The New and Materialistic Youth

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  1. Another article about the younger generation that I found of interest. As someone who teaches undergraduates what is generally known as 'hard' sciences I find that many of my students are not interested in long term prospects for graduate school academics/research in the sciences. A large number of them want to go to business school to 'make money fast'.

    Of the 60+ graduate students in my department there are only 14 American students. All the rest are from other countries and more than 30 are asian.

    Polls say wealth important to youth - Yahoo! News
  2. Yeah. like going to business school is all it takes LOL!
    I'm afraid my generation has emphasised money too much to their children. Everyone wants to be rich right now. They need to read the millionaire next door & find out who really is rich.
  3. I am not exactly sure how the change occurred, but it did. Generation X totally focuses on money, on having the biggest and the best, luxury, and materialism.

    Talking about it is fine and dandy, but it takes a lot of work. Either way, does 7-10 work days really equate to happiness? :shrugs:
  4. You have to admit that after paying $120,000+ for college, people hope to make more than $25k a year in grad school and $35 in post doc for a total of 10 years till they're 32. Then $65k as an assistant professor, etc...Even 30 years ago, the problems with academia funding and salaries have been the same. It's really difficult, and I notice that a lot of the grad students are either really idealistic, or they have no one to support, or they have well-off parents or spouses. Lots of this idealism lasts till they are 30, and then after PhD they will THEN go to B-school or something to make the bucks. (As a good friend said, if you are over 30 and still are an idealist, then I'll believe it)

    Nowadays, kids are more exposed to everything online, including credit card input, material goods, online shopping (even in kids video games), and more variety of goods to compare. Colleges are more financially diverse. It's easier to hang out with people who have a lot more and want that.

  5. lol, I'm kinda surprised I replied that way because I'm one of the most idealistic people I know. But really, I wish I hadn't been so idealistic and done a career path that was more supportive of my family, etc. Btw, I'm 23 now and getting sick of research and changing fields...
  6. i'm in the age group the article discussed (i'm 21), and yes, i can identify with the article's sentiment. however, when i want "more, more, more," i save up. since my parents take care of tuition for me, i give 1/4 of my earnings at my job to charities and i volunteer weekly at the local teen center. i'm going to be a teacher, too, and state based salary for first year teachers in texas is 24,600. i have no dreams of ever being a millionaire :smile:

    i think a lot of it is parenting. people can say that it's exposure from tv/internet/school or our culture, but parents can have a greater impact. it's up to the parents to help the kids see that extravagant lifestyles aren't the norm and material things won't make you happy. it's also up to the parents to make sure the kids see the value of education. aside: if i hear one more kid tell me "i don't need to finish high school because i can get my GED faster" i'm going to cry.
  7. i'm 22 (23 in a month!) and i figured out the real world when i was 18... i stopped being idealistic and yet i'm still in the 'gen x' field. one person out of millions doesn't change the minds of others obviously.. i still get people everyday looking at me like i'm one of those others doing everything they can to be a millionaire (in southern california.. and california in general.. EVERYONE is a millionaire, because everything costs so damn much.. i mean.. a new house in a good neighborhood/city, with good schools will run 900k starting! and it's not even a nice big new house.. it's like.. a gated community with every house looking the same with slight color differences between homes and lawn sizes varying from 10sq ft to 20sq ft. )...

    i'm just trying to survive.. i live to work and i work to live.. i can't just live to ... explore life-long dreams because i can't afford to do so. i can do it when i'm sure that my parents are taken care for without worrying about them, and myself included.. right now i'm working to support both them and myself, and still trying to be successful in whatever endeavor i'm doing to be at the top of the game and ahead of my friends my age that went to college and graduated (it's a constant race for me, personally, since i never went to college and am making more $ than they are).

    i dont have dreams of being a millionaire, but i still dream of winning the super lotto or the bigger one.. as everyone would! but i dont dream of owning a spectacular 20ksq ft house or garaging 8 exotic cars and 3 daily drivers and 5 weekend warriors..

    i just dream of being comfortable.. that's all i ask.. and it's so hard to achieve. damn it all to heck.
  8. I agree

    You have to admit that after paying $120,000+ for college, people hope to make more than $25k a year in grad school and $35 in post doc for a total of 10 years till they're 32.

    Life has gotten so expensive, education, rent, keeping up a household and I speaking for NEW YORK, how can you not be driven. Rent in NYC, along with food, and the electric bill is insane.
  9. I find this comment to be the root of most of today's youths' problems:

    Parents have this inability to say NO to their children...and when kids get what they want, and get what they want, over and over again, they're NEVER satisfied.

    It disgusts me how materialistic and money-driven most young teens and children are today. There's nothing wrong with liking nice things, but there is something to be said for living within your means and knowing what the difference is between a WANT and a NEED.
  10. I see these overindulged kids in our neighbourhood, and at many private schools, they've got everything. They only need mention the product name, and mom and dad go out to buy it. These miserable children invariably have this zapped look of boredom on their faces, and this monotone voice that sounds like "been there, done that." It's so frustrating b/c the parents just feel like just because they CAN provide all this "stuff" for their children, they SHOULD.

    I don't quite know how to react when I read threads like "Is 16 too young for a Birkin" or "Porsche for a 16 year old". I mean - to each his own, and you have to do what feels right for you - but... Yeah. It is what it is.:shrugs:
  11. My mom didn't like me to be unhappy, and gave me money and let me buy whatever I wanted for myself. My father was careful with his spending, but my mother had no idea where the money came from, and after his death she spent his money and let me do it too. I found myself with lots of expensive things that I got bored of really quickly and didn't make me very happy either.
  12. I find it sad. I think now kids have this sense of entitlement. Just look at shows like "Super Sweet 16". It's a culture of brats.
  13. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that show...
  14. I totally agree. I feel like I'm from a different generation yet I am not that old....

    I'm in a business school environment where people in their mid-to-late 20s are choosing life paths between being very well off (working in finance starting at $200K -- I know people who make $500K right after graduation -- expecting to be a millionaire in five years or less) and "following their dreams" making maybe $60K - $100K. There is a huge gap in the amount of money you can make. So many people are conflicted. Should I choose this hedge fund or should I go into x industry? It's easy to get caught up with materialism.

    Another friend who is at a top law firm justified people going into corporate law after graduation as being able to pay off their loans and to gain experience so that after they rotate through the law firm, they can then take on those idealistic dreams. I think that's a very pragmatic way of looking at a career and life ... of course, it's easy to be sucked into a certain lifestyle.... What I think is that if one can be practical (take that high paying job for the loans and experience) while not forgetting their goals and the things they find important (like really do go into nonprodit afterwards, etc.), then that is probably a good compromise. It saddens me when I ask my friends who make six figures in finance whether they like their jobs, and they say they love the money and hope to retire in 5-10 years on a beach somewhere. It seems like such a waste of talent, ambition and dreams.
  15. As his book's title suggests, he believes parents have played an integral role in encouraging their children's materialism. His research found that, when adjusted for inflation, parents are spending 500 percent more money on kids today than just one generation earlier.
    "A lot of parents have developed an allergic reaction to their kids being unhappy," he says.

    ^^^^I believe this statement from the article sums a big part of the problem.

    Parents assume that giving kids whatever they want equals good parenting and happy children. They fall into that trap of saying, "It's my kid, I'll do what I want with my money." Which is a very dangerous way of raising a child. Whether that's a porsche at age 16 or Louis Vuitton at age 3. It snowballs from there, these children grow up assuming they're entitled to the best of everything & with their parents encouraging that type of behavior you have an entire generation of greedy & materialistic people.