Why’s Johnny So Depressed?

Youth Misery Index – a combination of unemployment rate, college loan debt and each youth’s share of the national debt – breaks all prior records under Obama:

The index, released Wednesday, was calculated by adding youth unemployment and average college loan debt figures with each person’s share of the national debt. While it has steadily grown over the decades, under Obama the figure has shot up dramatically, from 83.5 in 2009 to 98.6 in 2013.

The index has increased by 18.1 percent since Obama took office, the highest increase under any president, making Obama the worst president for youth economic opportunity, according to the nonprofit that released the figure.

“Young people are suffering under this economy,” said Ashley Pratte, program officer for Young America’s Foundation, which developed the index and calculates it annually using federal statistics. “They’re still living in their parent’s basements, unable to find full-time jobs that pay them what they need in order to pay back their debt.”

Like most people who have a younger generation to talk to, I will tell the young ‘uns that things were much tougher when I was a kid than today.  The snow was deeper, the weather colder, the wind sharper, the teachers meaner. 

And in many cases I’m right.

But as a guy who grew up under the Carter years, and turned 18 right after Reagan’s election, even I don’t envy the lot of today’s 16-to-25-year-olds.

5 thoughts on “Why’s Johnny So Depressed?

  1. I believe that too many of these kids are being too picky. They want to make $45K plus bennies right out of the gun, because that’s what their lying, left wing professors told them that they would be able to make or they don’t want to work.

    I offer both of my children, that have been seeking employment for several months, as examples.

    Just before Christmas, my son landed a part time gig, with a great company, that pays over $11 per hour. He knew going in that he couldn’t work over 30 hours in a week, which was OK with him, because he has another part time job that pays him $10 per hour and he works as many as 30 hours there, too. That gives him an annual salary of over $31K. He is willing to do this, because he has his head screwed on straight, i.e. it will give him experience with two different firms and it is a means to an end. The new employer has been trying to fill that position since late September. Of five finalists before him, 2 failed the drug test, 2 were over an hour late for their interviews, then acted like it was no big deal and the 5th, didn’t show up for it.

    My daughter in Chicago, just got an offer from a well known online marketing company, making $13 per hour plus a $2 per hour shift differential (she’ll initially work 4 p.m. to midnight) through her 90 day probation period, then if all is going well, her base goes up to $15. She’s also eligible for performance based raises every two months and to move to regular business hours after six months. In addition, she gets benefits for about $110 month, with a $2500 deductible, they get free snacks and drinks and if she decides to drive her car to work, she gets to park in the garage for free. She won’t need to drive though, because the train station is three blocks from her apartment and the Blue Line drops her off 3 blocks from the building downtown. A CTA pass, is $38 per month, which the company will also pay for. Here again, is the kicker. This company, despite the prestige that would come from working there, couldn’t find people willing to work that shift!! They were thrilled when my daughter accepted and were even more thrilled when she referred a friend to them, for which she will receive a $2K referral fee if her friend stays 90 days.

  2. “The snow was deeper, the weather colder, the wind sharper, the teachers meaner.” – All of which is objectively and indisputably true.

    “But as a guy who grew up under the Carter years, and turned 18 right after Reagan’s election, even I don’t envy the lot of today’s 16-to-25-year-olds.”
    – Eff ’em. They voted for the schmuck. They can eat the sh#t sandwich they made.

  3. “But as a guy who grew up under the Carter years, and turned 18 right after Reagan’s election, even I don’t envy the lot of today’s 16-to-25-year-olds.

    I’d settle for the “Reagan Recession”, as harsh as it was, over the economy we’ve got now. A short, sharp shock doesn’t create the lasting social effects of long term unemployment, crony capitalism, and healthcare socialism.

  4. To be fair, the share of the national debt and student loan debt ought to be done on a “real” rather than a “dollar” basis, but it’s worth noting as well that there’s a nice sharp spike in unemployment that can’t be negotiated away, and the spike in national debt is very clear and sharp as well.

    You know it’s bad when you could put a Jimmuh on a “Miss Me Yet?” billboard.

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