Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Lost Generation

This is a good article from Reuters that sheds some much-needed light on one of the especially problematic areas of this economic crisis/collapse: young college graduates, usually with significant amounts of debt, unable to find a well-paying job. This has many repurcussions, just from what I've gathered off the top of my head. For one, it seriously undermines the university/college system, one of the few industries that are still making money thanks to record enrollments of people looking to advance or update their skills. Yeah, now things are looking hunky-dory, but what about further down the road, when the general, job-seeking populace finally realizes that a college degree is far from a guarantee that they'll get something, and choose to put their money elsewhere? Another problem is the social and political fallout. Although I am a college graduate, and have debt, I am an optimist and feel that I've learned a lot, and continue to learn thanks to the tools that I was provided with. Things could be better, but I am making an effort to make them so (I took my state notary exam yesterday, since it's almost a requirement for the field I'm going into; I'm fairly optimistic that I did very well). But I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't share my outlook. They just see that they busted their keister for four or more years, and put themselves into debt that they will probably carry for life, with the expectation that a well-paying job would be waiting for them once they got out. And they haven't. What will they do when they come to the realization that they've been, for lack of a better term, fleeced?

This also highlights a dilemma in a whole other realm, that of Social Security. The Social Security system is dependent on a flood of new workers that will pay for the Baby Boomers, who in the best of times, were expected to pose great challenges to the SS system. But the new workers aren't there, and what's worse, due to the stock market and the likes of Bernie Madoff sinking the retirement dreams of many Boomers, they will end up working at their jobs longer, meaning another lost opportunity for a young college graduate to pick up a job.

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