Here’s a story from the radically-leftist New York Times.
Francesca Esposito, 29 and exquisitely educated, helped win millions of euros in false disability and other lawsuits for her employer, a major Italian state agency. But one day last fall she quit, fed up with how surreal and ultimately sad it is to be young in Italy today.
It galled her that even with her competence and fluency in five languages, it was nearly impossible to land a paying job. Working as an unpaid trainee lawyer was bad enough, she thought, but doing it at Italy’s social security administration seemed too much. She not only worked for free on behalf of the nation’s elderly, who have generally crowded out the young for jobs, but her efforts there did not even apply to her own pension.
[…]The outrage of the young has erupted, sometimes violently, on the streets of Greece and Italy in recent weeks, as students and more radical anarchists protest not only specific austerity measures in flattened economies but a rising reality in Southern Europe: People like Ms. Esposito feel increasingly shut out of their own futures. Experts warn of volatility in state finances and the broader society as the most highly educated generation in the history of the Mediterranean hits one of its worst job markets.
[…]The daughter of a fireman and a high school teacher, Ms. Esposito was the first in her family to graduate from college and the first to study foreign languages. She has an Italian law degree and a master’s from Germany and was an intern at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It has not helped.[…]Even before the economic crisis hit, Southern Europe was not an easy place to forge a career. Low growth and a corrosive lack of meritocracy have long posed challenges to finding a job in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. Today, with the added sting of austerity, more people are left fighting over fewer opportunities. It is a zero-sum game that inevitably pits younger workers struggling to enter the labor market against older ones already occupying precious slots.
As a result, a deep malaise has set in among young people. Some take to the streets in protest; others emigrate to Northern Europe or beyond in an epic brain drain of college graduates. But many more suffer in silence, living in their childhood bedrooms well into adulthood because they cannot afford to move out.
“They call us the lost generation,” said Coral Herrera Gómez, 33, who has a Ph.D. in humanities but still lives with her parents in Madrid because she cannot find steady work. “I’m not young,” she added over coffee recently, “but I’m not an adult with a job, either.”
[…]Indeed, experts warn of a looming demographic disaster in Southern Europe, which has among the lowest birth rates in the Western world. With pensioners living longer and young people entering the work force later — and paying less in taxes because their salaries are so low — it is only a matter of time before state coffers run dry.
“What we have is a Ponzi scheme,” said Laurence J. Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University and an expert in fiscal policy.
He said that pay-as-you-go social security and health care were a looming fiscal disaster in Southern Europe and beyond. “If these fertility rates continue through time, you won’t have Italians, Spanish, Greeks, Portuguese or Russians,” he said. “I imagine the Chinese will just move into Southern Europe.”
The problem goes far beyond youth unemployment, which is at 40 percent in Spain and 28 percent in Italy.
[…]“This is the best-educated generation in Spanish history, and they are entering a job market in which they are underutilized,” said Ignacio Fernández Toxo, the leader of the Comisiones Obreras, one of Spain’s two largest labor unions. “It is a tragedy for the country.”
Yet many young people in Southern Europe see labor union leaders like Mr. Fernández, and the left-wing parties with which they have been historically close, as part of the problem. They are seen as exacerbating a two-tier labor market by protecting a caste of tenured older workers rather than helping younger workers enter the market.
For Dr. Kotlikoff, the solution is simple: “We have to change the labor laws. Not gradually, but quickly.”
Yet in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, any change in national contracts involves complex negotiations among governments, labor unions and businesses — a delicate dance in which each faction fights furiously for its interests.
The left think that education creates jobs. But education by leftists creates ignorance and resentment. Capitalism, corporations, property rights, the rule of law, and tax cuts create jobs. The unions that control left-wing parties like the Democrats are the ones to blame for blocking labor law reform that would create economic growth.
It’s sad, but not too sad, because you have to remember that the young generation is mentally challenged, and they overwhelmingly turn out to vote for more and more socialism – higher taxes, global warming alarmism, and bigger social programs. They just don’t know what the effects will be of their voting until they reach their 30s.
Young people are economically ignorant, but at the same time incredibly arrogant in their ignorance. They want to be cool and trendy, and to vote the way they were taught to vote by the media and Hollywood celebrities. They want to vote for the Peter Pan economics that their teachers and professors taught them – using the red marking pen as a whip to scourge them into submission.
Consider this editorial in Investors Business Daily.
Heading into the new year, there’s plenty of optimism about the stock market rising, corporate profits recovering and companies hiring. There’s just one problem on that last jobs item: Many will be overseas.
On those rare occasions when it’s not demonizing businesses as bastions of corporate greed, the White House and all its supporting players spend their time pondering why U.S. businesses, with mountains of cash, won’t use at least some of it to hire workers. A mere 900,000 jobs were created in 2010, while U.S. companies sat on $1.1 trillion in cash.
Last week, President Obama went so far as to meet with 20 CEOs for several hours over this, “asking the attendees to dialogue with him on a shared agenda focused on moving our economy forward,” according to a White House statement.
We don’t have any inside lines as to what was said, but news is trickling out the Obama administration is starting to think about doing something big to end the jobs drought in the U.S.
The something big would be to lower the U.S. corporate tax, which at 35%, stands as the second-highest in the developed world. President Obama only told NPR that he discussed “simplifying the system, hopefully lowering rates, broadening the base.”
If so, and if there are no accompanying sleights of hand to extract cash from businesses some other way, as some reports have it, it’s good news. Nothing inhibits the creation of U.S. jobs quite like high corporate taxes and their accompanying regulatory regime.
The fact is, companies sitting on cash aren’t doing nothing. They’re hiring overseas, creating 1.4 million jobs in 2010 alone, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
That’s not because they prefer foreigners to Americans, but because the bad business climate here pushes them to do so.
The rest of the world is a vastly different place from Obama’s U.S., which is characterized by high taxes and protectionist set-asides for politically connected unions that shut out free trade.
In places like Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Thailand, nobody demonizes business or blasts trade. Instead great efforts are made by the state and the private sector to draw in foreign investment by becoming more competitive than their rivals.
U.S. multinationals go to these places not because labor is cheap but because these policies also create boomtowns with lots of customers. Incredibly enough, sometimes overseas profits and jobs provide a lifeline for troubled U.S. companies back home. Take GM — today, its Brazil and Korea operations help keep it afloat.
Growth in the 8% to 9% range is typical in Asia.
The young are so busy swallowing slogans and persisting in a taxpayer-funded extended childhood in the schools that they cannot come up for air for a second to understand how the economy really works. All they do is get their worldview from Comedy Central and Michael Moore movies. And when reality asserts itself, they throw rocks through windows to protest as their entitlements are taken away. A generation of barbarians, raised by unionized taxpayer-funded socialist educators who know nothing about life outside of their sheltered ivory tower.