This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of young Americans graduate from institutions of higher learning all across the United States. This horde of fresh-faced young Americans is full of knowledge and ambition and is ready to get good jobs and start living the American Dream. But there is only one problem. There are not nearly enough good jobs for them. In fact, there have not been nearly enough good jobs for college graduates for a number of years. As a result, record numbers of college graduates are moving back in with mommy and daddy and are taking jobs as Wal-Mart greeters, Chinese food delivery people and video store clerks. But it is tough to blame them when the job openings simply are not there. It is hard to describe how depressing it can be for a young person to send out dozens of resumes day after day and not receive a single positive response. The reality is that the real world is a lot different from the safe environment of college. In fact, 2010 college graduates are finding out that the real world can be downright cruel.
Many parents end up becoming incredibly frustrated when their college-educated children cannot get a decent job, but the reality is that the vast majority of college graduates are struggling right now. In a piece recently published on MSN Money, Joe Queenan described the environment that 2010 college graduates are being thrown into as they enter the real world….
They will enter an economy where roughly 17% of people aged 20 through 24 do not have a job, and where two million college graduates are unemployed. They will enter a world where they will compete tooth and nail for jobs as waitresses, pizza delivery men, file clerks, bouncers, trainee busboys, assistant baristas, interns at bodegas.
Things are not pretty out there.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March the national rate of unemployment in the United States was 9.7%, but for Americans younger than 25 it was 18.8%. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center study, approximately 37% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have either been unemployed or underemployed at some point during the recession.
So if you are a young American that cannot get a decent job you are far from alone.
And unfortunately, America is looking to this new generation of college graduates as the generation that will pay for all of our national financial mistakes. The U.S. national debt has just passed the 13 trillion dollar mark, and the Social Security system is facing massive shortfalls in the years ahead. America has piled up the biggest mountains of government, business and consumer debt in the history of the world, and now the bills are coming due.
So who is expected to pay for this mess?
In his recent piece, Joe Queenan described it this way….
The legacy costs that society has imposed on young people will be a millstone around their necks for decades. Who’s going to pay for the health care bill? Gen Y. Who’s going to pay off the federal deficit? Gen Y. Who’s going to fund all those cops’ and teachers’ and firemen’s pensions? Gen Y. Who’s going to support baby boomers as they suck the Social Security system dry while wheezing around Tuscany? Gen Y.
Now, one would think that anyone younger than 30 would be more than a little peeved about the legacy of debt that we have left to them.
Well, the truth is that a lot of them are, and it is not only folks under 30.
According to a new poll, seven in ten Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in Washington D.C., and 22 percent say that they are downright “angry” about the direction the U.S. is headed.
There is a rapidly growing anger that is sweeping the nation as millions of Americans have begun realizing what a fine mess the folks in D.C. have gotten us into.
Unfortunately, the financial problems of the U.S. are accelerating at a staggering pace. The U.S. government is projected to run a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit this year, which is about four times higher than deficits were typically running during the Bush administration.
That is beyond catastrophic – that is downright nightmarish.
Weren’t we supposed to be creating a better life for the generations to follow?
Instead, we have left them with a debt burden that will haunt them for the rest of our lives. Because of our endless appetite for debt, we have squandered the wealth that our forefathers left us and we have ruined the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.
Now we are leaving future generations a financial mess that seems virtually impossible to solve under the current system.
So if they seem a bit upset, please try to be understanding.
They have a very good reason to be angry with us.