Friday, August 2, 2013

Many in their twenties are not employable

Every week, the stats come out--more people dropping out, discouraged, the workforce narrowing.

On the news, there is a constant drumbeat for jobs for the minority communities--alongside how badly educated many kids are, how covered with tattoos, how attitudinal, how this, how that.

I honestly wonder if we are facing a lost generation--kids (and some grownups, too) who are so twisted now they are not employable.

In the cities, would you rather scrounge around selling drugs and make a thousand a day, or take an entry job--for pennies?

Even I would have to think about that--although I am not cut out to be a high-risk dealer, I don't think.

There are so many factors that come into play in the changing workforce. The pattern has changed--manufacturing has gone overseas. Service jobs tend to pay less. There is a dearth of jobs that pay enough to raise a family and creep upward, American Dream style.

Jobs do require more training, if not education--at least computer literacy. You have to want to be educated--see a percentage in it. Street smart is useful, but book smart will carry you into old age. How many kids sense that or see it?

Even if we rebuild some neighborhoods, put a cop  on every corner, slap a uniform on every school child, come down hard on violence in school, and provide lots of after school programs--the generation in their twenties now have records, neck tatts, and scare people with the violence and murder stats. You hate to think in terms of a lost generation, but this one and the next, if we don't change things, may well fit that description.

If this the growing pains of a vibrant democratic experiment or the end of our country as we want it to be?

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