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The kids are fine

Criticizing young people is a tradition as old as Aristotle.


The Greek philosopher – probably between sips of wine from an earthenware jug – had this to say in the 4th century BC: “Young people have exalted notions because they have not yet been humbled by life. … Moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them believe themselves equal to great things.”

These days, many alums are talking about Tide Pods and Justin Bieber and so-called sneaky licks. Millennials, she scoffs, are out of work and overly sensitive and don’t know the value of hard work.

Certainly, there are young people today who fit these stereotypes. Just as there were hipsters, punks, hippies, bobby-soxers and flappers who also embodied the frivolity of youth.

But we’re here to say that we’re constantly impressed by the courage of the rising generations – who are often lumped together under the umbrella of the “millennium” when we’re really talking about several distinct groups of people.

First, let’s deflate the myth of the lazy millennial.

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, teen employment has risen steadily since 2009 – incidentally, the end of the Great Recession – to almost 33%. As The Washington Post has pointed out, this increase (and a previous decline in teen employment) has occurred amid the evaporation of entry-level jobs, growing competition with older people and immigrants and the rigors of higher education.

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