The land of missed opportunity

From two articles picked up at Instapundit. First this, the conclusion to an article titled, The United States of Envy:

Voters who will hear the Obama call for envy and redistribution should ask themselves and others: Would you prefer to live in an America where the market is dynamic and opportunity abounds, or in France, where unemployment is high and tax rates are crushing? Don’t you prefer opportunity to envy?

And then this from an article with the title, Growing-ups which is subtitled, “Living with your parents, single and with no clear career. Is this a failure to grow up or a whole new stage of life’?”:

The ‘selfish’ slur also ignores how idealistic and generous-hearted today’s emerging adults are. In the national Clark poll, 86 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds agreed that: ‘It is important to me to have a career that does some good in the world.’ And it is not just an idealistic aspiration: they are, in fact, more likely to volunteer their time and energy for serving others than their parents did at the same age, according to national surveys by the US Higher Education Research Institute.

As for the claim that they never want to grow up, it’s true that entering the full range of adult responsibilities comes later than it did before, in terms of completing education and entering marriage and parenthood. Many emerging adults are ambivalent about adulthood and in no hurry to get there. In the national Clark poll, 35 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds agreed with the statement: ‘If I could have my way, I would never become an adult.’

Read both articles but the second shows such a high proportion of bone-headed youths who are not interested in “dead-end” jobs that you really do have to wonder about not just how dynamic the US is and but how much of that opportunity there actually any longer is.

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37 Responses to The land of missed opportunity

  1. mundi

    It is interesting in the first article how wealth held by top 1% is starting to go back up again.

    I wonder what the optimum percent is in terms of overall growth of wealth?

  2. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    If the relationship of trust between government and people is replaced by growing conflict between over-government and the people’s impatient rejection of high taxes, the search for new ways to elude detection by the tax-inspectors and tax collectors may be expected to grow.
    — Arthur Seldon

  3. RodClarke

    Read both articles but the second shows such a high proportion of bone-headed youths

    I agree BUT I also point out that this generation has, from a young age been bombard by Apocalyptic messages of either:

    - Death From Aids
    - Death From Nuclear war
    - Death From Climate change.

    There has been a war against the natural optimism of youth from all angles: Society, Media, Education, & Christian Churches.

  4. Zatara

    US entitlement payments have increased an average of 9.5% per year since 1964.

    Modern youth have grown up in a culture where the government taxpayers are paying an ever increasing army of parasites to sit home and do nothing. Not all that long ago there was shame in having to accept handouts rather than work. The left has managed to change that to the point where creatures like this are commonplace.

    Bluntly, youth are choosing not to work because they can. As depicted in the link, many feel that working is for fools and there is no reason to work when someone is going to pay you more not to. Those parasites are quite literally laughing at the taxpaying morons who are funding them.

  5. Pedro the Ignorant

    I am very pessimistic about the long term future of the USA.

    An ever growing welfare population and a shrinking number of taxpayers, coupled with the huge influx of illegal immigrants from round the world does not bode well for their future.

  6. Mayan

    Part of the problem with the inequality meme, especially when it espoused by politicians who have a tendency to enlarge the scope of government, is that much of that inequality has been generated by government policy and the capture of the state by vested interests. QE is a variation on this theme in that the expanded money supply enters the system through a limited number of hands, and those hands belong to people whose wealth is growing rapidly.

  7. M Ryutin

    Why would anyone be surprised that successors to the baby boomers are like this and that ‘dead end jobs’ are beneath the dignity of young people brought up as heirs to the most self-indulgent generation in centuries?

    I was only slightly amused a week or so ago when an enabler of illegal boat arrivals claimed that they were ‘workers’ who would do the jobs that Australians are too lazy to do themselves! Shades of the recent Florida case when a Democrat candidate claimed that immigration was required for domestic servant, cleaning and lawn mowing jobs to be filled!

    All those jobs are beneath the dignity of such people, for whom greater things are planned!

  8. Andrew

    an enabler of illegal boat arrivals claimed that they were ‘workers’ who would do the jobs that Australians are too lazy to do themselves!

    While theoretically possible, in practice if they ever did it would be for cash in hand while cheating on welfare. What’s wrong with having lawns mowed by Irish youths on working holidays, who will return home at the end of the year? Why do we need non English speaking people with nose jobs staying permanently?

  9. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    Let government succor failures, and we shall be headed for stagnation and decline.
    — Milton Friedman

  10. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    It has been reported in the press many times that the issue of pollution is to be the next big crusade of the New Left activists, after the war in Vietnam peters out. And just as peace was not their goal or motive in that crusade, so clean air is not their goal or motive in this one.
    — Ayn Rand

  11. Notafan

    When you see how many long term able bodied welfare recipients, you know that it is likely that welfare payments are too high and/or it is easy to supplement them with cash income.
    No-one seems to ask how so many welfare recipients can afford to travel overseas on a regular basis, for example.
    As for a generation raised who expect a career rather than be grateful for a job.
    I don’t know that things were better in the first world war or the flu epidemic or the depression or the second world war or the cold war but we certainly seem to have a generation with some pretty high opinions of themselves and some pretty high expectations of what others should do for them.
    Just get a job and find the fulfilment outside of work!

  12. Dan

    “The left has managed to change that to the point where creatures like this are commonplace” -Zatara

    *CITATION NEEDED

  13. Would you prefer to live in an America where the market is dynamic and opportunity abounds, or in France, where unemployment is high and tax rates are crushing? Don’t you prefer opportunity to envy?

    It seems when you look at the data rather than the rhetoric, the opportunities are actually better in France:

    There is more intergenerational mobility in Australia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Spain, France, and Canada than in the U.S.

  14. Oh come on

    Don’t you prefer opportunity to envy?

    Um, no? With envy, I get to blame other people for all of my disappointments in life.

  15. Bons

    brought up as heirs to the most self-indulgent generation in centuries?
    Isee:
    Worked hard,
    Saved hard, raised and educated kids at own expense
    Paid the highest tax rates ever
    Expected and received nothing from Government
    Mums interrupted careers to fulfill a child rearing role
    No child care allowances
    Or are you bitching that frugality has permitted that generation to live relatively comfortably in retirement rather than giving away their savings to the entitlement creatures.
    Try saving, you will be amazed at the effect, but of cause saving does not provide the essential instant gratification currently demanded.

  16. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    Of course, if enough welfare junkies band together behind their inalienable right to be spoon-fed by the rest of the country they can become a political force.
    — Anson Cameron

  17. lem

    In teresting things happening politically in France. The socialists have had a slap in the face at the latest municipales elections, and Hollande was forced to sack the prime minister and install Emanuel Valls who is more right wing (but still left of Lenin, like everyone else in this country). Big winners were the fringe parties (sound familiar?) especially the Front National, very right wing, anti Eurozone, nationalistic, anti-immigration. The left are panicking because they are losing the working class, and so are cosying up to to the immigres (mostly islamic). However they will not be able to manage the economic problems, so things will go from bad to worse, sooner or later. I can see some serious internal strife in France’s future. These are people who don’t mind taking to the street.

  18. stackja

    lem
    #1272419, posted on April 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm
    Another republic?

  19. stackja

    lem
    #1272429, posted on April 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm
    Stackja
    A caliphate?

    Republics and Empires (1792–)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France#Republics_and_Empires_.281792.E2.80.93.29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Fifth_Republic#Origins
    The trigger for the collapse of the French Fourth Republic was the Algiers crisis of 1958. France was still a colonial power, although conflict and revolt had begun the process of decolonisation. French West Africa, French Indochina, and French Algeria still sent representatives to the French parliament under systems of limited suffrage in the French Union. Algeria in particular, despite being the colony with the largest French population, saw rising pressure for separation from the Metropole. The situation was complicated by those in Algeria, such as white settlers, who wanted to stay part of France, so the Algerian War became not just a separatist movement but had elements of a civil war. Further complications came when a section of the French Army rebelled and openly backed the “Algérie française” movement to defeat separation. Charles de Gaulle, who had retired from politics a decade before, placed himself in the midst of the crisis, calling on the nation to suspend the government and create a new constitutional system. De Gaulle was carried to power by the inability of the parliament to choose a government, popular protest, and the last parliament of the Fourth Republic voting for their dissolution and the convening of a constitutional convention.

  20. lem

    Stackja

    Just another example in a long list we could quote relating to the infuriating ability of the French, the owners of the plus belle langue dans le monde entier, proprietaires d’un paysage si doux , philosophes exemplaires, amants amoureux to somehow TOTALLY FUCK THINGS UP.

    I love em to death, but they are trying. Happily, they make good plonk.

  21. lem

    PS ( been off listening to Charles Trenet)

    Is there such a beast as a truly great French Economist? Just asking, since this is the Cat, and you ought to know…

  22. Alfonso

    Look….the left won permanently many decades ago.
    Once you could vote yourself other people’s money it was all over.
    Rearguard actions are heroic and cute…..the dogs are surely barking but the caravan has moved on.
    It’s about protecting your wealth, everything flows from that.

  23. stackja

    lem
    #1272490, posted on April 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Frédéric Bastiat
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost, and for penning the influential Parable of the Broken Window. His ideas have gone on to provide a foundational basis for libertarian and the Austrian schools of thought.

  24. lem

    Oh thank God you responded Stackja, after Alfonso I nearly lost all hope. Bastiat, you say, mmmm, not good onamatopoaeia, especially if you had to have that thrust back across at you in the Assembly Nationale, nevertheless its something to give the French some pride. Because, by my reading od the blogs at Le Figaro, there are still plenty kicking against the pricks.

    Whether they’re willing to get out of bed before nine is another matter.

  25. Somerville

    you really do have to wonder about not just how dynamic the US is and but how much of that opportunity there actually any longer is

    The US has gone over the cliff and it isn’t coming back. It’s not just the political-media ruling class. Statist media control of information, indoctrination by the education system and welfarism have been successful and have corrupted the society beyond repair.

    Australia is going the same way unless we can turn it around while the current government is in place.

  26. Alfonso

    “after Alfonso I nearly lost all hope.’
    As you should.

  27. Somerville

    Alfonso

    #1272501, posted on April 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Look….the left won permanently many decades ago.
    Once you could vote yourself other people’s money it was all over.
    Rearguard actions are heroic and cute…..the dogs are surely barking but the caravan has moved on.

    Yes. That is basically what I was trying to say in the previous comment, with a slightly optimistic caveat.

  28. Notafan

    Already a problem in NSW, with funding diverted through excessive rents, falsified BER payments going to who knows whom for who knows what?
    Garret refused to force one school to repay approximately 9 million.
    Between that and Halal certification it’s a nice little earner.

  29. Tom

    The US is in interesting times – things that people should be noticing is the court rulings. Because judges *do* reflect popular opinion (even though they’re not supposed to – they still have to deal with friends, family, etc.). And people wouldn’t even sue unless they thought they had a reason and a chance to win.

    Gun control, for example: gun control, statistically, is going away. Both by regulation and court decision. Chicago as of Jan 1 had much reduced gun-control laws (due to court ruling) and violent crime dropped to its lowest level since 1958. That’s going to be very hard for gun-control advocates to argue against. We actually have black chief-of-police doing press-conferences telling people to buy guns because there’s no way the reduced police-forces can get there in time. That’s a huge psychological deal – an authority figure (who is black) telling other blacks to take responsibility for themselves – that government won’t be able to help them.

    While Obamacare is the “law of the land” – it has both generated tremendous backlash and allows for bypassing it (using religious-exemption organizations). Boutique medicine has been growing for years, and it’ll continue to grow. While Obamacare very publicly breaks the budget, and provides worse care for the vast majority of people. But the real siginficance is that Obamacare is proving wrong (to lots of people, in a very public way), that Government actually *cant* do it better. In that respect, I’m really glad Obamacare was passed – because “Big Government” now has a huge and never-ending PR disaster.

    Then we have the charter-school/home-school movement which continues to grow (and generate outstanding kids). Dems are fighting it across the country, but losing everywhere.

    The NSA leaks, IRS going after Tea-party, etc. etc. are all causing even liberals to stop and wonder what’s going on.

    These kinds of messages: that government can’t help you – that you need to take personal responsibility for safety, education and health – are huge. it’s a 180-degree turn from the 1960s to 2000s. And that government is *not* on your side – it’s on its side.

    I’m not so worried about these delayed-adulthood people – they are in some ways have the right attitude – they’re thinking for themselves, rather than just getting a government job.

    So the next decade will be very interesting.

  30. Tel

    The left are panicking because they are losing the working class, and so are cosying up to to the immigres (mostly islamic).

    Islam does not support any of the stated objectives of the socialist parties. Islam is not tolerant towards gays, nor in favour of feminism. Even things like inequality, take a look at Saudi Arabia, the inequality is huge. Muslims are more likely to look for a single strong leader (equivalent to a monarch) and they tend to reject “rule by committee” that is favoured by socialists. Muslims tend to be resistant to social change and pretty much anti-progressive in this regard.

    What’s more, most (not all) Muslim societies through history have been fundamentally capitalist. Muslim traders were prolific, the bazaar’s of the Middle East are world famous, they have long respected the mercantile class.

  31. Tel

    David Cameron’s UK:

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/britain's-employment-and-productivity-puzzle.aspx

    There does seem to be something peculiarly job-ful about our current recovery and maybe it does reflect the welfare reforms. It is getting harder to ignore the argument that this Government is a great deal better than the last one at getting people off welfare and into work. Mr Duncan Smith likes to point out that under Blair-Brown, in times of boom, 1.4 million people spent most of the last decade on out-of-work benefits. They cannot all have been unable to find work.

    The Labour Party is running out of ways to see the employment glass as half empty. It can no longer claim that the work being created is all part-time jobs: full-time employment is up 430,000 in a year. It can no longer emphasise long-term unemployment and youth unemployment, which are both falling.

    It can say that there’s a long way to go before Britain’s unemployment rate is anything like as low as Germany’s, and it can say that many people are on low wages. Better that, says IDS, than out of the habit of work altogether; and most people do not stay long on low wages, but progress relatively fast to better pay. Universal Credit, while much delayed by computer snafus, is starting to roll out and promises to help people over the benefits chasm where the rewards for working slightly longer hours are virtually nil.

    Makes an interesting contrast to the USA. Hope it works out for them.

  32. JohnA

    Bons #1272378, posted on April 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    brought up as heirs to the most self-indulgent generation in centuries?
    Isee:

    Mums interrupted careers to fulfill a child rearing role

    No: Women changed careers to raise the next generation of Australians.

  33. 1234

    David Cameron must be doing well – his austerity policy hasn’t even got the UK GDP back up to where it was in 2008.

  34. Gab

    David Cameron must be doing well – his austerity policy hasn’t even got the UK GDP back up to where it was in 2008.

    ?

    Sounds like something monty would say.

  35. Tel

    1234: What do you mean by “Austerity” ?

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