Why no youth revolt?

A friend of mine noted that 20th century political revolutions of the left and right were led by young unemployed college graduates, as were the recent protests in Egypt.  Since unemployment among recent U.S. college graduates is the highest on record, he wonders if and when there will be a similar explosion in the United States.

One reason for the lack of an American youth revolt, in my opinion, is that so many recent graduates are too busy paying off their college loans.  They spend too much time looking for jobs or working multiple jobs to have time for political activity.  And they are aware that, in today’s labor market, getting a reputation as a troublemaker or dissident will make you unemployable.

Click on The Class of 2011: Young workers face a dire market without a safety net for a report by the Economic Policy Institute.  The EPI report notes that the outlook for young college graduates is not good, but is much worse for high school graduates not in college.

Click on Generation Y: Huge debt, no savings for a report by Christine Dugas of USA Today.

Click on No One Needs You, Class of 2010 for commentary by Joe Queenan of the Wall Street Journal.

This chart shows a decline in the percentage of college graduates age 20-24 who have jobs.

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3 Responses to “Why no youth revolt?”

  1. TimLee Says:

    I want to see the youth revolt against their elders. Folks over 40 have secured a bargain which is too generous for themselves at the expense of all the folks who can only vaguely sense that the goodies are only disappearing for the young.

    Like

    • taxpayer Says:

      What a bunch of populist crap. I worked my butt off to secure this overly generous bargain you speak of only to have to continuously pay more taxes to feed your sorry ass. I lived through the Carter years which make the Obama years seem like a walk in the park. You can get a house loan for 3% today (and probably won’t have to pay it if Obama has his way). Interest rates were 20% back then. I lived in Rockford Illinois when the unemployment rate was 25%. We didn’t get 99 weeks of unemployment. The difference between today and then was that back then, if you couldn’t find a job, you started your own business. My guess is, you have cable or satellite tv and a cell phone. If we didn’t have the money to pay for stuff, we just didn’t have it. You walk in my shoes for a few decades before you start mouthing off about crap you know nothing about. Get off your lazy ass and find a job. Better yet, create one and then hire some of your lazy assed friends to come and work for you instead of sucking off the tax payers.

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  2. philebersole Says:

    I’m 75 years old. I entered the work force during the last years of the Eisenhower administration, and my standard of comparison is the widely-shared prosperity of that era. Good jobs at decent pay were within the reach of anyone who cared to work, college education was affordable, house prices were affordable. I feel sorry for anybody coming of age today, when, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three or more people looking for work for every job opening..

    I put up this post before the Occupy Wall Street movement broke out. I don’t know whether that movement is going anywhere, but I agree with their slogan about the 99 percent. In the current American economy, a majority of Americans are falling behind, most of the rest are treading water and all the gains in the economy flow to a tiny minority.

    I don’t think the majority of Americans have become lazy bums in my lifetime, and I don’t think the present generation of CEOs and financiers (with a few exceptions) are making a greater contribution to America than their predecessors.

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