As I stopped at a stop sign on my home from the morning drop-off today, I was appalled to notice that a boy riding his bike along side of me rode from the sidewalk to the crosswalk and rode directly in front of me. He didn’t even give me a sideways glance. During school session there is a crossing guard at the intersection making it safe for the children to pass. Today it was summer break – no crossing guard. Have we made our kids lives so easy that they believe everything in their life will be taken care of? Do they no longer need to look right and left before crossing the street?
Do we have a generation (or generations) of kids with this sort of entitlement attitude? I am reminded of the .COM bubble when all these new college grads were being handed stock options like it was candy at Halloween. The problem was, they didn’t hear the ‘option’ part. They thought, “Hey, I graduated and am getting a big salary. In 5 years I can be a millionaire with these options like that Bill Gates guy.” Two years later they were in the unemployment line.
Instead of a bubble-bust, now we have the housing-bust. Some of these same people who didn’t get their stock options, can’t pay their ARM mortgage or refinance. No biggie, just stop paying and walk away, right? Do they have no qualms about walking away from debt they accrued? Do they even know what qualms are?
Certainly some bad things have happened over many years to cause our current economic problems. I don’t want people to think I am not empathetic. We live in the land of opportunity where anyone can be successful and live in the house of their dreams, but do they ‘have’ to? Is it owed to them? I thought we were supposed to work hard for what we have. Those people who came over on the Mayflower sure did.
Being a border-line Baby Boomer, I worry about the future because after I am gone, who is going to continue to provide this entitlement to the next generation. The well is drying up quickly with Social Security unable to sustain itself. Will everyone be on ‘the dole’? And if they are, who is going to pay for that? China?