Generation Y Wakes Up From The American Dream, Faces An American Nightmare

Tyler Durden's picture

Three and a half years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, the earnings and employment gap between those in the under-35 population and their parents and grandparents threatens to unravel the American dream of each generation doing better than the last. We have noted a number of times that these divides are growing and warned of the social tension this could create and, as Bloomberg notes, it does not appear to be getting any better, Generation Y professionals entering the workforce are finding careers that once were gateways to high pay and upwardly mobile lives turning into detours and dead ends. "This generation will be permanently depressed and will be on a lower path of income for probably all of their life - and at least the next 10 years," as middle-income jobs are disappearing. A 2009 law school graduate sums it up rather succinctly: "I had a lot of faith in the system, the mythology that if you work really hard you can achieve anything, and the stock market always goes up. It was pretty naïve on my part."

 

Via Bloomberg:

Generation Y professionals entering the workforce are finding careers that once were gateways to high pay and upwardly mobile lives turning into detours and dead ends. Average incomes for individuals ages 25 to 34 have fallen 8 percent, double the adult population’s total drop, since the recession began in December 2007. Their unemployment rate remains stuck one-half to 1 percentage point above the national figure.

 

Three and a half years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, the earnings and employment gap between those in the under-35 population and their parents and grandparents threatens to unravel the American dream of each generation doing better than the last. The nation’s younger workers have benefited least from an economic recovery that has been the most uneven in recent history.

which is leading to an increasingly disenfranchised generation:

“This generation will be permanently depressed and will be on a lower path of income for probably all of their life -- and at least the next 10 years,” says Rutgers professor Cliff Zukin, a senior research fellow at the university’s John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Professionals who start out in jobs other than their first choice tend to stay on the alternative path, earning less than they would have otherwise while becoming less likely to start over again later in preferred fields, Zukin says.

 

...

 

Only one-fifth of those who graduated college since 2006 expect greater success than their parents, a Rutgers survey found earlier this year. Little more than half were working full time. Just one in five said their job put them on a career path.

As the dream fades:

“I had a lot of faith in the system, the mythology that if you work really hard you can achieve anything, and the stock market always goes up,” says 2009 law school graduate Elizabeth Hallock, 33. “It was pretty naïve on my part.

And fingers are pointed:

Hallock is the named plaintiff in one of 14 lawsuits against some of the nation’s best-known law schools, including her alma mater, the University of San Francisco School of Law. The civil complaints, filed in 2011 and 2012, accuse the institutions of overstating graduates’ job-placement results and incomes.

 

Young Americans are struggling to reconcile their lack of economic rewards with their relatively privileged upbringings by Baby Boomer parents and the material success of their older peers, Generation X, born in the late 1960s and 1970s...

But whose fault is it?

“It’s a generation that had really high expectations, in some part driven by the way they were raised by their boomer parents,” she says. “Yet in the past five years they have had reality slammed in their face by the employment situation.”

As...

The same housing crash that hammered young architects and loan officers also slammed lawyers. Law schools are turning out about 45,000 degree holders a year for about 25,000 full-time positions available to them, according to the National Association for Law Placement Inc. in Washington. The class of 2011 had the lowest placement with law firms, 49.5 percent, in 36 years.

 

“It is not the perfect path to wealth and success that people may have envisioned,” says Robin Sparkman, editor in chief of The American Lawyer magazine in New York.

Which is leading to lawsuits - by the new lawyers against their schools...

“It’s hard to look at the information the schools were putting out and say it’s not misleading,” says Derek Tokaz, research director of the nonprofit Law School Transparency initiative. It published research showing that the chance of recent graduates getting permanent full-time work in law was far lower than the 80-95 percent total employment rates the schools typically boasted.

But for some - a new different life is peeking through...

“As it is, all of my possessions still fit in the back of my truck,” she says. “I can pack it in a couple hours, pick up the trailer and horses and move anywhere the gas tank will take me at the drop of a hat. What can the system take away from you when you have that kind of freedom?

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Magically Delicious's picture

Out of the 6 members of my IT department, 3 studied Chemistry and 2 were Mech-E's

babylon15's picture

So yeah who is gonna buy all these houses, bonds, and stocks at current prices again?

Salon's picture

It is nice to know that eventually gen Y and millenials will be so repulsed by this unsustainable intergenerational transfer as to put sn end to it.

And this old gen xer will stand up and applaud

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

You mean stand up for a misguided principle and then sit back down on your own stool. Call your mom, she needs to wipe the drool off your chin again.

NotApplicable's picture

You mean, besides Kevin Henry?

ElvisDog's picture

who is gonna buy all these houses, bonds, and stocks

The answer, of course, is the central banks. The Fed is printing $1T a year to buy assets. How long before they literally own everything?

Banksters's picture

The stock market always goes up?

Not between 1929 and 1953!

 

 

Vint Slugs's picture

What a perfect irony:  Law student graduates suing their alma maters because they "accuse the institutions of overstating graduates’ job-placement results and incomes."

LOL

NotApplicable's picture

I guess there wasn't a math requirement that might've clued them in that 45k doesn't fit into 20k. Then again, I remember listening to the business majors talking behind me in one of my econ classes, and those kids didn't have a clue how math functions.

yogibear's picture

Hope the law grads takes down their own house of cards. There are way too many law schools. Time to close down the sham!!!

spentCartridge's picture

Lawyers are all criminals, period.

Some of them, however, haven't figured that out yet, but perhaps this 'enlightening' episode will lead some of them to discover that setting out on a potential career involving fraud as a basic means of operation, is/was not a very good idea.

 

Edit ~ response to being downvoted by an unemployed lawyer ... LOL !!!

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

agreed Vint,

“Hallock is the named plaintiff in one of 14 lawsuits against some of the nation’s best-known law schools, in…………...he civil complaints, filed in 2011 and 2012, accuse the institutions of overstating graduates’ job-placement results and incomes.

Has a lawyer ever overstated “I think we have case here”

really unimpressive that you fell for marketing trash and now you need someone to make you whole again.

Just wait ‘til the JAG’s file suit on ‘all you can be’ ; depressed, handicapped, traumatized, ptsd, medical experiment fodder, etc.

This generation does not know that the world/country owes you nothing; you are born with all you deserve. You make it happen.

are the frontiersman of yesteryear gonna start a law suit because “nobody told me there would be indigenous people protecting their 1000 year old hunting grounds….and bears, and snakes and impassable mountains…”  Go West Young Man. no head East.

ElvisDog's picture

I think it's hilarious. At least they learned a thing or two in law school.....

U4 eee aaa's picture

Yes, I saw that as funny also. You don't want to be teaching law graduates too well if you're running a scam. Talk about coming back and biting you in the butt

That's about as dumb as teaching Afghans how to shoot guns

Freddie's picture

Scum suing lying school scam scum.   I once had to go to a judge's chambers on a civil matter because a lawyer was too lazy to show up.  All these ****ers were plugged into the Democrat Party.  This is all they talked about in the waiting room.   Getting their people in so they can sue anybody and everybody.  Licensed extortion.  Total vermin. 

I did a little legal research and blew up their case even though I was not a party to the whole thing.  It took me about 2 hours and this was pre-internet.   Part of the irony is I am sure all of these rat sh*t idiots voted for O. 

He and the Dem 2006 Congress (everyone deserves a home & Franklin Raines at fannie is doing a wonderful job) blew it up and I would bet 95% of these kids and "law schools" voted for him.  Ditto the newspapers that are dying plus postal workers/post office.

 

GMadScientist's picture

Yes, they learned how to whine and blame others from their boomer parents.

That 95% includes lowly clerking duties...get used to it or make a name for yourself.

CashIsTrash's picture

I had a boomer tell me that loyalty equals a right to a pension.
That's how entitled this generation and generation X have become. The motto is work less, save even less, and force someone else to pay!

mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

I think we need to be a little cautious about broad-brush statements.  There are those who choose (perhaps are forced) to live a miserable, dependent life and there are those who choose to be self-sufficient, even in the face of challenge.  No entire generation is comprised completely of the former; in my view the proportion has become larger, and unsustainably so. 

Envy and blame are complementary and self-reinforcing, and the too many sources - parents, schools, the MSM, etc. - feed them.  Discernment is becoming increasingly rare and valuable.

Salon's picture

As a gen x dude I witnessed the boomers pull up the ladder behind them

All the defined benefit plans were shut down three yearrs before i and the rest could qualify.

No sacrifice at all from the age 53 and above.

NotApplicable's picture

Thing is, unless we're really sucessful at absorbing wealth from the world over, all generations battle over wealth. If it stopped in the US, it was due to the establishment of America'a "Superpower" status after WWII.

As the empire wanes, however...

Jam Akin's picture

Don't get too resentful.  What percentage of defined benefit plan participants under age 60 do you think will collect anything from their plans in dollars that are worth anything?  Doesn't matter your age or generation:  most everyone who is still alive will have been screwed over before this current phase in our "economic progress" is over with.

geekgrrl's picture

I'm thinking along the same lines... We're all going to be fucked. It's time to find another way.

My only hope is that we can try to stick together and not get into a civil war.

CashIsTrash's picture

Now your making broad-brush statements. Define a miserable life. Are you talking about slavery? My point is the elder generations have played this victim card since the recession of 2008, when many of them were out spending instead of saving. Too many people have become reliant on their loyalty to a company equating it to a right, it's not a right it's a privilege and a show of appreciation.

blunderdog's picture

    That's how entitled this generation and generation X have become.

You know X'ers with PENSIONS?

oddjob's picture

Pensions are a bankers tool. Pulling the ladder up is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. Look down, that's a poor person with a match and nothing to lose.

insanelysane's picture

I have Gen Y kids and Gen Z kids.  The public education system told the Gen Y kids that they were all special and as long as it feels good it is good.  One of the Y kids came home from middle school one day and told me that if he just told them he was dumb he could get in a class with no homework.  He actually wanted to do it cause it was easy.  Well, I went up one side of him and down the other.  It was tough being a parent cause you had to deprogram Gen Y every f-ing day.  Fortunately, this seems to have swung at least a bit back for the Gen Z-ers.  The public ed system in my locale is teaching personal responsibility and self reliance now.  But Gen Y lost out on those formative years.  It is going to take most of them their entire lives to figure it out and the Gen Z-ers will eat them for lunch.

Freddie's picture

The public ed system in my locale is teaching personal responsibility and self reliance now.

Dude - where do you live? On Mars?

Maybe the local parents really got involved and tore the school board and locals schools a new one.  Or it is a very red state with sane people.  

Public Ed System and Personal Responsibility are mutually exclusive concepts. 

insanelysane's picture

I am as amazed as you since the older kids were in the same school system.  Every kid in middle school gets a planner which includes the school rules.  You are required to carry the planner to every class and there are no excuses for missed homework.  What a concept!!!

Freddie's picture

This is amazing. You should find out who was responsible and get all the parents to support this.  Personal responsibility - wow.  Incredible how it changed from one group of your olders kids to younger kids.  Awesome.

Top_Kill's picture

This is a clear sign the snake has almost completey devoured itself. It started with its tail in 1913. This is a clear sign that it has made it all the way to the neck. When banks start suing the FED you know it is over.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

Can anyone tell me one thing the younger generation is doing to solve the problems alledgedly caused by the older generation? 

Go ahead, name one single thing.

All I see is younger folks making it worse, going deeper in debt earlier in life than we ever did.

Is sky-high college tuition our fault?  Is taking on 50k of student loan debt our fault?  Is the shrinking job market our fault?  Is the govt trying to wipe out the middle class our fault?

Young people fail to recognize govt and big businesss have become more predatory in recent years.  That's not our fault, and younger people aren't doing one single thing to change it.

CashIsTrash's picture

That's like asking someone to leave a classroom full of kindergarteners with candy and soda pop and expecting them not to tear the place up

CashIsTrash's picture

That's like asking someone to leave a classroom full of kindergarteners with candy and soda pop and expecting them not to tear the place up

koncaswatch's picture

Ah yes; teaching the rewards of deferred gratification: the marshmello experiment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

"One thing": I'm here today saying the things I'm saying (check out my main website later if you aren't scared of stepping onto Google's servers and "Verisign-ers")

I probably will be doing something else tomorrow, speaking with a different community.

SilverDOG's picture

cranky-old-geezer

 

... and where was your profit derived from?

 

mkkby's picture

A hand full voted Ron Paul or went to occupy.  Most, however, can be found in front of a video game/TV or at the mall wasting what little resources they got from gov handouts, or those parents they resent so much.

I say stop all welfare for any able bodied adult who can stand on his/her 2 feet and isn't blind.  Hunger begets entrepreneurial spirit.

Bay of Pigs's picture

"all of my possessions still fit in the back of my truck"

Hobo Nation. Good times...

GMadScientist's picture

"The stuff you own....owns you."

insanelysane's picture

It's only a problem if you need stuff for you to be happy.

GMadScientist's picture

"Your stuff is shit...and my shit...is stuff!" - GC

e-recep's picture

i do need stuff to live in more comfort and security. what the fuck does happiness have anything to do with owning stuff??

mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

Where does the important stuff fit?

fuu's picture

You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

Being a hobo > being Jamie Dimon.

Freddie's picture

LOL!  But did Hobos have iPads and iPhone 5 back during the Depression and dustbowl?   Was a bowl of soup and a piece of bread like a new killer Twitter ap back during the Dust Bowl era?

WTF is it with these parents now?  They are helicopter parents for college students, pushing them to get more education (MAs, PhDs) in worthless subjects.  They let their kids get into more debt trying to fool themselves into thinking more edukayshun in useless majors/subjects will help them find a job in the Obam New Africs economy.

The kids crash and brun back to the couch or basement and the morons keep voting for the islamic.  The one with  sealed college records because he is an illiterate pot head.  What is with that sh*t? 

My guess is ma and pa today are still brainwashed by TV, Hollywood and the media.  Sick.

Everybodys All American's picture

It's time to call for a Constitutional Convention.

 

Topic 1. End the Fed.

Topic 2. Restore rule of law.

Topic 3. Term limits for Congress.

This would restore confidence and a real economy would then begin allowing prosperity for all once again.