A Pew Research Center study confirmed what most of us already knew. More millennials (those born after 1982), around 35 percent, are living with their parents rather than alone or with a partner. You’ve heard of “empty nest syndrome.” We now suffer from full basement syndrome.
The poll, showing that 26 percent of even college grads move back home, was confirmed recently by USA Today. Upon hearing the news, parents of millennials said they were so proud of their kids for just completing the poll and planned to do something special to celebrate their achievement.
There are only two ways you can look at this: We have raised (1) a bunch of dependent wussies, incapable of self-reliance, or (2) a generation of kids too afraid to ask their parents for rent money. Neither one is good.
The Pew study went on to conclude that fewer young people are married than in the past. Even accounting for the increased popularity of cohabitation, there are just fewer 20-somethings and 30-somethings shacking up than there used to be. Millennials cannot decide who they want to stare at their iPhones with for the rest of their lives.
Of course there are exceptions, but essentially we have raised a group of self-important pansies who need “safe places” if they hear any comments they don’t like and “trigger warnings” to help them brace for anything that does not fit their narrative. They are taught to feel, not think. Their trajectory is not good for the country.
How and when did this happen? It might have started about the time we started printing those “My Child is an Honors Student at Teach to the Mean Elementary” bumper stickers. Sadly, our education system has left our kids not only unappreciative of American exceptionalism, but unprepared for life.
Capitalism, which they disdain, has created incredible technologies that make life easy and 200 cable TV stations at the ready for them. We did not have it so good when I was young. I had to get up off the couch and fight my way through 10 yards of shag carpet to change the channel on our TV to one of the two other channels. Then I had to rake the shag carpet on the way back because my mother told me to.
Having been told their whole lives about all the things they "deserve," millennials' expectations are out of line. There is an unmet sense of entitlement in this generation that disappoints and angers them. Health care became a right, while free speech is something that they can decide to allow — or not.
These kids could make more money if they could find a way to turn always being offended into a money-making proposition. Once college professors put a chip on your shoulder, the anger against any slight, real or imagined, colors your life and outlook.
They say they don’t spend on things for themselves, but rather on experiences like concerts, where they post selfies constantly. On the bright side, many of these concerts are outdoors. Their selfie-sticks serve nicely as lightning rods, which could thin their ranks over time.
A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.