March 13, 2012

What's wrong with these kids today?

Todd G. Buchholz and Victoria Buchholz complain about "The Go-Nowhere Generation":
The likelihood of 20-somethings moving to another state has dropped well over 40 percent since the 1980s... The stuck-at-home mentality hits college-educated Americans as well as those without high school degrees. According to the Pew Research Center, the proportion of young adults living at home nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, before the Great Recession hit. Even bicycle sales are lower now than they were in 2000.
Why don't people pick up and move to the places where the jobs are? Everyone's heard of North Dakota. Why don't they go there?
In the most startling behavioral change among young people... an increasing number of teenagers are not even bothering to get their driver’s licenses. Back in the early 1980s, 80 percent of 18-year-olds proudly strutted out of the D.M.V. with newly minted licenses, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. By 2008 — even before the Great Recession — that number had dropped to 65 percent.
Isn't that what the Boomer generation told them to do? Cars are bad. They are destroying the planet. Then, when they avoid driving, we scold them for being — what? — sedentary? unambitious? incurious?!
Perhaps young people are too happy at home checking Facebook. In a study of 15 countries, Michael Sivak, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (who also contributed to the D.M.V. research), found that when young people spent more time on the Internet, they delayed getting their driver’s licenses....
If they were supposed to believe that movie — "An Inconvenient Truth" — that was showed to them by one public school teacher after another, why aren't we celebrating them now for their teeny tiny carbon footprint? Just give them a tiny room and a computer with high-speed internet, and they'll be perfectly happy.
But Generation Y has become Generation Why Bother....
Etc. etc. These kids today! Speaking of "Why Bother," why did we boomers bother to teach them to sneer at aggressive capitalism, consumeristic acquisitiveness, and driving powerful cars if we were going to turn around and whine about their not competing vigorously enough?
Notice how popular the word “random” has become among young people. A Disney TV show called “So Random!” has ranked first in the ratings among tweens. The word has morphed from a precise statistical term to an all-purpose phrase that stresses the illogic and coincidence of life. Unfortunately, societies that emphasize luck over logic are not likely to thrive.
I blame the Baby Boomers, my generation. We propagated doubt that you could work hard and get ahead. Random? That sounds like hippie talk to me.
In the mid-’70s, back when every high school kid longed for his driver’s license and a chance to hit the road and find freedom, Bruce Springsteen wrote his brilliant, exciting album “Born to Run.”
Hello? Have you ever listened to the lyrics on "Born to Run"?! Yes, movement is involved in running, but it was scarcely an optimistic attitude. Springsteen had us running from the "death trap," the "suicide rap" that was the "runaway American Dream." That home town of yours supposedly "rips the bones from your back." Yeah, that's exciting. Hell is exciting. Springsteen wanted to go for a ride on his motorcycle — his "suicide machine" — and then "die with you Wendy on the streets tonight." Yeah, those were the days!

113 comments:

MayBee said...

Get off my lawn.

George Sewell said...

North Dakota - now that's adventure! Adventure is still available in the 21st century as it has been for the previous ten. They'll "get it." Every younger generation has been the end of civilization...but not in fact. North Dakota...yes, go North young man and woman!

MayBee said...

As for the car thing, I wonder if Buchholz and Buccholz have looked at the price of auto insurance for 16 year old boys lately.

Jay said...

Very interesting topic.

Isn't it indicative of this nanny mentality that we've adopted?

I mean, college students are endlessly referred to as "kids" (watch all the March Madness commentary for confirmation of this) and they are treated as such by their parents and our institutions.

Is it any shock they live at home?

PatCA said...

Now that the left has thoroughly indoctrinated and enervated the next generation, they turn around and criticize them for it.

Anything to sell a book.

My friend, an MD, always asks "why not North Dakota" when his patients complain of job loss. They just shrug. The safety net ensnares them. It's comfy there.

Robert Cook said...

I think several things are at work: first, a generation of parents who are over-protective to a fault, such that young adults still think of themselves as mere kids, because they're treated as such--and indulged as such--by their parents. Add to this the seemingly hopeless economic state we're in, the bleak jobs outlook, and young people are only too happy to dig in and enjoy the safety of home. Who can blame them?

Real American said...

this must be the point where Darwinism kicks in.

Paddy O said...

Car insurance certainly.

Also car prices.
Car repair prices.
Cash for Clunkers took a lot of cars that allow are cheap and allow for home repair.

The nanny state also elongates how long nannying must exist.

Same reason more young adults live with their parents, as home costs also are more expensive than previous generations.

And, frankly, there's also the communal emphasis in our era, something most expressed in younger generations. The baby boomers didn't like their emotionally distant families. So, they parented differently, and people then do what humanity has always done: stay close to home unless a crisis forces otherwise.

Basically, it's all just another sign that modernity is over. Time to go back to being humans.

Balfegor said...

Back in the early 1980s, 80 percent of 18-year-olds proudly strutted out of the D.M.V. with newly minted licenses, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. By 2008 — even before the Great Recession — that number had dropped to 65 percent.

Cor, I am not so unusual as I thought! I didn't get a driver's license until I was in college, and my sole use for it these many years has been as a form of identification. I am a paper driver. Sometimes wish I could hire a driver, though.

AJ Lynch said...

When I watch the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year's Day, I marvel at how the warmth and sun in January must have attracted millions to move to Calif in the last 50 years. And now people are actually choosing to leave that state and its fading promise of prosperity and paradise. Why did that happen? Ask a librul to explain it to you.

rcommal said...

Shockingly without precedent in human history, this multi-generational living thing.

traditionalguy said...

The immigrants to America have had no problem getting going and accomplishing goals since the Mayflower landed.

IMO the removal of doable goals innervates people. Why bother if the game is rigged for failure.

The only goals now are to become mega billionaires from patented internet inventions, or by lining up government crony favors, or by winning the lottery.

And winning the lottery has the better odds.

These young folks are bitterly smart enough to have figured that out.

And then along come the Tebows, Lins and Palins all of whom love life and are excited by their having a relationship with that myth in heaven. Hmmm.

LordSomber said...

Kids have been and always be headaches. The problem today is the parents.

Scott M said...

I blame the Baby Boomers, my generation.

Now, if we could only get most of them to accept responsibility, we could maybe get around to actually fixing the problem.

It may sound simplistic, but I believe one of the culprits is "everybody wins" or "everybody's special" mentality. Regardless of the very stark fact that baseball and soccer games rarely end in a tie, there are entire legions of parents beholden to the idea that their little angel should never be subjected to the trauma of a loss in sports. This ideology, and everything that goes along with it, is at the core of what's wrong with this generation of kids.

It will take another entire generation to fix it. I used to think a good book title would be "The Bravest Generation" spinning Brokaw's "Greatest Generation". Bravest in the sense that they were going to have to stand up straight in spite of all the bullshit they were taught, square their shoulders to the task at hand, and make some very tough decisions and sacrifices.

I'm not so sure THIS generation has that in them. Judging by my oldest son's crew at college, they don't. I thought MY priorities were out of whack when I was that age, but holy shit...

edutcher said...

There are three cohorts to the Boomers. The campus commandos who went all Lefty, the campus Conservatives who powered the Reagan Revolution, and the blue collars who were the foot soldiers for Reagan.

If Ann wants to blame somebody, let her blame the campus commandos who got their way on most things.

But, yeah, Cook has a point (I know...). Parents have become so incredibly protective, they make things worse. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the money doesn't stretch anymore.

More to the point, "distinguished educators" like GodZero's best bud, William Ayers, have made sure young people really don't know how to do anything but text each other and put a rubber on a banana.

PatCA said...

My friend, an MD, always asks "why not North Dakota" when his patients complain of job loss. They just shrug. The safety net ensnares them. It's comfy there.

Be interesting to see what happens when the crash comes and said net isn't there.

Seeing Red said...

I'm a tail-end boomer and have been blaming the 60s generation for decades, you try coming after your era.Loudmouth, narcissistic, self-indulgent raising if possible a generation worse than they are.

What's worse is you voted for the guy who encapsulates what you're complaining about. Billary didn't send the message?

Triangle Man said...

I hear Grand Forks, ND has a nice Olive Garden too.

Tank said...

It's broken. And it's gonna break. Ann and I are the same age. Unfortunately, our generation did it. Lots of it in many ways, and the results are coming in.

Mitch H. said...

We need someone to pay for our retirement, our social security and pensions! Start producing, little drones! Start paying taxes, other people's children! They threatened our children and grandchildren for decades in those fiscally-conservative political attack ads, and we showed them! We never had kids! We'd be supported by other fools' progeny!

But now! Now! The lazy little buggers won't develop the drive and ambition to be worth the shearing! Why won't you work enough to pay for my old age, little drones!

Seeing Red said...

I did a good deed a couple of weeks ago, bought someone 4 gal. of gas, he was down here for a job interview. I told him about ND.

rcommal said...

Most of the Lost Generation did NOT go chasing off to Paris. For Pete's sake.

EDH said...

The founding members of The Beach Boys... Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks are coming together for a 50th Anniversary Tour in 2012 (short video of them recording in 2011).

Sure, they had Little Deuce Coupe and Shut Down, but also...

In my Room.

There's a world where I can go and tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday

Now it's dark and I'm alone
But I won't be afraid
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room

Ann Althouse said...

If the Greatest Generation was so great, why did they bring up their children to be the Baby Boomers.

I mean, I feel for those people, my parents, who grew up during the Depression and then fought WWII, but there were so thrilled to get to normal life in the 50s. They had no feeling for how bland and dull it was for those of us who had not gone through the Depression + World War that formed them. So we were formed in blandness, and we had developed such screwy longings. Add rock and roll, drugs, and an incomprehensible war with a draft, and... what do you expect?

Time for shoveling a little blame on these "greatest" folk.

Robert Cook said...

What's with all the chatter about jobs in North Dakota? I haven't heard this latest meme.

If there are jobs to be had in ND, and the jobless flock there, the jobs will be taken, and many will be turned away.

What is need are jobs throughout the United States!

Of course, without government policy to encourage jobs being brought back from afar, it'll never happen. As long as work can be done abroad cheaper, that's where the jobs will be.

Jay said...

e for shoveling a little blame on these "greatest" folk.


Really?

So if a child completely ignores the teachings and values of their parents, it is the fault of the parents?

Jay said...

If the Greatest Generation was so great, why did they bring up their children to be the Baby Boomers.


So you're suggesting the "greatest generation" encouraged their children to drop LSD, hate the military, not trust anyone over 30become obsessed with politics and become the most self obsessed and of course self congratulatory generation ever?

That's your contention?

Renee said...

When we have laws that allowed one to stay on their parents' health insurance until 26, as a society, we don't much trust that adults have the ability to be adults.

Scott M said...

So we were formed in blandness, and we had developed such screwy longings. Add rock and roll, drugs, and an incomprehensible war with a draft, and... what do you expect?

In your original post, you accepted blame and now are trying to ole your way out of it. Oh, wait, I forgot. The boomers were also the beginning of the end of personal responsibility as an actual thing...you know, accepting responsibility for your self.

Personal responsibility has morphed, according to the same type of people to blame for the topic of this thread, into racist code words. Once something as fundamental as responsibility for one's own actions is off limits due to racial sensitivity, I do believe we've all joined Fonzi on the skis.

Scott M said...

So if a child completely ignores the teachings and values of their parents, it is the fault of the parents?

No, no. What I think is being said is that being bored is a good excuse for the '68 democratic convention in Chicago.

edutcher said...

Jay said...

If the Greatest Generation was so great, why did they bring up their children to be the Baby Boomers.


So you're suggesting the "greatest generation" encouraged their children to drop LSD, hate the military, not trust anyone over 30become obsessed with politics and become the most self obsessed and of course self congratulatory generation ever?

That's your contention?


Hate to say it, but she's right. The "Greatest" Generation, so called by Tom Brokaw but only after years on denigrating them as the Establishment, was also known as the Greedy Geezers. They took advantage of every entitlement they could get (it was, after all, the generation that worshipped the quicksand on which FDR so regularly trod).

If you look back, this was the generation that read Dr Spock, was going to make sure their kids "had all the advantages they never had", and wouldn't "have to struggle the way they did".

Lots of people were willing to send somebody else's kid to 'Nam, but theirs wasn't going, etc.

And, if you look back at the movies and TV of the 50s and 60s, adults were forever taking a And, if you look back at the movies and TV of the 50s and 60s, adults, so dropping LSD wasn't that big a stretch.

Sad to say, there's a lot of truth in what Ann says.

Scott M said...

If you look back, this was the generation that read Dr Spock, was going to make sure their kids "had all the advantages they never had", and wouldn't "have to struggle the way they did".

Lots of people were willing to send somebody else's kid to 'Nam, but theirs wasn't going, etc.


Out of my entire extended family on both sides, there was only one, exactly one, Dr. Spock supporter and she did so with a fervor. Her son, a piano phenom, was ruined by the time he was 14 and it was apparent to everyone, even his own aged cousins.

Don't try and pawn off the Boomers as a monolithic whole. I do that myself too often. What we're really talking about here are the Boomers in the academic and political arenas.

raf said...

I am a leading edge boomer, and the people who led the disruption of the 60s were all older than me.

In between the "greatest" and "boomer" generations are those born during the "baby bust" -- that period when birthrates were lower, probably because of the depression and ww2 interfering with, ah, conceptionalization. These people divided between those who floated relatively effortlessly up in corporations (shortage of competition) and those who just floated. The latter of these, the floaters, are the ones who hootenanied the boomers. Look at birth dates. Bill Ayers, for example, was born in 1944 -- preboom. The radicalizers who challenged/disrupted the cultural values were busters. Add the indulgence of the GGs, the affluence that allowed the boomers to delay maturity, the VietNam draft, and you had the environment which made the boomers (the college boomers) vulnerable to this reeducation.

Palladian said...

139. Diversion.--When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.

Blaise Pascal, "Pensées", #139

acm said...

Aaarrgh, will everyone PLEASE stop telling their local jobless folks to go to North Dakota, already? Most of the poor people, particularly those with families, in TX or CA or MN or wherever will not be better off in ND. My husband is a trucker who has been doing alright hauling equipment into Williston, where the "boom" is happening, but he's only doing so well because he doesn't have to live there. There's no place to live! People are paying like $1,300 to live in a one-bedroom 40-year-old trailer. Most of the oilfield jobs (which do generally come with group housing for just the worker) are full. The restaurants and truck stops are hiring, and at first blush the pay does seem fantastic for such low-skill work...but once you adjust for the boomtown prices in housing (if you can find housing) and the high costs of moving and living in places temporarily (if you don't have a stove or fridge, you'll pay that much more to eat fast food or convenience food) it's the same crap pay you'd get at any restaurant/truck stop job, but you'll be out the bus ticket to get there.

But, if you have an RV, you could probably make a killing renting it out to people in Williston.

Roger Sweeny said...

Before an author complains about a tv show, he or she should really find out about it. "So Random" is about the teens who work on a sketch comdey show of the same name. The show within the show is like Laugh-in or SNL or The Alan Brady Show. No more or less random than them.

rcommal said...

... "The history of home-leaving in the U.S. since 1880 largely reflects changes in social conventions, family relationships, and individual characteristics. During the Long First Half of the Twentieth Century, one of the most important factors in the rising age of home-leaving was declining adult mortality, which led to declining rates of orphanhood. High rates of immigration into the U.S. up until the 1920s also influenced the age at which young people left home, because young adults who immigrated by themselves during the peak years were necessarily away from the home of their parents. Finally, social change that led to decreased child labor and increased schooling in the first decades of the century led to later home leaving." Another element – parental life expectancy increased, so that involuntary home-leaving also went down. 63."...




Therefore, in the U.S., from 1880 until 1940 for males and 1950 for females, the age at leaving home rose. The decline occurred during the 1950s and 1960s – with falling ages for marriage and men entering the military. The process continued with the instigation of the G.I. Bill and state-sponsored college educations, so that more people moved away from home to attend school. Then, beginning with 1970, the age of home-leaving began to rise again, reaching relatively high levels by 1990. 64.




In the U.S., "Economic opportunity in the community also influenced when a child left home. A young adult who could not find a way to contribute to the family economy while remaining at home might leave to look for work. . . . The change was due in part to technological advances in factories and legal reforms requiring children to be in school. New cultural perspectives also contributed to the change. One result was that while middle class parents viewed urban or non-family related work as damaging to young people, they believed that labor involvement in a family farm or small business was morally and physically wholesome." 65.




In the U.S., "American children had worked as preparation for adult occupations. By the 1960s, however, young workers were increasingly likely to be employed in service jobs, such as pumping gas or serving food, which financed personal consumption but were unrelated to later work. As the U.S. service economy expanded, young adults were more likely to work, but their jobs were less likely to lead to economic self-sufficiency." 66.




"Where the strong family flourishes, the familial group more than the individual tends to predominate in the socialization of the young. In these contexts, the family is seen as defending its members against the difficulties imposed by social and economic realities. A child receives support and protection until he or she leaves [home] for good, normally for marriage, and even later." 67.

An example of more looks--as opposed to "get of my lawn laments" such as the Buccholz's--at this topic.

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"They had no feeling for how bland and dull it was for those of us who had not gone through the Depression + World War that formed them."

I was there, it was neither bland nor dull. We had these things called libraries for when you found yourself unentertained.

Don't project your failings at finding interest in life on your parents. That is the fault of the individual, no one else.

"Time for shoveling a little blame on these "greatest" folk."

No it isn't. "Sins of the father" is the lowest of all arguments. Accept responsibility for yourself.

rcommal said...

(To put it in an admittedly surface way: In some key respects, it's the boomers and their parents who were the ahistorical ones.

Also, when people do "these kids today!" comparisons, it's interesting to me that they're not taking into account sex .... but it is very much apples and oranges to compare recent times with decades ago without taking this into account.

Times have changed, y'know?)

phx said...

Born to Run wasn't brilliant and exciting? Huh. Glad someone straightened me out on that.

Michael Haz said...

There's a big world out there, beyond the realm of video games and Facebook.

When my number is called I hope i'll be on another motorcycle trip up the Haul Road to Deadhorse, or on the Dempster Highway to Yellowknife, or maybe ridong the Silk Road across Mongolia.

Who wants to die while surfing the internet? Not me!

Howard said...

People have been complaining about their parents and kids from day one. It's nice to see it used today by nouveau-Victorian chickenhawks to rationalize their myopic socio-political confirmation bias.

There is a strong envy of the young that quickly turns to hatred and scorn. Quite pathetic, really.

rcommal said...

As our current model of retirement etc. becomes increasingly economically unsustainable, would it be such a terrible thing if multi-generational or nearby living of extended family, quite normal historically, were to make a comeback?

It seems to me that the real concern--at least, it's MY real concern--is whether a young adult is capable of making his or her own way in the world, and not so much whether they are living at (or even near) their parents' home. This could even have societal benefits, to the degree that the family once again assumes greater responsibility for and independence in ensuring the well-being of its members, including the younger ones for the aging ones (which is, to put it in perhaps an odd way, the "turn-about-is-fair-play" component that might balance the extended help throughout young adulthood, to the extent that is occurring).

Just a thought... .

rcommal said...

Is it worth considering that this topic is being looked through the prism, perhaps too exclusively, of the nuclear family as the norm? Because I think it's possible to question that--is the nuclear family really the *historical* norm, or just a more recent one that arose in a particular place and time as a result of specific factors and that may or may not be the ideal in other times?

MadisonMan said...

My 16-yo has no license yet. His elder sib got it right away.

Kids are different. In his defense, the younger has no need to drive anywhere. He has feet and a bike.

rcommal said...

Sorry to go on so long/much here.

This is a topic that has always interested me, and, frankly, I think about it a LOT (and not just because I'm a 51-year-old woman with an 11-year-old son, either, LOL).

Mitch H. said...

If there are jobs to be had in ND, and the jobless flock there, the jobs will be taken, and many will be turned away.

And the lesson is, never try.

There really are Handicapper Generals in the world, aren't there?

Mitch H. said...

Because I think it's possible to question that--is the nuclear family really the *historical* norm, or just a more recent one that arose in a particular place and time as a result of specific factors and that may or may not be the ideal in other times?

No, the clan or extended family is the historical norm. We don't want to regress to the norm, really we don't. It's an insular, vicious, Hobbsian, fundamentally dishonest way of life.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why not North Dakota?

If I were younger and IF our business was not already based on geographic location (meaning our clientele and business is from items attached to the property) we would move to North Dakota in a heartbeat.

In. A. Heartbeat.

I can think of several service type business opportunities that would do very well there.

I do believe the disconnect in the author's mind is an economic class thing. Many young men and women who didn't go to college and who actually have to WORK for a living.....middle class and blue collar workers....ARE moving and taking advantage of one of the last remaining opportunities in our liberal crushed nanny state society.

Almost Ali said...

Could never understand the influence of lyrics. I rarely heard the words, only the music. Maybe a rhyme, a phrase, but never the lyrics.

Which explains why I never understood the drug culture, the hippies and flower children, the cool cats and beatniks. They all seemed such a waste of time - colliding perfectly when Bluto destroyed the poor sap's guitar.

Kit said...

Born to Run was written during a fairly significant recession in the mid-70's. It speaks to the tone of that time. Now, compare that to the generations, one before and one after (my folks and my kid), things are on the slide. My generation had always hoped we'd get back to those times our parents enjoyed. These kids today, can't say the same thing. Why wouldn't feelings of randomness and chaos be prevalent, now?

Also, Oligonicella, well said.

Carol said...

raf is right, a lot of the instigators were actually Silent Gen. Like Tom Hayden, David Howowitz, Angela Davis. And the older Beatles...Just sayin...

"So if a child completely ignores the teachings and values of their parents,"

What teachings? what values? I'm not sure "unarticulated feelings" count as either. My values came from the silly women's movies and novels my mother read.

Anyway, a long time ago, the Greatest Generation was called "A Generation of Vipers" by Philip Wylie, based on the fact that so many had been rejected by the draft for mental reasons. He blamed smothering mothering for that.

Worth a read.

Carol said...

...I should ahve said, rejected by the military even when volunteering.

Scott M said...

Why wouldn't feelings of randomness and chaos be prevalent, now?

I'm hoping it continues. Apocalyptic fiction is selling extremely well right now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It may sound simplistic, but I believe one of the culprits is "everybody wins" or "everybody's special" mentality

I am a boomer, born 1950. That was certainly not the way I raised my daughter nor was it the way that I was raised.

Once in junior high, when she was having a hard time dealing with the "A" group of girls...my advice to her was..

"Remember, someday these girls will be nowhere, doing nothing in a little town also going nohwere and doing nothing. They think they are special, but they are NOT.

You have the opportunity to do whatever you want with your life.

Success is the best revenge. Sieze it!!"

and she did.

Mitch H. said...

Cook's right about boom economies not offering permanence. I just interviewed a guy yesterday for a position at my company who was working the Marcellus Shale boom in northeast Pennsylvania, and I asked him why he wanted to work here, if he already had an environmental science position up there. Apparently they're starting to see the bust part of the cycle in the northeast, in anticipation of the inevitable consolidation. Construction projects, no matter how large or broadly distributed, have distinct and finite dimensions, and beginnings, middles, and ends. You don't plant your family in a boom town, but you certainly want to send your childless son or daughter there to make good while the making's good.

Loren said...

My father passing away a few months ago, has really caused me to reflect upon his life. His mother became a widow when my father, the youngest of 4 children was 3, in 1937, in rural, Southern Iowa. His two older brothers had joined the Navy as soon as they were of age, one before WWII. His older sister became one of the first Woman Marines. The summer between his Junior and Senior year in high school he got a job with the Forest Service out of Pierce, ID. Upon graduation from high school, he left home and returned to ID to work for the Forest Service again. Perhaps it was the Depression, or growing up relying on the income of a widowed mother, but he and his siblings were anxious to make their own way as soon as possible.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cook's right about boom economies not offering permanence

There is NO such thing as a permanent economic state or a permanent job. There never has been. This is a fallacy and a fairy tale spun by Unions and Government toadies who want to buy votes.

The economy changes constantly and if you aren't ready to move (physically), change with it, take advantage of opportunties: you are going to be left behind.....or sitting in your Mommy's basement playing World of Warcraft.

But, if you have an RV, you could probably make a killing renting it out to people in Williston.

Good idea! Other easy job opportunities. Laundry service and other daily chores(who has time to do the laundry, pay the bills etc. when you are a single man working 12 hours a day). Catering service for specialty food goodies.

EDH said...

Wow, how could I leave out...

I Get Around? (5 sec ad)

Almost Ali said...

An alternate explanation:

When we were young there was adventure and excitement just over the horizon. We could drive or hitchhike across Route 66, or up the Pacific Coast Highway, or down Route One to Florida. And the towns were different, the people were different, and the food was different!

Today it's all the same like you never left home. So, you don't leave home. No, you just stay right where you are because there's no place better to go.

Valentine Smith said...

Male animals get very docile when you cut their balls off.

Better to think of them as the "Nesting Generation."

acm said...

@DBQ, but there is literally not a single place in Williston or Minot to *put* a washer and dryer or a rent a kitchen to cater with. Those things require running water and there is literally no place for most people, who aren't already quite rich, to even sleep and shower, let alone set up a business. I am not exaggerating at all. The one and only way to make it worth your while to go to ND right now is if you drag your bed along with you, like truckers do, have a friend or relative you can stay with (locals actually are running laundry services out of their homes) or you get one of the jobs (now mostly taken) from the companies that provide a bed and a roof. Or you can, as I mentioned, bring something there and leave it, like driving your RV up, parking it, and then taking the bus or plane back to a place where you actually have a roof over your own head.

But, yeah, I know that this was just a tangent. I'm just so sick of hearing "Go North young man" like it's some sort of panacea.

Auntie Ann said...
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DividebyTube said...

My old man is a pre-boomer. He dropped out of college to support his new (and unexpected family). He started as a shoe clerk, eventually got a job at a major retail store. At age twenty-six, he was running one of the stores with over sixty people reporting to him. By age 30-something, he was corporate, working as a "specialist" visiting all the stores to make sure they were being run right. By age 40, he was running that department and did so until his retirement at 55. He saved and invested enough to retire early, while sending three sons to college. Not bad for a guy who came from extreme poverty and a family of seven other siblings.

Then I look at my next door neighbors who have a thirty-year old son still living at home. He sits on the porch, drinks beer and smokes cigarettes, only working part-time.

By the time I was twenty, I moved out of state. I returned back to finish college. By my mid-twenties, I was renting my own home and had two cars. At twenty-nine, after renting for a few years, I bought my first house when my wife was pregnant.

The question is - are there less opportunities now? Has the requirement for college degrees pushed out the less fortunate? Or is there extra coddling, making it more difficult for the young to care about their future? Or are the baby-boomers hanging on to their jobs for a longer time, crowding out the new(er) generation? I do see a bit of that at my job - most of the management is in their 50s-60s, with hardly any younger types at all.

damikesc said...

Thanks to the older generations' apparent jihad against energy, driving out of state is an expensive proposition.

And Obama's apparent grudge against affordable used cars makes buying a car extremely difficult. Finding a decent used car for less than $10,000 in the Deep South, where the costs are lower to begin with, is not easy. I'm glad Obama had how many used cars destroyed because they were "clunkers"?

So if a child completely ignores the teachings and values of their parents, it is the fault of the parents?

If a lot of kids turn out the same way, isn't there something to explain why so many turned out so screwed up?

Parents indulged their useless offspring in the 1960's and it, in turn, ruined the country. College is useless and overpriced. "Being clever" and "being intelligent", somehow, became synonymous. Western civilization, amazingly, became the cause of ALL of the world's problems. Growing up and hearing little more than "We did ALL of these bad things" isn't a solid recipe to make anybody under the age of 30 see a point in much of anything.

I grew up knowing --- still knowing to this fay --- that I'm not going to get crap out of Social Security --- but I am greedy for being really pissed off that I have to have my money stolen for it anyways.

My kids --- they are already in debt to their eyeballs thanks to the prolifigate spending since 1930. What voice did THEY have when the "adults" mortgaged their future for votes today? I had no say when the spending went nuts in my childhood. They have no say now.

The last group with any real control over the debt they owed in the name of the government was...the Baby Boomers.

damikesc said...

It's to the point now where a lot of my effort with my kids is in correcting indoctrination.

"No, recycling paper isn't going to save the rain forest. It's actually more wasteful to treat and clean the recycled material than it is to simply plant and cut down more trees."

"No, the earth isn't going to cook because of mankind. The Earth hasn't warmed in over a decade now and our knowledge of how the atmosphere works is primitive at best."

"Yes, slavery was a really bad thing done. It also ended 150 years ago, segregation ended 50 years ago, and none of your teachers were alive when either was in effect. And, yes, many of the Founders had significant conflicts with being slaveholders themselves. Good people do bad things."

I've actually had meetings with his history teachers where her information on history was so absurd I actually now routinely spend time teaching my son history myself since she doesn't know much of anything.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ acm

I do believe you. We have friends who have either gone to work in that area or have adult children who have done so. It is chaotic, just like any boom town economy. Yet....there can still be opportunities if you are willing to take a leap of faith. That leap is no guarantee of success either. You have to ready and willing to face failure if you want to be a success.

The question is - are there less opportunities now?

I think that government intervention and excess regulations are stifling opportunity and innovation.

Just look at what it takes to even open a roadside fruit stand, a restaurant, a food cart, catering business, small manufacturing company. Try to open ANY business. Rules, regulations, paperwork, fees, taxes, CEQA, EPA, on an on and on. Dealing with low level petty power mad bureaucrats.

Delay, deny and discourage. Those are the key words in government control.

The opportunties are there....you just can't get at them.

Julie C said...

I wonder if smaller family size has something to do with this as well. I grew up with 3 siblings and we had to share a bathroom. I couldn't wait to get out and stay out. Maybe kids nowadays don't want to give up the perks.

Two of my neighbors have college educated offspring still living at home. One of them has two kids, both grown adults, with advanced degrees who have never lived on their own. They both commuted to Berkeley. The mother complained to me about it once, but obviously is not inclined to actually DO anything to get them out of the nest.

AJ Lynch said...

My mother was the youngest of six kids. Her father died before she was born and her three brothers went to a boy's home in Illinois, Mooseheart, to finish school and learn a trade. My mother went to a Catholic H.S. and got a scholarship to the Univ of Pennsylvania. She workeds for more than 25 years as a language teacher. Her oldest daughter, a boomer, went to Penn too, joined a commune in Calif, married, had a couple kids but she never really used her Ivy League degree and is a big big lib. I think my mother would be a tad disappointed in her.

AJ Lynch said...

Julie C - you make a good point- some boomers have big homes and a bunch of empty bedrooms so why not let the kids stay so they can maybe save some money. I think that can be a good thing.

jeff said...

Car insurance seemed high back when I was 16. However,I could get car parts for virtual any problem with my car and fix it myself for not all that much money. That has certainly changed.

Rich B said...

So how come Bruce is still alive, bellowing his witless songs at us?

Peter said...

It seems remarkable that the NYT article doesn't even mention that in some locations one can collect unemmployment insurance for 99 weeks.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Julie C - you make a good point- some boomers have big homes and a bunch of empty bedrooms so why not let the kids stay so they can maybe save some money. I think that can be a good thing.

Everything old is new again.

Pre Greatest Generation many if not most families were multi generational. Mom and Dad, the kids, a few spinster aunts or uncles, Grandparents, sometimes even a cousin or other off relation. Lived together, worked together and pooled resources.

They had to do it because it made economic and logistical sense.

THEN, came the post war years of affluence, mobility and affordable suburban life style. The mulit generational life style went out of fashion. We could afford to be single family homes and single family lifestyles. Older people and Grandparents were not valued, looked upon as troublesome and often shunted aside.

Full circle. The economy sucks and people are realizing that it might not be so bad to pool those resources.

Personally, I think that multi generational living is the natural way we should live and that the isolated single family, small family and childess family life style since post WWII is an aberation.

Good. It needs to go.

John Lynch said...

I don't blame Boomers for this. Every generation has its own baggage and it's up to each to put it down and move on.

I'm Gen X, parents born in the 1940s, and perhaps that makes me cynical about young crybabies going on about how awful their situation is. I've had three bad recessions in my adult life, one right out of high school. Never kept me from being employed as long as I was willing to work with my hands.

It ain't the 1930s. It ain't even the 1970s. Quit trying to blame the parents. Get out there.

Blue@9 said...

Well, youth is wasted on the young, but old fogeys never waste an opportunity to bitch about it.

rcommal said...

Pre Greatest Generation many if not most families were multi generational. Mom and Dad, the kids, a few spinster aunts or uncles, Grandparents, sometimes even a cousin or other off relation. Lived together, worked together and pooled resources.**

As I keep trying to point out (and not just in these two threads today) ... .

**I'd add: Or at least in close to closer proximity, interconnected including economically (if only, but usually not only, in terms of time and informal family barter systems of resources, including human ones).

KevinB said...

Your mini-review of "Born To Run" ranks among the most vapid album criticism of any work by anyone, ever. Of course the title track refers to a "suicide rap" and a "death trap" - he's talking about the soulless existence of industrial NJ, working for faceless corporations until you die or retire, whichever comes first. (This is a theme he explored in more detail in what I consider to be his masterwork "Darkness on the Edge of Town". Try listening to "Adam Raised A Cain". )

But the reason young people loved the song were the penultimate lines:

Someday girl I don't know when we're going to get to that place
Where we really want to go and we'll walk in the sun

That doesn't sound like despair or a death wish to me.

It sound like hope.

Jennifer said...

Oops. I haven't lived in my home state in almost a decade. I'm not even in my home country. I never seem to catch the zeitgeist.

I did, however, wait until college to get my license. I didn't need it! I didn't have a car. And I had no desire to use my paychecks to get a car. Besides, I was in a college town - you can walk anywhere! So, why bother? My husband's (then boyfriend) Dad finally made me get it my junior year in college.

Peter said...

One of the changes over the last half century is that Americans have lost the ability to actually build things, and perhaps with that the confidence that it's possible to actually acomplish much of anything even on a personal scale.

Consider, for example, the high-speed train that's being built in California. Whatever the wisdom of building it, it's completion date is over twenty years from now (2033). Yet it took but six years to build the first transcontinental railroad.

New York City is finally building a subway under 2nd Ave. Constuction started in 2007, and is scheduled to complete in 2016 (although few believe it will be done by then). Yet the original IRT system- which is far larger and more elaborate than this single line- was built in just four years.

Nor is it just government projects. The Empire State Building went from groundbreaking to opening in 18 months. Yet today, even assuming you could get all the necessary permits to build something on that scale within a dense urban area, there's no possible way something like that could be done in that timeframe.

In many ways we've simply lost the confidence that we can still do things; we've become a civilizaton that looks back on what was once possible with wonder that it was once possible to do things on that scale.

So why would anyone expect young people- or anyone- to have hte confidence to just up and move to some strange place? Why would the enervation and loss of capability that can be seen on a macro scale not also be seen at the level of individuals?

sleepless nights said...
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Dust Bunny Queen said...

One of the changes over the last half century is that Americans have lost the ability to actually build things,

No. We still have the 'ability'.

The problem is we have too many obstacles and layers upon layers of government hurdles meant to delay, deny and discourage.

When we were able to build that railroad or that tower to the sky, we did it without the current massive yoke of government that we are all harnessed to now.

The opportunties are there and we HAVE the ability, we just can't get past the government to get to the opportunity.

Brennan said...

I wonder if smaller family size has something to do with this as well. I grew up with 3 siblings and we had to share a bathroom. I couldn't wait to get out and stay out. Maybe kids nowadays don't want to give up the perks.

Oh hell yes. For me, it was a closet. Never had a closet by the time I could understand what it meant to have a little fashionable sense.

I now put walk in closet at the top of my housing wants.

Prolixian said...

It's not just a change in teen or parenting culture. There have been big changes in both laws and the systems for teaching driving to teens that have made it a lot more complicated to get a license as a teen. The kids who really want to drive will do it, but kids who can get by without driving put off learning until it becomes a need.

In the 1970s, both drivers' ed class work and behind-the-wheel training were provided at school. Once you had your permit and had finished the school training, you got additional experience by driving around with friends who already had licenses. One you had enough experience, you'd take the road test.

Now,there are a lot of hurdles to clear. Hurdle 1: driver training is typicaly not provided in schools, so it classes have to be located and purchased elsewhere. Hurdle 2: kids can't gain experience by driving around with licensed friends anymore because of graduated license rules that bar permit-holding teens from driving with other teens as passengers. Hurdle 3: In many states, a teen has to have 30 hours formally logged behind the wheel to take the road test, but for the reasons listed above, the hours can be a lot harder to come by. If kids are involved in after-school sports or other activities, it just makes it all that much more difficult to fit in drivers' training classes.

It's just not that surprising that kids delay getting their licenses.

Brennan said...

Dust Bunny Queen: To me, to have the government come shut you down because of bureaucrats is exciting. It sounds like a thrill to go out there and achieve something great only to have Uncle Sam's goons come knock it all down to save a rare minnow.

I'd like to see more courageous people just take on the nanny state. If I was 18 with little job prospects I'd be on an adventure every single day.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There have been big changes in both laws and the systems for teaching driving to teens that have made it a lot more complicated to get a license as a teen

Yet another example of government control and over reach stifling opportunity.

Teens with out the ability to drive are much less likely to be able to get jobs.

At the root of EVERY problem......Government.

ElPresidenteCastro said...

Four years ago my oldest started driving so I bought a third car and he started driving my old one. The added insurance cost was minimal with respect to my income. Currently, the family is down to a single car and the added insurance premium for my youngest would be a substantial bite out of the family's expendable income.

It is a tough conversation to explain to one of your children how the economy has changed and how it impacts them. I was impressed by how well he took it. He's a good kid.

Mitch H. said...

I will note that my great-aunt's neighborhood in the suburbs of Pittsburgh is a strangely matriarchal place, with a large number of unemployed or underemployed sons in their fifties schlumping uselessly about the properties owned by their eighty-something mothers. The last ten years have been *hard* on the not-particularly-intelligent, low-achieving working-class men who would have been respected, union-protected old bulls in the Eisenhower-Kennedy-Nixon years. Home ownership, savings, pensions, and social security proceeds have weirdly inverted the traditional working-class gender power dynamics in that neighborhood. Well, that and the way that hypergamy and feminism has left these chumps by the wayside. They would have been married to some long-suffering dead-on-the-inside woman back then - who no doubt were just counting the months until their inevitable heart attack.

Kind of like my grandmother, come to think of it. These guys are a lot like my grandfather was, just before his sudden fatal heart attack.

Maddad said...

My son's first used car cost more than my father's first new house.

Korla said...
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Korla said...

> If the Greatest Generation was so great, why did they bring up their children to be the Baby Boomers.

Don't blame them. They were just a generation that grew up trusting the institutions that they mistakenly believed had rescued them from the Depression.

They foolishly believed the academic world, the government, the entertainment industry and good old Uncle Walter Cronkite were NOT colluding to corrupt the values and principles of their children.

What they got instead was a generation of hippies, yippies, Black Panthers, John Kerrys, Jane Fondas, and Che promoters. A bunch of angry, empty people known as useful idiots.

They didn't realize that the only reason the beloved FDR was against Hitler was that Hitler had violated the non-aggression pact with Uncle Joe Stalin.

Robert Cook said...

Dust Bunny Queen is on a raving tear of wrong today!

PatCA said...

edutcher,
These folks will either riot or move to a non-socialist state when the safety net collapses.

Robert Cook said...

Whoops! With one post Korla just outdid all of DBQ's geyser of wrong!

Korla said...

Don't confuse the baby boomer activists with their grandkids, the current crop of slacktivists moving back in with mom and dad.

ALP said...

Food for thought regarding why so few young people are taking the risk to start their own businesses (in addition to the gov't standing in the way...)

1. It takes money to start a business. Who is willing to lend to untested 20-somethings these days, when most are already saddled with student loans and no history of earnings?

2. An interesting issue I came across years ago (but have not investigated further....) is that given ever-longer life spans...our parents/grandparents are living longer and spending the $$$$ they would have passed on to their descendents on health care. Thus decades ago, a person might come into an inheritance at an opportune time - just in time to buy a house, start a business, etc. Inheritance is not trickling down to the younger generations like it used to. I'd like to see this explored in more depth.

n.n said...

"The Go-Nowhere Generation" is Generation Confused. Their teachers (and "teachers") and mentors (and "mentors") profited from advancing selective and inconsistent agendas. They denigrated individual dignity and devalued human life. There is no longer an objective standard (e.g. natural order) and the result has been cognitive dissonance which motivates people to withdraw in order to avoid the stress associated with insurmountable hypocrisy.

The preceding generation, Generation Selective, worked its magic and effected generational corruption. Something similar happened in the Soviet Union, but the Americans were ambitious, and have truly outdone their communist counterparts. It would be an amusing development in the context of global competition, save for the fact I have to live through this nonsense.

Anyway, let's redistribute the product of other people's labor and enjoy instant gratification for as long as it lasts. America would not be the first civilization to voluntarily embrace the low road.

n.n said...

ALP:

Actually, capital formation occurs through saving the excess product of one's labor. If anything, the government, and the banks (either through conspiracy or coercion), sabotaged capital formation through transfer payments and facilitating credit creation (i.e. they created an illusion of demand without developing a foundation to sustain it). The 90s were not principally a showcase of entrepreneurial vigor, but of advancing the perception (and corruption) of instant gratification. There is no evidence that a large minority, and perhaps a slight majority, ever escape that distorted perception of reality.

Your other point is well made, but I would generalize it as cost shifting. It is especially a problem with non-contributory entitlements, but also generally with waste, fraud, and abuse that pervades our government at ever level. There is an unfortunate dissociation that occurs when people perceive their benefits to originate from an ethereal "government" and not from their neighbor, friend, or relative.

The Crack Emcee said...

Time for shoveling a little blame on these "greatest" folk.

And attempting to take it off yourselves.

Boomers are contemptible - and that statement is a fine example of why. You're still refusing to grow up and take responsibility for a what a mess you were/are. Bored people are boring - everybody knows that - but you can't cop to that, so you blame your folks, again. Message to Ann:

It's not their fault.

They handed you the world on a silver platter and the most brilliant thing your generation could think to do was shit on it. Even worse, the next bright idea you had was to pass it on - leaving the job of (violently) turning course to people like me, who you'll fight every inch of the way, as you guys empty the coffers because, still, you don't think you owe anyone else anything. Disgusting.

As a witness to the betrayal, all I can say is enjoy those 60s documentaries, because after you're gone they'll finally be allowed to attain the status they always should've had:

As "evidence."

Eric said...

When we were young there was adventure and excitement just over the horizon. We could drive or hitchhike across Route 66, or up the Pacific Coast Highway, or down Route One to Florida. And the towns were different, the people were different, and the food was different!

There's something to this. When I was a kid we had chain stores, but they weren't the top of the heap in every sector. You couldn't go to rural Japan and see KFC and Pizza Hut.

And the combination of the internet and cell phones mean you can get about 80% of the experience of being somewhere without ever leaving your office chair.

scf said...

It's more difficult to get a driving license these days, thanks to more onerous course requirements and also thanks to graduated licensing, so of course fewer kids are getting them as quickly. You need more time and money to get them now.

Nora said...

There are always people that would find a lot of faults with a new generation, every new generation.

And in this article the game is disclosed from the start: "With an 8.3 percent unemployment rate and a foreclosure rate ..., young Americans are less inclined to pack up and move to sunnier economic climes".

You see, high unemployment is young generation's fault, not failed government policies. More over:
"the proportion of young adults living at home nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, before the Great Recession hit. Even bicycle sales are lower now than they were in 2000. Today’s generation is literally going nowhere. This is the Occupy movement we should really be worried about."

Got it? It's all these living at home kids that coused the Great recession.

Can you imagine this article, finding fault with young generation, published if the president throwing money to the wind during "Great Recession" was a republican?

Suburbanbanshee said...

In this context, "random" means "behaving in a way that is senseless, surprising, or silly", not that the world is random.

I'm disturbed that someone would use slang in an article without understanding it.

Redsilas77 said...

I was born in 1977 at the end of Generation X, so to speak. When I entered the workforce, I was see as someone different because I actually cared about working and keeping my job. In retail I was promoted fast because I worked hard, showed up on time, didn't abuse my position, and so forth

I saw other employees my age and younger constantly get fired, or quit, or blame it 'on the man'. They could have cared less about having a job with any health care and sure didn't care about retirement. Their view was 'eh, I can get another job anytime'.

Now, I work a government job. I see young kids come in (now that I'm in my 30's, they are young kids now to me) and want higher pay because they have the 'education' but lack the experience. Sure, I have a degree, but I also have the experience, something they don't have. They complain the pay sucks, but those of us 'older' employees mentioned that we too started at the same low government wage and worked out way up just like everyone else.

I have job loyalty, they don't. Many are quick to leave or quit complaining they can do much better in the private economy. Those that left are now the ones protesting against the 1% and the like, which I find hilarious. They gave up a fantastic government job with health care and retirement benefits because they refused to sit and do the time of a whole 3-5 years to get much better pay, and instead, find themselves without a job, moving back in with the parents, and protesting 'the man'.

And yes, I do know 35+ year olds who still live with their parents and without a job because they either refuse to move to where the job is, or they feel many jobs are 'beneath them' because they have a bachelors degree is whatever.

Robert Cook said...

"Those that left are now the ones protesting against the 1% and the like, which I find hilarious."

Of course, you have no way of knowing if this is so or not."

leslyn said...

All this blame game:

Talk to the hand.

Synova said...

Why not Mintot? Freezin's the reason. ;-)

Synova said...

My son got his new over-21 driver's license today. He asked me if he should get the eight year one instead of the four year one. The fellow waiting on him said he'd have to get a new one if he moved. I said, "I really hope you're not living at home eight years from now."

It cracked the whole place up. I had no idea that was such a funny thing to say.

Allison said...

> If the Greatest Generation was so great, why did they bring up their children to be the Baby Boomers.

It's an interesting question, and until that generation dies and we can examine it more critically, it won't be answered, but my guess is that the war was mentally and emotionally devastating to many of the men that came home. they came home incapable of functioning in the world as husbands and fathers. they did their work, arrived home, turned on the TV, and ignored family life. they drank, gambled, fought, and self medicated. they were abusive to spouse and children. But no one could talk about it, and out of that silence and emotional void, their children rebelled against the pretense that life was good.

It's easier to see the damage war did to the refugees who came here, but the terrible atrocities of war were lived by the soldiers who then came back to a world that made no allowance for their inability to function, and those pains were part of the desire to hurry oneself in normalcy.

Louise said...

Every generation likes to blame the previous one(s) for their problems. Likewise, every generation fails to correct the all problems they face (because they are too busy playing the blame game) and every generation leaves unsolved problems (or creates the conditions that become problems) for the generations that follow. Always was. Always will be.

Long story short: Quit yer blaming. Get off yer asses and do the best you can.

None of us can see into the future. All we have is the present.

Clyde said...

North Dakota? Isn't it like Alaska but without the scenery? When I think of North Dakota, I think of wheat fields, nuclear silos and snow drifts. And now, oil shale, I guess. Having lived in Florida for well over twenty years, my blood is too thin to ever live that far north again.

Unknown said...

I left home for college at age 16. I never moved back. I don't understand why young people don't want to get out of the house and be their own person.

Of course, I grew up as one of four kids in a 6-person family living in a 3BR, 1BA home and shared a room with my sister all my life - until I left for college. These young people today have grown up with their own bedrooms and bathrooms all their lives. Many have no siblings to annoy them. Maybe it's more pleasant to live in their parents' house because of that?

Eric herrera said...

Kids these days think they are "entitled" to everything . They see everything they do as their"right" to do so. Since we put it in their heads from movies news Internet that being a fag is totally normal. Because now the boy you use to play football with and ride bikes with is now the boy you can kiss and hold hands. I seen two 13 year old boys holding hands. Im like wtf. They sit on their game system for 8 hours a day and sit on their phone all day everyday. These kids cant even take out the trash . STILL after all this you people as adults as mentor's defend this justify this. Going straight to college after sitting at home after high school everyday playing video games they have no common sense no social skills. And after everything YOU put it in their heads it is their "right" as an American to be a fag or not have to go outside and cut the grass.

Author David W. Menefee said...

Have you heard the new "Baby Boomer" song?
This powerful piece tells it like it is.
http://youtu.be/-vMicdkKlBk