“American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals,” Bloomberg reports:
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.
“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.
Michael Greenstone, who was chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 2009 and 2010, says the shift to a downwardly mobile society may be lasting. “Children are not earning as much as their parents, and I think we’re laying the seeds for that to continue into the future,” he says.
Well, yes — that last quote does unintentionally sum up the Obama administration’s goals remarkably well.
But like most bad economic news, it’s only unexpected at “liberal” Websites such as Bloomberg. Or as Robert at Small Dead Animals writes linking to the above piece in a post titled, “The Fate of America’s Entitlement Generation:”
Exactly. Besides, haven’t the MSM being telling its viewers for the last decade that they needed to downsize their lives and lower their expectations? Let’s go the archives for a few flashbacks.
First up, from late 2010, here’s would-be Obama advisor and self-described “Host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show,” Fareed Zakaria, on the most foreign subject of all of them at CNN, the American people:
Parker asked Zakaria if he had faith the American people could handle the fiscal discipline he advocated. Zakaria used the platform as an opportunity to attack Americans and refute the notion “the American people are wonderful.” His solution: Less consumption by the American people.
“No, I think the people are the big problem,” Zakaria said. “I mean, Americans — everybody wants to say the American people are so wonderful. You know, I think that when they come to recognize that they have to make sacrifices too that it’s not just wasteful — they need to have — they need to recognize that some of what’s going to happen here is fewer. They have to consume fewer things. They have to accept slightly higher taxes. And in the long run, you will have a much better economy.”
Consume fewer things? Accept higher taxes? Fareed’s boss is certainly onboard with that idea, as he warned prospective voters in 2008:
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.
“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.
In the 1970s, Dandy Don Meredith sang “Turn out the lights, the party’s over,” near the conclusion of Monday Night Football’s many blowout games. On its equivalent show on NBC, Bob Costas takes the idea literally — millions of watts for his fellow corporatists who own football stadiums; none for you at home. It’s bad for the environment, according to Bob. Tom Brokaw, his fellow newsreader at NBC, wants you to pay more for your gas as well, for much the same reason.
And you know what else is bad for the environment? Growing economies themselves, according to John Kerry and Claire McCaskill.
As Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
Unexpectedly, Bloomberg would add, if only it the Website’s reporters were collectively self-aware enough to be honest with themselves and their readers.
Update: Since this is an awfully secular post for Christmas Eve, perhaps it would help to liven things up if we immanentized the eschaton, BHO-style:
1:1 In the beginning Obama promised to create a heaven on earth.
1:2 And his believers’ minds were without form, and void; and awe-struck looks were upon the faces of the asleep. And the Spirit of Obama moved upon the faces of the believers.
1:3 And Obama said, Let there be debt: and there was debt.
1:4 And Obama saw the debt, that it was good: and Obama divided the debt among the producers.
1:5 And Obama called the debt Stimulus, and the taxes he called “skin in the game.” And the evening and the morning were the first day.
1:6 And Obama said, Let there be a massive new entitlement in the midst of the recession, and let it divide the healthcare bill among the insured and the uninsured.
1:7 And Obama made the entitlement, and divided the bill among the insured and the uninsured: and it was so.
Thou should readith the whole of the thing. (Via Stacy McCain’s co-blogger, Smitty.)