For a frustrating read, click here.

On the one hand, Scott’s problems are universal to the Millennial generation (though I’m not fond of the term); on the other, he is at best a very poor example to represent this generation. It has been tough on a lot of graduates (a lot of my friends) to find work, but I cannot imagine anyone naive enough to assume that they will land a high-paying job, simply because they were sort of “born that way.”

The article completely skirts around the real issue, which is his naivite and (not privilege, but) sense of entitlement, which is something very different. I am not very interested in a discussion of class on this issue, but this story was astonishingly devoid of useful insight into Scott’s problems. Entitlement is a good thing. It maintains a sense of balance in one’s actions. If I put in this effort, it is only fair that I receive this sort of output. If I pay $20 for dinner, it had better taste like gold. Or at least have some in it.

But in spite of his naivite (I promise that’s the last time I use that word), The Times had nothing useful to say about Scott’s worldview in these hard times, just to use it as an excuse to laugh softly at the entire Millennial generation – as if we all thought we would graduate and flock to Wall Street without a fight. It is sad that Scott, who himself does not fully appreciate his place in the greater scheme of things, is used to represent a kaleidoscopically varied generation like ours. To look briefly at what he has said,

“Going it alone,” “earning enough to be self-supporting” — these are awkward concepts for Scott Nicholson and his friends. Of the 20 college classmates with whom he keeps up, 12 are working, but only half are in jobs they “really like.” Three are entering law school this fall after frustrating experiences in the work force, “and five are looking for work just as I am,” he said.

and

“No one on either side of the family has ever gone through this,” Mrs. Nicholson said, “and I guess I’m impatient. I know he is educated and has a great work ethic and wants to start contributing, and I don’t know what to do.”

Hearing the words come from their own mouths is a little frustrating. The first quote is almost saved by the very real fear of the job market, but is still mired in childishness. It does not arouse any sympathy in me when someone says that “earning enough to be self-supporting” is an “awkward concept” – and this at age 24. The second is simply incorrect. Scott does not have work ethic, he is merely afraid to give up a lifestyle that he has claimed as a right. If he really did have a work ethic he would have accepted the job offer, not refused it as beneath him.

Not everyone who works hard is entitled in the long term, and not everyone who does so feels that way. Nor should they. It doesn’t seem like Scott really values the work of his father and grandfather, in that he is unwilling to take the same steps that they did. To a certain degree I can sympathize with his frustration, but if he had a job opportunity and he refused it, he has something other than work on his mind.

To generalize, the Millennials are a dynamic, skilled, forward-thinking generation that is better represented by graphic designers, software engineers, artists and scientists – not by instant-CEOs. Knowing that this is how many of the graduates who flock to Wall Street think does not give me confidence in an economic recovery, and only drives me closer to something resembling Communism – and that is a scary thought.

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