Hanne Lore

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How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis?

Who is going to pay the longterm debts of the crisis? I strongly believe that many young people are/will be fed up with paying the price in the end. We are fed up with being called the 'lost generation'. If we are lost, why don't you save us?

  • Oct 26 2011: "If we are lost, why don't you save us?" Interesting closing - and its shows the disconnect between what America has always stood for and many Americans today. America represents a land of freedom where one can, by their own willpower and hard work, make their life better. Its not easy. For Americans to be shifting away from the concept of individual accomplishment being meaningful is a big change. It shouldn't be a question of what responsibilities the federal government has toward anyone - but instead of the American people's responsibility to say 'government get out of our way'. America's success has NEVER been in her government - but in her government's constitutional restrictions to stay out of its people's way and let them take care of themselves and in turn, one another. That is why she is a land of opportunity, and that is what we are very much at risk of loosing
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      Oct 26 2011: Well put. I could not agree more.
    • Oct 26 2011: Alright, but when every bank in the country steals your savings to pay its executives I'll be standing here saying "I told you so".

      It's not laziness. It's justice.
      • Oct 27 2011: Hi Addison - can you please help me understand what you mean by 'Its justice."?
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        Oct 27 2011: Name one bank that has stolen anyone's savings?

        You can't. Even if your bank went underwater, your savings are still available to you. Any monies that were held on your behalf that the bank can't pay out of capital are insured up to the FDIC limit. Monies beyond the limit that may be lost to you were still not stolen.

        Money that has been invested, rather than placed in savings, has always been at risk. When you purchase a stock, bond, mutual fund, swaption, puts, futures, CDO's or any other financial instrument you are putting your capital at risk in exchange for the opportunity of appreciation or a future income stream.

        Your anger at the outsized paychecks of some lucky few people in finance is ill-informed and misplaced.

        This comming from someone who lost 90% of their investments by listening to a big banks advice just prior to the dot com collapse. They didn't steal my money, they encouraged me to make bad decisions which they earned fees on. The near total loss was due to the bad investment itself. I have since educated myself and have survived the great recession quite well.
        • Oct 28 2011: 1997 an employee of wels fargo embezzled a few millions dollars. The action started by skimming .0001 cent from everyone's 401k through a company in Portland Oregon called CNF. When that individual was faced with being caught he hurriedly crashed through account after account taking 20 years worth of 401k deductions in some cases, others were a little luckier. Now i realize this is not just a standard checking account, but those founds were never recovered. Wels Fargo did however send out apology letters headed nicely with beautiful stationary ...
        • Oct 28 2011: Oh come on, surely you've heard of the great depression? the FDIC doesn't have enough money to cover everyone.

          Think this is unlikely? It almost happened in 2008. They injected hundreds of billion in an attempt to stop the mass withdrawals and it was sucked up in a matter of hours. They had to shut the whole works down and reopen it the next day when everyone had calmed down. All caused, of course, by people who know better but are too damn greedy to care.
        • Nov 8 2011: The Fed reserve just gave 16 trillion to bail out banks, that money was OUR tax money, it was not theirs to give, thats stealing
    • Oct 28 2011: One of the issues with this conversation is the idea that there is no longer an equal playing field when it comes to the ability to find ones own way or work toward the "american dream".
      Certain injustices' need to be addressed about how we can achieve our dreams. How are corporations allowed to claim bankruptcy steal pensions from workers and reward top management with millions in golden parachutes? Why are Bank bailouts Paid for by the public used in this same way? We aided the Banks in this to save or serve the greater good.
      there are safeguards in place that aid us in time of need to serve the greater good as well. Medicaid medicare etc. and these institutions are under attack in this time of uncertainty undermining our trust in the "greater good contract we have as american citizens.
      100 years ago about 80% of the population was self employed and now about 20% are self employed. So corporation's have grown to a massive scale and control more of the government than we the people do. They have changed the rules and the landscape, and receive preferred treatment due to their economic power.
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    Nov 2 2011: I begin with these fundamental facts; (1) all human beings are not created equal. Some are healthy, others are not, etc., etc., etc. (2) Not one single human being was asked to be born. (3) Not one single human being asked to be born into their particular situation, biologically, historically, economically or otherwise.

    As a result I believe a role gov't should play is as a facilitator for its' citizens. Not just for corporations. A facilitator who provides opportunities so each and every citizen can be the best they can be. Contribute to their society. Lead a fulfilling life.
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      Nov 4 2011: Indeed. Well put. I think a good start to this is to make lobbying illegal again, and end corporate personhood. That would do well in limiting the influence of corporation on policy, as well as limiting the benefits which are afforded to corporations at sometimes a great expense to everyone else. It doesn't address everything you've stated, but I think it's a start.
    • Nov 8 2011: I very much so agree.with you Manuel. its simple and to the point. I didnt ask to be born but im here now. Regulate big buisness trickle down theory doesnt work throw it out the window take back the money the rich bastards have in their bank that was ment for their workers. and oh my goodness the economy bounces back because every1 has money. wierd how that works
  • Oct 26 2011: http://gizmodo.com/5851062/generation-x-is-sick-of-your-bullshit

    See this article. This is what GenX thinks about the whiny generation of 18-29 year olds. You will have no sympathy from GenX.

    I've personally been through two recessions and was laid off 3 months into my first job out of college (2001). The dot com bust hit me hard. I didn't sit around asking what the government was going to do for me. I didn't bring my parents to my job interviews. Nor, did I expect anyone to GIVE me anything, like a spoiled brat.

    I went out and hit the pavement looking for a job. I called every company I could find and attended every job fair in a 100 mile radius. I did all this while still having to PAY MY debts of student loans.

    So, how do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis? I don't think the government has any responsibility here.

    "If we are lost, why don't you save us?" Why doesn’t this generation of young people (18-25) stop being spooled, coddled brats and get off their ass and go save themselves. STOP expecting someone to GIVE you or save you. SAVE YOURSELF!
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      Oct 26 2011: Indeed. We are now doing the brunt work for holding this meager economy up for our greedy exponential-growth boomer parents, and our spoiled younger siblings. No one notices that. In-between those two, we've pretty much been swept under the carpet. Much, if not everything, that's broken now began in unsustainable policies put forth by the boomer generation, and is being perpetuated by the same, at least here in the US.
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      Oct 26 2011: While what you say is mostly true (I'm 23, decidedly not whiny, and off to get my Masters, paying off my education by myself, first generation college student, blah blah) it would be awfully nice for you and for me if more jobs were created and if someone found some way to make getting an education in the United States sustainable. We shouldn't have 20-30 year payment plans on our futures. That doesn't help me or you or anyone, and it sure as heck curbs any interest in starting an equally financially risky new business.

      All of us are victims of stunted career paths because of the economic downturns and competition from much more experienced candidates who have lost their jobs. And most of us have ridiculously large educational loans. I don't think it's too much to ask of our politicians to help us help ourselves.
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        Oct 26 2011: You're spot on about the education financing. That's an issue for both Gen Xers and the current crop of college students/graduates. It's doubly tricky because, at least in the US, you can only get bad or no credit from it; while paying on time, you get NO points added to your credit record. On the other hand, if you're late or you default, you lose credit points. God forbid, if you have to file for bankruptcy, in most cases, student load debt isn't forgiven. Add to that, government student loan accounts are now managed by a private company (two of them together, actually). This is not good, any way you look at it. Many of you will not be able to pay them off, or pay them off in the usual ten years allotted. This could become the second consumer crisis, to follow the housing crisis.
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    Oct 26 2011: I believe that we, as a generation, have a responsibility to save ourselves. The growing apathy among young people about our future in the long term has crippled us from being able to take responsibility for our own lives. Over the past decade I have realized that there is this outlandish idea that government will keep us afloat. This is a fallacy. There is no one power that will rise and save us from this financial crisis. Either we will have to learn to cope and act responsibly, or we will continue down a road of debt.
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    Oct 31 2011: I believe with all of my heart that a government's prime responsibility is to its people of all ages. First and foremost its purpose should be to ensure their safety and well being at every age. Governments should be collaborative systems to coordinate the greatest good for the most people. It starts with healthcare and education.
  • Oct 27 2011: They have no responsibility at all.

    First of all you cannot retroactively legislate a problem.

    Financial institutions failed to perform due diligence when lending money on behalf of their investors. That is the extent of their responsibility. If you are a customer of a large financial institution and you don't like this behavior, please take your money to a small private bank, or a credit union.

    People are also responsible for their financial situation. Buying an overpriced home, when you know it is overpriced and you can't afford it isn't realizing your dream. It's taking a gamble and losing. We live in a country where basic economic fundamentals for managing your personal wealth and budgeting isn't required to graduate from High School.

    If you want meaningful education at an affordable price, write tax law that allows companies to invest in courses that benefit themselves. If you build airplanes, sponsor/design curriculum to create skilled labor jobs in your field of business.

    If someone takes out $80,000 in loans to become a Kindergarten teacher making $25,000 per year they're an idiot. Not only are they an idiot, but that sort of student loan shouldn't have been allowed in the first place. The reason student loans are expensive is because people find justifications to take the money and never pay it back repeatedly.
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    Oct 26 2011: This is a cop out. I am in-between the two generations. Many of the people you now blame (politicians, banking CEOs, wall street CEOs) were in your shoes the last time the economy looked like this (late 70s - early 80s). They inherited the same type of economic problems and political problems that you have today. The difference, and it really does make a difference is options. When cable TV is too expensive, the Internet hasn't been invented yet, cell phones look like cinder blocks, video games are in 8-bit, and the concepts of Facebook, iTunes, Skype, etc. are as alien as Aliens...you don't have options to wallow in. You have to create something, that someone wants or wants to be a part of...consequently the largest boom of startup businesses worldwide since the Great Depression was in the 80s. If you realize that the education system is ill-equipped for the future you face then re-educate yourself. If you realize that the job market doesn't have a job for you, create your own business. If you don't want to pay for the debts accrued by older generations, get out to the polls and vote for representatives that have YOUR interests at heart, lobby for issues that matter to you.

    People think this generation is lost, not because you can't find your way to happiness but because you don't have your own definitions of happiness. You are every bit as capable, and more, than the generations before you...ONCE you choose your mission. Until then you will follow the missions of others dispassionately, if at all, and be lost.
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    Oct 26 2011: To be fair, there is a great deal of focus on the effect of the economic situation on younger age groups, especially on developing apprenticeship schemes for people entering the job market without academic qualifications. It's rather defeatist to shift the blame on to generations who have coped with a whole series of downturns. There's a young, active generation coming up and a lot of them are creating interesting and profitable opportunities for themselves, not waiting for something to be handed to them.

    There's a very big change in the employment model and it's affecting all generations. Technology is making it possible to shift jobs around the world to where resource is cheapest, so the economic forces which take away jobs in one part of the world often create jobs elsewhere. We all have to recognise that and adapt to it, however old we are. The younger generation, having grown up with fast moving technical innovation, are probably better equipped to deal with today's reality than are many older people.
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    Oct 26 2011: Young people are often used as a rhetorical prop - arguments are driven by the notion that actions must be taken in the interest of "the next generation," but the policies presented rarely take into account the plight of the generation that is already here, starting their professional lives in such a mess. Education cant be the only option - we have it already! Good educations, too! Now, what are we supposed to do with them?
  • Oct 26 2011: It is first and foremost the government's responsibility to provide us with affordable education. Without education, it is likely that this generation won't learn how to properly take down a system that they don't agree with. How convenient.
  • Oct 26 2011: I think that a good education is the best gift. The best thing the government can do to help my generation is make higher education more accessible and affordable to us. Need I say more?
    • Oct 27 2011: I believe a good education is important too but I believe it is best left to the private sector and not the government to provide. Here is why:

      "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." We all know that is a joke because the government doesn't help, government destroys anything it touches. The reason education is so expensive is BECAUSE of government intervention. Look to the federal reserve and government policies for the high cost of tuition.

      When the federal reserve creates artificially low interest rates, people and businesses make risky "mal-investments" they wouldn't normally make with higher interest rates. Why? Because with low rates, you have less to pay back, assuming it is a fixed rate. Now throw in the government sponsored enterprises (GSE), like Sally Mae, whose cheap student loans are backed by the government and all lending standards go away. Basically, the government tells Sally Mae that if a student defaults on the loan, the government will pay it back for the student so there is zero risk to Sally Mae. If there is no risk, then they will lend $100K or $200K to a 19 year old kid with no income, effectively giving them a mortgage without the house. Colleges know that these kids have no trouble getting these loans so they take advantage of the situation and raise tuition so they can make a bigger profit.

      This wouldn't happen in a truly free market because the government wouldn't be there to give the bank money if a student fails to pay their loan. Therefore, if the bank had potential to lose out (risk), they would think twice to make the loan. Not one bank would lend a kid $100K or even $30K with no income, and no credible plan to pay it back. The money wouldn't be there so colleges would be forced to lower tuition just to get students to enroll or else nobody would attend and the college would go under.

      This is the almost the exact same way the housing bubble happened and popped. Just replace Sally Mae with Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac.
      • Oct 27 2011: By private sector I hope you don't mean private companies like University of Phoenix should provide higher education in the U.S. That would be a real fiasco.

        Currently student loans cannot be forgiven except in extreme circumstances. Even bankruptcy cannot rid someone of student loans. This is important because students could simply declare bankruptcy upon graduation and rid themselves of the debt. If someone took out $100k in loans without thinking of their future income and job prospects given their major, then they deserve what they get. There is ample information provided to student loan borrowers about the loan terms. The days of getting a decent job upon graduating with a BA in History, Philosophy, Sociology, or any similar major are over, so don't take out a loan if that's your major and you have no immediate plans for business school. And cross law school off your list too. It's a bigger scam than for-profit schools. Just Google "Law School Scam."
        • Oct 31 2011: I agree. You have to be a respondible individual. Don't just take out a loan because you can.
      • Oct 27 2011: END THE FED!
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      Oct 27 2011: Ugh.
      "I think that a good education is the best gift... Need I say more?"
      YES, you need say more. With regard to the question at hand, that was a bit like saying, "Sorry about that ever so thoroughly metastasized cancer, here's a glass of warm milk."
      • Oct 31 2011: What more do you want to hear mate? This is the best thing that the government can do for our generation. Where would we be if people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were not given the opportunity to attend college. Educating the people of the nation will create jobs and develops better leaders to rule our nation. Now the question was not "how do we fix the economic crisis now" but "How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people regarding the crisis" IMO this is the best thing our government can do for us individually and worldwide.
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          Oct 31 2011: If that's really your reply, at the risk of sounding condescending, you're failing to see beyond your own nose. Simply sending people off to college doesn't even address our woes right now, let alone do anything substantial for those woes. We have a system right now, by which large corporations can lobby to have laws passed which benefit them at the cost of the financial health, freedoms, and protections of the everyday man and woman. Add to that corporate personhood, which provides unfair tax loopholes and other benefits to corporations, which puts further burden on the everyday man and woman. Add to that the corporate leaders, most of whom (but not necessarily all) feel no responsibility to the greater good. Corporations themselves, as entities, are neither good nor evil. Coincidentally, I don't feel their leaders are either, but they are, in many cases, irresponsible, and it's our government's job to hold them accountable, rather than support, pay for (as in the bank bailouts), or turn a blind eye to their practices. Corporate entities, themselves, neither good nor evil, exist solely to grow and turn over greater and greater profit for their investors and leaders. Without people of greater conscious at the helms, as well as regulations which hold them accountable, what happens is what we see now. How do you suppose paying to send more kids off to college, with money we and they really don't have, is going to fix that??
        • Nov 8 2011: Dont waste your breath, TED is now FULL of NWO Propagandist doing what they do. Educated people understand that YOU are spot on, End the Fed, what ELSE NEEDS TO BE SAID ?, If you understand the implications, economic cause and effects, fiat currencies, are intelligent enough to follow the corruption money trail, WHAT ELSE INDEED ! Scan above, World Central Bank, World Health, Government should provide this and that etc, etc, Their propaganda only works on MOST, but NOT ALL ! My LAST ever on TED CONVERSATIONS, Ted Talks rules, this, HOWEVER is a Propaganda Pit
      • Oct 31 2011: Indeed those are the great problems that we face economically. But what caused those problems? - Many things but one of them being uneducated people that don't understand the consequences of taking on a loan that they cannot pay off. No doubt there needs to be a reform of our "system" but a poorly educated middle class will surely worsen our problems. All I am saying is let’s not neglect the most important tools we have (our minds). Without a good education I doubt that you and I would be having this conversation and heaven knows that the world would be in a deeper hole of trouble than we are now.
        What we need are developers of new TECHNOLOGY. THAT will create jobs. THAT is what makes US such a strong nation, the technology that we develop. And to develop these potential technologies requires a strong education. I am not denying the severity of what you have argued. These things are indeed terrible problems. I just feel that educating our generation will better prepare us for the ominous future ahead.
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          Oct 31 2011: No, it was not a lack of education, and I think your thoughts are still short-sighted and quite outside the point. Many of our biggest corporate leaders, as well as leaders of government, as well as many of our chosen representatives, are college graduates, many of them with high-ranking degrees from esteemed institutions (I believe the camaraderie of such is part of what keeps the current system in the hands of the same people, or same sorts of people, in fact). I have no college degree, work as a developer in technology, and can see our problems quite clearly, and I think I'm just one tiny individual of many, so I'm not special, nor any exception to any rule. So what? So, simply putting people through college and developing new technology does not even begin to put us on a path leading out of these issues. In fact, I think bringing materials manufacturing back in-country would be better, actually. The countries with the fastest growing economies right now are those who are actually producing physical goods, not those producing fluffy-vapor coded things.

          I should also add that some of our more respected and capable corporate leaders and representatives have or had no college degrees and/or little in the way of formal education...
        • Nov 8 2011: Dude, i know personally young people talked into taken more classes than not only can they NOT afford, but more class hours than they can handle, and told them so, then they reassure/CON them by saying, just try, you can drop if you cant handle it, then, they will NOT reply to calls or emails or even take sick days and vacations the 3 days before Free drop date !to drop the class, Boom, they are over the drop date and are stuck w/ MORE debt, Collage counselors MY ASS, nothing more than con artist
      • Oct 31 2011: " Many of our biggest corporate leaders, as well as leaders of government, as well as many of our chosen representatives, are college graduates..." Yeah, no wonder. Are you denying that these people learned skills that helped them to get these high positions?
        Also I think you should consider companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, so on and so forth. Think of all the jobs these companies have created and all the money they have made.
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          Oct 31 2011: You're reaching here, and veering almost directly against your initial argument. After all, if the same leaders who are at the root of our problems are products of this educational paradigm you're touting, wouldn't that indicate that simply providing everyone with the same formal education is actually detrimental to solving our problems? So, which are you saying? Are you saying that education is key to solving our issues, while at the same time actually commending it as a cause for the irresponsibility of government and corporation? Really? At this point, you're just arguing for the sake of arguing and not giving honest thought to the issue.
      • Oct 31 2011: I am saying that he best thing the government can do to help my generation is make higher education more accessible and affordable. Educating our generation without discrimination(against social class for example) will better prepare us for the future.
        Are you now blaming the immoral actions of these "leaders" you speak of on their education? That seems odd.
        Also It's not completely these "leaders" fault. Someone had to borrow the money they were lending and someone has to buy the products/services from these irresponsible companies. I believe educating the masses could potentially prevent this along with doing the thing I spoke of earlier.
        To blame any one thing for the economic crisis is a "reach" sir. There were many variables that contributed to the economic crisis. I am just stating my opinion. That I would appreciated a good education to better prepare me for the future so that I can get a good job or develop a new product to produce income for me and my nation thus doing my part in society.
        Perhaps you should reconsider the topic of this discussion. "How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis?" I feel that it is partly the government's responsibly to provide the common people with a good, strong education. Especially the people within 18-25 years of age.
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          Oct 31 2011: No, by your own previous argument YOU blamed these issues on education. Maybe you didn't mean to, but that's the way it came across. You do realize that sort of argument is empty, right? It's juvenile to turn your response to try to make it appear to be another person's, simply for the sake of doing so. Add to that, maybe you should be the one to reconsider the topic of discussion. Mayhaps you should put more emphasis on the "regarding the economic and financial crisis" portion?

          The argument "provide me with an education" doesn't effectively address the issue. Especially when you and the individual who posed it have yet to explain where the money to do so will come from, in the middle of an economic crisis, and have yet to explain why, despite the level of education of the people at the head of corporations and government, we are still in this blunder.
      • Nov 1 2011: Have I been inconsistent? I never necessarily blamed the economic crisis on poor education. I quote myself " But what caused those problems? - MANY THINGS but ONE OF THEM being uneducated people...." One potential reason among MANY THINGS.
        And once again the original question "How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis?" I gave my opinion. An education will provide us with the tools to potentially find solutions to these problems. As far as funding is concerned, education doesn't seem to be a priority in the states which is a problem. IE: we spend way more money on war than on education.
        Solve these problems if you are able, ser. If you disagree then I agree to disagree. It's all good. That's why we all have the right to voice our opinion in this great nation. Vote, participate, and be heard.
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          Nov 1 2011: When did I ever say you were inconsistent? And why can't you directly address my rebuttal? Why can't you simply say where the money to do so will come from, in the middle of an economic crisis, and explain why, despite the level of education of the people at the head of corporations and government, we are still in this blunder? Why can't you explain how this is the best the government can do with regard to the financial crisis?

          No, I never once said you were inconsistent, just that you were consistently wrong. You said, "...the best thing the government can do to help my generation is make higher education more accessible and affordable"

          With regard to the question at hand, that's wrong. The best thing our government can do, for ANY generation, in this situation, is change policy, away from that which has been lobbied for, and in some cases, literally paid for by and benefits corporations and banks at the expense of The People, to policy which protects against the sort of greed and failed assumptions of exponential growth and being "too big to fail" which has stifled the rights, freedoms, and protections of The People for the sake of constantly increasing profit for a few at the top and rewards and protects those at that top from irresponsibility and failure.
      • Nov 1 2011: Cool story bro. Go troll somewhere else kid. I'm sorry i don't hold all the answers. Go fix the world oh wise one.
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          Nov 1 2011: Yes, I'm a troll, because I think you're wrong and that your proposed solution makes little logical sense when compared to the issues in question. That makes perfect sense.
      • Nov 1 2011: Logic? You know nothing of logic, son. Go to school, read a book. However, this is your opinion. Let us agree to disagree and move on.
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          Nov 1 2011: Only after you've had that last opportunity to call me 'son', 'kid', or 'bro' one more time and make another nonsensical remark. No, really, it makes up for the lack of anything to back your argument.

          (BTW, no one from your generation should be referring to anyone else by any of those three terms, not even another from your own generation. Put on some miles first.)
  • Nov 8 2011: Interesting issues brought up here. I want to respond to two things I saw brought up here...

    First, regarding a free market approach to solving the economic problem: isn't the current system of affairs the outcome of free markets? It would seem to me that votes are simply a service people exchange for some perceived benefit. Or, if you're like many youths today, a service withheld because the perceived benefit is too low.

    But regarding universal education, I do have an idea that I think would work, and I'm interested to hear what you think of it. The fact is, education is expensive. It may be overvalued, but it will always be valuable. And having worked as a teacher, I know it's not something like water that can be easily provided for many people. But information, unlike education, is even easier to provide than clean water. It's already universally available in the developed world, even rural areas have computer access centers, and anyone who walks to one, or to their public library, can learn all they want at khan academy or MIT. So learning isn't actually expensive. What is expensive is getting a degree.

    So rather than subsidize everyone's education, why don't governments simply require that final exams and qualifying examinations be open to all who wish to register? Universities would still be able to attract students who want to interact with experts and their peers, but anyone who gained their knowledge otherwise could have it recognized officially.

    This would give skilled people who trained in other countries a chance to practice their professions here, and anyone who wished to get a degree could earn one without taking on debt, if they were dedicated or talented enough. I think this would be a good compromise to the problem of expensive education.
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    Nov 1 2011: 3 quotes come to mind:
    1. "That government is best which governs least" HD Thoreau
    2. "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." JFK
    3. "Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him." Booker T Washington

    The state of our economic crisis has revealed a deep cultural paradigm within America. That is to say, we expect our government to legislate happiness. Take Government Bailouts or Occupy Wall Street for example. Or our heated debates on Healthcare, Social Security, cheaper education, etc. From jobs to education to social welfare and healthcare these institutions of our government are privileges not constitutional rights. But many of us in our country act as if the removal of any of these is an act against our inalienable rights. The fact of the matter is our government exists to promote Life, Liberty, & the PURSUIT of happiness. The US government does not exist to legislate or provide happiness.

    Thus, I am inclined to say that many of our economic woes are due to an inflated view of what a government should provide; in turn this affects our politics, media, and education. Somehow we got the idea that the American Dream is a constitutional right. But it's not. Never in the history of mankind has a country been without hardships. And to expect our government to make life easy for us is ridiculous.

    Beyond protecting LL&PofH, the only responsibility our government has to its young people (and everyone for that matter) is to instill a national fervor that causes us to take ownership of our country; a fervor that enables us to reach our hands out rather than expect handouts, a fervor that expects hardship and delights in perseverance, a fervor that looks at the interests of our fellow Americans as better than our own.

    If every American thought "How can I make USA better?" rather than "How can USA make me better?" this country would be better for it.
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      Nov 2 2011: I like your points about asking what you can do for society not what society can do for you. But I think that most people would rather be enabled to contribute to society than to take handouts?

      Isn't Occupy Wall Street protesting government bailouts? I think OWS is trying to promote awareness about the impact of economics on government, not asking for government help. In fact one of the largest criticisms of the movement is that the protesters aren't making demands.

      I think you're right about the next generation having a different cultural paradigm: I think they don't want to get ahead at the expense of others anymore. You say that young Americans need to take ownership of their country but I think that the whole country needs to wake up and realize that they're part of the world and that the "American Dream" can only exist through exploiting others.

      "Never in the history of mankind has a country been without hardships" So why aren't we changing that? I think the problem is that the older people get, the more they resit change. Personally I don't feel that the fact that life has been crummy and happiness hard to obtain and hardship a normal part of life, an excuse to perpetuate that same lifestyle in the next generation.

      Maybe the next generation IS looking to the government to provide more social support than America has in the past? What's wrong with that? Countries like Costa Rica that have free healthcare and education have higher self-reported happiness than countries without. Shouldn't that be how we measure success? What do you mean "make USA better" if you don't mean improving quality of life/happiness?
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        Nov 2 2011: Letitia, I think you & I agree & disagree at the same time. I'll clarify my position with the hope it will bring clarity to yours. ;)

        I think the 'paradigm' I am talking about is systemic throughout all USA from young to old and all social classes. & yes I'll concede that OSW is protesting gov't bailouts but they are making demands for jobs and economic equality; and some people are even demanding 'down with the fed.'

        The problem isn't with our gov't, but with 'we' the people.

        My gripe isn't with what people are demanding, but more so the posture people are demanding from. That is, it seems pretty obvious to me that Americans have an entitlement complex. We think economic equality, healthcare, jobs, social security, education, etc. are our rights. And on the other side, corps/banks want bailouts. These are not rights we have in our constitution. Show me where, if they are there.

        And yes I desire to improve the quality of life in USA. But sometimes you need to break a broken-bone even more so it can heal properly otherwise it will be damaged permanently. Our country is in the same situation. It's broken. And our approach to solving our problems is trying to put a band-aid on rather than stepping back & assess the sacrifices we need to make in the short-run to benefit the long-run.

        Not one politician we have is talking like this (except maybe Ron Paul) because Americans don't want to hear it and our Politicians are so polarized by their ideologies that no one is willing to come out of their ivory towers and demand effective results.

        Furthermore, hardships are a part of life. I have seen the benefits of it in mine. I don't desire for people to suffer but our gov't has no right to legislate happiness, it can only protect our right to PURSUE happiness. Happiness is not a right it's a privilege.

        So when I say 'make USA better' I don't mean social programs, I mean the ethos: a united Spirit that drives USA to rally together and deny oneself for our country.
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          Nov 2 2011: Okay I think I see your point now: that you are talking about a philosophy that pervades the whole population including taxpayers, corporations, governments and all age-groups. And I agree with you that happiness can't be guaranteed since it is more of a mindset than a lifestyle anyway. Happiness doesn't need to be a right because it is already available to everyone. What isn't available to everyone is the "stuff" that we think will make us happy like houses, cars, money, good paying jobs. So maybe both of us are frustrated with this misconception.

          I also agree that the hardships in my life have had positive character-building effects on me. But people aren't all born equal and hardship isn't evenly distributed. I think that social programs help people who have gotten more than their fair share of hardships catch up to those who have had an easier ride through life and helps them to become contributing members of society instead of falling through the cracks. I think we may have to agree to disagree about how much hardship governments should try to alleviate.

          I don't quite understand what is it that Americans need to deny themselves from though? Do you mean that they need to stop spending money?
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        Nov 3 2011: No, of course not. I love capitalism and free market economies.

        What I mean by 'deny themselves' is this: "That govt is best which governs least." Now, I am not anti-govt, neither was Thoreau. What he meant is that we don't need nor should we look to the gov't to govern every aspect of life. In fact gov't is better when its citizens are self-governing. In other words govt is better when the citizens are keeping each other accountable and actively meeting the needs of the local community.

        Here's an example:
        I live in MPLS, MN a fairly large city with gang and crime problems. This past summer, drug dealing and gang crimes in one park had gotten out of control. My church responded by hosting dinner and a movie in the park every Sunday for six weeks to feed the neighborhood; even some of gang-bangers ate with us too. Literally, the crime stopped overnight.

        Self-denial in this instance was resisting the urge to overturn our municipality because of its inability to control crime. Self-denial was people taking time out of their schedules to help the local community. Self-denial was us not expecting or waiting for or our city to do anything. We just saw what needed to be done and we did it.

        Obviously, not all circumstances are the same and not every situation can be approached like this. There are issues that only govt can and should deal with. But it all goes back to how we view the role of our govt and our role within it; of thinking 'how can I make USA better' rather than 'how can USA make me better.' If we wanted MPLS to make us better then we would have been idle and demanded our city to do something about the crime.

        Finally, I think we will have to agree to disagree on the hardship bit. I sympathize for those who suffer, but people cannot expect their govt to be a savior. It's a dangerous social dynamic that gives too much control to the State.

        Plus, it's okay to be 'unequal.' Why is it we think the highest moral is equality? I'll need to qualify I'm sure.
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          Nov 3 2011: Okay, this makes your previous comment make a lot more sense. I wouldn't have considered community events and volunteering denying oneself because I enjoy those activities, but I can see in the context of government involvement that you meant that people should take more of an active role in problem solving themselves and I agree.
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          Nov 4 2011: Here is a talk about why unequal hardship has a negative impact on whole populations. Just something to think about if you are advocating that everyone look out for themselves.

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    Oct 28 2011: @ Addison Yes I have heard of the great depression, I beleive that is what lead to the creation of the FDIC. The banks collapsed because of runs made by depositors when the bank was over leveraged. That is not the same as the bank stealing your money.

    @ Danita I am not familiar with the details of that case. Even so, it would seem the money was stolen by an employee, not the bank itself. I am also sure it does not fit the original complaint I was disputing that the "Bank steals your money to pay its executives".
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    Oct 28 2011: A quotation I came across in regard to subject:
    "People always criticize the youth of today, but they always forget who raised it!"
    Doesn't answer the question, but it is sometimes enough to silence the ignorant critic. Speaking on a more productive and progressive level; I agree with the sentiment expressed by Hanne. What do you do when you find a lost person? You help them out and point them in the right direction. Rarely do things "un-lose" themselves.
    I don't think we are going to see a mass revolution as there is simply too much apathy prevalent through society, and it isn't just my "lost generation". Why does it matter if we are apathetic given we are not the people running things. People blame problems in the world today on youth apathy but how can a bunch of bored youngsters be blamed for a world they have no control over! If we had a greater stake in the world; if we had a means to let ourselves be heard outside of twitter and outside of facebook then perhaps different things would be said about youth.
    My final thought; since when were youth not apathetic. It is the nature of being young, we want to enjoy freedom before debt and commitment role in. The 60s saw youth stand up, but when else in history have youth been seen worldwide as a globally recognized body? We are an unfinished article, give us ten years and mark my words this generation will produce some fantastic people (some of which are already emerging) and influence this world just as greatly (if not greater) than any before us, but stop expecting miracles and great feats of stature from a bunch of people who are still learning how to live away from home. Each generation goes through this stage, so why is it a big deal right now?
    • Oct 28 2011: I believe it is a big deal now more than before. For the first time in history, people of like minds are able to communicate with each other and lend support and Ideas ( like we are doing right now).
      With such support the world is awakening! We can compare ourselves and our plight. Arab spring is a result of this! as is OWS.
      • Oct 29 2011: My light bulb flickers on when i see the word "is" , the older I grow the less i try to use it - everything "is" metaphor (not mine). I used to be certain about many things, the only thing I hold onto now?... statements leave people agreeing or disagreeing with the content, the question " what caused the Arab spring " has as many answers as the number of people who took part in it (on and off the stage), and it prompts thought and hopefully increases understanding rather than the binary response that we generally use to statements.
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      Oct 30 2011: Rowen, thanks for your thoughts. If you could ask for something and know that the older generations were listening and would do something (or help you do something), what would you ask for?
  • Oct 27 2011: The government responsibility toward the young people regarding the economic and financial crisis should have been zero or as close to it as possible. As good intentioned as they were, the government attempts to help the young people caused this and more "help" is not the solution. A free market, void of government intervention, would never have let this happen to begin with.

    Since most loans were backed by government (thru Sally Mae), there were no lending standards and no reason for them to care if the student defaulted because the government would reimburse the bank. That is how a teenager was able to get a loan for $100K or more, with no income and no credible plan to pay it back. No government guarantee to the bank would mean too significant of a risk to the bank and the kids wouldn't have received the money.

    Think of it this way, would a bank, that doesn't have a safety net, approve a kid with no job, for a $150K mortgage? No! But because of government that is what kids got, minus the house.

    With this money so easy to come by, colleges raised tuition costs to create a larger profit for themselves, which proves to me that most colleges have no real interest in providing a quality education anymore. If the money wasn't so easy to get, not nearly as many students would go to college at current tuition costs. Colleges would be forced to drastically lower tuition costs to attract students or else they would go under. My parents were able to work part time while going to college and pay their own way. Their debt was, at most, a few thousand dollars upon graduation. This was BEFORE the government stepped in to "help" and tuition was low.

    Most students want a bailout. I don't, but it is in the works. I made sound decisions after high school and have no college debt. Bailouts steal money from me thru taxes or printing money (inflation) to pay for someone else's stupidity. Bailouts are perfect examples of "Robbing Peter to pay Paul".
    • Nov 8 2011: ok, look, why do you folks keep saying the banks did nothing wrong when they made loans KNOWING the loans were unsecured, just because the Fed back them, doesnt mean thats legal
      there WERE Standards in place, they ignored them, THEN knowingly used the Fed backing ...
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    Oct 27 2011: Daily decisions are made in America using up the natural capital of our nation and the world for the benefit of residents alive today. Indigenous Americans make decisions based on far longer term timeframes-seventh generation. To advocate for your "fair share" how can young people get in the game? You will not have the luxury of ignorance and play and consumption while you come of age as others have. You see institutions failing on all fronts that one time supported your parents' world view. Changing the mindset of those currently in power may be a boat more difficult to turn than the Titanic, and we know how that tale turned out. To answer your question, "If we are lost, why don't we save you?" The plain truth: save yourselves, now. Get in the lifeboat and row, go, let go, and so... it is up to us all to change our personal courses to save our collective selves.
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        Nov 8 2011: Dear Kat and Tim,
        I think that there needs to be a good balance between pursuit of money and pursuit of happiness. I am the mother of 5 Tim and part of what I see is that this generation is pursuing happiness as a birthright. Reality has to come into play though and if you are going to spend 6 hours a day on video games it should come as no surprise that other areas of life will suffer. I truly believe that one of the fundamental errors that our generation has made is to allow the younger generations to believe that supplying the practical is not theirs to shoulder. I really think that everyone in a community or in a familiy should pitch in to do what they can.
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        Nov 8 2011: Hi Tim, It seldom helps the conversation to polarize the debate with profanity or diminition of the other. Trying to find common ground is the approach I prefer. Please remember that not everyone on the planet or on TED is American and we are not all willing to conceed that your form of thought represents the highest of human thought.What I was obviously trying to say is that as a mother- of course I want my kids to be happy just as I want yours to be- but real life makes it clear that some effort has to be expended to achieve it. If someone is expecting that the food will be placed in their mouthes and will not make an effort to find, prepare or consume the food - they are not likely to be happy. Yes, we may be saying the same thing if you concentrate of the word pursuit which is an active and intelligent part of the phrase.

        PS= if you are convinced that happiness is a birthright- can you please inform the world about how millions of people in desperate conditions could cash in that certificate?
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        Nov 8 2011: Let me respond to your dismissive "that work for you?" with another question, Tim. How likely is it that your answer, in actuality not just in theory or fantasy, would be able to produce actual happiness in these people. Surely you admit that it would take a bit more than this tidbit of advice to change their oppressive circumstances.
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      Nov 8 2011: Kat, Tim and Debra,The transtitions ahead in all areas of human endeavor will not be pretty nor sustainable. There is no way in God's green earth that she can accomodate 7 billion all who want the American dream, without even realizing it has become a nightmare. The ecological footprint folks talk about needing 4 or 5 more planets (like earth) if everyone adopts our standards of living and not dying. The path we are collective on will result in intergenerational sucuide, make no mistake about it. The very fact that we aren't collectively smart enough to make the critical adjustments in our consciousness and behaviors is evidence of the depths of our denial. What adjustments? One example is to'Institute a carbon tax' and stopping the depletion allowance. Identify the true costs of everything in terms of life cycle costs including all liabilities and unintended consequences. Leave no cost unaccounted and stop the insanity of the seriously incomplete and self serving analysis that gets passed today. "There is enough for everyman's need, but not for everyomans greed? Gandhi . As long as greed gets rewarded, nothing changes. If we really loved our children, we would understand the implications of what we use and what we leave behind. It's very instructive that those cultures who lived for many generations on this planet understood, 'we do not inherent the resources of the earth from our ancestors, rather we hold them in trust for future generations'. We could learn a lot from those whom we stole their land, if not blinded by greed and control. Perhaps the time spent with electronic gadgets has become this generations denial response.
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        Nov 8 2011: Hi Craig, thanks for your perspective on this. It is really true that we all need to put our best into the pot to fix the problems we are collectively facing. Greed is a fundamental problem. I recently read a book by an American historian about Lincoln and his 'team of rivals'. I was astounded at the price that the south was willing to pay in terms of human life and at the fact that mothers were willing to send their sons into battle and to their deaths to defend not just slavery but to defend what they percei ved to be their 'rights' to priveledge. They must have somehow hardened their hearts to watch and think that the enslavement of other people was warranted to provide a bit more lace and caviar. There are many today that think that their privelege should also be defended at the cost of human life. They must beleive that their money and elite status will ultimately save them. I fear for the future of us all when I realize that people were actually willing to die to keep slavery alive. What will their equivalents be willing to do at this stage of history?
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    Oct 26 2011: It basically comes down to education here in the United States, particularly the cost of education.

    Generation Y is the most educated generation in human history, yet none of us are achieving positions in companies that utilize our unique perspective or our expensive college degrees. The reason for our generation's workplace stagnation is simple: companies are passing by young, inexperienced workers in favor of experienced workers who are willing to work for less. We can only speculate about the long term consequences of such actions.

    Also the student loan debacle is about to come to a head. The cost of higher education has risen much faster than inflation. In fact, during the crisis when most private and public lending was decreasing, student loan lending increased quite a bit. Students invested money believing that the college degree guaranteed high-paying jobs. They were wrong. In fact, according to the New York Times, only 50 percent of new jobs landed by college graduates require a college degree.

    Are we a "lost generation" ? No. Are we a "stunted generation"? Absolutely. We are doomed to a life of working as indentured servants. High-cost college loans, lower than average wages and the increased cost of living promises Generation Y a long and hard road ahead.

    Good luck everybody. Persistence is key!
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    Oct 26 2011: Well I dont think that we need saving. most of us live in countries with stable economy. yes there is a crisis, but there is no war, revolution or any other incident that would totally change the political or economical environment. you just have to take the crisis into account when planning your future. we have access to education and information. access to cash is harder then it used to be but that way less risky investments are being made. I dont want the government to think to much how to help me. I just want it not to get in my way. And the most of all I dont want the government to spend any money on me, because that means sooner or later I will have to repay it in form of many different taxes.
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    Oct 26 2011: Hannelore.

    Why do you need to be saved? Can we not rise above the previous generation?
    We live in a time with great challenges to be solved.
    Of course a lot of problems have risen from previous generations, and we are or will be creating new ones ourselves.
    I firmly believe we can find or create work. We can solve problems of the past so we can be happy and say we don't leave debt to our children when their time comes.

    We are not the lost generation (Ok, i'm not 25 anymore) , we are a very flexible and creative generation, ready to adapt to the decline of past economic growth towards a world we wish to mold.

    It is far too easy to ask for their help, or to accuse others of the world's problems (even if true). Cleaning up their waste might take a lot of effort, but we can be better than them, and that is what we might want to strive for.

    And as for paying them: they will have lower pension wages if we decide to accord it to them, we can change laws and decide the future of the political landscape too...
    Though I'm also quite grateful for the generation that went to the moon, invented internet and computers, nuclear power, cell phones, United Nations and the European Union, quite democratic education, medical breakthroughs,...
  • Oct 26 2011: Never before have we seen so many young adults in so much debt all at once. The average debt for college graduates is at around $25,000. Personally, I am at $100,000+. With the inflated cost of tuition, rising wages of College Presidents, and lack of federal funding, the situation is causing a student loan bubble of almost $1 Trillion in student debt. It's only a matter of time before this bubble pops just like the housing bubble did in 2008, crashing the global economy. It's up to our government to try to prevent this bubble from popping.

    I'm not asking for a free hand out, although that would be nice. I'm asking for federal assistance. Give us an opportunity to pay back this debt within reasonable means. Remove any interest rates on federal or private student loans, give us a federal program to consolidate our federal and private loans with little or no interest rates, let us pay the money back in 25 years instead of 10, let bankruptcy absorb student loan debt, just help us out. If college graduates didn't have to spend upwards of $1,000 a month in student loans alone, we would have more money to invest into the economy. We would be more willing to open up our own businesses and work toward building the future of America. Instead, we're shackled by debt.
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    Oct 26 2011: I don't think the United States' government respects it's youth at all. You can see that by the violence allowed by the police towards the Occupy Wall Street and other protestors who are peacefully exerting their feelings and opinions.

    The government is corrupt. It is run by the 1%. Hopefully the revolution is on its way.
    • Oct 26 2011: Revolution from who? Gen Z is still too young to fully understand what's going on, at best they can be script kiddies for Anonymous. A fraction of Gen Y is expressing itself in protests and discontent, the rest of them are either ignorant of the world around them or too apathetic to try and do anything. Gen X is fighting to keep things stable while they find a place for them in an ever tumultuous society. The baby boomers grew up in the years where they feared revolution, they saw what happened in Eastern Europe and Latin America, the Asian nations saw what revolution did for China. This is our parents' generation, they hold the biggest power, and they want no part in a revolution.

      No, without something grand or earthshattering there will be no revolution.
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        Oct 27 2011: I don't think what you said has much to do with the topic of conversation. Everyone in the country is angry about losing their jobs, having early retirement, and the union protests. I've seem mostly youth at the Occupy events, but there are people of all generations there.

        I think it's quite pessimist to say there is going to be no revolution. It might not lead to tanks and guns, but I think there will be a lot of changes in government. Most people are sick of what is going on and they are demanding change.
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    Nov 8 2011: We need to create free online colleges with interactive programing, where all students need to do is play a game. As they progress they reach higher and higher levels. Upon completion they get a PhD.

    Wff N' Proof was a college course in Propositional Calculus. The manuel w;hich was 244 pages. The rules of the game, were the rules of propostional calculus, and reverse Polish notation.
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    Nov 8 2011: I'm quite saddened by the circumstances for people within that age bracket, actually.

    I can only imagine how trapped I would have felt if things were this bad when I was 20. I was working during the day and going to college at night and I had no real alternative option than to room with someone to make ends meet as living with my parent wasn't an option.

    Now, having said that,humans of all ages have a habit of overcoming the worst of circumstances. And at the risk of sounding too optimistic, sometimes problems can become opportunities for much needed change, during difficult times.

    I feel like our country, heck the world really, is going through a change. Change, both good and bad, can produce some painful, growing pains, however, so I am not surprised that most of us are feeling a little bruised.

    It's time to put out some innovative ideas and throw them to the wall. What do we have to lose?

    How about free college? (too wild?) Okay, how about forgiving student debt and giving those institutions that incurred that debt something in return (no idea what). What about creating volunteer positions for young people to work in fields that need workers with specific skills (bio-engineering, computer security etc.) and, first, provide them with training in those fields and then, eventually, these young people can earn grants so that they can further their education in said fields, but the employers can hire them without the education, because once they have the skills they can do the job now and get the education later? What about giving an incentive to employers who do this.

    The above examples are all employers who deserve tax breaks. Those who help the community, who build on the society that helped build them. I'd be willing to give those companies all kinds of tax breaks, wouldn't you?

    Anyway, just a thought and for all it's worth I feel for you!
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    Nov 2 2011: What responsibility ? The governments aren't responsible of the people they govern.

    It is the people that is responsible for the government they trust, or don't.

    The longterm debts cannot be paid, plane and simple, they cannot.
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    Nov 2 2011: Hello Hanne. Thanks, for your question brings to light things that are mostly absent in today's conversations. One is that governments are human constructions. It would be inpractical to get a million people together to try to achieve consensus on every issue, in a democracy, people select representatives to negotiate with other representatives and achieve greater ends. As such, governments always have a responsibility to those represented

    Another thing it highlights is that in a closed system every gain is offset with a loss, there's no such a thing as a free lunch, and when someone makes millions, somebody else ends up paying. Even in an optimistic scenario, maybe other countries, or the planet will end up paying for our gains, but no wealth comes for free. Now, governments have a responsibility towards the young generations (and towards generations not even born yet) because they are willing to take money from them (by taking on deficits that will have to be paid by future generations). So it is only fair for the government to assume responsibility towards these younger generations

    I have libertarian friends, and I praise the way they highlight individual freedom and responsibility in our every day lives. I myself think there are areas where the government should stop sticking their noses. But I don't agree entirely with the libertarian world view. Not everyone is responsible for their misfortunes (the poor are not poor just because they are lazy, and the rich are not rich just because they work a lot). Indivdual rights are meaningless for hermits. If everybody in a society is to have the same inalienable rights, then everybody who agrees to live together must consider the impact of their actions on other people. I disagree with Ayn Rand's view that egoism is the primary force behind human progress. I think human nature is a combination of self-preserving and altruistic behaviors, and I think we must understand and accept both in order move forward as humans
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    Oct 27 2011: I though TED was for the intelligent few in this world! If I want to see/read a childish argument on-line I'll go to Facebook!! Seriously folks, what is important here, the issue or getting across your little social agenda while trying to look big and clever.
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    Oct 27 2011: Governments responsibility to the young people is to (1) shrink in order to (2) pay down the debt in order to (3) provide a stable environment for the free markets to make us rich again.

    I think my feelings are pretty generic when you look at the thinking population of my demographic.
  • Oct 27 2011: Government has no responsibility. People have responsibility. You and I have responsibility. Most of our problems in our society were caused by poor government policy. I do not expect the government to fix a problem that they have caused. I would suggest a free market approach to our problems: cut government programs, eliminate the minimum wage, end the federal reserve, cut military spending, get government out of our lives.
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      Oct 27 2011: Yes, because everyone has the right to work, even if it means for only $1 per hour.
      I think you're lucky someone took the time to respond...
      • Oct 27 2011: What happens if someone's skills and output is not worth minimum wage? All a minimum wage does is keep people out of the work force. Why do you think youth unemployment is high? How can young people get a better wage when they can't get the job skills and knowledge to get a higher wage? The minimum wage does more harm than good. It hurts wages instead of improving them. Everyone does not have a right to work. It's up to the individual to get the knowledge and skills to get a better job and a higher wage.

        How am I lucky that someone who doesn't know about economics replied to what I wrote? All you prove is that liberals don't know shit about economics. But, I already knew this from hanging out at the occupy wall street protest.
        • Oct 27 2011: So how do you propose to be able to live on a dollar per hour or for that matter minimum wage, while attaining skill and knowledge to gain a higher wage?

          How does making wages higher hurt wages from being higher? It would seem that the only wages that could be decreased in that manner would be higher up managers, ceo's and stockholder's profits.

          I don't think upper management is really hurting for wages.
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          Oct 27 2011: Kenny, you're lucky to get a response because YOU obviously don't know anything about economics, aside from the same canned diatribe every other ignorant conservative spouts by means of the usual whack-a-liberal methodology. Amusing, considering I'm not a liberal. Amusing, but not original, just more of the usual, taken straight from Faux News.
      • Oct 27 2011: @Ryan_ Whitted. So how do you propose to be able to live on a dollar per hour or for that matter minimum wage, while attaining skill and knowledge to gain a higher wage? Good question. Generally a 16 year-old is living at home and is not paying rent, car loan, or a mortgage. A minimum wage keeps low skilled workers like high schoolers out of the job market.

        How does making wages higher hurt wages from being higher? Another good question. Your wages dictate how much production you can create. Lets say the minimum wage is $1 an hour and that employee can only produce $.75 worth of production an hour. Why would you want to hire that employee? You would go after another employee who has more skills, more experience, and can produce more. You keep the low skilled employee out of the job market. Hence, that low skilled employee is unable to get the knowledge and the skills to get a higher wage. This depress wages.

        In the end, you want a free market. Historically, the best mechanism to bring people out of poverty is a free market. The government distorts economic output and keeps the poor in poverty.
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          Oct 27 2011: Although I have never been a supporter of helping those who have no interest in helping themselves, I have to say that the transition into a free market system would be too costly for such a transition to ever happen. Too many people have grown accustomed to a social system which protects them from failure. This buffer allows them to stay at that $.75 production rate, without the fear of losing what they have and without the desire to push themselves further. In a free market system, this majority of people would be left at a crossroads where they would be forced to make the decision to work harder or blame the system which has coddled them and wait for an unrealistic shift back to the old system to happen. I fear that a substantial percentage of people would choose the latter.
        • Oct 28 2011: At one time I might agree with you that a free market system would work , but with the large income gap I disagree. I think there are flaws in the idea of a free market system, mainly the trickle down idea and in general the idea that a company will be benevolent and fair.
          In your free market idea without a minimum wage I agree some people will be paid for the amount of work they do, but in general I think a company will pay much less than what the work is worth.
          Basically I don't trust corporations to be fair and benevolent. Granted I don't really trust the government to do that either.
  • Oct 26 2011: A few years ago, John Mayer wrote a popular song: "Waiting for the World to Change," and it's been called a song for this generation. I question that mantra. Of course it is the government's responsibility to support our youth, as evidenced by Obama's announcement this week about college loan tuition. BUT, my generation stopped a war. It is up to this generation to not "wait for the world to change," but to take action to force that change. I'm thrilled that the younger generation is stepping up with the "Occupy Wall Street" protests. We need more leaders of that generation. We've all become too complacent.
    • J ARm

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      Oct 27 2011: I am not in the "John Mayer generation" and not in yours either -- I'm a gen Xer. I understand all the talk about the younger generation not being more active -- but I'd really like to point out that NO ONE is talking ENOUGH about how the mistakes of the boomer generation don't seem to truly impact the boomers -- instead the Gen Xers and younger folks have to deal with it all. This is pretty frustrating. Before pointing too many fingers, let's look also at where a good amount of blame lies.
      p.s. John Mayer is awful so I apologize to the Millennials.
      • Nov 8 2011: excellent point, Am i missing something here, but wasn't the boomers the largest population of any? generation ? Talking about a movement or control as far as voting power, and the amount of business owners, aren't they actually responsible for setting up this prob or at the very least responsible for not stopping this corruption ... that idea kind of gnaws at me
  • Oct 26 2011: Seems like the government's responsibility for young people has been to bail out all the big banks that made risky bets, and pass the debts to younger generations to pay off, while allowing the bailed out bankers to continue to pay themselves fat salary and bonuses.
    • Oct 27 2011: But the banks didn't make risky bets. The money they lent out was backed by the government. For example, Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE), like Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac during the housing bubble, or Sally Mae in the case of education. So if the borrower didn't pay back the bank, the government would. So from the bank's perspective, they can't lose. That is why they had little to no lending standards.

      Today, Colleges see what is going on and know that students will easily get the money so they just raise tuition to increase profit. Why? Why not? There is no incentive to not raise it because their enrollments aren't going down due to high costs. In fact, they are going up because government and "society" has brainwashed kids into thinking they need to go to college and if they don't they'll be digging through the dirt, looking for sustenance.

      If the government stops getting involved and doesn't back loans, the banks wouldn't lend the money to these people because the risk would be way too high to the bank since there is no government safety net to ensure they get paid back. When it comes to college, if the money is not so cheap and easy to get, far less students would be able to afford college at current rates and tuitions would be forced sharply downward to encourage enrollments. If they don't, the college fails and goes under.

      In terms of bailouts, everyone should be mad at the government, not the banks. Would you turn away free money from the government? I don't know anybody who has. So we need to be mad at the government for OFFERING the money to them to begin with, not because a bank decided to accept the offer. We can't forget the "stimulus" checks that were sent out a few years back to the tune of hundreds of dollars per household, and more if you had children. Everyone was so excited to get that check and nobody is angry at their neighbor for cashing it. "But it was only a few hundred dollars." Yeah, given to millions for a total value of BILLIONS.
      • Oct 27 2011: You my friend are absolutely correct about everything you just said!

        Waking people out of Statism is pretty hard though. Most people are Statists and they don't even realize it, and often when confronted with this truth they would rather boil in denial than admit they've been scammed their entire lives by those who swore to cradle them.

        Oh, all I would add is END THE FED! :)
      • Nov 8 2011: But the banks didn't make risky bets.
        THATS Right,they DIDNT BET they KNEW folks making 40 K a year couldn't afford 200K homes ... Which is Illegal. Knowing this would be backed by the FED, they did it anyway, thats called Defrauding the US.Gov, then !!!, they created a new financial instrument, and repackaged and sold the loans, KNOWING they would be foreclosed on, thats called Fraud, THEN They actually in a majority of cases forclosed on property that they ACTUALLY didnt own, they resold those near or defaulted loans and actually in some cases extorted money from home owners after the loan had been repackaged and sold . but NO THE BANKS DIDNT DO ANYTHING WRONG. But I agree w/ everything else you said
  • Oct 26 2011: I guess most of the comments here are from Americans. It seems crazy how expensive health and education is there - two of the most basic things for which we in Australia take for granted. Its my feeling that the whole anti-communist hysteria left over from our parents generation is clouding what is important in society.
    • Nov 8 2011: well, you have got to understand, our country has been slow fleeced by our government by allowing Legalized Plunder by corporations and the complete bastardization of our Constitutional system to Cartel-ism. Our whole society has been blindsided by just outright theft ... we are all just so very confused ...
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    Oct 26 2011: The United States government has saddled its youth with odious debt. Whether you agree that George Bush was acting on a legitimate authority when he approved the first TARP transfer to the banks, I feel, depends on whether you believe we can recapture those profits.

    In our modern world of unfettered capital, I have serious reservations that we can get it back.

    I personally don't feel a responsibility or stake in my government. I believe I have a natural human right to education, and I believe I have a right to a living wage. We still haven't paid off the military expenses of the Reagan era, and now we're expected to pay the banks for the next hundred years?

    I believe this debt to be odious. I don't believe we have a responsibility to pay it. I believe that the bankers should be responsible for the treasury bonds, and if China wants to declare economic warfare over it, I believe the bankers should pay the price.

    I have no stake in this ship. Let it sink, and let the bastards at the helm drown like the rest of us.

    --One member of the lost generation
    • Nov 8 2011: Well said, You just quoted Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let me ask you this, do you feel that the debt is so large, by the way our debt is actually ?? 75 trillion ? all of the outstanding currency in other countries, (Our Gov never mentions this amount tho)
      so large that it cannot and NEVER will be paid ? I feel ONLY WAR can and WILL resolve it ?, I really feel this way
    • Nov 8 2011: I agree, did you hear that China has sold off our debt ?, and have announced that they are broke?, Scary !
  • Oct 26 2011: GenX will suffer because many 40+ s are taking short-minded actions. After 50s Europe was growing because it had industry. Now it doesn’t. HOW COMES? There is no one to blame; but our NEW SOCIETIES’ GREED. (you know what I am talking about: “high profits and more material stuffs”) They replaced the companies to different countries and now in Europe they talk about TRAININGS, this make one to stay at school forever and then is too old to be hired. What kind of training exactly a person need to clean a floor?” I guess a University degree will do, because new “MANAGERS” asks for.(speaking 5 languages doesn't help me to get a job, because I am too white or too black) I read some comments. Well, hard to believe but the “I”-ness is very high, “I did this and that in X year” So what? Who cares? “NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU DID OR KNOW; THEY ALL WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CARE” What about us? What about others? What about the other generation that will take over? After living in different countries I couldn’t believe how this SYSTEM is designed that only a few can get the most and rest the least? What can one do for its country if in one country the orange is € 0.09 per kg and in another is over € 2 per kg? How powerful that person has to be to change it to make it more equal for everyone? Does anyone know how much money European Union spends on translations, because there are 27 official languages? And all of them know English? Do you think it is fairly spent money when there is poverty in Europe? Investing this money in eduction to create new leaders and health care to provid a better and equal health care for all won't be right or it should be profitable to be interested in? We simply and unconsciously adopt ourselves to the SYSTEM in order to survive. As Gandhi said “Be the change you seek in the world” I think we are changing ourselves but not for good. Can we unite and create the WORLD in which we want to live?
    • Nov 8 2011: How can you say So what? Who cares? “NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU DID OR KNOW
      THEY ALL WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CARE” What about us?

      Then Quote Gandhi ??? WTF ??? ........ something very wrong here
      • Nov 8 2011: Hello Tim, Thank you very much for your reply. I haven’t been in this conversation recently, so I will try to clarify what I have said.

        A Belgian lady who brought up this conversation had a point, what happened is many people who already achieved something in their life were talking about their achievements, such as: “I did this and I did that in such and such years” my point was that in “such and such years “ there were industry in Europe and they could do all that things(same in USA). What happened here is they replaced all the companies to other countries (mainly Asia) and now there is less opportunity to get a job in EU because of that.
        Do you think this action creates a better life for next generation?
        Do you think if 40+s and 50+s keep doing so, today’s 20s can afford to care of them later on?

        Yes, I said “so what, and who cares” what you did in such time, because these times are over. And you know better than I do “what’s gone is gone”. What is left is NOW (and maybe To-morrow).

        Many Americans brought JFK’s famous words: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” I highly value those words. (not to mention what Americans did to this man and MLK)
        Now, I tell you: ask not what other person can do for you, ask what you can do for other parson. Ask not what your friend can do for you ask what you can do for your friend.

        I believe you understood my point when I said: “NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU DID OR KNOW, THEY ALL WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CARE”

        I am not surprised that when our new society gets together their conversation is about their achievements. The word “I” is the most used word nowadays, don’t you think that this makes our I-ness to be high?

        You said: “something very wrong here”, how can you explain what is exactly very wrong here?


        PS: Gandhi was the greatest leader (with JFK, MLK) mankind could ever have, and the men killed them, and only men could do so.
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    Oct 26 2011: The government has decided that it's up to the public to shoulder the burden of big business' mess ups, particularly the youth, when in fact they were elected in order to prevent this kind of mismanagement in the first place. That said, not only is any question regarding governmental responsibility completely redundant, but asking for state assistance to any problem this complex is futile as they have already proven both inept and corrupt. So stop giving them your money, if you have any.
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      Oct 26 2011: I often wonder what would happen if people finally protested with what matters: their wallets, by simply not filing for or paying their US income tax. (We could call this a tax strike?) Especially the middle class, which pays most of it.
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        Oct 26 2011: I'm not so sure this would work, as some, if not most, people have taxes that are automatically deducted from their bi-weekly checks.
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          Oct 26 2011: It would most certainly make a statement.
        • Oct 26 2011: if you're temp, contractor, self employed, or simply ask payroll to pay your own taxes they won't take money out of your checks. i thought everyone found out in the late 90's that there is no law stating you have to even pay your taxes. not to mention it's in the constitution itself that wages shouldn't be taxed. there's people out there, ex IRS agents even, that haven't paid taxes in over a decade now. i guess it depends on the jury... but it's pretty simple to me. they just use scare tactics and have banks try to claim their properties.
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        Oct 26 2011: would we all get arrested?? after all, at least in Canada income tax, and GST and so one were supposed to be temporary taxes.

        but then, without paying taxes, how would the cities function (hospitals, garbage, streets, public schools, transit....).
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          Oct 26 2011: I think they'd have a hard time arresting absolutely everyone- besides, I don't think it works quite that way. There's an entire process involved by which the IRS tries to get the money before resorting to that. I would think the financial crush (relating to your question about social services) would force a compromise (and hopefully a positive change in policy), which would likely have a preferable outcome to martyring protesters by throwing them behind bars.
      • Nov 8 2011: Guys I hear ya, but you dont get it, we are 100% Police state, Riot Gear AND TANKS at police departments, thats what a lot of people don't get, they WILL COME GET THE MONEY, or us in camps to pay fines, which btw, IS RIGHT AROUND the corner, MARTIAL LAW!
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    Oct 26 2011: I am fed up with paying the debt and frankly I won't be doing it. I'd sooner live in a cabin by a lake, never have kids, and hunt and fish for food. Governments forgive debts of governments all the time. "Debt forgiveness" isn't such a bad phrase in a geo-political context but suddenly when we're talking about the average citizen who can't pay then NO WAY.

    Second, maybe this is an opportunity to have the average citizen engage in understanding what debt really is.
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    Oct 26 2011: I'm convinced that if there is a way out of our current financial/economic situation, it's going to be through entrepreneurial innovation. The government's responsibility is to get out of the way of those of us who believe in America and to make it as easy and as viable as possible for *anyone* from *any* generation to take an idea, plant it in the entrepreneurial soil of America, and turn it into jobs, stability, and the future. The beauty of creating new businesses is that it creates demand for more jobs without compromising other economic factors - those who start businesses still consume from other businesses, and the new businesses themselves will have demand greater production and growth from older parts of the economy. If everyone started their own business, it would only make things better! Of course, not everyone needs or wants to do so, however I believe a world where every individual is able to provide individual products/services in concert with organized corporate businesses is a world where economies thrive, achievements in science and art is magnified, and everyone is better off.

    I believe that students and the oncoming generation are more empowered to create positive change, growth, and recovery than anyone else - we better understand how fluid and "flat" the world is becoming than the older generation, and our minds aren't hampered by older ways of thinking. We see opportunities where others saw brick walls.

    It's taken a long time to bring us to where we are today as a nation and a planet, and it's going to take a long time to resolve many of the problems (debts, social inequalities, freedom around the world, etc.), but free enterprise and fostering an environment where education includes entrepreneurship among math, science, and arts from an early age will inspire and empower today's generation and future generations towards solving increasingly complex and meaningful problems. It could be an immensely powerful solution.
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    Oct 26 2011: My life is formed on certain problems with how the government and the older generations view younger people. Education is an almost insurmountable expense. The education system itself is concentrated not on evaluating a student's understanding but merely their ability to do busy work. Jobs beyond minimum wage or heavy physical labor are out of the question for those without degrees. Even the educated are treated as disposable, replaceable labor by their employers. This is why my husband couldn't hold a job--not because of his talents or work ethic--they're immaculate--but because his position was the one the check-signers decided they didn't need.
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    Oct 26 2011: The older generations always have and always will say that they want a better world for their children to live in, but their actions continue to be the exact opposite. The 21-30 year old generation needs to continue to step up and correct the path that our worldwide community is set on. They continue to not take us serious and only live for themselves. Let's show them we are serious and start building that foundation they were supposed to build for us years ago...
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    Oct 26 2011: It pretty unbelievable how the previous generation was able to go to college for pennies compared to what students are paying now. As soon as the Boomers ascended to power they completely decimate the public school system and have no problem escalating the cost of tuition forcing their children and grandchildren into mountains of debt.

    At least they "saved" Medicare and Social Security - to Baby-boomers those are all sacred, the future and economic stability of their grandchildren? - not so much.
  • Oct 26 2011: Is the crisis just strictly financial? Why should we perpetuate this system of work and labor capitalism has wrought upon us? Why should we forget the real reason we are here, to watch the children live out their lives as we do with a smile on their face, with a world worth inheriting.

    We need to teach the youth more important things than how to make money, money is all too important already.
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    • Oct 26 2011: I am also not sure if all of this is true or even close to truth, but it is a fact that Qaddafi Libya put a lot of resources into propping up the lives of ordinary people. Yet, these people were willing to fight his soldiers, and hunted him down and killed him in a ditch - for more important things were denied to them.

      Into the topic:

      Part of the reason why here in Europe we are where we are now is excessive state intervention in too many fields of life. Want a job? Ask why no public servants can be fired in many countries, why unemployment benefits must be paid for 36 months. For what I know, starting and running a business in many countries is being restricted with overwhelming bureaucracy and taxes.

      I agree though that large youth unemployment is a problem over longer term, and states should be tackling it. Not because the young are feeling unhappy but because their skills need to be preserved and developed in labor market - this is needed over longer term.

      I am 28, have always been employed.
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        Oct 26 2011: I agree with your points about too much government intervention. Again, I don't know how many of the things on the list are actually true. But some of them give food for thought. For instance, 0% interest loan -- that could really help and encourage young entrepreneurs. Money toward first apartment (again, that would likely be for younger folks).

        I think forgiving student debt is a good start. And I think reassessing the education system, specifically for high school and college is a good idea. I'm not sure if young people are learning the things they need to be successful.
  • Oct 26 2011: I strongly agree that much of the burden that we face now will result in a responsibility placed on our generation to solve. However I believe we will have the mindset to do so. I've been told countless times by older generations how in tune our age is globally. We are selfless and easily give of ourselves. Once people start to recognize that we offer much in the way of social responsibility I feel we will be able to make many improvements in the way of our economy.
  • Nov 8 2011: You have a right to paint your face green, if you choose not to ... thats not my issue
  • Nov 8 2011: See, it appears that we made similar post at the same time, i suppose ...
  • Nov 8 2011: My dear i never saw that post until this very second in email]
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    Nov 8 2011: . . . continued from my last message.

    What else could I say about it, other than I would sell it to potential gang members looking to belong to a family, looking for loyalty, prison inmates, and people who care too much about others. Warmest and kindest regards, Michael

    You can always contact me at UltraEmpathy@aol.com
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    Nov 8 2011: Education should be completely free to qualified students. The US government, and every US citizen benefits from an educated populace. Why should primary education be free, but not secondary education? Educated citizens make better choices selecting polticians, they pay more taxes, they provide valuable services, they help a country grow, they place less burden on society for creating prisons. They are the real wealth creator. They find the cure for cancer and other diseases. It would be a shame if we lost the cure for cancer because some bright, promising student could not afford to go to college, or had to spend so much time working his way through college he couldn't spend the time on his studies he otherwise would have been able to spend. But hey, as long as we give our best atheletes total scholarships that is all that is important to a nation of sports fans. After all we need the best NFL and NBA players possible. Who cares if we are unable to cure some disease that eradicates the human race. What good are educated college students anyway, when we first seek treatment for pancreatic cancer from witch doctors, believe in ghosts, and refuse to believe what they tell us regarding global warming. This is why the Chinese and other countries will be supplanting the US in the near future. Cheers, Michael P.S. TED moderators removed my big idea for creating a new religion based on Empathy and Loving Kindness and nothing else, as being too vague. My religion has no God, no prayer, no dogma, no holidays, and no rituals. It merely requires its followers to dedicate their entire lives to lessening human and animals suffering, helping the less fortunate, helping others reach their full-potential, helping the mentally ill, the mentally defecient, the orphan, widow, elderly, weak and disabled. Of course, this religion is related to the question posed. Do you find my description of this religion vague? TED is telling me I am out of characte
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      Nov 8 2011: I'm not hearing that Tim. I'm hearing happiness is not a given, and the 'pursuit' of it is a constitutional right. They're different. Do you agree?

      Perhaps another challenge lies in how we define happiness. Debra's example referred to her kids, and the idea that video games might bring happiness. You differentiate it as the opposite of the pursuit of money. Those definitions are miles apart in my estimation. Debra is suggesting responsibility is an important factor. My guess is you both feel the same way about happiness...that it doesn't come from money or sitting on our butts. It is the result of finding satisfaction through what brings the most meaning to us, and is self sustaining. The values people choose may vary, but the experience of real happiness - the deep down kind - might be the same.
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        Nov 8 2011: Thanks for this adept clarification Linda. I appreciate your ameliorative spirit here and it is insightful. I have in fact raised my five grown children to pursue meaningful lives with purpose and with the belief that they should maximize their happiness as long as it is not at the expense of others. In fact, I have raised them to believe that maximizing the happiness of others will often maximize their own. I use the concept of 'preferring others' as a model for good manners.

        I also raised them to become fully functioning and independent adults who are aware that adults sometimes have to 'buck up' and do the hard stuff to get to the leisure and the fun. I worry that so many strong healthy capable adults children are still acting like children in their expectation that it is someone else's job to supply their happiness. Many other generations can be blamed but we all travel similar roads to adulthood and in counselling psychology, clincial psychology and common sense we all have to arrive at the concept of personal responsibility.
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          Nov 8 2011: It's in the framing, yes? Tim has his definitions couched in a constitutionalist frame, while yours are in one of personal responsibility. The irony is they're both about freedom and individuality. The biggest difference I'm gleaning is Tim's definitions are based on a document which he is fitting himself into, or words he follows - while yours are intuitive and coming from within.

          Tim, why do you ask if someone is anti-Christian or anti-Constitutionalist? What about her comments made you identify her like that? I'm curious to know if language is what gets in the way, or perhaps better said - language based on ideologies? I'm genuinely curious, not challenging you.
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          Nov 8 2011: Hey Tim, I absolutely hope that you willl stay and enjoy the process and conversation. I am sure you have a unique and valuable perspective to add. There are three levels of conversations or types, debates, questions and ideas that are put forward. It sort of takes awhile to adapt and if you take the time you will agree that there is some truly valuable information exchanged and I find that my thinking processes are broadened.
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        Nov 8 2011: Linda, yes it is about the way we frame things. It is also about trying hard to understand and we all need the reminder to try a bit harder sometimes so I really appreciate it when you encourage me to make that effort. It is worthwhile and in the end a lot more productive. thank you.
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      Nov 8 2011: Tim, I am having trouble discerning whether or not you are addressing me and my posts. If it is a right to be happy why are people not happy? If it is a right to be happy who will fulfil that 'right'?
  • Nov 8 2011: Is this tpic imtemded to imply the right, birthright of happiness? Or is it a discussion about the elements of Education? Some here must misunderstand the question, he parphrases the " constitutional quoted right for the pursuit of happyness"! The american constitution grrants you the right of pursuit...it does not demand Government has to give it to you without paying for it. Does it also apply to the committment of crimes because the gains make you happy? We put a large burden on goverments, items that are way out of norm, individual interest groups get attention by becomming the squeaky wheek. Does God, Allah, Jehova or Ulah Khane, any god you will quote stand in the way of your pursuit? Education is a marketable item, we can aquire it and reap benefits for the rest of our lives. The government therefore has to make it available, the same way as a drivers licence or a passport. WE trade taxes for wisdom, but reading many of these comments I can see the ineqities of education. Where all of us have a god or something to believe in, we cannot go to the village priest and demand he make us smarter than we are, or can we? A god given right, a nice phrase for the demanding crowd, but even rights have to be earned by the ones in need. Many of us are happy working the fields, many are happy with just one good meal a day, ask the children in the jungles of the Congo. Here we are discussing education, not the merit of the constitution and all its amendments. Yes you have the right to pursue happiness, on one condition, do not interfere with mine or anyone elses rights. We give free education at a huge expense to the early grades to highschools levels, and still twenty percent drop out, money is more important to a young person so he quits and now he protests because things are broken. Education is the first step to earning a decent living, still we cannot take too much from the ones that retired or the ones that are not borne yet. It is all our spending that caused it.
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    Nov 8 2011: It's more complicated than that, but it's a threat. And I'm not having any part of it.
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    Nov 8 2011: cont'd...
    Psychopathology, socio-pathology are difficult to discern. Think Dick Cheney. Bill Clinton.
    Brain damage too. Think Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush.
    I argue unregulated capitalism has failed the general public. China has indisputably destroyed the myth a single party communist system and regulated capitalism are not compatible. Cuba has demonstrated, with great pain and sacrifice, that a tiny nation can withstand US onslaught to destroy it.
    A recent study showed 147 global corporate entities control 40% of humanity’s wealth (please confirm, using recall here). 7 billion people are at the whim of profit motivated entities.
    Profit as motivation is a human creation. It’s time to evolve this antiquated concept. It’s time to empower the individual. To underwrite individuals natural abilities and passions. To facilitate individuals ability to be the best they can be. Contribute to their community, society. Lead a fulfilling life.
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    Nov 8 2011: Another fundamental fact is if nature did not create it, a human mind conceived it, and human hands realized it. All manner of calamity humanity suffers from now, not created by nature, such as economic inequities, healthcare inequities, housing inequities, war, famine, strife of all manner, between humans etc. etc.etc., have been created by humans. By in large to satisfy an agenda imposed on a population at large by a handful. Very few humans as compared to the total population of particular regions or on earth as a whole.
    What is different in our current historical moment from past era’s?
    Education, knowledge, bountiful information, robust communication infrastructure on a scale never before experienced on earth.
    The general public must capitalize on this to effect change. To think different is not enough. To do different is a must.
    The failure of the counter-culture revolution of the 60’s and early 70’s was the failure to evolve institutions to better address emergent needs.
    Evolving (changing) entrenched dogma has never been easy throughout history.
    Think Copernicus, Darwin.
    Denial is a powerful psychological force.
    Change is frightening.
    Change requires effort. Persistence. Patience. Thinking. Purposeful, deliberate action.
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    Nov 8 2011: Hanna,

    What are you personally doing to "be saved"? What ideas do you have to balance this generational inequity: services supplied to seniors today, paid for by tomorrows workers-you? Do you feel well served by the Occupy movement in the US now? It is Super Tuesday with a pessimistic electorate and voting is the one sure way for citizens to affect change. What more will under 25's do? Which are the priority issues? What are the innovative solutions your generation is offering up? Have you linked in with a TEDxYouth event for the weekend of November 19-21? Which one appeals most to you? Action is what is needed now. If there is an election in your community, will your voice count in the form of your vote? If you could alter our current governing system to be more reflective of our digital age, what might it look like and at what pace would it require its citizens to respond?
  • Nov 8 2011: Tim, you're absolutely right about the banks doing really shady and illegal stuff and should face the legal system for that. When I said to blame the government, not the banks, I meant that as blame government as the SOURCE of the problem. Had the government not backed the loans and created these artificially low interest rates, the banks wouldn't have been able to do this kind of crap on the scale they did. They could have tried to do it, but they would have very quickly collapsed, long before things could escalate to the level they did. I doubt they would have tried though, if they didn't have a government safety net to bail them out.

    This is what Ron Paul is always talking about in his debates when he says that we first need to understand the problem and when he begins to explain it, he runs out of time or gets interrupted. This is why he is against bailouts and government involvement. Now if I were forced to do a bailout, I would have given the money to the people in trouble, not the banks. I would have then gone after the banks who did commit illegal acts. Even this would have been a bad deal though, because it would create a moral hazzard and isn't fair to the people, like me, who made responsible decisions and bought a house they could afford and not under the speculation that they could flip it for profit.

    I think we're on the same page here, Tim. It was a combination of my poor wording and your misinterpretation of my bad wording, which is my fault, that brought about the disconnect here.

    I think everyone should watch this video by Peter Schiff, "Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgMclXX5msc

    Great video. He really goes into great detail, far better than what I could do here. Well worth the watch.
  • Nov 8 2011: The key thing alot of people miss is that we actually have the money to pay off the debt. Its sitting in the 1%s bank acounts. The govn deregulated big buisness and gave them tax cuts under the understanding that the money would then be trickled down to the people. Well it wasnt. So the money actually isnt even theirs. it was designated funds that didnt reach its destination so the govn should step in and redirect the money to its rightful place. Problem solved. Increase tax on the rich regulate big buisness especially the banks not matter what their threats are take their power away. OH MY GOODNESS we just resolved the economic crisis and saved the world. so simple
  • Nov 8 2011: Personal responsibility is the cornerstone of all civilizations. I'm 63 and I guess I'm old or at least old-fashioned as it has never occurred to me to ask anyone else to save me. Forty years ago I was responsible for making decisions about my life; today is no different. If you are lost look to your internal compass, your value structure, not an amorphous someone else.
    • Nov 8 2011: Judy, I hear you, and agree, well hon I'm 50, but let me ask you something, that perhaps you may not have considered. I do look at it like this. Thanks to one of the best books I have ever read, Looking Backwards, by Edward Belemy I do believe that as human beings we are all equal, and that we are supposed to love and care for each other. It has occurred to me that life has changed to a degree that it is really messed up. See back in the day, a man had a family, etc,etc.and the natural "Death progression was grandfather, then grand mother, then mom, dad w/e, etc, etc, so really the OLDER generation always had in essence, someone to care for them. but as the world changed, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers left the family Home, farm w/e to cities for work, (Wars) w/e and WERE KILLED, disrupting the natural "Death" Progression, hence leaving OLDER generations at home, and often AGED and incapable of caring for themselves. As now if you are alone, no family, and were to hurt yourself and couldn't support yourself, OR THE RICH SCAMMED YOUR NEST EGG !, As a HUMAN being, it is MY duty to help you. So, I say as a civilized society, YOU ARE , as a HUMAN BEING, entitled to help. As Civilized humans , as a society, we Honor and love, so we will of course help you ... But as IT IS TODAY, we can't afford to help YOU because the RICH have PLUNDERED EVERY PENNY THEY CAN SNATCH. So my dear, I concede YOUR Point, but also, i hope you can see mine as well. why some of us are MAD AS HELL, because we cant afford to to what WE FEEL IS RIGHT ! Entitlement from a humanitarian point of view is COMPLETELY different that someone NOT WORKING because of laziness and demanding entitlement. Same with a crippled person that perhaps the family was killed in an auto accident, with NO surviving realities, they have a RIGHT as a HUMAN Being. I believe as Americans, we constructed OUR Government to take OUR taxes to help those IN NEED,
      I hope I was able to articulate my point
      • Nov 9 2011: No, I don't think you've articulated your point well. BTW, I'm a quadriplegic from a car accident 16 years ago. My husband sustained a traumatic brain injury. We went on to build another hi-tech engineering manufacturing company in our county employing 350 people. We sold that to a major corporation 5 years ago. My husband died of cancer 6 months ago. I have a strong family and friend group. I'm continuing the art foundation we formed to bring the joy of outdoor sculpture to the people of our community. You create your own reality.
  • Nov 7 2011: Education....is it a privilage or a right? A government, any government has to balance its books. We can have or ask for it, the difference will always be what we can afford. Take Greece, a government in dire sytaights, indebted to the world and to its people! Why? It was unable to balance socialistic ideas with affordability. Education is a right to a specific term, lets say to the basic intelligence of the individual, end of high school, From then on only the intelligent, the best of the best should be able to use public funds to go to institutions of higher learmning. All og these offer subsidies for the qualified. The ones that cannot cut the grade should not be a burden or an expense to the rest of the social network we all incorporate in our lives. It means the old, t5he invalid, the extremely poor or handicapped. Huge strikes in sveral countries, a sort of excessive demand has reduced such cost to the extreme. You hear cut this, cut some more and on the other side you hear more demands frrom unions for higher wages and benefit. Education needs corporate sponsordgip at higher levels of Education, so lets not mistake it is money that goes into the coffers of these institutions. Education should also be based on present and future job demands, Teachers in abaundance are digging ditches, Mater of Arts are driving buses. I have to think they were misplaced in their educational programs. No we cannot allow education to become a aspect of affordability, but we can make it a demand for ability and need. It is all of us citizen paying for it, parents and grandparents and homeowners and even the welfare recipients pay for it by being cut in the small allowance that is given out. We need better tests to screen applicants and better selection in the pre university entrance exams. Student loans should be based on the quality of the student and the demand in his selection of courses. Otherwise a free education cost more than the student will ever benefit!
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    Nov 4 2011: Ms. Lore, I see that you live in Belgium. I have visited a few cities, but know little of the politics. I read enough to see that it is a federal, constitutional monarchy.

    I started scanning the Constitution, and stopped at Articles 23 and 24: I think indicating the problem. Perhaps to win votes, politicians in the past have claimed that they will provide everything a person wants in life. No human can provide another human a life free from want.

    The world is counting on the young people of the world to overcome the past and forge personally rewarding lives regardless of the crisis. The first hard cold reality they must face is that just governance can only come from the governed. To assure good governance, most citizens must be well informed about governmental affairs and take constructive action.

    I think the answer is to reform the government to specify governance by the people. Choose under ten broad goals, instead of the impossible promises now claimed. Reorganize institutions and laws accordingly, and make certain that most citizens are committed to take responsibility and accountability for the results of their votes. I think just governance has serious penalties for elected officials who do not uphold the Constitution.

    I do not know of a country that has just governance by the governed. If anyone knows of one, I'd apprecieate the idea. (This is the first time I have examined a Constitution of a country other than my own--the United States of America.)

    This seems an exceptional proposal, but coming to the age when the service to humankind you planned for is not demanded is a shock I cannot imagine and it calls for exceptional, constructive action.

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    Nov 4 2011: Education's price should definitely be reduce.In England and other countries fees are outrageous! Government should get money in a different way but education should be an open, cheap source for everyone to have access to.
    • Nov 8 2011: TODAY, RIGHT NOW, less than two feet away from you is MORE information available to YOU than in the ENTIRE Library of Congress,

      and by the way ... EDUCATION IS FREE, always has been, ALWAYS WILL BE ! It is the cost of the sheepskin (Piece of paper called a degree) they have tricked everone into believing in, that cost the money, and OMG, My Sheepskin is better than yours, cause I went yale, harvard WHATEVER, and WHO invented this atrocity ? THE RAPING< STEALING RICH !
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  • Nov 4 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBNh543A81U&feature=share
    Please view ASAP Independent thinking is very new to Americans, but times are changing ....
    To answer your two questions ... Q1: imho nobody will pay this debt, the numbers are just to large, ONLY war can and will resolve it. Q2: With all due respect, The very question is the crux of the matter. We call you lost because YOU believe it is somehow OUR responsibility to save YOU. Therein is the problem, this assumption of entitlement. God endowed you, Gutenberg has freed you, your personal rejection of said freedom is your choice. Freedom is a state of mind, not a location. However, if location is hindering or oppressing that state of mind, place one foot in front of the other and continue until said oppression is just a bad memory. The answers you seek cannot be panhandled ... As crass as it may seem, there is NO us, there is only you ... God has blessed you with contemplation, read, do so ...
    • Nov 8 2011: Again Tim you make a good point if only you took god out. god is a crutch. invented out of a need for purpose and guidance. You talk alot about counting on yourself and contemplation wich is good but then you say god has granted you these things, that defeats the whole purpose of your speech. god didnt grant you anything. You make your own path. Live your own life. your moral compass is always changing and so is your life goals. the way you live your life shouldnt be carved into a couple of stones by god. it should come from within you from your life experiences. And then when everyone comes together with all their experiences we form an educated society thats willing to move together to experience new things as a whole
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    Nov 4 2011: One day, this great planet will be led and/or influenced by the scientists and engineers-- people who actually understand and are subject matter experts in terms of resource allocation and sustainability. Should this day ever arrive, there will be no more financial crisis or lacking abundance.

    I hope it's not too late to let conventional wisdom someday have a chance to reflect a culmination of intelligence gathered and shared among the people, through all ages of time...
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    Nov 3 2011: What should be done is quite simple, a global reform of the banking system.

    Replacing the current way of the banks that inject funds in the system by getting the loans paid back with interest with money from other loans, because this system is a big fraud and that is why it doesn't work.

    Instead of printing new funds only for the banks to loan money to individuals, there would be a new world bank that would allow new funds to emerge from nothing by giving a measured value to benevolent actions which results in an improvement of the quality of life.

    These funds would also be taken away from the owners of corporations specialized in warfare and other corporations that makes a huge amount of profit with the diminishment of the quality of life of others, backed by the same principle of REAL Justice.

    This new system is not quite ready yet, but i'm working on it. The idea is to bring a certain balance and stability at a global scale, hopefully it will accepted overall by the 99%.
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    Nov 3 2011: The thing is that if they could give all of us a job, then they would... but there is nothing really for a young graduate out there.

    In the context of England, they really have little control and are more concerned with saving peoples pensions then providing applicable opportunity for graduates. They are now taking a stronger focus on apprenticeships in the UK but there is not much going for a man like me... all the money I make (not even enough to pay rent) is from things I have sorted out through word of mouth and scraped together from bits and bats... better than dealing with the benefits system.

    Sadly, its the same for a lot of people with the older generation saying that "we are lazy" or "we just don't want to work" when I have spent my whole life working just to be able to get a job and nothing is available... but we all keep walking on being treated as the scum of society by the people who took a paycut in their mid 30's or 40's to take the graduate positions for job security.

    I'm not bitter at all as you can tell... but I don't work because I get paid a lot, I just want to make enough to be independent and those opportunities are very far and few between.
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    Nov 2 2011: Being both a person of the demographic, and someone currently working in higher education, I think the best legacy I would appreciate would be more education funding. There are also some basic things (kind of Maslow's hierarchy of needs-esque) that I feel a government has to offer its people: access to health care, a chance to contribute to society in a way that is fulfilling, a decent and stimulating education, and freedom of beliefs. There are others, but if I got to request things from my government, those would be them.
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    Nov 1 2011: The thing about debt isthat it comes and goes. What pays down debt (and conversely piles it up) is the condition of the economy. More people employed = more revenue. when that happens (it will happen) the problem largely resolves itself.
    This particular load of debt is the price we must pay for wars and and unregulated free market/financial institutions that brought us to the brink of depression.The alternative to NOT spending hundreds of billions of $$$ was likely worse than the position we find ourselves in now.

    As for the youth looking for a "saviour".... Save yourself. This is the challenge of every generation: to fix/improve the things they see as wrong with the previous generation.. So get to work - and do it right!! WWTD? (What Would TED Do?) It's the democratic way of evolving.
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    Oct 31 2011: Bill, I hope I am interpreting your observation in the right way. Fundamentally, a coach facilitates change with individuals or organizations. Coaches are trained to ask questions and make observations that push clients to reflect on their habits and patterns, clarify their thoughts, come up with creative strategies, access resources, etc. Coaching is based on the premise that clients are already complete, creative, and capable of solving their own problems. A coach does not "fix" people or systems. Rather, coaching engages clients/organizations in a process that helps them clarify their own goals, leverage their strengths, identify barriers, and come up with strategies to achieve their objectives.

    Why not just give client solutions? If a client is really stuck and needs some ideas to help them get their juices flowing, I might occasionally take off my coaching hat and put on my consulting/teaching hat by directly give people knowledge or strategies, brainstorming together, etc. But usually, coming in and solving a problem undermines a person's ability to solve the problem for themselves, bypasses the energizing satisfaction that comes with overcoming a once insurmountable problem using one's own (or the group's) ingenuity, and can even be subtly disempowering by cutting people's opinions out of a process that affects them. Think about it, how many times have you seen the consultant come into an organization and give a good solution and then think to yourself, "I knew that. Why didn't someone just ask me? Listen to me?"

    I'm not knocking consultants - they do great work. I'm just saying there is often untapped knowledge and experience already present and the art is in accessing it. Sometimes just 5 minutes of thinking about the right question can trigger astounding ideas, ideas that they may never have materialized without someone pushing them to think deeper, or look at it from a different perspective.
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    Oct 30 2011: Marie,
    Excuse me but I find your comments provincial and looking in the rear view mirror. What you have experienced as you grew up isn't the same as what the younger generation is experiencing. To think for a minute that it is, is to bury your head in the sand. Not only the rules, but the game has significantly changed. The young know it and that is why they are pissed off. Those still in some semblance of power remain clueless. I suggest you move beyond the cultural denial that seems to prevent the past generations to see what's ahead for future generations. That disconnect is what is driving the insanity, in my opinion. Try to understand how our cultural definition of success (conspicuous consumption and opulence) has undermined future generations in spades. Try to grapple with any of the limits future generations will deal with that we wasted because we act as if the environment is a subset of our economy when the the opposite is true. I invite your response.
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      Oct 30 2011: Craig, thank you for your reply. I guess I should clarify that I am 32...not so much older that the younger generation. Yes, there are major problems with our government. Absolutely agree. Surely people in power have created alot of this mess, and I especially think the government has been the major player in the problems. But I heard alot being said about that. What I am doing is adding a perspective that we as individuals can take action now to participate in educating and preparing the next generation. Is that provincial? Maybe it is, but I stand by the belief that individuals can make a huge impact by direct action and we don't always need to government to be the mechanism to do it.

      I Agree that conspicuous consumption is a problem. Conspicuous consumption is usually what happens when you are letting other people dictate your values and not living according to your own. Here's one of my values: tuning into strengths and capabilities of people and then teaching them strategies so they can succeed in life. The ideas I had, like them or not, are effective strategies for professional success. I targeted them because a common issue I see young people facing is how hard it is to find a jobs/succeed in the professional world. I am not advocating because it means making big bucks and filling a house with toys. I advocate them because a satisfying day's work and a paycheck that will help you provide a decent (non-conspicuous consumption life) for your family ...well why shouldn't someone have it? And why shouldn't we share the skills of how to get it?
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        Oct 30 2011: Marie,
        I applaud your work and the consciousness you bring to it. You are a light as many are. How can we collectively shine brighter? and better challenge the dominate paradigms. Unfortunately I don't know any 'institutional example' of the consciousness you identify. Most if not all systems of higher are more about 'institutional obedience' than about socially relevant integrated science or inquiry. The fact we don't have any meaningful ideas about how this experiment which values money over nature plays out as the balance shifts. No transitional paths to explore in present time. Future time will be far different than similar. We best anticipate those changes.
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          Oct 30 2011: You ask a challenging question, which I need to think about further. But off the top of my head, maybe what we are doing right now is the right process: just talking to each other. I'd say that podcasting, blogging, youtube, etc offer other such opportunities for people to exchange ideas outside of traditional settings. For example, I imagine that my views of changing this system are different than a lot of other people. No problem there. The problem I see is when everyone is shouting and no-one is listening. I'm amazed how many times a simple conversation has made me change my views and I think this is common. I'd love to see a conversation between 99 percenters, corporate execs, and government officials in which they all had to end each statement with a question and listen without interrupting for at least 60 seconds.. I think we'd find that no-one is as bad as they appear from the other side.

          Other thoughts: I may be biased because I am a small business owner, but I also believe that entrepreneurship is exceptionally important here. Starting your own business allows you to create a corporate culture on your terms. Look at Zappos. We often get stuck fighting over pieces of the pie and forget about making a bigger pie. Don't get me wrong, entrepreneurship hard - I know from experience. But it can be done

          On a side note, I really love what the Khan institute is doing. Free education, wow. Imagine if we became a world where you could be educated for free, from anywhere. Game changer.
      • Oct 30 2011: Marie, I think many would benefit if you told them more precisely what services you provide, and what paradigm you are following for change.
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    Oct 30 2011: Great topic question since there are so many well thought out responses but here's a more important question: what should we as individuals do to help the younger generation? Some thoughts: start educating young people that you know about what will actually make them successful. Waiting for the government to "fix things" is a gamble with your time. But career skills, lessons from the experience of others, and entrepreneurship are real options that can be leveraged to create opportunities. We need to educate young people on general economics, organizational economics, business, and career development. Why? so they have a better understanding of how to be successful in the professional world. As a career coach,I say from experience that the most important thing for professional success is offering value (meaning strong professional relationship skills, ingenuity, and productivity). So, That's what we need to teach. Meaning, it's in our own hands to take advantage of educational opportunities in whatever way we can, even if it's studying out of library books. It's networking and building relationships. It's learning how to be effective with time, to be organized, to present yourself well, to identify areas of the market where your skills are needed, and if you don't have skills, to develop them. Or it's being an entrepreneur.I understand that some people are born into more advantage than others. It's true and it stinks to be born without advantage. But waiting for government to "fix" the problem (and really can they?) would result in waiting generations, at least. But taking ownership of our own lives and being strategic in how to be successful can create results now, or at least way faster and much more effectively, than waiting/hoping for government to do it for us.Lesson: we can ask to be given something. Or we can ask how to make it happen for ourselves.
  • Oct 29 2011: Doesn't the long term debt idea only exist in the minds of those who are wedded to the current financial system? Who benefits from the current system? possibly not the 18 - 25 year olds, but it seems that large groups of them are demonstrating their disbelief in the current system.

    Maybe flexibility is an answer - as the worlds resources become depleted, the majority of humans will probably have to adjust their lifestyles. Would it not be difficult for governments to initiate vast changes to the status quo and the aspirations of the populous without a preceding crisis - real or created?
  • Oct 28 2011: I understand the concern of the younger generation, but please don't punish me as someone that worked their whole life, and contributed to the system. I played by the rules and paid my dues and I do expect to get my due!

    Unless of course society decides it's time to put me out on an ice flow and let me go......
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    Oct 27 2011: In Canada, the 18-25 vote is dismal; around the 30% range. So, while I could debate to great lengths what the government's responsibility *should* be towards young people, the reality is that no sane government will tailor its policies to cater to a demographic that doesn't vote. In practice, therefore, the government's responsibility to these people is practically non-existent. Since the voter turnout is not sufficient to impact elections, it is also not sufficient to impact policy.
  • Oct 27 2011: We live in a time of no corporation being able to operate in a bubble due to technology alone - as well as consumers being very savvy and having lots of options. keep in mind that all companies have to compete to get good employees (including contractors), as well as to have customers. You have to remember that. Government 'protecting us' is often done by interfering with the free market. I think people would be very surprised to see how much LESS expensive things would be (such as education), and how much power customers as well as potential employees really do have on a business that has to answer to them (instead of trying to purchase government favors.) Get rid of all the layers of legislation that government has done 'to protect the people from businesses', and you remove the political power that big business has in America today. I'm not saying have no regulations at all - reporting will allow access to records so customers and potential employees can do their own research and decide what companies to support. But we have to stop letting government pass laws that go against free market. Its the only way out of this mess! The key is to give the power back to people, but getting government out of regulating the markets. (Aren't we smart enough to handle that?)
  • Oct 27 2011: The system should be changed, to favour 'young' people's opinions and concerns, (not just for this totally forseeable catastrope, but for ALL public and voting inputs).
    The only votes that should be cast and counted, should be from 16 to 35-year-olds...
    Everybody else has learned to fear ANY change, overreact to every threat, given up on changing anything, and resigned to 'whatever the government wants to do...' they just want to lie down and retire.
    • Oct 27 2011: Do you think your vote is worth more than someone who is 65? Isn't that an anti-freedom, anti-democracy, and liberty view? You do realize that there's more young people than old people in America. Why do young people stay at home rather than vote?
      • Oct 27 2011: NO, please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say...I'm NOT in my proposed 'vote-group'...by over a decade...
        I think that, (and seeing as everyone seems to agree), that the future belongs to you young, then they need to be empowered to change it, BEFORE 'the way it is' takes over everything they do.
        To me, this means removing the policy-changing abilities of 'those who maintain the structure, of a system which is failing'.
        We can't MAKE people care enough to vote, only encourage them, and I've seen a lot of 'young people', ( which I kind of still consider myself), who don't show any signs of having hope for very much.
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          Oct 31 2011: I think Kenny is a Faux News interceptor. Don't feed the trolls ;o)
  • Oct 27 2011: @Jasper_Chieng Why would a free market system be too costly for such a transition to ever happen? Is there another system other than free market capitalism that has brought more people out of poverty? Last time I checked, socialism collapsed in the USSR. Cuba's economic model is collapsing before our eyes. Greece's government is bankrupt. North Korea has made everyone except the elite extremely poor. A social system can't protect people from failure. All it will do is enable people to fail. Have you been to an Indian Reservation? How good is a Native American's economic status? They get government handouts. Why do they live in poverty?

    You're missing the point about my $.75 production rate. What happens if the employee doesn't have the skills to justify their minimum wage paycheck? What happens if the employee can't read or write? Does that entitle them to a higher wage to someone who can read and write? Are you going to pay that employee a $1 an hour minimum wage when their output is below a $1 an hour? No, you will look for someone else with better skills.

    The majority of the people believe government input in the economy is a positive thing. Nothing can be further from the truth. All it does is keep people's wages down.
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    Oct 27 2011: My humble opinion: I have this idea that terms like recession and economic crisis are more symptoms of a meme that poisoned the thoughts of those people around you. Its a state of mind, and if the young (and older) generation think about it calmly, I'm sure they'd realize that it can be a self-healing act by thinking positive, realizing that by increasing your skill in diverse areas, talking to the people around you, making new connections, being kind to those around you, it will automatically break the spell. Everybody has to eat, so start a new tomato farm, talk an uncle into giving you an area where you can plant it. Everyone has basic needs, and by sitting back and thinking a government or an organization will step in and "save" you, without you putting in effort yourself, you'd be in for a surprise.

    Hanne states: Long term debts: current generation caused it? I'd like to see if by swapping 'current' generation to 'any' generation would have had any differences. What price do you pay? i.e. you have to wake up every morning in any case, do some work that changes the lives of people around you, enjoy life, and sleep. It doesn't matter what generation you are from. My opinion of "lost generation" is more of "uneducated lazy generation" that expects that with good book knowledge and lot of watching youtube videos they will survive without lifting a finger. Get off your chair, don't blame any generation or economy or goverment, and just better yourself while enjoying life!

    The global organism see (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology) gets affected and that in turn affects economy. I.e. after loosing a war, a country's mood is affected, and it takes time for their "generations" to pick it up and repair it. Strange that new diseases always happen when the social organism of a country is sick with "bad thoughts".

    So Hanne, stop complaining and be wise. We as a planet are paying together.
    Start by playing "pay it forward" and see if you can break the spell.

  • Oct 27 2011: I'm afraid it will be your generation who pays the bill! But then again, your generation has far more resources to create real value and build fast (online) economies to ease this future pain.
  • Oct 27 2011: These protests are proving to be much more divisve than any issue in recent memory. Im glad, personally. It seems that what is going on is a generation who has grown up with acess to information, much more so than any generation that has come before. We arent restricted to the narrow views of our immediate surroundings, and we see government officials as the criminals their positions have come to represent, not as noble figures here for our benefit. We are a generation that has grown up with the most immoral journalism ever documented trying to be shoved down our throats as truth. We are told that unless we buy into the criminal system set up we are un-American and a bunch of whiners, which couldnt be farther from the truth, and seems to be the quickest answer available to those uninterested in keeping an open mind or entertaining the possibility that the America they believed they grew up in never actually existed. I garuntee more people under 25 could tell you about the dangers of the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex than those who were actually alive to hear Eisenhower warn them about it.We are a generation who went through the worst president to ever steal office. The whole idea of the "great nation" we are is as real to us as the civil war or the american revolution, just a distant memory, The reality we know is trillions in debt, where the worst among us are bailed out while the good are put out on the street. I dont believe that we are telling people to give us anything. We WANT TO WORK. Thats the point! The jobs we worked our asses off to learn how to do DONT EXIST, and the answer why leads us to government and corperatations continuously acting in their own interest rather than the interest of the people.Most Importanty, we are a generation that has remembered that we have the power to make the change we see as necessary, since our parents forgot how. There seems to be a new generation gap in ideology, and its about god damn time.
  • Oct 27 2011: The entire debt crisis is a government run Ponzi Scheme on the verge of collapse. Ponzi Schemes work great until they fail. I ask you, is it so unthinkable to believe your own government would set one up for it's benefit and "yours"?

    If people went to Madoff a couple of years ago and wanted their money they got it. Why did they get it? Because Madoff pulled in new money from suckers who didn't know it was a Ponzi Scheme; the same thing the U.S Government does.

    When a bond matures they sell another one to cover the earlier principle. And when they need to pay interest on the national debt they borrow that too.

    The debt can not be paid off. When the U.S Government runs of out suckers it'll be over. And they'll either legitimately not pay or they'll just go to the Fed and have them print 15 trillion new dollars - effectively diluting our currencies value to 0 - for the biggest bailout in the history of civilization, the bail out of the U.S Government and it's bond holders.
    • Nov 8 2011: well said, I have not heard one word about fiat currencies, separation of a REAL currency backed Currency, not one word about the legalized PLUNDER that the whole world is emulating, therefor crashing, i have not heard a word about the printing presses running NONSTOP printing money that has NO value whatsoever, not to mention every dollar printed devalues our already valueless UNBACKED dollar, not a word about credit that is based on a currency that has NO BACKING, the list of ATROCITIES goes ON an ON. BTW, Education is FREE, always has been, always will be ... right now you have more information at your fingertips than the ENTIRE Library of Congress !, MIT has had FREE Open Course work for YRS, Khan Academy is ROCKIN the education world, all i hear is I want the Gov to give me something, The YOUNG Should be mad as hell to, these thieves have raped YOUR future, and our planet, are you txting or facebooking about it, i CANT TELL, we are BROKE Folks, do you not understand the implications ?, can YOU spell MARTIAL LAW, do you understand what is about to happen, not IF, WHEn !
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    Oct 27 2011: If a large enough percentage of the public refused to pay taxes I am fairly certain governments would intervene before the hospitals got closed. Still, it wouldn't take much to organize funding and management for those state run services on a municipal level.. I doubt we'd have Mad Max overnight. Hacking would also be another fantastically effective manner of demonstrating, 10,000 people could put together a fairly devastating denial of service attack with very little coaching.

    I'd like to see another option on my voting ballot:


    If the majority of voters didn't feel there was a candidate that spoke for them the whole election would have to be done again. That'd unplug the system a bit aye!
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      Oct 27 2011: No, this would not work as well as a tax strike. We already have a large number of people who do not vote. I agree, however, that we would not see the Mad Max scenario or municipal failure people envision.
    • Oct 27 2011: "Spoil your ballot: Write void across it, sign it, and cast it into the ballot box.
      It MUST be counted, somewhere, becoming part of the "margin for error" in the counting process.
      And the $2 that a registered poltician/party WOULD HAVE GOTTEN, (for a supporting vote,) will not be paid out...
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        Oct 27 2011: THAT is a great idea. It sends a clear message.
  • Oct 27 2011: If America is still a meritocracy, than there is very little the other generations should do to help people once they are out of the education system. Meritocracy only works when people a) have roughly equivalent opportunities in life and b) are rewarded for the merit they demonstrate. Both of those have been crushed by generational theft through the university system. The private sector and the government (in the U.S.) have agreed that workers should now be forced to pay for the development of their own skills necessary to work. A vicious combination of moving the burden to students and making colleges increasingly for-profit (generally not the purpose they were founded for) has led to speculative/predatory lending, too much access and credential inflation.

    This is a problem with schooling in-media-res, the damage is done once you have had to go through the system. The idea that "we need to be saved" is selfish, its dwelling on the suffering we've already endured instead of fixing the problem for others. In short, this has to be about fixing that system for the future, not rectifying the present. Debt forgiveness is about all you can hope for, but that won't help people who were deferred from college due to cost or the possible unfairness of wealthy families *paying* for better credentials for their kids. Let go of the problem of now, work on tomorrow.
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      Oct 27 2011: First, this concept of America as a meritocracy just isn't true. This country never has been and never will be a meritocracy. No nation that has ever existed is a meritocracy, not in the truest sense. By virtue of your first requirement of a meritocracy "people have roughly equivalent opportunities in life", you have destroyed the concept because human nature will not allow caring parents to not pass along the benefits they have earned in life to their children. Friends pass on their benefits to their friends. Families retain benefits across generations and that is where inequal opportunity starts and ends...it is a cumulative effect. Those benefits dramatically increase or decrease the opportunities anyone has. You don't have the financial opportunities that Bill Gates' kids have. You don't have the influence opportunities that Michele Obama has. You don't have the business opportunities that Martha Stewart's neice has. Why? Because their relationship with one or more powerful individuals presents them opportunities that the rest of us don't get. That principle works in every aspect of life because that's how human relationships and societies work. The cliche "It's not what you know, it's who you know" is the basis for human advancement.If you want to fix the future, you have to fully understand the present because the slogans and myths that we spread here will keep you from seeing the world as it is.
      • Oct 31 2011: Well by all means lets just throw out any ideas with flaws, because really the world is a utopia for our ideas.

        I get it, some people have unique advantages. Guess what, I don't care. Just because of that is not a reason to throw away the idea of meritocracy; and it certainly doesn't mean POTUS don't think of the U.S. as one. To achieve a meritocracy doesn't mean you have to strike down the unfair advantages that other people have, you just have to create a starting point for everyone that is capable of making them competitive. In America, that traditionally meant being able to go out on the frontier and then later became the idea of quality public education. So long as people aren't REQUIRED to have this kind of birth-right competitive edge to attain class mobility, then the fundamental idea of meritocracy works.

        Talking about how some made-up purist form of meritocracy "destroys itself" because parents help their children is a bordering-on-pathetic strawman. Just throwing your hands up in the air also only further entrenches the kind of caste system you are talking about.
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          Nov 4 2011: Danny: When you can't find illegal immigrants that are outpacing native-born American citizens and people leave the US to find better opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia...then we can talk about "making us competitive". Until then, while most of the world still comes to the US for opportunity, for education, for a higher standard of living...competitively, we're doing just fine.

          As for a caste system...this is the only country in the world where you can go from the lowest caste to the highest caste in a second, on a whim. There are fewer and fewer unobtainable castes every year. In the meantime, you can go as far as your ambition and talent will take you. If you don't get as far as you wanted, don't blame anyone else...Colin Powell went from son of Jamaican immigrants to US Secretary of State. Steve Jobs went from kid adopted by working class parents to the most powerful inventor of our time. There are so many rags to riches stories here that it's beyond cliche, but you have to read the rags part.
    • Oct 27 2011: I totally agree. Too many people are claiming the role of victim and asking for handouts instead of moving on, demanding the power back for the people, and formulating ideas for a revolution in education. One step at a time, though; this process takes time and patience, but also a sense of personal responsibility. One big problem is that standardization in education eliminates the need for critical thinking in students which trickles into every facet of their lives. We need to teach children to harness that skill early on because those critical thinking skills are required for pioneering and pursuing ANY types of new or revolutionary acts and ideas.
    • Nov 8 2011: Moot point, its about to crash, all debt forgiven, fiat money, interest from money that is made up, Legalized Plunder.
  • Oct 27 2011: "lost" or not it is the job of our current generation to secure the immediate future and bring stability back to our country. Through education and experience I believe we can come up with a plan that could work in this otherwise cluster f*** we are in. Education can be as simple as being well read it doesn't take a P.H.D. or some other fancy title for some one to be an intellectual. This generation more so than the last has access to untold amounts of information from credible sources that can be used as a foundation to solve this problem. Crisis or not we first need to grow to have the capacity to understand the problem set before us before we can even begin to address it. This problem is more of a string of problems that each need to be fixed in order to stem the hemorrhaging of money that is going on and the government can only put a bandage to stem the tide. Legislation can only go so far and we need to address the problems first on an individual basis and local basis before it can be addressed at the national level for a thousands of small good local economies adds up to a over all good big economy. Fix the small problems first and it will add up to a overall fair solution. Think local not national when it comes to the economy because although they are intertwined a successful local economy provides more immediate opportunity to individuals involved in it than the over all economy of this nation.
    • Nov 8 2011: sorry, but you have it backwards, the flow works in reverse, FIX the fed and Mom and pop shops can work again ...
      Clarification, If the Fed is stealing at 60% of everyone's paycheck, people cant afford to spend at Mom an Pops shop
  • Oct 27 2011: (I'm in the US, San Francisco Bay Area to be specific)

    I think that one of the bigger problems we face is how the wealth has been stopped at the top 5% (controlling about 65%, give or take, though my numbers could be a bit old) which then leaves the rest of us with a much lower amount of wealth with a much higher rate of distribution. Tack on to this the fact that the rest of us 95% aren't exactly equal either and there you get the real trouble.

    I'm not going to lie and say I have the ultimate answer, but I think a good way to start would be closing the big business money gap (higher corporate taxes, significantly fewer tax loopholes, harsher punishments on business misdoings, etc) and create better opportunities for smaller businesses. In the process of doing this, with more money both flowing in the economy and held by the government, as a nation we can start paying down our debt at a decent rate and generally improving ourselves.

    A couple of social shifts making a high school diploma worth more career wise and a definitive role in what we want our government to do for whom would definitely help the focus a lot as well, which would be nice to see.
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    Oct 26 2011: Antonio, our taxes do fund education, roads and other social programs, how else are these funded. Of course they have also been misused and that is what has to stop.
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      Oct 27 2011: I was making a sharp point, in response to S Jaeger's closing paragraph, which says, essentially, that we should be good citizens by keeping quiet and paying our taxes. Maybe I should edit my response...
      OK, edited the response, for clarification.
  • Oct 26 2011: I definitely think the government bears a responsibility to the youth of this country. That doesn't mean there has to be a direct redistribution of wealth from say, the top 1% to the rest. But the government has a fiduciary duty to maintain the economic power and solvency of the country on behalf of future generations. To that end, it has an obligation to 1) get the economy moving in the right direction again and 2) stabilize the society through proper regulation and financial management. Long-term goals of financial responsibility, which include making progress on paying down sovereign debt, aren't possible to achieve without short-term programs designed to reduce unemployment and boost economic activity. It's also the government's responsibility to reinforce an equitable tax and regulatory structure that will allow prosperity to continue and be shared in the future. I certainly don't demand a "bail-out", but I do demand fairness and equity and accountability.
  • Oct 26 2011: Hi Addison - can you explain what you mean by 'It's justice." What is, and how is it justice? Thanks
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      Oct 27 2011: I think Addison has interpreted what you've said as, or at least attributed it to, the usual free market spiel (which is the say of a lot of free market proponents who really don't understand what they're talking about or the effects it would have), to remove the limits and protections set against corporations and banks, to protect the consumer. I think what she's saying is if we do that, we will see ourselves being fleeced, and we will deserve that, by our own decision to let them do as they will. I'm not certain that is what you were trying to say, but if it was, Addison is probably right.
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    Oct 26 2011: I find myself somewhere in the middle of this debate. I graduated from college at the beginning of the recession and realized that I probably wasnt going to get a job I loved with just a Bachelor's, especially with the economy going down. Instead of protesting and blaming others, I went and got a Master's. However, I dont think the protestors are in the wrong at all. The American dream is at somewhat of a loss right now. We go to school and go into student loan debt, just to come out without any kind of guarantee. Its absolutely an interesting debate, and something that needs more discussion. Also, I wanted to note that there's a great article about student loans and some of the "Occupiers" in this weeks Time magazine.
    • Nov 8 2011: Katie, i would love to chat, but i must sleep, tonight perhaps. If i can articulate it, I think i might have something to say of interest to you. Date ?
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    Oct 26 2011: continued....And it would be very appreciated if my job as a teacher were paid slightly less than that of a CEO not 100 times less OR if any government had the decency to tax a CEO 100 times more than what he pays now regardless of the fact that I'm a democrat or a republican because it's a scandal that I have the CEO's kids fate in my hands and he should pay only 30% more than I pay. This is called social justice and if I dont get it, I won't teach justice to your kids any more and I wont make of them good and responsible adults. I will go on coping day after day as best as I can but I will simply wait and wish for the total destruction of the same corrupted system that exists since the so called modern work system exists. Steve Jobs said: stay hungry stay foolish...i say stay angry and convey your anger to improve things. I wont like you more if you drive a Mercedes or BMW. I will respect you more if you use a bike and sunday you stay at home and grow your own vegetables and fruit, not the brazilian mango you can buy at WM
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    Oct 26 2011: I don't know how much my comments will help young people still going to college or even in high school but I do hope they listen to my very modest advice. I am 51 and I was brought up with the idea that with hard work, success as a company manager or employee would be guaranteed and that my Business Admin degree woulde the best propeller for my career. Not only this is false but it's also harmful to think there is an ethic code in corporations that makes capable people progress in their career. I've seen only incompetence and arrogance masked by empty words and formulas that rewarded cheating, politcs, dirty tricks and so on. So my advice is: Be your own boss. Dont let anyone tell you what you should do in your life and what you are qualified to do: at best you will get superficial advice unless the person who gives it is really qualified to do so and such is rarely the case. What this crisis is also teaching us is that we should drastically change our consumption models. More is not best and as consumers we can live with 1/10th of the stuff we own. Need a proof? Check how many of the clothes in your closet you haven't used in the past year. I'm sure more than 50%! And one more example: eating out of season vegetable and fruits like grapes in june means someone is shipping those grapes by plane and the cost of pollution is equal to the cost the grapes themselves. Last example: watch the film Wasteland by artist Vik Muniz. if you do, you will understand we need NOW a big change in the way we buy stuff and food but also in the way we dispose of our garbage because we are quickly reaching the point of no return where it will be too late to save ourselves. So, less is more..less work, more time to rest, more time to see our kids, more energy for ourselves. Our work ethics must change radically and we need to work to have a better quality of life not to work to make our live more miserable.
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    Oct 26 2011: I feel that Kennedy said it best: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country (whichever country you are from).

    It's easy to blame, whine, demand, feel sorry for yourself and do nothing. For young people, how about if you stop whinning, expecting, demanding, feeling sorry for yourself and blaming everything and everyone around you. How about if you start showing up (to school, work, family functions, civic events) on time, put everything you got? how about if you get involved? how about if you start living by example, do you know that is the best way to affect change?. Now, I know there are MANY young people out there that do just that, I have the fortune to know some of them, but how about the rest??? Yes, it is a difficult time, it probably will only get worse. I agree there are a lot greedy dinos out there. But what is going to kill it for everyone is the sickening sense of entitlement that plagues the lives of so many youngsters. And if you think you have it bad here (North America) maybe take a look at the other 90% of the population.... just another example of how spoiled we are here. So stop complaining and start doing.... and occupying parks won't do anything good either!
    • Oct 26 2011: Here, here!

      It's not the 40+ that are the issue, I'd say the 55+ they've run the country. the 35-55 age have been following the baby boomers and ignored. In 5-10 years though we might just have some say!

      Be thankful if you are in the under 35 age group by the time you're 55 those following the baby boomer might just have prepared things for you so you are better off.

      There are two things I see in common with the youth of today and the baby boomers -- a sense of entitlement. Both groups feel they deserve a good life just because they are here. Wrong!!! You need to earn that good life so get out there and earn it and yes sometimes the earning takes hard work, sometimes it takes compassion for each other, and sometimes it means finding creative solutions to problems.

      We are entitled to life only. How we choose to live it is our choice. The government owes us nothing. However, paying our taxes (not trying to avoid paying them) is what funds our education, roads, and many other social programs. If as a society we choose to pay taxes and in return the government provides then each of us needs to uphold our end of the contract.
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        Oct 26 2011: So, we should be good citizens by keeping quiet and paying our taxes?
        No, I don't think so. Our taxes also went to bailing out banks and pushing and supporting the policies which put us in this position to begin with. I think more people (like yourself) need to take a more detailed look at how our tax dollars are actually spent. I think there's also some power to be leveraged by not paying it- more power than protesting alone. Nice try, though.

        (And now that I think about it, I seem to recall my country (the US) being founded on a similar concept...)
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        Oct 27 2011: Its not any particular age group that runs the country - Corporations run the country.
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      Oct 27 2011: If a mob of greedy people came and trashed your house and stole everything of value, would you be able to resist a little whine or two? How sorry would you feel about yourself? What kind of help and entitlement would you expect from others?

      Now, scale this scenario up a little...
  • Oct 26 2011: "If we are lost why don't you save us", sure this looks like a strong phrase. But i believe it is not just an economic crisis we have. It is also cultural crisis too. Not only youth of the world lost. Also children and adults have lost too. Peoples changed their priorites from ideals to money. Problem is simply that. We have forgetten that we created this system. And as we created we can change it too. This is economic crisis is showing us to this economic system is not a sustainable one. While i'm saying that i'm also saying communist economic model is not sustainable too. Because they both based on consumer society. Naturely economic crisis is unevidable for these models. At every economic crisis based on current economic dynamics some classes pay debts of others.
    So if we don't want to become lost generation we need to create a new system. We need to change our priorities. If we want to do that we need to be orginased and we need to act quickly. We created this and we can change it too.
  • Oct 26 2011: I think this crisis is affecting middle ages as well as young unexperienced people. I'm 42, I speak 3 languages and I have a long job experience, so I can change job, moving to other towns/Country easily, because I'm single without children. But a lot of 40+ people have lost their job and don't know how to do to give back to their familly. For young people is always been difficult entering in the job market, they haven't experience, they need training, but it's true they don't cost so much. In a period of wide unemployment, job opportunies for young people are less than usual, because of short-minded managers and directors that don't recognize the great potentiality young people have. Thew are the Internet generation, they play and live every day with social networks, they speak 1-2 foreign languages, they have travelled more than older people thanks to low-cost flights, they are the only one able to mark the road for the future development of our Countries. They can inject optimism, enthusiams, worldwideweb connections, they can bring new energies to our companies, helping management to define a new asset and a new working stile for the future, able to pick up global stimulus and transferring them to our Countries/companies. The global economic crisis has been determined from people that don't want present situation changes, because they know old elephants will lose power and will fall, while young giraffes (young people, emerging countries as Brazil, India, South Africa etc) will become the new world's levers (don't mind how much time they could need). I don't know what direction the World will follow, but only if actual bankers, politicians, managers,entrepreneurs will be open minded, don't stop, but prepare the road for the future, eventually leaving their place to the young, World will change in a positive way and there will be jobs, health, home, opportunities for everybody. Otherwise....
  • Oct 26 2011: My short answer is that government doesn't have a responsibility, but citizens should realize that we all benefit when people are educated and have jobs, AND, government can help facilitate that. Stop referring to "the government." WE are (or should be) the government, and we can institute policy and share the burden to make America the greatest it can be.

    The burden includes sharing the wealth, i.e taxes. No one got rich without the help of the many. The quality of life of the whole directly impacts our own quality of life, even economically. A parasite can't kill it's host. A doctor needs patients. A farmer needs consumers. We all needs roads and clean water. Its high time we admit that the biggest source of American prosperity IS due to that dirty word, socialism. Just like insurance, we share the cost and risk, and we share the benefits.
  • Oct 26 2011: The long forgotten extinct civilizations of the past are the voices that whine out of the ground looking for redemption from some external source. Individuals are the creative backbone of society, that by innovation and hard work sustain themselves and a host of others in a society.
    There are those who are UNABLE to fend for themselves, through shortcomings not of their own will or design, those are worthy of compassion. Every whiner robs the resources of the industrious meant for those who are truly unable, diverting attention to themselves in their narcissistic rants and self pity tantrums.
    Hardship is not a unique but quite ubiquitous, it is the stuff that character is made of. Handouts, and ego stroking perpetuate childhood and a nanny state is suckling the seeds of its own demise. Without character, integrity and self-reliance in individuals, there no form of government that can endure.
    The first form of government is the family, and if parents cannot provide the necessary impetus to launch their children, the long arm of government is much to detached to deal with each graduate with a long stick, poking in the dark.
    Kennedy repeated a deft plea, to "ask not what a country can do for you, but what you can do (and add) to the nation..."
    Excuses and reasons are two different things, one paves the way to success, the other to failure, pick success, commit to it, and you will have every reason to succeed. The universe applauds, and the stars assist a go-getter!
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    Oct 26 2011: Granted that it's government's fault for allowing this economic turmoil to occur. I don't think we should continue to animadvert the government, rather find solutions for the problems. I am a firm advocate of Obama's American Job Act proposal since it rewards small business employers to hire more employees and offer raises.

    I think it's important for us to continually educate ourselves in what's going on with our government so nightmares like this don't happen. It is easy to get caught up with direct problems, but citizens who aren't interested in what goes on in politics need to take responsibility for their detachment. However, I am not speaking to the youngster, I am talking to those who are able to understand and take action in what's going. Whether it might be signing petitions, reading a variety of opinionated media, writing letters to congress, reaching out to communities to get the word out, volunteering in non-profits, and donating.
  • Oct 26 2011: We rarely vote, therefore we rarely get anything special. When a politician can visit a bunch of nursing homes and convince everyone there that if they don't vote for them the world will explode there's not much you can do.

    In my country an elderly person is worth about 5 university students because they vote 5 times as often!
  • Oct 26 2011: I believe that the current generation is best referred to as the lost generation. Their continued inability to correct the current problems should be proof enough. I find it insulting that a generation that creates such a huge debt, a financial crisis and insists on holding off on solving the core problems has no basis for such claims.

    But as always I believe we should be kind and forgive people their faults. I think the responsibilities of governments at the moment are to resolve the pending issues. And I believe they should use the generation that caused it more then the generation that is inheriting them. The problem is finding the cut-off point.

    If I had to make a list:
    1) education - it should be accessible and affordable
    2) jobs - a plan to generate enough jobs for the next generation should be created. And the next generation should be given a voice in the draft process
    3) healthcare - the system we have in place now centers around capitalism. While the idea of care is to help, not make money

    But I am not convinced the focus will be on that. As usual, people will be selfish and will try to cover their ass as much as possible. I fear we will end up paying for their mistakes while we are being told we are a lost generation. Let's focus on trying to learn from their mistakes and improve. Like they promised themselves so many years ago. The human race evolves far quicker then it seems to learn.
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    Oct 26 2011: We have advanced enough technologically to be able to set ourselves free the few things i can see that really mater in this world are Love, Life, Science, Technology and Spirituality(Not organized Religion mind you). if we get these things right there is nothing we couldn't accomplish - this world belongs to the people not to the corporations or governments. It is up to us to take control and rewrite the rules. Money is NOT needed there is another way.
  • Oct 26 2011: Agreed. we are the only nation who does not have to buy foreign currency to obtain imports... this allows the United States to simply print more money when it needs things from other countries. When we are finally dumped by the world bank we will be in some serious trouble. The older generations have written far too many checks that they all know that they cannot cash. Politicians talk about "change" but really all I see is more of the same thing different day, election cycle after election cycle. I don't want handouts, free money, welfare or some politician to hold my hand and tell me everything is alright. I want our congress and the government to actually change and at least make an effort to cut spending. Money in politics is the just the tip of the iceberg. The amount of money spent each election cycle to have politicians campaign is outrageous... and who gives the most money besides individuals to campaigns? corporations, who effectively buy politicians by doing so. It has been far too many years since this government looked out for the well being of the American people. Unfortunately many Americans do not vote, care to do so, or even realize the existence of even half of the issues that are plaguing this country. A solution? I do not see one.... even if we taxed the whole country at 100% we couldn't pay off our bad debts. The only short term answer is to dramatically cut the spending of our government. We need to focus on repairing our economy, and that means increasing taxes on the wealthy and on capital gains and ease up on the dwindling number of the middle class that are left. There is no get rich quick or get out of debt quick scheme for the United States to do to magically solve its problems. It will take real work and sacrifice on the part of our government, and until they are willing to make it, we cannot make any progress. The American people need to stop being passive and tell congress and the government that this is what we need and want from them.
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    Oct 26 2011: In the old days they would just ship all the young people to war and that would solve the problem. Not sure what their plan now is.
  • Oct 26 2011: The government owes the same thing to all of it's citizens. 1. Protect their rights. 2. Write laws that define how rights will be protected. 3. Enforce laws and prosecute law breakers. These functions of the government do not change based on a citizen's age. The government has acted as the complete opposite of it's purpose... causing, aiding and subsidizing the violation of rights... by engaging in corrupt practices and bailing out corrupt and failing organizations. If we want the crises to end, we need to fix the government, not give it more power over us, not ask it to save us, not rely on it for our livelihood.
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    Oct 26 2011: Every generation has to clean up the crap left behind by older generations. That is how we evolve as a nation. Once the old guard is gone the next generation can use their special knowledge and skill sets to fix our election system, to change foreign and homeland policy and the way our government does business.
    The current administration is stuck owing large corporations that put them in office. If you wan to fix our country change our elections system. Make sure anyone can run, air time does not cost anything and then and only then we can save our economy, our environment and get rid of our debt and stop bailing out large corporations that do not care about the individual.
  • Oct 26 2011: It's not just an education but how we are educated. The education system is wrought with problems. Not just this but after we're educated we're indebted as well as in a competitive job market we probably weren't prepared for. As someone who always thought he'd be learning, I'm slowly also accepting I will also be in debt. These things need to be changed and quickly. The dream our parents wanted for us was with good intent. The practicality of how it played out with rising tuition costs and the bleak handling of finances out of our control seems more like a nightmare. How do we change these things? SUbsidize student loans with varying interest rates for needed degrees is one way. It is very much necessary to decrease our spending. Also new programs aimed at young, hard working, educated people need to be in place. Give a housing project to a bunch of dedicated college students and you'd see a lot more happen than the crime and violence perpetrating most of these throughout the U.S. Just a couple ideas.
  • Oct 26 2011: On a general level, there is of course an incredible responsibility by a government toward its youth. Primarily that is education, but it also requires a strong economy so that when available to work, the young can get jobs and begin their professional lives. A healthy economy also provides the stability and space within which people are free to discover passions and live their lives.

    I'd say in general, the government has shirked their responsibility. Through poor tax policies and favoring privatization over public institutions, many of the necessary foundations for a "bright future" have eroded.
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      Oct 26 2011: Public institutions are no better than private, in fact, are worse. Look at what has happened in other countries when banks, for example, have been converted into public institutions. However, privatization of resources (water, gas, etc) it's bad, bad for any country.
  • Oct 26 2011: I think it's important to look at the idea of cyclical economic distress. IF we don't correct the issues that the prior generation has put in place, including how active we are in wars that are not our own, the problem will continue to cycle over generations. I for one am a hard working student and am more than willing to do my part to help the economy, and I definitely feel that there are numerous others. I do feel however, that it is unfair to me and my peers to have been born into a situation of debt that I had no hand in and that could have been handled, perhaps, in a better way. I feel that what's left of the prior generation in years to come should do what they can to help mend the current issue. I also feel that a change in our education systems are more than necessary. If we teach our up and coming "lost" generation, as we've been called, to handle their work and earnings in an efficient and wise manner I think we have a shot at a bright future.
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    Oct 26 2011: Uhm, I don't get where you're coming from, in saying, "When people talk about the victims of the financial/economic crisis, they mainly indicate older (retired) people"... This is not what I've seen, thus far. Sources, please?
  • Oct 26 2011: Our generation is going to have to deal with unprecedented economic problems. I have friends in their late 40's and 50's who have been out of work for much of the recession, many with decades of experience and training in their fields;they had to fall back on other resources such as pensions, retirement funds and savings. As much as it troubled them to have to resort to these means, It troubles me even more because most of those things which for decades have been seen as a fundamental benefit and part of being employed are not going to be available to my generation and the ones that follow. Whereas many of our parents looked at retiring in their 50's or 60's, this will not be an option for in a few years let alone a few decades. Not only do we see the distribution of wealth overwhelmingly in the hands of the mega-rich, but most of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of older generations who hold onto these vast stores of wealth until their deaths, and in many cases pass much of that to their families. All of this was earned using public services, whether it was our roads, our education system, our communication systems, or any number of other public services paid for with citizens' taxes. And yet they pay less and less back to the community even as the accumulate and hoard more and more of the existing wealth, leaving far less for those who will live after them, and robbing the younger generations of the same opportunities and public services that they themselves built their wealth on.

    All of this is endemic of the extreme short sightedness that the glorification of GREED as a virtue over the past 30-40 years has cultivated and created, to the point that no one with wealth or power seems to be able to think beyond the next quarter and see the long term consequences of the actions they are taking. How do companies plan to have qualified, well trained employees if they demand and lobby for tax cuts and subsidies that leave us unable to pay for education?
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    Oct 26 2011: While a good education is obviously very important, making sure there are actually jobs being created for you to apply for once you have your education is something governments seem scared to act on. They're more than keen to make ambiguous statements but I don't see much of that being put into practice. In fact, we've seen a huge number of apprentices being laid off recently.