Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Blame Game

We blog here about the experience of being a boomer.

One of those experiences is to function as whipping boy for the ills of the generations behind. A national columnist called Gary Mason leads the local newspaper blame brigade. His latest tirade starts: “When is an economic recovery not an economic recovery? When you’re among the hundreds of thousands of young people being left out of any revival in the jobs market.”  Follow along and once again one quickly finds it's all our fault as selfish and uncaring boomers.

The comment thread on this particular rant is huge and much of it is about just who's to blame.  I especially enjoyed this riposte by a fellow calling himself  'Cosmic Wheels': -

"Too many young people have coasted through high school, gone to university for virtually useless degrees, piled up huge debts, and now are qualified for only menial work. Too many of them are useless with math/science/technology and are hopelessly lost in their 'social media' and gaming worlds. Most of them can't even swing a hammer and have never used a screwdriver.

Grade inflation, social promotion, and inflated expectations have been drilled into them by parents, teachers, and coaches.
 It's tough when nobody has ever said a cross word to you or told you that you are wrong or could do better.

Now, compare this to where the jobs are in our economy.
Trades, engineering technology, engineering, geology, etc. are careers that the people presented above are simply not equipped to do. It means going to college where you can actually fail, moving to where the work is, getting up early, leaving the smart phone alone for a few hours, and working with people you will tell you straight-up that you're doing it wrong. No helicopter parent will rescue you from your 'mean boss' and make sure that your freezer is loaded with pizza pockets. Hence, youth unemployment."

A little harsh perhaps but not too much off the mark. I recall a third of my BSc class failed to move on at the end of each academic year. Maybe it was only the dope-heads but I somehow doubt Timothy Leary deserves all the credit. There were jobs waiting but the journey to them was tough. I suspect it always will be.

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