Young People, The American Dream and TechnologyDamien Moye
Yesterday was Labor Day. It’s a day we remember the sacrifice and hard work of the American laborer. But the holiday brings sadness too, especially in these 2010s. Because it seems many young Americans gave up on the American Dream. So let’s talk young people, the American dream and technology.
So yesterday in Boston, near our computer service shop, they had a march. Fast food workers went on strike. They demanded a wage increase to $15. But what does technology have to do with this? Well, other cities and states did raise the minimum wage. What did some fast food chains do? They fired all the workers, then replaced them with robots. Because in their eyes, robots are cheaper than human beings. I know that sounds awful, but that’s how many business owners and managers think nowadays.
However, at least these fast food workers have some belief in the American dream. According to one poll, only 42% of 18-29 years olds have a favorable view of capitalism. That’s an all-time low. In fact, 33% say they outright prefer socialism/communism. That’s disturbing. What is wrong with young people, the American dream and technology? I think history and circumstance have huge roles to play.
In 2017, the average college graduate was born between 1994-1995. They were in elementary school when 9/11 happened. Imagine how traumatizing that must have been for a first or second grader. So your childhood is already full of fear and anxiety. Then, when you’re in junior high, the Great Recession starts. You see parents, neighbors, and friends lose their jobs, houses, cars, etc. So now you’re in high school and college. You look for a part time job. Sorry. Somebody with a Masters degree or a parent feeding their three kids needs that job more than you. So you get no work at all.
Go to college, the Baby Boomers say. You do. You graduate. Everybody is so proud. But it takes you a year to find a job. Meanwhile, you’re $100,000+ in student loan debt. Your job is in Silicon Valley, or Seattle, or Boston, or New York City, or Washington, DC. You know how high rent is up there? Jobs in your hometown are scarce, or non-existent. Nobody wants to rent to you, so you’re stuck in daddy’s basement. No woman wants to date a jobless person living in the basement. But speaking of technology, you have your adult film websites. So what do you care what women think, but that’s another subject for another time.
So do you see how this just breeds hopelessness? You see why so many young adults are turning to socialism and hating capitalism? What can we do to bring back young people, the American dream and technology together again?