Tuesday, July 05, 2016

In Defense of Generation Y

My generation (Generation Y) has been accused of being lazy and wanting things handed to us on a platter. I, for one, am not lazy at all. I had better work habits at age 12 than many people do when they are adults.

There is a vast difference between not wanting to work and not being able to find work. After the 1990s technology boom ended, many people were out of work. Recessions hit younger people more than they do anyone else; and my generation saw just that.

Generation X likes to see itself as hard-working; but they came of age in 1980s, when the economy was good. It remained good in 1990s as well. By the time of the crash, most of these people were already well-established and did not need to fear being laid off.

The computer industry, in which I was able to make $80,000 a year at age 23, is now far more competitive, and it is not prospective to compete with a guy in India who can do the same job for $5,000 a year and has a master's degree. The biotech industry was billed as the next computer industry; but I knew from the start that that was nonsense. There are far less things that can be done with biotech than with computers; and while biotech should be a solidly growing field I do not see it ever becoming as big as the computer industry.

What economic endeavors are prospective at this time? The underlying reality is that baby boomers are starting to get old, which means that there will be a lot of room in health care and aged care industries. Medical technology – including biotech – should become big as well; but once again never as big as the computer industry.

Right now I work in political research and have taken classes in aged care. I also have made a lot of contributions to culture, including translating five books of classical Russian poetry into English. I am not lazy, nor do I want to have things handed to me on a platter. There are many hard-working people in my generation. And they – and I – do not deserve to be painted this way.


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