The likelihood of 20-somethings moving to another state has dropped well over 40 percent since the 1980s... The stuck-at-home mentality hits college-educated Americans as well as those without high school degrees. According to the Pew Research Center, the proportion of young adults living at home nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, before the Great Recession hit. Even bicycle sales are lower now than they were in 2000.Why don't people pick up and move to the places where the jobs are? Everyone's heard of North Dakota. Why don't they go there?
In the most startling behavioral change among young people... an increasing number of teenagers are not even bothering to get their driver’s licenses. Back in the early 1980s, 80 percent of 18-year-olds proudly strutted out of the D.M.V. with newly minted licenses, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. By 2008 — even before the Great Recession — that number had dropped to 65 percent.Isn't that what the Boomer generation told them to do? Cars are bad. They are destroying the planet. Then, when they avoid driving, we scold them for being — what? — sedentary? unambitious? incurious?!
Perhaps young people are too happy at home checking Facebook. In a study of 15 countries, Michael Sivak, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (who also contributed to the D.M.V. research), found that when young people spent more time on the Internet, they delayed getting their driver’s licenses....If they were supposed to believe that movie — "An Inconvenient Truth" — that was showed to them by one public school teacher after another, why aren't we celebrating them now for their teeny tiny carbon footprint? Just give them a tiny room and a computer with high-speed internet, and they'll be perfectly happy.
But Generation Y has become Generation Why Bother....Etc. etc. These kids today! Speaking of "Why Bother," why did we boomers bother to teach them to sneer at aggressive capitalism, consumeristic acquisitiveness, and driving powerful cars if we were going to turn around and whine about their not competing vigorously enough?
Notice how popular the word “random” has become among young people. A Disney TV show called “So Random!” has ranked first in the ratings among tweens. The word has morphed from a precise statistical term to an all-purpose phrase that stresses the illogic and coincidence of life. Unfortunately, societies that emphasize luck over logic are not likely to thrive.I blame the Baby Boomers, my generation. We propagated doubt that you could work hard and get ahead. Random? That sounds like hippie talk to me.
In the mid-’70s, back when every high school kid longed for his driver’s license and a chance to hit the road and find freedom, Bruce Springsteen wrote his brilliant, exciting album “Born to Run.”Hello? Have you ever listened to the lyrics on "Born to Run"?! Yes, movement is involved in running, but it was scarcely an optimistic attitude. Springsteen had us running from the "death trap," the "suicide rap" that was the "runaway American Dream." That home town of yours supposedly "rips the bones from your back." Yeah, that's exciting. Hell is exciting. Springsteen wanted to go for a ride on his motorcycle — his "suicide machine" — and then "die with you Wendy on the streets tonight." Yeah, those were the days!