Are the youth (ages 15 – 24) of today lazy? You know how the stereotype goes, sitting in your parent’s basement, playing video games, eating pizza, texting on social media, smoking weed (or worse), watching porn, no job – lazy. They sleep until late morning causing some to say, “The reason teenagers don’t like to get up early in the morning, is because they like to stay up late at night.” But doesn’t every generation accuse the youth like this? News Forecasters looks into whether the youth today are more lazy and what this might mean for the future.
A YouGov poll said that, the majority (69%) of people think that adults younger than 30 do have a different work ethic to older Americans – and more than three-quarters (77%) of people who think there’s a difference say older generations have a better work ethic, including a majority of young people (55%). Leading many to believe that the majority of Americans over the age of 45 think that the next generation will have a lower standard of living than people today, but only a third of those aged 18-29 (33%) agree.
Though the U.S. youth unemployment hit a high during the 2008 Great Recession, current youth unemployment is at multi-decade lows. Fast-food chains, often big employers of the youth, are scrambling to find employees. This should be good news for the youth looking for a job. And yet many youth do not like today’s economic structure and seek a new form – socialism. According to a recent Harris Poll, 49.6% of young Americans share that view.
However, looking at participation rates (in the inset chart) by age categories, it is clear that the youth participation in the workforce has significantly declined. Why? One cause might be that more high school graduates than ever are going to college, though 1 in 5 will quit. Some have blamed immigration taking career starting jobs. Lack of skills and automation are also cited as reasons. In this report, it is rather noticeable that the female youth have had a significant rise in the workforce since the 1960s.
In this same participation rates data, the older generations (ages 55 – 64) have risen significantly. This may be due to older folks not being able to retire sooner due to wealth inequality shifts in the economy, not enabling them to retire as before. In addition, older people after a destructive family breakup, need to work for a social outlet. Others believe that because older folks are not leaving the workforce fast enough, it is causing fewer opportunities for the youth.
Different data series exist to prove many of these issues shown here. However, one effect not easily determined by data may, in fact, maybe cultural. First, many families do have a certain amount of wealth to allow the youth to live off their parents – even if it is not the ideal situation. Then when allowed to live off their parents, it destroys one’s ambition – giving way to the pursuit of leisure cares of what the world has to offer. The materialistic world has created a “get rich or die” mentality. To work and build up one’s career takes time – time, many youths don’t want to take.
News Forecasters believes, regardless of whether you disagree or not with many of these ideas, the current trends in workforce participation rates continue. It will further exacerbate the wealth inequality we see today. The wealth inequality will drive envy politics – something we have already discussed – hence explaining why the youth are so taken by socialism.
In today’s culture, both parents (or a single parent) are working. They have no time for the youth – they are too busy and tired with their own cares, content in allowing them to be warehoused in the basement. Many youth then are left to wander the streets of society (often over the internet) to pursue aimless cares. With no purpose, why bother with a career? The long-term effects on the economy and culture could be devastating.
A video presentation of this subject: