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Old 12-31-2012, 12:12 PM   #101
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Brilliant discussion so far. To stray a bit off topic, and because I have not seen this mentioned yet, but does anyone think parenting is partially to blame for some of the issues that youngsters face today? Perhaps I have a skewed view of the subject as I am not a parent, but I've noticed some interesting trends with modern parenting that differ greatly with my own childhood experiences (or perhaps I just suffer from poor memory ).
  • Children, especially girls, are treated like "princesses" and overexposed to Disney fairy tale propaganda. Material things seem to dominate Birthdays and Christmases rather than family bonding time.

  • There is a general lack of discipline because parents either fear being labeled an abuser, and/or they do not want their children to experience any pain.

  • Kids are too busy being shuttled from from activity to activity (soccer, piano, ballet, karate, etc.) rather than being forced to focus on studies. Why does ADHD seem so rampant?

  • Children are kept indoors to watch TV or play computer games for entertainment rather than be allowed to play outside and explore their world, because parents fear "stranger danger".

  • Lack of any kind of financial education because the parents themselves have no clue. Unfortunately, schools do not offer it in their curriculum either.

  • Parents place far more emphasis on choice of schools than parental involvement in the children's education. It's all about being in a good school district nowadays, which leads to higher housing costs, and parents have to work more to pay for it so they have less time to spend with their kids.
I feel that childhood in the U.S. today is far more complex and different than it was a couple of generations ago. I think if we look at other cultures, especially in areas like India and China, children are raised with the understanding that competition is fierce and they are expected to do everything they can to master and excel at their studies. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:43 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by azphx1972 View Post
Brilliant discussion so far. To stray a bit off topic, and because I have not seen this mentioned yet, but does anyone think parenting is partially to blame for some of the issues that youngsters face today? Perhaps I have a skewed view of the subject as I am not a parent, but I've noticed some interesting trends with modern parenting that differ greatly with my own childhood experiences (or perhaps I just suffer from poor memory ).

I feel that childhood in the U.S. today is far more complex and different than it was a couple of generations ago. I think if we look at other cultures, especially in areas like India and China, children are raised with the understanding that competition is fierce and they are expected to do everything they can to master and excel at their studies. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics.
I think it's very convoluted society that we live in now. Everything attributed to current state and not only parenting. Yes, I had part in as parenting go since when I was growing up, my old man used his belt and his fists to knock senses into me. I didn't lay a hand on my kids or ex-wives as my dad did.

I recalled if I did anything wrong at school, I used to get paddled but school couldn't do that anymore. Also, I and lot of my high school classmates had shotguns and other rifles on the back of our pickup trucks but that's also thing of the past.

Time has changed. I couldn't tell if it's for good or bad. I truly don't understand what is going on my own life let along trying to understand beyond my own life. All I know is that when I was growing up, I was beaten into thinking that I must work to earn my daily meal. I don't see that in my kids and their friends. They feel entitlement and it's owe to them. They all wants to start at the top rather than taking what's offer and work toward bettering themselves. I think I'll have another beer.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #103
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Perhaps I have a skewed view of the subject as I am not a parent

Go have some kids and we will listen to your ideas with rapturous attention.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:07 PM   #104
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Go have some kids and we will listen to your ideas with rapturous attention.
LOL, I would like to but not until I have the time to pay proper attention to them. I know parenting is hard work but I think I would have become a slacker had my parents not been so strict with my rearing and instilled a strong work ethic in me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:17 PM   #105
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I think it's very convoluted society that we live in now. Everything attributed to current state and not only parenting. Yes, I had part in as parenting go since when I was growing up, my old man used his belt and his fists to knock senses into me. I didn't lay a hand on my kids or ex-wives as my dad did.

I recalled if I did anything wrong at school, I used to get paddled but school couldn't do that anymore. Also, I and lot of my high school classmates had shotguns and other rifles on the back of our pickup trucks but that's also thing of the past.

Time has changed. I couldn't tell if it's for good or bad. I truly don't understand what is going on my own life let along trying to understand beyond my own life. All I know is that when I was growing up, I was beaten into thinking that I must work to earn my daily meal. I don't see that in my kids and their friends. They feel entitlement and it's owe to them. They all wants to start at the top rather than taking what's offer and work toward bettering themselves. I think I'll have another beer.
It was like that for me as well. I got a few paddlings as a kid as well. Did not hurt me any.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:18 AM   #106
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Something to keep in mind about HH income is that it doesn't adjust for the number of workers in a HH. Women entered the workforce in huge numbers during the time period you're citing.

So many of the HH's have income gains because they have two workers instead of one.

It's pretty much only the top quintile that is doing significantly better in wages/hour than they were 30 years ago.

We're doing fine productivity-wise, it has just become a winner-takes-all economy.
Household size shrank dramatically over the last 50 years. After 50 years of decline, household size is growing - USATODAY.com

Households were 27% larger in 1960 than they were in 2009. Some of that is less kids, some of that is more single householders. Sure, women are working more now than in 1960, but with all the increased costs of working (childcare, high marginal tax rate, commuting, etc) combined with lower average income for females versus males and more single people, what is the true impact of more women working? Economic freedom to live on one's own terms?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:59 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by azphx1972 View Post
Brilliant discussion so far. To stray a bit off topic, and because I have not seen this mentioned yet, but does anyone think parenting is partially to blame for some of the issues that youngsters face today? Perhaps I have a skewed view of the subject as I am not a parent, but I've noticed some interesting trends with modern parenting that differ greatly with my own childhood experiences (or perhaps I just suffer from poor memory ).
  • Children, especially girls, are treated like "princesses" and overexposed to Disney fairy tale propaganda. Material things seem to dominate Birthdays and Christmases rather than family bonding time.

  • There is a general lack of discipline because parents either fear being labeled an abuser, and/or they do not want their children to experience any pain.

  • Kids are too busy being shuttled from from activity to activity (soccer, piano, ballet, karate, etc.) rather than being forced to focus on studies. Why does ADHD seem so rampant?

  • Children are kept indoors to watch TV or play computer games for entertainment rather than be allowed to play outside and explore their world, because parents fear "stranger danger".

  • Lack of any kind of financial education because the parents themselves have no clue. Unfortunately, schools do not offer it in their curriculum either.

  • Parents place far more emphasis on choice of schools than parental involvement in the children's education. It's all about being in a good school district nowadays, which leads to higher housing costs, and parents have to work more to pay for it so they have less time to spend with their kids.
I feel that childhood in the U.S. today is far more complex and different than it was a couple of generations ago. I think if we look at other cultures, especially in areas like India and China, children are raised with the understanding that competition is fierce and they are expected to do everything they can to master and excel at their studies. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics.
Great thread. I've enjoyed the discussion and the input across the generations.

In my prior reply I think I said that Gen-Y has it worse than ever, when I shouldve qualified that with "since WW2". As someone correctly pointed out, things were a lot worse in the great depression and for those drafted into a world war.

I think the issues with parenting stem from the adoption of the two-income household as the norm, or even worse the single parent, one-income household. A lot of this is covered in Elizabeth Warren's book/discussion regarding the two-income trap. With both parents gone at work, sure income is increased, but there's a whole new set of expenditures (daycare, babysitting, second automobile, nursing home for parents,...etc) that weren't necessary with a parent at home. In addition, if one parent gets sick or loses his/her job, which is now twice as likely, you can't cover your expenses anymore. [Disclaimer: I have only read parts of the book and listened to a few interviews]

I also have a theory that without a parent at home at all times, parenting, and the psyche of children, has suffered greatly. Now there's no one to tell and show children what's right and what's wrong. Instead the burden is placed on daycare workers, teachers, babysitters and other family members. I am a firm believer in the fact that no one can take or your kids better than you can. [Disclaimer #2: I am basing this on anecdotal second-hand experience. I have a 2 year old and have not raised a teenager yet.]

I was raised in a one-income household for the first 15 years of my life. My parents are boomers and they had that "luxury". I feel that I am in a much better situation financially now then my peers, or my Gen-Y friends who were raised in two-income households, largely because my mother was at home to discipline me and set me off in the right direction.

I am part of Gen-X and feel as though my generation had a decent go of it. Those in my generation who worked hard and were smart about their choices have generally done fairly well. I will, barring any major calamities, retire by the age of 50 and by 45 if I continue to be fortunate. Again, I don't think this is true of Gen-Y. I know smart, hard-working members of Gen-Y who are struggling for reasons beyond their control. They were told to pursue higher education degrees with marketable majors; and they did, but now they are struggling to find good jobs and are hampered with crushing debt from their educations.

I hold no ill will toward the boomers. I appreciate the old school Boomer rules of hard work, dedication, education, and paying your dues. They were instilled in me by my boomer parents. However, there's also the old school edict of make a better life for your kids and leave the world a better place than when you entered it. So, I find it a bit disingenuous when the boomers tell Gen-Y to cry me a river.

Happy New Year to all.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #108
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Sure, women are working more now than in 1960, but with all the increased costs of working (childcare, high marginal tax rate, commuting, etc) combined with lower average income for females versus males and more single people, what is the true impact of more women working? Economic freedom to live on one's own terms?
Yep, but mainly economic freedom for the woman.

Business Week runs this article every few years, "proving" that the woman (and it's almost always the woman) re-entering the workforce doesn't even pay for childcare & commuting expenses.

However by the third or fourth year the rising salary generally pays that back. What's more important is that the 2nd working spouse now has a set of skills to protect them from the "economic trap" of divorce or a dead-end marriage.

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I think the issues with parenting stem from the adoption of the two-income household as the norm, or even worse the single parent, one-income household. A lot of this is covered in Elizabeth Warren's book/discussion regarding the two-income trap. With both parents gone at work, sure income is increased, but there's a whole new set of expenditures (daycare, babysitting, second automobile, nursing home for parents,...etc) that weren't necessary with a parent at home. In addition, if one parent gets sick or loses his/her job, which is now twice as likely, you can't cover your expenses anymore. [Disclaimer: I have only read parts of the book and listened to a few interviews]
She wrote that book (from relative obscurity) to make the point that dual-income couple were aggravating the bidding wars on desirable real estate in neighborhoods with "good" schools. Her whole point of the book was to warn these couples to save the 2nd salary as economic insurance against layoffs and not to get sucked into the lifestyle expansion-- especially when that 2nd salary was being used to pay off a 30-year ARM on a 100% financed home.

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I also have a theory that without a parent at home at all times, parenting, and the psyche of children, has suffered greatly. Now there's no one to tell and show children what's right and what's wrong. Instead the burden is placed on daycare workers, teachers, babysitters and other family members. I am a firm believer in the fact that no one can take or your kids better than you can. [Disclaimer #2: I am basing this on anecdotal second-hand experience. I have a 2 year old and have not raised a teenager yet.]
Yeah, good luck with that theory-- and your teen parenting. Especially the part where you're homeschooling a teen.

There's no credible studies to support either side of this debate. (The challenge is designing a reproducible double-blind control study.) Some parents & kids thrive no matter what, and some parents/kids never thrive either way, and the majority of the rest seem to do fine with no more problems than the other group.

Based on my anecdotal experience, it's amazing that our kids survive our attempt to parent them. I also learned far more parenting techniques from daycare workers, teachers, and babysitters than I ever did from my own parents... at least in a positive sense.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:23 AM   #109
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However, there's also the old school edict of make a better life for your kids and leave the world a better place than when you entered it. So, I find it a bit disingenuous when the boomers tell Gen-Y to cry me a river.

Happy New Year to all.
I certainly don't have any problem with young people. I haven't met any of these mythical Ys who ecpect to be coddled and taken care of. My sons came out of the chute holding tight and never let up on their spurs. Their friends male and female seem to be the same.

I wrote about one mid-30s woman that I know who doesn't seem to put economic decisions very high on her list, but she in no way that I can see expects anyone else to take care of her. A pretty woman IMO can reasonably expect to get some perks out of the guy she is sleeping with, but even that might be going the way of the dodo.

One of my kids is a very good snow-boarder, and I think he quite resaonably wants to get a lot of that in while he is young. Many things are done better when you are young.

Still, he rejected the common enough idea to make the slopes his life, living out of a van, maybe going fishing in Alaska during the summer to get some money and excitement.

Overall. the so-called generational conflict has passed me by. I think an older person who disaproves of the young is out of it. The young are the world. Maybe they see things that we did not or do not see.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:00 PM   #110
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I agree. I am constantly amazed by how much more sophisticated that I was at their age, are the people aged 30-and-under with whom I work and talk. They are going after what they want, and are willing to work for it (going to school after hours, etc). They ask my advice, and listen to what the old-timer tells them (I've watched several change their ways, or go down a slightly different path, after such talks). In turn, I've gotten some good advice from them.

They are a world apart from those people, young and older, who are takers who never give anything back. I think this discussion is dancing around differences in class, versus age.

P.S. For those who aren't familiar with my posts/philosophy, I don't equate "class" with money (or any common distinguisher e.g. age, sex, race, nationality etc.). Class is all about how you behave in the world.

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I

I think an older person who disaproves of the young is out of it. The young are the world. Maybe they see things that we did not or do not see.

Ha
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:50 PM   #111
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Brilliant discussion so far. To stray a bit off topic, and because I have not seen this mentioned yet, but does anyone think parenting is partially to blame for some of the issues that youngsters face today? Perhaps I have a skewed view of the subject as I am not a parent, but I've noticed some interesting trends with modern parenting that differ greatly with my own childhood experiences (or perhaps I just suffer from poor memory ).

[*]Children, especially girls, are treated like "princesses" and overexposed to Disney fairy tale propaganda. Material things seem to dominate Birthdays and Christmases rather than family bonding time.
[*]There is a general lack of discipline because parents either fear being labeled an abuser, and/or they do not want their children to experience any pain.
[*]Kids are too busy being shuttled from from activity to activity (soccer, piano, ballet, karate, etc.) rather than being forced to focus on studies. Why does ADHD seem so rampant?
[*]Children are kept indoors to watch TV or play computer games for entertainment rather than be allowed to play outside and explore their world, because parents fear "stranger danger".
[*]Lack of any kind of financial education because the parents themselves have no clue. Unfortunately, schools do not offer it in their curriculum either.
[*]Parents place far more emphasis on choice of schools than parental involvement in the children's education. It's all about being in a good school district nowadays, which leads to higher housing costs, and parents have to work more to pay for it so they have less time to spend with their kids.

I feel that childhood in the U.S. today is far more complex and different than it was a couple of generations ago. I think if we look at other cultures, especially in areas like India and China, children are raised with the understanding that competition is fierce and they are expected to do everything they can to master and excel at their studies. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics.
On the other hand, a significant percentage of children don't have the "luxury" of ever having known a 2-parent home so highly unlikely they will ever know your anticipated level of parental involvement.

And the Asian "tiger-mom" is the ultimate involved parent so getting back to basics in that respect is probably not going to result in less hovering.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #112
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I don't know. I came of age in the early 1970's, and I never recall a time when we had enough jobs for the entire working age population. The difference back then is most of us would settle for whatever career we could get into, and we made that decision by age 25, and got on with our lives.

The difference I see today with Gen Y, is they've been told they were winners all of their life, and now they won't settle for anything less than a high end position in some glamorous field, of which they have a miniscule chance of obtaining. They keep the dream alive well into their 30's, often living at home, with full parental financial and moral support. There comes a time when you have to accept you're ordinary, and go about your life accordingly, without seeing yourself as a victim.
The growth of income inequality, the decoupling of productivity from income gains, the fact that job growth has been stagnant the last 12 years relative to population, the growth in permatemp jobs to replace higher paying jobs with benefits, the rapid growth in education and health care expenses and the competition from outsourcing are all major problems. Among the fastest growing vocations, a good deal are low wage/no benefit jobs. As much as people like patting themselves on the back by talking about how much more hard working, talented, innovative, and disciplined they think they are than their children's generation there have been major structural changes in the US economy which are putting Generation Y at a major disadvantage. Higher expenses, fewer jobs, lower pay and less room for advancement all add up in the end. You guys can't ascribe all of the financial advantages you have had in life to being morally superior. There have been serious structural changes in the US, we are becoming a wealthy version of a 3rd world country.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #113
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You guys can't ascribe all of the financial advantages you have had in life to being morally superior. There have been serious structural changes in the US, we are becoming a wealthy version of a 3rd world country.
The big split I see is not generational, but type of skills. Young people who have knowledge economy skills are doing very well, better at the same ages than most baby boomers were at that point.


When I was young, rarely did you have to wait 30-40 minutes for a dining table on a Wednesday night. But now, all these very expensive restaurants are full almost every night. And not just downtown, also in the close-in popular neighborhoods. 2/3 or more of the free-spending customers are in their 30s.

And look how many members of this forum are well along to retiring in their early 40s. Not many boomers thought seriously about this.

If someone has these knowledge economy skills, and can get himself or herself to one of the hotspots for these businesses, things look quite rosy at present.

And it is boomers who are alleged to have a huge retirement problem. Few of us who were not military or government workers are particularly well positioned for retirement.

One other thing that is very important, and as far as I can see is no one's fault, other than perhaps are political-economic system, We cannot seem to do well with as much debt as the entire developed world is using.

Ha
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:04 PM   #114
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+1 with Ha. For all those youngsters who are still living with their parents, I see just as many finding good jobs with decent pay on their own. It all depends on your level of education, what field you are in and how driven you are. If you have only a HS diploma or a BA in liberal arts, you have a problem. We know kids of many of our friends who are in finance, law, engineering, IT, etc. who have moved to major metropolitan areas and are thriving.

We also know folks in their 50s and 60s who have been laid off and can't find anything near what they were paid before. Also 60 to 70 year olds who have saved almost nothing and can't live on SS and may have to work until they are 80. I don't know the stats, but I believe there are many boomers who are much worse off than Gens X and Y.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:56 AM   #115
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Brilliant discussion so far. To stray a bit off topic, and because I have not seen this mentioned yet, but does anyone think parenting is partially to blame for some of the issues that youngsters face today? Perhaps I have a skewed view of the subject as I am not a parent, but I've noticed some interesting trends with modern parenting that differ greatly with my own childhood experiences (or perhaps I just suffer from poor memory ).
  • Children, especially girls, are treated like "princesses" and overexposed to Disney fairy tale propaganda. Material things seem to dominate Birthdays and Christmases rather than family bonding time.

  • There is a general lack of discipline because parents either fear being labeled an abuser, and/or they do not want their children to experience any pain.

  • Kids are too busy being shuttled from from activity to activity (soccer, piano, ballet, karate, etc.) rather than being forced to focus on studies. Why does ADHD seem so rampant?

  • Children are kept indoors to watch TV or play computer games for entertainment rather than be allowed to play outside and explore their world, because parents fear "stranger danger".

  • Lack of any kind of financial education because the parents themselves have no clue. Unfortunately, schools do not offer it in their curriculum either.

  • Parents place far more emphasis on choice of schools than parental involvement in the children's education. It's all about being in a good school district nowadays, which leads to higher housing costs, and parents have to work more to pay for it so they have less time to spend with their kids.
I feel that childhood in the U.S. today is far more complex and different than it was a couple of generations ago. I think if we look at other cultures, especially in areas like India and China, children are raised with the understanding that competition is fierce and they are expected to do everything they can to master and excel at their studies. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics.
As a fellow Gen Xer , I'm jealous on how Gen Y and Z were/are raised . My siblings and I weren't pampered and we got a beating of our lives if we screwed up. At the same time, I'm proud to have been raised like that. Also, when I was a kid back in the late 70s and 1980s, I had to be outdoors with my friends goofing around and playing outdoor games (I.e. marbles, kites, banana skateboarding, war games, tag, nerf football, basketball, kickball, baseball, biking, arcades, and etc). The Atari 2600 wasn't that much fun after an hour or two. My older sister and younger one had their jacks and hop scotch or whatever you called that. They also had their girlie outdoor games. Today, you don't really see kids out in the streets playing. Its sad. I miss stick ball lol.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:04 PM   #116
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I agree with Ha, this is not a generational split. People of all ages with skills that are in demand are doing very well.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:32 AM   #117
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As a fellow Gen Xer , I'm jealous on how Gen Y and Z were/are raised . My siblings and I weren't pampered and we got a beating of our lives if we screwed up. At the same time, I'm proud to have been raised like that. Also, when I was a kid back in the late 70s and 1980s, I had to be outdoors with my friends goofing around and playing outdoor games (I.e. marbles, kites, banana skateboarding, war games, tag, nerf football, basketball, kickball, baseball, biking, arcades, and etc). The Atari 2600 wasn't that much fun after an hour or two. My older sister and younger one had their jacks and hop scotch or whatever you called that. They also had their girlie outdoor games. Today, you don't really see kids out in the streets playing. Its sad. I miss stick ball lol.
I grew up in the early 80's myself and the street was my playground. I rode the bus everywhere to the city and hung out at the arcade with unemployed 30 and 40's year old men till dark. I can't imagine any kids doing that today! We scaled the school yard playground at midnight to play balls till we got chased out.

If I did something wrong, I knew I would get a beating from my dad when he got home. Which was not as bad as when he made me kneel down for the entire night on an empty stomach.

Now I watch my niece and nephew go to karate classes, baseball, piano, foreign language class, etc afterschool. It's completely opposite of how I and my sibling grew up.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #118
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I like Nords and Ha's posts. I see no difference between my teenage experience and my teenage relatives now 20 years later. There are a group of kids who are driven and obtaining skill sets and/or degrees and on their way, and those who are goofing off. Sometimes they are living in the same house with the same parents! When I graduated college IT was booming, and anyone with some ability could get a GREAT job. Reversion to the mean. If you follow a STEM major for your college path, there is a job out there for you. Heck, among all college grads the unemployment rate is only ~5%. That includes my triple major Russian/English Lit/Theater ex-girlfriend!

The question in my mind is what, if anything, do we do for those who are simply less capable. Not everyone can major in engineering. Is wealth disparity and income inequality, which has been increasing for 40 years, reaching a crisis level? We all lose if it reaches the point of social/political instability. /end diatribe
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:54 PM   #119
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Much of the discussion is encompassed here as a visual of wealth distribution.
Wealth Inequality in America - YouTube

On a personal basis, in the late 50's I would consider myself to have been somewhere around the 70% level. Today, closer to the bottom 5 to 10%.

As a 2nd Lieutenant my base was $220/mo., and that wasn't too bad.

One son, secure as a lawyer, verified the statistics in the original cited article, as being very close to the situation for recent law school graduates.

One must wonder at the sustainability of economy, not just for the next 10 years, but for the coming generations. What change will occur to put the country on the rod to stability and prosperity?

Fortunately most here on ER, are wise enough to maximize the opportunities within their grasp to provide for a reasonably safe future.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:12 PM   #120
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I don't think we are discussing wealth inequality at all. We are saying that people, young and not so young, who have the skill set that is demanded by the market are prospering, and those who do not, maybe a bit less prosperity.

Is this unexpected, or new and different? If I studied basketball in school and insisted on playing basketball for a living, I would have had exactly $0 in lifetime income.

People who go to school and study English had better be ready to do something entirely different for a living, and display some flair and entrepreneurship in their to approach making their livelihoods.

But more likely they would just complain about income inequality and occupy something.

Ha
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