Monday, September 28

Meet the New Unemployed.

I'm not being glib here, this is really bad, and I woke up this morning fully intending to write about the FIFTY-TWO POINT TWO percent unemployment rate among young people. This is a problem. It's going to require political economic government socialist program action to fix it, particularly lots and lots of job training and with the boomers retiring that better happen right quick.

I went to Google News to find the story about the unemployment numbers. I had to dig and go through a Huffpo link to find this story. It's not on the front page of Google News, even. On the other hand, every single page I clicked through had a sidebar link to a story about the wedding of Khloe Kardashian (as one gossip site helpfully pointed out, "not the pregnant one") and some NBA star. And one sidebar had this lovely picture of the couple heading off to their wedding night abode:

Oh, this is gonna be a really interesting wedding night, everything happening with one hand on an I-Phone and the E! cameras rolling. Congrats to Apple on their two BILLIONTH app download, btw. I have a feeling a few of those came from unemployed young people, poor things.

I don't want to turn into one of those old people who ramble on about "kids today," even though when I WAS 22 I lived on the first floor of a house with two roommates. One lived in the "living" room, the large entry way between "living" and "dining" was blocked over with bookcases so the second roommate could live in the "dining" room. So that we could have a common area, we sacrificed the third room and my bedroom was the back porch, no really. Nice big windows and the landlord had helpfully cut a hole in the drywall, removed the insulation, and installed a door so that it would count as a closet and therefore was in real-estate technicalities, a "bedroom." Window plus closet equals bedroom, did you know that?

When one of my roommates "forgot" to pay the power bill one winter, we put the milk in my closet to keep it cold until the power could get turned back on. I am not making that up.

We had no cable. And internet and cell phones were not in homes. Period. This was only 25 years ago, too.

And no offense to my wonderful parents, but I would have sold a kidney before I left Boston to move to western Pennsylvania to live "at home." The apartment porch chillspace WAS home. I think I was making about $210 a week and paying one paycheck for rent. I would not have had the money or the credit to pay a fifty dollar a month cell phone bill, even in 1987 dollars. These were not the good old days, not by a long shot. But pardon me if I don't bust a hernia about "lifetime earning potential" of any generation. Nobody in the real world measures money that way, and it appears a few "kids today" are not on the streets creating world revolution and protesting these horrible unemployment numbers and advocating for healthcare for all (which would be a huge full-time job creator for this generation, by the way) because


Sorry bout that, whippersnappers, but hey, at least you don't have to go on Khloe's honeymoon. Kthxbye.

UPDATE: Here's a tweet on the subject worth reading.


  1. And, furthermore, GET OFFA MY LAWN!

  2. Uphill both ways, knee-deep snow, wind in your face.

    But yeah, I hear ya. If my parents & grandparents hadn't supported me I wouldn't have been able to get through University debt-free. And all I had was a red phone, no cell, no laptop, no iPod.

  3. We had a nice kitchen though, with a huge pantry. In fact, if we'd taken down the shelves that pantry might have served as a bedroom instead of the back porch.

  4. Yeah but Qwerty the pantry had a door but not a window, remember? Betcha we could have gotten the landlord to CUT a window out for us if he could charge for a fourth BR, though. xo

  5. OK -- I'm in my late 30s and I can remember similiar living situations -- hell, I STILL don't have cable or whatever -- like living in the living room in my first apartment and not having a tv as a young single mom and ALWAYS working two and three jobs when my son spent the summers with his dad.

    These kids today! ;~)

    (ps -- I do kinda think they're crybabies at times, although my son doesn't seem to be at 17, thank goodness!)

  6. Nice job, BG!

    Just wish I had known back then that


    was acceptable repartee.

    And I lived in a house in college with 13 people, three of whom slept on the porch!

    And they felt lucky to have such cheap digs.


    And computers (any type) were a dream then, let alone cell phones and instant communication like texting and twittering.

    You had to walk down to the Burger King and use the pay telephone to call home to beg for money.


  7. To misquote Napoleon Bonaparte: "Xbox is what keeps Gen Y from murdering the rich."

  8. Why, in my day we'd backhand a lippy codger (twice on Sunday) for indulging themselves in such wistful reveries while we were about our carefree teenage madcap escapades...and they liked it, too.


  9. Hilarious. I just found your blog and officially love you.

    Back in "my" day (2000-2004), I had to share a shoebox of a one-bedroom with a psychotic cokehead who ended up (one very drunken night) leaning over her bunk bed railing and puking onto my bed below. Oh and those were the days before everyone had a Mac laptop. I had a desktop Dell, with a giant monitor that could double as a boat anchor if I so needed it to.

    Stupid kids today, I'd like to see them deal with all that.

  10. I still have a Dell desktop. I can't use the keyboard on a laptop because I was born with paws.

    Here's something odd: I had two new messages in my inbox. Their subject lines were

    "[Blue Gal] New Comment on Meet the New Unemployed"
    "Meet the New Elite Food Processor"

    What are the odds?


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