A casual perusal of our finest, financially destitute journalistic publications will most likely yield some pretty dismal information about the economy and how god-awful it is. The economy is so bad, we are told, that it is going out of its way to destroy an entire generation's hopes and dreams — millennials, as it turns out, are the economy's most bruised and battered victims and, according to a new national survey of 1,029 people ages 18-29, many millennials have already had their poor, fragile spirits crushed under the economy's bootheel.
The data collected from the survey comes as the latest wave of research in a burgeoning field of study, the new stage of development politely called "emerging adulthood" (although I think we all know enough frozen banana stand managers and struggling magicians to know what this stage is really called). People already mired in or preparing to enter their 20s are feeling a lot of pressure to become financially independent, even though that remains an elusive goal. A little more than half of the respondents said they feel anxious pretty much all the time, while 65 percent said that their lives are "full of uncertainty." 82 percent did, however, put a more positive spin on all this uncertainty, believing that it opened up more possibilities for the future.
Respondents also reported a lingering reliance on their parents' bank accounts — though 38 percent said they were financially fledged, 16 percent reported frequent financial support from their parents, while 31 percent reported receiving support "occasionally." Many of the respondents are starting to put less value on a college education, with 66 percent saying that it's possible to get a good job without dabbling in higher education.
It's a pretty popular trope in recession scribblings to bemoan the lack of initiative that millennials seem to exhibit. Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal's cantankerous cephalopod of a columnist, recently excoriated Gen Y's latest graduating class on its inability to name U.S. presidents to his satisfaction, and in the New York Times "The Go-Nowhere Generation" lamented a sedentary, aimless generation of hopeless homebodies eternally shuffling zombie-like through their parents' basements in footsie pajamas. Maybe millennials really are the worst group of people to ever be born, but they're still in the thick of establishing themselves — we should probably wait to evaluate the ascending generation until the older one dies off. Like the dinosaurs, who are also dead and in no position to criticize anyone for not being as cold-blooded and interesting-looking as they were.
Many ‘emerging adults' 18-29 are not there yet [USA Today]
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