Every millennial at my company works 60-80 hours a week, and that's half the workforce.
They get fired pretty often for not doing things they don't even get paid to do, and grilled constantly about many things. Some suspect it's just so that management has something to fire them for. I don't understand why management in America has gone this way, but I'm talking about people growing sales not 5% or 10%, but 15%, 20%, 30% and getting written up over trivialities. An old vet got a trophy for employee of the year month 1 and was fired month 2 for not visiting, weekly, an account that ordered something once or twice a year (so he was told). Few expect to make a career out of their, uh, careers, at least in my age bracket, because "human resources" are so rampantly undervalued. I don't mean hard workers aren't desired. They get fired more slowly (after they burn out from being always demanded more more more irrespective of results). That's not the same as "valued," though. I greatly admire and respect everyone who started their own businesses with a goal of doing well by their employees. I wish, however, that was more common.
We also have a real problem passing people who shouldn't pass in schools, who learn that everything works out whether they try or not, and then many work environments are the opposite extreme. It's like being screamed at "YOU'RE AN INFINITELY SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE!" for 12-16 years and then being screamed at "YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL IN ANY WAY AND WE WILL REPLACE YOU LIKE A HURRICANE REPLACES COWS!" immediately thereafter.
Can you imagine how confusing it is to live life that way? How ill-suited the product of one is the for the other's world? Is this on the "lazy" kids or the adults teaching them? We say we don't want this environment but once Junior gets an F the parents climb into the Humvee and parallel park by the front door to lay down the rules about their perfect angels.
Then we have a real problem telling our hard workers they have no right to expect good rewards for hard work. It's great that tech pays well but not everybody is in tech. No, you can't just "switch to tech then" because the more switch to tech, the more who are trying will get rejected, and those still have bills to pay. It needs to be ok that not everyone is a tech genius.
The drumbeat of American schools is that you work hard and go to college so you don't work at Starbucks. Then you graduate and you're at a Starbucks and you're a bit confused, sad, scared maybe even, disappointed perhaps. It's not a horrendous job by any means, but yet, literally all your mentors said this was the terrible thing to work hard to avoid. It doesn't hurt to pick up a college salary, but no one talks about the unemployment rates of college grads. Then the "adults" mock these people for having no work ethic when they seem down about their Starbucks job that they worked hard to avoid by doing what they were told. These kids were taught to be down about the jobs they got.
So after years of 5 hours of homework a night, you may wind up pretty pissed about it all, or maybe you won't even do the work in the first place. Most on this forum get good returns from their labor, I would think, but it's myopic to not realize a merit scholarship won is 8-100 more students who didn't win who have to do something else. A business started and successful is one of many more that failed. Those people still exist and still have bills to pay.
There should be a searchable database with DoL figures showing how many job openings are estimated in a field, how many degrees were awarded that year IN THAT FIELD, and starter salaries for those fields, and a notice should be given with all college application paperwork on how to access that database. We would have far fewer philosophy and ancient history majors, and far fewer shellshocked graduates working at Starbucks. Then we could stop throwing lower-wage jobs under the bus in high-school, and teach finance and the risks and rewards of higher education (dependent on major), and decouple school funding from college-bound student-counts so we could occasionally mention carpentry or plumbing, too.