My folks, in their late 70’s early 80’s, just do not understand why my kids can’t just work their way through college like they did. Why do they need to take out huge college loans? This question posed by The Economist is another clueless, tone deaf revelation about boomers not understanding the real world in which Millennials are growing.
If these kids don’t go to college, they have no student loans, but they have limited themselves to a few, low-paying jobs like call centers, retail, and hospitality. Then they are called losers; they need benefits like healthcare support and supplemental nutrition, and we call them lazy welfare moochers.
If they go to college, even a relatively inexpensive public university, the are facing a 4 or 5 year degree more, both their work and their school suffers (bad grades as an undergrad practically guarantees that grad school is out) then they earn a BA which is the 2016 equivalent of the High School diploma of the past.
As the article states, “We’re not all studying women’s studies or Greek mythology either. There’s been a trend of lawyers graduating from prestigious law schools, passing the bar, and not finding any work. Americans specializing in STEM jobs are getting replaced by cheaper foreign employees with H-1B visas. Then there’s the constant outsourcing of jobs to countries like India and China.”
So even if they earn challenging degrees in science, engineering or law as suggested, these kids are lucky to get anything that can help them try to start to pay those debts. Then when they can’t get a good job or pay their debt or move out of their parents’ house, we call them lazy parent moochers.
So essentially, we are seeing an entire generation of loan slaves, told that their plight is their fault. They can’t buy diamonds because they can’t buy ANYTHING and they never will because they took the calculated risk to get an education. They will not be buying cars or homes. They are not inheriting anything from mom and dad either because we all lost everything we had saved in the crash; younger boomers and Xers are living paycheck to paycheck too, and they will all be working until 70 and beyond to avoid living in a box.
If I could give any advice to parents of young children right now, it is to get them a good education but also to teach them a good trade. Working with our hands, building and fixing things are proud pursuits and come in pretty handy in tough times; we will always need our hair cut, our cars fixed and our sinks unclogged.