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Old 02-14-2017, 04:34 PM   #61
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:53 PM   #62
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My experience comparing my life with my millennial children: In one sense, I had it easier. When I graduated in 1979 my my Ivy League college charged $6,000, my Megacorp starting salary was around $16K, my apartment rent (kitchen, dining area, living one, bedroom, full bath, walk-in closet) was $325, and my total loans were $1000. If these numbers kept pace with inflation, modern cost equivalents (using the CPI numbers) would be $19,835 for that Ivy League education, $54,900 for that starting salary, $1074 for rent, and $3300 in loans. Obviously the relative costs have far outpaced the relative earnings.

I also agree that globalization has greatly reduced many entry jobs, or reduced their wages. When Megacorp can eliminate a good paying job for the salary equivalent of 4 overseas jobs... that is something I did not have to deal with starting out. Indeed, in those days many companies paid you a premium to work overseas, rather than hire someone local to that country.

However - and I could be wrong - it also seemed that people my age were much more willing to major in and study subjects based on the "employability" of the subjects, versus subjects that they just liked or were easy. For example, i got into radio and communications in college was was tempted to go into that for a career ( I even had a radio station contact me after hearing my aircheck wanting to interview me). But I did not see that as a long term affordable career option, as compared to these "newfangled" areas like computers and data processing (as it was called back then), so that is where I focused my studies.

Lots of my friends went into engineering, medical, law, and business related professions not necessarily out of immediate love of the career, but because they knew there was demand for those skills and they could find a job after completing their studies. There were also a lot fewer things you could major in - there seemed to be a closer connection with school providing majors that were more widely employable than there is today. NO ONE wanted to go back and live at home, no matter how nice it was... there was a feeling that you were not an adult if you still had to live at home.

When my kids were applying to college, in almost all of the visits there was a huge emphasis on the "college experiences" versus "what you do here will dictate your opportunities after graduation". At the college DW taught at, when she tried to tell her department heads (History) about emphasizing the skills History majors could use to leverage into good jobs, she was dismissed with the line "we don't want to send them into 'drone' jobs". It just some (not all) that have fallen for the "I can study what I want, and if I can't find a good job then it is society's fault" attitude.

Jut my observation. One is easily biased within one's own generation, and easy to look down on subsequent ones... I am fortunate to have (beyond my kids) other millennials that I am friends with so I can observe up close and personal what they deal with instead of just reports - we have some interesting and wonderful discussions, even when we do not agree.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:01 PM   #63
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Day after day, year after year, I ate PBJ sandwiches for work. I still eat PBJ sandwiches for work (2 days a week now). It wasn't a sacrifice. I really like peanut butter :-)

I did move 1,000 miles all by myself for a job, and that was hard and scary. I had no furniture for about a year until a neighbor in the next apartment moved away and left me hers, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I slept on a mattress on the floor, where I could keep an eye on the cockroaches. Later, I got roommates. A whole succession of them.

Suspect the 4 Horses of the Apocalypse are on their way...or is it the 4 Yorkshiremen?
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:12 PM   #64
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While there are certainly examples of companies who've exhibited "pure greed and a twisted financial system" over the past 40 years, that's a sweeping generalization - largely unfair.
No. It is fair to those to whom it applies. There's always more to the story and much for people (business types)to hide behind so they can claim it is unfair.

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Globalization has forced employers and employees to compete with companies all around the globe
Nobody forced nothin'. Globalization was planned by business. It did not get slapped on innocent businesses by evil big government like a regulation or something. If it was, businesses would have been against it.

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If it was "pure greed," why have thousands of companies gone under and millions lost their jobs?
Because it only matters that a small handful of greedy interests gain from it. The many many thousands of other businesses that were victimized were of no matter to the globalists who profited.

There is no chivalry in these matters and no marketplace is really free
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:49 PM   #65
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This is the very definition of Lack of Progress. As far as things they can do without today ..... Adam Smith calls them necessaries. IOW if it's what's expected in society then one ought not do without them and they are considered minimums not luxuries. But sure they can do without them Like only 3 meals a day instead only 2. Or one.
Well, if lack of progress means not being able to buy as many toys as your parents, well...as my old man might have said, "if that's all you have to complain about, you are doing pretty well".
I would not equate doing without 500 Cable TV Channels, and an iPhone, with missing a meal.
After WWII, the USA was blessed with an intact infrastructure, and a ramped up industrial capacity. In the 50s and 60s my family lived in Europe, as my dad was working internationally. While there, his income provided us with a standard of living (Big House, Servants, Nannys, and eating at fancy restaurants constantly), that we could not afford back in the USA. Dad's $750 month got spread pretty thin back in Cincinnati.
In many ways, what we see before us is just a bit of evening out of the prosperity of western industrial culture.
To think every generation is going to have more than the last, with less effort makes no more sense than thinking the US Stock Market will always go up.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:52 PM   #66
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I don't know any millennials, other than my own children and their cousins.

They had an easier time growing up than we did, but it was not their fault. We and our siblings are financially better than our parents.

Now that they are working, I still see them often. Not too much different than when we were at their age, other than none but one of them had any desire to have children. We stay neutral here, because having an unwanted and unloved child would be a disaster.

When we were at their age now, we had to support our parents. Instead, our offsprings are getting gifts from us and a good inheritance in the future, barring some global calamities. Not all millennials are in this situation, hence I cannot make broad comments about any generation.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:00 PM   #67
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I just want to point out that a good number of millenials have done very well...

Mark Zuckerberg is worth $53 billion...

And most people that work in his company are millenials... and are doing very well...

The ability to get very rich is much better today than when I was young...


There is opportunity out there is you want to go and get it...
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:11 PM   #68
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Not all millennials are in this situation, hence I cannot make broad comments about any generation.
This is the right response. We try to extrapolate our very limited personal experiences across a whole generation. Hardly makes sense. I think there is pretty good evidence that education costs are generally higher and starting salaries generally lower. Other than the few who work for Silicon Valley of course. But there are so many other personal factors that come into play.

In any event, I am just happy that I can help the next generation financially. This was not the case with my parents.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:13 PM   #69
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I looked up my private school's tuition and room/board. In 1970 it was about $500 each per semester. This year tuition is $16,000 and R&B is $5,000 per semester. So lodging increased 10x while tuition went up 32X.

I think that, in some respects, we get what we ask for. We wanted retirement plans that easily transferred from employer to employer. We got IRA's and 401K's. With those portable plans, there is no long term incentive for a employee to be loyal at a single employer. The old defined-benefit plans had higher benefits to the longer employees making a big incentive to stay. Now, their best financial path is to change employers every so often. Nor is it advantageous for an employer to keep employees. There are many qualified candidates looking due to the previously stated retirement plans. The mobile workforce knife works both ways. Sad, but true.

There are other forces at work too. But these are not insignificant ones IMO.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:20 PM   #70
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Liver Wurst Mmmm.
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Six days a week? Yum.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:36 PM   #71
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Love liverwurst. Also head cheese (see photo linked from Wikipedia). I could buy the latter 30-40 years ago in grocery stores, but it is now impossible to get.

Not too many millennials know to eat good stuff like this, recession or not. In Europe, maybe.

Note to self: look for head cheese in the upcoming European trip. Head cheese on bread, pickled onion and cornichon on the side. My mouth is watering.





PS. What is even better? Liverwurst AND head cheese on the same sandwich! How can life get better than that? It could, I guess, but not a whole lot more.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:46 PM   #72
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Of course, life was easier for us. When I was in college a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese was 19 cents. I ate a lot of it then, so I wouldn't ever have to eat it again.
That and Hamburger Helper. I remember one night putting my fork down mid-plate and realizing that if I ever ate one more bite of Hamburger Helper, I'd just throw up on the spot
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:16 PM   #73
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When my kids were applying to college, in almost all of the visits there was a huge emphasis on the "college experiences" versus "what you do here will dictate your opportunities after graduation".
My exact experience! Even pushing the "study abroad" for a year program as a "must do". Heck, no way I'm paying for my kid to have a vacation overseas. She wants to be a Physical Therapist so what does she need a semester in Spain or France for?
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:28 PM   #74
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I looked up my private school's tuition and room/board. In 1970 it was about $500 each per semester. This year tuition is $16,000 and R&B is $5,000 per semester. So lodging increased 10x while tuition went up 32X.

I think that, in some respects, we get what we ask for. We wanted retirement plans that easily transferred from employer to employer. We got IRA's and 401K's. With those portable plans, there is no long term incentive for a employee to be loyal at a single employer. The old defined-benefit plans had higher benefits to the longer employees making a big incentive to stay. Now, their best financial path is to change employers every so often. Nor is it advantageous for an employer to keep employees. There are many qualified candidates looking due to the previously stated retirement plans. The mobile workforce knife works both ways. Sad, but true.

There are other forces at work too. But these are not insignificant ones IMO.

Not quite true on your stmt I highlighted....

Most companies do not start to match until you are there a year... and you have to be there 5 years to fully vest... maybe 7 if they spread it out...

Now, if you are moving to get a better position and salary, then this might not be an issue... but moving should have something else attached to it...
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:27 PM   #75
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This is the right response. We try to extrapolate our very limited personal experiences across a whole generation. Hardly makes sense.
+1

There are a lot of anecdotes in this thread.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:47 AM   #76
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I just want to point out that a good number of millenials have done very well...

Mark Zuckerberg is worth $53 billion...

And most people that work in his company are millenials... and are doing very well...

The ability to get very rich is much better today than when I was young...


There is opportunity out there is you want to go and get it...
It's part of the same trend. The majority have fewer opportunities, worse pay and stiffer global competition. What we are seeing is a big split between big winners and average players. The average players are losing out, the big winners win even bigger. Becoming a billionaire was never easier. At the same time, getting to what used to be (upper) middle class was never harder.

Academic careers are also a fine example of this. There used to be 1 to 3 PhD holders for every professor position. Now the ratio is 1 to 15, sometimes 1 to 30. Pointing at the winning candidate and saying things are better than they used to be isn't exactly the right conclusion.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:12 AM   #77
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Of course, life was easier for us. When I was in college a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese was 19 cents. I ate a lot of it then, so I wouldn't ever have to eat it again.
That and Hamburger Helper. I remember one night putting my fork down mid-plate and realizing that if I ever ate one more bite of Hamburger Helper, I'd just throw up on the spot
I remember many "dinners" in college squeezing mustard onto saltines......
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:02 AM   #78
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A couple of observations/opinions on my part:

1. At 16, I started working at a hardware store for $2.00/hour part time during school and full time on breaks and summers.

2. I paid half of my college tuition ($655-810/year) for 4.5 years for 21+ credits in engineering school; they wanted me to have some skin in the game. My parents paid the other $655-810.

3. I was able to co-op at several coal mines, 3 semesters, for $6.55/hour, but then back to the hardware store. I commuted, bought my car for $1200 beginning of freshman year.

4. My girlfriend, who majored in business, upon graduation, got a job as a manager at a department store, for less than $9,000/year. She had loans out the wazoo, she lived on campus.

5. My starting salary was $22,080, never had a loan.

6. Both my kids, had jobs in high school and college, paid their "half" and both lived on campus. They were only allowed to take 18 credits, son went to same school I did, daughter went to private college.

7. Daughter did need a $3,000 loan for her last term but was paid off 3 months after graduation.

8. Both were graduated by 2005, and fully employed, as an engineer and teacher.

9. I can't stand to hear these people who say it can be done. I know better.

10. Minimum wage should be an economic number not a political number.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:59 AM   #79
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I remember many "dinners" in college squeezing mustard onto saltines......
Never did that. That's gross. I did eat my share of mayonnaise sandwiches. Sublime. I still scarf one down when I think nobody is watching.

Isn't it just about time that someone posts this?

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Old 02-15-2017, 08:18 AM   #80
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I did eat my share of mayonnaise sandwiches.
Bread? You had bread?
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