TED Conversations

Hanne Lore

This conversation is closed.

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?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • 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.
    • thumb
      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.
        • thumb
          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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.