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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Are Millennials Actually Lazy?

Millennials are very hard-working, but they need to find something they're more passionate about.

Jared Meyer, currently a senior research fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, recently joined Learn Liberty’s Evan Swarztrauber to discuss his book Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young.

Jared points out that not only are young adults today accomplishing far more than they’re generally given credit for, they’re doing so while facing more government barriers to success than ever before. On this same theme, see Fred Smith in Forbes on “The Next Generation of Capitalists.”

You can watch more interviews and videos on Learn Liberty’s YouTube channel. A transcript of the interview is below.

Evan: You hear things like, Millennials are lazy, and they live with their parents and they don’t want to work. All they want to do is tweet and whatever. That perception can be really offensive to productive Millennials, but is there a point there? Is there a point when Baby Boomers say that they were further along in their lives and their careers, and they owned property, that we take longer as a generation to basically become adults, to grow up. Do you think there’s any truth to that?

Jared: There’s a few things here. First, I would say we are lucky to be born when we were in the late eighties, mid-nineties, things like that. We’re going to have higher standards of living than any other generation on Earth. I will say I’ve never seen in the last 100 years of studying economics an engine … a generation that has had more government barriers to success. That’s what I wanted to point out with Disinherited, is a lot of the reasons why Millennials are buying homes, buying cars, getting married, all these different things. Sure, there’s changing ideas on what we want from the American Dream, but there’s also government standing in the way of our economic success.We don’t view work as something you just go to to get a paycheck.

I pointed out a lot of different areas, but there’s countless other ones that I’m sure a lot of listeners could think of. It makes you realize that when people are calling Millennials lazy, or self-centered or any of these other words, I think that applies to any young generation. If you go back to, I’m sure Gen-X was called that before, and the Baby Boomers were called selfish and crazy. You know, they’re going to burn the world down. What we need to realize, and I give this advice whenever I talk to older groups of business owners. Millennials are very hard-working, but they need to find something they’re more passionate about and find that they really own a project. We don’t view work in general, from what I’ve talked to, all my friends, all the students I talk with, we don’t view work as something you just go to to get a paycheck and then you have your separate life-

Evan: Part of your routine –

Jared: Yeah, you want it built into your whole personality and what you’re trying to do, really to either make yourself better and make the world a better place, to empowering young people in the workforce through giving them, maybe, more responsibility or ownership over something is one way that I think you could get over the idea that they’re all lazy, entitled. Actually, speaking of entitled, how about the Baby Boomers?

Evan: Yeah, seriously, right?

Republished from Learn Liberty.

  • Jared Meyer is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. His research has been published in The Wall Street Journal and National Review.