I know it has been fashionable and even acceptable since Time magazine (pay-walled article) made it okay, but it is time to stop hating on the Millennials.
As a social group, they have enough issues without the socially acceptable, yet completely reprehensible treatment they receive in the media, particularly from the conservative side. But no one treats them particularly well, no matter which side of the fence you find yourself perched.
As an employer I have never had any issues working with them, understanding their expectations from work, or dealing with their often peculiar work ethic. I tried to treat them the way I would like to be treated with the understanding, their job was not the center of the Universe. And given how the workplace environment often treated them, I could completely relate to their viewpoint.
The Trickle Down Theory: The principle that the poor, who must subsist on the table scraps dropped by the rich, can best be served by giving the rich, bigger meals. –William Blum
Seeing how I don’t happen to agree with that happily Reaganesque mindset either, enjoy playing a wide array of video games, like leaving work on time (screw unpaid overtime), focusing my time for things and people I enjoy like skateboarding, hang-gliding, pub-crawling, playing with my son and utilizing social media technology, in some ways, even though there are a few decades between our ages, I am completely in sync with their viewpoint.
The Boomer generation which currently rules the economic world and is giving themselves the best of executive pay, exotic homes and off-shore bank accounts seems completely dickish by complaining about a social group that starts with so little all things considered and expected to handle the worst of the Boomer excesses while starting off in debt, with poor credit, with criminalized poverty, no homes, no cars and little in the way of effective training in “How to Screw Over Your Fellow Workers While You Dine, Shark-like, on Their Inner Organs.”
Lately, I have been questioning the wisdom of indenturing out children with the idea they should have to pay for an education. I recognize we are a profit-driven society, but I believe paying for education should be something society does for our children, not the other way around. We invest in them so they can, return that investment in the development, improvement and effective management of the Commons. In countries like Sweden, Finland and places where reason is still a facet of their social consciousness, they recognize investment in youth, improving their lifestyles in the future. They look at us with nothing but contempt. I secretly sneer with them…
This should be a no-brainer. Instead, someone decided they should not only pay for education, but it should cost them as much as a home in the Midwestern United States. Anywhere from $30,000 to $250,ooo ended up seeming like a reasonable amount of money to pay for an education.
But wait, there’s more. We have also told them they should leave college in great debt, bearing great responsibility (paraphrasing Spider-Man) and do it with minimum wage pay. When you do the math, using the debt they leave college with and assuming minimum wage pay, it will take nearly as long as a 30 year mortgage to pay off and cost double the amount of the starting debt.
We have told our children that they have to save the world while being handicapped with major debt while starting off poorly socialized. Consumer technologically literate and hyper-connected but only interested in things which promote their internet meme of choice and assorted cat videos. Cursed with short attention-spans and the entire bulk of the world’s knowledge at their fingertips, they flit from info-bit to info-bit, full of memes and fury, signifying nothing.
So, how about we get off their backs, give them some tools, get away from our partisan political bickering, stop putting wealth and profit before streets, sewers, bridges and opportunity to participate in what was once one of the greatest economies in the world and find a way to help them with the long, damned list of things that have been screwed up under our watch during the era of Saint Reagan and the Greed Over People party. And no, I won’t give the Democrats a pass because they did their share of dirt too. They just appeared to care a bit more (and seemed more emotionally disturbed when they were caught doing dirt) while they were doing it.
The Millennials with our help will have to tackle a long list of issues. What issues? Here is a quick and dirty list:
- reasonable and affordable health care,
- a collapsing economic structure that needs a complete retooling,
- reducing military interactions in foreign countries,
- feeding and caring for the disenfranchised members of our societies,
- our failing education system and improving its quality,
- economic disparity between the rich and poor,
- the digital divide all over the world and in all layers of economic strata,
- effective socio-economic relationships with other sovereign nations,
- global climate control and management,
- toxic waste and overall waste management,
- desertification of our food producing areas on our planet,
- destruction of our planet’s rain forests at 20 square miles a day,
- eradication of cancer,
- HIV, AIDS, and management of growing list of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria,
- renewable energy development,
- loss of fossil fuels and what that means to our lifestyles,
- failing infrastructures of power and roads and
- corporate malfeasance just to name the few I could think of in about 30 seconds.
Can we stop worrying about Millennials yet? We have so many other, more important things to deal with…
Don’t get me started on Instagram…