Young Americans get the shaft

Young Americans get the shaft from their elders, writes Matt Miller of the Center for American Progress in  in the Washington Post. Neither party will do anything about it.

As many as 100 million Americans live in households today that are earning less than their parents did at a similar age.

. . . In 1980, a year at a public college cost about 12 percent of median family income; the maximum Pell grant covered 70 percent of that. Today, public colleges cost a staggering 26 percent of family income each year, and Pell grants cover at most a third.

. . . The job market for young people is a disaster, the toll of a burst financial and housing bubble that both parties let fester. The crisis has reached the point where years of unpaid labor (in the form of internships) have become a way of life for millions of Americans in their 20s.

Our K-12 schools have slid from the best in the world to mediocre under both Republican and Democratic presidents and governors. That’s largely because for decades we’ve embraced a bipartisan policy of recruiting middling students to become teachers.

Politicians from both parties “have pre-committed virtually all public resources to seniors,” Miller writes.  “Want to help a poor child or fix a bridge? Sorry, kids, the till is empty.”

The generational war is raging and the young are losing, writes Rick Hess, who thinks it’s time for baby boomers to “step up.”  Of course, many boomers are paying their children’s high college costs.

How green are Millennials? Not very

Green? Schmean.  Young Americans are less interested in environmental issues than baby boomers and Gen Xers were at the same age, concludes a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Over the last four decades, in young people have lost trust in others and interest in government; they spend less time thinking about social problems. And they’re not all that keen on green, notes AP.

Researchers found that, when surveyed decades ago, about a third of young baby boomers said it was important to become personally involved in programs to clean up the environment. In comparison, only about a quarter of young Gen Xers—and 21 percent of Millennials—said the same.

Meanwhile, 15 percent of Millennials said they had made no effort to help the environment, compared with 8 percent of young Gen Xers and 5 percent of young baby boomers.

Young baby boomers and Gen Xers were much more likely than Millennials to say they’ve tried to conserve electricity and fuel used to heat their homes.

One professor says the younger generation has less contact with “unpaved” nature.

At Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, Biology Professor  Richard Niesenbaum estimates 5 to 10 percent of students are environmentalists, 5 percent are hostile to environmentalism and 85 to 90 percent are OK with protecting the environment and conserving resources, but not interested in being “seriously inconvenienced or paying a cost to do so.”

Perhaps Millennials are burned out on green.

Boomers go back to college for job training

Baby boomers are going to community college for job retraining.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Performance funding may not change student outcomes.

Graduating baby boomers

Forget about those 18-year-olds. Community colleges are recruiting baby boomers who need retraining to stay in the workforce.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Career-minded students are more likely to earn a credential if they go to a technical college, which focuses on occupational training,  rather than a community college.