Workers in their 30s are not earning beyond their parents’ success as did the same age group decades ago.
That statistic has been used as a harbinger of a dire future for young people and the country. Yet, the American Dream may well be alive.
One television personality with a willingness to get dirty and get jobs done believes the situation may not be as bad as people are saying.
It may simply be a case of gaining a desire to take on one of millions of jobs available to those willing to do the work.
Television host Mike Rowe reacted to a new survey that showed about half of Americans in their 30s are earning more than their parents did at a similar age. It’s a stark contrast to the 1970s when that number was 92 percent.
Noting the ups and downs in the economy over the past century – the Great Depression contrasted with the postwar “boom” – Rowe said it may not be reasonable to assume every generation will out-earn the last one.
He said people need to focus on the individual and opportunities that are before them.
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Rowe said the so-called American Dream of living a successful life like one’s parents could possibly be attained if the person looked at all fields of opportunity.
He referenced blue-collar trades in which he declared there are about 5.8 million job openings, with nobody waiting in line to pursue those jobs.
“I believe, fundamentally, opportunity lives in the cracks,” Rowe said. “In many ways, the more dire it looks for the masses, the more interesting it becomes for the entrepreneur, for the aspiring small business person, and most importantly for the individual who’s willing to learn a skill that’s actually in demand.”
He questions if young people are willing to do the hard work to attain the oft elusive American Dream.
From what I’ve seen, the dream is not dead. The dream is alive and well.
He said the country is divided, but not in ways typically discussed:
We’re being divided through optimism and pessimism.
Too often, according to Rowe, young people aren’t told the truth about the “dream” they hope job or life they want to achieve.
He pointed to the example of a young contestant on “American Idol” who may have been told for the first time he or she could not sing – not from their peers, but from someone who is a professional judge.
Young people need a reality check.
“Maybe your dreams and particular set of skills would be better served over here,” Rowe said.
Rowe also discussed the rise of automation which he believes has been a job killer with few automated jobs returning to the US.
The Baltimore native recalled working at a local movie theater as a teenager taking tickets. It’s a place where his and many of his then coworkers’ jobs are no longer necessary having been replaced by machines.
“You’re knocking the lower rungs off the ladder,” he said.
Rowe presents a realistic assessment of what people of any age must do to attain success via the American Dream.
Unlike media reports, the dream is still alive.
How most people achieve that dream will not be as simple as living in the parents’ basement and waiting to hit the technology jackpot.
One must see the opportunities, roll up the sleeves and get to work.
h/t: Fox News