Millenials

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FAlley's picture
FAlley
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Millenials

Howdy,

I'm staying with a rather conservative, doctor/homemaker couple in Arkansas. It's been a great experience for me and I am learning much. A question has come up in my mind and I'll put it here.

I see many people in their 30s, 40s and older who are staunch conservatives and strongly against a growing government with ever-increasing controls. These are people who have seen the government enlarge over decades (beginning in the 60's) and know that there has been a marked change in this county, even in its culture, over the past 50 years.

I, being born in the 1990s, never knew a time when a kid could throw a shotgun into the backseat of his car on his way to high school, attend class and then go out hunting with his class. I never knew a time before Columbine. September 11 happened when I was in elementary, and so the Patriot Act (and subsequent legislation) has simply been the status quo to me. That there are laws through which the government can condemn me at will isn't surprising to me; it simply means that I need to keep my nose clean and stay away from the view of authority.

I've never known a time when the inner-city wasn't synomomous with the projects, welfare and drugs. I have to read social commentary (Coming Apart, by Charles Murray) to figure out that wasn't always the case.

I don't personally know of a single person my age (born around 1990) who feels ready to stand up to a government based on the values the country was founded on. Occupy Wall Street, the closest thing to a youth movement I've seen, centered on student debt and wealth inequality (besides a general populist anger that encapsulated many things).

This is slightly incoherent; what I'm trying to ask is, What have your views been on the new generation coming up? Teens and young twenty-somethings? Generalizations are one thing; I figure it'd be useful to ask what you see the in the young people that you personally know, what you expect them to be and become in the years ahead.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Millennials

I think you're the first generation to be fully cheated out of the American experience. 

Nothing of what made this country great was present for your upbringing. 
All you get was terror, bad music, worse movies and a totally broken value system, with some minor gains in resolving large scale bigotry, while trading individual and civil liberty under the pretense of security.

You're the unfortunate heirs to the Cold War leftovers; you get the War on Terror, a dramatic perpetuation of the same old, tired war drums that give a nice excuse for the ever-expanding debt balloon, and further incursions into the lives of the citizenry.

The economic powerhose that America was even ten years before has wained into a slump that rewards lethargy, makes business expensive to conduct and rewards massive conglomerates while punishing entrepreneurship. You've probably been subject to city ordinances that outlaw things like growing your own food or raising chickens, claiming that it could be hazardous to health, while packing kids full of perscription medicines, the worst quality of food possible and media that glorifies dereliction, irresponsibility, and sprinkles the two with sex and violence.

To make this worse, the previous generations completely misunderstand the circumstances and blame your generation for being lazy wastrels when you're faced with the prospect of a revolving door, minimum-wage job staffed entirely by the worst kinds of ass-kissing coworkers, living at home with little opportunity or selling drugs for way more money than you'd make in either of the previous options.

The good news is that the penal system will probably get it's claws into at some point, as lawmakers expand the definitions of "illegal" to include just about everything. The good news is the revenue generated goes to pay for more police to enforce weird, unnecessary laws.

Short answer is - you've inherited the worst parts of 60 years of American opulence, poorly planned and more poorly executed government programs and policy, and an international outlook that's increasingly disaffected with American primacy.

Cheers,
Aaron

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RNcarl
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On a Lighter Note

Millenials,

You have the chance to change exactly everything Aaron pointed out above. And by the way, he is exactly spot-on.

TPTB are afraid of you. Rather, they are afraid of what you CAN do. Someone with nothing to loose - has no reason to be afraid. The question that has to be asked is WILL you do something about it.

You don't buy cars, houses or other "middle-aged" stuff. You do buy iPads, phones and games. However, if you lost them, you are programed to think, "Hey - I can just get another one."

I am not sure if I am making my point well enough.

As long as the milenials can stay off of the gerbil wheel of "have-to-have" you will have power.

I was a small kid during the '60s and by all the accounts of what the "hippy movement" was doing at the time, the entire generation became "sell-outs" if they would be measured against what they stood for back then. My generation was the one that was voted most likely to, "not-give-a-$h!t" - And, I think we have filled that bill quite nicely. Your generation Millenials, is where i will place my bet. The hippies sold out and we don't care. It is up to you to either change the course of the ship or scuttle it and start over.

The U.S. is an empire in decline run by old white men in back rooms. The Corporate State is the empire inside the empire. As long as you vote with your pocket you will win.

Rome wasn't built in a day and it didn't crumble in a day. Those who wish for a SHTF event do not know what it is that the pray for.

The milenials that I see, in lots of ways, are making the status quo and traditional centers of power irrelevent. Examples? Self published books. Self published music. Just to name two.

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aladinangel
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Millenials

I'm sorry to say it, but your generation is going to suffer some serios and undeserved hardship. The fact that it's not going to be your fault (at least for most of it), won't represent much consolation. This will be the result of following in the steps of one of the most selfish and distructive generation in the entire American history, i.e. the "Baby Boomers".

You will inherit a huge economic mess, in which the natural free market mechanism will struggle mightly to survive under the combined burden of a business hostile regulatory environment and a centralized economic way of thinking. This will eventually lead to stagnation and collapse, but it might take a while and it won't be pretty in the mean time.

You will also have to cope with an imense public (even personal) debt, represented by various levels of direct obligations (contracted loans, bills, notes, bonds) AND unfunded liabilities (pensions, medicare, etc). Most of these obligations would have been created by people living before you, and without your consent. Nevertheless, it will be expected from your generation to honor them in good faith. This situation will certainly translate into higher taxes combined with lower purchasing power (result of a sustained policy of currency devaluation).

The labor environment, in which your generation will have to plunge soon after completing school, will be challenging to say the least. A mix of "red tape", automation, and incoming low cost migrants (more or less legal) will decimate most of the good paying jobs, which used to sustain the American middle class and made it the envy of the world post WWII. On top of everything, capital outflows, resulting as much from globalizations as from a natural tendency to avoid confiscatory taxes and increase profits, will just add to the misery by creating more and more jobs outside US.

Last but not least, your generation will have to tackle these tough issues "armed" only with skills resulted from a dubious education combined with an almost complete lack of moral values at all levels of society. Over the last 20-30 years, the American educational system (public AND private) has slowly transformed itself from a highly pragmatic and meritocratic one, into a highly ideological one, filled with politically correct notions and ideas of low practical value. Competition has been almost banned from schools, in a misguided drive to protect "self-esteem" and avoid any bad feelings. Too bad that real life survival is based on direct competition (as well as cooperation), and that reality doesn't have much use for personal self esteem. I have included private schools in my critique because such exceptional characters like Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Paul Krugman, and any contemporary large bank CEO/CFO of choice, are all graduates of prestigious Ivy Leagues schools and holders of impressive titles and/or reputable distinctions. To what avail, I dare ask... ?!

Because I mentioned the sensitive issue of "values", let me add a short personal view, which some might find intriguing if not downright offensive. What is generally known as Modern Western Society did its best, over time, to remove any form of religious idea from public life, and especially from public education. In doing so, it also eliminated an entire set of moral values derived from our religious past. When somebody decides to ignore the 10 Commandments because of their religious "content", he/she also decides to ignore some of the most basic social tenets of a civilised society, as only 2 or 3 or those commandments (depending on interpretation) relate to God, the rest being just common rules of decency and good conduct. Having been raised in a time in which "everything goes", one in which boundaries of what is acceptable were greatly  expanded, the Millenials will have their chance to witness soon that such a society is neither safe, nor pleasant or happy !

What can be done ? Is this generation doomed even before starting to live fully ? Maybe not... I would advance a few suggestions. A curious mind will find much more inside this site (and others).

Educate yourself ! That's not an option, it's a necessity !

Learn to read quickly and speak efficiently. Learn to write correctly and concisely. You'll have to be able to communicate, preferably in SEVERAL LANGUANGES (for Americans, Spanish, on top of English, is a must).

Learn a basic of Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (not just Science !). Older and/or foreign highschool manuals would make a better choice. This knowledge will greatly enhace your chances to find work.
Learn Geography and History. It's a big world out there, in which events tend to follow recognisable patterns.
Learn Practical Skills, how to do things with your own hands. It will help you make/save money, become useful, and enjoy your time !

Become self-reliant. Do not expect anything from anybody else, and especially from any layer of government. At best, the government will be able to offer just nicely sounding promises. At worst, it will become oppressive or even tyrannical.

Use your common sense every day, in any decision. Ignore the mainstream news, except maybe for critical events. Learn to read between lines and ask yourself EVERY TIME "who's likely to benefit" from a certain law, action, or event. Do not take anything for granted. You most definitely have I brain (you couldn't live without one), make the effort and use it for more than pure balancing while walking/running !

Be ready (practically) and prepared (mentally) to leave the country to look for opportunities, to escape tyranny, or just to learn about the world. Once outside US, be open minded, observant and quiet. Learn to listen to others (it helps to know their language and about their place and/or history). Learn and exercise situational awareness (any cop or ex-military could tell you about it). Treat people with respect (even more so when they are in their own country !), follow their local rules and laws, and you'll be answered in kind. Learn whom to trust and whom not to; the real world is far from perfect...

Finally, it is essential to learn how to handle your money and how to control your own finances. You have a right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness... you do not have an obligation to make your government happy ! Always question what you get back in return for your taxes, and draw your own conclusions. Remember that it is morally right to refuse paying for debts and obligations for which you had little or no say whatsoever. Let older generations sleep in the bed of their own making... In the end, the current debts will have to be defaulted upon, one way or another. Prepare for such a time time.

Good luck, and don't waste much time ! It is the only irreplaceable thing in life...

sowhatareyousaying's picture
sowhatareyousaying
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boomer slamming

Gosh, that's a might broad brush you're wielding to characterize an entire generation of individual human beings.  It's uncomfortably close to hate speech IMO.  Even who you might call "hippies" could have taken such varied paths in life, with whatever personal strengths and baggage they were born with, that I think it's really small-minded to lump them together like that.  A lot of them got degrees and went to work and a lot of them died in Vietnam, for example.  They mostly lived ordinary lives and were ordinary people, like people are today.  How many of them were political or financial masterminds who wrecked America?  Sheesh.  Could you please raise the level of discourse here?

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A. M.
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Forget, if you can...

That the repulsive, divisive and flaccid phrase "hate speech" exists.
Its the word of a serpent class, that vilifies and attempts to discredit by way of hyperbole legitimate comment as some manner of irrational emotional response.

Hate speech is nothing. Its "high powered". Its "virtually".
It should only accompany a political agenda, and should you hear it, you should immediate suspect and insulate yourself against that agenda... For, we're it honest, it would speak plainly.

Aaron

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sowhatareyousaying
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Not sure what you mean....

Vilifying groups of people based on characteristics they were born with is hardly virtual.  It is quite real and causes a lot of damage to society, up to and including violence against innocent people.  Blaming the decline of our civilization on a group of people based on when they were born is likely to contribute to the decline of our civilization. 

I can understand that you are angry about the way things are headed.  I have young adult children trying to start the careers they trained and studied for and hoping to have children and families like we had, and I am devastated for them.  Of course I don't tell them that, but it doesn't mean I'm not living with dread for the world every day.  Rather than get out my pitchfork, however, I'm going to try to prepare to be of whatever help I can to them and others, whatever comes.  What we do now and in the future will be the measure of our character, and perhaps that will be all we have left.  Stirring up a lot of negativity toward one group or another is not a contribution to be proud of.

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Not liking a group of ______

Not liking a group of ______ is not tantamount to hate.
Expressing dislike is not "hate".
Labeling it such is irresponsible and ignorant.

It covers legitimate comment in vitriol.
Not sure how this can be explained any more clearly.
"Hate speech" is not real. There is no love speech, hope speech, kind speech nor is there tolerate speech.
Hate speech is a tool of propaganda.

Aaron

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aladinangel
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Hate speech

There is no such thing as "hate speech". That's just code word for rejecting an inconvenient message. It has been created by our "enlightened" class, and furiously promoted by our modern propaganda department (i.e. mass media), to scare into silence any form of ideatic disidence from the accepted politically correct line.

The truth might not be pleasant for some, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have to be said... at least in a free society. Censorship (and it's far more insidious but no less dangerous form, self-censorship) is one major step toward the loss of freedom. 

Incidentally, it is easily verifiable that US took a turn for the worst over the last 20 years (a sociological generation). Three consecutive economic bubbles (the last one still in progress), an un-payable national debt of well over 100% of GDP and growing, consecutive mind boggling annual deficits of more than 1 trillion, chronic current account deficits with no hope of ever being balanced, and an impossible level of unfunded liabilities. A clueless and corrupt political class, an inefficient government, an imperial presidency, a less than convincing justice system, a subservient media, and on top of everything, a terrible economy. It is my opinion that US of A has passed the financial "event horizon", and a return to the "normalcy" of the 90' is mathematically impossible. Who's been in charge while we got here, again ?

Unfortunately, over the last two decades America ceased to act and be seen as the shiny city on the hill...  and all it took was one lousy generation.

Good luck with that retirement ! It's going to be a lot of fun, especially after what just happened today in Cyprus...

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RNcarl
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sowhatareyousaying
sowhatareyousaying wrote:

Gosh, that's a might broad brush you're wielding to characterize an entire generation of individual human beings.  It's uncomfortably close to hate speech IMO.  Even who you might call "hippies" could have taken such varied paths in life, with whatever personal strengths and baggage they were born with, that I think it's really small-minded to lump them together like that.  A lot of them got degrees and went to work and a lot of them died in Vietnam, for example.  They mostly lived ordinary lives and were ordinary people, like people are today.  How many of them were political or financial masterminds who wrecked America?  Sheesh.  Could you please raise the level of discourse here?

I am not sure if the above comment was directed at me or not. I can only "assume" so because the word "hippies" was used in the commentary. If it was, then perhaps the author should go back and re-read my post.

So, before I comment more, would the author please identify who it is that they feel came, "uncomfortably" close to "hate speech?"

The only comment that I will make is, perhaps, someone's comments came "uncomfortably close to home?"

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RNcarl
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Back to Millennials

Well,

In an attempt to steer the Titanic away from the iceberg and back onto topic, if I didn't say it before, I will say it now.

I have great faith in Millenials. They may just be the next "greatest generation" (if you don't know who the first greatest generation was, Google it.)

Have we wrecked the economy, the environment, morals, even the fabric of what we seem to hold dear? Yes to all of the above.

However, it is up to US who have contribuited either directly or indirectly (by being passive) to the conditions that we have right now.

If one can't stomach direct conflict, then contribute by NOT adding to the situation. However, if you have been given gifts and talents, then by all means use them. 

"Well, all I want to do is have my college education, have a family, live a nice suburban life, help my kids have what I have and be left alone." - That doesn't cut it any more.

Hats off to the next "Greatest Generation."

~ Peace

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westcoastjan
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the blame game detracts from what is important

Interesting thread so far. On the subject of hate speech, we have a highly loaded phrase that means different things to different people. I have always thought, based on the rulings of our Supreme Court, that opinions become hate speech when they go over the line by having the potential to incite violence against an indentifiable group. It is a very thin line due to freedom of speech rights. With this as my basic level of understanding, I see no evidence of hate speech anywhere on this thread and believe that it was a bit over the top to call it that.

It is so easy to blame the boomers, a group which includes me, as we had the good fortune to be born and grow up in the most prosperous period of time in history, one that is unlikely to ever be repeated, if only because resource depletion will not allow a repeat. There are those will argue that we have been pigs at the trough and squandered everything, but I have to ask what generation of individuals, when presented with the opprtunities that we had, would not do as we did? It also begs the question of what is being done right now that will be looked back at 30 years from now with disdain and disgust for the shortsightedness?

There is no perfect generation, for we are all born into eras that are unique on an evolutionary scale. It is inevitable that some will be better off than others at different stages of time. It is purely the luck of the draw, in the same way that we here in prosperous North America were lucky that we were born here, and not in some hell hole, third world back water. I try to remind myself of that every day, knowing that the people in those places can only dream of having our "problems".

Of the Millenials that I know, I see some very astute young people who have great techological skills and strong ideologies. These assets are handicapped by poor communication and social skills which are the result of spending too much time interacting with devices instead of people, IMO. Along the way, they have overlooked how important it is to be able to communicate effectively and interact socially, with good manners. I see it clearly in my younger staff, who do not know how to write a complete sentence, who cannot bear to be without their phones for even a 5 minute meeting, and who cannot articulate their thoughts and ideas clearly. I have no doubt of their potential, I just don't know if their poor foundational skills will support that potential.

One thing I am certain of is that engaging the blame game and creating social divide is exactly what TPTB would love to see. We shoot ourselves in the foot with this kind of thinking, wasting precious energy on a pointless endeavour. It really does not matter who got us into this mess. How are we going to get out of it?

Jan

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Poet
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"All It Took Was One Lousy Generation"
Quote:

Unfortunately, over the last two decades America ceased to act and be seen as the shiny city on the hill... and all it took was one lousy generation.

Well, as long as you are not blaming the young who were born since 1982 (the general starting point of the Millennial generation). Many are still minors. You could say that they are the product of their parents' and their grandparents' raising. And if it was the television, who put them in front of it?

These Millenials have not the resource consumption, resource accumulation, power positions, work esperience, and job security, raise/promotion inertia, and tenure of the several previous generations. In fact, greater numbers of them are unable to find jobs or full-time jobs, greater numbers of them are not driving, and greater numbers of them are in student loan debt than every previous generation that benefited from cheaper education before them.

All the milestones we earlier generations have reached, they have had a harder time getting to: jobs, marriage, household formation, living independently. In the 1950s to 1960s, a young man could graduate high school and work for the local factory. In the 1960s and 1970s - even to a lesser extent, in the 1980s and 1990s, young men and women could graduate college with a reasonable expectation of getting into the middle class.

They are struggling in a country where factory jobs are offshored, internships are increasingly unpaid, housing is overpriced and even newer ranks of workers are getting a shitty deal compared to previous cohorts (that get higher pay and pay less into their defined benefits plans or even just have a defined benefits plan) - all in an economy that has grown so large only because of debt (remember how total credit market debt has doubled several times since the 1950s?!?) that is now is meeting the limits of debt-fueled growth, the start of the repayment of unfunded liabilities, and the limits of cheap oil.

You blame parents, not the children. We wrecked things for them. We have failed the Millennials. They have not failed us.

Poet

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ao
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A. M. wrote:Not liking a
A. M. wrote:

Not liking a group of ______ is not tantamount to hate. Expressing dislike is not "hate". Labeling it such is irresponsible and ignorant. It covers legitimate comment in vitriol. Not sure how this can be explained any more clearly. "Hate speech" is not real. There is no love speech, hope speech, kind speech nor is there tolerate speech. Hate speech is a tool of propaganda. Aaron

Exactly.  This "hate speech" label is just one of the steps down the slippery slope that eventually leads to hanging people for not being enthusiastic enough about an idea (like the Nazis did).  As a boomer, I didn't particularly like being painted with this broad and, in many cases, inaccurate brush, but on the other hand, I'll defend anyone's right to disagree and express their disagreement.  Disagreement and dislike are different from hate.  I can disagree with you all day and argue vigorously with you but that doesn't mean I'm going to string you up with piano wire.

Please also realize that feeding into this conflict between the young and the old is a dangerous direction and feeds into the Hegelian dialectic of TPTB.  The boomer sheep went along with the way the bad shepherds were directing them, just like the sheep of the preceding generations did and the following generations are presently doing.  Blame the bad shepherds, not the sheep.

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A. M.
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Speech vs action

Jan,
Im sorry for beating this dying horse, but once hate speech (which is just regular speech that is not politically correct) crosses that line, it is a punishable criminal offense. So why make speaking a crime?
I dont like Aryan nations, la Rasa, Louis Farrakhan and the black panthers, or al qaeda - and they can say whatever they want, as far as im concerned... The reason is that peer groups that accept that nonsense are not hate criminals - they're just ignorant.

But, it cannot be ignored that if you remove the crime perpetrated by African America males in the U.S., our overall crime rate roughly matches Belgium. Ill site a source on this later, but this is statically factual. Its also dangerously close to being hate speech.
which makes it perfect for this analogy...

So lets look at this starting from here:
Presenting that statistic says nothing about the character of an overall demographic. It also does not say anything of the socioeconomic conditions that created conditions the disparity.

If we start here, we have a problem that we can actually approach rationally. If we categorically dismissed this information as racist, bigoted or hateful, we are ignoring the root problem and will handicap our ability to address the cause: which starts with economic immobility and rampant influx of drug culture that is destroying inner cities.

This, addressed realistically, will:
1. Properly identify the problems, allowing us to assess solutions.
2. Give opportunities to those who need turn, which I believe in term will change both;
3. Perceptions of the affected demographic, and;
4. Alleviate pretension and prejudicial falsehoods.

This could as easily apply to the banking cartels, but the resolutions are much more difficult to assess and the information is much more limited.

This is also a millennial issue that we have made great improvements on. There is a huge disparity between my parents generation and mine regarding our thoughts on race and hate speech, and I personally dont think any legislation has helped at all. Its easier to see people as people when you're integrated with them from the start... And I think we'll see these statistics become more racially inclusive as this depression deepens, and we continue to rely on obfuscating language.

And im not sorry if this is offensive, because I actually do care about our society, and all of its diversity.
Failing to acknowledge problems because you're more concerned with feelings than long term social health is no virtue, but blurring that line to be slanderous and prejudicial is an equally disgusting practice as ignoring the real, substantial problems.

Cheers,
Aaron

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continuum

Re: the blame game - I believe that the past 5000 years or so of human cultural evolution has brought us to the point we are now, not the actions of a single generation (the boomers). The circumstances that result in the situation we have today were in effect long before the boomers came along - for example, agriculture that enabled the human population to swell remarkably and set the stage for cities/states and concentration of wealth and power. Another example is organized and evangelical religions that still refuse to accept birth control, and instead actively encourage their followers to have many children to add numbers and tithes that create an ever more far-reaching and powerful church - a feedback loop that, in an already extremely overpopulated world, worsens everyone's situation world-wide. The list could go on and on, but my point is that realistically, the boomers only played one part in a long line of actions that got us here.

Re: "hate speech" - as an out lesbian, I can definitely say that I believe hate speech exists - and is alive and well these days. It serves to help define "us" versus "them," and isolate and vilify the "them." It also creates a feeling of belonging (a power human motivator) for the "us". Once the "us" sees the "them" as other, then violence of all descriptions becomes possible. There is a fine line between free speech - which I fully support - and hate speech; and I don't think anything previously said in this thread comes near to hate speech.

Re: millenials - it's a bit tricky to judge a generation before they've had their run. We can look back and make judgements about the previous generations, boomers included, but the effect that millenials might have is at this time future potential, not proven fact yet. Given what I've seen of the millenials so far, they are, as a whole, pretty much like every other generation - spanning the whole range of human possiblities - good, bad, and ugly.

Finally this to FAlley - instead of my opinion regarding your generation, I'm much more interested in YOUR opinion of your generation. What do you expect you and your generation to become and how do you hope future generations will remember your cohort?

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Blame is easy

It's easy to blame preceding generations for our current state of affairs.  I look at myself. I was a child in the 70's.  Did I know then that the last generation to have their wages increase relative to the cost of things would be the baby boomers?  Dd I know That the promises made by our government would be unsustainable for future generations?  No, and who else would have had the world view to teach me?  My parents?  Maybe, but they had their noses to the grindstone working their tails off so I could go to college.

The list of things we don't know as children, teens and adults is long.  We rely on what we learn in school to build a foundation of basics skills to enter the world as adults.  Our education as a whole is lacking in critical thinking skills, more so today than in prior decades.  It is encumbent upon on us all to question, look for answers and read so that we understand.

To those who haven't read it, The Fourth Turning is an amazingly prescient history of the cycles that this country has been through.  Where we are today is not  a new phenomenon. We've been here before.

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westcoastjan
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response to Aaron

Hey Aaron,

I don't find anything you said offensive in the least bit. I welcome perspectives that are shared in a thoughtful and respectful manner, whether I agree with them or not. You have made some very good points, with the most important being the need to get to the root of problems in order to find solutions.

I do disagree with your thinking that hate speech is just regular speech that is politically incorrect. When the line is crossed with speech to the point that it becomes punishable by law, it is well beyond being just politically incorrect. Below is a link to a recent ruling by our Supreme Court on this very issue. A key point of the article was:

But the court cautioned tribunals to ensure they pursue true hate speech, not just offensive language. saying “the term ‘hatred’ contained in a legislative hate speech prohibition should be applied objectively to determine whether a reasonable person, aware of the context and circumstances, would view the expression as likely to expose a person or persons to detestation and vilification on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

*bolded text my emphasis

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-ruling-uphold...

There is no doubt this is a highly charged debate. I cherish free speech, but I also cherish my right to be treated as an equal member of society, free from biases that develop from exposure to discriminatory behaviours, whether they are blatant attempts to influence others, as was the case here, or whether they are more insidious. As a disabled person I have experienced more than my fair share of employment discrimination. And as Sirocco indicates, discrimination and outright hostility is alive and well in the gay community.

It was interesting that you mentioned that you did not think any legislation has helped at all. I agree, for several reasons, but primarily because legislation as it exists now puts the onus on the victim to prove a wrong. All too often, the victim is a member of a visible minority who does not have the financial means to turn to the courts for protection. So the discriminatory behaviours go unchallenged and unpunished, while the victims, who have enshrined constitutional rights, are the losers, having their lives impacted in serious ways.

A number of years ago I gave a speech on employment discrimination. An excerpt: "...There are those who say there are laws to prevent discriminatory behaviours. As far as I am concerned, we can legislate until the cows come home. It is not going to change a thing. Real change comes not from legislation or coercion, but from the heart. Education brings understanding. With understanding comes compassion. With compassion comes the willingness to help find solutions..."

I continue to believe that education is the answer. I am not so naive to think that we can eradicate all discriminatory behaviours. But we can limit those who would incite others by imposing objective criteria to what they can and cannot say or do, so that the rights of those they rail against are not trampled on. It must be so, for otherwise the rights of those who use hate speech will trump the rights of those who they target. There has to be a balance between the right to free speech and the right to live a life free from fear and discrimination.

This has gotten way off topic from this thread though, which is supposed to be about the Millenial generation. I won't offer up more on this okay, so that others can continue on with the interesting topic.

Jan

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John Lemieux
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Are The Laws of Thermodynamics To Blame?

According to evolutionary scientist Rod Swenson, the emergence of order, structure and self orginization in the universe is inevitable due to the laws of thermodynamics.

This is how Paul Chefurka explains it: 

"All ordered structures are dissipative (ie the "goal" of order is to degrade energy gradients as fast as possible). This applies fractally at all scales from sub-atomic particles to human culture.

What some people call "problem behaviours"- growing human numbers, consumption, complexity and environmental impact- is in fact natural behaviour that follows natural law- much like falling follows the law of gravity.

What we are doing to ourselves and the planet is a consequence of following this law."

The upshot is that the whole of human culture is oriented towards executing, supporting and justifying the thermodynamic imperitive of degrading energy sources as fast as possible. Population growth and material consumption are intrinsic parts of this process- what Rod Swenson calls The Law of Maximun Entropy Production,or LMEP.  

The implications of LMEP on our culture is that we don't recognize that most of our values and beliefs are responces to this invisible, universal pressure. As a result our behaviour is remarkably sensitive to education directed towards this activity, and remarkably insensitive to any education directed at counteracting it. In fact our culture as a whole acts defensively towards such threats.

So our situation may not be the product of "the boomers" or even some genetic, moral, educational or narrative failure that is causing us to violate natural law.

And as Paul Chefurka sums it up there has always been an invisible foot on the accellerator;  

 "What Mother Nature wants, she ends up getting" 

 

 

 

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Tables turning on "hate"

Jan, 
I really enjoyed your last post, and I think we're actually very close to the same opinion on the topic. 
From the perspective of the "first" of the Millenials ('82), "hate speech" has been a flimsy, one-sided argument that's shallow and has lost it's importance. 

To the Gen X'rs, or Boomers, dicrimination is dramatically more "real". That is to say, while the innate prejudices of "us and them" that form in any society (racially homogenous or hetrogenous), still exist, they do so within a very narrow confine. Everyone experiences discrimination at some point. Partially because of the discontent that was sewn by slavery, exacerbated by 'feel good' policies, and set sail on socially acceptable emotional blackmail using words like "Hate speech", "_______ophobia", or "correctness" that seeks to destroy any sort of "wrongthink", and is perfectly happy throwing the baby (played by "Legitmate concern") with the "bathwater" (small minded bigots).

Sirocco,

Homosexuality is one of the best "modern" examples of the above. Homosexuals are part of every race and culture and still manage to stand out as targets. It's not fair, and it's not cool. However, organizations like GLAD - who after being granted the right to marry in Mass - demanded that homosexuality become a core component of sexual education in schools.

That alone didn't sit well with a lot of parents (and I concur - I don't think it needs to be taught in school) but it only got worse when GLAD held an assembly in Hillsboro, Oregon, and took kids from the bleachers, asked whether or not they were gay, and if they answered they were "straight", the hosts inquired: "How do you know?"

This mentality of never being happy, and constantly upping the ante is totally destructive to all sides. 
It's taken shape in the form of race, as well, with racially motivated slavary reparations and other equally quizical programs that punish people who've never otherwise would have given a sideways glance at racial issues. 

The number of bigots is shrinking, but the number of lobbiests, -ists, coalitions and organizations is not. They're still making demands, still asking for things in excess of what a citizen is entitled to and are conveniently making a political environment ripe with "us and them" thinking. 

Why should there be any debate about gay rights? 
You are a citizen. You have rights. These rights are inaliable.
Marriage equality? Really? 
Ever been married? It's a total waste of time. It's a legal headache that formalizes and invites the state into your private relationships. So, instead of fighting for marriage equality, how about abolishing the legal institution and making everything "common law"? 

If you're engaged with a single other person as a partner for more than a certain amount of time, you're considered involved in a civil union. Call it whatever you want.

As always, this is all being brought to a frivolous, partisan, oafish government that can't manage it's checking account. And we want to give them more legislative power to involve themselves in the personal lives of the citizens?

Sigh... Well, I still feel like this all ties into the Millenial plight, as most of us grew up indifferent to sexual orientation, as well. Sure, people will always poke fun at a minority group (yes, even white males) when they have superior numbers. We all just need to get used to that being human nature, and work towards a citizen body that's less concerned with discrimination and more concerned with self-betterment. 

In any case, I just don't think that it's possible to be "hateful" and "ignorant". 
I've known people of damn near every orientation, race, cultural background, gender and combinations thereof, that I would trust implicitly. Have I always thought that? Nope. I was a judgmental youth, like most other young men. From what I've seen, the thing that works best is a combination of:

1. Exposure - learning that people are all pretty much the same on an intellectual/emotional basis.
2. Mentorship - it's the mark of a classless knave that puts others down, especially those who are in a minority, or weakened by something outside their control
3. Cultural improvement - as standards "equalize", there is less to complain about on all fronts. Doesn't mean people won't still complain, I'm sure they will, but most rational people will gravitate away from the bigots and jerks on account of points 1 and 2. 

So let's remove the Orwellian "thought crime" element of "wrongthink" from our society. It's invasive and enforces what Pat Condell referred to as the state where "What you say is more important than what you think." 

This creates a fertile ground for the true bigots to demand, for example, that infidels have their heads sawn off, that their blood should water the trees, and that they demand fair treatment because they're people of 'peace'.

Riiiiiiiiiight. To hell with doublethink, to hell with convincing ourselves that we should only speak when it will not offend, and to hell with the notion that we must tolerate subversion of culture in any capacity to further an agenda of a 'competing' social group. There is plenty of room for all of us, if we stop throwing rocks. 

Cheers,

Aaron

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FAlley
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Millenials

Thanks for the great responses and conversation. It gives me a lot to think and reflect on about what part my generation might play in its time.

As for what I think of my generation, I don't know what to think. I believe it is atleast as diverse in its opinions and strengths as any generation before it. My generation has near unlimited choices in selecting what media it consumes and where it gets its information. Making TPTB irrelevant (cable news, for instance) is certainly a great strength of the millenials. How this plays out in the coming hard times I've yet to see.

I see no 'core values' in my generation. Whether sex before marriage is right or wrong is a personal choice for most. Accepting money from the government is normal, as my $20,000 in debt is all in the form of federal student loans. I read accounts from the 70's and 80's of men who worked their way through school and had savings to spare. Now, it's accepted that if you don't have a great scholarship and/or parents financially well off to near-fully support you an additional four years, your chances of a degree are slim (which, just to remind, now has the purchasing power of high school diplomas in days past). 

I see no 'core values' and so I see little reason for my generation to bother resisting the government. It's funny for me to listen to people who speak of some next armed revolution in America, or seccession or some such. Wherever that talk comes from, I certainly don't hear it from my peers. We as a whole are desperately focused on establishing ourselves in our interpretation of the baby boomers before us. We want families (though we wait to marry, taking longer to start careers because of educational requirements). We largely want to make the world a better place (much to our credit, though we've a hard time defining 'better'). As a generation we expect the government to support both of these notions of ours (not neccessarily 'do them for us,' but we expect the government to be a useful tool instead of a passive bystander [for the love of all that's decent don't flame me on that one; I'm just reporting what I see in the group, not my own personal views]). Also, we grow up knowing that authority can royally screw you over at will, having gone to public school where self-esteem and the notion of safety were both bitterly defended (explanation lacking, but I'll assume it's understood what's meant).

As I think about it, I think I see those two things defining my group.

A) Unheard of power as a group, gaining and disseminating information en-mass at will without the permission or well-wishes of TPTB.

B) A lack of a core ethic outside of, dare I say it? The power and freedom of the individual (though that phrase will mean contradictory things to different groups).

Occupy Wall Street and, yes, the Arab Spring are examples of the kinds of things my generation can do. My generation is seen as being more liberal, but it should also be remembered that Ron Paul was vastly supported by teens and twenty-somethings, more so than any other age group. In the Republican party,  I see baby boomers holding to arguments over abortion, social security ("Don't touch it"), illegal immigration ("They're illegal", even though they'll soon be the majority), a strong defense, and a hate for Obama that I honestly just don't understand. The millenials in the GOP are the ones who shout "End the Fed," and who most actively argue for a new paradign, not for a change of rules within the status quo.

Alright, I've spun enough. All of this is me saying I've no idea what to expect from my kin, though I can see them being either very strong or very weak. A useful prediction, eh?

 

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To reply or not to reply, that is the question...

Aaron, based on the length and vehemence of your posts on the topic of “hate speech” and human rights, I’ve concluded that these are hot button issues for you.  I debated at length with myself about replying to your last post on this thread – but you called me out by name… I sincerely wish I could agree with you about “the number of bigots is shrinking”, but that hasn’t been my experience.

 

I’m not clear on how you made the leap from A to B (A being my stated opinion that hate speech does exist and that the previous posts on this thread were not examples of hate speech, and B being what appears to me to be a full on diatribe against human rights activists in general and gay rights activists in particular). The logic behind that leap, within the context of the thread, eludes me.

 

I wonder if you are aware (or care) that what you said sounded an awful lot like - the world would be a better place if those pesky homosexuals would just shut up, stay in their place, and stop whining about unfair treatment. Your statement “The number of bigots is shrinking, but the number of lobbiests, -ists, coalitions and organizations is not. They're still making demands, still asking for things in excess of what a citizen is entitled to and are conveniently making a political environment ripe with "us and them" thinking.” sounds like you are blaming the victims for the problem.

 

I don’t know whether you hold these beliefs out of ignorance or out of intolerance, (it’s also possible that I am completely misunderstanding you) but my experience has been that  constructive communication rarely happens when emotions run hot. Instead people usually dig in and become more and more entrenched in their views. Therefore, I propose that we accept that we have vastly differing opinions, perspectives, and experiences on the topic of hate speech and human rights, and move on.   

 

Silence equals death. With respect, Sirocco

ps FAlley, I apologize for my part in hijacking your thread...

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FAlley
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As a Millenial

I'll tell you something I feel as a millenial. I'll share it because I figure it's indicative of atleast a segment of my demographic, if not a large part of the demographic.

I feel like an absolute failure. I am educated, of decent character and cannot find prospects for myself. I am existing off of the well-wishes of rich baby boomers because even as I have the right credentials and training, I cannot find work for myself. I know that the work I can't find is not good work. I've invested in training and skills to do a profession where I can expect to earn $30,000 median income, and I cannot find work in that profession. IF I do find work in that profession, it is my dear hope to have a wife and eventually children. I have a hard time seeing myself supporting a decent woman and family on a $30,000 salary, and that's when I can find a place to hire me.

I'm restless and angry. I have $20,000 in student debt for an incomplete degree, and that's before I have ever once payed for a roof over my own head. I am 23, I have a law enforcement license I have invested into, and it is now being suggested to me that I take federal money and more years of my life to go to more school for another profession because maybe that one will have a stronger demand when I finish. 

I am angry that I have jumped through hoops I was told to jump through and invested where I was told to invest and then it doesn't work out. If I sound like I have an entitlement mentality, then I apologize for my ignorance. I feel like I tried to make something work and have fallen off the straight and narrow path to success. I feel left behind. And rightly or wrongly, it only makes sense that I am angry that I cannot seem to find a way to support myself in the basics of a good and decent life.

That is what I feel as someone born in 1990. Your experience may vary.

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Arthur Robey
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Become and Autodidact Falley.

I have found the educators have a product to sell, so they sell as much of it as they can. I was taught many things in my trade that there is no chance that I will ever use.

I have learned to become an autodidact.

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you are not a failure

You are, and all the Millennials are, in my opinion, the victims of bad policy and worse execution by not just the Boomers but the previous and intervening generation ( Gen X?)

It's not your fault. This is all not your fault. The previous generations left you a mess because they were short-sighted and some of them were incredibly stupid, selfish or both. They took us off the gold standard and chose fiat money. They ran up debts that cannot be paid, and they treated finite resources like crude oil and fresh water as if they were disposable and infinite.

You Millennials all must feel like kids who's parents got a divorce and they are wondering what they, as kids, did to cause it. You did not cause it. You are the victims here.

The nicest thing my step-daughter and eldest son ever said to me and my husband was that our generation had screwed up, but not him and me personally, We had not run up unsustainable debt and we voted against those who would run up debt. We lived simply, were careful with our resources and gentle to the planet.

It says something that I take pride in not being representative of my Boomer peers in that regard. What it says is...you're not a failure. It's not your fault. Although I personally was not an instrument in that, on behalf of my peers and my parents' and grandparents' generations, I am deeply sorry.

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Transitions

FAlley, not that this will be any consolation, but - you aren't alone in your struggle to find a way to support yourself.  I've ridden the bus into town for work, and back, for the last 12 years. After the crash of 2008, the demographics of the riders changed noticeably. Before the crash the passengers used to primarily be women ages of 45 and older; but, almost overnight the route added a large number of younger folks headed into the local univeristy. At the same time, I was reading "Survival +" by Charles Hugh Smith. In the book, Mr Smith was discussing debt-serfdom, the end of paid work, and the horrible bind that the younger generation will find itself in as they follow the standard wisdom to go to (traditional) college, at great cost, to guarantee themselves a (traditional) job - except that the world is changing, and what was SOP doesn't work anymore. I looked at my fellow riders, the young ones, and I had to stop myself from calling out to them - "do you folks have any idea what you are in for?!"

I'm angry too. I'm angry at the government and the mainstream media for lying to us and carrying on the pretense that everything is "normal." If we at least had honest information, we could make informed decisions based on valid data.

Our world is changing. The "rules" and "truisms" and SOPs we've lived under for the last few generations is falling apart. Its time to recognize the change and work to change our expectations to match the new reality. There are no guarantees anymore for any of us. If you haven't read "Survival +", I recommend it. I found it enlightening as to our present situation.

Here's bit of philosophy for you that has helped me - the end goal is not as important as the path you take to get there. Find out what you love, and pursue that passion all your life. Stay true to your values, but keep an open mind - there is a lot to learn. Cultivate humor and optimism. View accidents and challenges instead as opportunities. Friends and family are far more valuable than money.

You are not a failure. You are facing hardship (debt, difficulty finding paying work, difficulty finding meaningful work) - this does not make you a failure. Not even close. The only thing that can make YOU a failure is if you give up on yourself. Don't give up on yourself. You may not get from today to tomorrow by the route you had planned, but I'm pretty sure you will get there. And when you look back, you may be very thankful for the unexpected twists and turns that your path took.   

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Poet
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You Are Not Alone

FAlley:

You are not alone.

You are not alone.

Take a look at these people. All of them are young, smart, hard-working. You are not alone. It is not your fault.

Not Where They Hoped They'd Be (June 15, 2012)
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/06/not-where-they-hoped-theyd-be...

You are not alone.

Personally, I didn't graduate college until I was 25. I got a full-time job after that and started socking away money towards paying off student loans, a vehicle, retirement savings, regular savings. I lived with my parents until I was 30, paying rent and helping with bills. I didn't marry until I was 34. I'm sure you'll reach your milestones earlier than me. And if not, no big deal.

Did you know that the average age of first marriage for men, in a survey of records from 5 English villages between the years 1600 and 1649, was from 26.7 to 29.2? Mortaliy rates and job prospects weren't as excellent then as they are today.

Hang in there. You are not alone and you are young. You still have a lot of years in you yet.

Poet

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millenials from a Gen-X'er perspective

From the perspective of a Gen-X'er (on the tail end born in the mid-70's anyway), in economic terms I don't see much difference between me and my similar-aged friends and coworkers and the Millenial generation.  My age group has typically had or still has high student loan debt (sometimes a little less than Millenials but sometimes just as much or more due to the push for additional schooling to become more 'employable'), we are just as much on the hook for social retirement and health-care program costs with very little prospect of receiving any benefits, we also have less conventional economic opportunities as the generations before, and our level of representation in higher business and political circles is still very much in the minority.  The one major advantage my age group has is that most of us have had some opportunity to establish job history or careers, even if they are lower-paying (true inflation-adjusted) and with little or no job security compared to previous generations.  So conventionally-speaking, if Millenials are 'screwed', my age group is merely 'mostly screwed'  cheeky

BUT.... like Sirocco and others mentioned, this is only in terms of the conventional economy and way of life.  The Millenials have a potential advantage when it comes to adapting to whatever new economy and living situations that will come about over the next decade or so.  Millenials have even fewer ties and dependence to the status quo and materialism than my age group does, and so they have the potential to be the most successful in the new world.  So the biggest reason Millenials might feel as they are failing is because they're being pushed into a system that doesn't work for them.  It almost seems like being told to that they way to 'be successful' is to borrow a lot of money and go to a Vegas casino and hit the blackjack tables.  Sure some will succeed and win, but most will end up broke and now being in hock to the big loan sharks.  So to 'succeed', I suspect many Millenials (probably many in my age group too) will go into business for themselves (in some cases formal businesses but most I suspect will be informal and under-the-table businesses) offering whatever services or products they are most familiar with.  I suspect we may see an economy fractured in two.... one being the current kind of economy with most participants being in the older spectrum, and the second being a partially underground economy where most participants are younger.  And while I suspect the there will always be an economy similar to the current one, it is due to shrink substantially and most of the ones already in it will be very reluctant to give up some of their stake to make way for many of the younger generations.  For my part, even though I have the option of staying in the system, I see a future where most workers (white or blue collar) will be increasingly given the short end of the stick (by gov't in some cases and employers in others) and have less and less control over their lives.  I did the unthinkable this day and age and quit a high-paying (if not necessarily stable) job to try to walk a different path.  I miss the steady paycheck, but very little else.

Lastly in regards to where fault lies, while I also feel ripped off by decisions made when I was a child or even before I was born, I find it's best to accept the simple truth "life is not fair" and deal with things going forward.  Yeah lots of people (boomers included) were screwed by past decisions they had no say in, but that's life.  A fresh way of thinking and a clean slate of sorts is required in order to find the least painful path through the mess, otherwise the blame game will stall all progress.  That's not to say that we forget the people directly responsible for creating policies leading us here, especially since some of them are still in power and making things worse.  But for the average person who is willing to at least discuss changes to replace this failing system, it doesn't matter to me if they are my age or 18 or 80.

- Nickbert

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The trials of the Boomers and their parents

FAlley

Nickbert inspired my to take us back a little farther.

The Boomers were born from 1946-1964.  Our childhoods were the height of the Cold War.  We grew up knowing that at any moment we could die in a nuclear war.  During the Cuban Missile Crisis it nearly happened.  We would have 15 minutes warning at most, and if at school no chance to say goodbye to our families, or die with them.  I never expected to reach adulthood.

The Civil Rights movement created serious social turmoil and anger that erupted in massive riots and many burning cities over multiple years.  We had the Counter Culture revolution of the young, and the Generation Gap of “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”  In 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated, and Bobby Kennedy a few weeks later as he ran for president.  In the fall was the “police riot” against demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention.  The feminist movement created turmoil in the roles of the sexes.  From 1963 to 1975 everything was up in the air.

As young men reached 18 they became subject to the military draft.  Millions were called up and shipped off to Vietnam where over 50,000 died.  There were vocal protest demonstrations across the nation for years, and the largest demonstrations in US history happened during this period.  Tens of thousands of young men went underground, fled the country, or were imprisoned.  The nation, and families, were torn apart and the level of anger and hatred was palpable.  Many of us wondered how we could ever find a place for ourselves in such a broken system, or get it to leave us alone.  We didn’t think much of the world our parents left us.  Many rejected it and wandered during our formative years.  Plenty lost their way and died young.  Others became broken relics and objects of scorn to younger people because they weren’t “winners”.

As we entered our work years the economy underwent a sea change with the first Arab oil embargo in 1973.  Real income adjusted for inflation has essentially been flat ever since.  A man had to get a promotion to increase his buying power.  For the first time mothers in mass left their children at home so they could take a job.  For many it was the only way to obtain middle class status for the family.  Job security disappeared and even many of the earlier boomers found themselves out of a job in their fifties with no prospects for re-employment.  Most people with pensions were converted to 401ks and lost much of their retirement money in the crash of 2008.  What’s left of their life savings now receives negative real interest rates unless they take excessive risks.

Now the Greatest Generation – boy did they have it good!  Married women didn’t have to work and men’s real income doubled from 1947-1973.  Of course as children all they knew was the Great Depression, when some Americans actually starved.  And as early as age 17 they were fighting a long World War.  If they survived there were a few years of economic turmoil and great inflation as the economy converted to peacetime production.  And everyone was terrified it would slip back into a deep depression again.  For three years in the early 1950s my newlywed parents had no place of their own even though my dad had a good job.  They had to rent a series of upstairs bedrooms and share a bath in other people’s houses because housing was so short in the city.  This was not uncommon.

After a few years things got pretty good for the Greatest Generation.  They lived well and had lots of healthy children.  Of course this was during the height of the Cold War, and those children grew up and totally freaked them out and …  well, just go back and read the beginning again.

Boomers have not distinguished themselves with virtue.  But they didn’t sabotage you either.  People everywhere just want to have a decent life, which usually includes marriage and children in modest comfort.  This takes our best efforts and we really don’t have much influence over the trends of history .  We just try to make the best of the world that was shaped by those before us.

Millennials, my children, are indeed getting a raw deal.  It make me angry but it has to be dealt with.  Whining won’t help.  Assuming a victim mentality brings certain defeat.  You are extremely lucky compared to people caught in past wars.  And there is nothing you can do against a nuclear missile.  Your future may be tougher than expected, but it is one you can make better by your own efforts.  You should be able to survive and have a long and decent life.

Being young can be tough, but you have great strength and resilience.  Being old is tougher.  Learn as you go so you’ll be ready for that. 

Best of luck to you.

Travlin

 

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Millenials: Hero Generation

FAlley,

I was truly excited to see your post appear recently.   In the year that has passed, I came upon the most amazing book by authors Strauss & Howe called "The Fourth Turning" ~  

In this work -- written in 1997 -- the authors caught the good fortune of the generational buzz started by Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" in 1995 ~ they took their research deeper, covering the role of all generations at any one time throughout the past 500 years of Anglo-American history.  What their research revealed is truly amazing. 

They reveal to us what the Romans understood fundamentally - that our history is categorized by repeating cycles.  The Roman term was SAECULUM ~ roughly 80 years or the length of a long human life.  In this 80-year period there are four turnings of roughly 20 years each.  Within each turning you can envision four interactive generations stacked up and progressing over time: young adulthood - adulthood - national leadership - elder statesman.  The authors also give each generation a name which best describes the collective personality - they call it an Archetype (Artist, Prophet, Nomad, and Hero)

 I could bore you with the book review, but let me summarize:

1. The long arm of Anglo-American history and similarly, the 1200-year run of the Roman empire bear out this cyclical view of history.  America has enterred the Fourth Turning (Crisis) and we have some rough waters ahead (10-15 yrs).

2. The WWII Generation who were kids during the great depression and carried liberty to Europe and lead to the Nazi's were called the Greatest Generation.   Despite all that was thrown at them, they remained remarkably optimistic.  You are exactly in their shoes per the cycical sweep of history.  The WWII generation fit the HERO archetype.  The Millenials will play this role.  That's what the long march of history bears out.   

What does that mean?

Despite the slinging of toxic thoughts by others in this thread, here's what you ought to understand.  Your generation will be the first to reject the failing systems that we all know are unsustainable (perhaps Occupy are the shots heard at Bunker Hill).  The Silent generation will pass from the scene (but thank you Ron Paul!).  The Boomers will weep & wail for their 401k, but you don't share this loss. The Gen X'ers will scatter as per their trend, seeking their own individual way and not providing national leadership...or at least they won't provide national energy that is to be harvested to enable true transformation.  As in nature, so too is it true of human institutions, that death & decay are prerequisites to rebirth.  

You are not a failure. Wait - let me try this millenial lingo:  OMG - YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! 

 The systems (monetary, governmental, economic, etc) around you have reached their natural limits as our human hands have been guilty of overreach, the end result is decay/default.  The systems are failing.  We are living the symptoms, trying to tweak the unsustainable (tax code?). You are an aware seeker ~ and what you're finding in your deep dive will bear fruit. It won't be easy. You will help others see clearly.  You will emerge a leader among friends & community.  You will demonstrate the antidote to the unsustainable debt-based American-lifestyle that has permeated the past 40 years.   

Let me refer readers to an instructive video given by Neil Howe & William Strauss as they present the story of their research.  I find this stuff fascinating.  I hope you can absorb it as much as I did, and that it helps shape your narrative.  Avoid the fruitless blame-game of who squandered what.  Reject all the toxic thoughts shared within this thread.  They only cause anxiety and lead to an unproductive narrative.

This video is a 1997 C-SPAN interview.  It is quite instructional and will give you the gist of the book.  Still recommend owning/reading the book.  From this point - there are many other videos of similar content, but I found this one to be most helpful to lay out the basics. 

Last note - my wife is a teacher and so I am blessed to get to hang out with millenials (other young teachers) - in fact, my two sons are born into the tail end of the generation.  I can't think of a better group of people to be around.  Appreciate your integrity in laying out your thoughts to this audience.  

Cheers,

Dan ([email protected])   

 

FreeGoddess's picture
FreeGoddess
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2010
Posts: 5
If I hear one more comment about America the Great, I'm going to

scream.

Don't people have any idea that America the Great and the so-called American Dream or American Values or American Freedom are the result of an incredibly horrific series of violent, bloody, monstrous imperialist wars, a holocaust against native indigenous tribes and a raping of land and resources in their own and other countries.

Americans stole everything they have from others and then pretend they are the best, when, in fact, by every measure they are the worst except in one area - killing.

The planet is being murdered, primarily by Americans and the American way of life. It saddens me to see the blind obedience that Americans pay to their corrupt leaders who continue to promote this attitude of entitlement to the world's resources while polluting the earth at catastrophic, extinction levels.

We have very little time left. Mother Earth is gasping for her last breath, just as I, with cancer, am gasping for mine. When will Americans stop holding themselves up as the standard by which the world should measure itself? Never, it would seem.

One qualification: the people of America, as individuals, are not evil. They were not the ones who put this economic and social system in place. But, they must grow up and see the truth and begin fighting back and seeing themselves as part of a global community that needs to work together to heal the planet.

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