Not so many people should be going to college.
As much as I’ve grown accustomed to the liberal mindset that money-grubbing companies are the reason college grad millennials can’t get work, I concede that it’s more complicated than that. (For the record, I do NOT have a middle class job).
As much as my generation would like to blame the Old Economy Stevens (our parents’ generation) for closing the door of opportunity behind them, we need to acknowledge that there’s more to it than “dey terk err jeerbs”.
First, there are just plain too many of us. Please don’t deny it. As time goes on, automation and technology are supposed to reduce the need for human components in assembly lines, stores, businesses, etc. Sounds good, but where do all those people go who once worked in some particular job that is now being done by a robotic arm, or a self-checkout lane at the grocery store, or a computer program? The answer is nowhere. They’re not needed anymore. In an ideal world, that person would just vanish off the face of the earth, but they don’t. So they have to adapt to survive. Since humans still have to work for a living, they either have to take a different kind of menial work, or else they have to better their skill set.
Second, too many of us are college educated. No, I’m not discriminating against people with crap degrees like English, History, and Womens’ Studies, (although those and others like them truly are a waste of time and money in an increasingly competitive society), I mean there are too many college graduates out there period. Fifty years ago, going to college was something special (and not because it cost so much. It cost less than it does today). Nowadays, everyone does it. In fact, everyone is kind of expected to do it. The world of jobs runs as a function of supply and demand as well. Since there’s an overabundance of supply (kids with college degrees), the demand goes down, because demands for new-hires, etc are already being met and then some. So businesses start getting very picky about who they hire.
The world is bigger than you and your collective cries for employment and prosperity, and such a cry runs counter to the flow of technological advancement. Yes, wealth is horribly unequally distributed, but at the same time, using legislation/etc to force businesses to pay higher wages doesn’t mean an ocean of new jobs is going to suddenly spill forth from their loosened Swiss bank accounts. Those jobs are GONE. They’ve been made obsolete. You can try to bring some of the outsourced ones home from overseas, but more and more, machinery is replacing the need for skilled and unskilled labor. While you might recover some customer assistance phone-line job from New Delhi, that doesn’t mean it’ll be there forever, or even the next 10 years as society advances and technology improves. A.I. is big, and one day soon, those annoying automated robots you talk to over the phone lines might actually be smart enough to solve your problem without speaking to a real live person at all.
“Back in the day,” there weren’t just more jobs because the jobs hadn’t been outsourced yet. There were more jobs overall because automation hadn’t taken effect. Yes, we’ve had other, new kinds of jobs spring up over the years (most pertaining to computers), and more jobs overall have also been created via economic growth, but the problem remains, until the human race decides to stop breeding like rabbits, there will always be more people than jobs available to them, no matter how many socialistic regulations we try to impose to force companies to hire more people. Increasing wages is one thing, but job “creation” is a whole other animal.
You don’t like the cutthroat business practices of companies today? Start a worker-owned cooperative. But don’t go to college, get a degree in “political science” and then complain when you have to work an $8/hr job for the next six years before finally giving up on your dream to be a politician.
I myself am doing exactly that. I have a BA in History and don’t have anything else to go with it. No curator emphasis. No teaching credential. No PhD. No JD. No library-science degree. Nothing. I’m now going back to school to pursue something more in-demand and esoteric. I acknowledge my mistake of college degree choice, and not a day goes by I don’t wish I could go back and fix it.
So bottom line… Pro Tips:
1. Don’t have kids.
2. Don’t go to college unless you’re getting something you pretty much KNOW will lead to a job once you get out. Do some research before you start college and try to “find yourself” while in schooling.
3. For god’s sake, don’t have kids. You think competition for work is bad right now? Imagine what it’ll be like for your kid 30 years from now. You’ll both be fighting for the same job opening. It’s already happening in some places.