As graduation season approaches, so does job hunting season…and graduates are eager hunters…or are they? You would think that with having had a taste of freedom afforded in their college years there would be incentive to continue that lifestyle - to be able to have their own place and live a life of their choosing.
However, what we are increasingly seeing is a majority of college grads not pursuing the American Dream. The 2012 article in The Atlantic captures the thought with its title, “53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed—How?”. According to data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Labor, “about 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed”.
We can speculate as to the cause of this condition that may include upbringing towards entitlement, lack of opportunities in the job market, ambiguity in the direction to take their lives, or studies in disciplines that yield little marketable skills. This is a critical situation in which, no matter the causation, we face an emerging population of which the takers outnumber the makers.
This is not sustainable, and with the urgency of the matter, the sources and symptoms must be treated swiftly and in concert. Public policy change would probably bear little fruit for two reasons: (1) more government involvement has a track record of hindering rather than helping, and (2) many government policies are arguably at the heart of the issue we now face.
We find the solution needing to come from bending parts of our culture away from the vilification of individual success, the “evil” of profits, and the embrace of indolent intellectual thinking that reduces all discourse to a stout of racist when disagreement arises. We would advocate a hearty discussion toward the benefits of personal pride, self-sufficiency, confidence gained from experiencing failure and success, hard work, and family values as solutions outside public policy. Invigorating the American Dream can help restore the ambition to succeed and to achieve so much more.