Matt Miller’s column yesterday on young people getting the shaft (can you dig it?) (Zing! People too young for that joke just got shafted again!) attracted 2,000 comments, 2,400 Facebook recommends and 150 tweets. So it was the hottest opinion piece yesterday despite not even being printed in the paper. Which, we are told, is a thing people used in the 20th century.
Miller says matters won’t get any better for us young people until we stop just being so cool and physically attractive and begin to exercise our political clout. The specific area of shaft involves government spending on debt and on old people, every dollar of which is not spent on young people, and, like, our health care and infrastructure.
The idea of a simple, either-or spending menu set up a storm of inter-generational conflict in the comments section and a counter-storm of would-be war profiteers who point out (mostly satirically) that society as a whole can all use this generational strife to our advantage! It all gets very Hunger Games. Which is a bunch of books, which are . . . never mind. First, let’s rouse a little rabble:
AdventurerVA had his or her day, by gum, and it was different from today:
With today’s tools — we didn’t even have calculators in college — innumerable opportunities do and will exist to create good jobs for young people. Nobody gets their future handed to them on a platter.
Femetro says that basically every generation gets shafted, so sharrup you kids:
If you think everyone before you in life graduated straight to the middle class and a 401k, think again. It is a total myth. You have a responsibility like previous generations had, only you are kidding yourself that they did not.
AnnsThought thinks the mentality of being shafted is just another entitlement the yoots take for granted. Older generations had to work for their grievances:
People over the age of 50 grew up with little and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. We did not grow up with designer jeans, cellphones with personal ringtones, a computer and TV in our rooms, and $1000 prom nights. We provided plenty to this younger generation, and they feel entitled, and they’re ungrateful. We spoiled our kids, and now look what we get. Opinion columns like this.
B_Al_Zebub questions Miller’s whole thesis:
They were saying the young people were going to have to bail out SS when I was under twenty five. Now I’m sixty two and trying to retire, but between SS and my FERS retirement I will receive a grand total of 25K a year to live on. Do you think I want to hear I’m getting too much? I may just have to risk it, like I did when I was young and couldn’t afford anything, and when I get a serious disease, just resign to checking out. I might last another 10, or 20 years, if I’m lucky. I paid into the system since I was 16 years old. I feel entitled to at least a subsistence.
Okay, now we will hear from the yoots. They are roaring, in numbers too big to ignore, which is a paraphrase of a song lyric from back when pop music had lyrics like that and nobody laughed at it with great peals of derision (“Chilling by the fire while we’re eating fondue”). We must report, alas, that the youths are all saying pretty much the same thing, in the same way, a way that is well represented by Deiopei, who wholeheartedly agrees with Miller and wants to shaft the oldsters back:
I’m 27 and I know what’s happening and this author nailed it. I already posted this article on FB. I tell all my friends that we are pioneers. We are living in a world where the rules have changed and there are no real answers on how to get a job. We were not given the answers. Only the problems.
Okay, so let’s monetize the hopelessness and jealousy. Anyone?
Cz_man is willing to take on some indentured servants:
I have a modest proposal for those people trying to pay for college. Sure you can take out loans and all, but why not cut out the middleman?
Why not simply enslave yourself?
I’m sure a 1%er (or even a 5%er like myself) would be happy to fund your education in exchange for a period of indentured servitude and a percentage of your future wages. The magic of the private market would then kick into place as we would have a *vested interest* in seeing you succeed and ensuring that we received maximum compensation from your existence.
Hmm! That’s still pretty hopeful. Anyone else?
Billwald thinks we could do with another postwar, paranoid boom:
My best guess for young people? Build a bomb shelter and start WW3.
EB5000 quotes Thomas Jefferson. The quote isn’t exactly intergenerational but is pretty depressing!
“Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.”
Almost there. Can anyone take us all the way to dystopia?
Soylent Green might take some of the sting away.
YES! A nationwide Soylent Green initiative, in which the young eat the old, to be operated with the unwitting generosity of people who don’t know the reference. As usual, we’ll be in our bunker.