Thursday, May 16, 2013

Generation Y & How We Got Screwed


This is probably going to be one of my most thought-provoking rants. This post affects almost everyone born between 1983-2001, which is said to be Generation Y (depending on the source). I'm writing this post because I (like others from my generation) am annoyed as hell about the piss poor economy, job market, housing market and opportunities we've inherited.

The media has done a good job of portraying Generation-Y as the generation that is lazy. According to the media, we are the generation that doesn't want to leave mom and dad's basement. We are the generation that wants everything handed to us. We are the generation that feels entitled to things we haven't worked to achieve. We are the generation that only thinks about ourselves.

The media has given us fancy names like "Generation Me" "Generation 9/11" and "The Millennial Generation." They say we are unwilling to start from the bottom and make our way to the top. They say we want things our way...right away. As far as I'm concerned, all the above is bullshit and I'll tell you why...

When I was finishing college the economy, in this country, was on the verge of collapsing. Every thing was collapsing. The housing industry was collapsing. The automobile industry was on the verge of bankruptcy. This country was losing jobs left and right. Decades of outsourcing (moving jobs to countries with cheaper labor and virtually no labor laws) coupled with the ripple effect of several high profile companies collapsing due to the greed of WHITE men, lead to a non-existent job market that greeted me and millions of other members of Generation-Y as we finished college.

You see we were told to go to college, graduate and get a "good" job. This was pushed into our heads from the time we hit the cradle until the time we entered our first of year college. We were told that once we completed college sky was the limit. A "good" job would be there and we wouldn't have any problem paying off our student loans, buying our first homes and starting a family. In short, we were told a shit load of LIES.

When I finished college I couldn't find a job anywhere. 

There were college educated people, who lost their jobs, standing in line to apply for minimum wage jobs. There were people like me (i.e., those who just finished college) in line right beside them. There were G.E.D. recipients and folks with a high school diploma standing in the same line. There were people who didn't have a high school diploma standing in the same line.

Everyone, no matter their educational level, was standing in the SAME line just to get any old piece of shit of a job. All of these people were competing against each other just to fill 5-8 spots. It was discouraging to say the least. 

If you were a college educated individual you found yourself facing a dilemma you never thought you would face: Either dumb down your resume (i.e., leave off your post secondary education) and lie about your education or keep your education on your resume and watch as the person doing the hiring (usually a manage) looks at you funny when he/she realizes you're more educated than him or her. If you're black, and the person doing the hiring is white and less educated, chances are this scene is even more intense. On the flip side, if you're black, and the person doing the hiring is black and less educated, chances are this scene is possibly equally as intense because truth be told we (black folks) have a crab in the barrel mentality (i.e., perceive other blacks with more than us as a threat and therefore jealousy along with a list of other emotions begin to take over).

At that point it becomes clear to both you and him/her that you won't be sticking around for the long term if something better comes along. The hiring manager doesn't say it, but he/she immediately scratches you off the list. There is no point in hiring and training someone who 1). Won't stick around for the long term and 2). Is threatening to you with their educational background. So, it's back to the unemployment line.

I went through all of the above.

On top of all that, I was living at home with my dad. The situation at home became intense because I was frustrated all the day time (not having any money will make a person crazy) and he was annoying the fuck out of me with his constant demands. I took his shit for a year before I packed up and moved to my grandmother's house, which opened a whole new can of worms.

Grandma didn't ride my back as much as my dad, but she did get on my damn nerves sometimes. Grandma expected me to be the same little girl she helped raise, who was content to sit still in the rural country and watch "the stories" with her. Well, this shit wasn't going to fly. After living in the city of Atlanta for four years I took every opportunity I could get to drive to Atlanta (and usually that opportunity involved a woman I was dating). 

In between all this nonsense, I made a decision to go back to school and pursue my Master's degree. So, I applied and was accepted to a state school in Georgia. My economic situation improved slightly. I was working two part-time jobs, going to school full-time and pocketing a $900.00 monthly check from the government thanks to the VA Educational Benefits I received through my dad's military disability. It was during this time that I learned how to invest in the stock market.

I saved every dime I could save and I applied for every decent job I could find in my field. Eventually I landed a position at a library system in the Atlanta area. Once again, I packed my bags and moved. I've been here ever since. Let me be completely honest...

I worked and struggled my ass off to get what I have today. Truth be told, I didn't get anywhere depending on someone else to hire me. Things didn't begin to fall into place for me until I began publishing my work. That's how I made the bulk of my money. 

The media and our parents fail to realize that this world has CHANGED. 

Generation Y is going to have to work HARDER for the opportunities that our parents had (past tense...their jobs are gone too). Generation Y is graduating from college with more debt than any generation before us. The cost of education has gone up and the benefits have gone down.

Companies have cut salaries, but they now expect their employees to do twice as much work.  Companies have cut jobs and they now expect their current employees to carry twice the load with half the salary. Unions are becoming a thing of the past because with the economy in the toliet companies can simply hire the next struggling simp to do the work that you won't do. With our broke ass immigration laws, cheap labor is now easy to find. Companies have cut pensions and expect employees to save for their retirements from their already mediocre salaries, which are supposed to stretch to pay for food, bills, car notes, health insurance, student loans, child care needs (if applicable) rent/mortgage etc.

It's been said that Generation Y won't see a dime of social security yet we're expected to continue to fund it for the generation that put us in this situation (that would be the baby boomers who are getting ready to retire). I have noticed that more money is being taken out of my check than ever before. Will I see a dime of this money when I'm old? Probably not!

On top of all that, employers are constantly looking for a way to get the most work out of people for the least amount of money. Gone are the days when students could depend on solid internships (whether paid or not) to get their feet in the door. Nowadays employees use interns for legalized slavery. They require them to fetch coffee and do a lot of heavylifting WITHOUT pay. When these students graduate there aren't any jobs lined up for them at the companies they slaved for summer after summer. 

It really is no wonder why SOME members of Generation Y are living at home and show no signs of leaving (my brother is one of those people). It's too damn hard to make it out here. Our parents did a piss poor job sustaining this country and the economy. It is unfair to expect my generation to fork over a chunk of our SMALL paychecks to support these motherfuckers as they retire and draw social security.

Generation Y needs to organize and get all these old ass rich white men out of government. They got to go! They don't give a fuck about us or our future. All this stuff about "Not wanting to pass on the national deceit to my children" is bullshit. It will pass on to us because these rich white folks don't want to pay more taxes. We have a situation in this country where a small percentage of the population controls almost half the wealth. It should NOT be this way.

Until something changes in this country Generation Y will continue to be screwed! If we are going to be forced to carry the burden we should at least be in the driver's seat.
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