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Education The Almighty Buck United States Technology

Millennials Earn 20 Percent Less Than Boomers Did At Same Stage of Life (usatoday.com) 495

According to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, even though they are better educated. Their median household income is $40,581, and their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher. USA Today reports: The analysis of the Fed data (PDF) shows the extent of the decline. It compared 25 to 34 year-olds in 2013, the most recent year available, to the same age group in 1989 after adjusting for inflation. Education does help boost incomes. But the median college-educated millennial with student debt is only earning slightly more than a baby boomer without a degree did in 1989. The home ownership rate for this age group dipped to 43 percent from 46 percent in 1989, although the rate has improved for millennials with a college degree relative to boomers. The median net worth of millennials is $10,090, 56 percent less than it was for boomers. Whites still earn dramatically more than Blacks and Latinos, reflecting the legacy of discrimination for jobs, education and housing. Yet compared to white baby boomers, some white millennials appear stuck in a pattern of downward mobility. This group has seen their median income tumble more than 21 percent to $47,688. Median income for black millennials has fallen just 1.4 percent to $27,892. Latino millennials earn nearly 29 percent more than their boomer predecessors to $30,436. The analysis fits into a broader pattern of diminished opportunity. Research last year by economists led by Stanford University's Raj Chetty found that people born in 1950 had a 79 percent chance of making more money than their parents. That figure steadily slipped over the past several decades, such that those born in 1980 had just a 50 percent chance of out-earning their parents. This decline has occurred even though younger Americans are increasingly college-educated. The proportion of 25 to 29 year-olds with a college degree has risen to 35.6 percent in 2015 from 23.2 percent in 1990, a report this month by the Brookings Institution noted.
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Millennials Earn 20 Percent Less Than Boomers Did At Same Stage of Life

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  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @09:36PM (#53664729)

    So, more younger folks have college degrees. Does that actually mean that those folks are better educated? Are a bunch of for-profit institutions just churning out worthless degrees, while saddling young students with debt that they have no chance of paying off?

    • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @09:40PM (#53664747)

      Was thinking the same thing. A additional 15% took an extra 4 or 5 years of partying before starting work. Graduate dumber, but better indoctrinated, than when they started.

      Not just 'for profits', all schools are offering lots of watered down degrees, not that * studies wasn't already worthless 30 years ago.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Boomers didn't require "safe spaces" in the workplace, they just did the job that they were hired to do.

      • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @10:32PM (#53664989) Homepage Journal

        Was thinking the same thing. A additional 15% took an extra 4 or 5 years of partying before starting work. Graduate dumber, but better indoctrinated, than when they started.

        Not just 'for profits', all schools are offering lots of watered down degrees, not that * studies wasn't already worthless 30 years ago.

        It could also be globalism.

        Jobs leaving the country create an excess of workers, so the remaining jobs can be offered for lower salaries. It's simple supply and demand.

        Is there another economic explanation that could account for the difference between then and now?

        Ignoring government numbers because of various controversies in how they are measured, the Gallup Poll [gallup.com] survey puts us at 9.2% real unemployment, and less than half of those are rated "good" jobs.

        We're supposedly out of the depression, the economy is doing great, and yet people are making 20% less than average from 30 years ago.

        What other major economic forces could account for this?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:00PM (#53665097)

          One could argue that increased corporate tax rates and regulations have made it more difficult to start new businesses, and increases in health insurance costs (benefit packages are labor costs) thanks to Obamacare have made it more expensive to hire inexperienced workers. The government itself, i.e. The Democrat platform itself, is to blame.

          Who knew that when you make it harder to run businesses, fewer people get employed (forcing them into part time work) and the average wage goes down?

          • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @12:14AM (#53665477) Homepage Journal

            One could argue that increased corporate tax rates and regulations have made it more difficult to start new businesses, and increases in health insurance costs (benefit packages are labor costs) thanks to Obamacare have made it more expensive to hire inexperienced workers. The government itself, i.e. The Democrat platform itself, is to blame.

            Who knew that when you make it harder to run businesses, fewer people get employed (forcing them into part time work) and the average wage goes down?

            You got modded to oblivion, but I think that's an insightful post. It suggests an alternate explanation without rancour.

            We need to be able to say "the other side did this" without assigning blame and getting into name calling. I don't care what polarity (left or the right) the position is, so long as it's to our benefit.

            Looking at your post, I note that the Democrats did, indeed give us Obamacare, it was widely advertised as being a good thing, and it's widely viewed as being a problem at this point in time.

            Some ACA aspects were good - getting everyone insured and eliminating "pre-existing conditions" clauses among them - but the end result was a fiscal runaway that's causing a lot of grief among the people.

            I note that Republicans (house *and* senate) have already voted to repeal the ACA without having a replacement on hand, and that will probably mean that we go back to pre-existing conditions, dropping coverage after an accident, and insurance companies charging whatever the hell they want.

            Which is not at all a good thing, right or left.

            Trump said he wanted to get rid of Obamacare and replace it, but he specifically said he wanted the replacement in place *first*. So now we're left to trust that he will do the right thing when the bill comes to his desk. That'll be a good test of his character. If he dumps Obamacare without a replacement and a lot of people lose insurance because of it, it would be a betrayal of our trust.

            We really need to fix healthcare in this country. We're paying 6x as much as other countries, and only getting 3rd world care for it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jeff4747 ( 256583 )

            One could argue that increased corporate tax rates and regulations have made it more difficult to start new businesses,

            Only if one was utterly and completely unfamiliar with tax history..

            in 1952, corporations paid 32% of all federal tax receipts.
            In 2013, corporations paid 10% of all federal tax receipts.

            Keep in mind the top individual tax rate in 1952 was 92% vs 39.6% in 2013. So individuals are not suddenly being taxed much more.

            The government itself, i.e. The Democrat platform itself, is to blame

            Nah, the problem is people who substitute talking points for data, and then attempt to make arguments based only on those talking points.

            Corporations in the US have not paid lower taxes for more t

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Saturday January 14, 2017 @08:44AM (#53666733) Homepage Journal

          Baby boomers.

          This is mainly about the UK but it seems similar in the US.

          Boomers broke the economy. In the 80s they transitioned to a debt based economy. Ran public services like transport into the ground because everyone should just take a loan to buy a car. It all came to a head in 2008 with the global financial crisis.

          Their sense of entitlement is enormous. "I've worked hard all my life!" they cry, while demanding that the younger generations pay for their healthcare and pensions. Because they were able to buy in to the property market when it was affordable, they now have very valuable assets that they don't want to sell below what they think they are entitled to. Never mind that people need houses to live in, and can't afford the rents they want to charge.

          And then when millennials see they are screwed they just blame them for being weak little snowflakes and claim it was harder for them when they were young. It wasn't, and the opportunities they had were built on debt that the millennials have to pay, debt like climate change.

        • What other major economic forces could account for this?

          That one's easy. 1989/1990 also marks the end of the only large-scale, competing economic system to capitalism: socialism. Before, the stakeholders of capitalism had to prove that the masses benefit from it. This restriction is gone. Unrestricted capitalism benetfis capital, not people.

      • If they are comparing salaries for the same age, then if more people are spending longer in college, that will delay their entrance into the workforce, putting them close to entry level salaries and thus drive the average down.

        In other words, there is no mystery about this, the answer is in the rest of the summary where they say they're staying in school longer. Just replace "even though" with "because" towards the end.

        Also, as you imply, it's not like they're graduating after those extra years with more kn

        • by geoskd ( 321194 )

          If they are comparing salaries for the same age, then if more people are spending longer in college, that will delay their entrance into the workforce, putting them close to entry level salaries and thus drive the average down.

          If you had read the article, or even a significant fraction of the posts so far, you would have learned that those with college degrees earn *more* than those without, meaning that if there were fewer with degrees, then the average would be *lower*, That is in spite of the effect your theoretical delays would have on salaries. The reality is that people today are making significantly less for the same amount of work. I'm sorry that doesn't jibe with your world view, but reality is reality, take it up with y

          • reality is that people today are making significantly less for the same amount of work

            True, at least from what I read and see. But this is not limited to millenials. Apparently it cuts across the workforce.

    • by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @09:45PM (#53664797)

      Beyond that, having a credential only gives you an advantage in the job market if other people don't have it. It should be obvious if 100% of the population had college degrees total compensation wouldn't go up one penny, and your degree would be completely worthless.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 )
      I don't think college got any better or worse, it is primary and secondary education that seem far worse. At some point it became less and less acceptable to tell anyone they sucked or needed to get their shit together because it wouldn't fly. I think there are a larger number (there were always people like this, just fewer of them) of young people today who are completely incapable of coping with failure because they've never been challenged or had to face adversity. The system just rolled over for them an
    • At least the education and degrees are all but guaranteed to be real on this side of the border.

  • If you work hard, you will do better than your parents.
    • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @09:56PM (#53664845)
      Damn, I should have known there was a catch!
    • If you work hard, you will do better than your parents.

      Got any proof of that? Because the ones doing the most work seem to be the same ones making the least, and we're into 2 generations now with no real increase in income/

      • Well TFS says Latino Americans are earning more than their parents. Of course they mostly worked really shit jobs (and some newer immigrants from Central and South America still do) so that their children could work slightly less shit jobs. My ancestors were immigrants so I can't really fault them any more for wanting a better life or to get out of their own country, but I'm not going to pretend that the rampant illegal immigration is a good thing for the U.S. as it hurts unskilled labor the most and they'v
    • by geoskd ( 321194 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:35PM (#53665245)

      If you work hard, you will do better than your parents.

      Both of my parents earned 6 figures in 1975. I have an equal level of education as they do, and am capable of doing the jobs that they were (and in one case still is) doing. I am in the same industry as them. I had an opportunity to go work for the company my father works for, but the starting salary would have been lower than my father was paid when he started there in '72. I have spent the last decade working 70+ hour weeks for a fortune 500 company and in the end, all I really got was fucked for the trouble (Fuckers eliminated my pension). I have quit and moved on, but I have yet to earn as much today as either of my parents were earning 40 years ago, in spite of working nearly the same number of hours as the two of them combined. Hard work is not rewarded in this country anymore, and hasn't been since before I entered the work force.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @03:37AM (#53666179)

        The modern work environment cannot reward hard work, because the type of work you can work hard at and increase productivity by that does not have a lot of worth anymore. The type of work that is actually valuable stops increasing in productivity around 30-40 hours a week, and productivity per week _drops_ after that. This has, incidentally, been known since the time of Henry Ford, since he and others at that time did research into how to get the most productivity out of their workers in order to maximize profits. Turns out that this peak is pretty much at 8h/day for 5 days of the week for manual labor and 6h/day for 5 days a week for mental work. For some types of mental work that requires a lot of insight, it is even lower. Now the really astonishing thing (at that time) is that if you work more, you produce less value _overall_. And the other astonishing thing is that the modern corporate world thinks these results are somehow not valid anymore, despite human nature not having changed much (if at all). This utter stupidity sucks the productivity right out of people.

        Hence it is absolutely no surprise that you are getting nowhere at 70h per week. You have terrible efficiency and your time is not worth much per hour.

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @09:48PM (#53664809)
    But the median college-educated millennial with student debt... THAT my friends is the crux of the story! Millennials have been SUCKERED into thinking they HAVE to have a college degree. Most of them, in a field with a POOR track record of job advancement, or jobs at all! Suckers, that's what they are. And who profited from all of this? "Big college" that's who! Apparently economics isn't something they teach you in high school, or, perhaps they would figure out, that a four year teaching degree at a 4 year college, that puts you in 40,50,60 thousand dollars in debt, for a job that pays 30,40 thousand a year, ain't gonna cut it when you factor in your car(s), rent/mortgage, clothes, food and what not.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Yup. The previous generations worked very, VERY hard to devalue anything that didn't involve academics. So now, all of those "diploma-less" jobs pay less.

      But the jobs that require a degree are not necessarily that valuable, and not everyone is fit (or interested in) for it. So now you have a bunch of people working their ass off to be worse off, and the fallback options are no longer considered valuable.

    • I love seeing the TV stories about the guy with a PHD in Philosophy complaining that there are no jobs (other than teaching) in his field and how much debt he has. Clearly this man didn't think things through, and maybe isn't even capable of doing that. And he's not being very philosophical about it.
      • He should open a philosophy shop. (para) Carlin

        There have always been less than useful degrees. As those go, at least philosophy isn't just 'memorize and regurgitate the teachers prejudices', shouldn't be anyhow.

        Diminishing returns never sleeps. As more people go to school, the average quality of graduates will decline.

    • and he can't even land an interview. He's had to go through dodgy contracting outfits that take 50% of his pay. Crap work too. He doesn't make it through the HR filters.

      Make no mistake. It's not like it was 20 years ago. Sure, if you've got a few decades of experience and a network of friends you might get by without a degree. But that doesn't apply to an 18 year old fresh out of high school. It's 2017 and they'll never get the chance to get experienced. Why the hell would I hire somebody without a coll
    • by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:27PM (#53665199)

      Millennials have been SUCKERED into thinking they HAVE to have a college degree.

      When I was in high school, college was the only option discussed with students. Vocational training was never talked about. I see no shame in plumbing, welding, construction, wiring houses.

      • by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @07:43AM (#53666643)

        In the late 90s, my high school started a vocational program. We had always had welding, auto shop and wood shop, but those were one or two class introductions. The new course built houses. Starting from a vacant lot and a set of blueprints, the students cleared the vegetation, dug and poured the foundation, framed the house, insulated it, roofed it, sided it, installed the electrical and plumbing, installed flooring and sheet rock, painted the interior, landscaped the lot, installed appliances and sold it.

        I still remember that a lot of adults were upset that the school would even consider that some kids might not want or need to go to college. 10 years later, most of the kids that were in the first two years of that program owned their own businesses - roofers, painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc. Around the same time, people were starting to really wake up to the worthless degree + debt problem that the cult of college had caused.

        Despite all this, people tried to get the program shut down every year for a while. The only thing saving it in the early years was that it was profitable for the school. I don't pay any attention to news from back home any more, but I wonder sometimes if the cultists were ever successful in getting rid of it.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @12:01AM (#53665421)

      Millennials have been SUCKERED into thinking they HAVE to have a college degree

      It's because lazy HR people use that as their required evidence that an applicant can be bothered to get up in the morning and turn up for something. No degree, no chance with those folks. The trend spread and it seemed that for every trivial office clerical job and many other things besides a degree has become what is needed to get in the door for an interview.
      A lot of smaller places that don't have full time HR have not fallen into that trap, but unfortunately many outsource hiring to the sort of employment agencies that do have such lazy HR gatekeepers.

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @01:40AM (#53665853)

      We weren't suckered into thinking we need it. We do. Not for education but because you're instantly treated as a homeless vagrant without it. Hell I'm a chartered engineer and still treated as a vagrant in some countries due to absurd education requirements for some professions which amount to nothing of benefit to the holder of the certificate of wasting another 2 years.

      I got lucky though, 2 years after graduating I wwasdebt free.

  • by scatbomb ( 1099255 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @09:58PM (#53664857)
    Federally guaranteed loans and low interest rates mean students have the ability to borrow tons of money, hence colleges raised tuition to absurd levels.

    Meanwhile we have a "recovery" that's not actually a recovery but a bubble fueled by low interest rates and the Fed printing more and more money.

    The "sharing" economy is crap. It's basically participated in by people who can't find an actual job, so the wages are very low. Apparently these gigs count as jobs anyway for some reason, so unemployment numbers don't look too bad.

    Add to that job competition from poor immigrants at the low end of the wage scale, and job competition from severely underpaid H1B workers at the high end of the wage scale, and the average will drop.

    The US managed to delay the fiscal crisis which was imminent in 2008 by bailing the banks out with debt, but we didn't actually fix the problems. There's still massive speculation. There is still too much debt. There's still a trade deficit. I think some of us are feeling a little bit euphoric stocks going up again, but it's artificial.

  • and was surprised they covered it until they blunted the impact of the story by going on about how millennials eat out a lot and have lots of gadgets (read:cell phones). Just another Straw Man argument. I'm embarrassed to say I fell for it. I started to argue with their Straw Man trying to justify millennial's purchasing decisions until I realized that how they spend money has nothing to do with their declining wages.

    It's amazing the lengths the media goes to these days to avoid acknowledging growing wea
  • than other minorities in America. A study had controlled for family, education & environmental factors and found that, by and large, it was because for some reason they weren't constant victims of institutionalized racism. It had nothing to do with tough parenting and some nebulous "values". We just didn't shit on them like we do the blacks and Latinos. If I had to guess I'd say that's why those demographics are doing better. If nothing else we've made a lot of progress in that area.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2017 @10:09PM (#53664907)

    I grew up with all of my peers having just one working blue collar parent. I dont know of anyone today at any age group where that is true.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @10:19PM (#53664931)
    Funny thing about workers in other countries - they kinda don't want to bust their ass for meager wagers so that Americans can enjoy a standard of living higher than they deserve. The inevitable outcome is an equalization of income, where wages in established nations stagnates while wages in developing countries rises.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by geek ( 5680 )

      Funny thing about workers in other countries - they kinda don't want to bust their ass for meager wagers so that Americans can enjoy a standard of living higher than they deserve. The inevitable outcome is an equalization of income, where wages in established nations stagnates while wages in developing countries rises.

      Who are you to tell Americans what standard of living they deserve? I work for a living, hard. I have a high standard of living compared to many. Fuck you if you think I don't deserve what I earned with my own blood sweat and tears.

      • by Zibodiz ( 2160038 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:36PM (#53665251)
        I second this. While we're not a third-world country, we aren't the pinnacle of luxury either, and work very hard for what we have. Look at European countries; very few have labor forces that work as many hours/week, and most have substantially more vacation time. Most have substantially lower healthcare costs than Americans, and many luxury things are substantially less expensive (for instance, airfare. I can't fly anywhere from any airport in my home state for less than $700 round trip (Cheyenne, WY to Vegas, NV). I'm too poor to fly anywhere; it would cost two month's wages to fly my family of three somewhere for vacation. According to Bing, a round-trip flight from London to Paris with the same dates is only $140.)
        I can't remember the last time I had a vacation that was more than a weekend away. It's been about a decade.
        Do we have cheap electronics? Sure, I only paid $100 for my smartphone second-hand on eBay. Walmart sells laptops for under $200. But do we have a luxurious lifestyle? I dunno, my pantry has lots of Mac & Cheese in it. And no, it's not the name brand. My food budget is about $300/month for our family of 3.
        Don't tell me American's don't deserve a higher standard of living than we have. I work very hard, live very frugally, and I'm only one missed paycheck away from financial collapse. Life is hard everywhere; it's only the wealthy who think otherwise.
        • It's almost as if more hours worked does not actually equate to getting productive things done... https://www.bloomberg.com/news... [bloomberg.com]
  • Worldwide, millennials are doing great. The World Bank Forecasts Global Poverty to Fall Below 10% for First Time. [worldbank.org]

    The problem for Americans is that we can't exactly ask the Chinese to go back to having 45 million people starve to death in a new "Great Leap Forward", no matter how much taking their labor skills off the capitalist market might improve the labor demand for unskilled white Trump voting high-school dropouts. Globalism is a bitch if you were used to getting a free ride.

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      Worldwide, millennials are doing great. The World Bank Forecasts Global Poverty to Fall Below 10% for First Time. [worldbank.org]

      The problem for Americans is that we can't exactly ask the Chinese to go back to having 45 million people starve to death in a new "Great Leap Forward", no matter how much taking their labor skills off the capitalist market might improve the labor demand for unskilled white Trump voting high-school dropouts. Globalism is a bitch if you were used to getting a free ride.

      Just had to bitch about "white" people didn't you? Your inner douche bag is showing you racist pile of shit.

      • by StevenMaurer ( 115071 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:28PM (#53665205) Homepage

        I'm not bitching about white people. I am one. But when 20% of Trump voters openly believe that getting rid of black slavery was a bad idea [time.com], these people putting Trump over the top, I'm not going to pretend that it's not a fact.

        Taking note of racists and racist attitudes isn't itself racist, guy. And trying to pretend that it is, is obvious projection on your part. So I'll let others decide who is in fact the racist pile of shit in this conversation.

        • by ttsai ( 135075 )

          From the Time article: 'The [New York] Times found that nearly 20% of Trump supporters did not approve of freeing the slaves, according to a January YouGov/Economist poll that asked respondents if they supported or disapproved of “the executive order that freed all slaves in the states that were in rebellion against the federal government”—Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.'

          Of course, the more detailed results from snopes.com says, "Of the 2,000 respondents, 53 percent sai

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @10:49PM (#53665043)

    It used to be that college was less than a thousand bucks. What happened? A) Expansion B) Deep cuts in federal and state financial support. Basically, colleges were forced be become more like private entities because of tax cuts. Now the people that forced this behavior are blaming the colleges for doing what was required. The same people are also enjoying a glut of employable people so they decided that they aren't worth as much and thus paying them less.

    "Boomers" and "Gen X" are crushing "Millennials" with debt and then turning around and blaming colleges for their own reprehensible behavior.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:04PM (#53665111)

      Hey, don't blame Gen X. We've been on the receiving end of this kind of crap since before the Millennials were born...

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @02:52AM (#53666055)

      You're missing quite a few things here. Decline in government subsidies has been a factor, particularly at state institutions. But you also have a lot of other "run like a business" stuff that's taken over higher ed in the past couple decades. The two biggest factors are (1) growth of unnecessary administrative bureaucracy (at many colleges administration and associated staff have often grown at double or triple rate of faculty or student body), and (2) the "arms race" in campus "life" and facilities. Colleges now try to sell prospective students on the cool high-tech new dorm, with the gourmet dining option and the expanded gym next door with an Olympic swimming pool and climbing gym or whatever. I exaggerate only slightly (well, at some places, not at all). Buildings are expensive to build and maintain, along with the required staff. There's other stuff too, but these are some of the huge monetary sinkholes in higher ed these days.

      (Full disclosure: I've taught at the college level, so I'm pretty familiar with the budgets.)

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      There is also another point: If college is not a service provided for money, you can make demands on your students performance-wise. If they do not cut it, they are out. But if they are customers that pay a lot, there are strong incentives to keep them on, regardless of how stupid or lazy. This has a very bad and very obvious effect on education quality and worth of the degrees awarded, and it makes good teachers leave.

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@nosPAm.poetic.com> on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:03PM (#53665103)

    Dear boys and girl; when I was young a college education was a broad preparation for participation in worldly affairs. One learned languages- Greek, Latin, German, possibly French. One learned geography, history, literature, art, music and philosophy. There was extensive, though informal, focus upon social behavior (which is sorely missed in these days). One might opt for some training in business, accounting, law, medicine, etc if there was a need for earned income.

    College education today is job training. And as jobs vary ever more widely and specialties form in ever narrower fields, that training is extremely vertical such that any change in the job market sends you back to square one. Today's programmers, lawyers, doctors and auto mechanics are required to continually update their training as knowledge and technology change. Because machines will adapt to those changes more effectively than humans, there will be fewer opportunities for humans.

    There are fields that remain relatively stable and somewhat immune to automation. Management, sales, teaching, the arts, mattress tester... The kind of science we associate with Einstein; imaginative and inspired is a bright possibility. Inventors (real inventors, not the corporate kind) can also take leaps beyond logic. And while computers can compete, ultimately the best work in the arts will be done by humans. Young people might want to explore such areas rather than those of rapid change.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      Unless you're over 120 years old, your education wasn't THAT well-rounded. Classical college education didn't even have *majors*.

      So quit yer braggin'!

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:15PM (#53665155)

    With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated

    No, it's not "despite being better educated", it is because being better educated. Millennials lost 4-10 years of earnings and earnings growth relative to people who started working right out of highschool. For many college majors, the gain in post-college earnings isn't worth the cost.

    The other significant influence is that all the employer mandates, healthcare, insurance, and benefits come out of salaries. Healthcare costs alone likely account for a large chunk of the earnings gap.

  • Neither really existed in the extent that they do for current career entrants/re-entrants.

  • If half of the safe space dwellers were to take half the energy they devote to figuring out how oppressed they are and instead put into learning a useful skill or trade like physical science, engineering, welding, or woodworking, then maybe there'd be more wealth created here so that we're not all dragged down by the dead weight of talking heads and grievance mongers demanding that we hire more degenerates and mental defectives at 15/hr to sit on their asses and preen in the proverbial mirrors of their face
  • Get off my lawn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SimonInOz ( 579741 ) on Friday January 13, 2017 @11:45PM (#53665315)

    Yes, indeed. When I left university, in 1976 with a UK degree in Computer Science (that's what it was called then), I was the first of a breed.
    Employment was assured. I worked at Plessey for a few months, on the radar system for SE England (cool), then fled to the continent where I was paid quite astonishing amounts of money. First building a nuclear reactor monitor (even cooler), then a packet switching system for Holland (yup, that's the predecessor to our beloved Internet).
    I made so much money [new sports car = 1 months disposable income] that after a few short years - ie when I was 25 - I took my money, bought an ocean going yacht and set off for a pretty decent adventure.
    A couple of years later, I decided to stop (in USA), and ended up in Australia, still with enough money to pay for 1/3 of a house. (Houses were about 2-3 years salary at the time, really should have bought several).

    So yup, I was definitely richer than today's poor kids, who get to leave university with huge debts, struggle to get an internship (otherwise known as slavery), then maybe, just maybe get a sensible job after a year of unpaid labour.
    Then they might try to buy a house, now at 1 million dollars, 10 years salary (if you don't eat). Good luck with that. And have kids - can they afford to breed?

    So they might have the internet, mobile phones, and great flat screen TVs, but they sure as heck aren't richer. I was way, way luckier with my timing.

  • I am continually surprised by those who are not knowledgeable about (or misattribute) the bigger macroeconomic factors that have driven our prosperity. The American economic miracle, the American dream, is largely a by-product of a brand new territory, open for expansion, a growing population whose material needs and wants grew to match the space for it. And where demand for services and goods made by those people exceeded the supply of labor to produce it. Not to mention 2-4 major wars and post-war booms that produced a huge demand for labor and the attendant growth of wages that comes with.

    So for 6-7 generations, we came to associate American success with hard work, determination, education -- where I would argue that yes, while these factors have something to do with it, we were just mainly beneficiaries of a great macro situation. Factories, heavy equipment, washing machines, cars, steel -- these were the things we needed as a society that we would pay for, and they were produced here by labor that couldn't be substituted.

    Now, we find that our post-war boom is over, the demographic curve has to support an increasing number of people who are no longer in their prime productive years, and a global market for the best / traditional jobs that has sapped the domestic demand for labor physically based in the US.

    And so parents look at their kids and ask, "hey, why aren't you out there getting a job and using your skills like we did, after all that college and education?" Well, Dad, I can't get a job the way you did, because people aren't hiring hand over fist just because they need bodies to fill an assembly line because people want to buy washing machines as they move into their newly constructed 3 bedroom house in Levittown.

    The harsh truth many are waking up to is that not everything grows forever, and perhaps this is the aftereffect of what happens when a society stabilizes, and other peoples/countries around the world start to experience the growth that we once had (and of course helped by the internet, trade, and information).
  • Whether you believe globalization is good or bad, the free movement of capital and work, wages will stagnate or go down (at least in the near to mid term).

    In Bill Clinton's Global Challenges speech at Yale [yale.edu] is, perhaps, one of the clearest articulations of the goal of achieving an integrated global community characterized by "shared responsibilities, shared benefits, and shared values." If the goal is to "bring economic opportunity to the 50 per cent of the globe's population which lives on $2 a day or less" then that will involve capital flowing from wealthy countries to less-developed countries.

    I think the vision is that the money supply would grow fast enough to minimize or eliminate the impact of the capital outflow. Unfortunately, the evidence shows that the bet did not pay off.

  • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @07:34AM (#53666613) Journal
    I'm far, far from being a kneejerk anti-SJW ranter, but I've been noticing this sort of thing a *lot* more over the past six months:

    Whites still earn dramatically more than Blacks and Latinos, reflecting the legacy of discrimination for jobs, education and housing.

    Random reminders of racism, often of dubious intellectual merit, randomly injected into articles not about racism. I don't think it's an evil tinfoil hat conspiracy so much as lefties overcompensating in their horror of the Trump phenomenon and thinking that the proper solution is to start subtly injecting their opinions everywhere, but it's starting to rub me the wrong way. And I'm afraid it'll backfire again, and once again wind up operating in exactly the opposite direction as intended (making racism more acceptable.) So, let's not let this shit slide any more:

    1. The discrimination against Blacks did obviously have and still has a profound effect on their socioeconomic status, although it is ostrichlike head in the sand behavior to casually imply that other factors do not exist. In particular, I suspect that many black subcultures, which were indeed originally formed as a direct result of racism, nonetheless will not be found to promote such as academic achievement to the same extent as their white counterparts. This should not be any more controversial to suggest than it is to suggest that Han Chinese, Japanese, and Ashkenazi Jewish subcultures probably tend to promote academic achievement to a greater extent than most white subcultures. This has nothing to do with genetics.

    2. The casual accusation that discrimination against Latinos is entirely or primarily responsible for their lower average socioeconomic status is far more contentious. First off, all of the objections from #1 apply here. Additionally, unlike black people, tens of millions of them have only been here for a generation or two, and those ancestors did not arrive on slave ships. Their socioeconomic status is thus quite heavily influenced by how poor they were when they (or their parents, or grandparents) arrived from Latin America, and it is additionally negatively affected by the fact that 11 million of them arrived here illegally, meaning that they face significant employment barriers that are not the result of discrimination, but rather are a result of their conscious decision to break the law[1]. The number of people who do not yet speak English fluently (a minority, to be fair) is also very relevant to the average socioeconomic outcome and the deleterious effects this has on job-hunting is not primarily a result of racism.

    There are, of course, some far-left people who will deny both of these latter points and insist any limits or barriers to immigration is inherently racist and so is any insistence on a shared common language as a prerequisite for citizenship (without which the melting pot cannot function and over time the society and nation will inevitably fracture along ethnic lines, as history has repeatedly showed.) If you want to have that debate, sure, let's have that discussion some time. I'm actually for increased legal immigration overall, with a few caveats about things that need to be fixed first.

    But cut it out with the snarky attempts at cultural mind control with these one-line assertions. You're not helping. You're simply feeding the right and alt-right narratives of the biased and lying mainstream media and mainstream academia. It's really, really hard to continue pushing back against the alt-right when you keep ensuring that ~30% of what they say is more or less correct.


    1. I don't say they're evil people for doing so, just that it's not some kind of big secret that it's going to be harder getting a job if you're not here legally, and the primary responsibility for that outcome must therefore fall on their shoulders.

    • By the way, this was apparently a quote from the USA Today, not some random blogger. I'm talking specifically about the mainstream media doing its best to confirm the accusations being leveled against it.

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