Entitlement in the 21st Century

ImageIn this day and age the word entitlement is an ugly word. Especially in context with “Echo Boomers” as my generation is apparently called.  Born between the years 1977 through 1994? Then you are an Echo Boomer! Congratulations if you are, if you are born before consider generation X, older than that your apart of the baby boomers, if you are born after 1994, well…..then you are generation Z.

However, for this blog we will only consider one generation, that of the Echo Boomers. For see generation Y is the 20 something’s of the world. Our generation is actually larger than the baby boomers if you can believe that! However there is a stigma that seems to follow our generation, entitlement. There seems to be this idea that our generation is selfish, lazy, entitled, going nowhere and don’t care etc. etc.

Now from my perspective at 26, I feel that these stigmas are almost always associated with a new generation, because they in the eyes of the older generation lack the qualities and abilities to do things “right” compared to what was done. For an example, the perfect hardworking 1940’s parents led to the birth of the 1960’s and a radical overhaul of American culture.

I really want to focus on the 20 something’s of this generation, for as we all know of the Wall Street protests a large majority were college grads and no other than 20 something’s. With that came the remarks of how can we at our age walk around with Ipads and Iphones tweeting and posting on FB about inequality while having luxuries that the previous generation never had! How dare them!

Lets zip back to the 1980’s and the economic boom of the Madonna’s and MTV. The average savings of income that was saved by a household on average was 10%, the rest…..spent. With new technology coming out and a revolution in culture around music and sports Americans were spending money. Advertising was on an all out war with Americans wallets. They even had fake cell phones so you could look like you had a real one! For adults! It would be like me purchasing a fake Ipad for my trips so I looked like I owned one. People spent money to look like they had money. People bought into the commercials with their favorite sports star and wanted, wanted, wanted……and it was cheap. Money was easy and things were cheap. The MTV generation wanted things, and they went and spent money to get them, it felt good.

Now, these were the people that raised the 20 something’s of the world! The MTV generation. Now grown knew what it took to make it long term, college. Purchase your future and you will gain all of what you desire, a house, a nice car, a family, financially security. So like most in my generation a huge emphasis was put on college, that the debt put on it was worth it and that this alone would guarantee a great future.

What happened? The greatest recession since the great depression, hell it might as well been another depression. Suddenly jobs were sucked up, corporations tightened their belts and benefits were thrown to the wind. Greed was rampant and corporatism was the religion of the Government. So many took to the streets angry, angry that they had spent so much time in college to see that it really wasn’t a promise, it wasn’t a guarantee it was something less. So are they entitled? Yes, not that hard work isn’t involved to get what they seek, but they were raised to think that college was all they needed.

So to all you from the older generation point at the faults of the youth, look deep into yourself and how you raised your child. The dependence on an education bar hard work and the faulty assumption that college for a job was a guarantee were not ideas that we came up with on our own, we were raised to believe it was true. So now that a large part of the youth has lost hope in the process, lost hope in the future and are fine with a subtle life, could possibly be a venture toward an America that looks hard at it’s promises and looks hard into the frugality. Because a large portion of those working middle wage jobs are those that sought college, those that found it to be wanting and found that it wasn’t truly worth it.

So it may not be completely lost as you may think. We as your generation will learn our lessons, but pointing a finger that has three pointing back at you only makes you look foolish. Only time will tell what the future will bring, however personally I feel that it will reverberate in how we see the failures and raise our children to make new mistakes.