Tags: Krugman | Wasting | Minds | Generation

Krugman: Stop Wasting the Minds of a Generation

By    |   Monday, 30 Apr 2012 12:00 PM

A mind is a terrible thing to waste; wasting the minds of a whole generation is even more terrible, economist Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times. Yet, that is direction in which things are moving.

Young people have been especially hard hit by the global economic crisis. Unemployment and underemployment among them are reaching alarming levels.

Joblessness among Americans age 18 to 29, also know as the Millennials, is at the highest levels since the Labor Department started keeping records, the Washington Times recently reported.

Editor's Note: Wall Street Insider: The System Is Rigged

Higher education is supposed to be a key to better opportunities. But, in many cases young people are finding out the hard way that this simply isn't the case. A degree may not present any opportunities at all.

Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies, outlined the problem in a manner similar to Krugman. “Simply put, we're failing kids coming out of college,” he told the Associated Press, emphasizing when it comes to jobs, a college major can make all the difference.

“We need a lot better job growth and connection to the labor market otherwise college debt will grow.”

Krugman says students manage to get an education “all too often do by incurring a lot of debt,” but what's even more disheartening is that “they'll be graduating into an economy that doesn't seem to want them.”

“College graduates then are taking it on the chin thanks to the weak economy. And research tells us that the price isn't temporary: students who graduate into a bad economy never recover the lost ground. Instead, their earnings are depressed for life,” writes Krugman.

In many cases when young people with degrees do find jobs, they are either working in low-skilled positions that they spent massive amounts in tuition to avoid or they struggle to get full time positions.

Millennials' struggles in the labor market have a wide range of adverse effects. Dreams such as home ownerships and starting a family may have to be delayed or be out reach. Many remain heavily dependent on aging parents thereby impacting baby boomer retirement plans. But, Krugman points out that the effects extend beyond the individual or even the family.

Remember, the young aren't just the future; they're the future of the tax base too, he wrote in the New York Times.

Editor's Note: Wall Street Insider: The System Is Rigged



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