as someone else mentioned, the loss of problem solving and analytical skills. Without having an inherent sense of curiosity, those skills, even if the abilities are present, will always be underutilized.
Perhaps this also ties in with another generalized statement about Millenials, that they are lazy and have had everything handed to them. That may be more a symptom of a potential root cause, which was that a healthy level of curiosity was not cultivated as they were growing up. "Googling" something or going to Wikipedia to learn more about something is the new baseline for curiosity, but how many diligently take it further, drilling down deeper to get to the real 'why' of things? I surmise not many, for attention spans are seemingly limited to how fast one can read the search results before switching back to social media, so at to not miss out on any updates!
Each generation is shaped by and responds to the era it finds itself in. When one is born into an era of plentiful resources and jobs, one generally goes with the flow, as did the boomers (and I am a tail end boomer). Millenials as I see it are between a rock and a hard place. They know the largesse that their parents and grandparents enjoyed, and they want it for themselves and their families. Who can blame them? But unlike the previous generations, it is not a given that will happen, and in fact is unlikely for most of them. To add to their woes, we are leaving them with a beat up, polluted planet with rapidly dwindling resources. Their futures, and that of their offspring, are bleak. I certainly can't blame them for being pissed off…
Absent in all of the last few generations was the all important curiosity to ask questions about what they were doing and what the implications of those actions might be. But we as a species are not very good at forward thinking, nor are we very good at being selfless. Instant gratification rules, future generations and cost-benefit analysis be damned! This will not change until we become curious enough to add critical thinking proactively to our actions/proposed actions. Some of us try, but obviously not enough to get us out of the big pickle that we collectively are in…
There are no solutions, just managed strategies. All generations will need to have their own strategies based on the era/generation they are in. It's not fair, to be sure. It just is. Those are the cards you are dealt when you are born. Blaming each other for screwing things up will not change that.
Your comment that using Google is the limit of curiousity rings true. My grandson was recently struggling with a concept in algebra. His teacher’s help consisted of, “Just Google it”. Thankfully in this case his parents took the initiative to get him moved to another class with a teacher who is teaching students the process of solving and answering questions. At a minimum the who what when why how ?s must be asked.
Thanks for your comments on this ‘generational dilemma’.
Thanks Dave for weighing in the obscene medical system, I couldn't agree more. I do like listening to Denninger, crank though he is, he is correct in his analysis of the medical system, it is helping to bankrupt our economy. How many rackets can we support (I agree with Kunstler there). I do feel like we are turning into a nation of used car salesmen.
It is somewhat interesting to analyze people based on generational characteristics, but I think it would be pretty safe to say that I have a lot more in common with my two millennial sons then they have with those in the to top 0.1% who are their age. Not expecting any changes in the morally bankrupt and utterly corrupt politico/economic system based on a "generational" change.
There are changes afoot for sure, that are affecting people of all age, ecological awareness, a younger generation interested in going into farming ( I am always stagged when I hear the average age of a "farmer" in this country – 58.3!), greater political awareness and growing frustration, intense interest in alternative energy sources, etc..
Best debate I have heard around Libertarian fundamentalism, this is between Stefan Molyneux and Paul Craig Roberts. Not as long as the tape says, worth a listen, it starts to repeat sections half way through. Someone needs to cheer Paul up, never seen him so down, have been listening to him for a while. Does the best global political meta analysis I have heard: