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View Diary: Grim job prospects for those in their early 20s (35 comments)

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  •  In my parent's and grandparent's (4+ / 0-)

    generation it was relatively easy for talented and hardworking kids from working class families to move up into the middle class. Success certainly wasn't handed to them on a silver platter but it was definitely within reach thanks to affordable tuition at public universities and employers who were willing to let promising employees move up the ranks rather than only hiring applicants with fancy degrees from prestigious institutions.

    Back in the early 1960s my father-in-law got a job with IBM right out of high school and was able to work his way up to a rather high position as a finance executive. Such thing were common then but unheard of now.

    •  Remember the G.I. Bill? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beltane, Larsstephens

      The effect was to produce a huge cohort of veterans who got college degrees, many of whom might never have gotten a college degree under more normal circumstances. This had a couple of effects.

      It gave a lot of people a leg up in their economic status. They were qualified for jobs that would have been out of their reach, plus other economic advantages from the G.I. Bill

      But... we're now seeing a contrary effect. A college degree has become a defacto requirement for most jobs, while at the same time, good jobs that could support a family, that didn't require a degree, have largely disappeared. And so have unions, that used to ensure wages would keep up with growth in the economy.

      So, we're now stuck in a situation where even if someone in their 20s can get a job, the pay often sucks - and they're carrying a huge student loan debt on top of it.

      And, if Kevin Drum is right, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

      "...During the Industrial Revolution, machines were limited to performing physical tasks. The Digital Revolution is different because computers can perform cognitive tasks too, and that means machines will eventually be able to run themselves. When that happens, they won't just put individuals out of work temporarily. Entire classes of workers will be out of work permanently.

      In other words, the Luddites weren't wrong. They were just 200 years too early."

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 03:24:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Luddites were merely attempting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, Larsstephens

        to protect their status as skilled, well-paid artisans. In that respect their was nothing "crazy" about them. It just happens that the winners write history and the Luddites were not the winners.

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