What's The Big Deal?
Friends, times change. If a union knows it has the employers over a barrel, it makes big demands. People under 30 know that there is a shortage of workers, so they make demands too? Is it so mystifying?
The Children of Educated Parents
Also, they are the children of the beneficiaries of the education explosion of the 1960s. Their college-educated parents are more like Ward Cleaver and the friendly and mild mannered TV dads of the 1950s than their blue collar, Archie Bunker-type peers. Because of this, many people in Gen Y aren't used to being mistreated by bosses. Is that so strange? Or is it an obvious trend in modern history which continually robs tyrants of their power.
The Sixties Echo
In the 1960s people were already whining that young people were lazy, hedonistic and anti-authoritarian. But now that seems to have been forgotten and the Boomers are, supposedly, the top-down tyrannical cavemen against whom Gen Y must do battle.
In fact, back in the 60s, there was a real generation gap. Young people espoused a life full of free sex, wild clothes, long hair, no work, no war, drugs and loud music. That was different but, in the end, insignificant. Proof?
Nixon got a landslide in 1972 and there are no hippies today. In fact, as I just said, the Love Generation is now, allegedly, the enemy of the Coddle-Me Kids.
Here's something I never would have predicted, though: young people living at home. It seems retro and, indeed, unmanly, but this trend has been developing a number of years as tuition and rents rise far beyond what they were thirty or forty years ago.
Jeff Zaslow, Gen Y is bad for America
Jeff Zaslow was on the show, too. He's the Cassandra warning America that these fun-loving, lazy workers are going to ruin the economy because they can't compete with the harder-working Asians. Jeff is a pleasant guy. I wrote to him after his first big Gen Y article in the Wall Street Journal and he gave me a call.
He argued with me then claiming that he had found employers and academics telling him that "something's happening here". Okay, something is happening. But not something really weird like it's being made out to be. In the course of our conversation, he noticed my postings
criticizing featuring The Ryans and he said, "Hey, how can I get in touch with those guys?" I guess he thought that they were great examples of the bad apples he was warning us against. And now they are together on TV.
Was Mr Rogers A Communist?
I'm sure that Zaslow is a bright guy but the fact that he blames Gen Y on Mr Rogers, well that should tell you that something is askew. Mr Rogers was not a wolf in sheep's clothing infecting North American youth with an air of entitlement. Nor was Dr Spock who was blamed for the hippies.
I'll note that neither Ryan nor The Blabbermouth looked in any way cool. But, of course, few people do. I only mention it because Penelope had led us to believe that Ryan is very fussy about his clothes. Fussy, maybe, but that isn't a sign of style. A pocket protector would not have been much of a surprise.
The Children of Downsizing
When I see these guys yapping about how they were shaped by seeing their parents struggle so hard only to get downsized without notice by their nasty employers, I have to wonder if they're serious or if they read it in the newspaper. Jason claimed that his dad was laid off. But was it really the key formative experience he makes it out to be?
Children of Divorce
Likewise, a lot of younger people grew up in families divided by divorce. So, the Gen Y boosters are claiming that Gen Y will have more stable families. But, really, who thinks that they are going to lower the divorce rate? I don't. They'll simply have better divorces because, over time, people naturally figure out a way to improve the management of recurring problems.
Peas in a Pod
Anything else? Yeah. Not every boomer ended up in AA so stop telling us that this is yet one more example of the way in which boomers have failed and which has added to Gen Y's desire to differentiate themselves from their parents.
If these guys happily live at home and let helicopter parents run defence for them with employers and teachers, then they aren't rejecting their parents at all.
A Little Matchmaking Music, Please
PS: Dudes, Morley Safer is from Toronto.