Is tension between old and young becoming a problem?

It’s old news that when the pie ceases to grow larger, those around the table fight more over the pieces. While “class warfare” gets the press coverage, it may be that the real story is the tension between the young and those with established careers. Linette Lopez:

New census data released today reveals that the recession has made American 20 to 30-somethings into a Lost Generation of unemployed and underemployed, the AP reports. According to economists, this trend will continue through the decade, and when its over, it will take another decade for this generation to fully recover. The dream of going to college, getting a degree, finding a job, and striking out on your own has dissipated, leaving only staggering numbers. . . .

5.9 million members of The Lost Generation will leave college and return home to live with their parents, that’s 25% more than the last recession. Most of them are men. When they do get home, this generation will work odd jobs until they can start careers. But only a little over half of them make it to that point (55.3%).

Of course this delays the entire process of becoming an adult, getting married, buying a house, and starting a family. Marriage among those aged 24-32 reached a new low of 44.2%. Homeownership fell from 67.3% in 2006 to 65.4% in 2010.


About Guy N. Texas

Guy N. Texas is the pen name of a lawyer living in Dallas, who is now a liberal. He was once conservative, but this word has so morphed in meaning that he can no longer call himself that in good conscience. Guy has no political aspirations. He speaks only for himself.
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One Response to Is tension between old and young becoming a problem?

  1. hortonw says:

    Is delaying marriage and child rearing a bad thing?

    That aside, the intergenerational conflict has been around for a long time. Old people vote disproportionately, both relative to their numbers in the population and relative to their stake in the outcome. So, our policies skew toward the elderly. Our education system stinks. Our investment in infrastructure is lousy and the govt uses a too-high discount rate when making investment decisions. The worst cost-benefit ratio in health care — by far — is the enormous sums of money we spend during folks’ last year and those folks are largely the elderly. People are so afraid of being old, sick, broke and alone that they put up with this system in spite of the fact that it makes us worse off as a society. A healthier understanding of aging and the nature of death would allow us to be much more healthy as a society. People freaked out at the mere thought of death panels, even when there was no actual proposal for death panels. Imagine their reaction when the idea is put on the table more directly and seriously. Then you’ll see the inter-generational issues finally brought out into the open and perhaps discussed more honestly. Well, in some other country at least.

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