Author Topic: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!  (Read 17420 times)

Slee_stack

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Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« on: December 09, 2016, 01:40:46 PM »
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/12/09/income-american-dream-kids/95190206/

I'm glad I finally learned that the 'American Dream' is making more than your Father.  (Note, not Mother, as that wasn't 'polled' :S )

For a long time, owning an albatross house is what we were supposed to strive for.  Well thankfully we have a much better target now!

If Dad started a successful company or similar, you're pretty much damned...



« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 01:42:35 PM by Slee_stack »

AMandM

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 01:48:20 PM »
Newsflash!  People born in the 1980s make less money than people with 40 more years of experience!

gimp

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 02:03:54 PM »
Newsflash!  People born in the 1980s make less money than people with 40 more years of experience!

On the other hand, in the past, the percentage was much higher. So sayeth the study. You might want to argue against evidence instead of strawmen - makes you look better.

Indexer

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 05:10:27 PM »
Newsflash!  People born in the 1980s make less money than people with 40 more years of experience!

I read a similar article earlier today. It was comparing a 30 year old today to a 30 year old in 1970.

Blueskies123

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 05:18:00 PM »
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/12/09/income-american-dream-kids/95190206/

I'm glad I finally learned that the 'American Dream' is making more than your Father.  (Note, not Mother, as that wasn't 'polled' :S )

For a long time, owning an albatross house is what we were supposed to strive for.  Well thankfully we have a much better target now!

If Dad started a successful company or similar, you're pretty much damned...

It will be hard for millennials to make more than me unless they benefited from nepotism.  I had to work full time to get my BA in accounting and then 10 years later with 2 kids get my MBA at night.  I worked 12 hours a day and commuted two hours a day for 43 years.  Yeah I made a lot of money but what Millennial is willing to work as hard as I did.

Lagom

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 05:23:26 PM »
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/12/09/income-american-dream-kids/95190206/

I'm glad I finally learned that the 'American Dream' is making more than your Father.  (Note, not Mother, as that wasn't 'polled' :S )

For a long time, owning an albatross house is what we were supposed to strive for.  Well thankfully we have a much better target now!

If Dad started a successful company or similar, you're pretty much damned...

It will be hard for millennials to make more than me unless they benefited from nepotism.  I had to work full time to get my BA in accounting and then 10 years later with 2 kids get my MBA at night.  I worked 12 hours a day and commuted two hours a day for 43 years.  Yeah I made a lot of money but what Millennial is willing to work as hard as I did.

This is a typical attitude, but not actually based in an understanding of the current economic reality we're facing. No time to go way into it, but the most obvious fallacy here is the assumption that your college costs compare to costs today, which is very easy to disprove. Then there is the dismissive attitude of the millenial work ethic, which is not based in any sort of evidence but feeds the strangely persistent narrative that young people are all lazy and entitled.

Regardless, I do think the complainypants attitude about lower wages is silly and irrelevant, since it is what it is. There is still plenty of opportunity out there for most people to easily accomplish the "American dream," or FIRE. It's just a fair bit less than what the boomers had.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 06:20:20 PM by Lagom »

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2016, 08:05:01 AM »
Newsflash!  People born in the 1980s make less money than people with 40 more years of experience!

On the other hand, in the past, the percentage was much higher. So sayeth the study. You might want to argue against evidence instead of strawmen - makes you look better.
  Ok, well try this on.  The "past" was 1940.  So, those born in 1940 did better than their parents, who suffered through the Great Depression.  Many of the men lost many productive years and experience to war in Europe or the Pacific, or, like my Grandfather, to one of those and then Korea afterward.  The period of 1910 to 1940 (their parents would have been teenagers somewhere in those years) was a period of rapidly increasing secondary school enrollment - translation, many of their parents did not even GO to high school, much less graduate.  Basically all of their grandparents failed to go to high school, attaining at best a grade school education.

There are LOTS of reasons the two periods they picked are not comparable at all.

And the argument AMandM made is not a "strawman."  He directly addressed a point made in the article.  That is not a strawman argument.  You do not have to address EVERYTHING in the article to avoid strawman fallacies.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 08:12:34 AM »
the assumption that your college costs compare to costs today, which is very easy to disprove.
  Not here in Georgia, it isn't easy to disprove.

College - I worked full time, went to school full time, and paid it out of my pocket for the first two years.  If I did not have cash, due to an unexpected expenditure, I did not go until the next semester/quarter (the university system switched during that time period).  The next two years were covered by something here called the Hope Grant, and during the last year, they had so much money they even picked up the cost of my books.

Any resident student here can, on merit, regardless of income, go to college for free if his grades are high enough.

So it is CHEAPER than it was for me, since I paid two years out of pocket, then it would be for students today here in this state, if they want to go and buckle down and get the grades required.

Inflation of tuition (which is real) does not enter into this discussion here.  Unless your grades suck, in which case maybe University is not for you.

mm1970

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2016, 08:43:41 AM »
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/12/09/income-american-dream-kids/95190206/

I'm glad I finally learned that the 'American Dream' is making more than your Father.  (Note, not Mother, as that wasn't 'polled' :S )

For a long time, owning an albatross house is what we were supposed to strive for.  Well thankfully we have a much better target now!

If Dad started a successful company or similar, you're pretty much damned...

It will be hard for millennials to make more than me unless they benefited from nepotism.  I had to work full time to get my BA in accounting and then 10 years later with 2 kids get my MBA at night.  I worked 12 hours a day and commuted two hours a day for 43 years.  Yeah I made a lot of money but what Millennial is willing to work as hard as I did.
I know plenty of millenials who work that hard.  Some of them have great opportunities, others do not.  It depends on their industry.

However, you are correct - working hard is something that *may* be going by the wayside.  My son's 4th grade teacher used to tell us last year that her kids are doing *very* well in their jobs because they show up and work hard.  And it's not as common as it used to be (though this may be a regional California issue, who knows).

In any event...I believe the article is absolutely correct - if that's how you define the "American Dream" as "out-earning your parents".  Will my kids out-earn us?  Who knows, they are 10 and 4. 

I would argue, however, that maybe that's not MY definition of the "American Dream".  Work hard, but have a life.  I had many many years of "burning the candle at both ends", starting from college+ROTC+part time job, then military+grad school, then long hours, then full time job+ kids.  At some point, it really starts to suck rocks.  A little balance in life is good.

Lagom

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2016, 10:25:27 AM »
the assumption that your college costs compare to costs today, which is very easy to disprove.
  Not here in Georgia, it isn't easy to disprove.

College - I worked full time, went to school full time, and paid it out of my pocket for the first two years.  If I did not have cash, due to an unexpected expenditure, I did not go until the next semester/quarter (the university system switched during that time period).  The next two years were covered by something here called the Hope Grant, and during the last year, they had so much money they even picked up the cost of my books.

Any resident student here can, on merit, regardless of income, go to college for free if his grades are high enough.

So it is CHEAPER than it was for me, since I paid two years out of pocket, then it would be for students today here in this state, if they want to go and buckle down and get the grades required.

Inflation of tuition (which is real) does not enter into this discussion here.  Unless your grades suck, in which case maybe University is not for you.

Nice dismissive attitude. If you really believe college is more affordable than when the boomers were that age, I don't have the energy to fight that battle, although Google would fight it for me easily enough. If your response is just "if you work hard enough and get scholarships it won't matter," you are still showing a shocking lack of empathy along the lines of rich people saying "if the urban poor just pulled themselves by their bootstraps and worked hard enough, they could be rich like me!"

If I'm advising my own children, sure, but if I'm reflecting on a generation with systematically fewer opportunities than the one before, I'm not going to pile on with some false BS about how they're just not working hard enough.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 10:38:15 AM by Lagom »

maizeman

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2016, 10:32:44 AM »
Newsflash!  People born in the 1980s make less money than people with 40 more years of experience!

In the actual study (which was actually linked from the article and not behind a paywall, awesome!) they state.

Quote
In our baseline analysis, we measure income in pre-tax dollars at the household level when parents and children are approximately thirty years old, adjusting for inflation using the CPI-U-RS.

So the actual study is at 30, do you make more or less than your parents did when they were also 30. I suspect this is the same story @Indexer saw reported on elsewhere, just with an even sloppier write up.
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babybug

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 05:14:15 PM »
There are obvious differences between 20-40 years ago and now... It's a fact that 5million manufacturer & hightech jobs have been offshored, real employment (labor participation rate) is way down, nonsecure contract and temp jobs are way up, and worst of all, student loans are way up.

However, ironically there's a real shortage of skilled technicians in manufacturing. 

I feel for the millennials but many are taking up the challenge to evolve and innovate.

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Indexer

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 05:40:59 PM »
Quote
In our baseline analysis, we measure income in pre-tax dollars at the household level when parents and children are approximately thirty years old, adjusting for inflation using the CPI-U-RS.

So the actual study is at 30, do you make more or less than your parents did when they were also 30. I suspect this is the same story @Indexer saw reported on elsewhere, just with an even sloppier write up.

Good guess. I went back and checked. I read it on the Wall Street Journal, and they do notate that it is inflation adjusted.

I would post the chart they had, but since WSJ is a paid subscription I don't want to upset a copyright.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-american-dream-is-fading-and-may-be-very-hard-to-revive-1481218911

LeRainDrop

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2016, 05:53:32 PM »
the assumption that your college costs compare to costs today, which is very easy to disprove.
  Not here in Georgia, it isn't easy to disprove.

College - I worked full time, went to school full time, and paid it out of my pocket for the first two years.  If I did not have cash, due to an unexpected expenditure, I did not go until the next semester/quarter (the university system switched during that time period).  The next two years were covered by something here called the Hope Grant, and during the last year, they had so much money they even picked up the cost of my books.

Any resident student here can, on merit, regardless of income, go to college for free if his grades are high enough.

So it is CHEAPER than it was for me, since I paid two years out of pocket, then it would be for students today here in this state, if they want to go and buckle down and get the grades required.

Inflation of tuition (which is real) does not enter into this discussion here.  Unless your grades suck, in which case maybe University is not for you.

Nice dismissive attitude. If you really believe college is more affordable than when the boomers were that age, I don't have the energy to fight that battle, although Google would fight it for me easily enough. If your response is just "if you work hard enough and get scholarships it won't matter," you are still showing a shocking lack of empathy along the lines of rich people saying "if the urban poor just pulled themselves by their bootstraps and worked hard enough, they could be rich like me!"

If I'm advising my own children, sure, but if I'm reflecting on a generation with systematically fewer opportunities than the one before, I'm not going to pile on with some false BS about how they're just not working hard enough.

That, as a general matter, college is "more affordable than when the boomers were that age"?  No, of course not!  But MP is correct about Georgia specifically that decent grades in high school, and maintained during college, leads to substantial tuition assistance and even free tuition for Georgia residents at schools like University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and many other public, private, and technical institutions in the state.  All paid for by the nincompoops who play the state lottery.  https://gsfc.georgia.gov/hope

SwordGuy

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2016, 08:20:08 PM »
the assumption that your college costs compare to costs today, which is very easy to disprove.
  Not here in Georgia, it isn't easy to disprove.

College - I worked full time, went to school full time, and paid it out of my pocket for the first two years.  If I did not have cash, due to an unexpected expenditure, I did not go until the next semester/quarter (the university system switched during that time period).  The next two years were covered by something here called the Hope Grant, and during the last year, they had so much money they even picked up the cost of my books.

Any resident student here can, on merit, regardless of income, go to college for free if his grades are high enough.
.

So it is CHEAPER than it was for me, since I paid two years out of pocket, then it would be for students today here in this state, if they want to go and buckle down and get the grades required.

Inflation of tuition (which is real) does not enter into this discussion here.  Unless your grades suck, in which case maybe University is not for you.

Nice dismissive attitude. If you really believe college is more affordable than when the boomers were that age, I don't have the energy to fight that battle, although Google would fight it for me easily enough.

Here's a link to the Hope Scholarship page for GA:  https://gsfc.georgia.gov/hope
It's a real thing.

I know it changes a bit from year to year but it was fairly generous when it first came out.   

As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   

We don't have a  millennial problem when it comes to education or working hard, we have an American born and raised problem.    (That's because immigrants haven't picked up our bad habits yet.)   If I remember The Millionaire Next Door correctly, it showed that the longer an ethnic group had been in the USA in significant numbers, the lower the percentage of millionaires it had.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2016, 10:01:31 AM »
the assumption that your college costs compare to costs today, which is very easy to disprove.
  Not here in Georgia, it isn't easy to disprove.

College - I worked full time, went to school full time, and paid it out of my pocket for the first two years.  If I did not have cash, due to an unexpected expenditure, I did not go until the next semester/quarter (the university system switched during that time period).  The next two years were covered by something here called the Hope Grant, and during the last year, they had so much money they even picked up the cost of my books.

Any resident student here can, on merit, regardless of income, go to college for free if his grades are high enough.
.

So it is CHEAPER than it was for me, since I paid two years out of pocket, then it would be for students today here in this state, if they want to go and buckle down and get the grades required.

Inflation of tuition (which is real) does not enter into this discussion here.  Unless your grades suck, in which case maybe University is not for you.

Nice dismissive attitude. If you really believe college is more affordable than when the boomers were that age, I don't have the energy to fight that battle, although Google would fight it for me easily enough.

Here's a link to the Hope Scholarship page for GA:  https://gsfc.georgia.gov/hope
It's a real thing.

I know it changes a bit from year to year but it was fairly generous when it first came out.   

As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   

We don't have a  millennial problem when it comes to education or working hard, we have an American born and raised problem.    (That's because immigrants haven't picked up our bad habits yet.)   If I remember The Millionaire Next Door correctly, it showed that the longer an ethnic group had been in the USA in significant numbers, the lower the percentage of millionaires it had.

Wow, SwordGuy, I have noticed that trend as well.  I can't seem to overcome it with one of my own teenagers.  I find it very disturbing.  One of his friends is an Indian immigrant.  He made Eagle Scout at a very young age.  I was a part of his board interview.  I specifically asked him about what he did to prioritize scouting in the way he did.  His answer was that when he arrived home from school, he scheduled 30 minutes each day to work on scouting.  He then moved on to schoolwork . . .
I guess I can't switch kids . . .

Your generational comment about immigrants made me think of this kid.  He has extremely high grades as well.

My son is naturally bright but extremely lazy, constantly getting 0% grades for failing to turn stuff in (hey, no problem, they let him re-do it, which I think is part of the problem).  I started grounding him to his room until he gets the zeroes cleared up, but he seems to prefer suffering grounding for several days rather than clearing them up right away.  Very frustrating, and I worry for his future.  Bright, lazy people do not do well in life.   The real world does not allow constant "re-dos" and failure to meet deadlines.

dougules

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2016, 11:30:45 AM »
Young whipper-snappers these days are what the problem is with this country.  Young folks are worthless these days.  Get off my lawn!  I'm pretty sure that has been said about every generation by their parents or grandparent.   

The article is about the fact that the economy is better than it ever has been, but only half the population has felt it.  Wealth distribution is moving back into where it was in the robber baron era.  Maybe some of that is just deserts for people that don't apply themselves, but there are a lot of factors working against younger folks now.  Outsourcing is not helping wages for workers in the developed world, although it seems a little sad to begrudge some truly poor guy in Bangladesh or Honduras a job.  Also nobody begrudged paying for giving your grandparents a free high school education.  Now that a college degree is the new high school diploma, though, everybody thinks young folks need to pull themselves up by their boot straps.  Then not everybody is cut out to be a degreed professional.  For the last two centuries the economy has managed to shift unskilled labor to new positions as technology has eliminated jobs.  Will that still be the case in the future as automation just keeps accelerating?

The one thing that is silly, though, is that most people are still doing at least as good as their grandparents.  My grandparents had a nice house even though it would be considered small now.  They could go to the grocery store and buy what they needed to eat even though they didn't eat out much.  My great great grandparents would have considered that the lap of luxury.  If people now could learn to live with that definition of luxury, most (although not all) would be doing just fine. 

MrsPete

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2016, 11:44:47 AM »
As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   
When I was in high school, I wasn't really aware that everyone didn't try in school, but I suppose it was true.  I was at the top of the class and really thought everyone was doing his or her best; I thought some people's best just wasn't very good. 

I've been teaching almost 20 years now, and in that time I have seen a marked decrease in what our low-level students will do.  Used to be they'd show up to school and were pleasant and would do the easy work, balking at the more difficult assignments.  Today our lowest students -- when they can be bothered to come to school -- do absolutely nothing, in spite of lowered requirements and multiple choices.  It's all about the soccer trophy for every kid. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2016, 11:47:30 AM »
This thread reminded me of a show I just watched the other night -- Master of None.  It's a Netflix original comedy starring Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) as Dev, a 30-ish commercial actor struggling to find his way, personally and professionally, in New York City.  Anyhow, episode 2 ("Parents") is about Dev and his friend Brian learning to appreciate their immigrant parents.  The series as a whole is worth watching, in my opinion, and episode 4 ("Indians on TV") is probably my second favorite of the ones I've seen so far.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2016, 01:14:00 PM »
As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   
When I was in high school, I wasn't really aware that everyone didn't try in school, but I suppose it was true.  I was at the top of the class and really thought everyone was doing his or her best; I thought some people's best just wasn't very good. 

I've been teaching almost 20 years now, and in that time I have seen a marked decrease in what our low-level students will do.  Used to be they'd show up to school and were pleasant and would do the easy work, balking at the more difficult assignments.  Today our lowest students -- when they can be bothered to come to school -- do absolutely nothing, in spite of lowered requirements and multiple choices.  It's all about the soccer trophy for every kid.
  Mrs. Pete, is there pressure to pass them anyway?

Lagom

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2016, 01:31:17 PM »
As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   
When I was in high school, I wasn't really aware that everyone didn't try in school, but I suppose it was true.  I was at the top of the class and really thought everyone was doing his or her best; I thought some people's best just wasn't very good. 

I've been teaching almost 20 years now, and in that time I have seen a marked decrease in what our low-level students will do.  Used to be they'd show up to school and were pleasant and would do the easy work, balking at the more difficult assignments.  Today our lowest students -- when they can be bothered to come to school -- do absolutely nothing, in spite of lowered requirements and multiple choices.  It's all about the soccer trophy for every kid.
  Mrs. Pete, is there pressure to pass them anyway?

I taught in an inner city Chicago school and I'll say that there wasn't exactly pressure to pass them, but there was definitely a culture of just moving them along, whether or not they were really ready. Do that enough times and it becomes basically impossible to teach grade appropriate curriculum, when most of the class is several grade levels behind. The better teachers I knew would scale way back and spend time on the basics they should have mastered years before along with life skills that might not even be part of the curriculum (how to apply for a job, how to find an apartment, etc.). Sadly, that's often the best you can do at a high school level in those districts. I wouldn't say most of that was the kid's fault though.

joleran

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2016, 01:37:13 PM »
My son is naturally bright but extremely lazy, constantly getting 0% grades for failing to turn stuff in (hey, no problem, they let him re-do it, which I think is part of the problem).  I started grounding him to his room until he gets the zeroes cleared up, but he seems to prefer suffering grounding for several days rather than clearing them up right away.  Very frustrating, and I worry for his future.  Bright, lazy people do not do well in life.   The real world does not allow constant "re-dos" and failure to meet deadlines.

You are taking away his internet access when grounding him... right?  I think that's the most effective punishment for a modern teen by a long shot.

talltexan

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2016, 02:16:52 PM »
I'm excited to see scholarships like GA's hope mentioned here (I wrote a Ph.D. thesis about them about a decade ago). Indeed they DO make college cheaper for about the 35% of HS graduates who qualify. But many of these would be attending college anyway (usually about 70% of HS graduates attend some type of post-secondary education, perhaps half of those complete a BA).

more than twenty other states have something like this program. But it's often tied to need (like in Indiana).

paddedhat

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2016, 02:34:05 PM »
\The concept of "lazy kids in this generation" is  interesting. My 27 Y.O son is an engineer and in senior management for an oil field services company. He has a very difficult time recruiting and retaining the most low skilled workers. The positions are for unskilled laborers. The pay is $16/hr to start. You work as many twelve hour days as you want, in a week, and overtime is guaranteed. Full medical and a matching 401 are included. With a modest effort, it turns into a $70K + a year job,  and it's typically far from back breaking.  That said, he eliminates a significant portion of the applicant pool, once the drug test results come in, and loses more to random testing on the worksite. He recently fired a young guy after drill site management caught him watching a movie on a smart phone, while hiding n a company truck.  He has repeatedly had new employees quit, within hours of starting their first shift. They have to be removed from job sites immediately, often in very remote locations. He will grill them as he drives them back to the shop, and often it's a case of the job being "not what they expected".  Not  sure what they "expect", but he expects a reasonable amount of productivity from a totally uneducated, inexperienced employee, in exchange for an unusually high wage,and a job with a potential to move up. Some of these guys admit that they are happy to return to leaching off their parents, or working at a retail job for half the pay, since it's a hell of a lot easier that being hot, cold, or having to do a moderate amount of shoveling during a shift.

Interestingly enough, while trying to find laborers, he got a lead on pair of brothers, Mexican nationals with legitimate paperwork, who specialized in oil field labor. They were new to the area, and had great references. He though had a deal with them, but literally got outbid. Now, I'm well aware that anecdotes are not evidence, and his small company has several extremely talented and hard working millennials.
I do find it interesting that, given a decent opportunity, with zero training, or experience required, many young totally unskilled guys either can't get their shit together enough to qualify, or don't want to work, once they are given a chance.

Drifterrider

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 09:38:08 AM »
Try finding a teenager to shovel snow or cut grass.  Either they want $50 - $80 for an hours work or they just can't be bothered.

It isn't the teenagers' fault.  It is their parents' fault.

joleran

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2016, 12:33:55 PM »
I'm excited to see scholarships like GA's hope mentioned here (I wrote a Ph.D. thesis about them about a decade ago). Indeed they DO make college cheaper for about the 35% of HS graduates who qualify. But many of these would be attending college anyway (usually about 70% of HS graduates attend some type of post-secondary education, perhaps half of those complete a BA).

more than twenty other states have something like this program. But it's often tied to need (like in Indiana).

The US don't need more people in college, it needs middle class careers for high school graduates.  There are enough dumbasses in college already, let's not keep diluting that pool.

mm1970

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2016, 02:09:05 PM »
As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   
When I was in high school, I wasn't really aware that everyone didn't try in school, but I suppose it was true.  I was at the top of the class and really thought everyone was doing his or her best; I thought some people's best just wasn't very good. 

I've been teaching almost 20 years now, and in that time I have seen a marked decrease in what our low-level students will do.  Used to be they'd show up to school and were pleasant and would do the easy work, balking at the more difficult assignments.  Today our lowest students -- when they can be bothered to come to school -- do absolutely nothing, in spite of lowered requirements and multiple choices.  It's all about the soccer trophy for every kid.
  Mrs. Pete, is there pressure to pass them anyway?

I taught in an inner city Chicago school and I'll say that there wasn't exactly pressure to pass them, but there was definitely a culture of just moving them along, whether or not they were really ready. Do that enough times and it becomes basically impossible to teach grade appropriate curriculum, when most of the class is several grade levels behind. The better teachers I knew would scale way back and spend time on the basics they should have mastered years before along with life skills that might not even be part of the curriculum (how to apply for a job, how to find an apartment, etc.). Sadly, that's often the best you can do at a high school level in those districts. I wouldn't say most of that was the kid's fault though.
My son's 4th and 5th grade teachers both told me about this.  In one classroom of 30 students, math and English levels range from grade 2 to grade 9.

dogboyslim

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2016, 02:23:57 PM »
Young whipper-snappers these days are what the problem is with this country.  Young folks are worthless these days.  Get off my lawn!  I'm pretty sure that has been said about every generation by their parents or grandparent.   

cue Joe Friday

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2016, 02:26:27 PM »
I'm excited to see scholarships like GA's hope mentioned here (I wrote a Ph.D. thesis about them about a decade ago). Indeed they DO make college cheaper for about the 35% of HS graduates who qualify. But many of these would be attending college anyway (usually about 70% of HS graduates attend some type of post-secondary education, perhaps half of those complete a BA).

more than twenty other states have something like this program. But it's often tied to need (like in Indiana).

The US don't need more people in college, it needs middle class careers for high school graduates.  There are enough dumbasses in college already, let's not keep diluting that pool.

Right, but speak at career day about how there are great opportunities as a welder, electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc. and it's like you just lit the building on fire.  "My son's going to be a lawyer!"  No, no he isn't.
Notice is turned in! 35 days until FIRE!  I am excited and at the same time terrified!

Guses

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2016, 02:53:47 PM »
Snip

To me this is less a millennial problem and more a recruitment or cost/benefit problem. You can't hire any random unqualified person and expect them to be super productive in a hard physical job and have stellar work ethic. This is where an interview, CVs, and references comes in. The fact that the "good" employees were whisked away highlights that the issue is pay and/or recruitment not birth date or nationality.

Another issue is that not everyone is willing to work a hard physical job or lots of hours for incremental additional pay. For instance, I would not work an additional 4 hours per day even If you paid me 75% more.

Finally, the employer is trying to pay their employees as little as they can get away with. The corollary is that the employee will (or should) try to work as little as they can get away with. That is just the outcome that you get in the system that we are in.

SwordGuy

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2016, 03:34:04 PM »
Quote
I do find it interesting that, given a decent opportunity, with zero training, or experience required, many young totally unskilled guys either can't get their shit together enough to qualify, or don't want to work, once they are given a chance.

In my experience, the VERY reason people are "TOTALLY UNSKILLED" is because they have never gotten their shit together and/or were never willing to work.

Anyone with a 10th grade education (and I don't mean breathed air for 10 years and was passed for social reasons) is way better educated than most Americans were for the first 150 years of our country.   They do not qualify as totally unskilled because:

(1) they can do basic math.
(2) they can read and write at a 10th grade level.  (Many materials in the real world are written for an 8th grade level.)
(3) they have learned how to learn.
(4) they have worked to learn.

Those are all very useful skills for a host of jobs.

paddedhat

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2016, 05:55:06 PM »
Snip

To me this is less a millennial problem and more a recruitment or cost/benefit problem. You can't hire any random unqualified person and expect them to be super productive in a hard physical job and have stellar work ethic. This is where an interview, CVs, and references comes in. The fact that the "good" employees were whisked away highlights that the issue is pay and/or recruitment not birth date or nationality.

Another issue is that not everyone is willing to work a hard physical job or lots of hours for incremental additional pay. For instance, I would not work an additional 4 hours per day even If you paid me 75% more.

Finally, the employer is trying to pay their employees as little as they can get away with. The corollary is that the employee will (or should) try to work as little as they can get away with. That is just the outcome that you get in the system that we are in.

Wow. Would it be fair to say that you are highly educated, well compensated, and have no real familiarity with uneducated, working class folks? First, in the instance I reference, there is no random anything.  As the hiring manager, my son has little interesting in wasting his time, and a great deal of  pre-placement training and safety certification expense, by "Randomly hiring unqualified persons".  Your assumption  that there is no interview, review of references, or attempt at extracting a resume from somebody who has no idea WTF a "CV" is, is way off base. Try to get your head around a group of applicants who could only hope to generate a resume if they sat down with a career counselor at a government unemployment office, AND may very well be the first person in their family to ever have needed one.  For most of these folks (and yes, I AM one, working class, no post secondary ed.) the closest they will ever get to a "resume" is filling out the column marked "previous job history" on a preprinted application that was torn off of a pad full of them. The fact that good laborers, with a long work history in this specific industry, get to name their price means nothing other than they are an anomaly. These were guys who not only had verifiable experience, but had relocated to better themselves, which is rare.  They have nothing in common with those "short timers" who bailed to return to mom's basement, or grovel for their job back at the auto parts store, making 1/2 as much, since working moderately hard, or in unpleasant conditions, is not "what they expected" 

As for not being willing to work long, or hard, how does it work in your world, for those with no experience, no skill set, no training, and no post secondary education? I know many, many guys who are everything from highly paid execs. in the construction industry, to company owners, who started at the bottom. Shit hours, shit conditions, and a broom in their hand. I guess I would have to add myself to this list of success stories, the list of guys who started at the bottom and didn't value being a quitter as much as you do. When your are in my son's position, and you have seen a new employee perform for a year or two, being reliable, dependable and willing to be a team player, you know the answer when that guy approaches you and says, "I hear you are looking for equipment operators, how do I move up, and stay with this company". You do what it takes to keep him, and get him trained to climb the ladder. That's how the world works outside of degrees, certifications, linkedin profiles, job coaches, head hunters, and multiple interviews before being offered a position.

Your final comment is ironic. Once value my kid's company has is, "we pay better than average, and expect better than average". In this case, they start unskilled laborers at 25% higher than competitors. They also walk away from jobs where their customers want them to cut costs, and the only way to do it is to battle with competitors that use minimum wage employees, or even undocumented workers. They don't want the bottom of the barrel on high risk job sites, wearing their company uniforms. Other companies wouldn't hesitate to hire monkeys, if they could make it work, and pay them a few bucks less. I'm not sure where your head is at when it comes to what  unskilled, uneducated and untrained new hires are worth, out there in fly-over country, but there are millions of men and women that would kill to make $16/HR with great health care and tons of overtime, if it was offered. The median family income in the region we are discussing is $43.4K a year.  So with no college education, no trade skill training, and no prior experience, you could end up making the median family income for the area, working four 12 hour shifts a week. Yet it is a constant battle to find and retain qualified entry level help.

 As you clearly state, this is an obvious case of an employer paying as little as possible, and as a result, when given that chance, the employee should try to do as little as possible to "stick it to the man". I gotta' give you credit here, you sure see the world a bit differently than I do. But then, I started at the bottom, never got a degree, operated two companies I founded, retired 15-20 years before my peers, and have more than I'll ever need, so don't ask me.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2016, 12:43:31 AM »
I'm excited to see scholarships like GA's hope mentioned here (I wrote a Ph.D. thesis about them about a decade ago). Indeed they DO make college cheaper for about the 35% of HS graduates who qualify. But many of these would be attending college anyway (usually about 70% of HS graduates attend some type of post-secondary education, perhaps half of those complete a BA).

more than twenty other states have something like this program. But it's often tied to need (like in Indiana).

The US don't need more people in college, it needs middle class careers for high school graduates.  There are enough dumbasses in college already, let's not keep diluting that pool.

As I already mentioned upthread, the Georgia Hope scholarship/grant is available for students to use at a variety of public, private, and technical schools.  https://www.gafutures.org/media/113484/hope-scholarship-eligible-institutions.pdf

Guses

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2016, 08:29:53 AM »

Wow. Would it be fair to say that you are highly educated, well compensated, and have no real familiarity with uneducated, working class folks? First, in the instance I reference, there is no random anything.  As the hiring manager, my son has little interesting in wasting his time, and a great deal of  pre-placement training and safety certification expense, by "Randomly hiring unqualified persons".  Your assumption  that there is no interview, review of references, or attempt at extracting a resume from somebody who has no idea WTF a "CV" is, is way off base. Try to get your head around a group of applicants who could only hope to generate a resume if they sat down with a career counselor at a government unemployment office, AND may very well be the first person in their family to ever have needed one.  For most of these folks (and yes, I AM one, working class, no post secondary ed.) the closest they will ever get to a "resume" is filling out the column marked "previous job history" on a preprinted application that was torn off of a pad full of them. The fact that good laborers, with a long work history in this specific industry, get to name their price means nothing other than they are an anomaly. These were guys who not only had verifiable experience, but had relocated to better themselves, which is rare.  They have nothing in common with those "short timers" who bailed to return to mom's basement, or grovel for their job back at the auto parts store, making 1/2 as much, since working moderately hard, or in unpleasant conditions, is not "what they expected" 

Take a deep breath. Ok, ready to discuss now?

Maybe the problem is trying to recruit unskilled people in 2016 for a job that requires above average work ethic and effort. That is literally picking from the bottom of the discard barrel and expecting stellar performance. Yeah, success rate won't be very high.

 Nowadays, everyone and their dogs have a college degree. There is a reason that unskilled workers are exactly that. You know that they say about chicken sandwiches right?


Quote
As for not being willing to work long, or hard, how does it work in your world, for those with no experience, no skill set, no training, and no post secondary education? I know many, many guys who are everything from highly paid execs. in the construction industry, to company owners, who started at the bottom. Shit hours, shit conditions, and a broom in their hand. I guess I would have to add myself to this list of success stories, the list of guys who started at the bottom and didn't value being a quitter as much as you do. When your are in my son's position, and you have seen a new employee perform for a year or two, being reliable, dependable and willing to be a team player, you know the answer when that guy approaches you and says, "I hear you are looking for equipment operators, how do I move up, and stay with this company". You do what it takes to keep him, and get him trained to climb the ladder. That's how the world works outside of degrees, certifications, linkedin profiles, job coaches, head hunters, and multiple interviews before being offered a position.

1st bolded part: There is a difference between a 1980's unskilled worker and a 2016 unskilled worker. The 1980's person might not have had a choice but, in 2016, only people that want to remain unskilled stay unskilled. You can draw your own conclusions on what happens when you draw from that pile (hint: you don't get good value).

2nd:On me being a quitter? Lol. I guess you have to resort to insults when you don't have factual arguments?


Quote
Your final comment is ironic. Once value my kid's company has is, "we pay better than average, and expect better than average". In this case, they start unskilled laborers at 25% higher than competitors. They also walk away from jobs where their customers want them to cut costs, and the only way to do it is to battle with competitors that use minimum wage employees, or even undocumented workers. They don't want the bottom of the barrel on high risk job sites, wearing their company uniforms. Other companies wouldn't hesitate to hire monkeys, if they could make it work, and pay them a few bucks less. I'm not sure where your head is at when it comes to what  unskilled, uneducated and untrained new hires are worth, out there in fly-over country, but there are millions of men and women that would kill to make $16/HR with great health care and tons of overtime, if it was offered. The median family income in the region we are discussing is $43.4K a year. So with no college education, no trade skill training, and no prior experience, you could end up making the median family income for the area, working four 12 hour shifts a week. Yet it is a constant battle to find and retain qualified entry level help.

1st: If the company paid better than average, their prospects wouldn't be poached by the competition. Ergo, the company is (justly) trying to minimize the amount that they pay out to employees. Ask yourself this "If they paid 100$/hour, would they have trouble recruiting competent employees?" They wouldn't?! Well this comes back to an issue of market economics, not people being lazy.

2nd: Well, maybe they shouldn't pick from the bottom of the pile then.

3rd: Where are these millions of people when it comes time to fill the position? Elsewhere? Not interested? Why do you think that is (hint: compensation is not in line with work expectations) ?

 
Quote
As you clearly state, this is an obvious case of an employer paying as little as possible, and as a result, when given that chance, the employee should try to do as little as possible to "stick it to the man". I gotta' give you credit here, you sure see the world a bit differently than I do. But then, I started at the bottom, never got a degree, operated two companies I founded, retired 15-20 years before my peers, and have more than I'll ever need, so don't ask me.

1st: It's not about "sticking it to the man" it's about business sense. Who would willingly sell their time for less than the maximum (or what they think is the maximum) that they can get for it? Businesses relocate out of the country, robotize the workforce, and minimize benefit so that they can maximize their profit. Why would it suddenly become unsavory for a worker to do the same?

2nd:So you did all that by working hard and then everything fell in your lap? No, you worked hard AND you tried to maximize your payout by capitalizing on opportunities. This is exactly what I am arguing for. You won't get a lot of these people by picking from the discard pile.

 


TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2016, 09:24:24 AM »
The fact that good laborers, with a long work history in this specific industry, get to name their price means nothing other than they are an anomaly. These were guys who not only had verifiable experience, but had relocated to better themselves, which is rare.  They have nothing in common with those "short timers" who bailed to return to mom's basement, or grovel for their job back at the auto parts store, making 1/2 as much, since working moderately hard, or in unpleasant conditions, is not "what they expected" 

<snip>

Yet it is a constant battle to find and retain qualified entry level help.

Hmm. Can you afford to draw from the left side of the bell curve?

The reason I ask is because I found an amazing demographic, and by cultivating them as customers I've made a respectable amount of money renting out rooms in my home. In my case, I cater to people with mobility impairments and minor disabilities. Obviously I still have to screen my tenants, but I've found that by going after this demographic I've gotten more reliable, happier tenants who stick around for the long term by drawing from this specific pool of people. Not many places are physically easy to live in for, say, the veteran who's missing a leg, or a wheelchair user, or a person with a developmental disability that keeps him from being able to read well. When they get into a situation where they're treated fairly and rewarded for their work, they tend to want to keep it. I'd venture to guess that it's the same for a job as it is for a living situation.

It may depend on the kind of work you've got, but maybe you can do something similar.

It seems to me that motivated and qualified entry level workers from the right side of the bell curve seldom stay entry-level forever. When they move up, either within your company or outside it, obviously it creates an opening behind them. You'll have to keep hiring just to backfill.

It's a rare person who is on the right side of the bell curve in terms of potential but who is genuinely satisfied enough with the lower pay scale associated with entry level work to keep that work long-term and not look for a better dollar return on their time. Most of the folks I've met who meet that description have a minimalist lifestyle-- like an offset press operator I used to know-- and have no desire for higher pay or a higher level of consumption. They're willing to do their fair share at work, and then they're satisfied. That's a pretty rare bird in our consumer society but they are out there. I see them sometimes in the enlisted military. Hiring them away from what they've got isn't going to be easy for you because they won't respond to your ads or job listings.

I've met a few people who identify so strongly with their jobs that they'd take advancement as some kind of self-betrayal. They are generally not from American or Western European cultural backgrounds. They take a lot of pride in their work, they value craftsmanship, and sometimes they own the business but most of the time they'd rather not because it would mean less opportunity to, say, put paint on walls. They get a feeling of satisfaction simply from doing the work and doing it well. Most of the folks I know who think this way are in the skilled trades. If unskilled labor is what you need the pickings are going to be slim unless you luck out and scoop up some people who follow oilfield or other kinds of labor... and there's a better-than-even chance they will continue to follow work and leave you for a better opportunity during the next boom. A person who relocates to your area for a better opportunity is also likely to relocate away from it for something better still.

Then of course there are people who have a lot of potential but also a bad situation that keeps them from moving up. That bad situation may make them too much of a liability to hire in the first place, and I find they move around a lot because they're bright enough to resent that they can't move up, and instead of dealing with their addiction or untreated mental illness or whatever, they blame the lack of advancement on other people. That's just toxic. I screen for that attitude when I look for tenants and would expect you already screen for it too.

Anyway, is there a chance that you can do as I do and cultivate the left side of the bell curve? If you don't need a lot in terms of brains and brawn, you can still find plenty of people with a work ethic and a desire for the kind of respect that comes from having long-term, full-time employment.
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paddedhat

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2016, 06:58:00 PM »

Wow. Would it be fair to say that you are highly educated, well compensated, and have no real familiarity with uneducated, working class folks? First, in the instance I reference, there is no random anything.  As the hiring manager, my son has little interesting in wasting his time, and a great deal of  pre-placement training and safety certification expense, by "Randomly hiring unqualified persons".  Your assumption  that there is no interview, review of references, or attempt at extracting a resume from somebody who has no idea WTF a "CV" is, is way off base. Try to get your head around a group of applicants who could only hope to generate a resume if they sat down with a career counselor at a government unemployment office, AND may very well be the first person in their family to ever have needed one.  For most of these folks (and yes, I AM one, working class, no post secondary ed.) the closest they will ever get to a "resume" is filling out the column marked "previous job history" on a preprinted application that was torn off of a pad full of them. The fact that good laborers, with a long work history in this specific industry, get to name their price means nothing other than they are an anomaly. These were guys who not only had verifiable experience, but had relocated to better themselves, which is rare.  They have nothing in common with those "short timers" who bailed to return to mom's basement, or grovel for their job back at the auto parts store, making 1/2 as much, since working moderately hard, or in unpleasant conditions, is not "what they expected" 

Take a deep breath. Ok, ready to discuss now?

This is a fascinating, and at some level,  a very MMM forum specific problem. If there was a metric for "group think" regarding forum discourse, this place would be at the very high end of the chart. If everybody is of the same mindset and keeping in the herd, it's all good. If you have a different opinion, or strongly disagree with another poster, well that just doesn't work. Your input is either branded as a "rant", or you are get hit with comments like yours.  Personally, I find it childish and silly, and stunningly thin skinned. It's nothing personal, you may be a great guy, and we would get along swimmingly when we meet, who knows. But the "Take a deep breath" act is condescending, and unnecessary.

 This is a simple situation. I spent many decades, until very recently, employing a total of hundreds and hundreds of the kind of folks we are discussing, from laborers, and helpers to highly skilled tradesmen. My son is now doing the same. The issue is that nothing you claim, your facts, your economic theory of labor, or anything, can be found in my long history in the field, my discussions with others in my profession, or any current economic discussion on the topic. Be it as diverse as the continual hand wringing from the economic chattering class as they pontificate on why exactly, labor participation rates are at an all time low, or from the other end of the spectrum, real life accounts on how this segment of the population actually thinks, like the outstanding work of J.D. Vance in "Hillbilly Elegy".


Maybe the problem is trying to recruit unskilled people in 2016 for a job that requires above average work ethic and effort.

There is no "maybe" about it. This IS the problem, and it is a very serious one. The specific issue is that you and I define "Above average work ethic and effort" based on our experience, and the measures we are familiar with in determining what is acceptable performance and output, based on being inside an organization that is succeeding, with you as a part of it.  Unfortunately, many at the bottom of the pool have wildly unrealistic expectations of what is reasonable, and quickly are viewed as suffering from entitlement delusions when you can actually pin them down as to what, in their opinion, is fair and reasonable. BTW, I have watch this build for decades, it's not, IMHO, a recent development, and it largely a result of cultural forces, not inherent laziness, or a lack of education.
 


That is literally picking from the bottom of the discard barrel and expecting stellar performance. Yeah, success rate won't be very high.

Once again, totally assumptive on your part, and lacking any factual basis. I am discussing how difficult it is to recruit, and retain, entry level workers. YOU are the one that continually claims that this involves no legitimate vetting of candidates, and then attributes this to being one of the reasons for a lack of success.

 Nowadays, everyone and their dogs have a college degree. There is a reason that unskilled workers are exactly that. You know that they say about chicken sandwiches right?

Maybe I'm wrong, but there seem to be two ways to view this comment. The most charitable would be to write it off as an "off the cuff", trying to be funny, moment? The other, assuming you are serious, is to ask if you can be any more elitist? You are aware that roughly a third of American Adults have degrees, right? As you might of guessed, in rural America this number drops by quite a bit, and it's more like one in four, at best. You are incredibly dismissive of the majority of your fellow men and women.


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As for not being willing to work long, or hard, how does it work in your world, for those with no experience, no skill set, no training, and no post secondary education? I know many, many guys who are everything from highly paid execs. in the construction industry, to company owners, who started at the bottom. Shit hours, shit conditions, and a broom in their hand. I guess I would have to add myself to this list of success stories, the list of guys who started at the bottom and didn't value being a quitter as much as you do. When your are in my son's position, and you have seen a new employee perform for a year or two, being reliable, dependable and willing to be a team player, you know the answer when that guy approaches you and says, "I hear you are looking for equipment operators, how do I move up, and stay with this company". You do what it takes to keep him, and get him trained to climb the ladder. That's how the world works outside of degrees, certifications, linkedin profiles, job coaches, head hunters, and multiple interviews before being offered a position.

1st bolded part: There is a difference between a 1980's unskilled worker and a 2016 unskilled worker. The 1980's person might not have had a choice but, in 2016, only people that want to remain unskilled stay unskilled. You can draw your own conclusions on what happens when you draw from that pile (hint: you don't get good value).

Having entered the workforce in the 80's and having hired employees until recently, I guess we just don't agree on this. I had access to far cheaper secondary education, and a great deal of apprenticeship opportunities that are far more limited today. Maybe it's an anecdote VS. data argument, but there were a hell of a lot of opportunities available to high school grads when I entered that labor pool. Once again, your comments about remaining unskilled are sounding awfully elitist. One of the main issues I see in my rural area is the mistaken belief that following in your parent's footsteps is the right thing to do. " They did well, and I see no reason why I can't expect the same sucess, if I do the same thing". You and I know exactly how this logic is flawed, but I have seen it happen all too often to kids who threw a bring future away, since the family couldn't see the value of pushing their children to move out, and up. .

2nd:On me being a quitter? Lol. I guess you have to resort to insults when you don't have factual arguments?

Not an insult at all. It's a comment on your logic.  Remember this?

"Finally, the employer is trying to pay their employees as little as they can get away with. The corollary is that the employee will (or should) try to work as little as they can get away with."

So with no evidence that this situation involves THIS employer paying as "little as they can get away with" (in fact quite to the contrary, as the reality is a base rate of 133 to 220% of what some competitors are paying,  the highest base rate in the region, but why be swayed by facts, eh?) You council that an employee should use their inflated sense of self worth to justify doing as little as they can get away with. Fuck doing your job well, or being a valuable employee, or getting ahead in a company that is doubling in size, with tons of opportunity, just try to fuck them over by trying to do as little as you can get away with.  Sorry, but that pretty much DEFINES a quitter to me.  When I say that many of us became quite successful by starting with shit hours, shit pay, and a broom in our hands, it wasn't hyperbole. I had some real nasty jobs, and got my first real paycheck at 13 Y.O. Thankfully, I not only failed to follow your advice, I passed my values on to my kid. He started washing dishes in the local diner at 14 Y.O.  His mom and I recently got to speak to the owner of the diner. When I told him that our boy was an engineer who was a division head for large construction company, the guy actually got chocked up.  He sat down a minute, and then told us that our son was the hardest working kid he ever had in the kitchen. It was gratifying to hear, but it also confirms that at many levels the issue is cultural, and family based, not if you have a degree, or see yourself as superior to those that don't.
   


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Your final comment is ironic. Once value my kid's company has is, "we pay better than average, and expect better than average". In this case, they start unskilled laborers at 25% higher than competitors. They also walk away from jobs where their customers want them to cut costs, and the only way to do it is to battle with competitors that use minimum wage employees, or even undocumented workers. They don't want the bottom of the barrel on high risk job sites, wearing their company uniforms. Other companies wouldn't hesitate to hire monkeys, if they could make it work, and pay them a few bucks less. I'm not sure where your head is at when it comes to what  unskilled, uneducated and untrained new hires are worth, out there in fly-over country, but there are millions of men and women that would kill to make $16/HR with great health care and tons of overtime, if it was offered. The median family income in the region we are discussing is $43.4K a year. So with no college education, no trade skill training, and no prior experience, you could end up making the median family income for the area, working four 12 hour shifts a week. Yet it is a constant battle to find and retain qualified entry level help.

1st: If the company paid better than average, their prospects wouldn't be poached by the competition. Ergo, the company is (justly) trying to minimize the amount that they pay out to employees. Ask yourself this "If they paid 100$/hour, would they have trouble recruiting competent employees?" They wouldn't?! Well this comes back to an issue of market economics, not people being lazy.

2nd: Well, maybe they shouldn't pick from the bottom of the pile then.

3rd: Where are these millions of people when it comes time to fill the position? Elsewhere? Not interested? Why do you think that is (hint: compensation is not in line with work expectations) ?

 
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As you clearly state, this is an obvious case of an employer paying as little as possible, and as a result, when given that chance, the employee should try to do as little as possible to "stick it to the man". I gotta' give you credit here, you sure see the world a bit differently than I do. But then, I started at the bottom, never got a degree, operated two companies I founded, retired 15-20 years before my peers, and have more than I'll ever need, so don't ask me.

1st: It's not about "sticking it to the man" it's about business sense. Who would willingly sell their time for less than the maximum (or what they think is the maximum) that they can get for it? Businesses relocate out of the country, robotize the workforce, and minimize benefit so that they can maximize their profit. Why would it suddenly become unsavory for a worker to do the same?

2nd:So you did all that by working hard and then everything fell in your lap? No, you worked hard AND you tried to maximize your payout by capitalizing on opportunities. This is exactly what I am arguing for. You won't get a lot of these people by picking from the discard pile.

You are somehow fixated with YOUR theory that offering more pay will somehow energize the millions of those sitting on the sidelines. Those that simply will not engage in the labor force. I imagine that if you really research the issue, you will realise how flawed this logic is, for so many reasons. However, it doesn't matter if it's my deep experience on this topic, my son just starting to dive in, and learning to deal with all the headaches of attempting to successfully hire from the unskilled, entry level pool, or the thousands of HR pros. that try to keep everything from warehouses full of stock pickers, to asses in truck seats, you would hear the same response. Money is NOT the primary issue here. The unskilled, semi-skilled and entry level labor pool has got a ton of issues, and money is far from the biggest, and certainly isn't a magic cure that, as you beleive, will solve everything.

paddedhat

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2016, 07:37:06 PM »


Hmm. Can you afford to draw from the left side of the bell curve?

<snip>

Anyway, is there a chance that you can do as I do and cultivate the left side of the bell curve? If you don't need a lot in terms of brains and brawn, you can still find plenty of people with a work ethic and a desire for the kind of respect that comes from having long-term, full-time employment.

Thanks for the fascinating observations, and sharing your experiences with tenants, and those you know who are "employable outliers" LOL. Fortunately, I'm FIREd, and happily done with having employees. The initial post was of my son's recent foray into the field, and his education regarding the fact that offering relatively high pay for entry level positions, and his personal standards of performance, reliability, and even a basic desire to want do anything productive in exchange for a paycheck, are a hell of a lot less universal than he first assumed, LOL.

 He will be fine in the end. Once he weeds through the ones that  fail the drug tests, or wash out in the first few hours, he generally ends up retaining the majority for a reasonable tenure. Outliers are interesting though. The few ex-military guys he managed to recruit are outstanding, particularly when asked to take the new hires and get them up to speed. He also has a very young, probably genius level   guy who had an interesting story. He grew up on "wild cat" rigs that his father operated, by 18 YO he was operating his own rig. As the industry consolidated, and smaller played washed out, he was out of work. Nobody from the corporate world could wrap their heads around a kid, with no education, who claimed that he could drill multi-million dollar holes with the best of them. He is now teamed up with my son, and they have done some impressive, and off the wall stuff together. When they get tired of dealing with things like rented equipment with reliability issues, IE. big industrial pumps. They team up, tear them apart and figure out how to build better ones, then get it done. It's actually entertaining to follow their antics. A few years ago we were brainstorming about not being able to afford specialized equipment for a process that one company had quite a lock on. I told him of how the Chinese famously reverse engineer  product then become experts in manufacturing their own. He and his buddy then devoted major effort to getting the specialty contractor to tell them as much as they would divulge, then got that company's suppliers to fill in the blanks. They then built the machinery and can do the process on their own. Sorry but I can't get more specific than that.  Yep, there are some real interesting people out there............

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2016, 04:41:07 AM »
paddedhat, you have greatly increased the value of this thread to those reading.

human

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2016, 06:59:47 AM »
In my anectodal experience the handful of mellenials I've hired seem up to the task. I do work in the public sector though, not sure if that matters. My personal experience  has been that the worse someone's physical ailments and the worse off their personal life is (or just busy) their work and maybe work ethics becomes worse.

I have almost 15 years experience and manage a small team of about 20 now. Age and generation has nothing to do with it. The big difference is playing with phones older staff can't stand seeing youguns playing with phones, I couldn't give half a shit as long as they do the work.

Guses

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2016, 08:18:03 AM »

This is a fascinating, and at some level,  a very MMM forum specific problem. If there was a metric for "group think" regarding forum discourse, this place would be at the very high end of the chart. If everybody is of the same mindset and keeping in the herd, it's all good. If you have a different opinion, or strongly disagree with another poster, well that just doesn't work. Your input is either branded as a "rant", or you are get hit with comments like yours.  Personally, I find it childish and silly, and stunningly thin skinned. It's nothing personal, you may be a great guy, and we would get along swimmingly when we meet, who knows. But the "Take a deep breath" act is condescending, and unnecessary.

Condescension? No, you verbally assaulted me because of my opinion. I think I can tell you to take a deep breath without feeling self conscious about it.

Quote
This is a simple situation. I spent many decades, until very recently, employing a total of hundreds and hundreds of the kind of folks we are discussing, from laborers, and helpers to highly skilled tradesmen. My son is now doing the same. The issue is that nothing you claim, your facts, your economic theory of labor, or anything, can be found in my long history in the field, my discussions with others in my profession, or any current economic discussion on the topic. Be it as diverse as the continual hand wringing from the economic chattering class as they pontificate on why exactly, labor participation rates are at an all time low, or from the other end of the spectrum, real life accounts on how this segment of the population actually thinks, like the outstanding work of J.D. Vance in "Hillbilly Elegy".[/color]

Anecdotes.

Quote
There is no "maybe" about it. This IS the problem, and it is a very serious one. The specific issue is that you and I define "Above average work ethic and effort" based on our experience, and the measures we are familiar with in determining what is acceptable performance and output, based on being inside an organization that is succeeding, with you as a part of it.  Unfortunately, many at the bottom of the pool have wildly unrealistic expectations of what is reasonable, and quickly are viewed as suffering from entitlement delusions when you can actually pin them down as to what, in their opinion, is fair and reasonable. BTW, I have watch this build for decades, it's not, IMHO, a recent development, and it largely a result of cultural forces, not inherent laziness, or a lack of education.
 

Earlier, you agreed that this was a generational issue. Now you say it's cultural. I was responding to the former assertion.


Quote
Once again, totally assumptive on your part, and lacking any factual basis. I am discussing how difficult it is to recruit, and retain, entry level workers. YOU are the one that continually claims that this involves no legitimate vetting of candidates, and then attributes this to being one of the reasons for a lack of success.

A previous poster addressed this better than I could already. By definition, all entry positions have high turnover. Why would you stick in an entry job as you gain experience? You market value increase and you find a better paying job. This has nothing to do with entitlement.

 
Quote
Maybe I'm wrong, but there seem to be two ways to view this comment. The most charitable would be to write it off as an "off the cuff", trying to be funny, moment? The other, assuming you are serious, is to ask if you can be any more elitist? You are aware that roughly a third of American Adults have degrees, right? As you might of guessed, in rural America this number drops by quite a bit, and it's more like one in four, at best. You are incredibly dismissive of the majority of your fellow men and women.

Not trying to be funny. Not elitism. Just a realist. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/


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Having entered the workforce in the 80's and having hired employees until recently, I guess we just don't agree on this. I had access to far cheaper secondary education, and a great deal of apprenticeship opportunities that are far more limited today. Maybe it's an anecdote VS. data argument, but there were a hell of a lot of opportunities available to high school grads when I entered that labor pool. Once again, your comments about remaining unskilled are sounding awfully elitist. One of the main issues I see in my rural area is the mistaken belief that following in your parent's footsteps is the right thing to do. " They did well, and I see no reason why I can't expect the same sucess, if I do the same thing". You and I know exactly how this logic is flawed, but I have seen it happen all too often to kids who threw a bring future away, since the family couldn't see the value of pushing their children to move out, and up. .

There has never been a time, in human history, where knowledge is more accessible than now. I don't believe what you are saying is a relevant trend looking at employment holistically. Maybe it is factual where you live, but that does not really help in a broad discussion of an entire generation.


Quote
So with no evidence that this situation involves THIS employer paying as "little as they can get away with" (in fact quite to the contrary, as the reality is a base rate of 133 to 220% of what some competitors are paying,  the highest base rate in the region, but why be swayed by facts, eh?)


Just going on what you said yourself. Why were the good employees poached? Salary? Then I guess they don't pay 130-220% more than the competition.

They pay more than some other company? So what? They still pay less than the competition (i.e., those poaching the employees).


Quote
You council that an employee should use their inflated sense of self worth to justify doing as little as they can get away with. Fuck doing your job well, or being a valuable employee, or getting ahead in a company that is doubling in size, with tons of opportunity, just try to fuck them over by trying to do as little as you can get away with.  Sorry, but that pretty much DEFINES a quitter to me.


First, I don't council anything. Second, I don't care about your specific anecdote. I am talking about the employment trends across several generations.



Quote
When I say that many of us became quite successful by starting with shit hours, shit pay, and a broom in our hands, it wasn't hyperbole. I had some real nasty jobs, and got my first real paycheck at 13 Y.O. Thankfully, I not only failed to follow your advice, I passed my values on to my kid. He started washing dishes in the local diner at 14 Y.O.  His mom and I recently got to speak to the owner of the diner. When I told him that our boy was an engineer who was a division head for large construction company, the guy actually got chocked up.  He sat down a minute, and then told us that our son was the hardest working kid he ever had in the kitchen. It was gratifying to hear, but it also confirms that at many levels the issue is cultural, and family based, not if you have a degree, or see yourself as superior to those that don't.

Thank you for this anecdote.   


Quote
You are somehow fixated with YOUR theory that offering more pay will somehow energize the millions of those sitting on the sidelines. Those that simply will not engage in the labor force. I imagine that if you really research the issue, you will realise how flawed this logic is, for so many reasons. However, it doesn't matter if it's my deep experience on this topic, my son just starting to dive in, and learning to deal with all the headaches of attempting to successfully hire from the unskilled, entry level pool, or the thousands of HR pros. that try to keep everything from warehouses full of stock pickers, to asses in truck seats, you would hear the same response. Money is NOT the primary issue here. The unskilled, semi-skilled and entry level labor pool has got a ton of issues, and money is far from the biggest, and certainly isn't a magic cure that, as you beleive, will solve everything.

My theory is factual and backed by real data that show significant decline in real wages to "entry" level workers.

If you are aware of all those issues in the entry level pool. WHY THE FUCK are you still picking from that pool?

paddedhat

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2016, 02:08:52 PM »
Guses, You make it quite clear, to the point of absurdity, that you need to be correct, regardless of any real world experience, or useful  knowledge of the subject. Since you obviously need to be a winner, I can clearly say that you are. Economic realities, and frustrations when hiring are easily resolved by just applying your vast knowledge. How did we slip so far, as a nation, without you?  All of us that have, and will continue to struggle, while hiring the entry level and unskilled are obviously clueless morons, and could be superstars by applying your logic. Obviously, if any of us were smarter than a bag of rocks, we would immediately start to vet our prospects instead of randomly hiring idiots laying in the gutter, and we would increase their starting salaries by huge multipliers, since that's the REAL problem.  Hopefully you are white, and a billionaire, since the Trump administration desperately needs you to help us reach the dream of making America great again. Go get 'em Tiger, YOU are the man.


Oh, let me guess what's next. Why not respond with some drivel about "calming down" or " dude, why the rant?" then drone on, as you  pick and twist every word?  Hurry...... Everybody from the DOL on down, awaits your next valuable contribution...................

MrsPete

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2016, 08:10:48 PM »
As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   
When I was in high school, I wasn't really aware that everyone didn't try in school, but I suppose it was true.  I was at the top of the class and really thought everyone was doing his or her best; I thought some people's best just wasn't very good. 

I've been teaching almost 20 years now, and in that time I have seen a marked decrease in what our low-level students will do.  Used to be they'd show up to school and were pleasant and would do the easy work, balking at the more difficult assignments.  Today our lowest students -- when they can be bothered to come to school -- do absolutely nothing, in spite of lowered requirements and multiple choices.  It's all about the soccer trophy for every kid.
  Mrs. Pete, is there pressure to pass them anyway?
Pressure on me?  No. 

They're pulled out of mainstream classes 2-3 weeks before the end of the semester and put into a special program where they finish their classwork online.  They don't even have to read the questions to pass -- they just go through and answer A for every question, make a little list of the ones they missed, then go through and answer B, and within 15-20 minutes they've passed a unit.  They're allowed to work together too. 

I don't pass them; in fact, the whole question of passing is removed from my workload.  This special online program passes them.  We have some students who have passed all their core academic classes through this online program. 

Why?  Because if X % of our students don't pass, we look bad in terms of Race to the Top and other stats.  Yes, these students are still required to take their state exams (some fail them, some pass) ... but they have all As from their online program (the grades I give prior to the online program "disappear" when they're taken out of my class, as do their absences) ... so those As average in with the failing state test grade, and the students end up with a passing grade.  Incidentally, our state also just lowered the minimum passing grade from 70 to 60. 

No, things aren't good here.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 08:16:42 PM by MrsPete »

SwordGuy

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2016, 09:36:02 PM »
As for kids not trying, when I was in public school from 7th to 12th grade, I noticed that a very large proportion of the white middle class kids in school didn't apply themselves.   Very many of them did the absolute minimum necessary to get by.   Quite a few couldn't even be bothered to do even that.

I've seen nothing in popular culture that has led me to believe anything has changed for the better.   In fact, people of my generation who were parents made it worse because a lot of them attacked the teachers instead of disciplining their kids.   

That's my take.   That's not "old geezer saying the youngsters are worthless."  That's old geezer saying a lot of his own generation were slackers at learning life's lessons and probably still are.   And that a lot of his own generation were lousy parents, too

My wife is a university professor.   A lot of her students don't bother to read the material.  They do the minimum necessary amount of work to get by.  And, quite a few of them can't be bothered to do that either.    That's pretty much the consensus among a lot of teachers and professors I've known over the years.   
When I was in high school, I wasn't really aware that everyone didn't try in school, but I suppose it was true.  I was at the top of the class and really thought everyone was doing his or her best; I thought some people's best just wasn't very good. 

I've been teaching almost 20 years now, and in that time I have seen a marked decrease in what our low-level students will do.  Used to be they'd show up to school and were pleasant and would do the easy work, balking at the more difficult assignments.  Today our lowest students -- when they can be bothered to come to school -- do absolutely nothing, in spite of lowered requirements and multiple choices.  It's all about the soccer trophy for every kid.
  Mrs. Pete, is there pressure to pass them anyway?
Pressure on me?  No. 

They're pulled out of mainstream classes 2-3 weeks before the end of the semester and put into a special program where they finish their classwork online.  They don't even have to read the questions to pass -- they just go through and answer A for every question, make a little list of the ones they missed, then go through and answer B, and within 15-20 minutes they've passed a unit.  They're allowed to work together too. 

I don't pass them; in fact, the whole question of passing is removed from my workload.  This special online program passes them.  We have some students who have passed all their core academic classes through this online program. 

Why?  Because if X % of our students don't pass, we look bad in terms of Race to the Top and other stats.  Yes, these students are still required to take their state exams (some fail them, some pass) ... but they have all As from their online program (the grades I give prior to the online program "disappear" when they're taken out of my class, as do their absences) ... so those As average in with the failing state test grade, and the students end up with a passing grade.  Incidentally, our state also just lowered the minimum passing grade from 70 to 60. 

No, things aren't good here.

I completely believe you.

About 30 years ago we had a friend in Alabama who was involved in a state program to train long term unemployed how to get a job.  The curricula was highly focused on things like "Um.  Take a bath and wear clean clothes for the interview."  Yes, that basic.   This was a program attempting to train the bottom of the bottom to get jobs.   And these were apparently hard lessons to learn, too.

The program had a 90% failure rate.

90 out of every 100 people who went thru the program failed to get a job.

Even in state government, a 90% failure rate is considered awful.  So they got together and changed how they did things.  A year later, they now had a 90% success rate.

Pretty awesome turnaround, eh?

Care to learn what they did to turn things around?

They instituted a "training pre-test".  Anyone who failed the pre-test was considered, by definition, to be un-educatable.  Since those people were un-educatable no one could reasonably expect them to be trained, so they were not admitted to the program.

So, let's go thru the numbers.

The old program:

100 students.
10 jobs.

New program.

100 applicants.
10 students.
9 jobs.

Yep, 90% success rate and 10% fewer people had jobs.   But the program was now successful.

Our friend, who worked there, was not very happy about it.

I completely believe that many of our public education systems are chock full of this kind of deceit.


MrsPete

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2016, 07:18:34 AM »
I completely believe you.

About 30 years ago we had a friend in Alabama who was involved in a state program to train long term unemployed how to get a job.  The curricula was highly focused on things like "Um.  Take a bath and wear clean clothes for the interview."  Yes, that basic.   This was a program attempting to train the bottom of the bottom to get jobs.   And these were apparently hard lessons to learn, too.

The program had a 90% failure rate.

90 out of every 100 people who went thru the program failed to get a job.

Even in state government, a 90% failure rate is considered awful.  So they got together and changed how they did things.  A year later, they now had a 90% success rate.

Pretty awesome turnaround, eh?

Care to learn what they did to turn things around?

They instituted a "training pre-test".  Anyone who failed the pre-test was considered, by definition, to be un-educatable.  Since those people were un-educatable no one could reasonably expect them to be trained, so they were not admitted to the program.

So, let's go thru the numbers.

The old program:

100 students.
10 jobs.

New program.

100 applicants.
10 students.
9 jobs.

Yep, 90% success rate and 10% fewer people had jobs.   But the program was now successful.

Our friend, who worked there, was not very happy about it.

I completely believe that many of our public education systems are chock full of this kind of deceit.
Yes, while your details vary from mine, I see this concept all the time. 

I also have no problem believing that some adults as so poorly-aware of job skills that they genuinely don't know they should take a bath and wear clean clothing to job interviews.  It makes me think of a story I heard from a friend about a teenager who was going to have to go to court for something.  His probation officer prepped him for the day, explaining to him and his mom that he should get a haircut, take a shower, wear clothes that were neat and presentable.  He showed up in a brand-new tee-shirt emblazened with a pot symbol on the front.  His mom couldn't understand how that shirt hurt him and why things had gone against him in court:  It was a brand-new shirt, and isn't that what the probation officer had counciled? 

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2016, 08:54:09 AM »
Mrs. Pete,

Your post (responding to my question) is so depressing.

I have heard somewhat similar stories to yours from teachers here in my state (although not quite as extreme as what you wrote, more of a "pressured to pass them").  Frankly, that is fraud.  I am wondering how so many get away with such systematic fraud?  Are there no whistleblowers?  Even the teachers that have spoken to me locally will never speak publicly for fear of career repercussions.

How do we fix this?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 09:11:26 AM by Malum Prohibitum »

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2016, 09:10:51 AM »
I have a similar story to share.  It is close to home. 

One of my children is extremely bright, gifted classes, but lazy.  I hate to admit that, but it is true.  He quite simply refused to learn algebra (he was in the "gifted" algebra class).  I did not know there was a problem until several weeks in, and I did what I could to rectify the situation.  I purchased an old textbook, I had him work online, and so on . . . we spent several hours a day going over things. 

He was fighting me every step of the way.

He failed the class.

When I told him he was going to have to retake the class, he smiled and confidently asserted that he had not failed the class.  As I explained his dismal grade to him, he countered with a statement that "they" told him his is going to take a test online, and it will bump his overall test score by 20 points so that he passes (maybe this is something similar to what Mrs. Pete was describing?).

My anger burned within me, but I tried to stay calm as I told him that would not be happening.  He seemed shocked and did not understand, telling me this is the way the school does it.

So over the weeks off at Christmas we spend two hours daily in the algebra textbook, starting at page 1.

On the first day of school, when there was somebody available to answer the phone, I calmly informed them that they would give my son only the grade he had earned and deserved, which is an F.  This started a three week long fight with the administration.  They quite simply did NOT want to fail him but pass him on as if he had learned the stuff in the course.  I explained over and over that the Christmas break had taught me that my son did not know even the most basic algebra concepts at the beginning of the book.

Finally they agreed to fail him and put him in another algebra class (the "advanced" instead of "gifted," whatever that means).

But the lady who did the assignments held a grudge and waited until the class was a month old before my son could start, and even this was only because of my daily pestering and working my way up the chain of command.

Thankfully, the delay did not hurt him, as I continued working with him in the textbook daily so that he was ahead of where the class was when he started.

The shock of failing woke him up.  He, all of a sudden, was getting straight As in the course and actually studying.  Unfortunately, this lasted only for the first half of the semester, when he figured out his grade was so close to 100 that he could just "cruise" the rest of the semester.  His grade started a long, slow slide until the end of the class, when he ended up with a B still (due to rampant grade inflation).

Even now, he turns in classwork late constantly.  The teachers grade it even three weeks late and give him a score of 100%.  What the hell is that lesson going to do for him later in life?

 He gets pretty much straight Bs with no effort.  If a grade drops to a C he tries a little harder for a while until it is a B again and then starts coasting.  He will not try hard enough to get an overall A.  It seems when a course does have an A grade he starts coasting in that course. It's like an A is a signal to start being lazy again.

The punishments I have created seem to have no effect.  Only the F had an effect, and even that lasted only for the first half of the next semester, until he figured out he could pass with an above average score without really trying (hey, EVERYBODY is above average).

For my son, if they would grade things without grade inflation and hold students accountable for late scores, I think he would perform to a much higher standard.

Having run into such animosity, however, for insisting that they fail him in algebra, it made me scared to insist that these teachers hold students to a higher standard.  I truly fear they would resent it and take their resentment out on my son in whatever petty ways they could.

mm1970

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2016, 10:53:57 AM »
<snip>
So, let's go thru the numbers.

The old program:

100 students.
10 jobs.

New program.

100 applicants.
10 students.
9 jobs.

Yep, 90% success rate and 10% fewer people had jobs.   But the program was now successful.

Our friend, who worked there, was not very happy about it.

I completely believe that many of our public education systems are chock full of this kind of deceit.

I have to think about this when people talk about success in education - things like how *great* charter schools are, etc.

Now, while the rules vary location to location and school to school - OFTEN private schools and charter schools are able to *select* their students.

So, it is no surprise when charter schools succeed and do better than public schools, if they are able to select their students based on an entrance exam, ability to volunteer a certain # of hours a week, etc.  Public schools, for the most part, can not turn away students.

mm1970

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2016, 10:56:28 AM »
I have a similar story to share.  It is close to home. 

One of my children is extremely bright, gifted classes, but lazy.  I hate to admit that, but it is true.  He quite simply refused to learn algebra (he was in the "gifted" algebra class).  I did not know there was a problem until several weeks in, and I did what I could to rectify the situation.  I purchased an old textbook, I had him work online, and so on . . . we spent several hours a day going over things. 

He was fighting me every step of the way.

He failed the class.

When I told him he was going to have to retake the class, he smiled and confidently asserted that he had not failed the class.  As I explained his dismal grade to him, he countered with a statement that "they" told him his is going to take a test online, and it will bump his overall test score by 20 points so that he passes (maybe this is something similar to what Mrs. Pete was describing?).

My anger burned within me, but I tried to stay calm as I told him that would not be happening.  He seemed shocked and did not understand, telling me this is the way the school does it.

So over the weeks off at Christmas we spend two hours daily in the algebra textbook, starting at page 1.

On the first day of school, when there was somebody available to answer the phone, I calmly informed them that they would give my son only the grade he had earned and deserved, which is an F.  This started a three week long fight with the administration.  They quite simply did NOT want to fail him but pass him on as if he had learned the stuff in the course.  I explained over and over that the Christmas break had taught me that my son did not know even the most basic algebra concepts at the beginning of the book.

Finally they agreed to fail him and put him in another algebra class (the "advanced" instead of "gifted," whatever that means).

But the lady who did the assignments held a grudge and waited until the class was a month old before my son could start, and even this was only because of my daily pestering and working my way up the chain of command.

Thankfully, the delay did not hurt him, as I continued working with him in the textbook daily so that he was ahead of where the class was when he started.

The shock of failing woke him up.  He, all of a sudden, was getting straight As in the course and actually studying.  Unfortunately, this lasted only for the first half of the semester, when he figured out his grade was so close to 100 that he could just "cruise" the rest of the semester.  His grade started a long, slow slide until the end of the class, when he ended up with a B still (due to rampant grade inflation).

Even now, he turns in classwork late constantly.  The teachers grade it even three weeks late and give him a score of 100%.  What the hell is that lesson going to do for him later in life?

 He gets pretty much straight Bs with no effort.  If a grade drops to a C he tries a little harder for a while until it is a B again and then starts coasting.  He will not try hard enough to get an overall A.  It seems when a course does have an A grade he starts coasting in that course. It's like an A is a signal to start being lazy again.

The punishments I have created seem to have no effect.  Only the F had an effect, and even that lasted only for the first half of the next semester, until he figured out he could pass with an above average score without really trying (hey, EVERYBODY is above average).

For my son, if they would grade things without grade inflation and hold students accountable for late scores, I think he would perform to a much higher standard.

Having run into such animosity, however, for insisting that they fail him in algebra, it made me scared to insist that these teachers hold students to a higher standard.  I truly fear they would resent it and take their resentment out on my son in whatever petty ways they could.

Ugh.  I don't know what to tell you.  My 10 year old is very bright and a *little* lazy. I hope it doesn't come to this.

Guses

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2016, 11:17:04 AM »
Ugh.  I don't know what to tell you.  My 10 year old is very bright and a *little* lazy. I hope it doesn't come to this.

I don't know if it works the same way in the sates, but here in Canada, the size of classes went up significantly over time and the variance of intellectual capacity within a class is also fairly wide. They call it "nivellement vers le bas".

Students that are fast learners often get bored because the class pace is not enough to keep them interested. I can see how "laziness" could come out in such an environment.

ender

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Re: Warning! The American Dream is Dead for Millenials!!
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2016, 12:27:51 PM »
I also have no problem believing that some adults as so poorly-aware of job skills that they genuinely don't know they should take a bath and wear clean clothing to job interviews.  It makes me think of a story I heard from a friend about a teenager who was going to have to go to court for something.  His probation officer prepped him for the day, explaining to him and his mom that he should get a haircut, take a shower, wear clothes that were neat and presentable.  He showed up in a brand-new tee-shirt emblazened with a pot symbol on the front.  His mom couldn't understand how that shirt hurt him and why things had gone against him in court:  It was a brand-new shirt, and isn't that what the probation officer had counciled?

I had a friend who basically had parents who were completely absent from his life.

He didn't realize things like this either, because for the first 20 years of his life he had nearly no positive "how to work in a middle class environment" experience.