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Do young people today have it worse off than previous generations?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by mw2530, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. mw2530

    mw2530 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2014
    In a lot of ways it sure feels like it. It seems like people in general are working harder than ever just to maintain the same standard of living. Not only that, many people who are college educated don't really even have it that well and most college grads end up living a middle class lifestyle. Not that middle class is a bad lifestyle per say, but it didn't necessarily require 4 or 5 years of college education in the past. In many families, both adults work full time, while in the past usually only one had to work full time. In my opinion that is why fewer people are getting married or having kids. People are not able to get financially stable until much later than in life due to having to go additional school and pay those costs. Also, there is a good chance young people today will never see social security or Medicare benefits as these funds will be bankrupt within two decades or so if changes are not made. It feels like all I do is work and I feel like I am always rushing and am always behind. Part of that is my struggles with ASD. The world just moves at such a fast pace these days and everyone I encounter simply seems exhausted. Young people always seem to get a bad rap these days. Sure, I agree there are some in my generation that are lazy. But we didn't create the world we live in today in the U.S.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  2. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Nov 24, 2014
    You have just described what a verse says, in a very well known book lol

    The cost of living and the greed of not being content with what one has and well, being "baby machines", is what causes people to slog away at work.

    And the cost of living in many lands, is so high, that one has to work many hours, just to "make ends meet".

    I noticed this a few year's ago, with teens and even younger, being fearful of growing older too fast! I believe technology is the culprit of this, because one year, a new device is the latest "must have" and then, not even a year passes by and that "new device" is old now and this continues to happen and it has speeded up.

    I remember the first computer!!!! I used to listen to music on a walkman via a tape and wow, youngesters do not even know what that is! And yet, year's prior to my era, I certainly know what others used and today, that is so alien that it is silly.

    Technology has speeded up so much, that it has caused a back lash of very disturbed young people.

    To have a child of 10 say, who is aware of his or her own mortality and fear of growing old, is frightening.

    But, for me, I have my faith, that helps me to see things how they are and well, what the future holds, which helps me keep grounded.
  3. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    I agree with many of the points you've made. I think it's generally harder for people to get jobs, get qualified (which doesn't always help you to get work), save for a house and raise a family.
    On the other hand, working conditions and equality in the workplace have improved out of sight since I was a young person. I don't live in the US so there will be differences between our countries, but I think broadly speaking, conditions would be comparable.
    As an example, when I started work as an apprentice hairdresser, I was paid $10 per week for the first year. For that, I worked about 55 hours per week, got no coffee or lunch breaks and had no set working hours. The next year it went up to $13 per week and climbed to a massive $27.50 by the time I finished my fourth year! Those conditions would never be allowed to exist today. AND my parents expected me to pay board out of my wages!
    Nobody bought anything they couldn't actually afford because nobody could borrow money, no one had credit cards and anything outside of the bare necessities to sustain life (food, clothing and fares to work) was considered a luxury item! And luxury items like a TV or stereo were phenomenally expensive in comparison to wages.
    So I can see both sides of the coin. Yes it's certainly tough for young people to get ahead today but I certainly didn't exactly have it easy either!
  4. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    it's gotten more difficult for everyone, older and younger, it's not black and white, both the old and the new model have their advantages and disadvantages

    when i was a child, one person would have a job, with that they could raise 4 children on average and buy a house, so actually a much better quality of life imo but everything has two sides
    - a smaller safer world <> much more social control
    - people accepted that rules service the common good <> a lot of inefficient rules and less challenging of the status quo
    - one salary families <> inequality between men and women
    - more family time for children <> children were treated as children, more authoritarian upbringing
    - children had much less responsibility <> children had a lot less freedom
    - much less 'stressors' <> much less information about the world
    - stronger cultural identity <> much less diversity
    - things were more expensive so learned discipline and deferred gratification and higher appreciation <> things have become cheaper, immediate gratification so non need to learn discipline, much less appreciation, a race to consume
    - blissful ignorance <> unaware of the wider world
    - there was more room for people and smaller businesses <> prices were higher and there was less choice

    so today today a lot has inversed:
    - larger more connected world <> everybody is exposed to abuse
    - two people work <> cumulatively for less money and less family time
    - we get what we want immediately <> less appreciation and discipline
    - lower prices make consumption more accessible to all <> efficiency has dehumanised almost all jobs
    - we have much more freedom <> but many don't recognise the responsibility it brings
    - people consider themselves the benchmark for everything <> if someone feels a rule is inconvenient they feel entitled to ignore it
    - more challenging of the status quo <> no real alternative other than grab what you can

    to feed consumption and corporate profits, younger people have been empowered through marketing to have 'attitude' to be 'assertive' etc and to demand more consumption, parents have followed and act like children as a result people are liquidating long term assets such as savings, house ownership etc so they can consume NOW, as a result the next generations are more likely to inherit debt rather than assets, but they cannot really complain as they have been demanding 1000 EUR/USD/GDP phones as children and parent's have been dumb enough to give it to them - seriously though have a look at marketing who it is focused at and the message of entitlement it portrays: l'oreal 'because i'm worth it' ...

    i game a lot, and i know this is a gross generalisation but i often notice:
    - people my generation, understand you have to invest time and effort to get through the grind of accessing end game gear and end game content, we have learned discipline, ie that to get to the gold you have got to endure the ****
    - younger people i encounter often (not always) feel they should be entitled to all the goodies right away, and think it is absurd to have to invest in the game to get there because investing time and showing perseverance are not fun and do not gratify immediately

    it is also clear that out of fear for not being able to keep up, older people are more resistant to change and unwilling to listen to younger people

    everyone has it harder today, young and old, and i'm a bit tired younger people complaining without ever seeing the bigger picture, it's always all about them:
    - access to food, health care, primary - secondary - university education has never been so good, not so long ago this was not the case, and there is actually no real guarantee that tis will remain so
    - children have never been as empowered (entitled and demanding) as they are today, they have become much more verbal and demand many more rights but have accepted very little extra responsibility, ultimately this is parent's fault
    - many of the worlds debts were created from investing and creating the world that everyone is enjoying today (the good and the bad), the schools, infrastructure, healthcare, education etc, this was all paid for by the taxes of the previous generations, i always am a bit cynical when people who haven't paid a penny in tax start who have contributed nothing to society other than the cost of being raised and put through school start complaining that the world's infrastructure/organisation doesn't suit them and put themselves and their own needs in the centre of the world <> on the other hand older people should realise that they have screwed up the world to a certain degree and need t be more willing to listen to younger people's input to improve it
    - the world is changing and modernising, the pace of change is accelerating and they are much better placed to take advantage of it, we used to have much more job security, try finding a job these days once you are older than 45, we have already paid for the house and the children, so we are already stuck with the debt
    - younger people should be more aware of their own vulnerability, i have started becoming obsolete after 20 years of work, with the accelerating pace of change they wil become obsolete very much more quickly

    we have traded quality of life for quantity of consumption and it has hurt many people, both young and old, we have traded who we are for what we consume

    i wish we could find a way to combine the safety and comfort of the 'old' world, with the innovation and progress of the 'new' world, because aside from the advances in medicine, education, availability of food and housing, i think everyone is worse of

    rather than complaining, young and old should work together to make a more livable and sustainable world for everyone
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    • Winner Winner x 2
  5. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Here where I live, things have changed a lot over the last 10 or 20 years: all the local shops have closed and there are now 3 big supermarkets which sell just about everything cheaper.

    Everything has got more expenses, while people's salaries/pensions have stayed the same, or been cut. So more poverty. Pawn shops have sprung up - always a sign of increased poverty.

    More people in debt, and unable to pay off their debt. Consume to gratify the now, to belong to the crowd, follow the herd. Adverts/media/authorities tell the sheeple how to feel, what we believe, and the sheeple buy it. There are very few people without debt. Debt is one form of modern day enslavement, because people work to pay off their debt. It robs them of their independence and freedom.

    Factories closing down or relocating because the same goods can be produced with cheap, almost slave labour in sweat shops in India or Bangladesh. The supermarket buy these in bulk quantities and sell them cheaply, so the people, who mostly hard up, shop at the supermarkets and not the local shops, which go out of business and then there is not work for the people, and it's a vicious cycle that has no end.

    Businesses and indutries are all automated - call centres located in India for cheap labour, machines take your call and even your personal details, you shop online, robots produce goods - businesses will do whatever they can to reduce costs, and every human that they employ is an extra cost that they will try to reduce or eliminate entirely. So more machines, fewer humans. More unemployment, more poverty, need cheaper goods, consume more, another vicious circle.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2017
    In some respects yes, I do think about how much pressure there appears to be on the 'up and coming' to achieve that which (in my own mind) isn't real ... Errm ...contentment (?)

    To be the best, to have the best, to drive and strive to be recognised and stand out in a world where 'things' matter, not people.
    Fulfilment is measured materialistically?
    Children under 10 are sitting exams in school to measure teacher competency and enhance school status and reputation.

    How is that 'learning'? Where is the curiosity to stimulate learning in the above situation?
    It annoys me that a child so young can be taught the consequences of failure. Their collective failure is responsible for the failure of the school ... Or at least that's how many of the children felt when I did a stint as a dinner lady in a primary school years ago.
    Pass or fail, black and white, so much pressure on children so young.

    They should still be building go-karts out of old prams and lengths of 3x6" and giggling at toilet humour not feeling guilty about the status of a school.

    I'll get off my soap box there. :)

    In other respects and thanks to the internet, information is much more available in order to learn.
    Any question one could think up, can be answered at the touch of a button. Nobody has to ask their granny, brother, cousin, dad or any other extended family member for an answer.
    Google can provide guidance for an answer in a fraction of a second.

    Why is the sky blue? How can I start my own business? How does an aeroplane stay up in flight? How to make baked rice pudding like my granny, which store has the best deals for produce at the moment? Neurochemicals involved in low mood, neurogenisis, and so on and so on.

    Back in the day one was dependent on the library, family, tutors and lecturers to glean information.

    In my mind young people have it both worse and better.
    (Apologies for wittering on in a mahoosive post :) )
    • Like Like x 1
  7. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Oct 4, 2013
    It depends on where you live and what parameters you're using. Reading things like the Economist, yeah, it's bad for those who are up and coming. If they want a trade and not university degree, it's very hard.

    Places that have more social mobility and social safety nets do better, because if they fall, they can get back up. Place like the US which are destroying social mobility pin people into hopelesses early with no way out. Health care mandates have a lot to do with this as people on the bottom cannot afford health care and must stay on poor care to avoid the fine, but the stay on poor care, you can NEVER have more than $1500, ever...............quite bad for social mobility, there.

    Then , not being allowed to work more than XYZ hours if you are disabled and all that.....

    Now a non-disabled youngster can still make it, but cost of college is out of control, college debts go right onto your kids, so you cannot even escape them in death, and cost of housing, etc.

    So health care, housing, and education........if a country has not got ways to help youngster attain this, it's hard.

    My parents? One worker in the household, both went to Uni, bought a house on one income, raised kids, and no one starved. Now? Hungry, indeed......everyone is sucking wind.................
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Mar 26, 2016
    I grew up in the 80's and early to mid 90's, things were tough, all we had in school for IT lessons were BBC Micros or the old Acorn Archimedes, then again the BBC ad some decent games, I'll say that for it, Granny's Garden and stuff like that.

    Back then the Internet as we know it now hadn't been invented yet, even though as I recall the first email was sent way back in the early to mid 70's, or was it late 70's? I'll look it up on Wikipedia.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    I heard something about how a starter home in the 1970s cost two months wages at a union job's wage. I don't know how accurate that is, but if it is, dizzam. Time machine now please kk?
  10. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath? V.I.P Member

    Jul 25, 2015
    Actually, it was more like 2 years wages. It was very common for people starting out in life to rent an apartment for about 5-8 years while saving up the money to buy a house. Mortgages were almost non-existent back then and had very high-interest rates of about 17% or higher. My parents never took out a morgage and just saved up to buy one.

    Heres another real kicker for ya! Did you know that in 1978 a full coverage health insurance policy for a family of 4 costs $278 ($1100 in 2018 dollars.) a year. Today you'd be lucky to get that for a month with a bunch of gaps and deductibles.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    What you say about health insurance is true, but everyone had a lot less health problems then.
    That was when people ate real food instead of junk food, and didn't drink 20 cans of soda a day. Obesity was rare and people exercised rather than sitting in front of a screen all day.
  12. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Oct 4, 2013
    dizzam! :)