Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Lost Generation

From the New Yorker  (Hat tip "Wade Nichols" at the Half Sigma blog):
The ten most popular words were: “job,” “debt,” “work,” “college,” “pay,” “student,” “loan(s),” “afford,” “school,” “insurance.” On the face of it, these results suggest the primary issue for the protesters is excessive student loans. Together with the median age being twenty-six, this lends credence to the theory that the protest movement represents a “lost generation” of unemployed or under-employed college graduates.

This is what we are.  There are those of us who are lucky enough to obtain a job with benefits at a corporation or in government, and there are those of us who linger on the sidelines frantically trying to hold on.  I didn't grow up among the middle-class, but among the elite, so most of my friends are either in the first category, and if they are in the second category, they don't have any student loans to speak of and can live off of their trust funds comfortably.  Until I went to University, I didn't even know that people took out loans to pay for school, I thought everyone just drew a check  out of their bank account and that was that!  Of course even rich people in the US are irresponsible and don't know how to save--I know several kids whose parents have enough money to drive new luxury cars all the time yet can't afford the tuition at shitty private college.  

I don't think the primary issue for the protesters is excessive student loans.  Excessive student loans are a symptom, not a cause.  The cause of this movement and all other social movements is liberalism.  The belief in the universality of education, home ownership, Keynesian economics, and other related items associated with achieving the fantastic ideal of the American Dream have created a dysfunctional and inefficient system with a bloated parasitic class of bureaucrats and administrators.  It has wrecked havoc on the economy--leading to...guess what, no jobs for these recent college graduates.  Don't protest Wall Street, instead work for the abolition of Democracy.  The solution is not more Democracy, but less, preferably none.  Their college education in History was a waste of time, but they should be able to take their "education", and use it to understand the arguments of my one of my favorite bloggers, Mencius Moldbug.  But no sane American would ever support the end of Democracy-- they will get behind the End of History.  

Back to our unemployed and underemployed college graduates.  We have recognized that there is a systemic problem that begins with Government, not with corporations.  

1 comment:

  1. Here is my proximate explanation for OWS: , but ultimately I think it boils down to what Tyler Cowen pointed out in his kindle single: our system is set up for larger productivity increases than we've been experiencing for the past 40 years. I guess you could call "expecting to be rich" liberalism, but it seems a little unfair to me.