Post-Holiday News Blues

Oh my goodness – the internet must be experiencing some sort of Post-Halloween sugar crash, because the Plastics-related news is pretty glum so far this week.

Yesterday the world wide web was just buzzing with commentary about the plight of young people, thanks to a new survey by the think tank Demos and the advocacy group The Young Invincibles.  The statistics it highlights aren’t uplifting. In fact, they’re pretty much along the same lines of gloom and doom we’ve been whining about all along: Our generation is underemployed, 20 percent of us live with our parents, we’re pessimistic, etc. And the last line of the report really adds insult to injury:

“About half of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that a fundamental tenet of the American dream is broken — that the next generation will be better off than they are.”

Even The American Dream is broken?? I’m not really sure what to do with myself now.

The Huffington Post highlighted one of the more interesting portions of the study: Young white people are less optimistic about their futures than minorities. White people in the U.S. also control 20 times more wealth than black people and 18 times more wealth than Latinos.

Meanwhile, msnbc.com was able to muster up a fresh, witty headline for their article about the study:

Recession threatens generation of adults, inspires ‘Occupy’ protests

Oh my gosh the recession is affecting young people? AND you were able to connect this brand new finding to Occupy Wall Street?

In more concretely depressing news, Inside Higher Ed has a look at the decline of the few U.S. institutions that still offer free higher education. This follows Monday’s announcement that The Cooper Union, a college designed around the idea of providing free undergraduate education, may begin to charge tuition if its economic circumstances don’t clear up.

– Arielle

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