Generation Y (also known as Gen Ys or Millenniums) is a current label for those born between 1981 and 1998, give or take a few years. Most Gen Ys are children of Baby Boomers (born between 1950 and1965), with some being the offspring of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979). Gen Ys are described as yet another “Me” generation.
Newspaper and magazine writers, television commentators, bloggers, and academicians tend to describe Gen Ys as coddled and pampered by their parents, mobile, “tech savvy”, uncaring, self-centered, narcissistic, undisciplined, lacking religious understanding, and entitlement demanding.
Gen Ys say they are more diversity-oriented, global-thinking, skeptical of all establishment (political, religious, social, family), and reliant on social media.
Critics conclude that Gen Ys face a rude awakening should the nation’s financial stability collapse and the national debt land on their shoulders. Such a collapse could well be linked to the uncomfortable alternatives of a looming immigration dilemma.
Gen Ys consist of equal numbers of males and females in the United States, and the third of Gen Ys who are Hispanic express more empathy for illegal immigrants than do their elders. While Hispanic Gen Ys tout an open-door immigration policy with no sovereign borders for the United States, they defend the sovereignty of their own native lands.
As a group, they believe in multiculturalism and favor the one-world view of many Democrats. Many Hispanic Gen Ys are immigrants (legal and illegal) who were born elsewhere but educated in the United States. From their teachers, they learn that immigrants are entitled to U.S. citizenship and that the USA is not an exceptional nation.
Among defenders and promoters of the nation’s exceptionalism are those U.S. businesses that welcome legal immigrants with advanced degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). STEM immigrants, they contend, should be fast-tracked with visas. Gen Ys agree but contend that the uneducated also deserve visas and U.S. citizenship.
Many hear from their parents, their teachers, and the U.S. government that all are entitled to federal handouts. At the same time, Gen Ys (citizens and non-citizens alike) face the hard reality of unemployment and underemployment regardless of education level, a hard reality rarely addressed in universities.
In 2008, Gen Ys voted solidly (67 percent) for President Barack Obama, believing what the candidate said — that they were entitled to change. In 2012, Gen Ys as a group handed Obama about 62 percent of their vote despite the unpromising job market that forces them to live at home with their parents.
Hispanic Gen Ys, however, gave Obama 74 percent of their vote, even though the president failed to deliver on comprehensive immigration reform. Despite the recession, Gen Ys hold onto their sense of entitlement and their belief in the Obama promises to provide for them, even if it bankrupts the nation.
Gen Ys choose not to acknowledge the coming financial tsunami, even with 53 percent of recent college and graduate school grads unemployed or underemployed. Even with a third of them still living at home, they want so badly to believe that Obama will deliver on his promises that they fail to see the facts before them.
Meanwhile, clear-thinking economists explain that in the next 10 years, the nation will witness the disappearance of middle-income and middle-management jobs for Gen Ys of all nationalities and educational levels. Clinging to their high expectations, Gen Ys refuse to accept the federal government’s fiscal irresponsibility along with the president’s broken promises.
With illegal immigration numbers on the rise again, after five years of decline, the current draw is sadly federal entitlements, not jobs. It is not surprising then that poverty levels also are on the rise. The Gen Y poverty rate is above the national average, while the poverty rate of female Gen Ys is even higher.
The Obama administration responds by requesting more federal monies for unemployment compensation and social welfare programs that create more big government dependents. Gen Ys, male and female, continue to endorse Obama handouts, even as the national debt approaches $20 trillion.
In December 2012, the news media reported that current U.S. population growth is the result of increased births among immigrants (legal and illegal) with a number of Hispanic Gen Ys among them. Meanwhile, U.S. citizen births decline.
Hispanic Gen Ys tend to be active on social media, especially where the Spanish language is predominant. They admit to trusting news delivered in their native language on Hispanic stations more than news on English language stations — a sign of non-assimilation.
The nation’s demographics are changing at lightning speed that feeds an immigration dilemma in which Hispanic Gen Ys play a major role. Will this demographic change ultimately result in assimilation or balkanization?
As taxes rise to pay for government entitlements, Gen Ys of all ethnic backgrounds will have to face the facts — Uncle Sam cannot indefinitely spend more than he has.
James H. Walsh was associate general counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1983 to 1994. Read more reports from James Walsh — Click Here Now.
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