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comment by _refugee_

    In theory, Scott could apply for banking jobs again. But his degree is almost eight years old and he has no relevant experience.

Scott, you're not a recruiter. Let the people hiring tell you why you can't get a job. Don't tell yourself why before you fill out a single application.

    He sometimes considers getting a master’s, but that would mean walking away from his salary and benefits for two years and taking on another five digits of debt—just to snag an entry-level position, at the age of 30, that would pay less than he makes driving a bus.

Most people go for their master's, especially if it's an MBA, part-time. Even if most people didn't, Scott still could. And if his job offers salary and benefits, he should check out whether they offer tuition reimbursement, too.

Also, if you have a master's (presumably in business) and you snag an entry level position, you are doing it wrong.

    But the real victims of this credential inflation are the two-thirds of millennials who didn’t go to college.

I really question this statistic. I found data that 4 in 10 millennials have a BA or more; i found that 34% of millennials have at least a BA.

I found no stats on millenials with no college. I was interested in %s of m. with no college vs m. with some college, as I am pretty sure they are not 66% and 0%. Like I suspect the stats are vastly different than that.

    Unions, the great negotiators of wages and benefits and the guarantors of severance pay, became enemy combatants.

Learn your history. unions were always enemies to business-america. i mean, literally right from the start when people were dying in factories because they had been locked inside of them in unsafe conditions in like, the 1800s. Companies vs. unions have always been in opposition

    Over the last 30 years, [trade unions have] successfully lobbied state governments to require occupational licenses for dozens of jobs that never used to need them. It makes sense: The harder it is to become a plumber, the fewer plumbers there will be and the more each of them can charge. Nearly a third of American workers now need some kind of state license to do their jobs,

wow. how unsafe that sounds. forcing workers to demonstrate they are properly educated and trained in order to execute their work. not letting just anyone off the street represent to the public they know how to do any trade job

btw, the author is citing this tidbit because he is trying to blame the fact that state gov'ts and trade groups are upping the standards for qualified workers for increased un/poor employment

he later calls these upped requirements "barriers to skilled occupations"

i didn't know that requiring a person to demonstrate they're skilled was an actual barrier to practicing a skilled occupation

    In the 1970s, when the boomers were our age, young workers had a 24 percent chance of falling below the poverty line. By the 1990s, that had risen to 37 percent. And the numbers only seem to be getting worse. From 1979 to 2014, the poverty rate among young workers with only a high school diploma more than tripled, to 22 percent.

I really don't think this is a good paragraph. I just hate how we jump from one stat to another halfway through with no solid connection or explanation of what ties the two together. i feel this is either a poor argument or poorly written, but which one?

a retelling

Gabe was 19, not in college, and had a job. His sister got hurt. Apparently there are no taxis or ubers or buses in Gabe's town. Gabe took off work to drive her home without speaking to a manager. Gabe was in violation of his work's PTO policy. Gabe got fired.

Now Gabe has a job, lives in the same place, and still doesn't go to college. He still wants to get a degree guaranteed to keep him impoverished, but realized a trade job's more realistic. He's pursuing one.

    “I don’t understand why it’s so hard to do something with your life,” he tells me.



Pause from the commentary:

There is enough that this article is validly putting a finger on - enough true points and concerning observations about How Society's Going These Days - that when it grasps and flails and wrings its hands in ways like I call out above, it makes the whole thing a shame.

A good story is so good it doesn't need to cut corners with the truth. The only way to ruin a perfect example is to fail to point out its lines clearly, cleanly, precisely to the audience.

Anyway, that's pedantics, and my personal opinion to boot.

Maybe the rest of this article gets better in quality (I'm continuing to read it and honestly finding less annoyances) - or maybe it gets waaay more general in its mounting stack of conclusions - I feel so/so on the whole thing, by now, but this shit appears long af -- but I guess I just don't know what I/we/society is/are supposed to do about it. You know, when we get up after reading this. I guess maybe ultimately the answer lies in voting? A lot of voting? But I don't know how I feel about how effective that system really is, in theory or in practice. I guess -

the article's tl,dr; society sucks and is vastly unjust especially if you're young

ok, so? but what's its point?

all i can think to do is try to do the best i can in life

unfair and sucky and shitty and povertous as apparently it's doomed to be for me and my cadre , all i can think to do about my reality within that is the best i can within it, right? maybe i can change it but i don't think i can escape it. millennials are doomed. so what, we're doomed.


disclaimer: i am, by all standards set forth within this article, an extremely privileged millennial. I defy most of the statistics cited from start to finish, including that one about how, "young people were less likely to have lived at a different address a year earlier than at any time since 1963."

Does that make me part of the problem? Oh but it's so comfortable here.

kleinbl00  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    This worked well when rents were low enough to save and homes were cheap enough to buy. In one of the most infuriating conversations I had for this article, my father breezily informed me that he bought his first house at 29. It was 1973, he had just moved to Seattle and his job as a university professor paid him (adjusted for inflation) around $76,000 a year. The house cost $124,000 — again, in today’s dollars. I am six years older now than my dad was then. I earn less than he did and the median home price in Seattle is around $730,000. My father’s first house cost him 20 months of his salary. My first house will cost more than 10 years of mine.

The fundamental approach this article takes is directly lifted from Douglas Coupland's Generation X, itself a millennial for purposes of this discussion. GenX was itself full of factoids and statistics. The one that really hit me when I read it in '92 was that the average price of a couch had gone up by a factor of 5 since the early '70s.

And sure - if you really want a couch, you'll pay 5x for a damn couch. Or you'll improvise. I'm sitting on a massive leather sectional right now. It still has the original price underneath - $7800. From a company that no longer exists. In 2001. I bought it from the guy who paid that in 2002. He was definitely a 'boomer.

And here's the thing: you've successfully navigated the majority of the maze. You have a job, you're earning money, and it isn't weird to you that you live with your parents because so do most of your friends. But that's different. We were the fuck and gone out of our parents' houses as soon as we could be and when we had to move back in, it was this weird, shameful thing that nobody really talked about. Our parents? Dude they were homeowners at 23 thanks to the GI Bill and shit.

I, too, have successfully navigated most of the labyrinth. My financial future is, barring utter left-field catastrophe, secure. I'm most likely to talk about those damn millennials on social media or whatever because I can throw rotten vegetables from my ivory tower. The ones that are still in the trenches?

If you load boxes at Amazon at 55 for a living, it isn't the Puerto Rican standing next to you at 23 that bugs you. It isn't the 33-year-old trade-school grad. It's the unpaid intern that nags you about clocking out to use the bathroom that pisses you off; she's better dressed than you and it's entirely because Daddy is still paying for her well-being. You're focused not on the millennials in this article, you're focused on you.

And you are displaying a lot of the entitlement that raises the hackles of those entitled-ass GenX and Boomer fucks.

Your observation is basically "you can solve all these problems by not being a jackass." You're right. You can. But the basic problem is success didn't used to require an utter and total lack of jackassery. Look - my wife managed to swing 3 months paid paternity leave for me out of the state of California. Muthafuckin' triple-word score. In order to do that we had to:

- live in the only state in the nation that offered it, a total fluke

- know about the program because a friend at work told me

- have an insurance plan that would be forced to provide maternity coverage because of state law changes 8 months after we signed up for it

- carefully time the pregnancy such that it would be after my work period but not so much that I would actually have to, you know, give up work to take it

...which gave us a 2-week window in order to conceive. And we did. But you gotta admit - successfully navigating the hoops necessary to qualify for half the benefits accorded the rest of the goddamn world is legit Kafka-esque.

My wife's parents have a house. They bought it new in '79. Her dad was living on grants. Her mom did data entry for the school district. It's 30 minutes by bus to the heart of downtown. It was $80k and interest rates were Volcker high - something like 9%. But they bought it, they paid it off, and now it's worth $400k, all 950 square feet of it.

We were able to succeed up here in no small part because our mortgage is $130k. We're paying 1/3rd the market value of this house because my wife bought it 17 years ago. If I were my own tenant I'd be charging about $700 more than I pay on the mortgage. It's all about the entrenched advantages and the longer you succeed, the more of them you have...

...and the more of them you have, the harder you can make it for everyone else.

oyster  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It’s worth pointing out that there are many time’s when hospitals can’t let you leave unless with someone you actually know who has to come directly to wherever they have you waiting. In most scheduled situations you have to tell them exactly who that will be at drop off and they are clear it can’t be a taxi. Hard to judge if you don’t know the full situation.

Also, some trades associations have slapped on exesscive costs to said tests. I haven’t studied something in college that didn’t lead to spending thousands on a test after graduation before I could do anything. Even if we agree that it’s fair to charge thousands for just an exam it’s bs for older people to pretend we still live in the same environment. It’s also worth noting that the way into those careers and effectively middle class has become more difficult which will leave more people behind. Even if we agree with the ridiculous costs it is still worth realizing it is a barrier to the middle class. Barriers aren’t always unfair but if we want to access why people aren’t making it we should access the barriers.

Like, are your friends doing Masters degrees bus drivers ? Do you actually know that one could drop down to part-time, pick their own schedule to bend around school and still keep their full benefits ?

You literally just dismissed three different people in three different situations that you don’t actually know anything about. I’m not going to act like I know them better, but I’m sure as hell not going to dismiss them based off my lack of knowledge. You come across like one of those young people who just can’t understand why other young people don’t just live with their parents through College/University.

cgod  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just a tip, you can always leave the hospital. They aren't going to physically restrain you unless you've been psyche committed (huge liability). They aren't going to have the cops stop you either. You aren't under arrest or anything. The only fetters at the hospital are words. Just tell them firmly that you are leaving and head for the door.

Having to get six month to a year of beauticain school, costing thousands of dollars and then shell out $500 dollars for a state test to legally braid hair is bullshit. It's a barrier to people at the bottom getting into an industry that they are already qualified to do.

coffeesp00ns  ·  424 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Just a tip, you can always leave the hospital.

only in america.

steve  ·  372 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hospitals in Canada can physically restrain you?

OftenBen  ·  372 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hospitals all over the world can physically restrain you if they believe you are a danger to yourself or others.

coffeesp00ns  ·  372 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No, only in America is it something you need to worry about doing, save for a rare potential circumstance where you might be being committed to an institution against your will.

Out of the "western" world, only in America does one need to worry about making a daring escape from the hospital to avoid paying for necessary, lifesaving care.

oyster  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I suppose that’s true for an emergency. I had to go in for a minor prdocedure that required very light sedation and they weren’t going to do it unless I showed up with the person driving me home who had signed a piece of paper. When my sister got her wisdom teeth taken out it was the same thing, I had to hang around until it was done because they drugged her up good. I always wondered how it would work if you had nobody, like yea you could just leave but how do you get past the start ? Borrow a cashier from the drugstore and pay them to say they’re driving you home when you check in ? I would still get nervous if it was an emergency so they didn’t get confirmation at the start that I had a ride and somebody in authority was telling me I couldn’t take a cab though.

That’s the one that bugged me, yes some tests make sense but some are ridiculous. I don’t need to make sure my hairdresser is licensed, I just find one I like by word of mouth and stick with them. When I wanted to do housekeeping at one of the camps in the oil fields I had to take a bunch of online tests that cost me around $150 before they even gave me an interview. I don’t mind spending that kind of money if I’m already offered the job but I definitely wasn’t going for this job because I was already doing well financially. It was some general tests that weren’t relevant at all to the position I was applying for and clearly a money grab since they could have just had me take them after giving me a conditional job offer like they do with WHIMIS.

Not as expensive as the other ridiculous/pointless tests but still a barrier to someone who might be saving every penny just for the plane/bus ticket to get out of their town with little opportunity.

cgod  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just a tip, you can always leave the hospital. They aren't going to physically restrain you unless you've been psyche committed (huge liability). They aren't going to have the cops stop you either. You aren't under arrest or anything. The only fetters at the hospital are words. Just tell them firmly that you are leaving and head for the door.

Having to get six month to a year of beauticain school, costing thousands of dollars and then shell out $500 dollars for a state test to legally braid hair is bullshit. It's a barrier to people at the bottom getting into an industry that they are already qualified to do.

_refugee_  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Do you actually know that one could drop down to part-time, pick their own schedule to bend around school and still keep their full benefits ?

I wasn't referring to dropping down your FT to PT to pursue a master's; I was referring to the fact that master's programs often cater to full time workers by offering part-time and all-night or all-weekend classes to help resolve specifically this problem. So, no, don't drop your FT to PT to get a degree. I'm saying keep the FT and do the extra on the PT.

I didn't dismiss people; I dismissed three incomplete stories as conveyed by a biased narrator attempting to, in at least one case (gabe's) wring despair out of a story profoundly lacking it. Is Elena's the third story I've supposedly dismissed? Funny, cuz I read about her internship and consciously decided that was part of the article I wasn't going to snark on.

I didn't dismiss people; I dismissed extremely small sets of facts about 2 people's lives, presented consciously to evoke certain feelings as well as demonstrate certain points, because I disagreed with their effectiveness.

People have conversations. People tell their own stories. Do you think Gabe would present himself to you as what he's presented here? Or Scott? I doubt it. Maybe if you were an interviewer. And maybe if you picked out the best quotes and chopped up their life facts to try and shape the story that's gonna help drive your audiences to your side.

If you want to take every anecdote in any persuasive piece as a person, and the dismissal of such as an inhumane antisocietal unsupportive callous measure worth reviling, well, go on. Enjoy embracing humanity as you see it.

I just gotta ask, is it really any anecdote in any thesis you elevate to personhood, or is it only the anecdotes in the pieces whose message you already wholeheartedly have bought, because its argument speaks to you/your experience? Because you already agreed with it entirely once you got enough skimmed sentences through it to realize what it was about?

_refugee_  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here's the thing. I actually think this is an interesting article with a sprawling scope which brought together pieces of this puzzle I knew before in clear, bigger-picture ways than I would have ever assembled for myself alone, at least in the span of time it took me to read this article. I think this article, ultimately, has a true, good, and fundamentally different (more evolved and holistic) presentation of the millennial problems of our generation and as such, gave value to me and will do so to others that read it. I think it should absolutely be shared and I think here's a great place for it.

I also think the article would be twice as good if it were half as long, and more effective in making its points while we're at it.

Weak shit like what I cited gets in the way of the true, important, interesting, and elucidating discussion this article makes and desires to foment. Bad filler prevents people from finishing articles. It prevents people from believing them. It prevents people from hearing them.

When you have as complete, basically-accurate, and wide-sweeping a break-down as this article presents, the false-dichotomies and superficial-anecdotes and bad, bad interpretation/misinterpretation/assumption around statistics all alienate readers who are interested, open-minded, listening -- and possibly on the fence but certainly intelligent enough to know it. Instead you attract a shouting crowd of people who already agreed with you before you spoke and will agree with you forever after.

That's not going to help anyone.

If I sound like an entitled Baby Boomer, well, I seem to remember the end of the article definitely went on about how it's not millennials that need convincing to vote for millennial congressmen, senators and laws. Millennials are kind of already down with that concept.

It's everyone else we need to get on our side to fix this shit. So are you gonna do that by telling them they're dismissing people because they point out inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and questions they have with the overall accuracy of your argument? Are you going to acknowledge where there are flaws, clarify where there's misunderstanding, elaborate where context would change an opinion, and in other words actually recognize valid concerns and work to resolve them, or are you going to brow-beat everyone who doesn't "immediately get it" and dares to question things that don't make sense to them? (For lacking empathy, fucking lol)

oyster  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So are you gonna do that by telling them they're dismissing people because they point out inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and questions they have with the overall accuracy of your argument?

You know you are a snarky person and you know you used snark when “pointing out ”inconsistencies” in stories told about individuals in this article. Snark is dismissive. You dismissed the idea that the testing for trades jobs is exssicve and costly by making a snarky remark about how weird it is that we expect people to be properly trained for jobs. Thts dismissive because nobody said it wasn’t necessary at all, they said it was excessive.

You dismissed the idea that Gabe truly did need to leave work to get his sister by making a snarky remark about his town with no taxis when you have no idea if that would have been allowed.

I’m not saying I’m going to blindly agree with what this article put forth, I’m saying that it’s worth realizing that you don’t know what you don’t know. I’m not going to sit around making snarky remarks about the way the world works when I have no idea. I’m not going to pretend I know that exams and costs associated with trade jobs are completely logical in every possibible way if I’ve never had to deal with them. I’m going to think well, the cost was excessive in the two courses I studied which probably is a barrier for many people who could have achieved a lot of given the chance so maybe that’s worth looking at more.

In Gabe situation I’m not going to decide he never should have left work because duuuuuuh taxis when I know very well that’s sometimes not an option and I don’t know what they gave his sister at the hospital.

How can that possibly be seen in any other way than dismissive ?

_refugee_  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

OK. So do you want to argue with me about how I don't care about what you care about, or do you want to help me understand why I should care about what you care about?

Key phrase: "help me understand"

Not: "bludgeon me with your opinion"

Right now, it's the first, and our lack of accord is a fact. Not much worth arguing about.

Sure, I was dismissive: why should I care?


I do this every day, you know. I review work and identify errors which jeopardize the overall quality of the work as a whole. There is a way to talk to people you want to come to an understanding and work with, and there are infinite ways to ensure you will hate each other and never see eye to eye because of personal grievances.

When you react to perceived criticism emotionally, you automatically lose the chance of convincing the person you're talking with.

Most people aren't deliberately trying to get you upset.

They just don't understand.

Hear them.

oyster  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The short version: Being dismissive means you give up opportunities to learn something that might benefit you personally or might benefit your ability to influence the other side. Sometimes I'll just throw out an experience of mine and close it with an actual point and sometimes I'll just leave it open as something to just be thoughtfully considered. I do feel like I've affected peoples opinions that way so I do think this article has merit for that reason.

Remember our last conversation ? I may not have articulated my point as clearly as I could but my basic point then was maybe both sides have a point, or maybe there's more behind what somebody else is saying. People have arguments all the time where two people don't even disagree, they just think they do because they dismiss it before they really get to understand each other. The author likely wasn't saying that all licensing exams are silly but some definitely are. Dismissing that argument means we loose an opportunity to learn about just how silly these tests can get. I think very few people in the history of debating have put forth an argument that was 100% correct or 100% wrong.

I have a lot of fairly conservative friends which just comes from where I grew up. I've argued with plenty of them as if they were completely wrong and my side was right and it doesn't work. It just devolves into insults and stupid memes. I used to argue with this one girl about abortion mostly because I knew she was only being all pro-life on the internet to make this girl who had an abortion feel like shit so fuuuuuck her. No amount of smart things I said mattered until I appealed to her worldview and then twisted it to make her see how my side actually supported her worldview. I wasn't asking her to reevaluate her worldview, just her projection of it which is a hell of a lot easier. A lot of people give the Clinton's shit for saying abortion should be safe, legal and rare because it's the opinion of the middle ground. It's a compromise but it feels like a knife in the back to the women who feel like saying it should be rare still makes it sound shameful. Thing is though, the people who subscribe to that kind of feminism are wasting good opportunities to bring people to their side even if it takes baby steps. There is almost always a solution that neither side is fighting for but both would come to if we just hear out each side and ask questions. I mean consider Gabe, the first two times he had to leave work would have been counted as me leaving early because I was sick, not used as strikes against me. Could he have found another way that didn't mean he had to leave work ? Possibly but maybe he wasn't that nervous because he didn't realize his employers were total asshats. Or maybe he never called in on those days and is withholding that little tidbit of information. If we assume he is being truthful it is possible to hold both opinions that he should have called a cab BUT he shouldn't have been fired since the two times he left sick shouldn't have counted against him so this would just be his first strike.

Going back to abortion because it's the easier example of emotional connection and a lot of people will have some personal experience that dictates how they feel about it. It pays to understand why the person who was a 100% unplanned pregnancy has some internal conflict with pro-choice even if they feel bad about it. We could dismiss this person but we could also think ya that's fair on account of them having to evaluate their entire freaking existence. The "do what you want, it doesn't hurt me at all" line of thought is probably harder to swallow when you have to think if you would be alive had things been different when you were conceived.

I have another friend that probably would have voted for Trump had he been American, I doubt he would now. We've had respectful conversations where neither of us felt shut down which gave us the opportunity to actually understand the other person and understand how to actually craft our sides to appeal to them. I was never dismissive of him and that's why we could have positive conversations.

You could rip your hair out trying to craft the perfect argument for you point but if it doesn't appeal to something in the other person you aren't going to get them to your side.

Could this article have gone into more detail about certain topics ? Sure, but would that really have stopped somebody from finding a hole to poke ? I've read too many comment sections to believe that, people will always find something to rip apart an argument no matter how carefully crafted it is. Look at the shit flat earthers come up with. I have a theory this only really comes about due to an intense mistrust of authority which is the real problem we should be addressing if we want to argue with them but I haven't tested it much. Dismissing them kind of ruins the opportunity to sit down, have a beer/coffee and get to understand how they came to hold this opinion.

So the gist of it is, we're missing out by being dismissive. I know I've done it plenty of times, and will probably catch myself doing it in the future no matter how hard I try and avoid it.

flagamuffin  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

no, occupational licensing is pretty stupid