24-year-old me would have said this guy made bad life choices. Sure, chase your dream of being a writer or journalist, but be realistic about how much money you’re going to make (very little! nyah!).
34-year-old me believes that Weinstein is 100% correct in pointing out that the failure of Gen Y / Millenials to achieve financial security isn’t because they all want ponies but rather because job markets are fundamentally restructuring in a way that is forcing the have nots to be have nevers.
In a great number of industries, we are achieving greater efficiencies, due to advanced automation. Whether it’s physical mechanization in the form of industrial robots or outsourced, offshore, Indian paralegals churning out documents like an army of mechanical turks, jobs that were once considered safe because they required specialized training and a great amount of skill are still being disappeared at a furious rate.
We are asking young people, the ages of 17 and 18, to choose a path during their next 4 years that will either kickstart them into the lucrative future or wallow stagnantly in the trough of sorrow until they are middle-aged (or maybe forever).
Four years. A lot of change can happen in 4 years. To put the rate of change in perspective, the original iPhone was announced in 2007. You would laugh if you saw someone still carrying that phone today. In 2011, Apple announced mass market, voice driven AI in the form of Siri. Your stupid jokes about Siri aside, that is simply fucking amazing.
So what is the more likely scenario? That every year, 3,400,000 special snowflakes are released unto the land with no useful skills except feeling exceptionally entitled and then whinging about how unfair things are?
Or maybe as a society, we aren’t prepping our next generations adequately for a world that’s not only changing faster than ever during the Boomer years and provides far fewer support structures than the Boomers had?
Here, I admit to believing in a seeming paradox of thinking that most people are smarter than you think, and yet as individuals, we aren’t as smart as we think. In other words, I don’t think we are creating 3.4M brats every year. In other other words, every generation thinks that the following generation is soft, which is narcissistic in the extreme and basically bullshit.
Society is failing the people; not the other way around.
I don’t have any answers (although Tyler Cowen lays out some thoughts). Mostly, I’m recording my personal shift in world views for posterity.