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Opinion

Robert J. Samuelson: Millennial parent trap — The happiness of our children seems imperiled

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  • Random Redlands, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    Maybe, hopefully, but not realistically, colleges will realize that there is a breaking point, and at what cost. Perhaps we will, as a nation, remember that we need those to fix roads, plumb a line, know how a refrigerator works and how to fix it, and treat the trades as we treat degrees.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    One hopes that, as a result of their experience, our young people will become more discerning voters.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    But, but Obama and the Democrat tell us the economy and the job market are great and getting better each day! But hey, who are you going to believe, Obama or your own lying eyes?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Mountanman is absolutely correct. The irrefutable fact is that the current left-wing administration has actively depressed the economy, to the detriment of an entire generation.

    The left-wing has been enormously successful in convincing young people that, simply because they exist, they are entitled to have a high standard of living. Indeed, that generation believes they are entitled right now to the same standard of living that it took prior generations decades of hard work to achieve.

    The creation of discontent is a deliberate ploy by the left-wing which is designed to create dependence on government, with the subsequent votes. Unfortunately, this ploy has succeeded with far too many.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    I know Mr Samuelson is aware of the birth dearth epidemic (sub-replacement birth rates in the U.S., and around most of the world now), since he's written an article or more on that subject.

    When I went to college, from the mid to latter 1970's, males far outnumbered female college students overall. Then, gradually, over time, the ratio reversed, so that now, overall, women far outnumber men in both attending and graduating college. As a guy with six sisters, and seven daughters, I think that's fantastic for females. However, what may be good for a gender, and an individual, may, overall, become bad for all.

    Women who are in college are less likely to have children. And they often delay marriage and/or child bearing until after they've finished. But, that is true of men, too. Individually, college makes us smart; collectively? Not so much.

    Having a good education, good thinking and other skills can help us get a job. But, since birthrates have plummeted, where do we expect to find customers? The economy is bust, because of a baby bust. We don't have enough babies, cause we're in school too long.

  • RR_Xing San Diego, CA
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    "The children of the Great Depression, who might have expected continuous want and insecurity, generally enjoyed prosperous lives."

    Those who survived World War II, at least. I think that puts economic struggles into a different light, doesn't it?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    @mountainman and john charity spring. I find it hypocritical that republicans like yourselves proclaim values like personal responsibility and not blaming others for your own misfortune, but then blame democrats for everything.

    At least be critical of both parties because they each deserve blame since we have a divided congress.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Another part of the problem is the massive amount of entitlement many of our teens to twenty something's possess. They have been poorly educated, have little real work experience and arrive on the job expecting to be promoted and become the hero of the company in three weeks. When they are rebuffed in their attempts to become instant millionaires , often because they can't accept normal, on the job critique or they show up late, they have no problem returning to the nest, where niceness nod sweetness rule the day and laundry is done by magic.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    "the job market are great and getting better each day!"

    We've just gained over 200k jobs for the 6th month in a row, the first time that's happened since the Clinton administration.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    Contemporary job prospects are the result of the bargain made in the late seventies and eighties by the neutral voter class - those who possess very little interest in most political topics but are swayed by identity topics like abortion. The two parties were synthetically separated by hot button issues in order to sow chaos among otherwise agreeable voters resulting in less coverage and attention to the damaging policies being implemented by politicians that were cozying up to big business. The low intelligence "moral" voters literally voted away their children's futures for a sense of superiority over those who faced different challenges in life. And now we have to hear them bray about the fault lying with our first ethnic president.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    I was born in 1977. I have lived in Utah all my life. I am a skilled laborer. I have a garbage degree in History and Sociology. However I'm self trained, and have never had an issue getting a job.

    The bottom line is this: If you have skills, and you can use them, you will not have an issue finding employment. If you have no skills, then you should work on getting some. That may require you to take a lower paid position where you acquire skills that build to new skills. Many people can't start at the bottom and work their way up, they need to learn to do this.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    Shaun, to a great degree I agree with you. However, I also agree, to some extent, with MountainMan. The flood of illegal immigrants seems to have been encouraged and even somewhat planned for, months ago, by the Obama administration. The only reason Obama hasn't been, and won't likely been impeached, is because Republicans don't have a super majority in the Senate to convict him, if impeached (Clinton's impeachment taught us that lesson).

    But, we also need to quit just blaming politicians and parties, and as "the people", also take our share of the blame, which is ample.

    For every 200 'baby boomers', we gave birth to a mere 170 babies total. 213 is the number we needed just for exact replacement, which would allow for no growth in the population. And for an economy to grow, the population must grow!

    The "baby boomers" (babies born 1946 - 1964), are a 20th century anomaly. They are more defined by the "bookends" than by the "books". That is, 2 major birth dearths, 1910-1945, and the 1970's to now, make the long skinny pig in the python look so fat.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    I can't recall the last time I read a positive economic report. Jobs are scarce and unemployment continues to be high and the Obama reign of terror is going on 7 years now. The months and years roll on and nothing changes. You don't hear the outcry from the Obama voters because they are mostly on welfare and government free-bees plus they don't work. It should be clear to even the casual observer that Obama-nomics has been a dismal failure.

  • Dragline Orem, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    The Silent generation, the sons and daughters of the Greatest generation, were given a world where they were the only remaining economic power, jobs were plentiful, and their houses quadrupled in price every ten years. It was a time of apprenticeships and jobs and hope. They had entitlements that included the GI Bill, relied on their union for wage increases, and then received pensions, SS, and Medicare at 62 when they retired.

    Now the Silent generation tells us how the Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers have it so good and rely on handouts. No generation had it as easy and received as much as the Silent generation. And now they are all joining the Tea Party and telling us how hard they worked to get what they have, and the rest of us have it too easy.

    Let's be honest: The Silent generation will leave the rest of us where their parent's started, with nothing but economic depression and a generation of ill-conceived wars for profit...their profit. When "xert" from Santa Monica says "Another part of the problem is the massive amount of entitlements...", he should really be talking about the Silent generation.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Aug. 5, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    Recently, while I was working in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During the conversation, I asked their 12 year old daughter what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day.

    Both of her parents - liberal Democrats - were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"

    She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people." Her parents beamed with pride!

    "But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that!" I told her.

    "What do you mean?" she replied.

    "You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I'll pay you $50. Then you can you can give the homeless guy the $50 to use toward food and a new house."

    She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"

    I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

  • Deseretina Murray, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    "I can't recall the last time I read a positive economic report"

    Going out on a limb here and guessing that you spend no time reading actual economic reports and most likely are ill-equipped to analyze them. But perhaps you are referring to the lack of positivity from Fox news coverage of the economy. Pretty much the same thing, cough.

  • Sandy Citizen50 SANDY, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    To Thid Barker, thanks for the excellent analogy. It was fun reading your comments.

    Keep up the good work.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    The generation who are still at home looking at fading Obama posters on their walls.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    @shaun

    Mountanman was not blaming Demos. He stated that Obama and the Dems have painted a very different picture than the one reported.

    @Schnee
    Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. 200k jobs is lower than the 300k jobs need to jump start the economy. Stop believing the political hype and look at what economists are saying. Many of the 200k jobs are still part-time. Part-time is not going to help the economy. It doesn't matter if it is Reps. or Dems. they are going to use the statistics that benefit them. Their is an old saying "Statistics don't lie and liars use statistics. Dems and Reps. are not doing the job they are paid to do. The don't even understand the word compromise.

    This report paints a true picture. I now many 18-34 and even older than are under-employed or are having difficulty find sold full time employment.

    We need to throw out all the Dems and Reps. and start anew. We need representatives that will truly work for us, not their party or themselves.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    @mightyhunterhaha
    "Stop believing the political hype and look at what economists are saying."

    The economists told me that what we did the past 6 months hadn't been done since 1998. I didn't say that the economy was great, I was addressing those who would claim that the job market isn't improving. Doesn't mean there isn't more work to be done.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    Trap.... what an interesting way to put things. It really only started in earnest after WW1, then accelerated after WW II that people moved away from home. Before that time, families stayed together for generations. In the same household often you had 3 generations living either on the same land, or even in the same home. If they were not in the same home, fathers would carve out a piece of the family land and the new young family would build their home there. My Great Grandfather lived on 13th East - and when his daughters were married, they each were carved off a piece of the family land. One ended up living a lot with her husband on 13th East - the other's lot was on Yale Avenue.

    Today, that is considered at "trap". I know times, and situations have changed... but if you look at things as part of a longer time span, intergenerational families is how things have been for centuries, and this "moving away" thing is a relatively new phenomena. It happened, but it was more the exception than the rule.

  • Mona Beaverton, OR
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    Student debt prevents many of the younger generation from getting the healthy start in life. It's tragic that college kids are taking out loans without thought of how they will pay them off. Several of my children took out reasonable loans, did not use the money for anything but school (no trips over spring break, or junkets to Europe to "find themselves," for example), and had them paid off 18 months after graduation. Then they were able to think about buying a house, starting a family, and so on. They are an anomaly but it doesn't have to be that way. Students may not get the job of their dreams right out of college, but they can find something and work towards getting out of debt. But that's too hard. Easier to move in with mom and dad for the free rent with all services included.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    There are a lot of high school and collage students graduating every year. not to many people are able to retire from their job. I think failure to launch is is the effect of the goverment steeling ssi.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:40 p.m.

    Doesn't all happiness come from marriage? Where is the discussion and debate on why so many millennial daughters resort to moving back home? Because the next step after graduation is to marry and have kids and when the millennial sons have no motivation to date, court and marry a young woman...