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2013 Fall Issue 3 (October 11, 2013)

Editorial

October 11, 2013
By Carletonian Editors

We’ve heard it all before. There are no jobs for us bright-eyed, fresh-from-college, ‘twerking’ millennials. And not only are there no jobs, but job requirements are more demanding, and, coupled with the recession-induced economic downturn, recent college graduates simply don’t make the cut.

It gets even worse. The backed-up job market, the under-qualified ‘lost generation,’ and the current government shutdown (seriously, who are our role models anymore?) might be having a detrimental structural impact on the future of America.

According to a study conducted at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce that was released on Monday, “today’s young people will lose a minimum of 3% in earnings over their lifetimes.” The study found that young workers” are now 30 years old when they first earn a median-wage income of $42,000.” In 1980, the average age of independence was 26 years old. 

Anthony Carnevale, Director of the Center, claims these losses are permanent. “It has sorted them out in ways that have made them more unequal than any generation before. For those who didn’t get the traction [for a job], it’s not clear that they will get traction.” So, delayed adulthood, harder work, less money. The anticipated effect is supposed to be detrimental on the U.S. society– less demand, less cash flow, etc.

But it’s this exact mentality – your future looks bad and there’s no way out – that gets replicated by the media that is perhaps the source of the problem. Facts and employment statistics stuffed down our throats make the thought of searching for a dream job just a little more daunting.

And this perpetration of the media about the prospects of the future extends to Carleton. Why are students so politically-charged, internationally-aware, and yet, when it comes to action, so paralyzed? Why is it so easy for us to find all the reasons not to join Teach For America, or the PeaceCorps, or Wall Street? Why is it so easy to sit back and dream without going out and doing? 

Go out and fix what you see. Don’t worry about “selling out” or being unemployed. Follow your interests and don’t worry about the clichés. Seriously, get off your butts and make it werk.

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