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Old 04-20-2006, 08:37 PM   #21
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Very interesting article - thanks for posting.

While the focus is on the generation born after 1970, I'd say this is more a recognition of a trend that started post WWII. With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
While the focus is on the generation born after 1970, I'd say this is more a recognition of a trend that started post WWII. With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.
Fighting a war doesn't give anyone the right to rape and pillage America. "The Greatest Generation" (what a romanticist concept if I ever heard one) burned every bridge they crossed.

The pursuit of happiness is often more fulfilling than actually having attained it. And there's the problem. Whereas the WWII crowd could pay cash for their houses with minimal education, everything is now so expensive that even mortgages are exorbitant.

Now try being born into that climate and see how optimistic you get. "Entitlement" is, frankly, a poor word used by arrogant Republicans to absolve themselves from guilt.

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Old 04-20-2006, 08:53 PM   #23
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Prior generations waited until they could buy a house, and the age old tradition of burning the mortgage demonstrates that they didn't pay cash.

Will blaming Republicans revese the trend?
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:10 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Prior generations waited until they could buy a house, and the age old tradition of burning the mortgage demonstrates that they didn't pay cash.

Will blaming Republicans reverse the trend?
Does everything you argue have to end in a partisan spat? This isn't about "Republicans" or even politics.

I imagine, however, that someone born in 2006 will have a hard time ever buying a house with our exorbitant college tuition costs, piss-poor wages, and high housing costs. After all, it seems as if once things go up, they never go down.

It's much easier to blame everything on "entitlement" when you're born at the low end of the cost scale.

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Old 04-20-2006, 09:23 PM   #25
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Originally posted by melon


Does everything you argue have to end in a partisan spat? This isn't about "Republicans" or even politics.

I imagine, however, that someone born in 2006 will have a hard time ever buying a house with our exorbitant college tuition costs, piss-poor wages, and high housing costs. After all, it seems as if once things go up, they never go down.

It's much easier to blame everything on "entitlement" when you're born at the low end of the cost scale.

Melon
As one who shoehorns a GOP angle on all too many threads, I find the accusation of "partisian spat" laughable.

And there is no "low end" of the scale. Prices always rise, and those of prior generations faced the same (or in some cases higher) inflation. Economically, we are far better off today than the stagflation faced by those trying to buy their house in the 70's (born in the 50's).
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:26 PM   #26
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
As one who shoehorns a GOP angle on all too many threads, I find the accusation of "partisan spat" laughable.
At least my "GOP angles" have the full brunt of evidence behind them. Your excuse?

Quote:
And there is no "low end" of the scale. Prices always rise, and those of prior generations faced the same (or in some cases higher) inflation. Economically, we are far better off today than the stagflation faced by those trying to buy their house in the 70's (born in the 50's).
I've already made this argument before, and I don't wish to repeat myself. However, if my grandparents' generation could buy a house with cash and work over the summer to pay for an entire year of private university, while my parents' generation could pay cash for a brand new car, I would say that your argument here has no teeth at all.

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Old 04-20-2006, 09:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


At least my "GOP angles" have the full brunt of evidence behind them. Your excuse?



I've already made this argument before, and I don't wish to repeat myself. However, if my grandparents' generation could buy a house with cash and work over the summer to pay for an entire year of private university, while my parents' generation could pay cash for a brand new car, I would say that your argument here has no teeth at all.

Melon
NB always has rhetoric and attacks. Of course this is the habit when one can no longer defend ones position. (in this case it goes to legal as well as moral).
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:41 PM   #28
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:41 PM   #29
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this generation has never known a world that put duty before self.
I think this more or less summed up the article for me. A sense of obligation towards something larger than yourself can be ugly and destructive when it's instilled through fear, forced subjection and shame, but it can also be a tremendous source of stability, motivation and strength when taught with love, trust and faith in the greater good. If your only goal is your own success--and I mean that in the self-critical, "prove-yourself" sense, not "hedonism" or whatever--then not only your capacity for humility and self-sacrifice, but just as important, your capacity to find satisfaction and contentment from your accomplishments will suffer. "Be the best you can be" is way too vague and circular a philosophy for most people to build a grounded life around.

Most likely the fact that the Baby Boomers were "taught by stern, gray-suit-wearing teachers and raised by parents who didn't take any lip" (and that they "did just about everything in groups") has a lot to do with why they often found creative tension and liberation in freedoms many of us have more often experienced as unsatisfying and hollow. I remember taking a seminar on pedagogical methods in grad school, taught by a (Baby Boomer) professor who was constantly waving his bible, Rorty's Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, at us while heralding the end of essentialist thought and how this was going to "liberate" us as teachers to explore and develop new forms of consensus, new forms of community based not on everyone sharing a common worldview, but rather a common need to talk as if we did (that's not how he put it, but that's pretty much what it boiled down to). To him, this was a grand predicament to be in, and portended a brave new era for both civic and intellectual life. We mostly responded, however, with disinterested shrugs: News flash, buddy--the world without "dominant paradigms" has already arrived; we grew up in it, and FYI, it's long since percolated out of the academy and into the lives of ordinary people, where it's just as likely to breed alienation and profound self-doubt as "solidarity" and "irony." It wasn't that we romanticized what his generation had gladly left behind; it was just that his mind was still 1950s enough to see patterns where we saw only fragments.
Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
While the focus is on the generation born after 1970, I'd say this is more a recognition of a trend that started post WWII. With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.
Though your take on it is quite different, I remember my father musing about something once which strikes a chord here--that the combination of paternalistic authoritarianism and dogged, relentless optimism which often characterized the '50s was in many ways really the last gasp, and hopeless attempt to reassert itself, of a creed (modernism?) which in truth had already collapsed with the War (totally crushed in Europe, mortally wounded in the United States).
---------------------------------------------------------------
I have mixed feelings on the topic of vocational schools and where they fit into education in a democracy. On the one hand, I certainly have far too many students who are both woefully unprepared and simply not cut out for advanced academic work (though it's damn hard to clearly distinguish the two sometimes). On the other hand, at least in my experience, the students who really bomb out in a spectacular way are *usually* among the brightest and theoretically most likely-to-succeed. Their problems are psychological, not academic. And many of the "naturally" less stellar students are actually very pragmatic, goal-oriented types who think of college as job preparation and little else--which I have my issues with, but at the same time it may be the best outlook to have for these students. I also wonder, given the general trend in the economy towards service jobs (which actually call for quite a lot of communications and conceptual-thinking skills, one of the things a humanities education is good for), if pushing large numbers of young people into industrial training might not be ill-advised. Even the better-paying IT jobs require a lot of the aforementioned humanities skills.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


At least my "GOP angles" have the full brunt of evidence behind them. Your excuse?
Perhaps it would be beneficial to share the "evidence" instead of launching into yet another pissing match about the evils of the GOP.

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I've already made this argument before, and I don't wish to repeat myself. However, if my grandparents' generation could buy a house with cash and work over the summer to pay for an entire year of private university, while my parents' generation could pay cash for a brand new car, I would say that your argument here has no teeth at all.

Melon
What is the basis for your argument? The fact remains that our grandparent's generation did not pay cash for house (though you could pay cash today for the prices they faced half a century ago). The loan industry wasn't created in the last 20 years - but has grown as our desire to acquire has outpaced our desire to save.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:23 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.


to try and get back on topic a bit, and to tie in a point that Yolland made early in her post, i wonder if this requirement to serve one's country is necessarily a good thing.

if i were required to serve in Iraq, i'd feel a strong sense of shame, as well as a sense of resentment. i am an individual before i am an American, and i place my personal objections to the war in Iraq before whatever gratitude i feel as an American, and i feel as if this is 100% related to what the article was getting at -- i don't feel as if my obligations to a greater entity (i wouldn't feel comfortable calling it a greater "good") outweigh my personal moral convictions. in fact, i'd view it a greater act of patriotism to deliberately disobey whatever call to duty my country might ask of me if i felt as if my country were behaving below my personal understanding of what my country should be doing.

in some ways, i think this is tremendous -- perhaps the post 1970 generation would make any sort of totalitarianism impossible; we'd never go along with it, we'd never sacrafice our own personal sense of morality and righteousness for the sake of the state.

yet, how do we move forward collectively?
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:32 PM   #32
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i am an individual before i am an American
That may be the best summation yet. I'm not sure this held as true in prior generations when faced with things like compulsory military service. Sure, there was resentment and anger in the GIs of WWII, but there was also a stronger sense of nationality.

What could be the cause of this? Is it the passage of time since family lines immigrated to the US? Is it the greater affluence?
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:43 PM   #33
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
What could be the cause of this? Is it the passage of time since family lines immigrated to the US? Is it the greater affluence?


quite honestly, i see it as an evolution. i think many europeans, especially those who have seen their countries destroyed by nationalism, feel the same why. i think unthinking, unflinching fidelity to the nation-state is a recipe for fascism, i think that people who base their self-esteem and sense of self-worth in whatever country happens to be on their passport are a bunch of losers.

in fact, this is what i wrote my thesis on! that the individual is more important than the state.

you know, "their lives are bigger/ than any big idea".

in my moments of self-aggrandizement, i deem myself a world citizen. i'd like to pick and choose which national characteristics i find admirable, and which i find deplorable. i would fight to vanquish the Nazis, but i would never have fought against the Viet Cong. i supported actions in Afghanistan, but i have protested since 2002 against the invasion of Iraq.

i suppose i view this as advanced citizenship -- but i can also understand how this is viewed as being spoiled, as a sense of entitlement on crack.

but this is where i am.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:43 PM   #34
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Constant cheerleading from parents, teachers, etc. doesn't lead to well-adjusted, confident adults. It generally leads to a generation of spoiled, self-indulgent brats with serious entitlement issues...
Originally posted by Melon "Entitlement" is, frankly, a poor word used by arrogant Republicans to absolve themselves from guilt.


Melon, was your comment above directed to my statement?

Just for clarification purposes, when talking about 'entitlement issues' in the comments above, I was generally referring to the vibe that I get from many of today's teens/ young adults that they simply deserve nice things - high-paying, statused jobs right out of school, big homes, nice cars, expensive clothes, etc. The whole thought of starting at the bottom & working their way to the top is not only foreign to them, it's actually repugnant. And of course, this is a generalization - I readily admit that. But it does seems to be a common thread among a good part of the population that I encounter.

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Old 04-21-2006, 12:22 AM   #35
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That's a great point.

I'm a big fan of college because it's a great way to spend 4 years surrounded by your peers and (hopefully) participating in some critical thinking. But for many kids, it's absolutely the wrong thing to do. And these days, it's like everyone is getting BAs, which there is nothing wrong with, but many of these kids are getting them because nobody ever suggested that they have other choices.
I second this point as well! My brother is a great example. He's a poor student, I mean, he really sucks. He applied to my college, which has a 99% acceptance rate (pretty affluent private college, but they accept everybody) and he didn't get in. He thought about going to the community college, but got a job working for my dad's contractor friends. They say he's the best worker b/c he's so damn scrawny, he always has to prove himself. He works up to 16 hrs a day. He's not even 20 and could almost put a down payment on a house if he wanted to (or build one like he's thinking). My mom is happy for him. We were worried because my high school did have some vo-tech/trade type classes and he took them all, but these days it seems like there's stigma in opting for vo-tech/trade classes or schools. But why waste $100,000 on a BA when that's not going to help him one wit when it comes to contruction and carpentry?

My dad was the same way, never went to college, but is now known as one of the best salesmen of paint, lumber, and other contracting supplies in our area. But back then NONE of his friends went to college and nobody said they were stupid or lacked direction.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:14 PM   #36
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College isn't for everyone... Mr. Blu being a perfect example. He was a poor student because of unrecognized/undiagnosed dyslexia. But according to his mother, from the time he was 8 or 9 years old, if a blender, toaster, or other small household appliance quit working, he could take it apart, put it back together & make it work. (This seems to be a fairly common trait amongst dyslexics from what I've read.)

He graduated high school with mediocre grades and went to a vocational school for Diesel Mechanics - not so much to learn the trade, since he'd been fixing cars since he was a teen, but more to show potential employers that he had some formal training. He now works for our city & (although he'd deny it) is the top mechanic in their garage. He'll never go to work in a shirt & tie, but he makes excellent money and will eventually be the one managing the shop. I'm biased, of course , but that to me is a success story and I know there are millions out there like him - no less intelligent than some who managed to get through college.
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