Granted that this post is part of a lasing medium, but Elizabeth Nolan Brown gives us an article with a mildly optimistic title:
- Millennials Not Quite as Pathetic as Everyone Thinks (Reason Hit & Run)
(Hat tip: Coyote Blog.)
For the better part of a decade now, folks have been fretting about “boomerang” kids, the 20- and sometimes 30-something children of boomers who’ve come flocking back to their parents’ nests under the duress of a poor economy.
The dire pronouncements tend to be based on U.S. Census Bureau data, which does show an increasing number of young adults—more than half of those under 25, according to the most recent data—to be living with their parents. But Derek Thompson at The Atlantictears through this gloomy prognosis with one simple fact: The Census counted students who live on college campuses as living in their parents’ homes.
That almost makes me want to start reading The Atlantic again. Then again, I’ve been pretty happy since I stopped. Let’s roll with happy.
Even this isn’t quite as scary—or at least not as singularly scary for young adults—when you put it into perspective. When (if) the job market improves, young adults will likely have an easier time slipping back into it than their older counterparts simply by virtue of being younger and cheaper, said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding management and consulting firm.
Meanwhile millennials are only barely less employed than Gen X’ers, who make up 37 percent of unemployed Americans. The oldest Gen X’ers turn 50 next year, while the youngest hover around age 35. This is the generation in the prime of their “prime earning years.” Whither the concern for Gen X everybody?
I submit that “concern for Gen X”, much like “concern for Gen Y”, is being expressed in minimum wage increases, or advocacy therefor. It ‘s after all pretty cheap for currently-employed Boomers to demand that new hires be paid more, even though this leads to fewer new hires under the drearily predictable logic of simple division. Because I’m sure I’ll need to spell it out, here goes: If I’m an employer with a budget of $T to spend on new hires, and the minimum wage is $k, I will hire at most n = floor(T/k) people. Increase k and n decreases, unless you somehow manage to increase T. Any minimum-wage doves want to go publicly all-in on subsidizing big business?
(I’ll note in passing, because I haven’t been enough of a nerd yet today, that all three of those terms should be parameterized with respect to time. Under what assumptions does it make sense to increase $T(t) to compensate for an increase in $k(t)? What do those assumptions imply about current restrictive immigration policies? Please show your work; you should be able to use LaTeX to mark up integrals.)