I’m getting tired of hearing sick old men say the kids should just take any job available and “deal with it.” I saw the mentally ill Ben Stein take off on a Saturday to spread this f***ed up message on CNN yesterday to anyone who would listen. Stein recommends that college graduates do the jobs illegal immigrants do because “there is dignity in work.” The chutzpah here is unbelievable. Stein’s last paying gig was an endorsement of a “free” credit report that was neither a report (it was an ongoing service) nor was it free.
But back to Stein’s “dignity in work” nonsense…
As if a kid carrying $30,000 in college debt could sell oranges on the freeway and pay that off. The fact is, the student loan debt bubble and increasingly impervious tuition costs in this country are a root cause of the general sickness in our economy. Enslaving kids with higher and higher levels of debt because college costs only go in one direction regardless of the economy is one of the things we’ve allowed to go on for too long as a society.
By labeling the younger generations as “entitled”, it becomes easier to ignore the guilt and the shame. That’s why those who’ve already been through the obstacle course keep doing it, in print and on television. That’s why when an army goes to war, one of the first things the command does is come up with a racial slur for the enemy. Easier to kill them when you’re referring to them as something less than human.
And just who is the supposed “entitled generation” in real life, those who did what they were told and who now seek opportunity where none exists through no fault of their own? Or those who have already had opportunity and who now exploit near-free labor, desperation and onerous interest rates from those who come after them?
Here’s one take, from a blogger at Knowledge and Confusion:
The younger generation in America has been labeled by the older as “entitled”. However, anyone who is paying attention can see that this is not the case as twenty and thirty-somethings work much harder for much less than the generations of the last century were expected to. Particularly more so than those who grew up during America’s golden age between the 1950’s and late 1970’s when jobs were plentiful, union membership was high, and America had the largest middle class in the entire world…
Most of us college grads do not feel that we are above doing menial work. Our bitterness comes from the fact that that the menial jobs that are available to us do not allow for us to make our student loan payments and pay our other bills at the same time. I and almost every college grad I have spoken to says that they would be happy to flip burgers if their student loan debt was forgiven. Because then we could afford to support ourselves. We see large corporate banks getting bailed out of their debt by the US government and while we cannot write off student loan debt in even partial bankruptcy. Unfortunately, In this pseudo-capitalist system we see socialist policies for corporations and capitalist policies for individuals.
Let’s knock off this bullsh*t about how anyone out of college who wants to can just start a successful business out of thin air or can simply pick strawberries in the field to pay off their loans, rent an apartment and afford mass transit to get back and forth, while still having a dollar or two to feed themselves. It’s a goddamn lie and the sick old men know it.
UPDATED: Here are some charts on the cost of school and tuition – the idea that every single thing under the sun is subject to the normal vicissitudes of inflation/deflation save for college is a joke and it’s crushing our youngsters. Consider that wages overall have stagnated for a decade while college enrollment has soared at the same time and you come to the only conclusion you can – it’s all broken.