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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CJHames's picture

Nawww, some douche bag (aka politician) usually comes around and kicks the sand castle over long before mother nature can reclaim it.  

cosmyccowboy's picture

  i too am able to move in one pickup truck load but would have to borrow the truck to do it! i did it on purpose, i wanted to make sure when the IRS comes to seize all i own they are sadly disappointed!

 if only i hadnt lost that sack of metal on my last canoe trip....

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Do it Knights Templar style. After arresting the Templar leaders on Friday the 13th, King Phillipe's minions went to confiscate all their treasure. It was all gone along with their fleet of ships.

Lendo's picture

2013, the year belief systems are turned upside down.

GMadScientist's picture

There's something decidedly inauthentic about pretending that the lives of an entire generation, millions of invididuals, can be characterized by some amorphous median representative. Many Gen X/Y people did much better than their parents, myself included, precisely because of their parents and many Gen X/Y people failed not because of some demographic slight to them as a class, but their own human foibles.

No rose garden was promised.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M021uHTVu1g

"We don't care. It's not our fault...that we were born too late..."

Bastiat009's picture

Government managing the economy to please a part of the electorate or the banks will always lead to wealth destruction. It is always true everywhere (even if the father of your president was born in Africa). Only freedom and work can lead to wealth creation.

As long as people believe that the solution to the problem is the problem, it won't be solved.

Magnum's picture

Law graduate did a poor job of forecasting demand. USA has far too many lawyers per capita, and the justice system as a whole is largely responsible for the current state of natioal bankruptcy,

mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

Interesting perspective.  I view the justice system as reinforcing and protecting the bad habits that have been groomed over the past several generations.  The root in my view is that any variance to the utopian expectations must be someone else's fault and restitution is owed.  The 'justice' system is the enabler.

Magnum's picture

Highest number of lawyers per capita and jailed citizens per capita, jailed in a system that costs taxpayers a fortune because lawyers ensure long sentences and comfy conditions. Fleecing the people's pocketbooks almost as much as illegal wars.

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

CORRUPTISSIMA RE PUBLICA, PLURIMAE LEGES

"The very-most corrupt state, is even moreso numerous in its laws..."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Tacitus

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=party+like+its+1984

GMadScientist's picture

Seems odd since the argument is always that they're price-supported by the exclusivity knob of the bar exam in state X.

Could be a mismatch between the focus of the graduates ("I wanna be an entertainment or sports rep") vs the actual need of the market ("Can anyone read this fucking software patent?@").

 

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

USA has far too many lawyers per capita, and the justice system as a whole is largely responsible for the current state of natioal bankruptcy

I think you are referring to the legal system, as there is no compelling evidence that a justice system exists in the US.

CJHames's picture

"What can the system take away from you when you have that kind of freedom?

Well, let me count the ways ....

1) Gas prices could be jacked up so much you can't afford to drive to the gast station just to get more gas, let alone actually going anywhere.

2) EPA rules and regs could (or probably will) begin to limit the amount of miles we're "allowed" to drive each year (you know, to save the environment).

3) States such as CA, who are losing huge amounts of taxpaers due to over spending and over taxation, may decide it's against the law for folks to leave, and what's worse, the Feds under Owebama could make it illegal to move as well.

I know, I know, this is all futuristic crazy talk.  The gov't, after all, would never do anything such as force us to buy health insurance, limit our ability to own guns for self defense, force us to wear seat belts and helmets, force our children to be innoculated, allow foreigners to invade our country .....

Nawww.  Everything is going to be juuuuuust fine.  Honest.  Trust me.

 

 


Bicycle Repairman's picture

TSA stops you on the highway, consults its chart, determines you are on the blue list.

ElvisDog's picture

Oh, they can do more than that. There are vehicle registration fees, they could declare your car to be a polluter and you have to buy one that gets 50 mpg in order to drive it, insurance rates could rise to obscene levels. Plus, it's really nice to have a bathroom and kitchen at your disposal. Most pickup trucks don't come with a built-in bathroom or kitchen.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

blue skies....

green shoots....

"Calling Murray Rothbard.....!"

yrbmegr's picture

It should not be surprising, then, that Gen Y has no loyalty toward the system devised by their parents.

Loose Caboose's picture

"It should not be surprising, then, that Gen Y has no loyalty toward the system devised by their parents."

Substitute "The Love Generation" for "Gen Y" and the satement could be from 1967. 

Question is will Gen Y maintain their integrity any better than the boomers did once the reins of power are truly in their hands?  Good luck making history within an historic framework that repeats itself.   

 

 

r3phl0x's picture

A generation fucked by its parents will probably fuck its children. And on and on and on.

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuga

2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_Man


When things finally get bad enough, people find it in themselves to fix it.

The question is: Will we make this our Iron Age? Or the next?


A king isn't born, Alexander, he is made. By steel and by suffering. A king must know how to hurt those he loves. It's lonely. Ask Hercules [of the previous Age, spoken of by Homer]. Ask any of them. Fate is cruel. No man or woman can be too powerful or too beautiful without disaster befalling. They laugh when you rise too high and crush everything you've built with a whim. What glory they give in the end, they take away. They... They make of us slaves.

[. . .]

It was a Iron Age. Blood-feuds. Fathers feared their son's treachery and would eat them.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alexander_(film)#Philip

Toolshed's picture

“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."

Are we supposed to have sympathy for people who can afford horses? Get fucking real. The cost of maintaining a horse is quite prohibitive for the average person. Law schools have been churning out waaaay too many lawyers for DECADES!! This is not a new development. What is a new development is lawyers suing their alma mater. I absolutely love to watch blood sucking vultures turn on each other like this!!!! I gotta make some more popcorn now.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Not everybody with a couple of rescue (free) horses have country club memberships or new SUVs. We spend less on our two horses than we spend feeding the dogs.

Agree with you about watching lawyers turning on their mentors. Popcorn it is!

Dangertime's picture

Generation Y(our screwed) probably won't be happy to know that once they finally do get a job, most of their efforts will go towards paying for all of those entitlements which have been piling up.

 

 

Sure Keynes, in the long run we are all dead, but here comes Gen Y to pay the price for your idiocy.

UNCOMPROMISED's picture

I hope this Gen Y and later generations to come develop better working attitudes then those god-dammed Gen X'ers. I suspect there was a twilight period where the Gen-X'ers saw a glimpse of paradise as it faded from view and thusly get poisoned.

No chance of that for these Gen Y'ers. LoL. Get to work Bitchez!

Dangertime's picture

My experience is that X'ers and the Boomers have equally $hitty work ethics.

 

Mostly half-a$$ed.  Unions come to mind.

UNCOMPROMISED's picture

It's disgusting but they will learn.

It's time for them to realize that they will get their 40 virgins when they retire and NOT before that. Until then it is a world of Crate Expectations:

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/remodeling-design/stories/crate-expectation...

TrustWho's picture

...do not worry, gY will not pay and I would not blame keynes. Keynes policy was to have government save during good times and spend(invest) during economic downturns. Instead, our politicians used Keynes to  justify deficts to get votes  and treat its citizens like Pavlov's dogs. We followed Pavlov's model until gY says "ENOUGH ALREADY"!

williambanzai7's picture

I am thinking the game of blaming generations for this and that is another convenient misdirection for the scum sitting permanently at the top.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Boomers are an easy target. It's starting to get on my nerves and some of us can be very ill-tempered. We're watching this situation carefully.

Cathartes Aura's picture

perhaps a better solution is to not identify with their labeling of your life. . .

SilverDOG's picture

Ralph Spoilsport,

 

Keep watching, as you boomers usually perform as such.

Thankfully, in 15 yrs 75% of you will be gone.

By the way, put down the mirror.

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

The scum will always sit on top. It's a question of empowering others so that subtle yet important changes affect the brazen theft at the top. Steal more, steal less, but get rid of them completely? Call me cynical.

GMadScientist's picture

"I don't care what those other guys say about you, I know you're awesome" pat pat

<Kick me>

 

JR's picture

In a nutshelll! Banzai. The financial elites, "having made the mess, will volunteer heroically for the job of cleaning it up (H.L. Mencken)" ... while misdirecting the blame to fool the sheeple.

lamont cranston's picture

Boo hoo, the poor lawyers can't get jobs, even as ambulance chasers. Zero sympathy here. My oldest daughter never finished college (Alabama, wher she drank & worked her way through), continued to work while raising two sons and at 35 has a wonderful job as head trader for a company that manufactures recyled paper products and plastic pellets. She & hubby are solid Red Staters. 

On the other hand, my youner daughter (27) has an undergrad degree from Chapel Hill. I was making enough $ by then after the divorce that she did not have to work. She spent 6 months sort of working after graduation (quit 3 jobs) before moving and waiting tables, which was 4+ years ago. She's now a shift/asst mgr. and was just told about her weekly hours being cut to 29 max. When I told her why, she didn't believe me until her sister chimed in. Said it wasn't fair. 

She was working on getting an undergrad acctg degree, then to get her Masters in Acctg and taking the CPA. Her useless boyfriend (26 year old waiter/busses tables, non-fine dining) doesn't want to move to Knoxvegas, so she has put that on hold for over a year.

BTW, guess which party they vote for. YGWYD. 

Almost Solvent's picture

"Red Staters"

Tells me all I need to know.

Go back to sleep and make sure to vote!

Dr. No's picture

They dont define "Professionals entering the workforce".  My guess is the Gen Y stats are stacked with a bunch of art+crafts B.S. majors with huge student debt.  I would like to see the stats for Gen Y engineers and technical placement.  My guess it is much higher.  The Gen X and BB generation should have done a better job stripping off that culture of a "liberal arts degree" is wothwhile. Its a waste of money and time.  But then again, is supports the tenured liberal establishment.

dwdollar's picture

If you count all those engineers working on the enslavement grid via Uncle Scam or Uncle Scam's contractors you might be right.

GMadScientist's picture

Because tenured liberal arts professors are rollin' in it

LOL

SilverMoneyBags's picture

Think your grandchildren will be paying for it? Nah, you're paying for it right now. This is why you want to retire but have little to no savings.

EAT IT. Millennials will be the way out, that is if you are willing to take the shackles off of us.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

 No Bakersfield to go to this time...

Barbaric relic's picture

It should not be surprising, then that Gen Y has no loyalty toward the system devised by their parents.

 

The elites devise the system -- I'm sure their children will do fine. 

americanspirit's picture

Dear children - most of you were loved, cared for, educated and prepared for life as well as your parents could possibly manage. Dear parents - most of your children try hard to be good people, to do good work, to contribute to their community and to respect others as well as they can possibly manage.

So please be a little more thoughtful when you are looking around for who to blame for the mess we are all in. There are those who are actually to blame, and who deserve any retribution that can possibly be visited upon them. So how about we all stop blaming each other and go after the ones we know, for sure, are the source of most of the evil and suffering in our society. And by the way, those people are not defined by any ethnicity or religious affiliation - it is by their deeds ye shall know them.

SilverDOG's picture

americanspirit,

 

Ideally stated, shall not be as such.

Please pass the Hopium.

 

One must start with themselves, and lead by example. 

WTF screams 310 million Americans. 2 million nod.

ConfederateH's picture

From a meritocracy to an affirmative action/reparations state in one generation.  And Obama is riding the wave of making the cracka's pay.  Just don't expect Generation Y to get past the hope and change and see what is happening.

Freddie's picture

Our dear mullah and his friends in TV and Hollywood doing "kill Whitey" movies.  If you watch TV or Hollywood's sh*t then you are helping them.   Murdoch (Fox) was one of the first to chime in that Americans need to be disarmed.  He is no friend of Americans.  TV and Hollywood are total sh*t.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Smaller pie, less pieces. The South was right!