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Bad Economy and its Effects on Generation Y

Updated on January 10, 2014

You won't find me hanging out on the streets of Occupy Wall-street. While they have many valid points, they also continuing to lower our country's view of GenerationY-ers.

Big companies have lost their way when it comes to promoting talented people. They grow so large, with so many layers that the upper leadership loses complete touch with those actually doing the work. Toxic leadership is often unintentionally rewarded in these structures, because they are unable to recognize those that are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get to the top. Not to mention the expectation of complete transience, which wrecks havoc on even the most stable families. Even companies that have squeaky clean reputations have fallen to the wayside in recent years.

While the generations ahead of us had to scrimp and save, one could know that you could go to college, return to your home town, and if you had good integrity and work ethic could stay in the same job for 30 years, have 2.4 children, and reap the benefits of social security.

The generations ahead of us based their borrowing rates on exponential growth models; aka assuming that each generation would grow more then the generation before. Those models have proven to be wrong. They have created environments where children cannot be adequately disciplined or rewarded for their successes. They continually gradually take away student's ability to compete and then wonder why we aren't able to identify rising stars. Those that are average and willing to bring apples to their teachers are rewarded, while those that talented, but held back by the system are seen as hooligans, rather then as the talented students that they are. The combination of the coddling parents that are unable or unwilling to let their children grow up at the "normal rate" and the financial struggles that force well-educated, hard working "children" in the 20's to return to their parents homes contribute to a culture in which the older generation looks upon us with total disrespect. The irony behind this is that Generation Y saw the highest of their parents, was the highest amount of children in foster care programs, and the highest amounts of child abuse cases in U.S. history.

When Baby Boomers and Generation X see our generation struggling with employment and debt, they then believe it is because we are all after entitlements, that we are all living well beyond our means, and that we are unwilling to get our hands dirty or put skin in the game. Our grandparents that experienced the Great Depression are more empathetic, but of course many are beyond the age of being able to influence societal opinions.

So my occupy friends, I agree that big changes need to be made. Simplification of the tax code must be made to allow regular people to run a sole proprietorship without requiring the constant (and expensive) consultation of attorneys and accountants to function. Flat taxes with dramatically reduced or eliminated special priority to special groups would dramatically help propagate small business success. We need to identify ways to reduce or eliminate waste, fraud and abuse- and stop the government from spending beyond our means. We need to stay out of fire fights until absolutely necessary, and function from a more 007-type military. Aka, get inside enemy lines, understand their tactics, manipulate from within. I don't have all the answers, but we need to ensure that businesses are able to identify the next industry talents (even Bill Gates was hugely overlooked for nearly a decade), and allow those that are talented, hard working, and empathetic to excel and rise to the top.

However, this chaotic madness needs to end. George Soros has brought economies to their knees, yet is seen as a philanthropist. Unions are important for protecting hard workers from toxic leadership, but they have become overconfident with their demands. They need to understand the individual needs of each company, and know that a company needs to make a profit to exist. With the globalization of our economy, pay rates and benifits need to reman globally competitive. If a company cannot make a profit, it cannot reinvest and continue to grow.

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