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Generation Wrecked

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the born-with-a-plastic-spoon-in-our-mouths dept.

The Almighty Buck 1667

Ryosen writes "Fortune magazine has an interesting article discussing how members of Generation X (those born between 1966 and 1975) have been damaged by the fall of the economy and the life-long ramifications of the dot.com boom-bust, stating 'No generation since the Depression has been set up for failure like this.' Particularly disturbing is the statement 'Worse yet, for some Gen Xers, their peak earning years are behind them. Buried in college and credit card debt, a lot of them won't be able to catch up as they approach their prime spending years.' Are the best years of our lives truly behind us?"

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Generation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423922)

sex (pr0n)

Sad truth is that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423926)

Really Gold Age was not for us. People who are forty, fifty and twenty in 1999 were more successful that we are...

Re:Sad truth is that (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424083)

I'm 35 right now and pull in $125,000 a year. I'll be retired by age 50 despite the current market gloom (or *because* of it, actually). I arrived here by working hard and not being lured by will-o-the-wisp nonsense. So, please do not include me in your "generation". Thank you.

Re:Sad truth is that (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424111)

Sure, you got that job by 'working hard'. Sure. Working hard in the sauna with all your crypto-homo work buddies so you could climb the ladder.

Please tell me what exactly you do for 125k$ a year and how I could get there. Hard work? Suuuuure.

As a Gen-X'er (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423927)

I would like to claim first post.

Re:As a Gen-X'er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423986)

Dream on! Us baby boombers have been hit the hardest. Where is a 50 something geek going to go and what is he (or she) going to do and how is he going to pay for his 20 something kids to finish college?

gg repeat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423928)

already seen it, gg slashdot

And they are just now realizing this? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423932)

This has been pretty obvious for some time now to those of us in the middle of it all.

I dont understand how they could have missed this (5, Insightful)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424087)

I mean come on this is like saying being overweight is bad, or shooting heroin can cause problems down the road.

However, that being said my income has risen every year except one when I moved from Dallas TX to Norman OK and now I make more than I did in Dallas. I guess it all depends on the opportunities you create for yourself. I knew several people in college that dropped out because with their MCSE they could get a 50 to 75K job in Dallas overnight. I decided to stay the course and get a broad education in both business (both MIS and Finance degrees) and technical learning (I began working with linux in '95 as well as Windows based systems).

Having a wide area of knowledge only helps. I've saved my company 10s of thousands of dollars by implementing Linux based solutions instead of MS solutions at my full time job and we are a MS shop only (not anymore).

I guess it's all in how hard you worked toward tangible goals when things were going good as opposed to taking the easy way out.

1964 (-1, Offtopic)

NetPoser (266960) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423933)

I guess I missed this by less than 2 years--whatever that means!

Thank GOD I was born in 1976! (5, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423934)

I missed all this crap!

WHoo hoo! I'm living the high life like it was 1989!

Re:Thank GOD I was born in 1976! (2, Funny)

RobinH (124750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424051)

That's what I thought... year of the dragon, baby!

obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423935)

first post.

i'm personally glad not to be in the "1996-1975" range to start with.

Thank God! (0, Redundant)

Consul (119169) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423939)

Phwew... I'm one of the lucky ones. I was born in 1976. :)

best years...truly behind us? (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423940)

Define `best years` first. But i`d say `No, of course not.`. Depends what you want to do with your life though. Sit and try and fix other peoples poorly written code, or something satisfying.

Whoo hoo! (2, Redundant)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423941)

By those standards, I don't qualify. I miss the age cutoffs, and I'm not drowning in credit card debt at this moment...Wow. Something to be proud of ... What a great way to start a Thursday.

Woe is me! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423942)

It's not my fault I'm a bum, it's all because I was born in a twenty year period of time.

Does all this 'Generation whatever' crap annoy the hell out of anyone else? People do not care about their 'generation' in general.

Re:Woe is me! (3, Insightful)

sparkyman (197836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424030)

Yep, annoys me.

Instead of recognizing that one has been living above their means and changing, lets blame it on when we were born!

Get some responsibility.......or maybe we should blame the parents for raising them poorly?! yeah that's it!

Re:Woe is me! (2)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424100)

This posted by a "Baby" bUmer? Why else post as Coward


The generation that created the Me, Myself, and I, is calling the kettel black

In case of slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423947)

posting anonymously to avoid being a karma whore

Generation Wrecked
Posted by michael on Thursday October 10, @11:06AM
from the born-with-a-plastic-spoon-in-our-mouths dept.

Ryosen writes "Fortune magazine has an interesting article discussing how members of Generation X (those born between 1966 and 1975) have been damaged by the fall of the economy and the life-long ramifications of the dot.com boom-bust, stating 'No generation since the Depression has been set up for failure like this.' Particularly disturbing is the statement 'Worse yet, for some Gen Xers, their peak earning years are behind them. Buried in college and credit card debt, a lot of them won't be able to catch up as they approach their prime spending years.' Are the best years of our lives truly behind us?"

A little perspective... (1, Offtopic)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424013)

Slashdot is going to overload Fortune?

Over for you maybe. (5, Insightful)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423948)

But, those of us who didn't blow every paycheck on toys and assorted junk are doing ok. I drive a modest car, live in a modest apartment and don't live beyond my means. I have 0 credit card debt and 8 months of salary saved away.

Re:Over for you maybe. (2, Interesting)

Farmer Jimbo (515393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424022)

Plus all those turd reports are invested in municiapls bonds so you're set!

Anyway, yeah. Tried to play it smart, no debt, ok job, used car, couple months of salary saved up just in case. 15% going into the 403(b) pre-tax. I'm getting stocks at a bargain right now. I've got 25 years min before retirment. As long as my paycheck keeps clearing, a low stock market is a good thing for me.

Re:Over for you maybe. (4, Interesting)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424023)

I also fall in to this category. I have less than $100.00 on credit card debt, modest car and an ok job. I don't have anywhere 8 months of salary saved up, becuase our family just had some major remodeling done; but this begs the question.

What the heck are you doing in an appartment? You are pissing away your rent every month. If you owned a home, then you would get a tax break (one of the few left). If you have the means to save 8 months of salary, then you should be able to afford a home. My God the interest rates are rock bottom now. What are you waiting for?

At least consider a condo. I would still get a house though...

You are in the minority (2, Interesting)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424040)

Don't lose your resolve. In thirty years your friends will say you were the only one to get it right.

But also don't rent for too long - its a suckers racket. Buying and owning a house is the best way to protect yourself in the very long run.

You are a smart man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424105)

You're living exactly right.

In a few years, you will have that big house, BMW, wife 2.5 kids, swimming pool, but you'll be living within your means and not in debt out the yin-yan.

This ticks me off (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423954)

Actually, I read this article yesterday and am ashamed to be classified as "generation x". All I ever se when I read an article about them is a bunch of whiny bitches that think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter complaining about "corporate america" (whoever that is) conspiring to steal from them, take away their rights, and in general make their life miserable.

So you blew all your money and aren't qualified to get a job as anything but a file clerk? So what? Or the "economy" is so bad that you can't make $100K a year because you know Front Page? And this is the fault of corporations? Cry me a fucking river.

As a representative of Gen X (2, Informative)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423955)

We are doing just fine.

Re:As a representative of Gen X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424019)

You're excluding those of us who did not fare as well. A more accuracte statement would be:

We were doing just fine.

Their 'peak' isn't here yet (5, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423960)

Baby boomers are all the people currently in very high positions (VPs, and other execs). The baby boomers are starting to retire, so in the next five to ten years, we'll see a drastic increase in jobs and promotions in attempt to fill the void left by the them.

Also, we are seeing another 'baby boom' coming lately with the tradegy of 9/11. This past year there has been a drastic increase in weddings and births. Wish I had the doc to support it (has been in the news, but I can't find any articles or studies atm. Anyway, there is a rise in families and such, so the need for higher paying jobs, and spending on kids will help the economy get out of the rut (IMHO).

9.11 baby boom a myth (4, Informative)

Duds (100634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424009)

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/babyboom.htm

Apparently it's all an urban legend.

Re:9.11 baby boom a myth (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424049)

cool. thanks for the link. Sorry to misinform.

Re:9.11 baby boom a myth (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424106)

I'd always taken it as fact too until I stumbled on it while browsing Snopes. (a superb site btw)

Re:Their 'peak' isn't here yet (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424018)

The alleged "baby boom" due to 9/11 only exists in the eyes of reporters. Any article I've read that goes beyond the anecdotal reports shows no numbers to back up these claims. Personally I'd chalk this story up to peoples desire to see something good coming out of tradgedy. (Though if you think about it, an increased birth rate actually isn't something that's terribly good).

Re:Their 'peak' isn't here yet (4, Insightful)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424044)

Baby boomers are all the people currently in very high positions (VPs, and other execs). The baby boomers are starting to retire, so in the next five to ten years, we'll see a drastic increase in jobs and promotions in attempt to fill the void left by the them.

I disagree. Those positions will simply be downsized in cost-cutting efforts, rather than filled with younger employees.

Doesn't help me (3, Funny)

nonmaskable (452595) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423961)

I was born in 62, so I guess things must be sucking for some other reason...

Re:Doesn't help me (2)

tb3 (313150) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424015)

The obvious question is, "Where were you born?"

The generation windows are different in different countries. The Baby Boom hit the U.S. first, right after the war, hit Canada a few years later, and the U.K. about ten years later, because the U.K. economy took the longest to recover. If you're a Canadian or a Brit born in 1962, you may well be a Gen-X'er.

Douglas Coupland's book, 'Generation X' (which popularized the term) set Generation-X as being born between 1962 and 1972, I think.

Re:Doesn't help me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424095)

It sucks for you, because you're forty. Do the math.

Real Life Intrudes (5, Insightful)

q2k (67077) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423964)

Gen-X'ers, (including me) may have to admit that the lifestyle we got used to from 1996-2001 was a mirage, and we really can't afford a county club house and two BMW's in the garage. Here in Northern VA we are starting to see people selling their $500K McMansions and downsizing to a house more in keeping with their current income levels. For those of us that have been working in the dot com environment the last few years, I think its necessary to assume you will make less money the next couple of years, and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

Re:Real Life Intrudes (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424065)

If they're selling $500K McMansions, who are they selling them to? Someone must still be making money. You need a buyer for every sale.

not sure i agree.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423967)

I'm not sure I agree totally with this article.. I mean it was because of this boom that I got thwarted into the IT market before I could even graduate from college. I was making nearly $40K at 23yrs of age. (im 26 now.) I was able to buy a house at 24 and become a *responsible* person. i.e. not living with momma. So it shot me up to a higher point in my life faster than the average bear and now i consider myself *ahead* of the game even though all those huge salary increases are gone. oh well..my two cents.

Boy, am I glad.. (1)

Allaria (547479) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423969)

I'm generation Y.

I want to know Y they were so unoriginal in describing us. I guess we're just not nearly as cool as the 'Baby boomers' or the 'teenie boppers'

Is that what they're calling the generation these days?

And isn't generation X the MTV generation? Doesn't that explain a lot?

Re:Boy, am I glad.. (1)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424059)

I heard it's Millennials (sp?).

BTW, Exactly what generation am I in? I was born in 1980. I've heard that's gen X. I've also heard that 1980 is the one after gen X.

One time thing (4, Insightful)

Duds (100634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423970)

What's becomming clear is that the inital tech boom was a 1-off. You're never going to get that kind of frenzy in the IT industry again. A lot of people were getting way over paid, or in this case of companies, way over funded.

A few people were big winners, they were funded by the much larger number of people who were losers.

It'll recover, of course it will, but never to quite the same excitement "next big thing" frenzy.

The result will be a stronger long term industry but it is entirely possible people will struggle to earn as much in the future as they could during the boom.

Especially as there are a lot of good graduates now that started degrees during the boom in the hope of getting a massive payig job. This over supply is going to restrict saleries for a few years.

I was making $33,000 a year when I was 19 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4423971)


Sure, it's not a spectacular amount, but in my area you can get pretty nice house for $80,000, apartment rent is $400 a month, taxes aren't high....

I'm 21 and I've gotten $1,000 raise each year. Sure, I'd like to make $50,000, but I'm in a pretty stable position in IT (basically, I'm the only person who touches it in a 50 year old, 150 person company) so I'll just tread water for a while.

I think my first computer job was working as a PC Tech at Best Buy, making $9-$10 an hour, then I was a wiring goon/PC mover for $11 an hour at a 'consulting firm', then I got to where I am now.

The days of reading an HTML/Java book and going to a $65,000/year job with a startup are behind us.

Re:I was making $33,000 a year when I was 19 (2)

jd142 (129673) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424058)

33,000 a year when you are 19 is a good amount. There are plenty of people who would be glad to start out at that amount.

Unless you are in one of the coast cities I guess, where everything is outrageous.

Bad Economy Opens Options (4, Insightful)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423974)

There are a lot of people that have lost jobs in the IT industry that are now working in smaller outfits doing consulting, programming, etc. Some have moved into other careers, but the bottom line is that this might fuel future innovations, or at least diversify the market so that you have more computer-savvy people using computers in other careers where the introduction of technology has been previously opposed.

I am not trivializing the loss of jobs, nor am I saying the economy is about to boom again. However, there are many people that used to punch a clock working harder than ever to start up new businesses or boost the technology base in old businesses. Both of these are good things!

Didion Sprague's Take on Gen X (3, Interesting)

Didion Sprague (615213) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423977)

My sister -- Sister Reba -- might be considered Generation X.

She doesn't have a dime saved. Everything she spends comes from Riley the boyfriend (a Gen-X'r who dropped out several liberal arts colleges, got a short story published when he was hosteling around Europe, and now has such a severe case of Writer's Block (a fear that he can't reproduce his single success) that he and Sister Reba spend all their money just 'trying to have fun.'

I think they live in a perpetual state of 'recapturing their youth.'

It's sad. I've saved nearly everything, and not long ago loaned Sister Reba a thousand bucks to pay off the last of her college debts. But her credit rating is ruined.

Yet the two of them -- Sister Reba and Riley -- continually talk about the 1970's like they were the best thing in the world. Riley tells me about the movies that changed his life -- Saturday Night Fever, Apocalypse Now, the Deer Hunter -- and swears that at even at age 33 he's still got a good novel inside of him -- somewhere.

Not long ago Riley was reading Jonathon Franzen's _Corrections_ and was so enraged that Franzen had written *his* novel, that he pitched it at one of the plate glass windows in their townhouse. The window shattered, the super won't foot the bill, and now their even deeper in debt.

Me, I know what's what. Or at least I think I do.

If those wacko islamicists are targetting the economy like they say they are, then I know what I have to do. I have to save, save, save. I have to prepare for the day when the power goes out for good and there's no more water coming out of the tap.

It scares me, and I'm only 16.

But Sister Reba and Riley? Fuck it. They could care less. They work at their dumb jobs all days just to pay off their credit cards.

We're screwed, my friends (5, Interesting)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423987)

(article originally posted on E2 [everything2.com] )

Andrea Tinker, professor of Social Gerontology at King's College, London recently published the results of research into the way that the changing age distribution of the population is affecting different generations. Her conclusion is that today's under 30s are the first generation who can expect lower living standards than their parents. In this writeup, I will present some British demographic statistics, and my own hypothesis as to the underlying reason for Professor Tinker's conclusion.
  • In 1999, about 20% of Britain's population was over 60. This is predicted to rise to 34% by 2050, with half that number over 80.
    Fewer children are being born: 91 live births per 1000 women in 1961, dropping to only 55 in 2000. In the 25-29 age group, the drop is even more dramatic, from 178/1000 in 1961 to 95/1000 in 2000.
  • Between 1993 and 2000 the number of under-25s owning their own property has fallen from 21% to 19%. The number of 25-29 year olds living with parents rose from 18% in 1978 to 23% in 1998.
  • The number of 25-35 year olds living alone rose from 2% in 1973 to 12% in 2000. The average age of a first time house buyer is now 35. The average household income is GBP 24,000/year - the average mortgage exceeds GBP 140,000.
  • Tax relief on mortgages and grants for university education have been slashed. Professor Tinker believes that people born within the last 30-40 years face paying 1/3 of their lifetime's earnings in taxes just to support pensioners born before them.
  • In 1997, Gordon Brown started taxing pension funds. It is estimated that GBP 100 billion has already been siphoned off - money that belonged to current contributors. The principle of compound interest means that the people who suffer the most will be the most recent joiners. Meanwhile, MPs recently voted themselves a 20% boost in the pensions - funded by the taxpayer.

It is clear that the trend is towards fewer taxpayers supporting more pensioners. I believe that this is no coincidence, rather that the generation(s) born since 1970 were systematically and deliberately set up by the policy makers of the so-called "baby boomer" generation.

They set up a system for healthcare and pensions under which taxation is immediately paid out to recipients, rather than being invested for growth and the purchase of an annuity in a real pension system. They did this at a time when they knew that their own contributions would be minimal, given the population's age distribution at the time. Quite cynically, they decided that it would be easier to levy punitive taxation on their own children and grandchildren than invest for their own futures.

The money they saved by doing so, they poured into the housing market, driving up prices and placing mortgages out of the reach of many first time buyers. This created massive inflation in property prices - almost 20%/year at present - which they benefitted immensely from, already being owners of at least one property.

The state education system has been systematically wrecked. Grammar schools and the Assisted Places Scheme which sponsored children to attend fee-paying schools have been abolished, as the baby boomers further try to pull the ladder up after themselves. These same baby boomers, who once swore never to trust anyone over 30, are now in positions of responsibility and have carefully structured corporations to ensure that today's under 30s cannot enjoy privileges such as a job-for-life that the baby boomers enjoyed. They are scrapping defined-benefits pension schemes, after making sure that they got them for themselves, at the expense of those currently paying into employer's pension funds - us.

We are also paying the price for their disasterous social experiments. Soaring crime rates and falling literacy rates originate in the pseudo-liberal ideals of the baby boomers, who knew that they would escape scot free while their children and grandchildren would pick up the pieces for them. Rather than being the unfortunate result of a well-intentioned experiment than didn't work out, it is indicative of the baby boomer's defining attitudes: firstly, that nothing matters to them more than instant gratification, and secondly that they will never have to face any consequences for their actions.

What can we do? It may be too late; huge damage has already been done to the economic and social fabric of our country. The only hope is that when those of us born since 1970 are in power, that we use that power wisely: to ensure that not a penny of our our generation's money is wasted on or by those that came before us. Let them live on the pensions that they knowingly intended for us, with the standards of healthcare and accomodation that they intended for us, and let us invest our own money in our own future and our own children.

Catholics countries may have the last laugh (1, Troll)

Adam Rightmann (609216) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424033)

as we will bow to Our Lord's wishes, and have lots of children to fund our retirement and pension funds. Plus, if you raise your children right, they won't put you in a government controlled euthanasia, err, nursing home.

Plus, there's the eternal damnation thing awaiting all the pagans and heretics, too.

Re:Catholics countries may have the last laugh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424116)

Italy has the lowest birth rate in Europe (~1.2 births per woman)

Edit: Worse, for untrained webmasters (3, Interesting)

georgeha (43752) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423988)

who knew how to use Frontpage and dropped out of college to make 75k a year at a dotcom selling petfood over the internet, their best years are behind them.


For people with a bachelor's who are willing to continually learn, and stick with companies with a sound business plan, things will be a little tight, but they will get through.


Of course, my version isn't as dramatic, and makes people take responsibility for their careers.

Re:Edit: Worse, for untrained webmasters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424115)

Uh.. right, but can you really blame the Joe that *did* drop out of going to a College he/she really couldn't afford and really wasn't interested in when the lure was there? I can't. A lot of these people are going back to school now. Maybe if somebody told them: Psst hey, this is only going to last three years, but it'll be a nice ride while you're there, they'd do it anyway. I would. I did. Not FrontPage, but C. Not even 75,000, but 42,000 Canadian ( ~29,000 USD ).

Well gee... (0, Offtopic)

lewp (95638) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423991)

Good morning Slashdot. I guess I should have just stayed in bed :(.

Mired in Debt? (2)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423993)

Well, I take offense to the tone of this article. Not everyone went out and wracked up several thousand dollars in balance (I guess I'm the exception- I know many people that do). I bought a used car. I bought a starter house. I also have a small addictive hobby (photography, not that 80's snorty thing).

And yet somehow I am going to miss my prime spending years.... Of course it doesnt help the stock markets down and I have quite a chunk of change in there, but this just means I'll spend later (of course if it never gets back up....).

Anyways, "Free Spenders Unite" and dont' spend anything. What a ridiculous term. There could be a few hundred reasons as to why I dont travel out and spend my cash in stores- maybe the internet? Maybe 85% of my purchases for luxury goods come that way? Maybe? Hrmmm, lets all think... cheaper prices, no idiotic cashiers or salesmen and it's in stock.

Just some thoughts about how 'wrecked' we all are.

Oh Brother (1)

daves (23318) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423996)

So this median X'er started working at the head end of the boom time in the 90's, and has 30 years to exploit the current down market before retirement?

I thought the Boomers were supposed to be the whiners.

Gen X killing themselves (5, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423997)

Gen X is the first instant gratification generation, much to their own dismay. Credit card and other short term debt is killing this generation, as well as an affliction for absurd consumption.

Working in Silicon Valley I see an incredible entitlement mentality, particularly with cars. No one under forty wants to drive a modest car, and they'll rent an apartment if it means they can drive a BMW.

The malls are still jam packed around here, with the under forty crowd engaging in the only ritual that makes them feel accepted: shopping.

Most Gen Xers can forget retirement - with our spending habits, my generation will have three choices for post-retirement:

1. Work at part time jobs until death.

2. Move in with the kids.

3. Jump off a bridge.

One thing is for sure, my generation is allergic to saving and won't be able to look after itself in retirement.

Blame Game? (1)

Izeickl (529058) | more than 11 years ago | (#4423998)

I think alot of problems are home grown, indeed the very .com era on the whole was created by Gen X'ers. The majority of .com CEOs etc were all in this age bracket driven by dreams more than reality. This with the poor fiscal responsibilty of the average person compounds it, people spending money on credit, spending their whole lives in debt to attain that which is out of reach because they wont make do with what they can afford instead. Thus driving a whole debt ridden economy that one day will not be able to cope.
The problem is that the 90s were a golden dream built on shaky foundations rather than reality, and now people are waking up from it. For all these huge salaries paid out back then, did no one actually think of saving money?! Getting into debt for a car/holiday or other similar expense just to live the high life is retarded.

hahahah (1, Troll)

flynt (248848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424000)

Buried in college and credit card debt, a lot of them won't be able to catch up as they approach their prime spending years.' Are the best years of our lives truly behind us?"

HAHAHAHAHHHAAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHA. Why does this sound so funny to me???

Re:hahahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424056)

Because you're in high school and think you'll do better, but we'll see otherwise six years down the road when you take on consumer debt at heretofore unheard of levels in order to get that new VR-enabled computer and big screen TV?

Didn't go to college.. lucked out...? Or did I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424001)

I guess.. Job I have now is paying great and it's secure. What exactly was college for again? Nearly all these jobs list they prefer a graduate but they nearly always hire the person with real experience which college doesn't give you. So while the one half is slaving away for 4-8 years in college, those who skipped out have a good 4-8 year headstart in gaining solid work experience and can eat up most jobs they want to get into.

At least from my perspective in the IT industry...

Re:Didn't go to college.. lucked out...? Or did I? (1)

qurob (543434) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424090)

What exactly was college for again? Nearly all these jobs list they prefer a graduate but they nearly always hire the person with real experience which college doesn't give you.

OTOH, guys with 10 yrs experience are bitching about kids fresh out of college gobbling up the jobs.

Hmph. (4, Funny)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424003)

It's just an article written by THE MAN (tm) to keep us down!

Oh wait, wrong generation.

Let's see, The appropriate Gen-X reponse would be, whatever, man.

Finally (2, Insightful)

drhairston (611491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424007)

It's about time someone documented the failure of the Savings ethic in the younger generations. America has lost its original ideals of only buying what one could afford and saving money for a rainy day. Why do my students have this compulsion to pay 27 percent interest rates to credit card companies in order to leverage their future against new clothes? How have the lessons of the Depression been lost so quickly? My advice to anyone entering the job market is to save one dollar for every four spent. If I had had the wonderful tax shelters available to youngsters today - 401(k) and Roth IRAs, my retirement would be far more comfortable and come quite a bit sooner.

What are the years for Gen X (1)

thbigr (514105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424008)

I just scaned another book on gen X and it stated the years where from 1961-1981. Who is right? I was born in 63, so I have often wonder if I am maft Gen X. I sure ain't a baby boomer.

Re:What are the years for Gen X (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424074)

I'm 1980 and I tend to consider myself around the turn of the generations. There's clearly no had and fast rule but if you're 1981 you've just finished university now so maybe it's a tad late.

I'd say early 60s, late 70s myself.

Poor Us (5, Insightful)

jjohn (2991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424010)

Yep. It's all over. I'm 30 years old and I guess I should pick out a headstone or something. There's no way to catch up. All those adolescent dreams are in the trash. It's impossible to have the Good Life now. No one will hire me to work 80 hour weeks for a company with no business plan. No more free soda.

boo-hoo.

Give me a break. This is simply another challenge to over come. It's not the end of the world. It's not the Great Depression. The only thing stopping us is ourselves. It's just a reminder that capitalist economies go through boom-bust cycles. I feel badly for those who believed the "New Economy" tripe.

Just a friendly reminder -- kill your TV.

Boo fucking hoo. (2)

joshamania (32599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424025)

Jeebus, I hate to see this kind of whiney drivel. Yes, I'm a "Gen-Xer" (fuck you very much Doug Copeland). Yes, I'm "buried" in credit card debt. As for my best years of earning potential behind me? Bullshit. I'm taking responsibility for the short-term debt I've accrued, and yes, it's going so suck for a couple of years, but that's my problem. And I'm dealing with it.

If you have a similar problem, I suggest you do something about it instead of crying into your beer.

Some comments (5, Insightful)

Katravax (21568) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424026)

Some quotes from the article:

"Age 32 and piercing-free, Karen Doss . . . has just $5,000 in a 401(k) and $20,000 in home equity. Ideally, someone her age should have at least $100,000 stashed away." Fuck me, $100,000 by age 32? I'm about $100,000 behind, then.

"Gen Xers managed to survive in that environment by denouncing long-held workplace tenets like corporate loyalty. " Did we eschew loyalty, or did they treat us like "human resources" and fire us and lay us off? I loved my first computer job , and would still be there if they weren't evil bastards.

"The Campbells' luck dried up in April, when Alex was laid off, rehired as a contractor without benefits, then rehired yet again as a full-time employee but at a lower level. " Well, sounds like all he needed was company loyalty, huh? I've said for a year this shit was intentional, that the whole "tech downturn" was an intentional ploy to lower our salaries and benefits.

"So is Karen prepared? On this subject, she does her best slacker impression. " They call people our age "slackers" several times throughout the article. Sorry, I thought we were working? The article says how we keep working jobs, the economy sucks, etc., but it also keeps calling us slackers. How are we different than our parents and grandparents? We work, pay the bills, try to do better, etc. The author of this piece is torn between wanting to tell how fucked up things have been for a lot of us, and wanting to insult us.

Re:Some comments (2, Insightful)

WetCat (558132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424119)

Note that current 50 years old have had $100000 by age 33!( as adjusted for inflation)

nope (2, Insightful)

corporal_clegg (547755) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424027)

I was born in 67, graduated w/ a BSEE in 89 and have better than trippled my initial income. I have no debt (other than my house) and manage to get by very well w/o my wife having to work. I work for a (semi) successful internet company and most of the developers I know carry no credit card or other revolving debt. People my age remember the Carter recession, the Regan boom, the Bush bust, 'Al Gore inventing the internet economy' (and where that went) and now the current bust. We're still kicking and are hopeful about the future. Yes, I do know many that are in trouble, but most of it has to with the choices people made in college (MS in library science??? how the f*ck is that gonna pay off the $50k in student loans?) or in their 'gotta have it all now' spending habits right out of school. Will the generation make it as a whole? I don't know, but one predictor is to look at the generation that raised us. If you have a firm foundation and good advice, chances are you will be just fine.

for god's sake get a grip (1)

bratgrrl (197603) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424029)

Whining about 6-7% unemployment? Even a college kid should be able to do simple arithmetic- that's 93-94% employment. Full of angst and sadness because overinflated dot-com jobs no longer exist? Stop it already. Sheesh. This does not even compare to the Depression!

Yeah, I know, it sucks to be 22, and not able to purchase a Ford Exorbitant, and a 4000-square foot house, and have your 401k fully funded. What a pity that anyone would have to settle for less job and paycheck than they really "deserve". Try no job and no paycheck for a while, then you'll have something to whine about.

Just more FUD from Forbes.

Half the problem is . . . (3, Insightful)

qurob (543434) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424032)


Everyone jumped ship to go 'design web pages' for 60k and now they don't have college degrees.

The people who stuck it out, have graduated and now can make 60k, 'legitimately'

A lot of variables... (1)

jnd3 (116181) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424035)

Best years as far as earning potential? Maybe, maybe not. Even after 7 months of unemployment I only had to take a 10% cut in salary (which, in my opinion, is still about 20% more than I probably should be making).

Then there's credit card debt. Student loans I could understand, but credit card debt? Come on, if you're smart enough to get a degree in CS/EE/CE, you should be smart enough to (1) know the evils of compound interest and (2) know not to bet the farm of future returns that might not materialize.

My wife and I made it through my period of unemployment just fine ... in fact, our account balances went up! She had a stable job, we didn't (ever) carry credit card debt, and we had bought a house that we could afford on the lower of our salaries. So why the heck aren't they teaching common-sense stuff like that instead of touchy-feely nonsense in schools? Beats me.

Gen-X, but then what? (1)

ionyka (584937) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424039)

ok so maybe its true. though im not a member of Gen-X, i was born in 1981. So what generation am i? It seems like they stopped naming them after X. Ive always wondered what my generation is. anyone know?

Re:Gen-X, but then what? (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424071)

Gen-Y.
It's almost official.

Living too high on the horse? (1)

mustangdavis (583344) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424041)

That is what way too many people did during the late 90's .. and that is what the problem is!

People didn't realise that most companies price/earnings ratio was 25:1!!! That is nuts!! We were living on "fake" money ... and for those people that didn't realize this .. they got what they deserved!

I was born in 1977 (whew ... I missed the cut off by 2 years), but I started a company during the roaring 90's .... a dot com company ... and it is still here! The other problem was that people were paying people rediculous salaries and not managing the monies they were earning very effectively. They also didn't make provisions in their business models for downsizing ... so most of them ran while the running was still good .. and went out of business. A little restraint by some people may have been the secret to keeping many of those dot busts in business (although many of these companies simply didn't have a product to sell, so they were destined to fail).

I just hope that this last decade makes for some good reading in future economic books as examples of what people should NOT do. The Internet had FANTASTIC potential (and still does in some cases), but as with most great things, people looking to make a quick buck ruined it for everyone by draining all of the available investment capital by putting it into her pocket.

Re:Living too high on the horse? (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424089)

Should they come down from their high hog?

Metaphors unmixed here.

Damn (1)

SuperMario666 (588666) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424043)

Sucks to be me.

Interval between generations (1)

alexc (37361) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424048)

isn't a generation every 15-25 years? i am not sure somebody answer this..

Weird...I always thought I was part of GenX (1)

Scyber (539694) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424050)

I guess I was born a few years too late though. Oh well, I guess that makes me Gen Y?

it's time for fight club (0)

forkspoon (116573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424053)

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your comment ... like the body or the subject!)

Sounds Right to Me (2)

jonbrewer (11894) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424054)

If I may quote Talking Heads:
"And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself-Well...How did I get here?"
Well, I'm a slave to The Man and I'm $200k in debt. That's how I got here.

Odd that. (2)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424062)

...you mean the good times were going to end?

My god, why didn't you tell me this sooner? Had I known that money wouldn't flow like water forever, I might have tried to make some financially responsible decisions, like not buying more crap than I could afford to buy! *forehead smack*

You might be amazed--nay, astonished--to learn that there are a whole bunch of people our age who are weathering this storm just fine. Not everybody lived like the movies told us to live, you know.

Only if you're stupid! (2, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424063)

I'm not exactly a Gen Xer, born in 1979 (generally considered to be the end of the era), and while my prime earnings oppertunities may be behind me, I'm not dumb enough to shackle myself with college, car or credit card debt (all payed off).

The problem comes from the same stupidity that caused the .com overhype in the first place: bad spending habits.

The Article (1)

BaronVonDuvet (612870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424064)

The site seems to be going pretty slowly, so here's the article:

Ten years ago grunge musicians and college-age Cassandras who had never held a day job preached that corporate America would crush their generation's soul and leave them without a pension plan. Films like Singles and Reality Bites chronicled their transition from college graduate to Gap salesclerk.

A few years later the core of Generation X--the 40 million Americans born between 1966 and 1975--found themselves riding the wildest economic bull ever. Salesclerks became programmers; coffee slingers morphed into experts in Java (computerese, that is)--all flush with stock options and eye-popping salaries. Now that the thrill ride is over, Gen X's plight seems particularly bruising. No generation since the Depression has been set up for failure like this. Everything the dot-com boom delivered has been taken away--and then some. Real wages are falling, wealth continues to shift from younger to older, and education costs are surging. Worse yet, for some Gen Xers, their peak earning years are behind them. Buried in college and credit card debt, a lot of them won't be able to catch up as they approach their prime spending years.

FORTUNE recently encountered the bitter and (now) experienced voice of Generation X in a chain restaurant in suburban Dallas. Age 32 and piercing-free, Karen Doss has found out that the alternative rockers were right. To pay for college she worked full-time as a secretary at Pillsbury world headquarters. After graduation in 1993, she accepted her sole job offer as an advertising copywriter, even though she despised the industry. She finally quit last year to get her real estate license so that she could better support her husband while he fulfills his dream of owning a bar.

Halfway to pension age, she has just $5,000 in a 401(k) and $20,000 in home equity. Ideally, someone her age should have at least $100,000 stashed away. "I don't have a corporate pension, and they aren't what they were," she says. "Social Security is obsolete and ineffective. And I already know that I'm going to have to have a private health-care plan. I'm angry that I can't seem to get a break."

Yes, yes, yes, we know what you're thinking. The free-spending slackers have only themselves to blame, since the dot-com boom should have made them rich for life. On the surface that's true. A 30-year-old today is 50% more likely to have a bachelor's degree than his counterpart in 1974 and earns $5,000 more a year, adjusted for inflation. But that's where the good news stops. He also has more in student loans and credit card debt, is less likely to own a home, and is just as likely to be unemployed. His salary probably topped out during the boom, whereas his predecessor's rose throughout his career. Social Security will start to evaporate as he turns 50--or before, if the lockbox gets raided--so he'll have to depend almost completely on his own savings for retirement. The comparison with a 30-year-old in 1984 isn't any rosier.

Gen X "has done worse than their parents have done according to a number of dimensions, like net worth and home ownership," says Edward Wolff, a New York University economist who studies trends in income and wealth. In a recent paper Wolff notes that young households lay claim to a smaller percentage of total U.S. wealth than they did in 1989.

Additionally, the inflation-adjusted median net worth of a Gen X household ($9,000) is lower than that of a comparable household in 1989, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances.

Silicon Valley and Manhattan aren't the only stomping grounds for disgruntled young professionals. FORTUNE interviewed more than 50 Gen Xers in Dallas, Louisville, and Seattle, with jobs ranging from construction manager to software engineer (see table). Battered by the economy and the bad luck of being born between Madonna and Britney Spears, they're Generation Wrecked.

The kids who toted STAR WARS lunchboxes are the most highly educated generation in American history: Almost 60% of Gen Xers have some college education, and 6.6% have graduate school degrees. The Census Bureau calls their pursuit of higher education the "Big Payoff," since historically a college-educated full-time worker earns 1.8 times more over his lifetime than a high school graduate.

When you can't find a job or pay your student loans, though, college can seem like the Big Rip-Off. Today, the median student loan debt is at its highest level ever, $17,000, compared with $2,000 when the baby-boomers were in their 20s. According to educational lender Nellie Mae, graduating students average $20,402 in combined student loans and credit card debt. Those who have borrowed to pay for professional school, especially doctors and lawyers, are increasingly likely to have immense debt that is not reflected in proportionately higher salaries. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed by Nellie Mae had combined undergraduate and graduate student debt of more than $30,000, and for 22%, their loan payments ate up more than one-fifth of their monthly income.

After midnight at a young professionals party in Louisville, Steve Flores, 31, and his wife, Jessica, 32, mingle, while the rest of the revelers line up for last call. Steve is a communications specialist for the party's sponsor, Brown-Forman, the big distiller. While working full-time, he is also pursuing an MBA. Although Steve worked to help pay for college, five years after graduation he has $40,000 of undergraduate debt to pay off; Jessica, an art therapist and professional harpist, has $50,000 in student loans. "I haven't started paying back my student loans for undergrad because they're deferred. I'm not taking any student loans for grad school," Steve says. He isn't so jovial when he thinks about the total tab. "We're dreading the day we actually have to start paying."

Those Big Payoff estimates rely on what 50-year-old college graduates make today to guess what 50-year-olds will make 20 years from now. That's not all that useful. "Whereas their parents experienced rising wages over their lifetime, Generation X may not. So college may have been a bad investment," says Wolff, the NYU economist. Adds Bruce Tulgan, a Gen Xer and founder of RainmakerThinking, a consultancy that studies labor trends: "I had a college president say to me, 'I don't know how much longer I can pull this off because people will start to ask, Is it worth this much money to be that much smarter?' "

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424066)

"Are the best years of our lives truly behind us?" Yeppers.
Now learn how to SAVE money and maximumize your purchase power. Pay yourself FIRST and then pay the bills. Do not touch savings. Remember, any 16 year old can do a website. It is not rocket science. IT is being seen as an expense that generates little added value. Once a network is setup, there is only repair and admin functions, and more often than not, the same guy is tasked with both jobs at the same pay as one job. Upgrades? Funny, after the Y2K fiasco, IT folks are regarded as buffoons. The writing is on the wall.

This sounds like flamebait but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424070)

I've never seen such whining about a "generation".

Before the dotcom bubble, we saw these same exact articles on how jobs were tough to find, people with college degrees were bussing tables.

Let me give you a hint: except for very narrow slices of american history, the economy has always been "tough".

If GenX (and its a dumb label) has a failing its this:
They're convinced debt is no big deal and is inevitable.

I see kids in college with brand new cars!

Then they whine that they graduated with debt and no job!

Here's some myths that I wish the media would start pushing:
1) Don't overpay for college. A 4-year degree from any accredited university is pretty much the same as any other. The idea of paying more is stupid except in about 2 or 3 "big name" schools. But boys, Penn State = Michigan = Duke = Virginia Tech = USC = Oregon = Cornell.

So if you have a choice, go for the cheapest school! Use your fricking head!!!

2) Debt matters - if you graduate from college with significant debt (and yes, $10K is significant debt) you're handicapped financially for the rest of your life.

3) Students should not have credit cards - (see debt matters). This does 2 bad things, first it puts you in debt when you can't afford it second you never learn to put off your "wants" until you can afford it.

4) Learn the difference between want and need - you may "need" a laptop computer (although I doubt it). But you "want" the latest $2500 wonder laptop. You can get by with a used $300 laptop.

I could go on and on. The people whining are people who don't think ahead, put themselves in a bad financial position and then whine society isn't taking care of them.

They're a bunch of spoiled rotten babies.

Since the Depression (1)

Gotung (571984) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424072)

Well, I would hate for Gen-X to turn out like the depression generation. They only won WWII, had A huge hand in rebuilding Western Europe and Japan into stable democracies, and among many other great works put a freaking man on the freaking moon. I only hope that Gen-X has been "set-up for failure" just as much as the depression generation.

Employer Greed (2, Interesting)

00Monkey (264977) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424081)

One of the things that I've noticed is that many employers are charging alot more for their products and services but are paying their employees alot less then they are worth. It's been an employer's dream always to have this happen but it's no longer a dream.

For instance, I just got done working at this computer service based business in where I was making 36k/year. I'm worth 55k/year and when hired was told that "it would be no problem" if I were motivated, etc. I quit when I found out that the max anyone makes there at the company was 36k, heh. I was there for 2 years.

Well, the charges that we were giving customers was insane. If it was after hours and on a weekend, they were being charged like $400 an hour for computer service. Granted it was pry to fix one or two of their servers or something but still, that's some serious income for the company and yet I get to see none.

No tech jobs I find want to start anyone much above what I was making and most are lying to me about what I could potentially make at the company. There's a whole slew of $8/hour jobs around me, especially if I want to go into the food service field. /me commits suicide!

Failing skill set (3, Interesting)

Cirrius (304487) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424084)

I joined the internet rise in 1995 straigh out of college, and my entire skill set was based on the following years of experience. I worked through a lot of successful start-up companies, building up enough seed money to start one of my own. Enter the dot com failure due to the choking number of net companies. Not only did I lose my company, I lost all my money, and gained some hefty debt trying to keep things afloat.

At that point not only was my skill set the same as the other 50,000 people out there applying to every small position that cropped up for half the pay it used to be, I had a failed company on my resume. An emergency change of my skillset from web to video games is all that kept me from going back to salaries I was making in 1997-8.

Last thing I wanted to read now! (2, Funny)

atomico (162710) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424088)

Frozen salary, every day reading e-mails with subjects like "Thank you and good-bye", helplessly watching how entire product lines are being discontinued, development units are closing, waiting for my turn to say goodbye...

Another telecom engineer developing network products for an equipment provider... oh yes, and born in 1974! There lies my mistake! Unrecoverable error!

Oh, please (2)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424093)

The recession of 1990-1991 was more painful, with a much higher unemployment rate.

This isn't news! (1)

SniffleBear (604984) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424099)

ENERGY bars and ENERGY drinks have been around for a while!!! Someone gimme a Red Bull and I can run a bike generator for a few days :)

Live below your means! (2)

phong3d (61297) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424104)

It's not that difficult. If you're making $60,000, you don't need to drive a $50,000 car. People my age (sigh - ok, Generation X) who are spiralling into credit card debt due to gratuitous overspending in the "boom years" only have themselves to blame. Save judiciously, live conservatively, and crappy economies like this one won't hurt quite as much.

Blame the Boomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424112)

I blame the demographic bulge of the boomers. Can't find a home? That's because the boomers bought them all. Stock market bubble? Simple supply and demand. Boomers 401k plans. When they need to draw down to retire, pay for homes, etc. then more money leaves the market that goes in. Pop! Social security is going to evaporate you say? Duh. If you want to make some money, start building retirement homes and nursing homes, cuz there aren't enough of them. I'm sure they'll need a lot of drugs, too. Eventually, they'll start to croak, and then we'll be left with the excess. E.g. excess homes - so don't thinking you r investment in real estate is a good long term investment. OTOH, if you can manage to save some money, someday many years from now you'll be able to pick up some property cheap.

Gen X slackers, huh? Screw you, self-interested short-sighted baby boomer bums.

Bah (5, Insightful)

jACL (75401) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424113)

Being labelled a "slacker" by the "me generation" is such a crock of shit. Their only concern seems to be that they're not screwing me enough by getting me to work 80 hours a week to fund their fat salaries and Lexus payments. The current generation always seeks to undo the excesses of the previous generation. Maybe we actually want to spend some time with friends and family and "live life like we mean it."

Gen X has the highest contribution to their 401(k) of any generation -- why? Because instead of fixing social security, money is getting doled out in a tax cut to benefit the "me generation" so that we can fund 14 retired people when we're at 50. And we have the highest rate of vounteerism. Slacker, my ass.

Social Security (1)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424114)

And to add insult to injury, we're all paying for the Baby Boomers' retirement in the form of social security. We all know none of us are ever going to see a dime of that money when we retire because Social Security is a pyramid scheme. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I think the baby boomer generation is the first one in history to care more about themselves than they do their offspring. But since GenX'ers are too apathetic to vote, the boomers are going to continue to screw us over until they die and leave us with a fucked up country.

Ryosen is an idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4424120)

First of all, life is what you make of it.
I miss gen-x by three year. Big deal.
Whatever happened to the motto, if life throws you lemons, make lemonade? Man I am still paying
my student loans, but I have an awesome wife, 3 great kids, and my own home. My income is decent, if the company I work for goes bellyup... big deal I will consult! I've got enough skills to sell, and if I am busy I sell to the highest bidder.

We make the job market. If we all refulse to work for less we can control the market.
If I was ever asked to take a cut I would quit
and become a free lance consultant. The health benefits would come from my wife's job (Teacher's
assistant).

Best earning years are behid us..Bullshit, The Data Must flow! If noeone is there for trends
analysis, Oracle DBA, custom coding, or Infrastructure design, the economy would fail
worse than it is now.

If you are a truly innovative individual you would find a way to survive. Friends have asked me "what would you do if you were let go due to massive budget cuts at the State?" I've always replied and said "I'd become an Emu farmer!"..
In reality I think if I my quality of work stays
and I always stay on top of new technology , and help save the State money by turning them on to Open Source Solutions such as Perl,Mysql,Postgress, and Linux, perhaps they won't be able to afford to let me go.

I do know that Our priorities are different from our parents. For instance, I would rather receive comp time than overtime pay. I think my time is worth more. Then again I've been a salaried individula for over 16 years. I'd like
to see time and a half reflected in comp time, but it's been equal time. My goal is to retire at
52. I see too many people pushing up daisies at
64.

This affects all of us.... (4, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 11 years ago | (#4424121)

There is a change in the paradigm of life since the sixties. Up until the sixties, one working parent families were the norm. Now two working parents represent by far the largest majority of families. Why? because you need the incompe produced by two to even approach the style of living that took one (income) then. I think that everyone under fifty is doing worse then their parents did. Why? well first off, for the reason above. Second, most people don't have retirement funds set aside. As they reach retirement age, they won't be able to do so. Up until the early seventies, Social Security was sufficent for at least a reasonably comfortable retirement. Now it falls far short of even poverty levels..and the baby boomers haven't really begun to draw it yet! Once they do, we'll be lucky if it can even stay solvent. If history proves me wrong on this, it'll make me happy.
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