Samuel J. Scott is a “pissed-off Gen Y.” At first blush, you might just write him off as a young, whining, immature, and unindustrious kid. But after a brief look at his bio, you will likely take pause at what he has accomplished to date in his young life. So why is he so angry?
Scott, like many Gen Y and Gen X, are frustrated by the lies they’ve been sold and the economic plight they’ve been delivered. A recent Pew Research Center report suggested that the generational gap, despite being the widest in 40 years, is more subdued than the rift that the Baby Boomers experienced with their parents. But “more subdued” infers a sense of unwarranted complacency. “Subdued” doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the feelings of resentment are less intense. In fact, the longer this recession drags on and Baby Boomers hang on to their jobs, inter-generational differences will likely widen from a bridgeable gap to a disruptive chasm.
If Scott’s resentment offers even a glimpse of how other Gen X and Gen Y feel, employers (and politicians) are in for the biggest challenge of their lives. After reading a few of Scott’s comments (below), I can’t help feeling some empathy with Scott and his cohorts.
We were told that everyone needed to go to college to have a good life, so we gladly took out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to get a bachelor’s degree. When we saw that we had no competitive advantage because everyone else had a bachelor’s degree as well, we took out tens of thousands of dollars in additional loans for a master’s degree. Now, we have tens upon tens of thousands of dollars in debt by the time we are thirty, but we see that plumbers and mechanics are earning more money than we do.
We are dismayed that people who stupidly took out mortgages that they could not afford are getting assistance from the government, but no one will ever help us with our student loan payments. In fact, the government even amended bankruptcy laws so that student loans are now prevented from being erased in bankruptcy proceedings.
We have jobs for which we probably didn’t even need the college degrees in the first place.
We work for companies that are cutting our health insurance, no longer offering pensions or retirement plans, and constantly thinking about shipping our jobs to India or China, and we will probably never have Social Security because the program will be bankrupt.
We see that Baby Boomers are refusing to retire and allow us to obtain higher-level positions in companies so we can now afford homes, families, and student-loan payments.
We are disheartened that government officials are always criticizing violence and sex in movies, television and video games when the most immoral actions are always occurring in the White House and the halls of Congress.
Baby Boomers – what do you think? Is Scott whining or just speaking the truth?
Gen X and Gen Y – does Scott speak for you? Are Baby Boomers the villains or the scapegoat of Scott’s wrath?