When I talk to young people, I am often told that my ideas about what to study, when to work and when to invest are “too strict”. They tell me: “your ideas only work within a narrow scope” and “don’t worry about me, everything will work out”.
Well, I happen to know that there are many crises right around the corner that will make things tougher for the next generation than they ever were for me. Trillion dollar student loan bubble, national debt doubled to $20 trillion, entitle programs going bankrupt, cost of health care and tuition skyrocketing, job growth at 1% quarter after quarter, breakdown of law and order, etc.
So how well are the young people equipped to deal with a challenging environment like this? Are they picking good majors and getting good jobs and controlling their spending and moving out of their parents’ houses?
Here’s a new survey from the leftist Pew Research:
Broad demographic shifts in marital status, educational attainment and employment have transformed the way young adults in the U.S. are living, and a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data highlights the implications of these changes for the most basic element of their lives – where they call home. In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.
This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35. Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other. This type of arrangement peaked around 1960, when 62% of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and only one-in-five were living with their parents.
[…]The Great Recession (and modest recovery) has also been associated with an increase in young adults living at home. Initially in the wake of the recession, college enrollments expanded, boosting the ranks of young adults living at home. And given the weak job opportunities facing young adults, living at home was part of the private safety net helping young adults to weather the economic storm.
The job opportunities in the private sector are bad because of the Obama administration’s high taxes and burdensome regulations, which strangle private sector job creation. Dodd-Frank and Obamacare are two examples of bills that kill job creation. There was a good video put out by Prager University that showed how these taxes and regulations hurt entrepreneurs:
Where are the jobs for the young people supposed to come from, when the young people keep voting against the private sector businesses that create jobs? I don’t know that their parents and professors are explaining to them how the economy works. Taxes and regulations make job creation harder, and then you have nowhere to work, and just live at home.
The “weak job opportunities” that Pew Research mentioned are especially weak for young people who graduate from non-STEM programs. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates are able to find jobs that pay enough. Liberal arts graduates end up serving coffee. And then they vote for more environmentalist regulations and a higher minimum wage, and find themselves out of a job entirely. The jobs just go elsewhere where there are lower taxes and fewer regulations.
It’s really important for young people to get into the workforce early and start building their resume and references with work experience. Two years of work experience is better than graduate school in most cases, too. Saving works much better when you start investing early, so watch your spending.