Will They Ever Leave? What It Takes To Nudge Millennials Out Of Nest

How do young adults who successfully move out overcome adversities? According to a new study, it all boils down to peer support. (ibm4381/Flickr)

How do young adults who successfully move out overcome adversities? According to a new study, it all boils down to peer support. (ibm4381/Flickr)

Truth be told, my position in life is somewhat confusing. While I’m no longer a teenager, at 21 I can’t say I feel all that adult-like. I’ve finished one degree, but I’m not ready to commit to any one career. I recently moved into my first apartment, though I have no idea where I’ll be living 10, five or even two years from now. According to developmental psychologists, these are all indicators that I am in my emerging adulthood.

But what exactly is “emerging adulthood”? It’s the period of life between adolescence and full-fledged adulthood, between the late teens and late 20s, where people explore their options before committing seriously to a career, home, or family. And according to experts, it’s happening later and later. Dr. Jeff Arnett of Clark University, who coined the term “emerging adulthood” in 2000, points to the fact that North Americans are delaying adopting a permanent residence until reaching their 30s.

The reasons are complex and diverse, Arnett says: they include a shift in the economy that necessitates more education, a rising marriage age and, more nebulously, an increased sense of personal freedom over the past several decades. All this makes conventional adulthood “a less attractive destination,” he says. (I’ll say.) And then there’s the job market, which makes the decision to move out even more complicated.

This doesn’t mean that today’s young adults aren’t feeling the itch for independence, however. Some friends of mine who remained at home after college say they “would’ve preferred to have gone elsewhere,” and cite being “treated like a child” by parents as both a positive reason why they stayed at home and a negative — why they didn’t want to be there. Fortunately, my parents conveyed confidence in my ability to live on my own. In moving out, I benefitted greatly from knowing my parents had my back, should I need financial or emotional support.

For foster-care children, the lack of a parental support system presents a huge issue. Professor Varda Mann-Feder knows this problem intimately, after having spent decades working with foster children as they transition into adulthood. But there may be good news for emerging adults in foster care: a new study headed by Mann-Feder and her colleagues at Concordia University shows that peer support systems could be even more important than parental support in facilitating the transition to independent living.

While parents played an important role in how confidently participants experienced the transition — particularly based on parents’ willingness to provide a financial safety net — Mann-Feder found that Millennials “much preferred to turn to their friends for help if they needed it,” and “benefit greatly from watching their peers who have already moved out.” Conversely, young adults who opted to stay in their childhood home pointed to friends who were doing the same. Because they tend to model their peers, “when, how and where a young person moves is to a large degree determined by what their friends are doing,” says Mann-Feder.

This finding on peer support shows promise for youth in foster care. While a lack of parental support puts foster youth at a disadvantage, peer supports could help offset it. Mann-Feder notes that most interventions “are always concerned about how peers influence each other negatively, but I think we could really provide much more support for youth aging out of care if we began to cultivate peer networks while they are in the system.”

Here’s how the study was conducted:

Thirty university students aged 21 to 26, who attended a large commuter school in a Canadian city, were interviewed individually. Sixteen had already left home to live on their own, while 14 lived with their families but anticipated leaving home.

Interview questions were designed to elicit narratives on the following topics: descriptions of the transition to living on one’s own, perceptions of readiness, identification of the resources required for a successful transition, and turning points experienced, or anticipated, in the transition to independent living.

In general, participants described leaving home as a leap rather than a well-planned exit. Mann-Feder emphasizes that “moving out is not an event, but a process. It can begin months or years before the actual move.” The building motivation is “a growing wish for privacy and autonomy.”

The instability that moving out creates is a part of the developmental transition that is emerging adulthood. “Young people who leave home for the first time do experience it as a crisis, although they are excited to leave,” says Mann-Feder. “They are overwhelmed at first by the many responsibilities involved in taking care of themselves and running a household.”

To this I can agree. After three months of apartment-living, I’m still learning proper cleaning habits and efficient grocery-shopping skills. (And in all honesty, it was a relief to read accounts of other people struggling with the same challenges.) To echo the findings of the study, my friends have helped immensely in this respect; I know I’m not alone when my friends offer to go grocery shopping with me, or when my roommates and I work out chore schedules together.

For those of us lucky enough to have parental support systems in place, Mann-Feder emphasizes that it’s still “very important as a parent to express confidence in your child’s ability to make it on their own. Sometimes as parents we are so worried about what can go wrong that we do not emphasize enough that we have faith in our children.”

In my own personal experience, knowing my parents trust me to make decisions independently has been a huge burden off my shoulders, allowing me to focus on creating a life for myself. But I wouldn’t have been able to make the leap and commit to moving out if it weren’t for my friends. Seeing my friends move into new apartments and start their lives after college compelled me to seek my own apartment, and living with friends has helped me pick up the skills I need to get by on my own, as well as giving me a huge amount of emotional support.

So for youth coming out of foster care, perhaps the most important takeaway from this study is that they need not be alone in the process. And for developmental researchers, it is that peer influence need not always be cast in a negative light. For us ordinary Millennials attempting the move away from home, this is just a scientific confirmation of what we know to be true: sometimes all we need to get through shifting tides are a few good friends.

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  • http://oshma.net/wordpress MO

    Absolutely, the economy blows. But if you get to be over, oh, 16, without knowing how to clean and cook (something) and buy groceries–your parents failed. Parents don’t want to push their poor dears to do chores and also homework. That’s real life, and any parent who won’t push their child to learn basic household care is damaging their kid.

  • Tee

    I’m a millennial and I’ve been relatively on my own since I was 18. I know plenty of ordinary Millennials more or less on their own. It is definitely a lifestyle choice that gets its influence from friends. Yes wages are low, times have changed, and it’s hard wah wah wah. But I’ve noticed that however difficult it is, the difficulty becomes increasingly less so as time goes on. Being out there makes you build upon something. You begin to find opportunities. I also know Millennials who have moved back home or have never moved out, and for them it’s like “what’s the point?”. I say, you either get it or you don’t.

    • Joe

      Congratulations! Achieving success is a sweet feeling after working hard for it.

  • Alex Ruocco

    DSUF

  • Ammy Woodbury

    I know in the bay area, housing costs are really prohibitive for getting kids to move out. It’s pretty hard to scrape together the dosh to pay first/last/deposit when you’re paying off student loans.

    But really – learning to do grocery shopping and clean house? That’s the least of the worries of most folks moving out. My under 2-year-old helps me wash dishes. That one sits squarely on the parent’s shoulders. When I moved out at 18, my house was clean and tidy and my bills were paid on time because I’d gotten practice before leaving the nest.

  • Lisa

    It is harder than ever for young people today to find affordable rentals and a decent job. This is a well-docmented, post 1970′s fact. Cooperative living may help young people today but we need to do more to make housing affordable. Communities could build/retrofit smaller and environmentally sustainable studio-style housing and/or loosen the laws to allow more people to share housing. Also, we could raise the minimum wage and restore Community Colleges, State Colleges, and Trade School’s previously low tuition. At the very least, we must restore low-interest student loans if we, as Nation, are to call ourselves advocates of equal opportunity. Young people should have many affordable educational opportunities available to them and ample opportunities for good employment after graduation, (just as the generations before them have enjoyed.)

  • eatabagofDs

    Jesus a lot of people commenting on this are morons, who have no idea what the job market is for a young person today, even with a degree

  • Alan-Michael White

    Good investigation there, NPR. You really researched the facts and found
    the hidden nuggets of truth. Seriously, how far removed from reality do
    you have to be to look at the world and say, “I can’t believe all these
    lazy children won’t move out of the house. What’s wrong with them?
    They’re just too lazy and want their parents to take care of them
    forever!” That takes an astounding amount of both ignorance and apathy.

    • queenofzeegeeks

      Hi A-M,
      As the author of this piece (who did have final say on the title) I suggest you read the article, rather than basing your opinion on a headline intended to click-bait. I think you will find the attitude in the article to be far more sympathetic.

  • gueneth

    I cringe at the words parents who are willing to provide a financial safety net. I have three student children ages 24,22,19; I cannot afford to support them. I cannot have them at home living for free and I cannot subsist their living on their own either. This debate is really hard to accept when my generation became paying adults so much earlier.

    • Chicho Blanco

      Your generation also had a much better job market. Republicans don’t want to solve these problems. They want job scarcity and low wages. Until Americans wake up this won’t get better.

  • Ren

    It’s tough out there, not only for millenials but anyone who hasn’t remained in the “protective bubble” of a steady job in the last decade or so, to understand what many people are going through. Also, as for the article, I have intimate experience with foster care and it’s great to have friends wherever you find them BUT also knowing many in FC it is very hard to compare such support, especially when tumultuous childhoods can be a double-edged sword, giving a person both strength most wouldn’t acquire bc of the unusual circumstances, but also there can be a lot of repercussions. Life is much more complex than the way this article simplifies the foster situation, not to mention vast socio-economic differences in or outside of foster care and even general circumstances.

  • Ren

    It’s tough out there, not only for millenials but anyone who hasn’t remained in the “protective bubble” of a steady job in the last decade or so, to underdtand what many people are going through. Also, as for the article, I have intimate experience with foster care and it’s great to have friends wherever you find them BUT also knowing many in FC it is very hard to compare such support, especially when tumultuous childhoods can be a double-edged sword, giving a perdon strength most wouldn’t acquire bc of the unusual circumstances but also, there can be a lot of repercussions. Life is much more complex than the way this article simplifies the foster situation, not to mention vast socio-economic differences in or outside of many fc circumstances.

  • kat13

    My son lived with me when he first graduated university, he was responsible for his own stuff – food, laundry, telephone, etc. There is a separate entrance to the basement so I hardly ever saw him. He worked and gradually moved from one job to a better one. I felt it a privilege to have him here when he decided to get a master’s degree, I could’nt give him money but I didn’t lose anything by letting him live with me. He is in his own apartment now, completed his degree and is working in his chosen field, I’m glad I was able to help in some small way.

  • Tunie

    I lucked into a shared house living situation in the early years – a group is able to rent a much nicer home then if you’re on your own and we solved chores by tacking a portion onto rent for a weekly housecleaner. Worked perfectly!

  • truthhurts

    Here is a novel idea…join the military and earn your experience… There are multitudes of different job areas if you are afraid of getting dirty. If you are a colloge grad..all the better, go to officer training.

    • ffffft

      right, then when you leave the military with no hard paperwork backing up your skills lets see how fast you find a job in your field.

      • truthhurts

        Been there done that and quite successful as well. Why would you have to leave military and be unable to verify and quantify your experience? It’s called job descriptions and performance Evals…. Just like corporate America. Oh wait that’s right you don’t have any reference to base that on because you don’t have a job yet…. Move on and stop whining….!

        • Chicho Blanco

          You are a moron. Yes, join the military and get your balls blown off to push the agenda of the industrial military complex. No thanks. I did it the old fashioned. Hard work and some student loans. I have a degree and a good job. My loans are paid off.

  • MB

    The “Get a real job” comments ont his article make me sick. *sigh*

  • wrando

    200 comments since my first one and still nobody else is blaming the parents. Stop enabling them already. Let them fend for themselves. The results might surprise you, and them.

  • birch

    Another question is why is it a whole generation of educated youth not able to mobilize? The silo-stress effect of student debt, low wages, loss of rights to gather, and a narcissistic-nihlistic boomer class too afraid to retire and share resources are products of of socially engineering. Blaming parents and children is a waste of time. The time to find one another and act is long past due.

  • GGN

    “In general, participants described leaving home as a leap rather than a well-planned exit.” I am 32… but I can totally relate this. When I moved out (at the ripe age of 24) I was one year out of college and I was earning $10/hr. The most affordable apartment that I could locate was an $850 per month studio in the ghetto of Santa Anna, where incidentally there was no overnight street parking because there was so much crime. After a month of living on my own, I realized that I was $300 short on rent. Yikes! I humbly borrowed $300 from my mom (which I later repaid) and I secured a second $10/hr job. None of these things mattered, however, because I REALLY wanted/needed to be on my own. At that point in my life it was so important to me to claim my independence that I was willing to work 7 days/66 hours a week. Needless to say, it was a very challenging time. I was fortunate that my mother let me borrow $300 once. And I was fortunate that after a year of working 7 days a week, I was able to secure another job that allowed me to make a bit more money and work only five days a week. Thinking back, it was a crazy to move out while earning less slightly more than $1,000 a month. However the will for independence was so powerful that I was willing to sacrifice in order to make it a reality. And no… my mom is not wealthy… she works as a nanny.

  • i ski on minimum wage

    Nobody has a right to complain about the shitty economy, anyone can get a job working their ass off in disgusting fast food, or shitty cleaning jobs. Not getting your dream job that is easy for you and excites you is not a valid reason to complain or be unhappy, it’s only an excuse to moan, you can be happy working a job you don’t like with very little effort.

    When you come home from said job to your home under your roof eating your food watching your tv and waste your extra money on getting drunk on the weekends, you will quickly realise the job you supposedly could never do or hate is a very simple means to an end.

    • Nina Ricci

      you keep begging for attention. don’t have a girlfriend to go out with and spend all the money you’re making?

  • khtr

    andre sux

  • Logic

    A study with 30 total participants and roughly 15 in each group? Do the researchers understand sample size and the impact it has on their research and conclusions? All of them attend a single school in a city in Canada and this is supposed to represent an entire generation of young adults across the world? What a joke. Who would reasonably see this and want to publish this garbage? Not a millenial…

  • Kerry Stottlemyer

    Oh my friggin god such Bullshit. there are places out there that will charge you very little on rent enough to live on minimum wage. you can’t expect to live in high society with a entry level job. I started out making just over minimum wage and moved out. Get an education and some job skills that people are willing to pay for an maybe you won’t be standing in line with a bunch of of unemployed college grads. Little dirt under your fingernails never hurt anybody. God I sound like my dad but its true.

    • Matt

      Yet another ignorant “this happened to me so therefore it must be generalizable to everyone else” stance. I can’t believe some people are still this ignorant and can’t see it for what is is… a blessing.

      • Kerry Stottlemyer

        Well you may not what to live where rent is less the $600 a month but they do exist. and it’s also called getting a room mate to split the bills. There is a solution to every problem you just need to find it and make compromises. This whole idea of a living wage. Minimum wage is what it is if you don’t like get some damn job skills, Job corp, ROP, there are a number of free training program out there.

      • Joe

        Success is generalizable to all as is complaining and excuse making judging by the bulk of the comments here.

  • welderchick85

    Social and economic inequality of disadvantage former foster youth to supported middle class young adults is comparing apples to oranges. After I out foster care social and financial support was nonexistent . At age 19 self-sufficiency was impossible to achieve, which resulted to dropping out of community college and two years of homelessness.

  • Norman

    I’m a single man and 70 yrs old. My son, his wife, and their two children are in my house and I’m very happy to have them here. I get to enjoy my grandchildren and their company.

  • Jennifer Cotner-Jones

    I think Andre has wonderful words and great advice. There is a generation of entitlement and it shows loud and clear. I applaud anyone who works hard to get through college. Some are blessed with financial assistance from parents and others are not.Focus on a scholarship in high school instead of your social life. Either way, college and bettering yourself is always available regardless of any situation. Free will people! You make and create your path. Andre is correct. Look at what the job market is in need of. There are lists all the time for the fastest growing jobs and healthcare is a big one. Often hospitals will pay for your nursing degree in exchange for a few years working for them. Those that are knocking Andre don’t have the drive and inclination to work hard. His father sounds like a great inspiration and raised and fantastic son!. Oh and those of you that are done with College living at home and not paying your parents some sort of rent and are working, buck up. Your parent(s) are not a free ride. Pay rent(even $100 a month), ofter to help with utilities, go grocery shopping with mom to learn how to clip coupons and shop on a budget. And if you are working a min. wage job(which you should be thankful for) while looking, it should be 40 hours a week. Not available at your current job, then get a 2nd one. LEARN how to live on your own by example, not mooching and using your minimum wage for your social activities. Quit complaining and make a difference. Can’t find a job? Volunteer somewhere. Trust me, it looks good on a resume rather than a hole of unemployment. Shows initiative! And working a minimum wage job should not be beneath anyone. It too looks good on a resume.

  • DuctTapeJedi

    Just throwing this out there: I work 50-60 hours a week and still can’t afford to move out of my parents’ house due to our crippling student loan system.

  • Margot

    Here is my reaction from reading the comments on this article: I’m 22 and just graduated from college with a degree in music history and a degree in French studies. I never had internships because I didn’t want to not get paid.
    Instead, I had work-study jobs, volunteered and performed music, and in
    the summer I cleaned houses. I also got straight A’s and was inducted
    into Phi Beta Kappa (the honor society, not a frat). After graduation I got a fantastic job in higher ed development that required 3-years experience where I had none. (and I moved out and now live in Boston with friends) The reason I got my job was because despite my lack of experience, I have a charismatic personality
    and I know how to sell myself. Also – I was lucky. I grew up with a supportive, middle-class family, I’m naturally smart and creative, and I have a personality people respond well to. My point is this: Getting a good job that pays a living salary depends on a variety of factors that include BOTH working really hard and having luck on your side.

    • Matt

      I’m glad you understand the luck dynamic that some others here so ignorantly and blatantly ignore. There are some very qualified people out there who have less qualified people working positions they desire. I can attest to this because at one point I was one of those less qualified individuals but my employer saw something in me and nurtured it.

  • CoCoqueen

    My goodness! Fast food workers, WORK! They work their butts off! Anyone who WORKS deserves to make a living wage! They are earning an honest living, so pay them a living wage! Simple as that!

  • t120bonneville

    GET A JOB. WORK, MOVE FORWARD AND STOP YOUR WHINING. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

  • Phillipa
  • Suz

    everybody’s comments are so mean! let’s not fight guys. we all have our own opinions, and should respect each other.

  • Dutch Schultz

    “luck” has nothing to do with it. Hard work plus a positive attitude will get you where you want to go – and who am I? Well, I guess I could be crying about how there are no jobs out there for people with NO REAL EDUCATION but instead I decided to start my own business and rock out using the “hard work + positive attitude” mental – and yeah it was REALLY HARD in the beginning…. but – I’m living and making a lot more then 7 – 10 or even 20/hr…. You need to find it in yourself to make your own way in this world instead of depending on a system to fix itself so you can eat too – make your way…. YOU CAN DO IT! lol

  • Andrea

    I guess that it all comes down to if the person feels as if they need a college education or not. In the end, I have met people that work as a plumber and make more money then a college graduate. So in my opinion, we are all slaves to the study, work, die cycle. :|

    • NunYoBiz

      That is because not many people go to trade schools since no one lets them know that it is an option. There is high demand for blue collar workers unfortunately no one is filling this demand.

  • JD

    We are guaranteed the “PAID” corporate trolls will be all over this tread! Gotta love it! ^_^

  • wrando

    Actually, all it takes is parents saying “GTFO and good luck.” Tough love seems to be in short supply these days.

    • Hank

      These guys prefer it when their mommies rub their back and give them a nice cup of cocoa and tell them “it’s not your fault honey I know you’re trying, you can stay with mommy however long you want!”

      • wrando

        That sounds nice. Maybe I’d still be at home if that’s what home was like.

        • Hank

          Exactly

    • wrando

      I can only assume by the lack of rebuttal, how right i am.

  • Darin Herrick

    I find it hilarious how “experts” keep saying “Well, there are many factors, blah, blah, blah.” I lived with my family until age 30, because only after getting married did I (with a job that paid 19 an hour and required a college degree) have enough money to afford the rent on an apartment that isn’t in the ghetto.

    Anyone who thinks this trend is anything other than a result of the middle class collapsing while the rich get richer is out of their mind with their head in the sand while fast asleep.

    • Clyyyyyde

      I am genuinely curious about this, since I moved out of my college dorm (only stayed there one year), I have consistently lived “in the ghetto.” And I really enjoyed/continue to enjoy it. Cheap rent and a great community. I have heard a lot of people saying things along the lines of “well, my rent is so expensive because I don’t want to live in the ghetto” and it’s like… “why not just… live in the ghetto?” Are we all aware of the fact that people who live in the ghettos are… people? With families? And that they have probably lived there for decades? The ghetto is not the IDEAL place to be (I guess) but it’s not SO FRIGGEN HORRIBLE either. I guess it just makes me uncomfortable the way people talk about it like it is THE WORST THING EVER.

      • bo’

        depends big time on the particular “ghetto” tho… there may be a world of difference between your neighborhood and his.
        i lived in LongBeach for 10years. lemme just say that was seriously like 3 or 4 different cities- all with their own unwritten rules. and certain areas you just DIDNT want to go. Even (especially?) if you lived there. and most definitely not if you had kids.

  • Kurt Lindner

    Author has no idea what she is talking about. . .

    -in 8 years though, she will.

  • Michael Smith

    What a serendipitous happenstance, I just found this youtube clip that goes rather well with the topic.
    http://youtu.be/M4IjTUxZORE

  • Morgan

    How about a better job market for fucking starters. I’m a new graduate RN and have been for the past 10 months, and after (no joke) over 60-70 job applications I still can’t get any hospitals or healthcare agencies in my general area to give me the time of day for an interview!!! Healthcare is supposed to be such a “high demand” field, but unless you have a minimum of 2-5 years experience, no one will hire you, I don’t get it, how do you get this supposed initial experience if you can’t get hired anywhere in the first place??

  • Guest

    fgdf

  • fieryelf

    Here’s the ugly truth: don’t care how ‘hard’ you work, or where you put your efforts to advance yourself in your collegiate efforts, you are at the mercy of the economy. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll note the upper-middle and middle classes are shrinking at an unprecedented rate. I am related to someone with TWO masters degrees in human resources and she can’t get a job in keeping with her skills after having been laid off. Your parents didn’t do you any favours bringing you into the reality we all now face. And that’s why it’s so important to change the ways things are where you can. Put your f#cking phones down and pay attention to where you’re spending your money and the technologies you’re trying to get jobs in.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    Welcome to the real world. No one is going to help, no one cares, everyone has their own problems. Laugh, cry, struggle, scream, get pissed off, eat top ramen in the company of your roach pets, take the best job you can get even if it sucks and work VERY long very hard hours for people who don’t give a shit about you or your dreams or your career goals. Show some initiative, go beyond what you’re told to do, THINK. Guess what, that’s what we did. And guess what, it’s not harder in your time, it’s easier, because most of your fellows don’t have a clue how to do the above so if you do, you’ll be kicking their asses in no time (and by no time, I mean about a DECADE, which believe it or not, is pretty fast) and people like me will be falling all over themselves to hire you. Figure it out, just like the rest of us did in our time.

  • Bates Motel

    This is a Joke of a study… I’ve been on my own since 18. Sure, I’ve gone back for financial help from my parents a couple of times, but my Dad made me feel like S for doing so. And so he should. The problem is the bubble wrapping and sugar coating of society that “it’s all going to be OK” When in fact, it isnt! NOBODY IS GOING TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING!! NOR SHOULD THEY!! GET OUT THERE AND FIND A WAY TO EARN IT!!! I’ve no college degree, just a high school diploma and some charisma and I am GODDAMN proud to say that I am the sole provider of my family of 3 and I am on track to have Zero debt and a house paid off outright in 7 years on MY OWN!!! Now only if our illustrious government didn’t tax my every dime, I might be able to actually pay my son’s way through college with a smile.

  • Donna Leonard

    And what if you live in an area where the public transportation is spotty? So on top of needing to be able to afford rent, they also have to find a way to save money for a car AND car insurance. How are they supposed to do that?

    • Joe

      Walk, get a ride, purchase a bicycle, or buy a cheap used car.

      • Donna Leonard

        Walk 15 miles to your job? Bike in 100 degree weather, or pouring rain, depending on the time of year, to your job 15 miles away, and then your employer expects you to look and smell fresh? Buy a cheap used car with what money? and don’t forget car insurance.

        • Joe

          You do what you need to do to get ahead. There are always excuses. Ignore them and find what works for you. There is always a solution (no, it may not always be pleasant).

        • Patricia H

          Oh, and how many people fall in that category so that it’s valid for the majority? They don’t. If they live 15 miles from work and don’t have a way to get there, they move closer to said work, or they get another job. Well, those that succeed do that, the losers sit home and whine about how no one is willing to provide them transportation and then expect the other people who are working to support them.

          • Donna Leonard

            And they are going out every day, applying to jobs that are closer to home, but how can move to where the job is, if they don’t make enough money to move? You seem to think that jobs magically grow on trees. I am 47 years old. I am talking about my kids who live at home, but are struggling to find employment and move out.

          • Joe

            What skills do your children have?

          • Donna Leonard

            Right now, we’re mainly concerned with our 22 year old son, He has worked as a runner in a restaurant, and he’s worked in retail in various surf-type shops at the local mall. I’ve seen the applications he’s been filling out, and the interviews he’s been going on, but there is a lot of competition for all the jobs, and he hasn’t had steady work in over a year. He does earn some money making and selling jewelry, and busking (he’s a singer/songwriter) in the “Old Town” area where we live. Right now is also not a great time to get work because all the stores have hired all their holiday employees back in October.

          • Joe

            Tip: if UPS or FedEx have a facility near where you live, check for package handler jobs. It’s hard work but they are good jobs and both companies help to pay for schooling where he can learn more marketable skills.

          • Donna Leonard

            Thanks!I will pass that on to him.

          • Donna Leonard

            Weird, I thought I replied. Sorry if this double posts.
            Mainly we are concerned with my 22 year old son. He has worked as a runner in a restaurant, and at several surf/skateboard-type clothing shops in the mall. I have seen all the applications he was turning in, and the interviews he went on, but there is a lot of competition for these jobs, and they would hire someone else. He also makes jewelry, which he sells, and he busks (he’s a singer/songwriter) in the “Old Town” area near where we live. Also, right at the moment, all the stores seem to have hired their holiday help back in October, which was when he was doing a lot of his job hunting. He goes in spurts of being very active with the job hunting, to getting very discouraged and giving up for a while when he feels like he’s applied everywhere he’s qualified to work, goes in to visit, to see if they are hiring yet, etc, then he starts to feel like some of the places are getting annoyed by him showing up.

          • Ysenya

            Most people in Texas who don’t live in the city. My area is not at all designed so that a professional job, or really any job that isn’t fast food is within walking distance. And if you live in the wrong part of town, those are far off too. Most retail is in the next town over, 15 minutes on the freeway, and more professional jobs often involve going to the city or a few towns over.

            And don’t say “just move then” as you have to have the funds to move to begin with, which is the problem being discussed.

  • elizabethbarone

    Yikes. Reading these comments is like dragging a plank full of rusty nails across my back. Everyone’s situation is different. Let’s back off a bit and try to keep that in mind!

    • Reylt

      Yeah pretty much, it’s kind of easy to get bogged down in the comments section. Heck, these stories might not even be true or greatly exaggerated, you never know. Yes, many of struggled, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be you. The media spreads fear, don’t take it personally.

  • jc

    Thank you for writing like a normal, educated human being – I miss this kind of journalism!

  • mtnrunner2

    If you want your kids to leave, find a way to create a mobile dead zone in your house.

  • Melissa

    I’m sorry–did anyone even notice that this whole premise is based on a study that interviewed 30 Canadian 20-somethings? Not too definitive, eh?

  • enemofthestateworker

    There always seems to be plenty of articles complaining about lazy 20-somethings living with their parents like it is something they enjoy doing and that they are just trying to avoid joining the “real world”. Obviously, alot of young people are going to be stuck living at home when they are steered to going to college at 40-50k a year and then can’t find work paying more than $8-9 an hour (even for many people who studied supposedly high demand majors) but are still obligated to pay back loans.

    If you look back at how people living about 100 years ago, you will see that it was very common for large families to be stuck living together basically for life or for younger couples to invite in siblings or boarders to help pay the bills since most jobs simply didn’t pay enough to support small independent families. I think you are seeing society revert back to an era whereby multigenerational families living together will be commonplace (as opposed to the idealistic nuclear family with a husband,wife and two kids as we have seen post WWII) as it becomes difficult for people who even have decent skills to get jobs that pay anything near what they need to pay the bills. This trend is probably accelerated by the fact that many young people end up being in debt to schools for decades before than can even get a job that pays anywhere what they need to pays those loans back.

  • anon

    Wow I feel like the comments in themselves really show something. I’m technically a millennial, and I’M ASHAMED OF ALL OF YOU! If you partied all through college and spent your summers by the beach, you might not get a job! What a shocker! And even bigger shocker, rent is expensive in the most expensive parts of the country? Who would’ve guessed.

    Seriously guys, start sucking it up. Stop complaining about your crappy situations and do something to fix them. If you’re working on minimum wage, you cannot afford to live in chicago, or san francisco or LA (so move…). Figure out what you want to do with your life so that you aren’t working for minimum wage your whole life.

    Disclaimer: I have a career-job lined up under my belt after graduation if I want it at a company I interned at in the past. Thats with my completely useless degree without grad school (Bio). I have no cell phone, a car worth less than your laptop, and have learned how to eat [healthy enough – on $100/month. I have my very own room (in a house shared with a couple other girls) for the first time this year. When I was living in LA, I paid $500 dollars a month, and shared a room with not one but TWO people to pay the bills.

    Stop giving us a bad rap millennials;

    • Matt

      Yeah, I’m calling bullcrap on this…

      Your first issue is the assumption that anybody that failed to obtain a great job was “partying” or “spending Summers at the beach.” It wreaks of ignorance.

      The second issue is the assumption that living is simply confined to major metropolitan areas. And pretending all people complaining are simply confined to those areas.

      Third, your disclaimer pretty much proves what many would surmise… You haven’t struggled. Your lack of cell phone and car aren’t struggling. But cute on you for thinking that even borders on struggling. You were gifted a job after graduation… You will find that, as soon as that job is off the table, that your soap box will crumble.

  • Boomer

    Another American generation discovers what everyone used to know and failed to pass on.

  • Hannah Richards

    Hrm. I think the comments here hav gotten off track. The point of this article, remember, is not about how young people can survive in this or any economy; it’s about psychology. Young people mimic what their friends do so they can have an effective support system, so that when they do move out they do it together, thus increasing their effectiveness.
    If it were about how hard it is to get out on your own as a young adult in today’s economy, your little flame wars would be relevent. But they’re just annoying flame wars by people so caught up in politics and arguing that they totally missed the point.
    THE POINT: Young people succeed in moving out by having solid relationships with their friends, and by cooperation.

    • hello_design

      We will all still be broke. Money is the key to success and independence.

    • Matt

      The problem with this argument is that it hinges on the notion that these people are mimicking their friends failure to leave their houses when they have the opportunity to do so… When more often than not the young person, and their friend, so not stay out of choice or mimicry…

  • R G

    In this day and age parents need to know — having kids is for life. You are responsible for them forever. The idea that they should leave home and earn a living is unsane. Entirely new ways of being must come from this. Take care of your parents so they don’t go to nursing homes. And when they die you get their house. That is how it is suppose to be. Take care of your kids so they can take care of you. All by choice of course.

    • bo’

      there is an old story about the Cracked Rice Bowl that fits here

      • R G

        let’s hear it

        • Pat Quirk

          cracked rice bowl focused on thoughtfulness and kindness vs greed and no ambition of old theme be careful what you wish for

  • Shaunt Halebian

    This really depends on what city you live in and your current circumstances. I am from Los Angeles where rent is on the higher end of the spectrum. I moved to San Francisco and had to move back to Los Angeles and find a job because of the absurd rental rates in SF. Before making a generalized judgement on “millennial’s” you’re going to have to understand that each persons situation is different. Times are different. My parents came here when they were both 20 and built good lives for themselves and my siblings. They talk to me weekly about how every year its becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet. I work 13-14 hours a day at my current job, plus some weekends. I am very lucky to have a job, but after 7+ years of ridiculous work hours, and less then commiserate pay my peers and I continuously find ourselves questioning how we’re going to “build a life” for ourselves. I am saving some money for retirement but I haven’t the slightest clue as too how I am supposed to save money for a house or have the financial backing to have children. Bottom line, I think this is a bullshit article written by someone from an older generation casting judgement on the younger generation without fully realizing the full spectrum of challenges they face.

    • Incorrect

      Your hypothesis is flawed. See first sentence of article where it reads “at 21 I can’t say I feel all that adult-like.”

  • disqus_79vc3iULWT

    “Leaving Home” is a modern phenomenon and not necessarily good. It is unfortunately that families break up, spread and disperse. This is causing a lot of societal ills as well as a lot of pollution from all that travel – and then people wonder why there is global warming…

    I’m glad to have our kids continuing on the farm. It is really great working together as a family.

  • steve2345Nme

    Show me a job I can hold that either lets me save up to buy a house or seems like I can actually count on it to last 30 years while I have a home loan and I will settle down… Folks who have money feel free and more self important than ever and don’t want to settle down. The people who can’t make a livable wage can’t wait to be able to settle down but aren’t finding a way to do it until later and later. Bring down the cost of building a home. (arent there any new technologies in recycling for house walls yet?) If we simplify our dwellings, grow some of our own food and can count on low cost housing to exist in low crime areas with good schools we can turn this around in 10 years.

    • Clyyyyyde

      I live in a neighborhood with a community garden so that if you live nearby you are welcome to go pick what you need. The homeless/alcoholic men (not collapsing those two, every individual is different) in our neighborhood do a majority of the labor, but of course the local residents help out too :) See if there’s any land in your area where you could maybe implement the same idea? It helps save money, helps bring together the community AND brings down crime!

  • A Hopeful Human

    So much fighting on this subject, and for good reason. However, arguing
    alone is not enough to effect changes. I urge those reading to
    consider the following:

    I am a millennial. I live in an area that the costs are still lower
    than let’s say New York or Seattle, however there are never enough
    hours in the day for all that must be done to keep up for all that I
    am responsible for, and not from lack of effort. Like many
    millennials, I desire and drive to be independent, and have worked
    hard at every low paying job I have had, only to be discarded for any
    reason: injury, desire for higher income, unwilling to for go other
    responsibilities such as school for the job itself. We have to get
    training and work in order to survive in the workforce today, and yet
    we accumulate greater debt for less pay more often than not. We are
    considered disposable and easily replaced, because a system is in
    place where workers are now even more disposable.

    The result is the same often from place to place where you are used by
    and discarded, and what you are paid is not enough to pay for
    necessities because the companies have far more power than the
    employee. What is to keep the employers and companies accountable? We
    have rules in place to keep others in power from taking advantage of
    those in position of power over others such as in schools with
    professors and students; however, how well do we manage such issues
    on the broader issue of this topic? It seems non-existent or wages
    would be where they need to be able to sustain a reasonable level of
    living. There is plenty but it is controlled and so few get the
    opportunities without massive sacrifice that may leave them still
    empty handed at the end of the day, which is the story for many. This
    can be changed, but mindset that more sacrifice must be done is
    misplaced, such thought allows for it to stay social acceptable to
    exploit a whole generation and those that follow. Many do not have
    much to sacrifice and by asking for such a level is asking for a
    sacrifice of our very life’s for there is no chance for us to live
    in such circumstances.

    There so little time to smell the roses, and when one does should we be
    guilty for not spending the time more productively? When has having
    experiences and living come secondary to production that does not
    benefit but a few? If this seems far-fetched consider the information
    released recently by Mcdonalds. The wages they pay are at the federal
    minimum wage, and yet someone would need to work over 70 hours a week
    to pay for expenses that did not include such necessities as food, or
    gasoline. Also, many companies as a result will hire more employees
    and give them less hours to avoid full time status and having to pay
    for health care benefits. This means more than one job, which also has the effect of lowering any returned taxes. We are allowing for workers, other humans,
    and ourselves, to be taken advantage of. This is not from necessity,
    but based on greed. In Australia McDonald’s workers are paid a
    higher wage with minimal extra cost to the food.

    There are ways to institute a proper federal minimum wage without putting
    large amounts of drain on the system. If anything the continuing
    economic stale mate now being called the “Great Recession”, which
    does not quite cover that whole issue, could be improved upon by
    those with the greatest ability to on a large scale effect the
    economy, which is the population. There has to be extra funds after
    paying for expenses for people to spend to put back into the economy
    in order to stimulate it, and mini-tax breaks or stimulus are not
    enough or sustainable in solving this larger issue. Higher wages will
    allow for greater economic freedom and for people to not merely
    survive, but live as well as enjoy pursuits which people will spend
    money on. Companies making record profits while wages and employment
    are at a low ought to show the apparent cut-throat greed of such
    companies. People do not need a hand out, they need a fighting chance
    to live and make something of their lives and is plausible to reach,
    and that is not the current state of things, but more reflective or a
    dis-utopian world such as the Hunger Games. The odds are rarely in our
    favor, and few make their way into the exclusive privileged social
    factions. We cannot benefit society if we do not have the ability to
    act within it, and those that can choose not to.

    This is what millennials, and many others face. A politically apathetic society that does not require accountability of itself or the politicians. Now private
    interests have become primary to over the public will, and the public
    seems powerless but we are not. Working at the federal minimum wage
    set now is similar to working at a slave labor, or indentured
    servitude, and we do it anyway since we need to to live, but it’s
    hard and rare to do activities that allow you to grow as a person and
    enjoy living. Want to go to a concert, you have to pay for admission,
    and even if its free do you have to drive? Do you want a life
    experience this year or to pay for your food for the next month? Some
    of the generation may be able to be considered “spoiled”,
    but that can be said of any generation, and is a generalization. Some
    have been screaming millennials don’t know sacrifice, but they are
    wrong. Not all of us do, but many millennials know sacrifice with no
    or minute return.

    The facts are what need to be considered. There are those willing to
    work, or better themselves, and by extensions society by educating
    themselves in skilled professions. This is seen in charts of how many
    people are working, are not working full time but would like to, and
    those that are starting to give up since it is not uncommon for
    employment to stretch for months and months. Some have tried applying
    over and over to meet with disappointment, and some have fallen into
    despair to the point of depression and even suicide. How closely are
    all those that are arguing looking? How closely have they watched, or
    may have missed? What is required is more and doing the same as past
    generations have is not enough today to allow for a adequate and
    fulfilling life. Thinking asking for higher wages is a drain is to
    our detriment. Also if this was purely selfish why were unions
    considered necessary to protect workers in the past? Now consider
    that many unions have been strong-armed away, and the work force is
    beaten, bruised, and in decay.

    Higher minimum wages will benefit many, and not only the workers themselves.
    The main masses of consumers that would spend money on interests and
    products that allow for them to pursue interests is not there because
    so many can barely afford to get by. This will not stimulate the
    economy, but keep it at a stalemate, and as such there will be no new
    demand for new jobs. Millennials as a generation are mostly drowning
    in debt and unable to see much promise in the opportunity tomorrow.
    We are fighting to survive with the hope of a better tomorrow only
    for the real problems to never be solved, but argued over.
    This is not an issue only specific to millennials, but to all
    Americans. This is impacting everyone, and will continue to unless
    actions are taking to right the scales. America is suppose to be a
    land of opportunity and promise, where all that work hard can find
    prosperity. We are all suppose to have equal rights to a life with
    the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and justice. This is no longer the
    case. Freedoms have been torn away, and the fact is this rights are
    self inherent and are un-alienable. We cannot let these right be
    stripped away unless we allow it, and we have. We need to require
    massive change to balance our system that is broken, which many are
    now seeing the extent of the corruption and brokenness of our once
    trusted government. Less than 300 years ago such lack of
    representation in accordance with the public will, and rampant costs
    and taxes with minimal return in exchanged was enough to cause revolt
    and war. When there is a point reach where there is nothing to lose,
    there will be no reason to not fight for a right to live a proper
    right. Many now are sustained on food stamps, and public service
    programs the public pays for since they cannot afford the costs to
    live, since not enough is being done to make sure one can earn a
    living when working a full time job. While a war may or may not be
    necessary but a stand is to coming, and it must hold those we safe
    guarded our future with accountable, and unsure the people’s
    interests are being represented, and this needs to be done for
    progress to genuinely occur again.

    I have worked more than one job at a time, and gone to school, only to
    remain exactly where I started, if not possibly being further in a
    dead end position. My story is not specific to myself or all
    inclusive to those of my generation, but it is one that far too many
    can relate to. We are a generation being forsaken by society, and we
    are the rapidly occurring future of the nation. What kind of future
    do we as a people want that to be? We are all accountable for
    our collective future as a nation, and hopefully as a race since this issue is not only one exclusive to America.

    I have provided some links for the information I have provided and
    stated, as well as for the interests of any willing to read further.
    There is so many reports out there currently they are not difficult
    to find.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/mcdonalds-wages

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/15/mcdonalds-budget-website-fast-food-workers_n_3599327.html

    http://money.msn.com/now/post–where-mcdonalds-wages-start-at-dollar15-an-hour

    http://www.economist.com/news/international/21576657-around-world-almost-300m-15-24-year-olds-are-not-working-what-has-caused

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267953/Job-seeker-Vicky-Harrison-commits-suicide-rejected-200-jobs.html

  • BridgetCoffman

    I see these articles and wonder where the idea that kids MUST move out to be independent comes from? I currently live on a property with three generations of adults spread between two houses. Why should any of us move and waste money on rent when there is plenty of room here?

  • Grey Hansen

    Not having a bad economy you spoiled piece of crap.

  • Tara Sayers Dillard

    Jimmy Carter president, interest rates 21%, Left college with a new degree, into my own roof. Parents? Would rather eat dirt off the sidewalk. Instead, didn’t eat anything for many meals, wore my coat inside for many winters…..never missed work, or got fired. Still working !

    You write, “I benefited greatly from knowing my parents had my back, should I need financial or emotional support.” My parents never had my back nor provided emotional support. They deemed it, ‘parenting’. So do I.

    Do you give someone a fish dinner or teach them to fish?

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    • milarso

      Just out of curiosity, do you recall about how much you paid to get your degree?

      • Tara Sayers Dillard

        SMU grad, don’t remember tuition costs. Checks were written with dorm, food, blah blah…

        Paid for spouse’s masters degree just after my own graduation, then paid for another degree for myself…..

        No college loans. Plenty of hungry nites. And that is just what you do!

        Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

        • milarso

          I don’t disagree. However, I do think the cost of secondary education has risen to obscene levels and the decimation of the American manufacturing industry has pretty much made getting a college education a necessity. Today, if you don’t have a leg up in the form of an academic scholarship, or a set of parents with a deep checking account, you are in for a long haul. I know because, like you, I made big sacrifices to avoid loans and put myself on my way to a career I consider to be successful. But when I look at the cost of living and wages 30 years ago vs now, I feel confident in saying that it is much harder to do what you did now than it was in the 70s.

          • Tara Sayers Dillard

            Did what I did in the 80′s to present. Worked so hard I missed MTV, and Madonna’s career, good fortune without trying ! Most TV & other music too. Reminders all the time with peers. They know stuff, I’m clueless. Was WORKING.

            Still working, and producing jobs for my team of men who all have young children.

            My top contractor did not do college, He’s 3 years older than me, instead a college degree has been invented for his long-time career, General Contracting.

            We had some current college interns for a job this summer and oh my. They thought the work was supposed to be done by immigrants. They thought being on the phone & smoking while working was working.

            Heads-up, there were 9 interns. 4 year college. State university. Will not name here.

            Times hard now? Yes. Parenting seems to be the major difference between eras.

            Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

          • milarso

            The idea that lazy people didn’t exist in all eras is kind of silly. I don’t want to offend you, because you seem like a lovely person. However- the constant narrative about younger workers from older managers is that “they don’t know how to work, they are too lazy, etc.” Then my question to you is: Why did you hire them? Why did you keep them working for you? I’m 30, I have a wife and a son, I work two jobs that I love. None of my Millenial peers live at home, most of them have professional careers, most of them are starting families. There are younger workers out there that know how to work and know how to work hard.

          • Tara Sayers Dillard

            Milarso it is YOU who must navigate as a beacon in words, deeds for your generation. And continue to do so, as I am in mine.

            College interns we just hired? Large out-of-state job with tight deadline, no interviews just referred by their state college, perfect opportunity for them. We needed workers, thought at least 2 of the nine would be worthy. Wrong.

            An intern i hired for my office was 20′s, immigrant from Hungary. She put me to shame for hard work !! Alas, she moved away.

            Please have more children Milarso, raise them with your ethics. We need them!

            Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

        • Phranqlin

          In other words, you faced a far different financial environment and employment scene than most of today’s college grads!

          • Tara Sayers Dillard

            GA Tech grads were waiting tables when I graduated. I created my own job. Been at it 3 decades. Bad economies are historically famous for producing successful businesses. There were no jobs then.

            And few parents willing to take educated children back. My childhood friend is a petroleum geologist. Hello. 1980′s Texas? What a joke. Now? She’s at the top of her game. Still independent, finding oil.

            Of course most of my childhood friends are well educated and successful. All our dads were NASA engineers. We had no choice but to be successful or toast. And those men were smart but made little money, government workers!

            Again, parenting. The thought of moving home? Dirt on the sidewalk would be preferable. And was.

            Perhaps this is a story about the absence of fathers?

            Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • bvdonjuan

    I don’t even know how most adults get by in this mess we have. Absurdly high tuitions, high rent, or if you are lucky enough to ‘own’ expect high taxes and insurance, auto insurance is expensive, automobiles are insanely expensive, fuel costs can easily run $200/month minimum, we have total government and corporate data collection on everything people do, tips are taxed (when I was young, you would just keep tips off the books), the value of the dollar has been destroyed, there is no job security – people are mostly pawns in the ugly corporate environment. It is just ridiculous to compare the burdens this generation has verses previous generations.

  • milarso

    Could NPR do an article entitled “How to get Baby Boomers to realize they destroyed the economy, killed the American manufacturing industry and drove up the cost of education to unattainable levels”?

    • Phranqlin

      Boomers reaped the benefits of state support for higher education … and then completely trashed it for future generations. God forbid that they have to pay a dime more in taxes!

    • justthebest

      No, but I’d be happy to contribute to a fund for your therapy, if you’d go.

      • milarso

        You can be condescending if you want, but you can’t deny the fact that our country is much worse off than it was 30 years ago and the bulk of that decline has come under the leadership of Baby Boomers.

        • justthebest

          No argument about the fact. My issue is with your vitriol, exaggeration, and lack of control.

          • milarso

            Well I’m glad we can agree on on thing.

        • Joe

          Are you out of your mind? Today, our country is the greatest is has ever been. What are you doing to help it be even better tomorrow?

          • milarso

            The greatest it’s ever been? We have a congress with the lowest approval ratings in the history of record keeping (and a president who isn’t far behind). We have a national debt that is higher than it has ever been. 1 in 4 homeless is a US veteran. 15% of our people live at or below poverty. This is greatness to you?

          • Joe

            This country is a phenomenal place and we are all VERY lucky to be living here (notice the queue of immigrants lined up to come to the US from less well-off countries).

            Ignore the political talking heads. Nothing they do will determine your success in life.

            For presidential approval ratings, read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_approval_rating.

            “The United States public debt as a percentage of GDP reached its highest level during Harry Truman’s first presidential term, during and after World War II”
            –from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt

          • milarso

            I never said it wasn’t a great place to live. Only that it’s gotten worse over the last 30 years. You’ve done nothing to refute that past saying that immigrants want to come here.

          • Joe

            By what metric has living in the US gotten worse over the last 30 years? Many of your claims above were bogus. It’s fashionable to think days past were better, but the standard of living in this country today is phenomenal.

          • milarso

            What was bogus?

          • Joe

            “We have a president and congress who each have the lowest approval
            ratings in the history of record keeping. We have a national debt that
            is higher than it has ever been.”

          • Clyyyyyde

            It is true our congress has DISMAL approval ratings. Our congress has also passed historically low amounts of legislation. Even less than the “Do-Nothing Congress” in the late 1940s.

            America IS a great place to live and we ARE lucky to be here. That doesn’t mean that Milarso isn’t right :/

          • Joe

            See the links above where I objectively disproved several of his assertions. Please provide sources if you wish to disagree since these are objective facts and not opinions.

          • Clyyyyyde

            You cited some Wikipedia articles (not a very reputable source). Here is a Gallup poll showing that Congress’ current approval rating is 9%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx

            I did not make any claims about national debt or presidential approval ratings. I am only saying that our congress right now is THE WORST.

          • Joe

            Please edit and correct the Wikipedia articles if they are not up to your standards. You found one of his assertions which appears to be true; thank you and good job! It’s time to vote the bums out of office (all of them — even your friendly local Congress critter).

    • AngelaNBayern

      Milarso, you are right. I am an American living in Germany and see the difference made by our Baby Boomers versus German Baby Boomers. U.S. Baby Boomers decided to offshore a great deal of our manufacturing to keep down production costs. German Baby Boomers decided to automate to reduce intensive human labor but still keep the production under home control. After WWII, in Germany the decision was made that a university education should be almost cost free and attainable to those who have the grades and that other non-college technical career paths should be well supported too and not cost anything to the students. There you go. Are our taxes higher over here? Yes, but it is worth it. Our Boomers lost the chance to create a stable, prosperous and well-educated society.

  • Matt

    I am sorry, but what? It isn’t a matter of individuals that aren’t ready for
    independence. Rather, it’s a systematic issue beginning with the current
    economic state of our country. As a result our generation is professed to go to
    college. Unfortunately, for a considerable number of people college is not an
    actual viable option. They’re not mature enough and as a result they go to
    college for a year, drop out, lose money, and now with few career prospects but
    also in debt. All because they were told trade school or a vocational tech
    option in high school wasn’t good enough. Even those that do prosper in college
    and graduate aren’t guaranteed a viable wage as often times a Bachelor’s doesn’t
    serve to make more than $12 an hour. So sure, if they can find an apartment
    that is cheap, can choose to eat rather poorly, and can manage all their other
    finances for relatively cheap then the can make it easily. But you’re told the
    harder you work to get through college or trade school that your life won’t be
    easy, but easier, but that’s a lie. I didn’t “not move out” because I didn’t
    want to. I failed to move out until I was 24 because I could not afford it. For
    instance, my undergraduate degree netted me jobs of $14 and $10 an hour. I had
    to go back to school for even more debt to get better pay than that. Conversely,
    my wife who had to leave school early worked a job of only $8 an hour for 7
    years but eventually lucked into a job that is now $15 an hour. Essentially by
    luck because she is admittedly paid more than more experienced individuals
    because of new payrate policies since she was hired. It’s not a matter of being
    lazy. It’s a matter of catching a few breaks from time to time accompanied with
    hard work.

  • James

    to me pushing them out shows just how much you failed as a Parent to raise them properly. I was setting rules and preparing them for adulthood from the time they hit the 6th grade. We worked on everything from banks accounts, handling money, contracts, savings, jobs, college prep, and even what classes to take that taught them how to manage money. When my kids headed for college they were prepared 2 had full ride scholarships and my oldest gave up his scholarship for a job in NYC. Now I only have 2 more to get into life. I raise my kids they don’t just grow up here.

    • Guest

      Can I have his scholarship? I don’t qualify for any since my parents make too much, and yet they have so much debt, I’m stuck paying the sticker price. I’d like to quit juggling full time work and full time school. I almost got into a car accident multiple times from pulling too many all nighters.

  • acdudl08

    Yeah that’s it! I’m lazy because I was born after 1980 and some people in my generation are so crushed by the disproportionately high cost of a now-required college degree that they can’t afford to get out of their parents’ basements! Fuck you, WBUR. Do you call middle-aged people who have to move back in with family lazy because they lost their jobs in this wonderful, Baby Boomer-created Great Recession? Seriously, fuck you. Stop lumping as us all together as a bunch of helpless, oversized infants.

    • justthebest

      Wow–I sure hope you have a good therapist. And an anger management group wouldn’t hurt.

      • acdudl08

        Thanks for your concern about my mental health and I apologize that my anger at my generation constantly being blamed for this country’s social and economical malaise made you uncomfortable. My therapist is a wonderful woman. Namaste.

        • Yo

          Wow! You can afford therapy? You lucky duck.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Everybody who needs it should be able to afford therapy. More reasons why are should raise the minimum wage and have universal healthy care hahaha

  • bvdonjuan

    This is mostly a wage vs cost-of-living issue. Most in their twenty’s don’t have a career and make close to minimum wage. Years ago a young person could afford to live on low wages, but it’s next to impossible these days. I have a 19 year old and she is welcome to stay as long as she wants – as long as she is getting educated and working. No slacking allowed.

  • Rachel

    How about a full-time job with a living wage?

    • milarso

      Those entitled millenials, always wanting everything handed to them… (if there was a font for sarcasm, I would use it here)

    • Joe

      There are a lot of those jobs out there. You need marketable skills to get one of them, however.

      • Clyyyyyde

        And by marketable skill you mean WAIT let me guess, the kind of skill that comes with $50,000 of student loans? Yea, hold on let me get my calculator really quick and let’s see how easy that is for everybody.

        • Joe

          No, not at all. I mean any skill for which someone will pay you. There are many avenues to learn such skills: self study, community colleges, apprenticeships, on the job learning, etc. $50k is a red herring in this discussion. Spending money on education does not guarantee a higher wage — it all depends what you learn to do and how well you apply that knowledge on the job.

          • Clyyyyyde

            So you think a self-taught petroleum engineer is as likely to get the same internship as one who has a degree from a reputable university? Apprenticeships now are mostly for artisan skills like glass-blowing last I checked. I am also unsure of where you could get on-the-job training in a high-paying career without a degree or years of experience in the field. I may be misunderstanding where you are coming from, can you clarify what kind of skills you mean. Like, with an example?

          • Joe

            To be an engineer, you need to go to college and an engineering degree would likely be well worth taking on student loans. However, for example, to be an electrician (or many other skilled trades) you can go to a union-ran apprenticeship program, some of which even pay you to learn! Joining the armed forces would be another example of how to get practical training outside of formal higher education (although they would pay for you to get a degree, too). The point is to pick an area with decent job prospects in which you are interested and find a way to get from where you are to where you want to be. With a little creativity and research anything is possible.

  • Ophelia

    If parents want their kids to move out earlier, they can help by teaching them how to be independent at an early age. Kids should be doing their own laundry and dishes from the moment they are physically capable. They should also be required to clean the bathroom once a week. As a landlord who rents to mostly freshmen college students, it ASTOUNDS ME the level of filth that these kids are willing to put up with – it’s like no one ever taught them that they’re supposed to clean up after themselves! That, along with teaching your children how to BUDGET their paychecks. True, if you’re only making $7 per hour there’s not a whole lot you can do. Outside of that though, a large part of the responsibility lies with the parents. Don’t coddle your kids – trust me, they will suffer for it greatly later in life.

    • Nina Ricci

      I think you should be running a different business. and I guess you’re not because you simply cannot.

  • Matthew Sychantha

    In my opinion, it’s colleges that should be more accountable these days. Are you working in business? Then your college should have connections to fortune 500 companies that they flaunt at you. We’re expected to pay so much money for a degree that’s not translating into a return on our investments at all, and if a college doesn’t have opportunities, connections, and alumni who you can make connections in the field with, then it’s essentially just handing you a piece of paper and giving you a pat on the back. I agree, college prices are shit; but the fact is because these days they’re not answering the three questions that should get you a job:

    -Are you qualified? (and not just a letter, has your college given you actual experience and made you better, faster, more efficient?)
    -Why are you going to this company? (If you don’t feel like you can innovate, do something better, add something to the process beyond filling a spot, then why’d you even get the degree in the first place. Why is it specifically their company and not their competitors? VISION)
    -Why should they hire YOU?(do you have a real connection? Is there a big name on your resume that can vouch for you? Is there something you did in college that you can bring to them to show that you’re the kind of person who stand out beyond a number or a resume?)

    If your college isn’t doing that, then you might as well have a career in ancient greek leatherworking or something like that, because the fact is your college didn’t do what it was supposed to:set you up to succeed in a real way. If you have a creative writing degree, does your college have literary magazines, publisher contacts, outside publication channels, and chances to edit in your field as part of a different publication? If you’re a teacher, is your college connecting you to different school systems, inviting heads of departments to meetings to talk about their programs and for you to make a personal connection, and is there a way your school can be the one to make your initial connection to schools other than your internship? Because you ought to get more. There’s no reason every degree shouldn’t have a great success rate as long as a college invests their time in making sure it leads to a job, because the fact is you’re paying to do work. Eventually that should lead to more.

  • zxcvbn

    You know what would help? If wages were high enough that a person could actually afford a small apartment, money for work-related transportation, and basic food. Everyone who I know who isn’t living independently is doing it because of finances. Not because lack of skills or because they need a social net. There’s a difference between having to stretch grocery money and not having grocery money at all. Everyone older than millennials needs to learn to understand this fact. When I worked at McDonalds, I was making like $600 a month, and all the apartments around were $500 a month. That would leave just $100 for gas and groceries. Oh, and with gas being pretty expensive around that time (almost $100/month and that was basically just to/from work and the grocery store) and there being NO bus service in my area, yeah. Not happening.

    • Dickey45

      People used to share apartments – 2-4 people. Maybe that is what needs to happen to younger people today. That way utilities can be split, too.

      • emcgillivray

        Yeah, I don’t know any young people who don’t have roommates and share expenses. The problem is employment and lack of jobs that pay a living wage.

        • Dickey45

          I’m with you – I understand. I was just replying to the guy up above stating that he couldn’t afford an apartment at $500/mo. Frankly, I think there are more people than jobs so this is what happens.

          • bo’

            this is what happens when the price of EVERYTHING becomes so high that EVERYONE of employable age in a family must find payable employment. As though none of lifes many other duties need someone home to do them

      • WhiteLabRat

        It is illegal in my area to have more than 3 unrelated people living together in one rental. Even if a house has 4 to 5 bedrooms you can fill only 3. This is becoming a more common issues, though you may not have it in your area yet.

        Additionally builders build only higher end apartments here that rent for $650+ a room. This is a college town and the rental market here long ago figured out that stipends from financial aid will pay for housing at an inflated cost if that is all that is available and they buy and price accordingly. Low income housing literally has to be forced on the rental and building industry in this town though ordinances making them build one unit in 10 as low income. These places are always on the fringes of a town of 140,000 with virtually no bus system at all. Today it is a brisk 3 degrees making the bike to work somewhat of a trial. Oh and in case any one cares the closest 3 or 4 towns and cities that have decent jobs all have the same rental set up, only I live in the 2nd cheapest one.

        I know people who live 6 to a house (3 bed rooms) here even though it is illegal, but the penalty for being caught as a landlord renting to that many is the city will prevent your property from being used as a rental for 5 years if you are caught. Few are willing to risk that.

        This is spreading as a rental format. Look for it to arrive in a town near you soon.

        • Joe

          Either break the rule or find another locality to live in until you can find a better situation. Knowing which rules can be broken is a useful adult skill. You’re not hurting anyone by living in a mutually beneficial arrangement. The list of excuses can easily be a mile long. You only need to find one solution that works for you to be successful. Ignore the rest that don’t work in your circumstances.

  • iheartmytho

    I’m an older millennial – but in many ways I was blessed because of my parents, that I was able to move out just a few months after graduating college.

    First off, my parents made living with them for those few months miserable. I had a curfew and was still expected to do chores and yard work. But I was lucky that I wasn’t expected to pay rent or anything either.

    Secondly, when I did move out, I didn’t have a job lined up. My boyfriend was moving to a different state for school and I followed him with hopes of finding a job quickly. Also, I had worked in high school and college, so I was able to save up about ~$10,000 by the time I had graduated. It helped me afford my moving costs, as well as provide a small safety net if I didn’t find a job right away.

    I was also lucky that I graduated college debt free. My first job out of college paid $12 / hour, and that was in a STEM field – so much for making more money with a STEM degree! It’s better than minimum wage, but still not a whole lot of money. After I moved to a different state with my boyfriend, he broke up with me, and I moved out on my own. At that wage, it was still tight to make things work out between my $750 monthly rent, gas, insurance, utilities. I was frugal, but I never had much money left at the end of the month. I couldn’t imagine making that much money, and also having to pay off large debts, let a lone supporting a family.

    • Page Turner

      Miserable because you had to do chores and yard work? Didn’t have to pay rent? You were able to save up 10k and THAT left a small safety net after moving costs? Y I K E S! Learn to spend less. It CAN be done. You’ll have chores at your own place for the rest of your life so chores at Mummy’s with NO RENT is far from miserable.

      • iheartmytho

        Well, it was more or less having a curfew that made my life miserable living with my parents. I was used to the freedom of college in regards to being out as late as I wanted, not the midnight curfew I had with my parents. The chores were OK, but an adjustment after living in a dorm for several years, where I didn’t have to worry about that stuff and could live as messy as I wanted.

        As for the $10k, that was when I graduated. After moving costs, down payments for my apartment and housing stuff, my safety net was more like $7k, and that was with splitting the costs between me, my ex-boyfriend, and his friend, and trying to do everything as cheaply as possible. We did the majority of the moving ourselves (loading and unloading the truck), and we got the cheapest housing stuff we could find at Wal-Mart / Target. Moving 1000 miles away to a major metro isn’t cheap, especially when you don’t already have things like dishes, pots, pans. And when you don’t have a decent amount of credit set up in your name which many young 20-year-olds probably don’t have, you have to pay even more in deposits to get things like electricity turned on.

    • Joe

      Congratulations on finding a way to make the best of what you had to work with! P.S. your ex-boyfriend sounds like a jerk.

  • Diana Conte

    I’m so sick of baby boomers trying to simplify this entire situation into a “damn kids these days” speech. I could break it all down for you in depth but I’m not going to waste the time anymore. You won’t listen, you’ve seemingly lost your ability to think objectively, and it has been your reckless financial and political behavior that set this country toward an avoidable but serious downward spiral. And then you have the balls to complain that our generation isn’t picking up the shattered pieces fast enough.

  • gabi532

    HOw many of these parents taught their kids independent living skills?? Cooking, cleaning etc…NOT Foster kids….

  • Shinbone Macgreevy

    I love it when people reply with the equivalent of, “Find a way to make poverty work for you! I did! :) That’s great! How amazing that you survived four years of college, living on your own, on $10 a week! Wow! Your experience must be true for everybody! You found a good job that pays well! Surely anyone else can! :) You got two college degrees, surely anyone else can! Anyone can do it! Guess what? If I could snap my fingers and give everyone in the US a four year degree we’d still have, you guessed it…a whole lot of well educated unemployed! Working at crappy low wage jobs! So raise the goddam minimum wage! Quit pretending that this system works and that circumstances aren’t changing.

    • Joe

      So, what’s the alternative to finding a way to make it work? Hint: there isn’t a good one. You just have to do it. Yes, it is difficult. This is the ultimate test: life. Hopefully you are well prepared to face the challenge by the time you are an adult.

  • Michael McCann

    Well I’m glad not everyone is blaming the generation. They need to realize that the baby boomers set our country up with a severely broken economy. It’s not easy to move out when rent is incredibly expensive, jobs are hard to find, and good paying jobs are rare, especially when the boomers are also struggling, looking for jobs.

    Unfortunately, you still get many folks that blame our generation for being lazy, entitled (as of the boomers aren’t living off educations and pensions that don’t suck) and self-centered.

  • reason

    Here is an idea, stop getting useless degrees and expect businesses to pay you a high wage. That’s a huge problem, kids are brainwashed in to thinking they have to go to college and then they will be set. If you get a liberal arts degree, you have no value to the work force. Get a science, engineering, business, math, etc degree and then you can expect a livable wage. There should be more scrutiny applied to college loans. If you were to provide financing to a kid wanting to major in sociology, wouldn’t you be worried about that person not making any money because he/she can’t get a job to pay you back?of course you would! That’s a bad investment!

    • Nina Ricci

      wth? what’s a “useless degree”??? you speak like you have none.

      • Andre

        Liberal arts
        English

        History
        Journalism
        Sports Science
        list goes on

        • Nina Ricci

          LOL you’re pathetic. what degree do YOU have?

          • Andre

            Engineering and it has already paid for itself and I am only a sophomore.

          • Matthew Sychantha

            That’s you’re area as well though. I know plenty of engineers in my area who can’t find jobs because the market around here is very saturated. You can say “well they should move to where there’s more jobs”, but the fact is that most colleges don’t have country wide connection to facilitate students in that way, and until they’re able to figure it out on their own they might as well have a liberal arts degree.

          • Nina Ricci

            it depends. civil? electronic? electric? it varies with the area. it changes with the economy. and you are ALWAYS dependent on someone hiring you.

    • Andre

      THANK YOU!!!! You have to explain slow for the lib art majors.

      • Nina Ricci

        EXCUSE ME? I have a PhD in “art” and i bet i make more in 1 week than you do in 1 year. again. you probably have worked for the man your whole life and barely know another state. sigh.

        • Andre

          Well considering I don’t even have my undergraduate yet and I’m making more than my parents I’m not too worried about working for the “man”

          • Nina Ricci

            you will be. it’s just a matter of time – if you have half a brain. last summer, i was working from a beach in Fiji. and making more money than you. just some perspective…

          • Andre

            Lmao I think if we were to average salaries of art grads with engineering grads we’d see which is more secure.

          • Nina Ricci

            i can tell you are very young and very narrow minded and with a pre-frontal cortex that still thinks knows everything. i wish you luck.

          • Andre

            Niceee

          • WhiteLabRat

            What I can tell you Ysenya is that if you are in a field that can be done cheaper by some one in another country it will be. If you live in a first world nation you simply can never compete with 2nd or 3rd world labor. You might have what some consider a “better degree” than some one out of a college in India but you will never ever be close to as cheap to hire. The difference in price for your labor will never equal out the difference in competence. 10 years ago it was different, but times have changed and schools in places like China are much better than they once were. I have plenty of friends who teach English in such schools. Most will stay there since they are fortunate to be in the generation that is teaching the Chinese English so they have jobs at a decent wage there. Soon the Chinese will have their own English teachers, taught by my friends, who will be cheaper and almost as good as hiring a much more expensive American, Aussie. or Brit.

            If you are in a white collar field of any kind, you can be replaced with an engineer or researcher from over seas. And you will be. 10 more years, 20 at the outside. The modern labor market makes every job expendable unless you physically have to be present to do the job. So I recommend a job in roofing or maybe criminal justice as long as you want to be a police officer and not a lawyer. Job security went out in 2000 with the turn of the century. We are in a new age, it’s just that as usual no one realized at the moment of transition that it was happening. Ironically, considering the thread here, that is because no one really studies history any more or takes what historians and sociologists have to say seriously because those are joke majors. =)

      • Sophia Barraclough

        I’m pretty sure liberal arts majors include things like philosophy and political science and other areas that require significant brain force. Stating that you need to explain slow for liberal arts majors is pretty cruel.
        But I suspect that was your purpose. Doesn’t do so hot for making you look like a wonderful person.
        Although, I’m not sure that was your goal. It seems you just wanted to zing someone–looks like you’ve managed to zing yourself.

        • Joe

          Political science requires significance brain force? God help us.

    • WhiteLabRat

      Excellent. Because no culture needs anything except engineers. I mean no civilization ever rises based on it’s cultural achievements. We remember all the great accountants from the renaissance but have forgotten the great minds who molded modern art, music, and theoretical thought. I mean we might need a few sociologists and journalists here and there but we know pretty much how many we need. Lets have corporations or the government plan what jobs are needed and train every one to work in them according to only what is needed by the market! We need 10 new journalists so only let 10 journalism majors into college. We can set quotas so you will know when you go in that even though your passion is physics or geology, we don’t need any more theoretical field scientists so you will have to go into engineering. Oh and we have too many people in computer science now too, but we do need mechanical engineers and architects so pick one of those. It does not matter if you like it or want to do it or even if you are good at it.

      By your theory we don’t need colleges at all. Show me a 4 year institution that will give me an engineering degree that I can’t get at a vocational school or community college for much less money. In fact I will show you how you can train those same people to do everything the modern work force needs in high school. We used to have programs like that. We know it works. No need for college in the slightest. Why waste the money at all. Close them all down as useless luxuries.

      After all if you get a a job in a field like engineering there is no chance your job will end up over seas being done by a guy in China with the same education you have. I mean for that to work we would have to have no labor protections at all and a huge disparity in salary. So of course your local high tech company would never close it’s branch in your area and leave its employees with advanced degrees working as cashiers at Toys’R’Us.

      All sarcasm aside, I have some bad news for you. If you work in a field where the job can be done by some one in another country for less, it will be. Period. Science, engineering, math, business…. in the long run some one in India will be doing your job for half your salary. It is already happening. From the doctor who examines your x ray to the manager who you telecommute to talk with, it can be done remotely. And it will be. Every white collar job can be done remotely. Every. Single. One. So there is no reason in the long run any of those jobs will be stable. The only stable job is the guy who picks your fruit or builds your porch. They have to physically be there to do it. They guy who designs your porch or builds the new fruit picker? A worker in China is cheaper for that and these days almost as competent (the difference in competence is not worth the difference in price).

      Wake up and realize this is not an isolated problem involving kids picking a degree you find useless. That has always happened. If you go on blaming events that have always happened for the change that is happening in the world you will not find any viable solutions.

    • swimrunfun

      Yeah, learn how to make money but not how to think or learn or anything else about the world around you. Makes you a real valuable member of society. You’ll be happy so long as you have lots of money. Ah, too bad that won’t happen either. Our world is getting smaller and the competition is gettng stiffer. Good luck with what ever you pursue.
      Follow your passion. Even if your scratching to get by at least you’ll feel some sense of purpose and have some motivation.

      • WhiteLabRat

        I read “valuable” as “vulnerable” the first time though. I think I will stick with my version. Those with little ability to reason or predict the future thanks an understanding of the past are very easily manipulated and controlled.

  • LTGray

    Based on many of the comments here, the biggest financial burden for a lot of students is caused by a decision made while still in high school: how much to pay for the college they will attend. In short, a large number of new college students assume debts that will be very hard to pay off after graduation.

    There are many excellent, less-expensive colleges and universities, but there’s a strong temptation, among students and their parents, to choose the most expensive (=”best”) place they can qualify for. They are encouraged to do this by companies offering student loans, many of which will be repaid even if the student eventually defaults on the loan. Result: teenagers with little financial background or advice decide to go to schools that are too expensive for them and take on debts that will weigh them down for years. This is similar to the mortgage disaster we’re still recovering from, but on an even larger scale.

    Two ways to combat this: (1) Help prospective students and their families analyze the long-term financial impacts of their college choices; and (2) Make companies that offer student loans more responsible for qualifying borrowers based on realistic projections of their future income.

    • Matthew Sychantha

      OR alternately we sit down and do long term studies and evaluations: Make colleges more accountable for having better follow-through rates. Make them show their connections instead of just “success rates”, and get them endorsed by different companies to show connections to real jobs that students can get and work internships through their degree program. There’s no reason anyone should go to college and focus on a grade anymore. They should instead be focusing on what kind of job the college and that degree can get them. What kinds of employers are recruiting recently from a college? What kinds of opportunities are students getting out of classes? THESE are the ways people have successful college experiences, regardless of how much you pay.

  • Nina Ricci

    this is ridiculous. what’s wrong with having your children with you until they are ready? i don’t care how long it takes for my children to leave – i’d rather have them home than see them go and start a life in debt or live in near poverty because of ridiculous “culture” cra p someone made up in the 50s. times have changed. we ALL have to deal with it.

    • Andre

      I could see your kids like those in step brothers lol

      • Nina Ricci

        and i can see you and your family like honey boo boo. I didn’t leave my father’s home until 25 when i started my thesis – and i could. just saw no reason to do so. both my parents are attorneys, so are my brothers and i. both my sisters-in-law are attorneys. my husband is a satellite engineer. we just do not subscribe to the low class thinking of getting rid of kids. simple as that.

        • Andre

          You see it as low class thinking I see it as making your kid a valuable person for society who doesn’t need their mommy to nurse them into their 30′s.

          • Rachel

            You can be a valuable person to society and live at home. Many countries outside of the US have their kids stay at home well into their twenties while becoming functioning members of society.

          • Andre

            20′s yes I understand but when you get to 25 and you are no where near being independent I think some things need to be reevaluated.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Oh is 25 not considered “well into [your] twenties”? Also, you are assuming that the goal here is being independent rather than being successful. I think the argument (correct me if I am wrong) that Rachel and Nina are making is only that in other countries, INTERdependence is valued over independence. You know, the idea that families are there to function as support systems until you begin your own family. Do you know ANYTHING about cultures other than Western ones? Even some Western ones, for example, Italy, have strict beliefs about keeping the family together as long as possible.

    • bvdonjuan

      Nina, I agree… we have the cultural belief that family members have to go off on their own once they reach a certain age. Financially it doesn’t even make sense, but it’s also worth looking at other cultures differ from America in that the family stays together until they are married off.

    • justthebest

      It’s called “being an adult.” If fully functioning adults, who are independent and have proven themselves in the world, wish to voluntarily live together for any of several reasons, fine. But, to enable a twenty-something person, who has never learned to be responsible for him or her self, to remain infantilized because “it’s too hard out there” is doing them NO favors.

      • travelsonic

        So, in other cultures where families live together, those people are not adults for doing so?

        Seriously, logic fail.

  • swimrunfun

    So just what is wrong with living in an extended family situation? It’s only been since post WW2 that the nuclear family became vouge. If you find a mate you can probably afford to make the move. As long as they contribute to the household expences who cares? Our economy is becoming a world economy. Things aren’t going back to the way they were. There is big change in the air get ready to adapt.

  • Mel Lester

    This article barely grazes the issue of self sustainability and own-living. Why 21-26? Why not 21-29? The reason I ask is that I’ve lived on my “own” a total of probably four times over the past ten years. I do not, now that I’m 29, consider having roommates “own-living”. I consider it “safe”. And even then it’s risky. About ten months ago, I moved back home. I crammed ten years worth of personal belongings into a tiny room and lived in it for two months. I thought I was the ONLY 29 year old on the planet to have failed so hard and was forced to endure having to move back home with good ol’ mom and dad. In May I found a little house and fell into it. My parents still help me with things, but at least I have my own space. I graduated high school from this place I now live and several of my classmates are relocated here. Guess where. Their parents’ homes. We are not alone. I guess I just wanted to be included so that I could understand what we are all going through.

  • AJ

    I think lowering tuition would help as well. I graduated college in 2012 and I am still living at home at 24. I am looking for places to live currently, but my huge apprehension is the ~$500/month I am already paying on my loans. It’s a great anxiety to throw rent on top of that. To use baseball analogy, don’t put us behind in the count before we even get a chance to swing.

  • Big Country

    I’m a Millennial. Never moved home after college an I paid for my college. I believe its the parents fault. They coddled their kids and now they’re surprised they won’t leave. There are other economic factors to include being we got a raw deal on the job market. People talk down about Millennials being the kids that always got a trophy, yea because the parents wanted to make it easy on themselves and not have to explain to their kids why they suck at things. My folks always want me to come home and visit, but I’m to busy building my career. Its all how you raise your kids.

  • Praytoseedeath

    Reading the opinions of the general poster opinions… “the rent is too Damn high”

  • profitdurden

    Spoiled. Entitlement. You parade your coffees and iphones, singing the praises of progressive dreams, but nothing to show for it. Raise your minimum wage, but ignore that rationality always wins. Why hasn’t your beloved coffee shop raised their wages to $50/hr? Your Toms? Because in the end… they are rational and realistic entities bent on commercial survival. The same reason you live with your parents is the same reason you are not paid $15/hr to flip burger- it does not compute.

    This generation has not suffered enough.

    • travelsonic

      I honestly do not think someone who relies on gross generalizations has any room to talk.

  • Ysenya

    I work 35+ hours a week at the minimum wage.

    Could I get a second job? yes, but not without quitting college. I pay for my own cellphone, clothing, gas money, part of my car insurance, and all of my car payment. (Yes I use to have an used car, but it broke down often enough that the repairs and replacement parts cost me more than my payment now does.) I also am a type 1 diabetic. With the considerable discount of my parents’ insurance plan my medicine costs me at least $100 a month.

    Even were I to give up the car (Which would again, preclude getting to school), give up the phone (which would preclude me being able to reach family in case of a medical emergency or my employer from calling me in for extra shifts or a new employer for hiring me), give up buying any new clothes (some of which I need as my work clothes wear out or as things get torn, old, or faded) and stop paying for the medicine that I need to keep alive, for the required doctors visit every three months, and specialists visits a few times a year, it would still be extremely difficult for me to find a place where I could afford rent, utilities, and food on what I make now. As it is I really can’t give up any of those things, especially the medicine.

    Leaving home isn’t a financial option, especially when there are medical matter and college to be taken into account.

    • Jennifer Cotner-Jones

      I work for JDRF and hear your story so many times! I wish people would understand that insulin for type 1′s is not an option but a need for survival. I wish insulin was just given as well as strips.

  • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

    I moved back home from age 24-28 so I could go back to school for my master’s degree. Before that I was living paycheck-to-paycheck working a low-wage job I could’ve gotten even without my college education.

    I finished my M.S., got a job, and moved out again. I rent a one-bedroom apartment and barely eek by. I am looking for a nights/evenings job to supplement my income from my 9-5 job, as I won’t make enough to make payments on my student loans when they come due in another few months.

    I think that’s what keeps people with their parents: you just cannot make enough to live on your own, even with an education. It’s just not true that an education will get you a decent job. I know lots of people with advanced degrees and education that can’t find a job. I am lucky to have a full-time position, but I’ve applied everywhere looking for evenings/weekend work–even Walmart, Target, grocery stores, Old Navy, H&M, etc.–and I never even get a call back. People are lucky these days even to snag a minimum-wage position.

    • Joe

      Check out FedEx or UPS for a package handler position if you want morning/evening supplemental employment. It’s a good workout, too.

  • 2_fed_up

    Too few jobs and too many people competing for those jobs. And our “wonderful” administration wants to increase immigration numbers and grant amnesty to those here illegally. How messed up are we going to let this country get? The prez brags about creating jobs but, hey, reality check Barrack…educated, skilled workers are not looking for construction jobs. They don’t want to build highways and bridges.
    furthermore, our prez is just now realizing the economic inequalities in this country. Duh. Here’s a news flash ~ stop flooding the labor market with foreigners (legal and illegal) and things will change. When companies are truly starving for labor (not the false claims made so that they can import foreign labor) the wages will go up as they woo employees rather than abuse them.

    • Matthew Sychantha

      Or on the other side, we could take the money we invest into sectors that could actually use a boost of money instead of banks and big business and through the creation of nationally funded programs we could create a diverse job market that didn’t rely on unskilled labor. It worked once before in this period where we weren’t doing so hot on our economy called “The Great Depression”.

    • w3bgrl

      We’ve always had migrant labor. Problem is, immigration laws have become so screwed up, once they get in the country, they don’t just go back home after the summer’s growing season is over, they end up getting stuck here. Our economy does depend somewhat on this type of labor, but the answer is not to just kick them all out, build a wall (one that doesn’t exist on the northern part of the country where we have immigration issues of a different color) and expect these highly educated college kids to suck it up and get in the fields. I’d like to see more entrepreneurs with great ideas to keep our creative and intellectual economy going. That is where our future should be headed.

      • Matthew Sychantha

        They do. Trust me. These days though, investors are increasingly difficult to get money from. They want an almost guarantee from your 20 page business report that you can project a 10x-50x return on their investment within a few years, you have to knock them out with presentations and they always want a hand in telling you how your product should launch and to whom. It’s difficult, but not impossible, and the result is that in this economy it’s harder to get invested and more small businesses fail. People don’t stop dreaming big, but eventually everyone’s vision starts to fade.

        • Joe

          It’s amazing how difficult it is to get other people to give you their money, isn’t it?

          • Matthew Sychantha

            To get people to invest in American innovation? Yeah, I’d say so. That’s a pity, isn’t it? If only everything was as sure fire an investment as shipping off jobs to Asia…

  • Andre

    Its called the pussification of America. Nothing more nothing less.

    • epynephrin

      it’s actually called “some people can’t afford to pay rent on minimum wage.”

      However, I believe you’re suffering from what’s called “The Douchification of America.” Nothing more, nothing less.

      • Andre

        Working at McDonald’s was never meant to be a full time career bud. Get a VALUABLE (not lib arts) education and these people would have nothing to worry about.

        • epynephrin

          a) where was it declared that McDonalds was never meant to be a career path? Who set this down, when and where?
          b) good thing jobs are so magically attainable. It’s a wonderful world we live in where you can simply walk out the door, declare you want a new job, and have one magically appear. Oh, wait.
          c) You are reading a news item on a public radio website. I’ll leave you to figure out why it’s silly to bash the liberal arts in that context.

          • Joe

            It’s common knowledge that working in the retail service sector is not a path to a great career. Have you ever heard the joke “would you like fries with that?” Take a look at the working conditions and wages before taking a job and you’ll see what your future holds. Good jobs are everywhere if you have some skills and a strong work ethic. Now back to the regularly scheduled liberal programing.

          • epynephrin

            Bandwagon fallacy: the idea that because an idea is popular, it must be true.
            http://www.fallacyfiles.org/bandwagn.html

            Good jobs are not everywhere, regardless of your work ethic and skills. As many of us Millennials are finding: our skills and ethics are not enough to get us into the jobs to which we are applying. The lazy approach would be saying that it’s because we’re all unskilled and lack work ethics (we aren’t, and we don’t). That may work in a few cases, in a microcosm, but when it’s something that a majority of people my age are reporting, perhaps it has more to do with a macro issue. Something like a crappy economy, perhaps?

            The “good jobs” that are “everywhere,” and are readily available to those with “some skills and a strong work ethic”? Those are largely in the retail and foodservice; which don’t pay well enough to live on.

            But go on, use a shoddy joke told by condescending morons at dinner parties as evidence for the fact that liberal arts majors are unemployable.

            And, probably don’t read this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/27/more-hope-for-liberal-arts-majors/2703707/

          • Joe

            There’s nothing wrong with a liberal arts degree (I have one) but you have to be more creative and/or have other skills outside of your lib arts degree to find decent employment. Liberal arts degrees in general do not provide job specific training or funnel you in to a certain career path like more vocationally-focused degrees do (e.g. engineering). The bottom line is that even in junky economic times, there are employers hiring and it’s up to you and you alone to be responsible for your future. Everything else is just an excuse. But don’t let me inturrupt the pitty party if that is your inclination.

  • MySurvivingBones

    Hold on just a moment: you’re trying to generalize a Canadian study that involved only 30 people to an entire generation? Everyone has trouble leaving home; this is common across generations, so why is it suddenly news when Millennials have trouble leaving home? Is it perhaps possible that this horrible economy and highly competitive job market has an even greater effect on young people leaving home?

  • Christian Thompson

    Pretty sad that an article this apologetic to the generation that set this one so far back was written by a 21-year-old. I’m still living at home, as are many of my peers, and it has nothing to do with our (perfectly adequate) cleaning and shopping skills. Can you imagine if entry-level salaries for college graduates had increased in proportion with student debt or (unthinkably) tuition rates?

  • kkeorkunian

    Moving out at 18 and then bitching about everyone who doesn’t live the exact same way you do doesn’t make you a righteous human full of the virtue of responsibility, it makes you a fucking asshole. I left home when I was 17, but I do not expect the same from my daughter, and I will provide any kind of infrastructure she needs to get on her feet, forever, because that’s what FAMILY does. What an ASSHOLE does, is they throw a kid out on their 18th birthday, despite the fact that one day earlier they could have gotten someone older than them thrown in jail for having sex with them because they’re a VICTIM and INCAPABLE of making their own decisions.

    Fuck off with your sour grapes, and fuck off with your moral high ground, all you pricks who have problems with the “spoiled” millennials.

    • kkeorkunian

      Also, I hope all you dicks refrained from procreating. Or I feel sorry for your children.

      • Jeff

        Actually I’d rather you don’t procreate.

  • Mary Pat

    some parents enjoy having their adult kids around….what’s wrong with families sticking together and helping each other out financially? I had a friend who moved back home and paid one third of all the household expenses AND he helped with the household chores…just because someone lives at home that doesn’t mean they aren’t helping out financially. I did have one friend who moved back home and all she wanted to do was party, her mom and dad took care of her kids, then, when her parents she was devastated…still is..all of the folks mentioned are now in their sixties…

    • w3bgrl

      Yep. We’re pretty much the only country in the world that does not appreciate extended family living situations.

  • C. Stephenson Gibbs

    Why is this perceived as strictly a “millennial” event? I grew up in the 70′s and left home at 17 and felt exactly the same way that the author is describing! This is part of the problem – this generation is being perceived as “special” or “unique” – they are not. We have all gone thru the process . Get over yourselves.

  • Audrey

    The comments on this article are simply infuriating. I would love to agree and say that my generation (the millennials) is spoiled rotten, takes things for granted, and expects life to be handed to them on a silver platter, but the truth is just not that simple. Many of us acknowledge that in order to thrive in modern society, the attainment of higher education is necessary. The class of 2012 had an average national student loan debt of $29,400. The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. Professors do all but outright demand that students work no more than 20 to 25 hours per week in order to achieve a passing grade while attending school full-time. Rent, no matter if someone is sharing a room or in a studio, costs hundreds per month. If you are lucky enough not to have to drive to work or school, then you don’t have to pay the monthly gas, car payment, and car insurance that can also easily amount to hundreds of dollars. God forbid your car breaks down. Cell phone bills, utilities, and internet are blow to the stomach. If you wish to argue and say that internet and cell phones are not necessities, try telling that to the university libraries, whose hours are limited and whose computer labs have lines around the block. Try telling your boss at work that you are unreachable, and that you have no cell phone or internet. That’ll help you keep a job. Never mind the fact that professors send out emails almost daily, and will not take “not having internet at home” or “not having a smartphone” as an excuse. Yeah, we’re spoiled rotten. Yeah, we expect to have life handed to us on a silver platter, and we have no clue what the future has in store for us. We’re simply trying to survive in a society that blames us for the downfall of humanity and punishes us by making higher education a price not always worth paying.

    • bo’

      SO TRUE + a million Up votes to you. i wish i could say don’t worry it gets better over time… but our pathetic reality is that is just not always true.
      hang in there tho and keep doing your very best becoz then you will always have your Self Respect and that is something NO AMOUNT of money or fancy degrees can buy.

  • Kassandra

    So many teens and 20 something’s have zero concept of money management. They won’t listen, think its no big deal to not pay a bill and have lots of accounts in collections. They don’t think past today and live check to check. They are like watching a train wreck. There are exceptions to the rule, but most are not even trying to take personal responsibility for their actions. Add on top of that student loan debt up the wazzu they were talked into by schools etc. and its a toxic mess of a lifetime of debt coming their way.

    • brathor1

      Most of us don’t have a lot of choice, to be honest. Sometimes you have to choose between the credit card payment or the gas you need to get to work next week.

      • justthebest

        My first thought is “what is a person without a full-time job doing with a credit card or a car?!”

        • brathor1

          Who said anything about not having a job? I have a 75 minute commute to a decent job. I have a 10 year old economy car that gets about 30mpg because I take good care of it. I still end up spending about 300/month on gas. I’d move closer, but I can’t afford the 850/month for a studio apartment, even if my entire gas bill went towards it.

          Edit: Meant to add: I can’t imagine trying to do it on even $10/hr.

        • brathor1

          Did you miss the part where I said “gas you need to get to work?”

    • Raul McElroy

      I wonder whose fault it is that they have no sense of money management? If you guess the other generations, you are correct.

      • Kassandra

        We adopted our one child when she was 15. We did our best to teach her what she needs in order to fly the coop one day. She had years of being taught WRONG needless to say. We have been unable to help her and she is flailing in the wind horribly. Also, an incredibly high number of her peers behave the same way. Its maddening and as I noted, like watching a train wreck.

        • Kassandra

          By WRONG I meant her prior life. Just to clarify.

  • Kat

    Making that leap from the nest is always challenging. Young adults are at the bottom of their wage earning potential with little experience or other resources of their own. Many in my generation (late 1960s-early 70s) just knew they couldn’t stand living at home. Our ‘new’ values clashed with our parents’ values which made it so much easier to move in with 3 or 4 of our closest (sic) new found friends. We didn’t want to live with our parents & they were happy to see us go!

  • Not a trustafarian

    There are three attributes which help young people “leave the roost.” The first is money. The second is money. Third is MONEY!!!

    The minority of those who come from trust fund backgrounds can “move” where they want to, when they want to. Los Angeles isn’t working out for you? New York sounds appealing? No problem, just load up the Bimmer and relocate from West Hollywood to the Upper West Side. The bonus: you will be closer to your funding source(s), otherwise known as family, back in Great Neck, Syosset, or Hwelett Bay.

    The lavish graduation parties held by Long Island families of a certain heritage help young trustafarians settle down without worrying about something as plebian and unhip as the dollar bill.

    For the other 95% of Milleneal youth without those connectoions, it is and will continue to be a struggle.

    • Joe

      The irony is that those who struggle and persevere are better off for it in the end. Life isn’t very rewarding if everything is handed to you.

  • http://facebook.com/dicetomice Sande Barrett Bihlmaier

    My adult sons and a daughter in law all live with me. I have no problem with that. They have no problem with that. Back in the day, before the 1950s multiple generation families lived together all the time. The kids were saving money to start a business, and they were in college. Now they have huge college debt to pay off, and the business is still in its infancy. They can live here as long as they need to. They pay their portion of the bills and they help with groceries and around the house. No issues here.

  • ColoradoBetty

    I made 13k a year out of college at one job, waitresses nights at another & paid my own rent, car insurance, didn’t find groceries or ‘chores’ so hard to figure out. It stunk being poor but was not that challenging. Millennial in general do not have a strong work ethic and expect mom & dad to help out.

    • Clyyyyyde

      I also thought it was weird this author struggled with groceries and chores hahahaha did she never have to clean/provide her own food while living with her parents?

    • Trinin

      That is a bit of an general assumption. Most millennials I’ve noticed, have strong work ethics combined with a desire to not be stuck in this inevitable wheels of labor. Work to buy, buy to work, so you can seem acceptable. They refuse to take jobs at fast food business and stores like wal-mart and k mart, because they refuse to support a system that is flawed and favorable only to the elite and wealthy.

      Put me in a grocery store like Kroger, yeah I will have pretty weak work ethic. Put me in a yard to care for the land, I will work till my hands bleed. It’s not that they have no work ethic, we are tired of supporting a broken system.

      • Anna

        You’ve got time to think about values when your starving, you haven’t starved long enough. Where do I sign for Kroger??? Working the land….. I’m a farm kid and your seriously delusional. Keep living off your Parents… I Got bills pay….

    • travelsonic

      “Millennial in general do not have a strong work ethic and expect mom & dad to help out.”

      The crux of the problem with this statement is highlighted in bold. GENERALIZING.

      Some do, some don’t, some have no problems – and no work ethic issue, some have issues and no ethic issue, some have no issues besides a work ethic issue, and some fall into other categories than that all together.

  • lotuslightraes

    Isn’t there some bias here about “leaving home”? Until the last 60 or so years … and in the US … there has been a focus on leaving home. In doing genealogy research, I continuously see extended family living together over multiple generations. Unfortunately, economics is driving the inability to live independently these days. We remember that extended family is not a bad thing and has been the way of humans for as long as recorded history.

  • Ryan Anderson

    The idiotic generalizations made about an entire generation are dumbfounding. This is not news; this is sensationalist click baiting. How dare you, NPR?

  • merrit

    Baby boomers only find ways to bitch and complain. Expect more education from millenials (as recruiters or hiring mangers), shoulder the Medicare debt (as voters) de-fund education or programs to help the disadvantaged (as taxpayers), and complain when the younger ones don’t have a house by 25 (as parents). Talk about being fed a silver spoon cradle to the grave!

    • bagofcorn

      I would double and triple like this it it were possible!

  • frugalirishwoman

    Actually, I made it on $7/hr. and still managed a place on my own. I sacrificed other things like going out and a cell phone and a car until my junior year of college. Kids today don’t want to sacrifice and learn frugality!!! Too bad for them. It helped me learn to find resources and learn how to do without and be happy!!! It also helped others want to help me in my career!!! They respected me for what I had done!

    • Marvin Anderson

      Yeah, try doing that in New York City. Unreal…

      • Joe

        If it doesn’t work in NYC (a very expensive city in which to live), try moving. No one is entitled to live in NYC but there is a place for everyone to live.

        • Clyyyyyde

          Moving is a very expensive undertaking. Moving to a place where you have no support system or job is a very risky (and potentially expensive) undertaking.

          • Joe

            Bus tickets are pretty cheap. Plenty of people move to places where they don’t know anyone and make the best of the situation they are in. It comes down to having an ability to be resourceful. Some people have it and do so, others just sit around and lament how it is impossible to get ahead.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Hmmm, but buying all new furniture and/or shipping all your existing belongings is not very cheap. I do know people who have picked up and moved with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes and been successful but I think it’s still reasonable to say that moving is a very expensive undertaking.

          • Joe

            If an individual was truly so poor they couldn’t afford to move, I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume they probably don’t have much furniture. If they do, it might be time to rethink priorities. An emergency fund comes before furniture and belongings. I know, saving isn’t as much fun as furnishing a living space but it has to be done, even on a modest income.

    • melisaurus

      I have friends making 7/hr right now who split rent 3 ways & they can’t afford groceries. Clearly everything is still the same as when you were our age.

    • devrie

      The “I did it,” thing doesn’t work if “I did it” when I got 5 percent interest on savings, paid half the rent they pay today, found a job when unemployment was just over 4 percent, and got four times the amount of food for my wage than they get today.

  • steerpike66

    Remember the old days, when you could ‘work your way through college’? IMAGINE trying to pay for college and living expenses with the jobs they have now?

    Absolutely unthinkably impossible.

  • Slave to Sallie Mae

    When you have $50k+ worth of student loans, it makes it a tad bit difficult to move out. That 700$+ a month goes toward paying for my education instead of an apartment.

    • steerpike66

      Hell, you won’t have much for groceries until you’re 37 unless you were in the top 15% of your class.

      • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

        Not true. I was in the top 10% of my class, and I still don’t have enough for groceries. The idea that doing well in school and always having a paying job or internship will get you a steady job is not true.

        • Matthew Sychantha

          That’s because employers are willing to compromise a lot on grades as a benchmark vs. actual experience. Going out and working internships, getting experience through school organizations, and yes, even working in your field in a very low position can get you better jobs. The way I see it, College isn’t a school setting anymore. You’re there to make connections, and to be honest if you can find a great job before you finish your degree, you should jump on that first. A GPA is a number, making a connection is money in your pocket these days.

          • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

            That is very true. If you know someone, you’ll get a job, if not, tough luck. I got my current job while in grad school because both of the employees I work under completed the same graduate program I did. I had applied to the same company earlier without that connection, and never got a call back.

            I did five internships during school, but didn’t get any job prospects out of them. Being a paid employee somewhere seems to be more important.

  • steerpike66

    Student loans.

    You cannot be free if you place yourself in terrible debt at the sunrise of your independence. Apart from financial concerns it’s intellectually and emotionally crippling.

    • brathor1

      The problem is that the cost means most of us have little choice. It’s either make do with a high school diploma or accept tens of thousands of dollars in debt and hope you can eventually pay it back.

      • justthebest

        No, unfortunately, it means that today it is more important than ever to “college shop” carefully and pay serious attention to the debt you’ll have at the end. And, I speak as someone who spent 7 years in private colleges. But, that was over 30 years ago and I STILL had nearly crippling debt for 15 years afterward. I hate that it is true, but really fine colleges are just for the wealthy and very gifted, today.

        • brathor1

          Even a cheap university will still cost around 2,000 a semester for tuition and fees. Assuming every student performs well enough to graduate in 8 semesters, that’s still 16,000 minimum. That doesn’t account for books, supplies, housing, food, or other normal living expenses. Yes, Community College can help – our local CC charges about 100/credit hour – but transferring later can often cost you credits.

          • justthebest

            Yes, but 16k debt is manageable. It’s not great, but it’s doable. As for all the other expenses, my goal would be to work and pay as much as I could without additional loans. Just my 2 cents. I’m just saying that “it’s hopeless, I can’t go to college” and “I can’t help it, I have to have 30-50k debt in order to get a degree” are both cop-outs from people who want to avoid the hard work.

          • bo’

            thats a grand sweep which you couldn’t possibly know. as far as the 16k, did you catch the 8 semesters part? thats 2 years. what highly paid field can 2 year students plan on getting into pray tell? there’s a limited amount of degree options available at 2 years.
            i could be a Librarian- I’ve got the skills and i love books. but guess what, anything over minimum wage part-time library assistant positions (few & far between btw) REQUIRE a Bachelors. not remotely possible on my poverty line income and other life requirements. that apple is plain out of reach no matter how hard i yank on the old bootstraps, i just cannot make these boots fly.
            please spare me any nasty responses for speaking my personal reality.

          • justthebest

            8 semesters = 4 years. It would probably help if you at least understood that much.

          • bo’

            waal, please excuse mah po’ass unedddycated self- had iah been PRIVILEGED enough to attend Uni, perhaps iah would know dat frum experience-
            however, 8 semesters in high school = 2 years. which would probably help if you at least understood THAT much.

          • justthebest

            It is tragic that you could have actually graduated from high school (assuming you did) thinking that 8 semesters of ANYTHING is 2 years. But, it does show how dreadful our educational system has become.

          • bo’

            aren’t you the rich snot.

          • justthebest

            not rich, not a snot, and not ignorant. You’re the one with the elephant sized chip on your shoulder.

  • Joshua Mason

    I enjoy articles like this not only for the specific topic but for how information contained within can be applicable in different areas. I was on my own as a teenager and had a dysfunctional childhood so I can not personally relate to the various pushes and pulls encountered by millennials. I am also 36 so I’m sure that plays a role. Interestingly, in my work with gang-influenced communities I was fortunate to be part of a team that sent many kids to college from a city with a 75% failure to graduate on time rate. These were not the high achieving 25% either, most were formerly incarcerated and/or expelled. A major factor was one young man who played high school football very well and decided college was the next step. His peers said, “Well, if ___ is going to college I guess I will too ’cause we’re homeboys and we stick together. So, what do I gotta do to go to a college? How can I make that happen?”. And so began a transformative process. Peer pressure, in all of it’s forms and independent of intention, is by definition not neutral. It moves people. Too often we look to the newest curriculums, research, programs and what is popular with funders when in reality it is still fundamentally about relationships-provider/recipient, guardian/child, teacher/student, civic/community and peer/peer

  • Laura

    This is a stupid useless ridiculous article of Bull$#!%… What a waste of 2 mins of my life…

    • Trinin

      Expound.

  • brathor1

    The only reason I don’t have to live with my parents is because I live with friends who split our rent based on relative income. Personally, I’d rather go out on my own, but I don’t see how it’s possible for someone to afford even a modest apartment while keeping up on student loans on only 40k a year. I’m lucky that I’ve managed to find a solid job in my chosen field within only a few weeks of finishing up my master’s degree (a degree I only went after because I had the misfortune of earning my bachelor’s right before the 2008 recession). Maybe in a few years I’ll be able to pull something that allows for a little more independence. I suspect most millennials are in similar situations. Too much debt, too little opportunity.

  • Jeanette L Rusiecki

    spoiled brats have a safety net… I never had one… you leave and work to not be homeless and eventually thrive. No matter how may “months” of planning you think you can do it’s a waste of time unless you are spoiled. I had many spoiled roommates who couldn’t cook, clean, shop and I just let them stumble because that’s the only way you learn.

    • steerpike66

      You’d better not be over 45 years old.

      • Jeanette L Rusiecki

        I’m in my early 30s and left my parents at 18

        • steerpike66

          Where did you move to? College?

          I rest my case. College has become a mental disease that burdens and infantilizes young people: they become highly specialized, dependent, debt-ridden, inflexible and cushioned all at the same time.

          • Jeanette L Rusiecki

            I moved to a house with 2 other girls and have been all over the country… I grew up poor and I know how to live from my experiences… I wasn’t one of the middle class kids who were spoiled by other people doing things for them.

          • Trinin

            I like how you consider middle class “spoiled”. A rapidly vanishing group of people that made enough money to live comfortably, with extra finances, that has now become the class of able to survive in a nicer area and comfort. I’m sorry but I can’t take you seriously if you only refer to people as spoiled. I started out poor, my family moved up, and now we are back down to struggling.

            I think you’re referring to UPPER middle class, and UPPER class society. Most MIDDLE class people I know are hard workers, ready to get out on their own as the mature and grow. Not spoiled children demanding to be bottle fed by everyone they meet. Seems to me you must’ve had some bad experiences with room mates.

          • Jeanette L Rusiecki

            No they were nice people… just the average middle class kids.

          • Jeanette L Rusiecki

            College isn’t for everyone… I went for a while and realized 1. It’s more money that I would have had access to 2. I needed to use the tools I already had. There was no other choice and after watch so many other kids who had opportunities I couldn’t fathom at the time I was thankful I wasn’t in their boat. They often crawled around trying to get help instead of doing for themselves.

        • Trinin

          It’s hard to take someone seriously when all they do it insult and reuse “spoiled” like its the only way they know how to describe people that have any sort of financially supportive family.

          I live with my family, I help and support them, my money is spent on their groceries, their gas, along with my own. I could just instead save my money for a month or two and head out, but I would rather not because sometimes being a decent person and reaching out to people is more important than fulfilling some societal norm. You sound bitter.

          If you’re early 30s now, than you probably didn’t have to put yourself into massive debt, even if you did go to college and take student loans, because current interest rates and payment plans these banks force you into leave you little financial freedom to get your own rental place, even with room mate(s).

          • Clyyyyyde

            I would personally love to live with my mother or father again (divorced obviously). I wouldn’t even think of it as “moving back in” I would just think of it as “living together” because we’d share all the responsibilities. Who are all these crappy kids moving back home and not being proactive members of the household???

        • Raul McElroy

          Left of your own volition? Well, that’s your own shitty choice then, huh?

          Sorry, welfare existed well before you did. Don’t give me this “I don’t have a safety net” crap.

    • AdalynLeigh

      I’m not a “spoiled brat” and I have a safety net. I moved out at 18 and have had to ask for help a few times while trying to get my feet under me. I’m lucky to have my parents and I’m lucky that they can help me. Doesn’t make me a spoiled brat, though.

      • Jeanette L Rusiecki

        aww that’s special… good for you

    • Jordan Burke

      I like what you are saying but having a safety net does not make someone a spoiled brat.

  • Dennis Collier

    you mean I’m not alone on this? Son’s 21 & 24

    • steerpike66

      Wait til they’re 31.

      REALLY.

      • Dennis Collier

        shit i’ll be 70 years old

        • EB

          I’ve known parents who moved! :)

  • Bhig Bhad Wolf

    Requiring a living wage instead of the paltry $7 an hour would help as well. You can’t expect a kid to move out when they can’t even afford to live, even in a place with roommates.

    • http://twitter.com Isis Nocturne

      ^ This! It’s impossible to live somewhere other than your parents’ home when you can’t even afford to put a down payment on a place due to being paid so little!

      • Ben

        Living with your parents and buying a home are not the only two options available. You can rent cheaply.

        • Trinin

          Depends on where you live, sometimes rent isn’t cheap enough.

          • Amber Miles Davis

            Here in Baltimore and the surrounding area it is about $1500 to rent an apartment. The rent is so high we might as well be paying a mortgage…but it is super hard to make enough money to put a down payment on anything.

          • Chaz Stuart

            Where in Baltimore? There are plenty of cheaper options outside of fed hill

          • J.C. Overgaard

            Hmm. My pretty decent apartment in Reisterstown was about 800/month plus the fee for my pet. I rented the third floor of a lovely row house in Upper Fell’s Point for $550/month. I think you might not be looking hard enough.

          • Tony

            wtf are you talking about? Since when do 20 yr olds move out of their parents and rent a chic apartment by themselves? I’m sorry but in Baltimore a nice 3 br apartment is $1500.
            And who is “we?” Doesn’t that mean more than one person? If 2 people can’t afford $1500 a month they should probably be blaming themselves more than anyone else.

          • kck42

            I have a Ph.D., my partner has a Master’s degree. We are not employed in our fields of study. My partner makes $8.25/hr. I am on the academic job market again this year and work as a bartender. We cannot afford $1500/month in rent. And we do not blame ourselves for it at all. The economy is lousy. There are no jobs that pay decently. There are few jobs in the academy. We were fed the “follow your dreams” promise by our parents and society all our lives. We did that. We cannot find meaningful employment in this economy. Before you judge people, you should realize how lucky you are to have a job–I assume you’re employed–in a field in which you wanted to work. You were probably one of the last generations of Americans to get a job ‘doing what you love.’ That reality is now non-existent for many workers. Thank you Wall Street, thank you Congressional Republicans, thank you corporations, for you have all killed my dreams.

          • Andre

            May I ask what those degrees were in?

          • Nina Ricci

            well then. that makes YOUR degrees USELESS. On the other hand I have a PhD in “art”, my own business, my own home, and a very comfortable life.
            i guess when you’re GOOD at what you do, your degree is NEVER useless.

          • kck42

            Congratulations on your success. And on your empathetic ability. I’m sure your charming personality often stands you in good stead. I already feel like a failure, but thank you for putting such a nice edge on my misery. When I woke up today, I thought to myself, “it would really make my day today to be reminded of my internal failings by a random stranger with poor punctation ability.” Thank you for making that a reality for me.

          • Andre

            Sorry man I hope things pick up for you. Texas is great opportunity for jobs don’t be afraid of the heat!

          • David

            I wouldn’t feel bad she has a PhD in “Art” which doesn’t exist unless she went to school in Europe.

          • Nina Ricci

            and she did :-D

          • CJP

            Nina, you’re rude. Period. I have several friends that also have PhDs and Masters degrees in fields like biochemistry, engineering, geology, and technology fields. Technically these degrees shouldn’t be useless, yet many of them have found themselves taking minimum wage jobs because they’ve not been able to find anything else. You are probably much older than the recent graduate. Kudos to you for being a success, but things are quite a bit different today, both for those starting businesses, and those looking for employment elsewhere.

          • Nina Ricci

            follow. the thread. it’s rather unintelligent from you to make such a remark without the least understanding about the evolution of the conversation. ARGH. in my comment i was making the point that NO degree is useless. FOLLOW THE THREAD.

          • Nina Ricci

            truth sucks. but alas, you can’t run from it.

          • Sporkfighter

            I’m less confident that you have any “truth” to offer than you are. Of course, the ignorant are often cocksure.

          • Nina Ricci

            sigh. follow Andre and kck42. your remark is to them, not to me – i was responding to THEIR remarks that said “people should stop getting useless degrees”. FOLLOW. THE. THREAD.

          • Joseph Clark

            But mean people can be avoided.

          • Nina Ricci

            sigh. follow Andre and kck42. your remark is to them, not to me – i was responding to THEIR remarks that said “people should stop getting useless degrees”. FOLLOW THE THREAD.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Unless I misunderstood the thread (which is obviously possible), Nina was satirically responding to kck42 with assertions that Andre had wrongfully made about the “realness”/”usefulness” of a college degree in STEM versus a degree in the humanities. Pretty sure you guys are all on the same side of this argument.

          • scott

            *punctuation

          • Nina Ricci

            you don’t strike me as someone who needs reminders. but then again…

          • SMe_33

            That would be because earning an art degree is akin to earning a business degree in that one learns the skills necessary to create, market, and sell a product. But for anyone that earns a doctorate (Ph.D.) in the humanities in the hopes of teaching at a university there is only ONE job market, namely the academic job market (where tenure track lines are the holy grail, and indeed the only way to earn a decent living. This market is controlled by administrators who care more about saving a buck than ensuring that their universities have excellent and well-paid faculty. Hence the rise in adjuncts (who are paid often as little as $1500 a course). This does NOT mean that such adjuncts are unqualified! Most are excellent at what they do (and probably a fair deal smarter than you, estimating from your blithe willingness to comment on a topic about which you are clearly uninformed). Moreover, a Ph.D. is never a useless degree, while many academics will go on the market for several years (often while working as adjuncts) searching for that tenure track position, the many who give up often go on to work excellent jobs in the private sector due to their obvious credentials. It takes serious smarts, guts, and endurance to make it to the end of a Ph.D. program after all.

          • Sporkfighter

            A PhD says you can learn, you can stick with something. Those are skills everyone needs.

          • Nina Ricci

            sigh. sigh. follow Andre and kck42. your remark is to them, not to me – i was responding to THEIR remarks that said “people should stop getting useless degrees”. FOLLOW THE THREAD.

          • Joseph Clark

            Or you live in an area that makes your degree useful. Demand is more important than having the product.

          • MaudedelMar

            Wow; a smug, nasty, self -satisfied artist. Tell me, did these flashes of sociopathic brilliance help or hinder your climb to the top?

          • Nina Ricci

            they helped. sigh. follow Andre and kck42. your remark is to them, not to me – i was responding to THEIR remarks that said “people should stop getting useless degrees”. FOLLOW THE THREAD.

          • bo’

            nina… i have followed the entire thread. its been intensely absorbing. i would bet quite a few of these other folk have also read through the entire thread.
            i also took offense with that specific remark you made, just as these others have. its not the thread or failure to follow it. it’s the over the top rude remark.
            perhaps instead of assuming and insisting everyone who was disturbed by your comment “go back and read the thread” it would be better to simply rephrase what you were actually intending to say. since obviously your meaning was totally lost.

          • Nina Ricci

            alright, after this one, i’m done, going out for dinner. nothing personal, bo’, but i don’t particularly care. i am here to give my opinion as much as everyone else. yours is not more or less important than any. thank you for your input though – and for considering my opinion so important as to write it. bonsoir now – HAGL

          • Robert Raimondi

            Their degree will have flucuating “value” as you put it depending on where they are as well, as would your degree. Its not always a persons skill that determines how successful they will be. And as far as moving to a location where their degree may be more useful, it takes money to do that, and if they cant afford their rent, they cant affordto move either.
            Personally I think a degree is never useless, regardless of whether it makes you a living. It is something that has expanded your life in one capacity or another.

            I would also ask how old you are, whether you have a supportive family or spouse, and where you live. These factors do play a role. It’s easy to look down on everyone else when you are on your high horse when you know nothing of the people you are commenting about.

          • Nina Ricci

            read the thread. i was responding to someone who said people should stop getting “useless degrees” and that remark infuriated me. if you follow the conversation you will notice you are furiously agreeing with me, and i with you. not the opposite. I was responding to kck42 and andre. i am on your side. but thank you for your kind remarks.

          • Robert Raimondi

            Gotcha, and I was making generalized comments as well, even though I had “responded” to your post. A lot of people on here are putting a lot of emotion into their response to others, and in many cases it seems like they are projecting a lot of frustration to anyone that has a different opinion then themselves.

            Life is complicated, and it will be vastly different depending on your location as well. Sure there is an larger overlying economy that we all share in, but there are local economies as well that will not exactly mirror an economy in a neighboring city/state.
            I think we also have folks in here that are older than the 18-24 year olds that the article is referring too :)
            I am 31 and I live on my own, and barely make it from month to month, but I have a part-time job, more than full time schedule at school and am able to take out loans. I dont get to do much of anything for “fun” and I eat lots of cheap, terrible food. Sadly its just what I have to do for the next few years :)

          • Nina Ricci

            i hear you. life wasn’t easy while i was working on my thesis… i survived on passion, effort, and not a lot of rest – i honestly do not know how i would have made it without my parent’s support. i am in my mid 40s – so that happened 10 years ago. yes, i had a lot of support – reason why i plan on doing the same for my children as long as they need us. here’s something else i see that makes an enormous difference: my parents had us because they wanted us, not because it was “the thing to do”. i have 4 children and wanted every single one of them – so we’re not in a hurry to kick them out of the house. we don’t believe that “adulthood” means “you have to flip burgers as a teenager”. we were never “in the way” growing up or starting our lives or a burden, as in many families you see around. my children will be my children until the day i die – and i am not kicking anyone out, especially during the most difficult part of their professional lives.

          • bo’

            and sadly also Robert… it may be what you find yourself doing forever after that. and not becoz of any wrong choices. sometimes life is just harsh even when a person has & does the absolute best of all possible options

          • Aurumgirl

            Pride comes before a fall, and in this economy, those falls aren’t uncommon. You could be out on your ass with your “art” degree (or any degree, actually, as all are now devalued), and your business can fall on hard times as people are paid less and less for the work they do. Think about it, Nina, those people out there working and then using their earnings to buy stuff from “business owners” just like you are the real “job creators”, so when their money dries up, so will yours. Your comfortable life might just have to be sacrificed when you have to figure out how to get by on the pittance so many educated, capable, vibrant young people–many far more educated, skilled, and proficient at what they do than your are–are now paid. Best of luck to you when that day comes, and with your attitude, it will likely be soon.

          • bo’

            annnnd another Million Up votes to you too Aurumgirl!

          • bo’

            nina, at the beginning of this discussion i heard you take issue with Andre’s attitude. now you are sounding an awful lot like him. how nice for you that you have such a “comfortable life”… but damn you are smug about it.

          • Nina Ricci

            sorry if you see it this way. i get tired of these people whose mission in life seems to be saying people don’t have a better life because they don’t try hard enough or don’t go hungry. it’s simply obnoxious. my point, when citing my own example, is that family support MATTERS. sometimes, it makes ALL the difference. i don’t mean to be smug – sometimes you just need to slap them in attempt to wake them up.

          • bo’

            nina, thanx for clarifying. yes i absolutely agree that family support matters a great deal- i believe it is absolutely essential, tho many do not receive it.
            sometimes- many times, unfortunately- all the wonderful family support in the world makes absolutely no ECONOMIC difference in the end- some folk work hard and remain poor their entire lives. and some fall into a downward spiral after previous success, through circumstances largely beyond their control.
            and some people on this board simply cannot see that is true.

          • David

            You need to go overseas and build a resume if you ever expect to get an academy job otherwise its adjuncting for life for peanuts. Plenty of overseas teaching jobs even if its just English.

          • Ileya Grosman

            Don’t give up on your dreams. There’s nothing more exciting than having incredible challenges in the field you’re passionate about. Stay positive.

          • Sporkfighter

            You’re not dead yet . . . you’re not 70 yet. You will likely end up looking back on a life well lived if that’s what you look for. If you aim for nothing but the dollar, you’ll never have anything else.

          • Joseph Clark

            That and the rich people don’t want to put their money into the economy exactly. They want to give it to those without (and lesser off then we are usually): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge

            That’s how it goes. Welcome to our world.

          • johndoe

            this is because of the bleeding liberals and democrats.

          • rendiggy

            Whoever promised you a life of loving your chosen vocation forgot to mention that it may conflict with financial goals. Sure, you can follow your dreams. As long as you are willing to accept that your dream may not pay much, or may not be hiring, or may cost a crap ton in student loans, and you may have to take crappy jobs/apartments/cars on your way to the dream life they promised you. It’s called sacrifice. And those people who were the last generation to “do what they love” had to make their own sacrifices along the way, too. It doesn’t matter who’s “to blame.” It’s life. Suck it up, buttercup.

          • bo’

            rend iggy, people who sacrifice are the ones qualified to talk about sacrifice. your callous comment shows you are not coming from that place- so please shut up.

          • Mike_in_NC

            Wall Street and Republicans have nothing to do with your career problems.

            Jobs aren’t “found”; that’s a figment of your parents’ generation’s imagination. Jobs exist when people demonstrate worth to a customer or a prospective employer.

            Looking for work in academia is like looking for work is a sewer. Get out in the private sector and start figuring out what value you bring to the marketplace. And for heaven’s sake, stop complaining about how wronged you are … that’s guaranteed to keep you washing glasses.

          • Robert Raimondi

            Careers in education should be held in high esteem than they are in the US. We are performing poorer and poorer each year compared to other nations around the world. Out teachers are under staffed and under paid,and the schools lack proper funding. It’s sad that in our “wonderful markey economy” that we have placed all our value into whatever makes the most money, while costing us the least. Its not a sustainable way to run a country if we plan on being a world power in the future.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Oh, I see. So if I just waltz into a law firm and demonstrate my worth, they will just like, create a job for me? All this time I was thinking the job opening had to exist before my worth came into play at all.

            Also, there is probably more work in the sewers than in academia but that’s just because America doesn’t really give two craps about the education system anymore.

          • Mike_in_NC

            You’re deliberately being facetious and obtuse to try to poke holes in my argument. Doesn’t work that way. A college class in critical thinking would have taught you otherwise. :-)

            As long as people have the “Here I am, world! Make a good job for me!” attitude, they’re going to be disappointed. Jobs aren’t an entitlement.

            I would, however, argue that Americans care far too deeply about education—so much so, that it has become a national obsession among parents. We’ve been inculcated to believe that an education is a prerequisite to a good career. Accordingly, parents obsess about their childrens’ education. School systems (and the government bureaucracies that manage them) have tried to accommodate this, and we have the mess that we have now—complete with the standardized testing and standardized curriculums and kids doing expensive university degrees with absolutely no idea what they’re going to do with it after they graduate.

            The post I responded to above is the net result of this. Whining about having a PhD and no good job to show for it. Did this individual ever stop and consider the marketability of his/her skills? How they might take the box of tools they’ve been given and turn it into a useful and profitable vocation?

            No, I’d guess not.

          • Clyyyyyde

            God forbid somebody try to poke holes in your argument! And actually I was also philosophy major in college (double majored) so I DID IN FACT take many critical thinking classes and know symbolic logic so if you prefer, I can write out/take down your argument in that form instead. You see, you were the one who said: “Jobs exist when people demonstrate worth to a customer or a prospective employer” which is much more akin to the “‘Here I am, world! Make a good job for me!’ attitude” that you were just talking about because you know… individual worth does not translate into job existence.

            Also, please do not start with the education system because it IS terrible and to say otherwise is a fabrication or misunderstanding.

          • Mike_in_NC

            Good way to quash discussion. “… and to say otherwise is a fabrication or misunderstanding?” Why don’t you just come out and say “I’m right, and any attempt to suggest otherwise suggests a deficiency on your part.” This is the online discussion equivalent of banging your hands on the table when you don’t get your way.

            Sorry, you’ll have to do a bit better than that if you want to be taken seriously—especially (as you claim), as a philosophy major.

            You’re partially correct that individual worth does not, in and of itself, create jobs. But the whole point of a job is a mutual benefit to the employee and the employer; the employee benefits through salary, and an employer benefits by being able to sell someone’s skills or talents for a profit. Having a degree in anything just means a person has years of learning; it doesn’t mean that what they’ve learned has any marketability.

            It’s NOT the prospective employer’s job to take every previous snowflake that might fall into his/her lap and figure out how that person might be useful to their enterprise. You may disagree, but that’s simply your opinion and not a harbinger to any prospective employer.

            That bridge (being able to turn one skills into a profitable vocation) is precisely what we’re not teaching kids these days. It’s taboo to suggest that someone should think about how they’re going to develop their education into a career, because heaven forbid we stifle their creativity or make them uncomfortable with their desire to have a degree in philosophy (or whatever else) may not turn into a viable career.

            Schools sell a product just like any other business. If I buy a Cadillac and realize that it’s not the best vehicle to haul lumber with, then that’s my fault for exercising bad judgment. Ditto for an education.

            Being successful at one’s career isn’t the same as being successful in school. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but they also aren’t tied at the hip. It’s sad that popular culture sometimes markets education this way (the “if you don’t get a good degree then you won’t get a good job” fallacy), but that’s life.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I am sorry but it is just a fact that our education system is terrible right now. There are a million and a half comparisons of our test scores to those of other countries and the conclusion is that WE ARE MESSING UP HARDCORE (schools probably should not be run as business because they are… you know… schools). You are on the internet so I assume you know how to use Google.

            Anyways, I was simply trying to say that by bringing the education system as a whole into this argument is effectively derailing the intended conversation.

            “You’re partially correct that individual worth does not, in and of itself, create jobs.”
            ^^ I think I am all the way correct and you did not disprove this statement in any way. You just asserted that millennials think they are all “special snowflakes” who “deserve” a job. I really do not understand what your argument here is… or even what you are arguing against. NOBODY said that college students should not be thinking about how to turn their degree into a career – the claim is instead that millennials face a tougher time in the labor market than any previous generation and have the burdens of student loans and what not on top of that high percentage of unemployment.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Likewise, if you were to claim that a dog is a reptile I would just tell you that you must misunderstand. I am not banging my hands on the table or trying to end the conversation, I am just pointing out something that is demonstrably untrue. You can continue to believe and argue that dogs are reptiles but that will never make it the truth.

          • Mike_in_NC

            I’m not claiming that a dog is a reptile. And the burden of proof is not on me. Your assertion is yours to defend.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I did defend it. American students’ test scores are lower in every subject when compared to other (edit: industrialized) countries. I told you you could Google it, that way you may find a source that you prefer. But here, I can type so I’ll just do it for you:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/us-test-scores_n_4374075.html

            http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/12/03/american-students-fall-in-international-academic-tests-chinese-lead-the-pack

            http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/vouchers/howbad/crisis.html (read past the first paragraph to get the crux)

            Can you please respond to the rest of my argument instead of focusing on this one facet where I assume you know you are wrong because you are really focusing on this education thing, which, as I said, is largely irrelevant to the point I was actually trying to make.

          • Mike_in_NC

            Aah yes. Test scores. The true measure of academic performance. There’s a good quote from Randi Weingarten in the USNews article you quoted, that we’d do well to mention here: “While the intentions may have been good, a decade of top-down, test-based schooling created by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top — focused on hyper-testing students, sanctioning teachers and closing schools — has failed to improve the quality of American public education,” Weingarten said. “Sadly, our nation has ignored the lessons from the high-performing nations.”

            I happen to agree with this. The problem isn’t what’s happening in our classrooms; teachers are working as hard as they ever have, kids continue to learn and the world keeps turning. We can argue about the specifics of the curriculum, but we’re stomping on ants while the elephants trample us.

            You want to know why the Chinese are kicking our butts? They’re no better at teaching math than we are, and their kids are no more predisposed to learning math than our kids are. The Chinese are, however, better at not worrying about hurt feelings. Case in point: one school district in Western Canada has discontinued its “honor roll” because it hurts the feelings of the kids who didn’t make it onto the honor roll.

            Seriously?

            We’re raising a generation of sissies. This article dovetails nicely into this; kids don’t want to leave the nest (and their parents are too afraid of the real world to kick them out), so they have to wait for affirmation from their sissy friends before they venture out. And then they’re offended when nobody is falling at their feet to give them a job, despite having the expensive education they were told was the key to success.

            I don’t know about you, but my first years “out of the nest” were rough. Lots of nights eating Raman noodles. Lots of months when I chose which bill to pay with my meager earnings. Roommates. Etcetera.

            Character building. We don’t strengthen muscles by relaxing and soothing them; we strengthen them by working them hard. By pushing the limits. So it goes with bodybuilding, and so it goes with character building.

            I don’t point my finger at the schools; I point my finger at a generation of parents that don’t know how to administer tough love. The same parents that have browbeaten our schools into coddling everyone, because they’re convinced that their kid is nothing short of a miracle. The same parents that don’t want to give 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies to the winners, but participation ribbons to everyone. The same parents that can’t accept that their child may not be gifted at everything they try to do.

            So no, I categorically disagree with your assertion that American education sucks. Sure, there’s room for improvement, but we’re asking it to do something it’s not meant to do, and then we punish it by removing much-needed resources instead of looking more broadly at the problem and assessing some self-criticism. Then, we shake our collective heads and declare American education terrible (and concoct tests to compare it to other countries to “prove” this assertion). I believe your critical thinking classes would have called this the “strawman argument”.

            But back to the original assertion that you’re so eager to disprove. Waltz into any company, to borrow your language, and you’ll probably get walked to the door (and rightfully so). Approach a company with the right blend of eagerness, humility, willingness to learn, and ability to perform, and amply demonstrate how your skills could benefit the company, and there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself a job. I have spent almost 20 years in Corporate America doing that very thing, and I have a very successful consultancy to show for it. Nobody “made a job for me”; I made it myself.

            Years ago I taught photography. One of the things I’d drill into my students is that great photographs aren’t “taken”, but rather “created”. The same can be said of success in one’s career. Few successes in life are “found”.

            Individual worth alone is not a recipe for career success. But I’d argue that individual worth is a very necessary ingredient. And the original post I responded to; the “woe is me, I have a PhD and all I can find is a bar tending job” lacks that.

          • bo’

            sounds good- all except for the fact that you are accusing kck42 of ” whining” when he was actually simply being honest about the Status Quo. or perhaps you feel only those who support “the way things are” get to “be brutally honest”

          • bo’

            ha- or maybe coz it does :P

          • Chris

            Degrees in what? That’s the question. Some degrees are good, others aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

          • sisterfunkhaus

            We pay that in Texas. We could get a really fantastic house for that and have the means to do so. We tried owning a house and felt tied down. Not our thing. Not a lot of people’s thing. Repeat after me, “Renting is okay.”

          • John Stier

            COULD NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE. NOTHING IS NEAR AFFORDABLE FOR ANY WORKING CLASS PEOPLE

          • joel1618

            Why do you have to find your own apartment? Why not have roommates and pay half that or less. Just because you’re moving out doesn’t mean you get to move into a palace…Generally it’s the opposite. Look at people in mexico or china. They live in shacks because they are poor. You don’t pay $1500 just because you are moving out…

          • Robert Raimondi

            If our laws allowed us to build a small hut any ol place and live in it I would! lol
            Pretty sure you would be forced out in no time though and thething knocked to the ground ;p

          • bo’

            wow joel, coz, obviously, living in overcrowded barely affordable shacks IS the lofty ideal. yes, DO please LOOK at poor people in mexico or china. and have some compassion all the way around. one day you could be in similar living conditions.

          • bo’

            same now in Portland- tho just 10 years ago it was still quite affordable. now my family is squeaking by no matter how hard we scrimp, becoz we have been totally unable to significantly raise our household income while the cost of living has nearly doubled. we WERE “working class”… then “working poor”… now just plain Poor. and still cost of everything continues to rise like Katrina.

          • d3331892828

            So move into a cheap motel. That’s what poor people are SUPPOSED to do.

          • bo’

            ha ha ha ha haaaaaa loving the sarcasm boy!

          • d3331892828
        • Elizabeth

          This is a pretty big generalization. Rent varies widely depending on where you live. I share an apartment in Davis, CA with five other girls. I have my own room and pay $500 a month. My friend who goes to school in Boston, on the other hand, pays close to $900 a month for a shared room. If you’re moving to where the jobs are in the Bay Area, big cities, like SF, it’s near impossible to find affordable living places, and living outside of the city requires the finances for transportation which young people do not always have.

          • Mike McKallicuffy

            I live in Oakland and split a small 2 bedroom. we each pay $550/month. almost everyone I know is jealous. most people I know work 2-3 jobs unless they have a “career job” that pays more. They usually have multiple roommates too.

        • am430

          Try coughing up even a paltry security deposit. Not easy on minimum wage.

        • EB

          Maybe they meant deposit…it’s difficult to afford a deposit equal to a month’s rent and the typical first and last month’s rents plus all of the deposits for utilities. I don’t see how kids can do it on minimum wage jobs – not in any big city, anyway…

          • melisaurus

            That’s not even factoring in student loans. I have friends making $10/hr and struggle to pay rent, utilities, loans & then have money to buy healthy food or do anything fun.

          • http://twitter.com Isis Nocturne

            Yes, I meant deposit.

        • AdalynLeigh

          Renting requires a downpayment as well. Often first and last month plus a deposit.

          • jeffJ1

            There’s a big difference between a one month security deposit (even if it is $2,000 or some huge sum) and a 10% deposit on a $200,000 house.

        • Trav Kidd

          You apparently don’t live a metro area like Seattle, where a studio goes for well over $1000 a month.

          • J.C. Overgaard
          • bo’

            lame. nice try tho.
            try calling all those ads and see how many turn out to be scams, slumlords, scary, or just long gone. been there done that- for 5 years. when we finally found something actually good in our range of bare affordability, it was through a friend who personally vouched for us to her landlord- so, “networking”.
            certainly not through Craigslist.

        • Mike McKallicuffy

          you can rent, but there’s only so many inexpensive places to go around that are worth living in.

        • you guys

          Not everybody has been blessed to live in the crappiest part of town with the lowest property values, highest crime rates and longest commutes to workplaces which provide a living wage.

        • mildmannered

          Albuquerque, shabby 50-yr old apt, 1 br, have to put down $1100 just to get in, then there are utilities, occasional food. C’mon, Ben, rent and cheaply rarely go together in one sentence.

          • Nicole Davis

            Albuquerque is has some of the cheapest rent out there! I live in Santa Fe which is infinitely more expensive than Albuquerque and I pay $499 for my own studio apartment (I grew out of roommates when I was 21, I am 25 now. Everything I need is well within walking distance (including my job). I had to put down 1st months rent and a $200 security deposit. Water + trash + sewage is all included in my rent.

          • bo’

            nicole, girl you lucked out. be sincerely grateful- not proud. and do also recognize that if/when the day comes you are tired of living solo and want a mate &/or family- sayonara cheep studio apartment, hello ridiculously expensive 2bedroom!

        • Neal

          That all depends on where you live. The only cheap rent where I live is crime-ridden. If you want to live in safety you have to pay $600+, and even then the safety is marginal. If your rent is $600/mo and you work 40 hours a week on minimum wage, that leaves you $520/mo for groceries, utilities, health insurance, cell phone bill, gas, basic internet, car payments (if your car isn’t paid off), car insurance. Then there’s loans and income tax. My health insurance alone is $300/mo, which would leave me with $220 for everything else. It is simply not possible to live on minimum wage.

        • http://twitter.com Isis Nocturne

          Not where I live.

        • WhiteLabRat

          Well since rent in my area ($1600 a month on the low end split 3 ways since there is a law here that you can’t have more than 2 roommates who are not related to you) costs as much as a mortgage in the same area that is not an option either. You are right though being homeless and living in a van down by the river are still options. There are always choices in the land of the free.

          • Kent Koester

            $600/month for my mortgage, insurance, and taxes in Cincinnati, OH. Average neighborhood and a 1350 sq ft house with 3 beds and 1.5 baths. I can’t imagine why anyone would live in ATL, LA, SF, Dallas, Houston, Boston or any of the other expensive cities. I pay for it myself and rent out one of the unused rooms for 1/2 my total expenses. GTFO of the expensive cities.

          • K

            because Ohio is a sh*thole!

          • David

            Cincy has jobs?

          • Sporkfighter

            Because family, friends, and jobs happen to be elsewhere.

          • Robert Raimondi

            One also needs money to move. I hear this one a lot from people it seems. “Well just move somewhere else!”
            Its not that easy, if you make barely enough money to feed yourself and keep a roof on your head, then where would the money come to rent a moving truck, pay for gas to move to the next town or city that will be “more affordable” put down a first and last months rent + deposit + utilities? If they have 2-5 grand in their account to do all that, then its NOT a problem where they live because they are apparently saving some money to do all that! lol

          • Joe

            Greyhound and Megabus tickets aren’t that expensive.

          • bo’

            wow joe…. and then what. our nephew decided to make a fresh start, leave LA and all that- he came up here with $26 and a bag of laundry to his name, got to couch surf with us for 3 weeks- by local law, squatter’s rights kick in after a month so our rental contract specifies 3week max visitation. so then he was homeless for awhile, we helped him get a tent and a friend who owns an acre & lives on it out of his rv (land took priority over rent- DONT JUDGE!) let our nephew camp for a couple months more until he barely got his feet under him enough to afford a room in a house.
            super ideal way to go there. and the kid- like most on here- is 20sthg and single which at least made it doable. not so much for those with families! and PLEASE SPARE ANY SELF-SANCTIMONIOUS SPEECHES ABOUT NOT HAVING FAMILIES UNTIL “YOU CAN AFFORD THEM”!

          • Joe

            That was nice of you to help him out. Have him spend a night somewhere else and then let him come back if he needs to. It’s all about finding creative solutions like what you posted. Hope your nephew is doing well now.

          • bo’

            joe. law does not work creatively that way, ok.
            and whatever “well” means by your definition, i doubt it. life is just tough on some people far more than others whether they necessarily “deserve” it or not.

          • Joe

            Life may be tough. Then we die.

          • bo’

            One million more Up votes to you RR!!

          • Clyyyyyde

            We have that same law! It is total BS! My roommates and I have been breaking it for three years now and we’re always worried we’ll get kicked out :( We had to in order to find affordable rent. The poor folks next door live in a crappy duplex (clever way of getting around the must-be-related-to-you law) and they pay $200 more than us a month PER PERSON! And their duplex is sooooo crappy!

        • chris69

          Most people the age mentioned here drive better cars than do or ever have. I think it is a matter of priority. These were all lessons we all had to learn.

        • chris

          really? where do u live Idaho? Here in Orlando a crappy 1 bedroom runs you 700+.

        • Sporkfighter

          In San Diego, you can’t rent on minimum wage.

      • wistrad

        How about, it’s impossible to move out when you cannot even afford car insurance, and to own a car so you can get to work on time.

        • Andre

          Get a real job… And a real education… Why should a burger flipper make as much as a professional

          • wistrad

            I have a job, but my insurance bill is $310 bucks a month for my jalopy. Add that to my tuition bills. Yike’s, I’ll be living at home until I am 40. J.K. I am not a 20 something, but that was what is was like for me when I was. Add that to the fact college is five times more expensive for them.

          • w3bgrl

            Huh??? There are no “real jobs” anymore for people without experience – even with a “real education”. A lot of entry level jobs are now asking for people with at least 3 years of experience. There are even jobs people with multiple degrees that people (of all experience, skill levels and ages) that are hovering at under $10/hr and if you’re lucky, around 30 hrs/week. That isn’t a real job anymore. That’s poverty wages.

          • Andre

            I am interning for Chevron this summer getting 38/hr… And I am a sophomore… Good try

          • Matthew Sychantha

            Lucky. These days almost all internships are unpaid.

          • Andre

            That is what I am saying man. If you get a degree in something that employers actually are looking for you will be financially secure. There are too man lib art majors to be valuable. You have to go where the demand is.

          • Matthew Sychantha

            Most other fields don’t pay internships either. Speaking from experience, none of my business internships ever paid me a dime.

          • Andre

            It’s generally science and math related majors I guess then.

          • Matthew Sychantha

            Here’s a fair question though: did you get into engineering because you wanted to or just because you knew where the demand was? Not in an insulting way, just out of curiosity.

          • Andre

            Both honestly, I enjoyed math and physics in high school and I still enjoy it today. I also knew it pays well to so that was also a motivation.

          • Lila

            True the Sciences offer the best chances of becoming employed and might pay for Internships. But, the bottom line is that we cannot have a society full of only Math and Science majors. It takes people who study all fields and types of minds to make society run. From the floor sweepers and waste disposal people to the Physicists and MD’s and everyone in between. Otherwise our lives as we know it would collapse.

          • Joe

            Yes, we do need all types of skills. However, those with skills that are most in demand will have the best economic prospects. This is the way it has been and likely the way it will always be.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I am literally about to explode. The jobs “most in demand” like petroleum engineering and computer sci stuff are NOT actually most in demand. They are emerging markets don’t have an appropriately educated labor force yet but that doesn’t make them the most in demand in general. What IS in demand are care workers like hospice nurses, child care specialists, etc. But all those jobs are horribly undervalued, seen as low-skill and are subsequently way underpaid.

          • Joe

            First, please simmer down before your head explodes. That wouldn’t be good for any of us. Now, let me get this straight: you think companies are hiring engineers because they don’t need them? You don’t seem to understand the concept of “demand”. If a company is willing to hire an individual, that company has a demand for the individual’s labor. You may not care for the fields that are in demand today (which incidentally include nursing and medicine), but that doesn’t change reality. You may be confusing the concepts of “need” and “demand”. There can be a need for labor without creating demand if no one is willing to pay to satisfy the need. Also, I’m not sure I’d call petroleum engineering an “emerging market”. We’ve been using oil as a source of energy for a while now.

          • bo’

            joe- you are correct in that this is how it is.
            but surely you are not arguing that the Status Quo is therefore necessarily GOOD?

          • Clyyyyyde

            No, you are not paying attention to the nuances of my argument. When people say “most in demand jobs” they are referring to jobs that are in emerging markets and therefore do not have the amount of laborers necessary to fill the market. According to Wikipedia (so, not the most reliable source) Petroleum engineering literally did not exist pre-1914 which (to me) makes it relatively new. Also this: “Petroleum engineering has historically been one of the highest paid
            engineering disciplines, although there is a tendency for mass layoffs when oil prices decline.” That makes those “in demand” jobs.

            However, there are plenty of markets (not emerging) that require many workers, such as elder care. The DEMAND for elder care is higher than it has every been because of our aging population. However, despite the fact that elder care and hospice workers are IN DEMAND, it is a low-paying field because care work is consistently devalued (except medicine, where doctors [but not nurses] are held in high esteem).

          • Andre

            What!! Most industries began in the late 1800′s early 1900′s due to the industrial revolution!! I’m sorry but PEngr is not a new market that is like saying the automobile, technology, railroad, aerospace, etc. industries are relatively new markets.

          • Clyyyyyde

            No, it literally did not exist even as a concept until 1915 and cars had to become really popular before it was even very relevant and it is really just recently starting to boom because of high gas prices and our obsession with oil (but I will yield to you on this because it was not the argument I was making). ANYWAY, the point I am TRYING TO MAKE is that there are PLENTY OF JOBS IN DEMAND that people just don’t want because they are devalued and underpaid! Basically, we need to learn to respect our care workers so those jobs can be fully recognized as jobs that also happen to be high in demand.

          • Andre

            Last statement I agree with somewhat but not entirely. For example, electricians, plumbers, etc are making decent money right now. Those jobs are in high demand and no one is filling them. Maybe because they don’t know or people don’t want blue collar jobs?

          • MOSES!!!

            You must be a kid Andre. How old are you?

          • Andre

            I am a college student

          • Nina Ricci

            mentally? 5

          • Bruce

            I make what you make, but I don’t feel financially secure. The securiry comes from managing and investing it. After funding my own retirement and my rich uncle getting his share, I barely bring home half of that.

          • Nina Ricci

            not everyone is that lucky Andre. I know a LOT of very good students who can’t find jobs or internships. try not to live on smugness – there’s a GOOD chance tomorrow this jobless person could be YOU

          • Andre

            the point I am trying to make is if you invest in a degree that you know will get you a good job out of college then you don’t have to worry about these things. If you go to a min wage job right out of college or get a degree that businesses aren’t looking for then you basically screwed yourself. You have to make yourself valuable, nobody is just entitles to a good job.

          • Mary

            Andre, you sound really really green, and that’s ok. Good luck to you.

          • Nina Ricci

            yup :-)

          • Andre

            green with?

          • Nina Ricci

            it’s an always changing and never ending economic reality. if you go for a degree you hate you will never have a career – you’ll maybe have a job. and suck at it. you cannot possibly know – even medical schools cannot guarantee you will have a position when you’re done, and people cannot go without doctors. i think the key is not getting a degree for the sake of it – do something you’re good at.

          • Andre

            What if no one wants what you’re good at? You adapt or don’t. World revolves around needs not wants.

          • Nina Ricci

            you don’t give up if it’s your passion. I have lived in every single continent of this earth – except for antarctica – pursuing my passion and what i wanted to do. and today, in my mid 40s, i could afford to retire. but then again, i love what i do, so i will work for another 40 – i hope!

          • righton

            Right Andre. Creating a job just to make work is stupid. You have to do something that people need done. Are people supposed to stack up boxes, knock them down, and stack them again. Amazon Drones are going to deliver the mail. What are the people delivering the mail supposed to do? Make the drones. Can’t make the drones or the next big idea? The world does not owe you anything. Sure, take care of those who can’t find work. Just give them a check. You can’t just make up stuff for people to do

          • tat2727
          • joe

            You’re a jerk. Not everyone can adapt immediately. Sometimes training can take a year or two. It doesn’t work like that for everyone. I can’t wait for the day you are obsolete and an out-of-work Chevron minion.

          • Thomas H.

            You sound like an extremely jealous puss with no skills or something. Don’t hate on the dude because he worked his ass off in arguably the hardest major and it paid off. Maybe learn a lesson or two.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Oh did he mention what his major is? I must have missed that. Also, did he mention whether or not he got that high-paid internship through some connection because if so it doesn’t really have to do with having skills or working hard.

          • Hank

            This is the problem with you people who end up working in minimum wage jobs. You assume successful people were GIVEN their opportunities. So you continue to make excuses for yourselves and rarely change your own goals and habits and go on making excuses the rest of your lives about how you weren’t given opportunities like other people. News Flash: Successful people are rarely GIVEN opportunities, successful people make them happen.

          • Clyyyyyde

            “You people who end up working in minimum wage jobs”… assumption much? Not just about MY employment but also about the kind of people who work minimum wage jobs (i.e. they just didn’t try/made excuses). Some people, I know this might be hard for you to understand, are in different societal positions that make it much, much harder for them to become “successful” under your narrow definition.

            Moreover, I was not ASSUMING anything, I was ASKING HIM how he found/got the job.

            I would hope that you understand that some wealthy children have family connections that get them high-paying jobs with little to no effort.

          • Hank

            It isn’t hard at all for me to understand, I was one of those people you speak of. I don’t think YOU will understand what someone like me and others have had to go through to get where we are today and I bet the main reason is the parenting.

          • Nina Ricci

            wait. so parenting was the reason why you got where you got (wherever that is?) so people who are not where you are should be blaming their parents?

          • Hank

            partially not totally, yes.

          • Nina Ricci

            blaming is no way to get anywhere. sometimes, you just have to work with what you have.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Oh, I see. You think you are a special snowflake. That you just worked harder than everybody else. You were never “given” anything! That scholarship didn’t even exist until they met you because you are just so freaking special! I am sorry but successful people do not “make” opportunities “happen.” If the opportunity isn’t there, it just isn’t there. You may seek out opportunities and be lucky enough to find them. Successful people are hardworking and LUCKY. I AM LUCKY. Did I work hard? Of course! Did I have to do things I didn’t want to do for my success? Of course! But more than anything I consider myself lucky and if you don’t then I think that’s sad and I just don’t know what to tell you

            Look, I think a lot of people work hard, some harder than others. Some people who work really hard still fail but that doesn’t mean they did not work hard. You are not better than them, you are not anything more or anything less than them.

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            More buzzwords no intelligence

          • Nina Ricci

            how do you know he worked his ass off? as far as we know, he could be renting it.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Hahahahaha omfg the world DEFINITELY revolves around wants. Our economy is largely just a service industry. Look at the media. A supply and demand based economy necessarily involves WANTS.

          • Nina Ricci

            i think this andre is about 15 and making up his story as he goes along…

          • Andre

            Not quite what I meant. By needs I mean demands. People aren’t just gonna make jobs for someone just because its what they enjoy doing, they’re going to create jobs for what there is a demand for. Sorry for the mix up

          • Nina Ricci

            you make people need what you want and want what you need. you are SO naive. even in texas, i am starting to doubt every word you say – no one would pay 38 bucks an hour on an internship to someone with a kindergarten demeanor like yours.

          • Tzogchen

            I can’t speak to the current economy for people starting in my field, but it was very competitive to get jobs even way back when..particularly for women. When I chose my degree, I researched job possibilities, particularly in my area, and then I spent my college years going to school, working for money, and volunteering or interning anywhere relevant to my degree. Around graduation time, I sent out hundreds of resumes to relevant organizations, agencies, and other entities. But it was the work I put in throughout my college years as a volunteer and part-time employee in relevant agencies that got me my first and second job in my field. If you want to work in your degree field, particularly if the area is somewhat esoteric or narrow, you HAVE to get your name out there while you are in school. When you are in college, you work, work, work. Sleep is limited, food may be limited, you may live in relative squalor…these challenges have been before countless generations of young adults! Not just this one, my goodness. I don’t know what to say about folks who went to college, got a degree, didn’t intern or get their names out until graduation, and now are underemployed…that’s tough, I know. But the message is, for the young folks in college…forget the parties and student union and sporting events and spring break…work, work, work, work, work. If you don’t apply yourself to getting as much out of the college opportunity as you possibly can, you have short-changed yourself.

          • Andre

            Yup I totally agree

          • Nina Ricci

            you need to move to china.

          • Andre

            Thanks for the advice *thumbs up*

          • devrie

            You have good advice, Tzogchen–and we cannot forget to teach our younger generation to expect to live a little worse off in college and just out of college. When I graduated high school in the 90′s, I could have saved SO much money, even without the college degree. I wanted a car. I wanted to eat fast food. I wanted nicer things in the apartment. I didn’t high-end by any means, but I did nickle and dime my money away. I learned the hard way. I skipped college classes and spent my money on Denny’s, chicken nuggets and Wal-Mart.

            That said, college cost less then. I was able to start going to college without aid, then went to the military.

            College cost more. Fifteen years later I can see the jobs are paying about a dollar to two dollars more than the jobs I was able to get then without college, but gas costs two dollars more per gallon. Milk costs two dollars more. Rent is about two hundred dollars more a month if not more. The community college I paid $30 per credit hour, just 15 years ago, now costs $81 per credit hour. Savings account interests went from about 7 percent to less than one percent.

            Okay paying jobs that didn’t require degrees have diminished. Back then, I worked in big retail stores selling portrait packages for about $7 an hour plus commission. I even got job offers working there! A college grad or student could find jobs that paid more than minimum wage that paid enough to live “okay” until they found the jobs in their fields or at least better paying jobs.

            So, we can’t forget that YES, you’re gonna have to scale down and WAIT for the right job before buying the things your parents have, BUT we grown-people can’t dismiss that it’s far more difficult for the younger generations than it was for us.

            It’s kind of a “right of passage” for young people to get out of the house and suddenly want to live like their parents, nice furniture, gadgets and all. That’s nothing new, but now they are finding it hard to even live on their own several years after college.

            It’s most ideal for them to live with parents while saving money. There’s no other way. It’s the new culture, and as a society, we just aren’t really used to it. Parents could even “charge rent” then save the money for when the kids are ready to move. Many of the young people getting out of college or going to college can’t afford to live on their own, even with roommates. This is a reality that we all need to ask if we want to settle for it or not, but YES, we need to be teaching the youth to save, save, save, because they need to save way more than we did.

            I barely saved money and had a roommate–but I didn’t live with my parents. That’s because it was easier to do that. The late 90′s don’t compare to today. No, I didn’t live with the best of things, and YES, I even had some help (grandfather bought a car for me and forgave some of my debt on it). I paid my own electricity, phone, cable, Internet, all while me and my roommate worked lowly jobs. That’s just not something that’s highly feasible for today’s youth. It’s possible, but not as easy. Let’s acknowledge that.

          • GoldfishObituary

            Are you aware of the fact that not everyone can afford to “invest in a degree?” Some people have family members to take care of and need to work, usually at the aforementioned jobs that pay less than a living wage. Some are able to complete an education while working and caring for family, but it’s a lot to balance, both financially and time-wise. It’s a vicious and complicated cycle. And judging by your reasoning, I’m presuming you’re a walking example of the nepotism that is college admissions.

          • Joe

            Everyone can afford to learn marketable skills. In fact, I’d venture to say that few can afford to NOT learn such skills.

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            Not true

          • Joe

            Which part? You MUST find a way to add value to the world in your life; otherwise, what is the purpose of living? Set your sights high and work hard to achieve your goals.

          • bo’

            the problem with that statement is in your attitude which from your other comments obviously equates “value” with “highly paid”

          • Joe

            Those who deliver the most value are generally the highest paid. Are there exceptions? Certainly, but they are well known.

          • Andre

            I am aware of the fact. My dad was an immigrant who came here with $500 and no family. His family was dirt broke back home. He worked 40+ hours a week while taking 18 credit hours a semester and sent whatever left over money he had back home. I don’t want y’all to think I am some spoiled brat who has no appreciation for money or hardships. All I am advocating is plan for your future and prepare for the outcomes of your choices. I believe there is a way for everyone to break the cycle even with hardships and I highly respect those who do.

          • Jojos Car

            It’s funny to me when children adopt their parents stories as if they are their own. You are not your father and this is not your father’s time. Systemic inequality doesn’t bar exceptions to the rule, but the majority of people are unable to simply pull themselves up by the bootstraps and “make something happen.” You’re naive. Oh yeah, and you’re not your father, but it’s nice that you’ve been in a privileged position (i.e., able to take advantage of the opportunities his success provided for you, you mooch).

          • Andre

            Seriously? Act like you know me please. I have learned a lot from him
            and if you think he would ever let me “mooch” off him then you don’t
            know him (which you obviously don’t) I pay for my college as well as all
            other college related expenses). I appreciate the support my family has
            given me through HS and college but please don’t act as if you know my
            life story. I’ve learned the importance of hard work and it is what is putting me through school and and finding jobs for me. Not my Dad.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Nobody knows you and you don’t know anybody else. Please forgive us for thinking that you are totally pulling a Mitt Romney right now.

          • Nina Ricci

            LOL he’s from texas. no further info necessary.

          • Nina Ricci

            you nailed it.

          • Bruce

            If you don’t want us to think you are a spoil brat, stop acting like one. If your dad was that poor, it means most likely you have had a lot of help alone the way. So, you are telling us that if all of us had a degree like yours, we all will have a job like yours? Since your dad started from such humble conditions, I am sure that he taught you to be humble?

          • Robert Raimondi

            Well I dont think hes acting like a brat from what I have been reading, but people have a tendancy to “lend emotion” to things they read. I think there are a lot of frusterated people in here that are venting a little too much onto the wrong people. That being said though, working hard and being good at what you do is NOT ALWAYS enough. If you live in a city where the internships don’t pay as much, or at all for instance, then Andres’ original arguement wouldnt hold as much water. But thats just one example. There are countless factors that determin sucess. Hard work and knowledge are very important, but they are not everything.

          • Bruce

            I think it is insensitive and arrogant to tell people that you made it because you are so great and they didn’t because they are inadequate. I am not venting but I believe you should be grateful that you have found success, but you didn’t do it all by yourself. There are a lot of people who were equally or more successful than he is, probably had his attitude, but now are unemployed and trying to figure out how to pay the bills. I didn’t lose my job during the recession, but I been around long enough to know that I could have.

          • Hank

            He is saying opportunities are out there, you just have to work for it and be SMART about it. For example you want a business internship with a company however you know there is very HIGH competition in the business area. So you get the highest gpa you can get and offer to get unpaid. You would have a job lines up for you when you graduate. Don’t be the person that expects stuff to just fall into your lap.

          • Nina Ricci

            “and offer to get unpaid”. so then you live with mom and dad right?

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            More fairytales

          • Bruce

            I understand all of that but only a few people are going to have the highest GPA. The rest of us are stuck in the middle. I am not arguing about who should get the job, but what I am saying is if you happened to be one of the relatively few at the top, you probably should be grateful and humble. Today you are one of the people who are in, tomorrow you are 35 and being replaced. The whole concept is flawed anyway. Most of us are going to work and then die broke. Our kids will do it all over again.

          • zipp

            You can’t buy food with unpaid.

          • Andre

            That’s true but you do what you have to do. My friend did this for one summer lived off peanut butter and bread. Next summer he was able to get a paying one but still not much. The next summer he got another one that paid more. He was offered a high paying job right out of school with a business degree. Sometimes you gotta the crap stuff.

          • Hank

            But whatever makes you feel a little better about yourself, Bruce ;)

          • Bruce

            I am okay with me. I am just more humble because I know that this life can force you to accept your limitations. No complaints here!

          • ElRonbo

            But opportunities have diminished. Compared to your dad’s day, education is far more expensive. I went to a public university in the early 80s. I calculated my tuition then, in terms of number of hours you’d have to work at minimum wage, and compared it to today. Five times as many hours to pay that tuition!

          • Nina Ricci

            from mexico. through the rio grande. and he was illegal. right?

          • Antonio D’souza

            People can’t be illegal. Only actions can.

          • Joe

            An individual’s presence in a country certainly can be illegal. Not saying it’s right or just, but that is a true statement.

          • Luz Mariel Donahue

            Thats awesome about your dad, but the current economy is vastly different. apples and oranges

          • bo’

            awesome, great, good- respect those who do. coz its great for them, its great for you.
            just for heaven sake PLEASE STOP DISRESPECTING ALL THOSE WHO HAVENT BEEN ABLE TO!!

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            You got all the buzzwords right

          • Jojos Car

            Troll

          • Rafael

            Jojos sounds like a whiney bitch. Grow a pair son

          • David Brian Dobbs

            So everyone should conform to businesses that destroy the environment, wage war on nations that have valuable resources that we want, and oppress those who do no wrong. Cuz those are the only businesses that really thrive in this culture. You’re a douche…

          • Jax

            You are lucky or maybe have great connections. I don’t know. I’m now working on a PhD (and no, it isn’t in the humanities), but it took me a year to get a full time job out of college and even then it didn’t come close to paying $38/hr. I worked 5 jobs simultaneously to get by because none the jobs would give me enough hours to get by and none paid very well. I managed, but that was also before the recession. Yes, people need to be willing to take less desirable jobs and work their butt off, but there also should be some compassion for how folks struggle.

          • Andre

            I was able to get that opportunity through networking and getting a good gpa. I think that’s great you’re working your ass off and I know if you continue to do so good things will come your way. People learn so much more the way you’re doing it then relying on their parents to take care of them. Opportunities will come your way, you just have to make sure you do the right things and take them when they come.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Ugh networking (read: connections) of course nvm

          • David

            Don’t worry, $38/hour to drill in 3rd world countries without consequence… I’ll keep my art job and my humanity.

          • Andre

            LOL ohhh you’re an art major… I see now. And I’m actually in LA and TX (the best state in the US) sorry :/

          • Paul

            Andre. Artists are important for everyones sanity. Without us you wouldnt have anything to entertain yourself with..think about that for a minute. I am what youd call a “lib artist”..I went to school for computer animation..and was unemployed for years. After a long time struggling I now work in the film industry, and make a decent enough wage to rival most succesfull business men. All without having to compromise my moral integrity. Theres nothing wrong with that. You dont know everything..neither do I..but just remembr next time you wanna knock the liberal artist just remember they designed the shoes youre wearing, wrote the movie youre watching, and built the webpage youre complaining on.

          • Andre

            Ya sorry just got a little heated with them lol thanks man

          • Andre

            Congrats on your success as well

          • Nina Ricci

            you’re from texas. that alone explains it all.

          • Ysenya

            Not necessarily. I’m Texan. I don’t agree with Andre’s position, but I don’t like stereotypes either.

          • Nina Ricci

            AMEN.

          • Joe

            Please let us know how you make out riding your bicycle and walking everywhere. I hope you don’t use any plastics either, since they are made from oil byproducts.

          • bo’

            some of us ride bicycles and walk everywhere becoz we can’t afford the expense of a car, which might enable a commute to a better paid job somewhere out of range.

            some of us use plastics becoz lets face it plastics are cheap and cheap is all we can afford. no matter how much we may care for the environment, the price tag on “sustainably produced” anything is FAR higher- and therefore unsustainable for our meager SERVICE wage paychecks.

            sorry fact of life: living “green” is a luxury some of us can’t afford. make “recycled goods” actually cost LESS than brand stinking new crap from sweat shops in the Phillipines & toxic coal spewing factories in China, and watch poor folk like myself line up to help rescue our dying environment. But as long as all the good green organic gear costs 2-3-5x as much as junk, since junk is what we can afford, crummy junk is what we are LOCKED into having to purchase.

          • David

            You are interning in the highest grossing and most morally bankrupt industry in the world, congrats.

          • Andre

            Till you stop using a vehicle, or any transit for that matter, I’d rather not hear your hypocrisy.

          • Nina Ricci

            asking for less morally corrupt industry is hypocritical Mary?

          • Andre

            Any industry that involves money is morally corrupt, why single out the oil and gas industry who provides energy for a exponentially growing population.

          • Jordan Burke

            Maybe because they are pushing an obsolete, environmentally harmful and unsustainable energy source while fighting to keep alternative energy out of the public’s hands.

          • Nina Ricci

            no, andre, grown ups do not speak in absolutes. there are other ways to “provide” energy. most successful european countries are tapping on solar power and wind power. but you are in texas.

          • Clyyyyyde

            WHOA I don’t know what David said but disliking the gas and oil industry while still driving a car/taking public transportation doesn’t make you a hypocrite. I don’t like the medical industry but that doesn’t mean I am not going to go to the doctor when I am sick. ANYWAY, you do understand that the government subsidizes fossil fuels? There’s a good chance some of that $38/hr is coming from what I am guessing you’d consider a nanny state? A hypothetical question, you are interning at $38/hr while that gas station attendant who worked at Chevron for 10 years is still making $7/hr, how does that make you feel?

          • Andre

            It makes me feel like he is fine where he is at if he hasn’t attempted to raise himself to a higher paying job? You do understand why different jobs get paid different amounts right? A doctor goes to school for 10+ years and they get paid really well as they rightfully should because not many people have the skills they have developed in all of those years of school. That is how it works and probably always will.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Loyalty means nothing in the job market anymore I guess. Man, the demise of unions and manufacturing jobs are really changing the way people used to think about careers.

          • Andre

            Anymore? It has ALWAYS been like this. When have you ever seen a gas attendant (unless the own the place) or a cashier making more than, I’ll be generous, $12/hr in real income? It has never been like that, ever. That is reality Clyde. That is how life goes. Don’t think I am an entitled person who has never had a min wage job in their life, because I have. There are avenues for low income earners to take to raise themselves financially.

          • Clyyyyyde

            It has NOT always been like this. How are you like 20 and telling me that? With manufacturing jobs, you were rewarded for loyalty! Do you KNOW how recent the shift was from manufacturing to service? LIKE TWENTY YEARS AGO!

            And yea, companies used to (crazy) pay their employees a living wage. YEA even gas station attendants! You know why, because they used to be family businesses instead of huge conglomerations!

          • Andre

            And I am not saying it is easy! It is difficult! But worthwhile things are rarely easy!

          • Clyyyyyde

            …but you do or don’t think you deserve to be making almost 3x as much in take-home pay as a first-year intern than the loyal Chevron gas station attendant because you are more skilled than they are?

          • Joe

            It would make me feel like my skills are more valuable than the gas station attendant’s skills. Not that his job is not needed, but tending a gas station is not skilled labor so there are many people willing and able to work in that capacity. Thus, wages are low.

          • bo’

            ah… but becoz wages are low, the people tending the gas station are not able to do more than meet the most basic day-to-day expenses. there is nothing at all left from that meager paycheck to put toward an extremely expensive college education that might- just might- eventually- years down the road- yield them “more valuable” skills that could possibly be traded into a better wage job.

            the modern american Catch-22 strikes again. too bad some on here simply can’t see it.

          • Joe

            Education is easy to finance, too easy perhaps judging by the amount of student loan debt people are accumulating. So, either get an education or get a second job. It may be harsh, but it’s definitely reality.

          • Andre

            Hey bo’

            I don’t know what your situation is but if money is extremely tight have you ever thought of trade schools? They are pretty inexpensive and are only 2 years usually. Plumbers, welders, diesel mechanics, etc. are all in pretty high demand. Just providing something you might have not thought about before.

          • Nina Ricci

            i don’t think he cares… based on his comments, he is young, judgemental, naive and smug. in other words, a baby GOPer

          • Andre

            Look whose being judgmental! Typical hypocritical lib. It makes me laugh how art majors think they are like spiritually and morally superior because they learned the “beauty of art and humanity. So inspiring.

          • Sporkfighter

            Double majored in math and physics. Never been unemployed in my life. However, unlike you, I realize it took a family that supported me through high school and college and a talent I was lucky enough to be born with. I could be you, but fortunately, I can see value in other people’s choices, value beyond the dollar. I’d rather be flipping burgers than be you.

          • Andre

            Wow lol very harsh! And what exactly did I say to make you resent me so much?

          • Guest

            I think it was the $38 an hour

          • george

            Everyone resents you for being completely blind to other perspectives. You have little compassion for those who aren’t in a similar situation as you. You are very easy to dislike.

          • Nikky

            I don’t think he is being blind i think he is being brutally honest.

          • Andre

            I think you are misunderstanding my intentions. My main purpose of going to school was to get a degree that I both enjoyed and would make me financially secure in the future. I am absolutely NOT a person who believes money is the most important aspect of life. I want a job that is secure so I can enjoy other things in life and not have to worry about money being a problem. Hopefully that helps you to understand me a little better.

          • geogirl

            I agree! I’m studying geology and I love it!

          • MOSES!!!

            I think you might be able to see you are being pompous and ignorant. A sheep, in a matter of words. You are somewhat of a carbon copy of a young republicans club VP. Just consent that what you said is very narrow minded and you don’t have to sit here and defend the ignorant thing you said and think you believe in.

          • Brandon G

            What exactly is ignorant about what he said? If a fast food worker was given a livable wage (the amount can vary from person to person) why would anyone want to make something of themselves if they can work someplace where you don’t even have to graduate high school? It’s called survival of the fittest and those who want to succeed and make something of themselves will, while the others will subside into these jobs. Reality is harsh buddy. And it is even harder for people like you.

          • Bruce

            We are getting that economy already. That is why the last recession hit 50 year olds and above so hard across every industry. Maybe, next time it will be the 40 year olds. A lot of people like you are being forced into retirement because they are not as fit as 21 year olds. Max out your 401k.

          • John Secular Smith

            Max out the 401K and watch another stock market crash take all the money.

          • Joe

            You might want to educate yourself on the long-term performance of the stock market. There are also investments called bonds which are more stable in value. Here is a place to start: bogleheads.org. It’s your life and your retirement on the line.

          • Bruce

            I hope nobody is listening to you. There is a difference between your shares losing value and you losing your money. When the market crashed in 2008, my balance went down by 70%, but I didn’t lose 70% because I didn’t sell my shares while they were beaten down. In reality, I made money off of the crash because I continued to buy even more shares while the prices were down. Most people who stayed in, made all of that money back. You don’t buy high and sell low!

          • Nina Ricci

            no. we’re getting this “economy” because the republicans insist that there is NO regulation on wall street – but when the same right wingers screw up, they ran to the government they say should not regulate them to pay for THEIR mistakes.

          • Joe

            Of course, liberals commit no economic sins. It must be nice to live in your simple world.

          • Nutchaser

            I think we are getting it because they are killing the unions and sending us back to where we were before the labor movement. That survival of the fittest could easily become survival of the youngest. That is why a lot of the 50 year olds who lost their jobs are not coming back into the job market.

          • enigma1083

            You asked:
            “why would anyone want to make something of themselves if they can work
            someplace where you don’t even have to graduate high school? ”
            You can’t think of a reason?
            I am sure there are hoards of people chomping at the bit to get a $30k a year job flipping burgers.

            I can hear it now;”Oh man $15 an hour shoot I’ll have it made. I was going to take that scholarship, but no I can make 30K a year at Wendy’s.’
            Yes Brandon it is much better that taxpayers subsidize the workers with SNAP Medicaid etc, and keep a low minimum wage, to avoid the inevitable stampede to the fulfilling world of fast food.

          • TyO’Curran

            Lol you’re delusional if you think people wouldn’t do that. You greatly underestimate the common American perception that a well paying job should just be available for everyone. Not to mention the fact that the VALUE of the work stays relative. If the minimum wage was $15 (which btw I’m a Social-leaning Democrat, without a finished degree, who has HAD a minimum wage or “low paying” jobs before. And I still think $15 is INSANE.) the value of work would be inflated or deflated to match. If the minimum wage is to be raised, (which I do agree it should be) it NEEDS to be gradually to avoid all the possible catastrophic trickle effects

          • Clyyyyyde

            Is it really so bad to think everybody’s job should at the very least provide a living wage? Why is that so bad? The late Nelson Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right” and I tend to agree with him.

          • Joe

            No, it’s not a bad thought, it’s just not realistic. Also, everyone’s definition of what constitutes a “living wage” seems to be different. If I “need” $100k/year to live, is $50/hour a reasonable “living wage”? What if I only need $20k/year to live?

          • Nina Ricci

            joe, a living wage is not hard to calculate. get the average $ of rent, groceries, utilities, health, insurance and gas that someone needs to live by going to work everyday, live in HUMANE conditions – that should be 70% of what they bring home after taxes, in average. it varies greatly from region to region. as far as the whole country goes, every average needs to be calculated and then averaged again.

          • Joe

            So folks that can live on less than what you calculate it will cost them should not be allowed to enter into a voluntary agreement with an employer to work for a wage that is acceptable to both parties? That sure makes a lot of sense. If anything, minimum wages should be set locally and definitely not at the federal level. The variation in living costs across the entire country is simply too wide for a federal minimum wage to be set in a meaningful manner.

          • Hank

            wages can be set locally. States can have different min wages.

          • Clyyyyyde

            To piggy-back this:

            Wages can and are set locally. The federal minimum wage is important though because it mandates that states cannot chose to set the minimum wage hellishly low. For example, if Alabama (or some Southern state that hates everybody) got to set its own minimum wage completely, it’d probably be like $2/hr (because f*ck poor people, amirite).

            But if the federal government is like, nah bro, you have to pay minimum wage workers AT LEAST $10, then Alabama can’t royally screw over its people. They don’t have to pay them more than the minimum wage requires but they CAN. States (honestly counties would be even better) should be able to set their own minimum wage based on the local lifestyle factors that Nina was talking about, but it is ESSENTIAL to have a federal baseline that takes all that into consideration.

          • Joe

            So let’s get rid of the federal minimum wage then. States at least are in a reasonable position to consider regional differences in cost of living. For instance, did you know that some U.S. territories are exempt from the federal minimum wage? Why not extend this flexibility to all states?

          • devrie

            The federal minimum sets the standard, though. That’s why McDonald’s workers in some towns in New York are fighting for $15/hr. They live in slum apartments that cost over $1000 a month, roaches, rats and crappy flooring and walls and all.

          • Joe

            $15/hour is a pipe dream, even in NY. The NY minimum wage Increases to $8.00 on Dec 31, 2013; $8.75 on Dec 31, 2014; and $9.00 on Dec 31, 2015. They should consider moving to a less expensive area of the country or come up with a plan to gain more valuable skills if fast food work in NY isn’t meeting their needs.

          • devrie

            You would agree, then, that $20,000 a year is a low amount? That’s $9.61/hr. The problem isn’t so much that minimum wage should be really high. It’s that it sets the standard for other workers who have skills, loyalty, and education. Where I live, it is not at all uncommon to find jobs that require some combination of job experience and college education that start at around $9 per hour. We tend to think only high school kids and low-skilled workers work minimum wage jobs, but statistically, that’s not true. Furthermore, there are many, many jobs that require far more skill than some high school kid or low-skilled worker can provide that pay just above minimum wage.

          • Joe

            There certainly are many jobs that do not pay well. Usually that is because these jobs do not deliver significant tangible value (e.g. unskilled labor) or offer compensation in non-monetary forms. Taking care of children is an example of one such field which attracts qualified job seekers because they enjoy working with children, not because it is a path to riches. Social work would be another example. Folks in these jobs work hard and hopefully improve the world but don’t get paid very much. Here are some interesting statistics on workers who earn the minimum wage: http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012.htm.

          • Nina Ricci

            Clyde, i love how you think. :-)

          • Nina Ricci

            if the minimum wage had kept up with the inflation, it would be $21 today based on what it was in 1968. Since then, 3 times more money went to the top and taken away from everyone else. Min wage in Australia is $16. and they are doing BETTER than we are – in every aspect. just came back from Sydney after living there for 5 years.

          • Brandon G
          • Nina Ricci

            do some more research. google scholar is your friend. since the min wage varies by state, i will give you a hint: use words like “median” or “average”, “inflation” and “country”. sigh

          • Brandon G

            I provided a statistical resource done by a university on the federal min wage adjusted for inflation. Please provide YOUR resource as that is how debates work. Thank you.

          • Nina Ricci
          • Brandon G

            You kinda just helped prove my point… thanks :)

          • Nina Ricci

            apparently you read information like you read your bible. sigh. it’s tiring to try to educate the uneducable. i am no maria montessori – and have children of my own. good luck.

          • Brandon G

            Man you are seriously dumb. Can’t fix stupid I guess. we’re not at “full usable productivity” so the $17/hr does NOT apply. Go back and read it or get someone who understands it to read it for you and then have them explain it to you. You are painful to listen to. Also notice $21/hr wasn’t stated anywhere int he article.

          • Nina Ricci

            idiot, you need to go clean your gun right now. make sure you take a good peek inside the barrel.

          • Brandon G

            I live in New York, guns are pretty hard to get here so guess I can’t do that. TY though!

          • Nina Ricci

            no, you prob live in upstate NY. I lived in NYC for years and most people there are not a bigot like you. here’s another reference for you. keep the math going, you may need it one day. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/minimum-wage-productivity_n_2680639.html

          • Brandon G

            Seriously though, did you read your article? Did you notice how 21/hr was not mentioned? Say something intelligent instead of pointless and rude remarks.

          • Nina Ricci

            you don’t know how to read do you? another child left behind, i see

          • devrie

            Brandon, the charts you provided show that minimum wage coverage has declined and that the highest minimum wage, as adjusted for inflation, happened around 1968, when the equivalent minimum wage was about $10.25 an hour.

          • Brandon G

            http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42973.pdf here is another. You failed.

          • Nina Ricci

            brandon, all i wish right now is for you to live on a minimum wage salary for 5 years. since karma never fails…

          • Brandon G

            Karma for what? Making a enjoyable life for myself? Grow up the adults are talking.

          • Nina Ricci

            you live in texas. your life is not enjoyable in human terms. you have a lot of what i despise in people… but then again. not everyone can be perfect and texas needs people to marry their own cousins.

          • Brandon G

            I literally just told you I live in New York. I have family in TX however and I love going there because I feel like I actually have rights there. Probable leaving this miserable state pretty soon thank god.

          • Nina Ricci

            good. new yorkers deserve better than having trash from texas lurking around.

          • Brandon G

            I’m starting to think you are just a troll considering the lack of intelligent statements you exhibit.

          • Nina Ricci

            hank, dear, you think that because you found a thesaurus and quipped 2 big words in a short sentence people will think better of you? don’t bother. now, shoo.

          • Brandon G

            Yup actually Brandon here.

          • enigma1083

            Your reading comprehension is very poor Ty
            The only place I said that people wouldn’t do that is inside that bubble in which your brain resides.

          • devrie

            I don’t think $15 is insane. We’ve got boiled frog syndrome; however, $15/her is bit insane for NOW. But, fighting for that amount gives workers a fighting chance to see some wage increase. I personally think $10/hr is NOT at all unreasonable a start.

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            Bring back slavery!

          • devrie

            People inherently want to do something important. People inherently like learning and evolving. That’s a concept that builds great employees. If you could make a living wage working long, hard hours in a greasy, hot kitchen doing repetitive work vs. making a little more doing something you feel makes a difference (teaching, healing, creating, solving), which would you choose?

          • TyO’Curran

            God shut uppp. Nothing he said implies that at all. I’m a middle lefter and you’re just being a retard. Stop reading into shit that isn’t there. Turn on NPR dumbass… every other day they’re telling all the kids listening how the best degree you can go for right now is petroleum engineering. Its high paying, easy to get hired out of school, and they need so many because they’re management in 5 years and move up n out.

          • Clyyyyyde

            But not everybody wants to do petroleum engineering and contribute to a morally bankrupt industry. Like, having money is really nice but not screwing up the planet for future generations is probably overall more important (to some people).

          • Joe

            So you don’t use gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, or plastics then since they will “screw up the planet”? Good luck with that. The rest of us need energy to live. There are other careers available if you don’t wish to work in the energy sector.

          • Nina Ricci

            can you please not use words like “retard”? i am sure you can find an equivalent in your oratory to make your point. thanks.

          • Nina Ricci

            same here. my parents paid for prep school and never kicked me out – i left when i was ready. never been unemployed and have had my own company since 2000. and i share your thoughts – i’d rather be flipping burgers with integrity.

          • Sporkfighter

            And some day, perhaps some day soon, that internship will end, and you’ll be back out there looking for a job. Remember your comments today.

          • w3bgrl

            An internship at $38/hr??? Where is this Chevron experience? I’ve never heard of anything like that. Ever. And, YES, I have a degree in a STEM field and have been in the workforce for 20+ years. You are lucky indeed. Count your blessings.

          • Andre

            Drilling in the gulf. I am indeed lucky and thank God for the opportunities I’ve been given. But I didn’t just hope to get lucky I put in a lot of hard work to get a high GPA and went out and networked with a lot of different people. I’m just trying to point out that if you want something you got to go out and get it, it ain’t gonna come to you.

          • w3bgrl

            Agreed it won’t come to anyone – and it doesn’t. Unless the connections are there from the beginning – and you actually are a Trustafarian. I have worked hard, networked, got very close to the hourly rate you’re making doing computer work, but it was contract work, now getting underbid to the point of making LESS than minimum wage. So, I’m switching professions and having to start all over again. We’re really all one bad break from being hand to mouth – no matter how hard you work. Maybe you will learn something in your internship to make the world a better place, and maybe that’s what this paradigm shift is about: not focusing on money and now and focusing on the future. I wish you success in your future!

          • Joe

            Computer work is a great field and is a perfect example of a skill that is marketable without a ton of required formal education. Be careful of thinking the grass will be greener in your new profession.

          • w3bgrl

            I actually do have a formal education: Bachelors in Information Technology, graduated from a good school with a good GPA, coursework towards an MBA, and 20 years of experience in the field. Nevertheless, as I said, I am getting consistently underbid and only “jobs” are not enough to support my family. It hasn’t been without pain and a lot of thought to make this switch. So, there’s no time like the present to switch from my perspective.

          • Joe

            Exactly what type of computer work do you do? I wish you the best of luck in future endeavors. What field are you switching to?

          • w3bgrl

            As my handle implies, Web Development – more front end and design, although I have also done Sys Administration and Tech Support. I am switching to a creative field and started a non-profit that supports other creatives – which I love doing and feel helping artists achieve their dreams is a calling for me. Because I started focusing on switching professions, I got behind on a lot of the technology. Tech work you have to stay fully engaged every second and can’t blink.

          • Joe

            Sorry, I didn’t pick up on your handle’s meaning. I’m too technical for my own good I guess :-) It sounds like you have found your calling. Best wishes!

          • Clyyyyyde

            I think it’s so freaking fabulous you are starting a non-profit to help struggling (computer?) artists. That is truly selfless and you are going to change so many lives for the better – even if its only by sharing your philosophy. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity.

          • Clyyyyyde

            And in like twenty or thirty years the market will probably be flooded with compsci people because of the widespread use of technology. That really scares me. Especially at the rate of new technological advances are being made, how can an aging labor force keep up with that? That kid who has had an iPhone since they were four is definitely going to be better skilled in computer stuff than you.

          • Joe

            I hope to be retired by then and let the younger kids have at it!

          • Andre

            That sounds rough but the transition will probably be much easier for a person like you. And I totally agree, my life isn’t about how much money I can make I’m just trying to make money something I won’t have to worry about when I graduate. Good luck with you switch!

          • w3bgrl

            Thanks! I have made a name for myself already in my new profession locally, but I was doing a lot of work before while I was still doing web work. But clout has yet to equal dollars :)

          • strummer

            i thought the same thing. doesn’t ring true from my experience of 30+ years in the work force with similar background. and considering the field he is in and the work he describes (drilling in the gulf), even more so. doesn’t pass the smell test.

          • Mistakenmass

            Good Luck they want people that can add and subtract! LOL! If people made a living wage you would pay less in taxes how hard is it to do that math???

          • Andre

            What do you think unskilled jobs should be paying?

          • Pete

            Haha. You work for Big Oil, Andre. The number one corporate welfare industry!! Congratulations on selling your soul. Whatever it takes, right?

          • joe

            Wow, Andre, I guess everyone is exactly like you.

          • Mark Ranzenberger

            Andre – don’t say that out loud. Your company can easily find people just as qualified as you are who would be willing to pay for the right to do what you plan to do. Paying interns anything close to a living wage, in the view of many boards of directors, amounts to theft from the stockholders. That’s immoral. :) I would expect your bragging to start an investigation into why the company’s money is being wasted like this on mere sophomores when it could be spent much better on dividends.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Not everybody wants to work for an oil company even if it is making $38/hr. Congrats on still being a wee babe at the rip old age of, what, 20? You are so wise.

          • Joe

            There are plenty of well-paying jobs that don’t involve the oik business if that is your preference. These jobs all require you have valuable skills, however.

          • Andre

            Like i ski on min wage said. I’m not saying you need to work in engineering to make a good salary. I’m just saying you need skills that are valuable to whoever you want to get hired by.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Wait wait wait wait, are you doing physical labor on the oil rig?????? If so, your paycheck would make WAY more sense. Those things are DANGEROUS and they have to offer high wages to get people to go work on them. Is you are working in an office on an oil rig… why are they paying you so much?

          • Brittany

            Not all of us want to make a living poisoning the water supply, GO FRACK YOURSELF..

          • Andre

            Didn’t know I ever said you have to

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            Boy you are stupid

          • Goz

            there aren’t enough innovators making things happen. look at this list of people with their hands out, sitting on their mom’s couch surfin on their dad’s internet while Pablo cuts their grass and Diego washes their car. gimme a break. get a clue.

            money never grew on trees. we made something happen. you will never get what you deserve but you will always deserve what you get.

          • Jay

            I love this argument for its pure ignorance. “There aren’t enough innovators making things happen.” is a clear indication you want other people to do the work for you as well. Who are these innovators who are suppose to “make things happen”? The problem is a bigger scope than you can see, maybe because you “deserve what you get”.

          • yoga mom

            Even if the problem is bigger, one can always start small…

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            Platitudes instead of empathy

          • 0kg0on3

            So what are you ‘making happen’? Since you have such a problem with those ‘others’, their hands out wondering why someone else doesn’t do the work for them…

            So utterly hypocritical at the ideology level.

          • David Brian Dobbs

            Straight up, you suck. If you are older than 40, it’s your generation that “made something happen” alright. By heavily polluting the environment, stripping the world of all natural resources, exporting all livable wage jobs to sweat shops overseas, making nothing but service jobs in the US that pay well below the poverty line, and then turning around and blaming the younger generation for not being “innovators”. YOU SUCK! You can piss all over someone and beat the crap out of them then say it was their fault.

          • klhayes

            Everyone is not an innovator. Everyone is not going to come up with the product that changes the world. There are plenty of ideas registered with the patent office that are not making money.

          • Joe

            It’s funny how life works: the more you try, the luckier you get.

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            It’s called Bullshit your way in the front door. Tell them what they want to hear then when they hire work your ass off to learn the skills and keep your job.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Yep, that’s great advice. I will lie to my employer to get the job then just learn all the skills and be magically wonderful at whatever that random skill is.

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            Well with in reason. I BSed my way into a job that paid $3 more an hour then I was currently making. I had no doubt in my mind that I could do the job I just needed the chance. You guys are giving up before you even start. Theres nothing wrong with exaggerating your resume a bit to get the job you deserve. Obviously you can’t BS your way to a doctorate or a PE. But there are plenty of good paying jobs that are advertised with a lot of fluff. you only need to be able to do about half of the fluff. jobs are listed as a wish list. They know they are not going to get a person that is a master at everything they listed. Not everything you learn comes from a school.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I guess I just find it unethical to BS on my resume, especially if its possible that somebody else applying could be better qualified and simply not be a skilled BSer like myself. Congrats on finding a better position but that particular advice isn’t really relevant to everybody.

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            Well if you are not at least manipulating your resume you are doing your self a huge disservice. Everyone and I mean everyone BS’s, Exaggerates, Get creative, up to and including out right lies on their resume. I’ve hire enough people and seen thousands of resumes to know what is going on. Its all marketing. You high light and promote your best qualities while averting your bad ones. and you may add a wee bit of creativity here and there. Laid off for a while?? Well don’t tell them. say you went to school or something but never look stagnate.
            Like I said I’m not saying blatantly pre tent to be something you are not nor remotely qualified to do. What I’m say is make yourself out to be about 30 to 50% better then what you are and the position and money will follow but you will need to to pick up the pace whether it’s a white collar job or blue you are going to have to hustle to keep up.
            I guess you’ve never heard the joke the Resume is french for lie??

          • Clyyyyyde

            Hahaha! The French have CVs not resumes!

            I would be naive as hell if I didn’t know other people were lying on/getting creative with their resumes but I do believe there are other people out there that don’t. Also, I mean, just because other people do it and it has traditionally mean done doesn’t make it right (to me).

            I guess I’ve always gotten any job I’ve had an interview with so I just assume I am 30-50% better than other applicants without trumping up my resume (I am very likable… in person lol).

          • Nina Ricci

            my forte has always been speaking 5 languages. it’s hilarious – some idiots used to doubt me thinking i lied in my resume LOL which was a pretty good indication i would not want to work for the clown… best thing i have ever done was to open my own company. had a hard 3 years to start off but I don’t regret one second of it!

          • Nina Ricci

            WHAT? wow. you are so inadequate and ignorant – and in more than 1 language! sacre deux!

          • Hank

            You know what is REALLYY funny Nina? You seem to think you are the smartest person in the world and anyone with a different opinion than you is ignorant. Give me a break and get off your high horse.

          • Nina Ricci

            no, not anyone. just stupid people like you. and yes, i am, indeed, pretty smart :-) thank you for noticing.

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            Well you can live in what ever fantasy you like but the reality is I am correct. Truth hurts sometimes

          • Hank

            She has some serious problems my friend

          • Nina Ricci

            sure you are :-D we all need to take your word for it. LOL

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            Well if you think for one minute that everything printed on a resume is correct and true under penalty of perjury you have lived under a rock. You’re that blonde on the allstate commercial. They can’t put it on the internet unless it true Yeah thats the amount of real life experience you have. what are you nine???

          • Nina Ricci

            you are as dishonest as you look :-) congratulations.

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            Holly crap you have gone off the deep end. Do you know it is legal for a Federal Law Enforcement officer to lie to you. But it is illegal to lie to them/ What planet are you from??

            Oh and BTW troll you know zero about me other then what I’ve post here so great judge of character dim whit

          • vlc

            And there is nothing wrong with starting at the bottom & working your way up…like your parent’s did. It’s easier to find a better job when you’re already working then it is when you have been sitting at home “hoping” for that one job you went to school for and want for, or that you think you’re entitled to have.

          • Kerry Stottlemyer

            Agreed

          • steve2345Nme

            Andre, think really hard about all of the variables in life. Sure, some people are lazy. Others aren’t. They work hard for too little money and can never get ahead. Life was supposed to cost nothing. The fact that it costs so much to simply be a part of society shows we need to look hard for changes we can make.

          • Tgraves302

            Agreed, I graduate in 3 weeks.. I’m applying for jobs of which 50% are individuals with bachelor’s, 20% are masters, 18% high school, and 2% doctorate.. the pay is $13 an hour.

          • nick

            when you go out I hope with your significant other I hope the kitchen has a copy of this post.

          • Andre

            Lol that was actually pretty funny. Do you seriously think people should be making min wage jobs their full time career though?

          • Jax

            I’m going to just assume that you are fairly sheltered and naive… otherwise you are very ignorant and judgmental (yes, you can be smart and ignorant). It sounds like you just have a lot of life experience to gain.

          • Andre

            So instead of the smearing how about you grace me with your wisdom? I’m not sheltered at all I am paying for my own college and am able to my making smart decisions growing up. My parents aren’t rich people who make money rain my way I just know what I need to do so I don’t have to worry about money. So please tell me why I am ignorant since I believe min wage jobs should not be made into a career.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I really don’t understand. YES some people SHOULD make their jobs working minimum wage, that is literally the only way a society *like ours* can even function. Somebody HAS to be a janitor or a maid or a cook or whatever. You are just devaluing low-skill/minimum wage jobs to the point where you seem to be saying the people working them have no integrity as humans at all! Or are otherwise limiting the idea of “career” to only eduction-based jobs like yours. Have you ever heard of Marxism?

          • Andre

            Yes and it doesn’t work. Look listen to what I am saying without bubbling over, breath in and out a few times. I do not have a problem with them as human beings. Many of them are extremely nice people and also are friends from high school. This is the problem I want to point out. If they were to increase min wage as much as you wanted there would be A LOT more people wanting these jobs because they require low skill. These jobs already have a large supply of workers. Could you imagine how many jobless people there would be if min wage was raised as much as you would like? There would be probably be fewer jobs due to increased employment costs and a larger supply of workers. Do you see how that could end badly with more people out of work in those areas than before?

          • Clyyyyyde

            Marxist doesn’t… work? Marxism the theory? Like talking about how the capitalist system necessarily means there will be people who will be stuck in institutionally reinforced cycles of poverty and underpaid jobs? That… doesn’t work?

            I see what you are saying, I just disagree. If we raised the minimum wage to a living wage (i.e. $10-16 relative to your area), those jobs would still be unskilled, devalued, minimum wage jobs. I do not believe for a second that somebody who really wanted to be a great [insert whatever profession here] would suddenly drop that dream because whatever they can just work at a food fast place and manage to subsist. I really do not believe, literally not at all, that raising the minimum wage would suddenly result in fewer jobs. We’re just gonna have to agree to disagree on that point.

          • Andre

            USSR tried it and it transformed into communism. It is idealistic, if we lived in a perfect world in could work but human greed is what makes it fail. I think 10 would be possible, over 10 I couldn’t ever see happening.

          • Clyyyyyde

            First of all Marxism is not Communism. The USSR did not transform Marxism into Communism, you are just making the mistake of collapsing the two! The USSR arguably wasn’t even Communist. Marxist political theory does not equate to Marxist theories discussing capitalism. I just… I can’t…

            Forget I brought it up; I meant to help you understand my point of view not to cause more confusion.

          • Andre

            Have you ever read Animal Farm? Or is George Orwell an ignorant idiot too?

          • eridanis

            o, i don’t know… maybe because a lot of the burger flippers have college degrees and can’t find that ‘professional’ job. and i don’t know a ‘professional’ job that pays $10. hr.

          • Andre

            That is why I said a REAL education if you get a liberal arts, history, english, or anything else related you are wasting your money and yes you will end up flipping burgers. Go where the demand is not what allows you to party Thu-Sat with no worries about grades.

          • Sophia Barraclough

            I’m not sure why a liberal arts degree isn’t considered a “real” education. They are a real part of life, and learning them has benefits.
            Additionally, a successful society is made up of all sorts of people–whether you consider them having had a “real” education or not is pretty irrelevant.
            There’s no need to spit out such nasty assumptions about those who have liberal arts degrees. (:

          • Andre

            Because there is less demand and typically people go to college to get a good paying job.

          • Sophia Barraclough

            So whether or not you can get a job that pays well is what qualifies an education as “real” or not?
            Interesting thought-process.

          • Andre

            Sorry, VALUABLE education. I apologize.

          • Sophia Barraclough

            Ah, so an education is only “valuable” if it gets you a job.
            What if it makes someone a better person or provides them with a positive paradigm shift of sorts? Would it still be valuable even if it didn’t get that person a job?

          • Andre

            That is a good point but we’re talking about two different things. You don’t only get an education at school. You get an education that gets you a job, that’s why you spend so much money on college. The type of education you are talking about can be learned outside of school and in life around you. You shouldn’t pay thousands of dollars for that type of education.

          • Sophia Barraclough

            I agree.
            And a perfectly good job can be got without a degree–assuming you have been blessed by the networking and people skills gods.
            I’d contend that an education–while entirely necessary–is not the “made it” point of getting a job. There are many, many more factors–as I’m sure you’d agree!
            There’s no need to condemn those who don’t see a future in numbers, equations, or vocational school.

          • Andre

            Well I just hate seeing people graduate from college with huge debts and then ending up with a min wage job. If you can make that degree work for you then do it! I’m not condemning those who don’t choose to be math or science majors I’m condemning those who chose majors knowing there is little demand for those in the first place and then complaining when they have to work at Wendy’s. I say do what you can make a living out of AND also enjoy.

          • nate

            Condemn yourself you self-righteous pompous-ass petro pusher

          • Andre

            Someone is bitter.

          • Nina Ricci

            who the HELL are YOU to condemn ANYONE? LOL

          • Clyyyyyde

            Idk how you can make that assertion if you haven’t experienced a formal education in the humanities?

            You seem to be implying that you can teach yourself good grammar, how to write, how to think critically, how to understand lofty or metaphysical concepts… I don’t know that you can just teach yourself those things outside of school.

          • Joe

            Even engineers have to take classes in the humanities. Do humanities students take engineering classes? If not, perhaps they should.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Do they? At my alma mater they had to take like a requisite English class, a history (maybe) but most assuredly one multicultural class. Those are mostly introductions so I wouldn’t really say they are “humanities” in the way most people are applying the term here (be like equating college algebra to quantum mechanics or something).

            Anyway, I agree! I took some economics and physics classes while I was in college because
            it was important for me personally to feel holistically educated. They never turned into my major but I feel like I have way more big-picture knowledge than I would otherwise. There should be way more crossover in college so that students can really see what they are good at/interested in and become well-rounded students.

          • Matthew Sychantha

            But “Gets you a job” shouldn’t be inherently imposed on an 18 year old. The fact is that your college should be finding you ways to get a job if they offer that degree instead of tossing you into the world if they’re going to offer that program. It’s simple consumer confidence. I’m not saying that these programs shouldn’t be there, but I am certainly saying that as they are, colleges should be looking for ways to put that education to use as you acquire it.

          • Andre

            Colleges are businesses now, you can’t rely on them to find you a job all they care about is getting money like any other business.

          • justthebest

            God, I hope that isn’t true. You should go to college to get an education. A job is a job is a job. An education is worth more than you will ever earn.

          • Sporkfighter

            You mistake training for education. It’s pretty clear you went to college to be trained, not educated, and that’s exactly what you got.

          • Joe

            Plenty of people mistake education for a guarantee of making a good living. That is a dangerous fallacy. Get an education to be a learned individual but also have skills that are marketable to be able to live. Such skills can be gained outside of formal education.

          • Andre

            No we are mistaking each other. The education that you are speaking of such as cultural education and social education can be learned outside of school. I am not talking about that education. As Joe said you go to college to learn skills that make you marketable. Though I agree the education you are talking about is important, it does not make you marketable and can be learned outside of the classroom.

          • Tim

            Andre you’re making reasonable statements, but people aren’t being receptive. So many students like myself come out of college and think, “Why didn’t someone tell me to get a STEM, or a non liberal arts degree!? HS students often don’t have proper direction, just “do whatever you want” which ends up being extended high school. I’d take your thoughts a step farther and say that all HS level students should be also learning a valuable trade. Just because a student appreciates psychology and literature doesn’t mean they should make it their career, for people are diverse individuals and can be useful and happy in many different ways.

          • Andre

            100 % agreed! I think the education system needs to be completely reformed. Instead of requiring everyone to take the same classes and “prepare” everyone for college they need to have a trade school option. Many of the high school graduates who don’t go to college often go into min wage jobs when they could instead be trained in trade schools. They are in very high demand right now too, it is a shame the way the system works right now.

          • Sporkfighter

            And here, I agree with you. There is more than one way to a successful life. Being a welder requires training, and not just anyone can do it. That’s why welders get paid more than burger-flippers. Same for diesel mechanics. Nothing wrong with a trade. However, we can’t all be welders of diesel mechanics, nor can we all work on drilling rigs. Somebody needs to write literature, create music, make sculptures. However, there seems to be a glut of people who want to create the art.

          • Andre

            And the people who are successful in art are very rare. I would love to be able to make songs or books that people would remember me by for many years but I know I don’t have those kind of skills neither am I capable of getting those skills with training. I am however good at math and science which is why I chose my engineering. I think many people choose their majors based off what they think will be the easiest at and allow them the most fun in college, not what they will be the most successful at.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Again, how can you say those things can be learned outside the classroom if you haven’t taken the classes to know the difference? I am classically trained in philosophy and I am sorry but there is a HUGE difference between people who read philosophy casually and think they understand it and the people who academically pursue it.

          • Andre

            Well that is great and I am sure you are intelligent. I know everyone is different but I went to school to get education that I knew would get me a job when I graduated because I know there are many people having trouble finding jobs out of school. I do find philosophy a very interesting subject and if you can make a living with a degree in it then great!

          • Clyyyyyde

            Thank you for your thoughtful response but you really avoided what I was asking. You were asserting above in this thread that humanities can all be adequately and equally learned outside of an academic area and I am wondering how you (a non-humanities major) can say that with any degree of certainty?

            I am not saying you are wrong, I am just wondering how you can say that if you don’t… you know… know?

          • Sporkfighter

            You’d have us living in a grey world. No thanks.

          • Andre

            A grey world how?

          • Rabbit

            Who will serve you when you go out to eat? Who will create the beautiful music you listen to, assuming you like music? Who will make your clothes and every other thing you use and need to live every single day? We are all equally important and equally deserve to live a decent life which means being paid enough to do so, college or not. I have 2 degrees and I see a bigger picture outside of my own little world.

          • Andre

            Agreed, everyone has their calling and are meant to follow a certain path. Many servers seem to be college students to me and some are wonderful at serving and make relatively good money doing it. I am not talking about these people though. I am talking about the people who go into college thinking any degree will guarantee them a place in the work place after graduation or those who think min wage should be $20/hr. Why would anyone specialize if that is the case? What is the incentive? And yes I apologize for grammar, English has always been my worst subject.

          • Linguistics Millionaire

            Don’t apologize for your grammar. Professional editors, especially those working in trade articles, can make around $50 an hour.

            In other words: Fuck a hamburger. Keep talking.

          • bo’

            @Rabbit- i so wish i could give your comment about a million Up votes! both the college-educated arts & techies in this conversation are mainly overlooking the unfortunate realities that #1) NOT everyone can “find a way to make Uni happen” AND FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY #2) IT IS PRECISELY THESE EXTREMELY HARDWORKING PEOPLE IN THE EXTREMELY UNDERPAID SERVICE SECTOR WHO ARE MAKING PRIVILEGED OVEREDUCATED/HIGHLY PAID FOLKS FEEL SO DAMN WELL CARED FOR!!@!

            i am so fed up with hearing service positions be put down by people who receive so much pampering- from the hands of all those who are working their asses off STRUGGLING to keep basic necessities provided for their own precious families. Like we and our loved ones don’t friggin count for as much coz we COULDNT AFFORD TO GO TO UNI!

            @Andre you pompous ass, grow some compassion and a broader perspective. you are vocally priding yourself on having “done it all yourself” and i am calling BS- you are SERVED every single time you have someone else do anything “menial” for you, and most of us don’t get paid well enough to do more than keep scraping by week to week. So please stop all your condescending rhetoric about “good planning”- SOMEONE GAVE YOU ENOUGH FLEX ROOM TO GET THERE, WHICH IS A GIANT LUXURY MANY OF US NEVER WILL HAVE!

            sheesh. but why do i waste my breath? you will likely never understand unless you one day crash-land into the muck in spite of all of your carefully laid plans…

          • Andre

            I do understand Bo, I do not want to say I know your experiences but I was a server a few years back and while it was very rewarding and I learned a few things from it I knew I didn’t want to to make it a career. I hope you find your calling and you are able to be successful in it. If you do however want to go to school I know it is possible, there are many scholarships and federal grants set up to help people and I have friends here at school who are very poor and are getting their tuition fully covered by the University and Fed gov. I apologize for any insulting remarks and wish you good luck in future endeavors.

          • bo’

            joe, the kind words are appreciated. and i am happy for you and all who have the freedom to choose their own career, and who successfully “rise and remain above”
            it is not as cut and dried as that however, for far too many poor folk are seeking very limited available assistance. with university grants and scholarships, just as with every single other form of emergency assistance, there are tiered award systems (triage by necessity- not enough to go around) and long waiting lists, some of which are now closed due to length of already waiting recipients. There is simply not enough funding to benefit all in genuine need. i am not talking about “lazy lowlifes” such as some on this board apparently believe all trapped in poverty to be.
            in addition, those of us who live with chronic illness outside our individual ability to overcome, simply do the best we can with what we are capable of on a day-to-day basis. this is not a self-pitying statement. it is just a fact of reality that folks in better life positions need to try to understand and accept non-judgementally.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Hahahaha how long did you work in the service industry to call it “very rewarding”??? I would say my main take-away from the service industry (five years throughout high school and college) is that other people are huge dickbags to servers and retailers.

          • Andre

            3 years. Yeah people are douches. I learned how to deal with people and about customer satisfaction which is something every worker will have to face usually. Whether you like it or not I’m sure you have learned useful things from it that will help you later. Probably communication skills.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I have always been good at “dealing with” people. Where I worked, customer satisfaction typically meant: listening to the customer complain/berate you for something not your fault, telling him/her they are probably right and apologizing for said thing that was not your fault, getting the manager to handle it instead – all with a smile. I think it’s wonderful you can look back at those experiences so positively but the most “useful thing” I learned was to not be a dick to people serving me and to tip well regardless (which people should know to do anyway).

          • Linguistics Millionaire

            “liberal arts, history, english, or anything else related”

            You could have used one more English class. One would think drilling in the gulf might require a bit more accuracy. Then again maybe not.

          • Sean

            If people spent time educating themselves on how to be financially independent and how to innovate, sell, and build wealth, rather than complaining about the state of the economy or the lack of “good jobs”, I guarantee you’ll find success. It’s about personal choices, setting goals, and working hard.

          • bo’

            sure sean- it is an excellent philosophy that SOMETIMES works.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Oh so everybody else got a FAKE education. Lemme call up my alma mater really quick and tell them that so they can just cancel all those departments, who needs em!?

          • Nina Ricci

            because one can go without pretty much any professional but NOT without FOOD

          • Andre

            Those jobs are for high school students. So I don’t think we need to worry about losing too many fast food employees to other jobs.

          • Alison Russell

            So fast food joints are closed during school hours?

          • Joe

            Work study students, retirees, moms with kids at school or grown…there are a lot of non-primary wage earners who work during the day to make a few bucks but don’t have to support a family on those wages.

          • Alison Russell

            This is true, but there are also a lot of people working those jobs who *are* primary wage earners, for one reason or another. Even if *everyone* got a good education in a field with “high employability” there would not be enough of those jobs to employ everyone, and we would still need people employed in service-sector jobs. Are we to assume that the people who serve us our food deserve to live in poverty just because they were less lucky?

          • Joe

            People earn based on what their skills are worth in the marketplace. I’m not sure there is a way to blunt individuals from that reality. I’m even less sure that we want to blunt people from that reality. If you want to make more, learn skills which are in demand and you will make more. There are plenty of good jobs available if you have skills which are in demand. If you perform a job that anyone could do with little training, don’t expect to make a ton of money unless you work around the clock.

          • Alison Russell

            No one is suggesting that people who work in service-sector jobs should “earn a ton of money.” I am, however, suggesting that the minimum wage should be high enough that it keeps people out of poverty. “Not in poverty” does not equal “a ton of money.”

          • Joe

            “Minimum wages have never been sufficient to raise a family out of poverty, if only one member of the family works.”
            –http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth484/minwage.html

            The minimum wage is just that, the minimum wage at which it is legal to work. The law effectively says that it is not legal to work for less. This is a lot of debate over a wage which is earned by approximately 3% of the population of workers.

          • bo’

            $9, $10, $12/hr not livable wages either, in most areas if not everywhere in US. i would love to see percentages that accurately reflect the ACTUAL basic livable wage instead of merely the rock bottom legal wage.
            as receptionist/bus in a busy restaurant i worked myself to exhaustion everynite for 50c over minimum wage- and no tips so don’t bother going there. i did my job damn well and prided myself on that fact- nevertheless it was physically demanding work that my poor physical health eventually forced me to give up- i worked harder than you will imagine, for a pittance i am sure you would have a hard time accepting for your own self (oh, lucky you- YOU have QUALIFICATIONS so you will maybe never have to. i once thought i did too so don’t get too comfortable in your own “security”)
            your 3% citation is a meaningless red herring that does not reflect the broader situation.

          • Joe

            ~3% of workers earn the minimum wage. That is a fact. You may not like it but it is factual; you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

          • bo’

            joe, read my post again. try to actually see what i actually said.

          • Joe

            You mean this part of what you said?

            “your 3% citation is a meaningless red herring that does not reflect the broader situation.”

          • bo’

            thank you alison, you nailed the real issue in 3 sentences. a million Up votes to you too

          • bo’

            and a lot of PRIMARY wage earners who are UNABLE to get a better paying position- for a variety of reasons, none of which evidently apply to you, or you might have reconsidered even posting that comment.

          • Andre

            My point was more that fast food workers are easily replaceable so if more were to go to better jobs they could be easily replaced. In other words I’m not worried about running out of fast food employees.

          • Alison Russell

            Then perhaps you should say that. Too many people justify low wages for “entry-level” jobs like fast-food, retail, and supermarket work by saying “those jobs are for HS students” when that is obviously untrue. There are a lot of reasons an adult might end up trying to support a family on these minimum wage jobs, and the lack of availability of better jobs is high on that list. You fall into the trap of assuming that all such reasons must a)be the fault of the person working the low-wage job, and b)be avoidable.

            The assumption that people working low wage jobs aren’t primary wage earners in a household seems like a bad reason to pay them poverty-level wages. I’m reminded that this was once the same rationalization used to pay women less than men. It was assumed that they had a husband who was the “primary wage earner,” and that they didn’t *need* to be paid as much.

          • Nina Ricci

            i never had such a job. in high school, i studied and learned. and that’s the way it should be, don’t you think?

          • Joe

            This may come as a surprise, but you can learn many things while working. Some of these things even increase your value to employers and they will pay you more for these skills. Not all worthwhile knowledge is contained in a book or covered in school.

          • Nina Ricci

            maybe for some. not my case. no one in my family has ever had to flip burgers or bag groceries – we are all professionals, with a degree, and our own business, living comfortably. i dare say that it may come as a surprise to you that studying while you’re in school is a good thing – and success is not tethered to your ability to flip burgers.

          • Joe

            I completely agree with you. I’m glad to hear your family is doing well. Wishing you much continued success!

          • Clyyyyyde

            Those jobs are not FOR anybody except the hardworking people who work them. Stop devaluing certain kinds of jobs! It’s really freaking offensive! Have you EVER seen real poverty?????? I live in one of the poorest counties in the nation and here, all the fast food workers have been institutionally oppressed and live in cycles of poverty. Stop acting like the jobs they work so hard at are just for high school students looking to make an extra buck. Serving food, caring for children, cleaning up after others, etc. ALL those jobs are necessary to society on every level and only through their hard work and dedication can YOU function at YOUR job.

          • bo’

            and a million Up votes to you too Clyyyde!! and i see that your compassion has its foundation in personal observation and perhaps also experience.
            walking in the worn out moccasins of another always brings understanding of tired feet.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Thank you, bo! It just irks me so badly when people with privilege don’t understand how underprivileged people can’t just “do what [they] did.” It is much, much harder for people in certain circumstances. I also hate the “but I have poor friends!” statement (much like the “I can’t be a racist, I have black friends!). Like, go talk to your poor friends about this conversation and see what they have to say.

          • bo’

            well said. oh, me too. yet we do labor on, always trying to raise awareness :

          • Clyyyyyde

            Continue to fight to good fight, my friend!

          • bo’

            shame some on here would see no “value” in it as there is no fat paycheck attached!

          • bo’

            andre, i do hope one day you will be given the “opportunity” to deeply rethink your current position

          • Mistakenmass

            What professional makes 15 dollars a hour or less? 15 is barely above the poverty level! LOL! We pay section 8, welfare medacaid, state health care, food stamps and on and on so employers like Walmart can be billionaires! Do the math and get a proper education yourself :)

          • Andre

            I know college graduates making 15 an hour

          • Andre

            I’ll make sure to go back and redo all of my calculus classes!

          • bleedingheart67

            They shouldn’t. Not even close. But your question is kind of BS and not the point. Burger flippers, Wal Mart associates and everyone else who works full time SHOULD make enough to afford a place to live, enough to eat and clothing on their backs. They don’t now, and we end up subsidizing them–and in effect, their companies–through Section 8, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. Pay them $10 or $12 an hour instead of $7.25 and a lot of that subsidy would go away. Better for everyone. Still gives plenty of incentive to go into a field where you can make $38 an hour as a 12-year-old.

          • Andre

            Ahh burn. In your opinion what salary do you believe they should make?

          • bleedingheart67

            I certainly don’t think $10 an hour is unreasonable. The $15 these protesters are suggesting is a stretch, but they’re activists, and activists have a tendency to, you know, stake out bargaining positions rather than just jump immediately to a reasonable compromise. And I don’t think their position is any more extreme than someone who says the minimum wage is just fine six years after it was last raised and approaching historical lows.

          • Joe

            Here is a graph of the history of the real (adjusted for inflation) value of the minimum wage: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth484/minwage.html

          • bleedingheart67

            OK, so not quite “historical lows” but lower than in most of the recent past and certainly not adequate for the basics in most metropolitan areas, anyway.

          • Andre

            I see it as supply and demand. Typically jobs with high demand and low supply of workers get paid more and those jobs usually require more training/education. Jobs with a large supply of workers pay substantially less and that is what we see with minimum wage jobs. I don’t necessarily disagree that min wage should be bumped up these CEO’s a ton of moneu. What I am saying though is these companies have huge supplies of unskilled workers that can easily replace the activists. Raising min wage can have two effects, either it will empower people to make a better life for themselves and families or it will bring more workers into min wage jobs because they make more money now. If the latter situation occurs I can see strikes happening again in the near future asking 20/ hr and on and on like this. To each his own but I would never rely on a min wage job to raise a family.

          • bleedingheart67

            Our economy is and should be based on supply and demand — with a certain amount of tinkering to sand off the rough edges. The minimum wage is part of that tinkering. If you raised it a moderate amount, at a certain point the incentive for the strikes would diminish – it’s not as if that parking lot theater, or larger demonstrations like Occupy Wall Street, have been going on regularly for the last 50 years. They are very much creatures of times like these.

            And I would never rely on a minimum wage job to raise a family either — I didn’t make $38 per hour at your age but hit that point around the time my first child was out of diapers — but that’s because I want more for my children than the absolute basics. If someone is satisfied with raising their kids in a dingy garden apartment on mac-and-cheese for dinner and wearing Salvation Army clothes, that’s their choice, and I don’t judge them any more than I would judge you for working in the oil business or other people on this thread for being starving artists.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Not a thing wrong with getting clothes from the Salvation Army. They have nice stuff sometimes, thanks rich folks.

          • Clyyyyyde

            “To each his own but I would never rely on a min wage job to raise a family.”
            NOT EVERYBODY HAS THAT OPTION. ^^^is why everybody is calling you ignorant omggggg

          • Andre

            Why does everyone not have that option? Keep calling me ignorant that is fine but explain to me how it isn’t an option.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Go to the projects and see for yourself. Go talk to those people. Do not give me an example of one or two completely destitute people who were able to raise themselves and their families out of institutional poverty because for every token there’s like 500 non-tokens.

          • Andre

            It isn’t “one or two” there are many stories of people doing so. And there is a huge difference in the characters of the people who do raise themselves and the people who don’t try or get caught up in the wrong things. There is always the option but like I said it will be the most difficult path which many people won’t want to take. You believe it is impossible for some people?

          • Clyyyyyde

            YES. Or very nearly impossible (refer to Marxist theory). Please, give me all the many, many examples of institutionally destitute people who managed to raise themselves up completely on their own (not middle-class white boys who became millionaires and/or star athletes who can from nothing). I will give you five, nay twenty, examples of people who could not do so for every one you give me. Saying their characters are different is downright offensive. You don’t know those individuals personally or their situations.

            I am dead serious about going to the projects and talking to those folks. Ask them if they feel like it’d be possible for them or their children to do what you are talking about. Don’t be scared, they are only people too.

          • Pete

            Wow. Why should a PERSON making your pink slime burger be treated like a slave? Maybe someone will pay me enough money to bulldoze your house. Ahh… the free market!!

          • Pete

            Haha. Money, money, money. The chase for the Almighty dolla is the end of the US. Too bad. We’ve lost our way.

          • Pete

            Why would you live in the rat race? Working 80 hours a week to live in a piece of crap McMansion with made-in-China appliances that last 16 months and pressboard flooring. Classy. I say let the kids live at home for as long as they want. The family has dissolved into absolute nothingness. The country is fractured on so many levels. All because of the pursuit of the dollar. Sad. What are you accomplishing by making a bunch of money? I feel bad for you. You are lost.

          • joe

            You sound incredibly ignorant about how many people graduating with advanced degrees are finding it difficult to get a footing in their given industry for many reasons.

          • MOSES!!!

            Im a Professional Chef and I think those burger flippers deserve a living wage you heartless slime.

          • hannabear

            A Professional Chef! Wow! Good for you! Did you graduate from Le Cordon Bleu??

          • Aurel

            They shouldn’t… but to be college educated, genuinely experienced (in my field), respectable, well-dressed and clean-cut, financially responsible and still not be able to live comfortably on my own is sad. Budgeting is smart, savvy and responsible – and I can guarantee you that most of us try to do that. Your comment is a sad and narrow-minded generalization.

          • Andre

            Aurel, I was referencing to the $7/hr stated above. The fact that you are college educated and have job in your field of study is much different than what I am talking about. Idk what your profession is but I hope you find a way to reach your goals. I do think you’re statement that most people budget responsibly is a bit off. I have many friends that go and blow their paycheck on whatever new thing they want and then complain when they don’t have money so from my experiences I form different opinions, hope you can understand that. I’d also like to clear up that I don’t think everyone has to go to college to make a living. I do think everyone needs skills however. I don’t see how it can be expected to live off a fast food job but that is just me. There are many more paths for people to take i.e. trade school, entrepreneurship, a low wage job in a company that upward mobility is possible. But I don’t really have sympathy for people that expect to live off an unskilled job their entire life. Y’all can hate me for it but that is my views, I was raised differently, sorry.

          • Clyyyyyde

            “I don’t see how it can be expected to live off a fast food job but that is just me.”
            Because a full-time job, regardless of where it is/what you are doing, should pay you a living wage and provide you with benefits?

            Literally, your logic here is: 1) Fast food workers are paid less than a living wage 2) Working in fast food *ought not* be a career 3) That is justified because it is an unskilled job and they should have skills and/or an education in a STEM area 4) Therefore, fast food workers should not expect to be paid a living wage.

            If we just RAISED THE MINIMUM WAGE then those people working fast food COULD live off that job. And why should people not expect to make enough money to live off of while working 40 hours a week?

          • bo’

            honestly andre, it blows my mind that you apparently really believe that anyone CHOOSES a “career flipping burgers”
            people obviously get the best jobs they can- and for some of us, that IS the best job any employer made available. your statements are painfully narrow and simplistic.

          • etyrnal

            if “PROFESSIONALS” feel one person deserves different pay than another person, the it can EASILY be argued that professionals should pay a “PROFESSIONAL” price for their burgers. Since those “PROFESSIONALS” are so much more PROFESSIONAL, they should pay $40 for their burger. They pay more for their PROFESSIONAL everything else. Then we’d be able to pay the professional ‘burger flippers’ a better wage. “PROFESSIONALS” should NOT complain about paying a PROFESSIONAL price. If “PROFESSIONALS” don’t like the “PROFESSIONAL” price, they can make their own… IF they don’t have the TIME or SKILL to make their own, they should pay the professional burger flipper a REAL professional price for it. After all, the burger flipper is helping the “PROFESSIONAL” save some of their much more highly “VALUABLE” time — and THAT should be WORTH something.

            “PROFESSIONALS” can be some of the biggest HAND-OUT-FOR-A-HANDOUT folks of all time… wanting tax breaks, DEALS, better prices, volume pricing, etc… play fair, pay fair.

          • bo’

            Ha!! EXACTLY!! Well Said soooooooo well said!!!!!

          • ElRonbo

            Nothing like a false dichotomy instead of a real argument.

          • John Secular Smith

            Do you rely less on the people that make your food than the person who sets policy at fast food restaurants? Why shouldn’t burger flippers make a wage capable of living on?

            I love the idea that working your ass off for other people to have fast food isn’t a “real job.” Seems to me, they are working pretty hard. Not to mention, the average age of fast food workers is 29 and many have college education but can’t find work in their own field.

            But yeah, it must be all the fault of the workers at fake jobs, and not the economy.

          • Philly Bob

            I am 55 years old, have worked in Multimedia for over 35 years, worked with computers, bands and produced record albums. I was, up until recently, unemployed. With all my experience it took me 19 months to find a new job and that new job only pays 9.00 an hour when in the past I made damn near 70,000 a year. So go ahead and tell me how an education and experience leads to riches these days.

          • Mark Ueber

            Really, that’s it. Too many kids with college degrees that don’t qualify them for the high paying jobs available end up in low paying jobs.

          • bo’

            don’t forget the flip side, there’s not enough of those high paying jobs available to pay for all those expensive college degrees. in this college town, a lot of kids wind up with sticker shock and low wage positions they wind up “taking away” from those of us who were never “privileged” enough to afford that hugely pricey education in the first place. its a bad situation all the way around.

          • Nina Ricci

            burger flipping IS a real job. you are a bigot infantile and apparently lonely right-winger from texas – and part of the problem. you are SO removed from reality it’s hilarious to see. but then again – like i said, you are from texas.

          • Joe

            If you sign up to flip burgers, don’t expect to get paid like an educated professional.

          • Nina Ricci

            what you are NOT getting there joe is that EDUCATED professionals are flipping burgers right now. and not because they want to be there.

          • Joe

            You need to find a job that uses your skills, not just get an education. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

          • Nina Ricci

            by THOR, isn’t that the WHOLE problem?

          • bo’

            joe, please stop playing devils advocate- you are behaving like a troll. earlier you posted a decent comment in reply to my post about the difficulty of service wage positions…
            now you pop off with this. Make up your mind to be a jerk or not! preferably not.

          • Joe

            It seems like a pretty reasonable statement to me, if a bit tough. Everyone known what fast food people make; the wage is posted on the window half of the time when they are looking to hire. You can’t expect to work fast food and get paid more than the well-known going rate. We would all like pay raises but you can’t will higher pay into existence. Something has to give.

          • WinterWrens

            I know many people who have masters degrees making something like $10-15 an hour – still not a living wage, especially in larger cities with higher costs of living. The problem is the boomers won’t leave their jobs, so there’s less hope for us to move into positions that would pay us enough to support ourselves. Oh and that salary also has to cover our student loans. Oh, and let’s not forget, we still need to pay for retirement for both boomers (that SS we won’t be getting for ourselves) and to put into our own 401Ks. So, yeah, even us non-burger flippers are struggling.

          • Andre

            True, have you ever thought about moving? There are great opportunities here in TX I have relatives that usually are not in very high wage jobs making decent money (PTA and teacher)

          • Nina Ricci

            winter – you seem like an intelligent person… which pretty much means texas should be off your list of possible places to live. <>

          • Andre

            We’re doing something right considering we have the 2nd best economy in the nation. Probably because we put off people like you.

          • Nina Ricci

            you should be forced to secede. you are the trash of this country. your economy is “ok” because you abuse mexican immigrants and have a slavery industry going. if texas were to become honest your “economy” would be as bad as most texans. i’m sure the expression white trash is familiar to you.

          • Andre

            You keep telling yourself that.

          • Nina Ricci

            hmm no. i have better things to tell myself – texas, texans and their disgusting bigotry and obnoxious ways is something i actually avoid thinking about.

          • Andre

            Do you know how obnoxious you sound yourself reading your comments here?

          • WinterWrens

            I’m lucky enough to be in a business where I can work virtually, so I don’t have these problems personally. I’m just speaking for friends who I know are struggling.

            The problem with your argument is that it’s anecdotal. I don’t doubt that there are places where people can get hired, but not everyone can afford the cost to move there and even if they could, there certainly aren’t enough of those jobs to employ everyone who can’t afford to feed and house themselves across the country.

            It used to be poor people were told to ‘get a job’. But now the poor people actually HAVE jobs (many homeless people are actually employed!) and they’re told to get an education or a better-paying job. This is flawed logic. (a) Those low-wage jobs still need to be filled. Teenagers aren’t enough. Someone has to do these jobs during school hours, at the very least. (b) It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to have the capacity to do this. Not everyone is good at school. Others are good at hard work and labor. These folks used to fit nicely into the economy in manufacturing jobs that paid a living wage. Those jobs have since been replaced with service jobs which do not.

          • Andre

            I agree with part of what you’re saying.I agree that school is not for everyone, there are many people how are good at physical labor and if you want increased wages you can go to trade schools or mechanic schools instead of working cashier or even start your own business. Yes there are people that need to do those jobs but there are MANY people that can do that job so it is no wonder the pay is so low (high supply/low demand = low wages). If you want to separate yourself you have to take the path less traveled. I see demand in areas that aren’t being filled few people go to those areas.

          • WinterWrens

            I don’t disagree that someone working in fast food doesn’t have the same skills as an engineer and therefore shouldn’t be compensated as much. To imply that they should receive the exact same salary is socialism. I support reined in capitalism. By reined in, I mean that if someone works a full-time job, they should be able to support themselves on it. A low wage doesn’t have to be so low that you can’t afford basic life necessities.

            The way I see it, we have two options: raise the minimum wage or stop whining about food stamps and other ‘entitlements’ and accept that they are the result of low wages. Not everyone has the opportunity – be it because of skill level, intelligence or lack of resources – to get a job above the level of cashier, janitor or fast food worker. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to make enough money through hard work to support themselves modestly and that’s to say nothing of making enough to have children and raise a family.

            This idea that people just need to ‘work harder’ to find a good-paying job is silly. There are people that go hungry every day. The notion that they wouldn’t be working as hard as the possibly could to be able to afford that food is misguided.

            In this day and age, sometimes working as hard as you possibly can still isn’t enough to make ends meet.

          • bo’

            and i for the life of me cannot understand the flawed concept some on here endorse that these service positions are any less valuable in a real sense than the more privileged ergo highly paid ones.

            first thing most folk do when they get a high enough income is start paying =usually cheaply= other less fortunate folk to take care of all their menial “dirty work” they no longer feel they need to do for themselves. becoz there will always be underprivileged people desperate for a paycheck of any size, no matter how pathetically underrated.

            i seem to remember the Trash Disposal people in NY or NJ having a statement to make about that, back in the 80′s. after a month or so of garbage piling up in the summer swelter, the more well-to-do were scrambling to pay these under appreciated hard workers enough to lure them back to a stinking job NO wealthy person is willing to do.

          • bo’

            Beautifully stated, WinterWren! Up votes galore for you too

          • bo’

            totally with you on most of that WW. except its not really the Boomers “fault” – the responsibility for this sad situation rests with the insanely high cost of everything which has forced every adult in a family to seek outside employment so that no one is available to “just stay home” (=manage all the rest of the family’s daily needs). couple that with our recently brainwashed social attitude that this is the Right and Good way to have to live and anything other than that (or everyone’s fantasy of achieving Independent Wealth) must mean a person is *gasp* LAZY. ugh.

          • WinterWrens

            Oh, and for the record, fast food workers deserve to be able to afford food and housing on their own, too. Even if they are just ‘burger flippers’

          • Sergio Lopez-Luna

            You are an idiot

          • Nick

            As someone with 2 college degrees and 10+ years of experience in the “STEM” field I can tell you that even that is not enough now. “Selectiveness” in hiring has become quite absurd as well, “We want someone with CCIE, databases, software development, virtual/cloud experience and they should be a 5 star chef to work for our high end restaurant chain maintaing the website”.

          • Joe

            If you have a CCIE, you should be able to write your own ticket. It’s a very valuable and well-respected credential. Don’t let lofty position descriptions deter you from applying. Oftentimes, hiring managers have to compromise because they can’t find everything they require in a single person. Let them do their job and rule you out if they don’t think you are a good fit for the job — don’t eliminate yourself by not applying and selling yourself.

          • 0kg0on3

            Define professional, please and thank you. Families could be supported by a burger flipper 50 years ago, okay maybe not a burger flipper but they could at least move out on that money! If you were working at the factory you were a huge success, and if you started a small business you were the new D. Trump. Get down off the neverland high horse and join us in reality when you’ve achieved maturity and a sense of perspective. Today’s job market for college graduates and, hell even high school graduates, is not the same as yesteryear and should not be looked at through the same lens. This critical error will lead to small minded remarks. Oh… look! There’s one right above me!

        • Hank

          Sorry if this comes out harsh. Honestly you all sound like a bunch of whiny b&^%$es. Y’all act as if you’re the first to have a rough start as an adult. Put on your big boy undies and go do what you have to do to make a living for yourself. Go to trade school, get a degree that will get you a job, start a business, work you’re way up a business. Just stop complaining and go DO SOMETHING. Doing something isn’t applying to your local mickey d’s or working at hollister. BE SMART.

          • Hank

            And stop making excuses, we’ve heard em all before. This is the time where the winners separate themselves from the losers.

          • Guest

            And there will be far more losers than winners, including some of your kids and grandchildren, no matter how smart, hard-working, kind and selfless they are.

            I don’t know why people seem to avoid the reality that, at one time, hard-work and a little cleverness got one a whole lot further than it does now. If there are twenty winning spots and 40 players, yes, 10 will “lose,” but we’re seeing that now there are 3 winning spots and 100 players, and many of those players have really stepped up their game.

            There are more people working very hard now to get ahead, and they are not only struggling (as always), but struggling harder than ever before. Let’s just acknowledge that.

          • devrie

            And there will be far more losers than winners, including some of your kids and grandchildren, no matter how smart, hard-working, kind and selfless they are.

            I don’t know why people seem to avoid the reality that, at one time, hard-work and a little cleverness got one a whole lot further than it does now. If there are twenty winning spots and 40 players, yes, 20 will “lose,” but we’re seeing that now there are 3 winning spots and 100 players, and many of those players have really stepped up their game. The consolation prize is gone: a job at a factory where one can his way up the ladder with loyalty and dedication, or the secretary who can work up toward management. If there were the kinds of jobs our grandparents had, college grads wouldn’t have to frown so much…they could work in middle class worlds and still afford life. I looked up the cost of college, and in the 60′s, and the cost of an IVY league education is equivalent to state college tuition today as adjusted for inflation.

            We have too many, “But I worked and paid my way” yada yada, and those people can’t seem to see that it is NOT a good thing that so many young college grads have very little option but to work retail.

            There are more people working very hard now to get ahead, and they are not only struggling (as always), but struggling harder than ever before. Let’s just acknowledge that.

          • wistrad

            Great point, but understand that once upon a time expensive insurances were not required, and an education was much cheaper. Sad to say the road to opportunity has become quite a bit more expensive for the young in the last 10 years. Second on a personal note, I was smart. I joined the army, traveled the world, and got a bachelors, and graduate degree without taking out any loans. But this article doesn’t really apply to me, it applyies to my older siblings children.

    • Ben

      Raising the minimum wage will lower the amount of available jobs, especially for young adults. I’d rather have a low-paying job than no job at all.

      • Marvin Anderson

        Costs rise, so should wages. Our generation should not think otherwise.

        • Charity Marshall

          Exactly, if wages kept up with inflation minimum wage would be 19.00/hr how do you expect someone to live on less than half of that and go to school at the same time.

        • profitdurden

          Pay not attention to the man behind the screen. Your costs are manipulated, just as your wages, by the Federal Reserve. Wages and costs do not have to rise together- they are not connected. Wishful thinking, but ignorant. Your dear leaders simply wish to feed the Creature.

          • megaman

            That is one of the most foolish statements I have ever seen. Wages are used to buy the items that cost [a particular price]. They are connected in the most fundamental way. Feel free to offer ANY description of how your idea works.

      • Michael D

        There is no evidence to support this. It depends on how much it is raised. The min. wage, if it had kept up with inflation from the 1970s, should be about $16/hr but is less than half of that. All sorts of studies show that it’s much harder for young people to buy homes and cars than it was 20-40 years ago. Single income families are a thing of antiquity now. Your argument makes WalMart very happy though.

        • Tom

          If the minimum wage doesn’t drive unemployment or at least some costs and therefore prices, why not raise it to $100/hr? Do you think employment and/or prices would remain where they are now if that happened? You realize that you’re going against most of the history of economic thought, don’t you?

          • Trinin

            Tom stop using logical fallacy.

          • profitdurden

            Why not prove him wrong instead of just using fancy words? Where is your god now to prove why $100/hr is a worthwhile idea? Money is pretend.

          • Clyyyyyde

            You understand “if you want $14 in minimum wage, WHY NOT $100 LOL” is not an argument and pointing out that it’s a logical fallacy isn’t just using fancy words, right? Do you know what a logical fallacy is? You are on the internet, I assume you can look it up.

            Nobody is arguing for $100 an hour, although some CEOs probably do make that much. $14 an hour is relative to inflation and lifestyle changes.

          • melisaurus

            Our economy is also very different than it has been through out history. We aren’t agrarian or industrial anymore. That means changes for everything else too.

          • Hardcastle

            The point is for minimum wage to keep up with inflation and standards of living, which it has not. a $15-$16/hr minimum wage would be appropriate given inflation. $100 an hour is silly.. A quick comparison to minimum wages around the developed world: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/19/the-u-s-has-a-7-25-minimum-wage-australias-is-16-88/

        • devrie

          You’re right!! Many families wouldn’t need dual income earners if wages increased. So, even if the raised wages cost jobs (which will be a minimal impact), there could be less people already holding those jobs (as second jobs or second income earners in the home).

      • Jason Adkins

        This is the exact mentality that allows companies, and government, to keep wages as low as possible.

        • profitdurden

          But you vote for them. You buy from them. You worship your starbucks and toms and somehow think it’s not your fault.

          • Matthew Sychantha

            Actually starbucks pays above minimum wage on average and gives employees many benefits. You’re thinking of Dunkin Doughnuts.

          • profitdurden

            When did Starbucks pay $50/hr? Many benefits your leader’s vision no longer allows?

            Why is $50/hr not right for a barista? You think it’s too much? Enlighten us with your analysis.

          • Matthew Sychantha

            Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot you deserved a million dollars for unskilled labor.

            Harsh reality check buddy: You’re either better, faster or more efficient than everyone in the room when it comes to your job. That’s how you get paid better, and that’s how you become something. I don’t pretend I’m the next bill gates, but I do what I do and I make sure I can back up my reason for being around at my job. Do you?

          • megaman

            Wrong. You just need to remain on the good side of the right friends.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Where did you pull this $50/hr number from? The Affordable Care Act is still being worked out but moreover, why in the hell are you even bringing that up in this context? Stop baiting everybody by saying condescending, ignorant and irrelevant BS.

          • bo’

            don’t tell me who i vote for.

            not that it much matters anyway

      • Jordan Burke

        Wrong.
        Most of these companies do not need that assloads of profits they hoard. That money needs to be in the hands of the employees and therefore in the economy, then more jobs will follow.

        • profitdurden

          It is their right.
          You cannot take what is not yours.
          The basis for our government, dear comrad, is private property rights. They can hoard what they wish.
          You waste your parents’ assets- you are no better.

          The money in the employees goes to pay for Wal Mart. They employees happily give it right back.

          • Jordan Burke

            I am not asking for regulating the crap out of corporations, I am asking that they AT LEAST pay the workers a living wage. They can afford to do that and still do well, this is just unchecked greed and Americans who work far harder than their counterparts in Europe are living under the poverty line. Is that fine to you?
            We can not have a single percent of the country owning a majority of the nations wealth, that is how you make a 3rd world country. Listen to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet sometime.

            Thanks for peppering in stereotypes and judgments in your comment by the way, very classy.

      • devrie

        That’s not true at all. Many minimum wage earners are adults, and a good portion of them are in dual income families. When two people are working, there are two work-related expenses. After accounting for childcare (one child), gas and a second insurance, based on averages, a second income earner on minimum wage is only profiting about $2.00 an hour.

        I think it is MORE likely that if minimum wage increased by about $2.00 an hour, we’d see less people who are struggling to work dead-end jobs just to ensure the lights don’t get cut off dropping out of the work force.

        You can SAY that you’d rather work a low-paying job than no job, but that’s because your personal work expenses (child care, commute, Etc.) don’t cost you MORE than your wage. For many people, that second income earner or second job is only a there for survival purposes, and if the other person earned more, the second person drop out of the work-force and choose to care for the kids or work on vocational or other educational opportunities.

        I think it’s easy to see raising minimum wage as costing jobs, but it won’t. The cost of goods will only have to increase minimally, and the effect of some people not taking on second low-wage jobs (or dual income families with very small children working long hours at those jobs opting out for a few years) will make the job market much less competitive for people who need work.

        • bo’

          yes devrie that is correct. we did the cost analysis when our 2nd was born, and came up w roughly the same figures too. and of course there’s been 13 years of inflation since then.

      • WhiteLabRat

        Tell that to nations like Australia where minimum wage is closer to $19 US an hour and they have an economy doing at least as well or better than ours. Everyone tells you higher wages mean less jobs but last time I checked plenty of other nations are doing just fine with much higher minimum wages.

        Also to consider the lowest cost of living and therefor the lowest paying jobs are in 3rd world countries. If your analogy were accurate then to stay competitive we should live like the average Indonesian sweat shop worker. There would be low unemployment and we could all be happy. If you extrapolate your statement to it’s socioeconomic conclusion you won’t like where it takes you.

        I could as easily say “at least slaves are fed and have a roof over their head” and it would be just as weird a statement. Not equivalent, but just as weird and wrong in every way.

    • Stacey

      #1 even the Federal minimum wage is more than $7/hour ($7.25 or more, depending on state http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm) Live with roommates, have a cheap car (no car payment), basic cell service, eat on the cheap….it can all be done. Cable, cell data, and weekend parties are NOT the necessities.

      #2 I survived, while going to college, on $5.25/hour, paying $350/mo rent and all my living expenses. My parents gave me NOTHING!

      • Trinin

        Yeah but you were lucky enough to only have to pay $350 a month, and then a lot of millennials still have massive student loan debts to deal with. MY cheapest rent option in my area? $650 a month between 3 people, with no utilities included.

      • Clyyyyyde

        Rent in my area is a pretty consistent $500/month even with three plus roommates, not including utilities. On top of that, many people’s
        monthly student loan payments are around $500 too. On top of THAT, most jobs available to post undergrad adults are either $7 an hour or unpaid internships. May we also not forget it’s pretty hard to even BUY a cell phone that doesn’t require a data plan. More power to you for being able to handle such financial pressures but let’s not project our anecdotal experiences onto others… particularly if you are from another generation?

        • gdognight

          Do you have a car? I didn’t. Do you have a cell phone? I didn’t. Did you have cable tv? I didn’t. Do you work more than one job so that you can learn a skill? I did.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Don’t have a car. Have a cell phone, lucky enough to be on my parents plan (thank god)! Don’t have cable. Do have two part-time minimum wage jobs (don’t even get me started). Why are you making all these assumptions about a perfect stranger//comparing yourself to a perfect stranger? You seem angry?

          • w3bgrl

            I’ve found a lot of bootstrappers are pretty bitter about their life experience and assume everyone should just live the way they did. Problem is, times change. Everyone’s situation is unique, especially in locations where the cost of living is not cheap, nor anywhere in comparison to what it used to be. Not having a phone number is just not realistic today – unless maybe if you live in a very small town and/or already have connections to a business owner that wants to hire you. Most jobs will require you have a phone, and worse, most employers have no loyalty or empathy for their employees anymore. My suggestion: have everyone in the house chip in for internet service and get a free Google Voice number, or hangout at a cafe/restaurant with free wifi on a tablet ($100 or cheaper used). Anyway you look at it though, people need some kind of technology today to get into the workforce. You do have to get creative in today’s market to survive, but you can do it.

          • jelun

            There is no such thing as a “bootstrapper”. Think about it. It is an impossible exercise. So is lifting yourself up from nothing. There is a lie in there somewhere.

          • w3bgrl

            Very true. Kinda like the: “I built this.” Mentality. Everyone has help from someone, somewhere. Whether it’s a gov’t grant to get a biz going, food stamps for a few months to scrape by, pell grant for education, an extra fat tip by a empathetic regular for waiting tables, parental shelter, or even a job opportunity from an employer that believes in them and gives them the connections they need to move forward. It’s just a more positive term for those that are calling millenials whiners.

          • bo’

            ~Grin~ :

          • jelun

            Cuz of the “I did it all on my own” syndrome. Don’t even listen to those people.

          • kittenhasawhip

            Car: essential in areas with cheap rent (usually rural areas…like where I’m currently going to school…with no public transportation). Cell phone: Essential for jobs where you’re on call all day (like me). You could get a landline, but it costs about the same as the cheapest cell plan. I would know; I looked into it. Working more than one job: I am working one job in addition to my full-time student course load but I think working multiple jobs would be difficult for me or for any high achieving student; I get a full ride for my grades and I must remain at the top of my class to keep my scholarship.

            Point being, the things you view as non-essential, actually are essential in some cases. And the things you think people *should* be doing would be inadvisable in other situations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you got through school when you were a kid. But you are not me.

          • megaman

            ting.com $6/month

        • justthebest

          I’ll grant all your points but one: Even if you think a cell phone is a “necessity” you can do what many of us (with plenty of money) do and buy a Tracphone or similar plan. No data plan, and my cell phone service is less than $10/month. And, I have service where others don’t, b/c my phone searches all signals for the best one. I think the phone was $15, but they have fancier versions. I have used mine for over 7 years.

          • Clyyyyyde

            I never made the point that a cell phone was a necessity… I said I am lucky enough to have my parents pay for it… like where are you quoting that from in my response?

          • megaman
          • bo’

            cell phone absolutely necessity if you want to get hired.

        • Yoga mom

          I am from another generation & reading this with great interest. I have 3 grown children, one of them a chiro student. …I help out allot. Its impressive how many of you posting here handle financial stressors

        • 2_fed_up

          I really feel for kids today who are going for higher education. Our economy is truly screwed up and anyone who criticizes a student trying to make ends meet is totally out of touch. I attended college in the 70s and again in the 80s. It was nothing like today.

        • sisterfunkhaus

          If you Are paying that much I student loan payments, you are doing it all wrong. You can do income based repayment. My husband makes $50,000 a year and has payments of less that $200 a month. After 10 years the rest is forgiven since he is a teacher. Regular folks have to wait 25 years for them to be forgiven. Look up IBR. Few people know about it. It isn’t income contingent. It is totally different and a fairly new option.

      • AdalynLeigh

        I have a 1bdrm apartment that’s of average square footage and it costs me $1100 a month to rent. I could move elsewhere but then I’d be making up the difference with gas costs and wear and tear on a car since I can walk to work. I would have to work 210 hours a month (52hrs a week) just to make rent and that’s not counting utilities and food, nor is it accounting for taxes.

        • gdognight

          You don’t deserve to have a 1 bedroom by yourself. You have to share with a roommate. God you kids think the world owes you stuff.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Did you ignore the part where Adalyn discussed WHY it makes more financial sense to pay higher rent? I guess you did.

            Did you ignore the part where several others have mentioned that rent even with roommates is still exorbitant ($500+/mo/3+roommates/no utilities)? Oh, I guess you missed that too.

          • Tupelo

            Sarcasm, 1 point – Clyde, 0.

          • Clyyyyyde

            There were previously two different EBs commenting on the thread (one is now posting as gdognight) with opposite viewpoints so it was easy to mistake their intention. I so appreciate your very novel use of the points system!

          • Joe

            $500<$1100. You could get far in life just by saving the difference. To get ahead, the excuses must stop.

          • lumpykiwi

            Well if the United States claims to be a meritocracy I guess we do have the right to believe the world owes us something. Why shouldn’t hard work and determination be rewarded? That is what most of us have been doing, unfortunately we have not been getting anything back. We have been following the rules laid by our predecessors, and in return have been mocked.

          • megaman

            Yeah the whole “the world owes you NOTHING” idea is very weird. If you believe that, then why charge for your services? Why buy from others?

          • kittenhasawhip

            I’ve come to the conclusion that you are a troll. You’re doing a pretty good job.

          • megaman

            Heh heh…indeed. The only people who “deserve” food, clothing, and shelter are the ones who know where the oil is?

          • mskipps

            Deserve? that is a cruel word. YOu have no idea what this person’s age or needs are. I am 64. In college I was subsidized by parents by living at home and by the state which kept tuition low. I graduated with no debt. But a book was about 2 hours of work at minimum wage (1.50). I know because i still have the amounts stamped into my books. NOw a book– even a paperback, can cost 40-140 dollars. One MUST have a functioning computer. One cannot work three jobs and study effectively. This is why our kids are not getting the education we could get and society will suffer.

          • Joe

            Deserve may be a word with harsh connotations but it is the truth. In terms of goods and services, you only deserve to have what you can afford. Our wants are nearly unlimited yet everyone has limited means. Something must give to resolve that conflict.

          • bo’

            “you only deserve to have what you can afford” is hugely ironic coming from someone who has the LUXURY of a comfortable life.

          • Joe

            Again, it’s simply a fact of life. We all want more than we can afford regardless of our means.

          • Joe

            Everyone in the US enjoys a luxurious life compared to the prevailing standards in much of the world.

          • bo’

            gdognight, why don’t you try living in an overcrowded subpar apartment with people you barely know for awhile. and maybe with a total nightmare roommate. its lots of fun!

      • lumpykiwi

        Implying rent is around $350 a month any more.

      • gdognight

        You are the expception now. Kids now days think they have to have all the other stuff. No one wants to sacrifice at all!

        • Jordan Burke

          The reason they feel that way could be because the previous generation spoiled them.

        • lumpykiwi

          You do realize you cannot live without a cellphone any more? There are no public phones available anymore. Society has made it a necessity to own one. Along, with the other technology that has become more prevalent. Job applications are now almost entirely online, so if you like internet good luck finding a job.

          • profitdurden

            Ok, tracfone for $20 a month if that. Library has computers with internet. You don’t need data-driven cell phone. You are not your iphone. You want it, do not confuse that with NEED. Such a difference, lost soul.

          • megaman

            Sorry dude. You need a cell phone with a data capability.

          • Clyyyyyde

            People now DO need cell phones – even if you and all your roommates share one line. AND a computer. Getting to and
            fro the library in order to use their computers may be a more expensive commute than just having the internet, not to mention is a huge time waster. Also, some libraries charge for internet access. I personally just upgraded a week ago to my first smartphone and while it’s really neat and fun, it’s definitely not a necessity to have a data plan.

          • bo’

            not to mention around here there is a 30minute daily access limit per library card… unless you bring your own computer. oh wait. according to justthebest, thats not a necessity. oops.

          • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

            Not to mention: people don’t have landlines anymore. A “cell phone” isn’t an extra luxury. It’s a cheaper version of the land line.

          • justthebest

            Wrong. I could afford any cell phone and plan I want, but choose not to waste money on such things. My cell plan is about $10/mo. and works just fine. Being USED to something, or having friends who have it does not make it a “necessity.” Food, shelter and clothing–those are your necessities.

          • bo’

            you try living with STRICTLY THOSE 3 ITEMS and NOTHING MORE. and then while you are at it, try also having to stand in bread lines for the food part of it. and fill out endless paperwork to help with the unaffordable rent.
            but in our modern world, lots of things are forced necessities beyond those 3 bare essentials.

          • justthebest

            Well you apparently have Internet access, which is good.

          • bo’

            back to what i said: lots of things are FORCED NECESSITIES.

          • anon

            I know lots of very successful people without a phone. Including myself :)

            When going gets tough, the tough get going.

        • devrie

          Every generation is that way to a certain extent. Easy to say that’s the problem when today’s minimum wage only get’s 1/2 what minimum wage got us almost 20 years ago. Even if they could save anything from their living, they don’t even benefit from the same interest rates we got. Ha! And don’t forget credit card interest–we paid like, three percent (six if you had no or bad credit). Now, people with good credit have less than 9 percent. :) All young people want it all. We did too. We could afford more of it in our day, though (and finding a job was SO easy back then compared to now!).

      • Thomas

        You probably graduated years ago before inflation set in and your dollar went farther.

      • http://www.omg-ponies.com OMG! Ponies!

        Sadly, you are comparing apples and that nagging suspicion that you may have left the gas on.

        #1 The rental market is vastly different than it was while you were in college, with steep rises caused by investment purchases both by domestic buyers and from abroad.

        #2 Real wages are not only stagnant but have, in actuality, declined when adjusted for inflation. Your $5.25 wage had more buying power than today’s $7.25 wage.

        #3 The job market has radically shifted away from full-time employment towards part-time and temp work

        #4 A “cheap” car nowadays often is not. Gone are the days of buying a VW bug and fixing it yourself with the owner’s manual as a guide. Most cars on the road nowadays have complicated computerized systems that require engine work and maintenance be done by a fully equipped shop.

        #5 No one said that weekend parties were part of the deal. That is you projecting. As for television, yes, you do need a cable subscription nowadays. Basic cell plans start at $30 and have punitive overage charges. Internet is practically a necessity and also requires a cable plan to be usable.

        Let us make a hypothetical budget.

        The average worker works 27.5 hours per week. There is a reason for this. 27.5 hours equals five 5.5 hour shifts. An employee working a 5.5 hour shift is required to be given one paid 15 minute break, whereas at six hours two paid breaks are required to be given and at 8 hours, the employee is also required to be given a half hour unpaid break. 5.5 hours maximizes the work and minimizes breaks.

        This worker grosses $206.25 per week. Federal income tax lowers the take home to $186. Subtract approximately another $25 for SSI and Medicare. Now we’re down to $160 per week. Subtract another 6% pretax for FICA. Now, we’re down to around $150 per week or $600 per month. This is better known as taking home $7,200 per year.

        Of course, the person is homeless, naked, in the dark, hungry, and has no transportation. Given that the recommended rent is no more than 1/3 of gross, this person needs to find a room for less than $220 per month. Let’s assume s/he finds a place for $200 per month. That is now $400 per month. She is still naked, in the dark, hungry, and without transportation.

        The average commute distance is 16 miles each way. Since this person is using an old beater that is near its end of life, we can safely assume that mileage is no better than 20 mpg. So the worker is going to spend about $7 in gas just to get to and from work each day. That is $35 a week or $140 per month. Now we’re down to $260 for the month.

        Our worker is still naked, in the dark, hungry, and incommunicado. Subtract $30 for a basic cell plan. That’s $230. Subtract $50 for basic cable/internet. That’s $180.

        Our worker is still hungry, in the dark, and naked. Subtract $50 for her share of the utilities (gas, electricity, trash, water). Now we’re down to $130 for the month. Our worker is still hungry and naked. Let’s give her $4 a day for food. So she’s now fed. With $10 left to spare at the end of the month.

        And here’s where things get fun. She has no clothes. She has no bed. She has no dresser. How do you buy things with no money?

        On credit. Which leads to debt. And soon, our worker is paying for debt service.

        The current federal minimum wage is not a livable wage. You cannot survive on it. You can only hope to die a slow death of a thousand cuts.

        • Yoga mom

          You are not being helpful – you recite a bunch of statistics/news – some of which are applicable… how about a list of what is good/has changed for the better & is working?

          • http://www.omg-ponies.com OMG! Ponies!

            A recitation of the problem is necessary for a solution.

            I’m sorry if the problem with the current minimum wage is that it does not allow for even subsistence living.

            But ignoring facts and statistics which are relevant to a discussion about the inability of a generation to find a foothold in the current economic clime is what would, in fact, not be helpful.

            What is working about the current minimum wage? Nothing except for perhaps without it, workers would be paid even less.

            What has changed for the better? Not much. The minimum wage has not been properly adjusted for inflation and the consumer price index.

          • Yoga mom

            I agree that minimum wage is not enough…. lets look at solutions, obviously differ for every person. They can be found outside the 9-5 (or 9-1.30pm ) job….babysit a group of children one night/week so parents can work = $50.
            Clean someone’s house or office once per week = $ 75/week. yes, you have to look around for right opportunity but they are there. Yes, teach a class – Yoga, music, running, etc… make $ 50/week … that’s offering solutions. The workplace & minimum wage are what they are for 100 reasons… get moving – make some real money!

          • baroque

            In some localities if you babysit more than one or two related children at a time, you count as a day care facility and have to be licensed and insured as such. Same with teaching if it is something that could injure someone, like any kind of physical fitness or training. Also if you do not have an appropriate space in your home and do not do it in their home (which isn’t really safe, especially for women) you need to locate a space to use for the classes.

          • Joe

            Successful people find a way to make it happen. Lazy people sit around and talk about why things can’t be done and how it isn’t fair that other people are getting ahead by working hard. Which will you choose to be?

          • anon

            Thank you.

          • devrie

            Joe, people are trying to find ways as they complain. ;) There are people who try all sorts of things and don’t make it. It’s a combination of hard-work, cleverness, and luck (and sometimes friends/networking). Not everyone is given the same launch pad.

          • Joe

            Keep working at it and you’ll find your recipe for a successful life. If at first you fail, learn from your mistakes and keep trying. Find a way to add value in ways others are willing to pay for and you will do just fine in life. Whatever “launch pad” you are given is really irrelevant. Plenty of people come from next to nothing and find a way to be successful. It’s not a competition. Just find something that works for you and your life’s goals.

          • bo’

            like i said to andre earlier- i sincerely hope you will also get the “opportunity” to rethink your current beliefs

          • Joe

            I have had such an opportunity on several occasions and it always works out. Thank you for your concern. I hope you figure out a way to realize your full potential in life.

          • bo’

            now you’re just being judgmental. don’t like it when people bring up valid negatives so bully them into shutting up by calling them lazy to even bring it up. i get it… the messenger of unhappy news is the villain & so must be shot.

          • Joe

            No judgements here, just factual statements.

          • bo’

            Seriously yoga mom? do you pay $75 to have someone in doing housework once a week? thats mighty generous of you

          • Yoga mom

            I pay $ 100/week to my cleaning lady for my 3 Bedroom house & $ 75 every weekend to have my 3000 sq ft clinic cleaned. I live 30 miles outside Sacramento, CA. besides cleaning, there needs to be an element of trust, that’s worth some money as well. My point is – and forgive me if I sound patrolling, that is not my intend – there IS work & money out there but you have to look beyond the ads & follow the needs real people have.

          • bo’

            your cleaning lady has to clean a 3bedroom house every day at least 5-6 days a week to earn barely enough to provide her family’s basic needs, approx $2000/mo after taxes. she has to take on additional houses each day for any of life’s little extras that people on a PROFESSIONAL salary get to take for granted. she also gets to go home and clean her own house for free and take care of all her family’s other living needs herself, no matter how tired she is. She can’t afford to pay someone else to do it so that she can put her own feet up at the end of a long hard day.

            i will say that you are being more generous than the many who pay around $50 to do what she is doing. of course i do not know how many extra tasks she has been given to make that extra pay feel worthwhile to you. nor whether you are paying her directly, or rather a service such as “Maid 2 Order” & she is actually receiving only a percentage.

            I’m not trying to attack you personally- but i feel a need to try adding some additional real world perspective. Cleaning Ladies the world over- including yours- work their behinds off for very low take-home wages. And i do speak from personal experience.

        • anon

          Um. I dont know anyone who works full time only 28 hours per week. Normal jobs have you work 40 hours – 9 hours M-F, with a 1 hour lunch break and 2 15 minute paid “smoke” breaks (Thats what I call them – I dont smoke). Most people I know working career jobs, especially early on, work WAY more than that – I’d estimate 50-60 hours/week. If your job only lets you work 30 hours (or even just 40 hours), its time to get a second or third job.

          • devrie

            Those are normal jobs, and they are difficult to find, anon. You know the mantra, “Just take any job,” and so, people do: retail. You can work all sorts of odd hours for a restaurant or a store or gas station. It pays minimum wage, and it is often just enough hours to not be considered “full time” so that the employer doesn’t have to pay benefits. So people take the jobs while looking for other jobs. The conundrum lies in finding hours that work, when you’re working 1pm to 6:30 pm, and the other jobs that are open are looking for 2pm to 7:30 or 9am to 2:30. So many people either work just under full time while searching for a better or second job, and that is very, very common.

          • bo’

            “If your job only lets you work 30 or even just 40 hours its time to get a second or third job”
            awesome thinking there. works great for those who have absolutely no responsibilities in life other than to their employer.

        • bo’

          yay!! FIVE MILLION UP VOTES!!

      • devrie

        I graduated high school when minimum wage was about that. Life was way better then. I could afford MORE on my low wage than I can now on a higher wage. Gasoline was only about $1.09 a gallon then. So was milk. On one hour’s wage, you could get like, four gallons of gasoline and a gallon of milk. Now, on minimum wage, you can get one gallon each. Add to that the rent has risen significantly since then, and it’s much, much more difficult to find a job. I had no college degree and worked as a Kennel attendant/vet tech, a portrait studio manager, and a waitress/hostess. I’ve since gone to the military where I worked as a meteorologist, and have gotten two bachelor’s degrees (one natural science and one in management), and of the hundreds of jobs I’ve applied for, I’ve only gotten four interviews (one of them paying less than $9/hr) and no job “Yes, come work with us” responses (although I’ll finally start something next week through a networking lead). I feel as though my time in the military doesn’t count as “job experience” to employers, and so it created this void for me that has given me the ability to see how the millennials feel (only I have a family now).

        We CANNOT compare how ‘we’ did it ‘back then’ to today’s group. They’re facing bigger challenges. OH, and one more thing. When I was 18-21, grown-ups told me to save my money. “You’ll only get about seven to ten percent interest on the money you’ll save, but once you get about three thousand dollars saved up, you can start investing.”

        What do we tell the young ones NOW? LOL LOL, “You’ll be able to get less than a half percent on interest, but once you save…” Oh gosh. We can’t compare.

        • w3bgrl

          Exactly. Thank you for using your perspective correctly. I too went to HS and graduated about that time as well. Times have changed. Bootstrap method just isn’t enough anymore – for anyone. And yes, we also need to treat our vets better and understand their time in the service IS experience as well.

      • 2_fed_up

        I was in school in the 70s, and again in the 80s. Tuition was so low that my parents could budget for it (around $150 a semester). I had one part time job. It paid for rent, utilities, groceries, books, car payments and gas, and an occasional night out. Our economy has become so screwed up and lopsided that such a lifestyle is no longer possible. There is no reason on earth to criticize kids for wanting it to be a little easier to get a higher education today. If they were not raised in poverty, it is unfair to expect that they live that way in school. It is the fault of the economy, not the kids. Today’s students are graduating in debt. Severe debt. They should be able to work a little and study a lot, not the other way around.

        Furthermore, if today’s kids are to keep up, they need computers, internet, and smart phones. These items were a luxury 10 years ago but not today, We use them to do research, get training, take courses, search for jobs, all kinds of things. The more tapped in you are, the more opportunities you have.

        • justthebest

          “If they were not raised in poverty, if is unfair to expect that they live that way in school.” Seriously? It has been my experience and observation that all but the most spoiled college students and 20 somethings do just that. There are many fun things about being 18-28, but I think it is (and should be) understood that it is the poorest you will be in your life and it is when you are supposed to learn to do without and make do with less, so that you will really learn the value of work and making a living. That is impossible as long as you live off of your parents. I absolutely agree that it’s much harder now, and that we need to address the student loan/college cost issue, and min. wage needs to double. But, to imply that kids should not suffer in college is naïve and unwise. I have some very fond memories of those years, but none of them involve having nice things or extra cash for fun. My best friend and I still laugh about how we would pool our change so we could go to the local steak house chain and get the “loaded baked potato bar” b/c they let you go back to the bar over and over as long as you had any potato left. It was $2.65 each, and it was the highlight of our week. One of many “poverty” stories, and I wouldn’t be who I am without those lean years.

          • devrie

            They shouldn’t have to live in poverty AFTER college for the next 10 to 15 years. We’re talking AFTER college!! Their debt is higher, the wages are lower, the savings rates are non-existent, the job market is hugely competitive, and the amount of food and gas one can buy on minimum wage is far less than what one could buy years ago.

          • justthebest

            Of course you live in poverty after college–especially if your degree is in liberal arts. That’s been true since at least the 70s. I don’t disagree that it’s harder to do even that now, and that we need to address the issues I mentioned (college costs and min. wage). I have a lot of sympathy for the hard working college kids and recent grads, and I know it’s really tough. But, I have zero sympathy (and some resentment) of a twenty-something adult that would rather live at home with his or her parents, in comfort, while they wait to “pursue their passion” or “make enough to live comfortably.” I’m not implying that everyone can go from college to independence; I do believe everyone should be trying to be independent as hard and as quickly as possible. Living with your parents as an adult should be your absolute last resort, and you should spend every minute trying to find that decent job that will assure your independence. I could never respect a person who went home to live with mom and dad so they could afford a smart phone and nice car.

          • Andre

            Bravo. Very well said.

          • Sophia Barraclough

            I think you guys mean different things when saying “poverty.”

          • megaman

            You sacrificed your health AND we all get to pay for it with higher health care premiums. You might want to reconsider your suffering student paradigm a bit.

          • justthebest

            For the record, we’re talking about an age group that is NOW allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance, which we sure as hell couldn’t do. They’re not even paying their OWN insurance, much less mine. So, touché.

          • Clyyyyyde

            Lololol at the idea that you could go to an “all you can eat” anything anymore for under $3

          • justthebest

            Yep–those were the days! This was in the early 80s. I like to think that today, if you want to know where the best deals are (for anything), ask a twenty-something. I hope I am right that they would know the answer(s).

          • Clyyyyyde

            Hmmm yes, I would imagine they stay up more with places just opening and struggling for business/where to get the cheapest tacos in town lol

          • bo’

            ya its fun to laugh about hard times when they are all in the past and plusher times are coming your way. i used to do the same. but guess what- for lots of people hard times leave for awhile and just when life seems good at last, hard times come sneaking back around again. sometimes life pounds you to a pulp. other times it chips away until all thats left is raw and bleeding. always there is a carrot dangling at one end and a whip applied to the other… just work a little harder, give a little more….
            no you wouldn’t be who you are without those lean years- but don’t let yourself get too comfortable thinking they are necessarily gone for good either. you could have the rug yanked out when you have no reason to expect it, too

    • Andre

      How about getting a degree that isn’t liberal arts, history, or english. Maybe then y’all wouldn’t have to work fast food to pay off loans for a worthless education.

      • Hardcastle

        I’d say that’s quite a generalization.. While having somewhat of a point, it hardly applies to everyone working minimum wage. Especially tradesmen- carpenters, painters and the like. Housing bubble pops, went to nearly 40% unemployment among tradesmen. My family is full of them and none of them are making the kind of money they were in the early 2000′s, when they have work at all.

        • Jack

          Tradespeople are making good money these days because people generally take two routes after high school, college or min wage jobs. From my understanding there is high demand for blue collar workers and I wish more people would go to trade schools who don’t wanna go to college.

    • profitdurden

      Because you cannot budget and basic math. Your liberal public school system has failed you.

      • WhiteLabRat

        You can’t budget away reality. The numbers don’t lie. Replies like this are possible only by completely ignoring every piece of information available to you in favor of believing the world still exists in the same state it did in 1980.

        You are entitled to your opinion and it does not make it right or valid.

      • steve parish

        It’s the U.S. public school system.. Own up or be the sheep that you are.

    • Tom Sumners

      I moved nito my first apartment myself on $7 an hour. It can be done.

      • bo’

        depends where you live and how long ago you did this

    • anon

      Thats because people aren’t expected to live on minimum wage jobs. They’re supposed to be for teenagers and people with an IQ so low that they’re supported by the government.

      And thats false btw. When I was a teen I interned on minimum wage and did okay. Lived with 3 people in 1 room in a house shared with another 5 people. Spent $100/month on food (budgeting is your best friend!). Just had a gophone for emergency/job use.

    • mtnrunner2

      By “requiring” a living wage I trust you mean pointing a gun at employers and ordering them to do it. Any dictator can do that.

      I also find it pathetic that so many “Like” this comment. Our nation is quickly going down the toilet in an orgy of collectivism.

      • Sporkfighter

        We already have a minimum wage, we have workplace safety requirements, we have Social Security, lots of requirements on every business. Changing the minimum wage is no more “pointing a gun at employers” than is a zoning requirement or a requirement that fire exits be marked and unlocked.

        • Joe

          What effect do you think regulations ave on people who would like to start a business and hire people to work for them? The cost of complying with regulations is higher than you might imagine if you’ve never ran a business before. Nothing is free — not even minimum wage increases.

          • Sporkfighter

            I never said it was free. Would you eliminate the minimum wage, workplace safety, fire codes, zoning requirements, product labeling requirements, medical licensing requirements, social security, in the name of “job creation”?

            Civilization costs. We pay the price or we live in an economic jungle where the weak, the poor, the unlucky, starve. I’m willing to pay the price.

    • Rachel

      In other cultures interdependence rather than independence is valued. I have learned a lot from my husband who is from India. He lived with his parents until our marriage, and actively contributed both financially and by doing chores. It would be shameful for his parents if he was unmarried and not living with them. However, living at home was no excuse for laziness. In our marriage, he is more responsible, harder working and more flexible than I am. He is more used to the hard but good work of functioning as a family unit. I felt very ashamed when I lived with my parents for a year after a I graduated from college and couldn’t find a job as a teacher (with a double major and 3.94 gpa… so no, it has nothing to do with how hard your worked in school). I was lucky to get a job as a teachers aid that actually paid a little more than minimum wage (8 something) but still could not afford rent or a car on my own. Looking back I wish I had accepted the situation more gracefully, knowing that I was doing my best. Living at home doesn’t have to mean you are lazy, if you are actively looking for work, accepting whatever low paying jobs you can get, contributing a little towards rent and learning to do the same chores you will have to do when you move out. There is no reason for someone who is 21+, especially if he/she is unemployed and living with parents, not to grocery shop, cook and clean. Learning to share and negotiate those basic housekeeping responsibilities is part of being an adult. If you are sitting in your parents basement on the internet for hours every day and they are still doing your laundry etc then living at home is probably not good for you. However, if you are working hard to make the most of your circumstances, and living with your parents helps you to save money for the next step, it can be a really good thing.

      • Jack

        I agree with this, there is no shame if you are trying your best. May I ask where you live? I am from Texas and my sister has found man teaching jobs around the state and she graduated with a 3.5 gpa. How could you not find one??

        • Rachel

          I left the country. The only job I could find was in Dubai, so I went! There are lots of teaching jobs here, and usually the pay includes airfare, rent and there are no taxes. A year ago there was an opening at the school back home where I had student taught. They offered me a 9.5 position with no benefits… for a lower salary. Add on social security that I will never see, and the fact that my taxes will be paying for drones, and the choice was easy. Needless to say I am still in Dubai.

          • bo’

            yep. one of the BEST talented young teachers my son ever had lost her position in the endless cutbacks annually hitting our state. her failing? she was a first year certified having been “only” a “student teacher” and then an “aide’ for 3 years before. Didn’t matter how gifted she was with young children- there was literally not ONE single job opening for her in the state.
            So when she and her husband (also a young new teacher freshly certified) got the invitation to teach english in Africa, they went. They are still teaching there- our great loss, africa’s great gain.

          • Joe

            Sounds like a great reason to get the teachers unions out of education so we can keep great teachers instead of tenured teachers (not that the two groups are mutually exclusive). I’m sure that idea would get a luke warm reception here with this audience, however.

          • bo’

            sorry joe, as an extremely actively involved school mother, i get to set you straight on that one. teacher unions are not the reason funding gets annually CUT BY MILLIONS to all the districts in our state, resulting in fewer and fewer teachers available to pay their union dues every year.
            think about it logically, and please don’t try to argue party line talk with me on it.

          • Joe

            Teachers unions definitely don’t control school funding (thank goodness!) but they do play a large part in determining which teachers are kept and which are let go when times get tough. I’m pretty sure union dues are withheld from paychecks. Unions (like Uncle Sam) always get paid what they are due. I hope your children are lucky enough to enjoy a well-performing school system where you live. Many are not so fortunate and are stuck in failing schools which no amount of money would fix.

      • bo’

        10 MILLION UP VOTES!! this is a GREAT place for me to step out of the discussion… i am going to go the rest of the day with a smile on my face. thank you for sharing this story about your husband’s cultural way of life- awesome!

    • wrando

      Actually you can! People are really resourceful when you give them a chance.

    • wrando

      Actually, you can expect them to move out, if you set that expectation early in life.

    • JD

      Corporations feel that we the people are over paid even though some of them make 10.5 billion dollars a year pay their CEO 30 million dollars a year and yet they do not pay taxes due to they fall into a non-profit category the organization in question is the NFL. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-19/a-republican-senator-s-lonely-mission-to-make-the-nfl-pay-taxes

      Certain politicians want we the people to think that “we” are the problem on why our government is in danger of going bankrupt. But the truth is far different then this. http://www.salon.com/2012/10/16/five_ways_corporate_greed_is_bankrupting_america/ and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/corporate-welfare

      My point is this there is absolutely no reason that we are not paid better then we are today. Corporations are getting more government kickbacks today then they were ten years ago and yet many of these companies are seeing record profits.

      20 years ago in the county I live in we had no less the 6 pages of job listings in our local paper on any given day as of 2013 it is now only 1/2 page due to companies closing and in many cases being shipped to communist China. It is a total disgrace not just of our corporate 1% but of our government it is no longer a government for the people by the people it is for the corporation by the corporation. http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/12/jobs-employment-freetradeagreementstpp.html

    • wrando

      Actually, you can expect a kid to move out whenever you as a parent decide it’s appropriate. National minimum wage notwithstanding.

    • wrando

      You can’t expect a kid to move out when they can’t even make a simple budget, let alone stick to it.

    • Danneskjold Repossessions

      A living wage from whom? Who’s going to pay you $20/hour to pack groceries? Who’s going to buy groceries from a store that triples its prices to cover the $20/hour bag boys?

      • Joe

        The minimum wage (er, living wage) apparently is magic. Money will rain down to pay for it without impacting the cost of goods. That must have been covered in a class I missed in college while I was working.

      • Clyyyyyde

        Trader Joe’s does actually (they give mandatory raises over time)… and they do alright for themselves.

    • GoodWorkerTiredOfTheBitching

      I hear this argument all the time, I recently moved across the country, I have experience in a particular job field, but where I moved wasn’t hiring positions in that job field; so what did I do? I took initiative, went to places I knew were decent jobs (didn’t put a single application in at a burger joint or other fast food, BECAUSE I KNEW THOSE ARE SHIT JOBS!) and within a week I had a call back at a job making $10/hour with no previous experience in the field. That’s been two months and I know have been promoted and received raises ! Why? because I’m a hared worker, I take pride and what I do and I should the initiative to move up quickly in the company, always learn the job above you! The problem with my generation is they were raised with a sense of entitlement, sure you may have a degree doesn’t mean your getting that position that requires that degree, may have to get hired below that and prove your a good worker capable of overachieving what the position you crave requires! I’m not going to say it’s not hard out there but come on guys get your shit together and welcome to adulthood sometimes you have to do shit you don’t want to!

      • Clyyyyyde

        Aside from all the things you said, it is DOWNRIGHT RUDE to demean and devalue fast food workers who ALSO work hard to care for themselves, their families and YOUR meals. Good for you for getting a good job but not everybody is you so let’s not run around telling people their livelihoods are “shit,” okay?

  • Megan Krtek

    I agree with the reasons you brought up for Millennials delay in moving out of their parents home and into adulthood. There is an article done by YAYA Connection called “Delaying Adulthood: 24 is the new 18″ and it posed the same reasons as this article does. Fifty-sevent percent of young Millennials (18-24) are still living at home with their parents (source: http://bit.ly/1bnAuLg) and it’s because of a push towards more education and because of student loans.