Welcome to the age of entitlement, where "sacrifice" is a hiss and a
byword. After graduating H.S., other than room and board until we departed on
missions, I and my 4 brothers were on our own. The room and board were not taken
for granted, but we were responsible for all else. We did not "need" or
feel entitled to a cell phone, an internet connection, a new car, stereos (the
iWhatevers of today), etc, etc. We kept a couple of dimes/quarters in our
pockets for that. We worked for, saved and paid for our own educations - 8
degrees in total. I rode a bike until I could afford a motorcycle and rode that
until I could afford a used car. Maybe there were some distractions of the day,
but I guess we were hungry enough to go out and make it on our own. We are
trying our best to teach the same principles to the next generation. Not easy.
We are taking care of our parents AND our adult children. Our so-called
"retirement" may just be our final resting place.Let's
make sure that we provide these next generations with as many excuses as
For those of you who are criticizing the Gen Xers and the Millennial generation
keep this is mind. They are the most educated and well trained generation that
America has ever produced. They have technology skills that previous generations
could only dream of. They are creative and innovative as well. The problem is
they have been sold out by the older generations. The older boomers forgot to
pass on prosperity. The greatest generation after World War II spent a fortune
providing every opportunity for their children. Top Tax Rate in the
1950's: 92% on the top wage earners. That is not a typo. Taxes were that
high on the rich.Minimum Wage in Today's dollars in 1950:
Approx. $15 an hourOfficial Government Policy in Terms of Jobs in the
1950's: Full Employment, Any American who wanted a job could get one was
official government policy at the time.Fast Forward to Today: Top
Rate: 39% though most super rich pay only 15% and have to overpay to reach 15%
tax (Mitt Romney is the example here)Minimum Wage: Just over $7 an
hour. Less than half the minimum wage of the 1950's. Outstanding right? Absolutely disgraceful.
Stories like this are appearing in the national papers everywhere. Guess what
folks we are living in a new Gilded Age. I studied the Gilded Age in College and
actually the wealth of the rich today in America is actually larger and more
disgusting than the wealth the rich had during the Gilded Age of the late 1800
and early 1900's. During the last Gilded Age there were strikes and riots,
and other protests for government actions that prompted higher taxes and
something called the minimum wage and the 8 hour work day. Americans
have not demanded more this time and it is puzzling to me. Why are Americans the
only people in the industrialized world that do not have guaranteed health care
and guaranteed vacation time at work? It is unbelievable in 2013 that American
businesses still act as if it is the 1800's. The rich have all the money in
this country and that is a huge problem. The Walton Family alone has as much
wealth as the bottom 30% of Americans. The Waltons continue to get richer and
the poor, well they just get poorer. More us will be poor in the future too!
Really sad future!
There are those of us that live within our means rather tightly and yet when the
means available drops because of decisions made by those in power, and because
of other decisions made, income via other jobs is not available 'live
within your means' becomes meaningless when homeless and hungry is the
choice forced on you, with no other options because all work that would have
enabled even a starvation level existance is denied or taken.At one
time the U.S. government had a law on the books to hire a number of people when
the unemployment rate rose to a high level, but that hasn't been acted upon
since the law was signed around 1980. That would help tighten up the labor
market some, but it would take taxes to implement.
I agree with Ronaldo Ramos from the article--Working for a
government agency is demoralizing. I know. I'm doing the same thing.
I fear harsher times are coming. As the Baby Boomers continue to enter
retirement the burden placed on we younger generations is going to be even
worse. I'm a member of Generation X and have made a fairl comfortable
lifestyle for myself and my family. However, this has required sacrifice on my
part. I live 38 miles away from my employment in a 2000 square foot home. I
drive older cars and rarely go on long vacations. I've never been to
Disney Land. Contrary to ExecutorIoh, we don't have cell phones, I Pads or
even a 40" TV. I don't subscribe to cable television, only the rabbit
ears. I live within my means and by so doing I am able to save wealth and pay
down my mortgage. However, we live in a society where people want everything.
They want more and more and more. Homes today are ridiculous in size and they
usually only house 4 people. Our greed, our decadence and our slothfulness are
too blame. That being said I fear for older generations. How will
they survive when the younger generations revolt against this theft against them
by older generations? It will happen.
Under 40 and over instantly gratified...Why else is there so much of
the month left, at the end of the money?
Or executorloh many people are moving in back with their parents to live the
American Dream. Yes, we have more toys or whatever but does that
mean more security. I'm probably close to your age and feel fortunate that
I could go to college when it was affordable and find a good paying job during
and after college. I think every generation has its challenges and has its
opportunities. I think this is a rough time for many right now.
I think back 30-years ago to when I was a kid and I remember a 15" TV that
had 13 over the air channels. My father sold a ton of vacation time to get a
home computer that did little more than word processing. We had special family
traditions where we went to a restaurant to eat. At one point I shared a bedroom
with two other siblings. We lived in a house with maybe 1800 sq-ft.Fast forward to today. My kids have two TVs to use, one is a 60". Over 200
TV channels, many in HD. Three home computers that are good enough to play
games, edit video, stream media throughout the house. Live on a 1/4-acre lot in
a house with over 3000-sqft. Everybody has a cell phone, tablet, Nintendo DSi,
iPod, etc. Each kid has their own room and it is a special moment when I pack
lunch to work rather than eat at a local place.Net value may be down
than it was 30-years ago, but I think the expectation of lifestyle have gone way
up. We are strapped for cash because we "need" stuff.